76ers’ Ennis on GM 7 against Raps: We would be champions if we win that game(VIDEO)

Basketball is a game inches. A couple bounces here, and a bounces couple there can change everything. Just ask the Philadelphia 76ers. With the game tied at 90, Kawhi Leonard made one of the most improbable shots to send the Raptors past the 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The ball bounced up, down, and into the basket. An inch to the left or an inch to the right could have changed the course history, so says Sixers F James Ennis.

“Lucky shot,” Ennis told Paul Gant on Friday after the introductory press conference to announce his signing with the 76ers. “He’s a good player, though. Kawhi’s one of the best players in the league, but it hit the rim like four times. I felt like if we would have won that game, we would have won the whole thing…

“If we would have won that game, we would have beat Milwaukee, and we would have won a championship because I think we matched up well against Milwaukee. We gave Toronto a run for their money.”

Ennis recently said that the Sixers would “walk to the Finals” now that Kawhi Leonard is out of the Eastern Conference. On Friday, he still sounded very confident in his team.

The East is up for grabs,” he said. “The West is a lot tougher, but I think we have a team that is elite still. We have a good coaching staff here, good coach, good players. I think we are determined to go farther than we did last year, and I know we will.”

The way Milwaukee flamed out against the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals, losing the final four games of the series after being up 2-0, Ennis might have a point. Also, after how the Warriors broke down physically(Durant, Thompson injuries), all the top teams in the East should be kicking themselves right now, and with the West getting even stronger, the top teams in the East might be kicking themselves for a long time!

Listen to complete interview with Ennis below as he discusses why he came back to Philly, how much money he left on the table, the playoffs, and more:

 

 

 

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Pop: ‘Pau Gasol is an exceptional individual and the ultimate professional’

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they had reached a buyout agreement with Pau Gasol, and according to ESPN, Gasol is expected to sign with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Currently, Milwaukee has the best record in basketball, and with the addition of Gasol, the Bucks add more size off the bench.

Interestingly enough, Gasol could battle his brother, Marc, who was recently acquired by the Raptors, at some point in the playoffs.

Gasol, 38, originally signed with the Spurs on July 14, 2016 and appeared in a total of 168 games with San Antonio, averaging 10.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 22.4 minutes. In 27 games, Gasol is averaging 4.2 points and 4.7 rebounds.

“Pau Gasol is an exceptional individual and the ultimate professional,” said Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich. “We are grateful for his contributions on the court, in the locker room and in our community.”

The 18-year NBA veteran and two-time champion is a four-time All-NBA selection and six-time All-Star. In 1,223 career NBA games (1,150 starts), Gasol has averaged 17.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.59 blocks in 33.5 minutes.

Gasol is one of four players in NBA history to record over 20,000 points, 11,000 rebounds, 3,500 assists and 1,500 blocks in his career, along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett.

Kellerman: ‘If Giannis is knocking down threes, he’s gonna be the best player that ever lived, that includes Jordan'(VIDEO)

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo is having an MVP-caliber season, and at this point, with Bucks having the best record in the NBA, his chances of winning the award are excellent. He can do it all; he can handle, drive and finish in the lane, and in 55 games, Giannis is averaging 27.2 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 6.0 assists.

However, Giannis does have a flaw, and that is his shooting ability. He is shooting just 24% from downtown, but on Saturday, Giannis was on fire. He shot 3-4 from beyond the arc and finished with 27 points as the Bucks beat the Timberwolves 140-128.

According to ESPN’s Max Kellerman, if Giannis can ever gets a consistent jumper, he could be the greatest of all-time.

Listen below as Kellerman talks Giannis:

 

Lopez on Giannis winning MVP: ‘He should have a lot of people’s votes'(VIDEO)

Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to fill up the stat sheet on a nightly basis, but unlike previous years, those numbers are translating to a lot more wins. Milwaukee currently has the best record in basketball(39-13), and Antetokounmpo has an excellent case for MVP.

Statistically, his numbers are great. “The Greek Freak” is 8th in point per game(26.7) and 6th in rebounds per game(12.6). While Houston’s James Harden(36.5 ppg) continues to put up great numbers, he is not having as much team success as Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. Traditionally, the MVP goes to the best player on the best team, which means Antetokounmpo has a legitimate shot at being the league’s MVP, and according to Bucks C Brook Lopez, Giannis should get plenty of votes.

“He should have a lot of people’s votes,” Lopez recently told goforitradio.com. “He has been just a huge part of what we do, no question. He’s our leader in so many different ways.”

If the Bucks continue to play well, and Antetokounmpo continues to put up great numbers, he probably wins the award. Regarding the Bucks as championship contenders, they have a legit shot to make the NBA Finals, and while Milwaukee is playing well right now, Lopez expects them to be even better come playoff time.

“I think we will be a completely different team in May and June,” Lopez said. “We’re going to be a lot better team as well, so we’re just trying to keep improving each and every game.”

It’s hard to get better than 26 games over .500, but if the Bucks continue to improve, Giannis wins the MVP, and Milwaukee will be representing the East in the NBA Finals.

Listen to the complete interview with Lopez below:

Bucks acquire George Hill in three-team deal

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guard Matthew Dellavedova and forward/center John Henson from the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a three-team trade, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced today.

As part of the trade, Cleveland is also receiving Milwaukee’s own 2021 first round pick and 2021 second round pick as well as a 2022 second round pick from the Washington Wizards. In exchange, the Cavaliers will send guard George Hill and a 2021 second round pick (Washington’s via Utah) to the Bucks and forward Sam Dekker to the Wizards. In addition, Milwaukee will also receive forward Jason Smith from Washington.

“First and foremost, I’d like to thank George Hill,” said Altman. “He helped us get to the NBA Finals last year and has been a consummate professional on the court and in our community. Both George and Sam Dekker went about their work here with professionalism and class and we wish them the best. At the same time, we’re very pleased to bring Delly back to Cleveland and want to welcome John Henson as well. This deal satisfied several important aspects for us in terms of having both long and shorter term benefits and assets involved. We will continue to look for ways to improve and strengthen our position for the future, while enhancing our ability to compete and grow in the short-term also.”

Hill (6-3, 188) appeared in 37 games (all starts) for Cleveland after being acquired by the Cavaliers on Feb. 8, 2018, averaging 9.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 27.4 minutes per game over that span. Dekker (6-9, 230), who was acquired by Cleveland on Aug. 7, 2018, played in nine games (five starts) for the Cavs this season, averaging 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.22 steals in 18.8 minutes per game.

Dellavedova (6-4, 200) played his first three NBA seasons with the Cavaliers from 2013-2016 and was a member of Cleveland’s 2016 NBA Championship team. In 215 career games (31 starts) with the Cavs, he averaged 5.7 points and 3.4 assists in 21.0 minutes per game. Dellavedova ranks ninth in Cavs history for three-point percentage (.398). He appeared in 12 games this season with Milwaukee and owns career averages of 5.8 points and 3.7 assists in 21.4 minutes over 341 games (88 starts) with the Cavaliers and Bucks. Dellavedova will wear jersey number 18 for the Cavs.

Henson (6-11, 219), who is in his eighth NBA season, has spent his entire career with Milwaukee, appearing in 405 games (152 starts) and averaging 7.8 points on .539 shooting, 5.4 rebounds and 1.48 blocks in 20.1 minutes per game. This season, he played in 14 games for the Bucks and averaged 5.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in 13.4 minutes per game. He also appeared in the playoffs in four seasons with Milwaukee, playing in 14 games (two starts) and averaging 5.8 points on .536 shooting, 5.1 rebounds and 1.21 blocks in 19.4 minutes per game. Henson will wear jersey number 31 for the Cavs.

Bucks fire head coach Jason Kidd

The Milwaukee Bucks have fired their head coach Jason Kidd, the team announced on Monday. Kidd, who spent four seasons with the Bucks, will be replaced by assistant coach Joe Prunty.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Prunty is expected to be named the interim coach for Milwaukee.

Currently, the 8th seeded Bucks are 23-22. During his time with the Bucks, Kidd had a record of 139-152.