Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service utilized by NBA, NCAA and international teams.Miami Heat
The Lakers were able to keep it close against the Heat Thursday night without all the top talent on the floor.LA Clippers
Even as LaVine has battled an ankle sprain -- missing one game, and admitting even after the Pacers win he’s still getting his timing back -- there have been flashes of what will ultimately make that action so difficult to guard.Oklahoma City Thunder
7. Bucks (32-18, LW 7). Milwaukee is paying Jrue Holiday at least $130 million over the next four years, and probably more — they have locked themselves into the core of Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Khris Middleton. Lineups with all three of them on the court have a net rating of +12 this season (stats via Cleaning the Glass, which filters out garbage time). Still, is that core three good enough to win it all? Do the Bucks have the right players around them to challenge Brooklyn and Philadelphia atop the East? If not, the GM can’t move the players, which could mean Coach Bud’s seat getting hot.
His antics became legend: He once threatened to fight Celtics coach Red Auerbach on the court, once yanked a whistle straight off an official’s neck, once chased his own player through the locker room with a hockey stick.
In a departure from the more traditional defense the Celtics have leaned on most of this season, a change to a switchier approach with plenty of help off the bench from Grant Williams and Romeo Langford helped Boston win its third game in a row. A 31 – 3 run helped the team to improve to 28 and 26 on the season, snapping the NBA’s longest winning streak for the Nuggets at eight games.
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There is hope this is a momentary setback. ACL tears are not necessarily the career-altering injuries they once were, although Derrick Rose might disagree. Jokic and Murray seem like the sort of stars who could repay Denver's loyalty with commitments beyond their current max contracts (respectively expiring in 2023 and 2025), and if that's the case, the Nuggets should contend for years to come, especially if Porter reaches his considerable potential. Connelly has shown the ability to consistently supply them with quality depth.Brooklyn Nets