The NBA Draft Lottery takes place tonight at 8:30 pm EST on ESPN. The only real policy we have in any of the major American sports that is used to deter tanking, it’s the annual Burning Man for conspiracy theorists. Frozen envelopes, league payoffs, Dikembe Mutombo tweets; this event was hand crafted for NBA Twitter. Here are six fun things to root for tonight:
- Philadelphia wins the top overall pick, knocking the Lakers out of the top-3, therefore giving them ownership of the Lakers pick as well as their own. This would give the Sixers two top-5 picks in a loaded draft just a year after firing Sam Hinkie and giving up on the #process.
- New Orleans wins, meaning they get to keep their draft pick from the DeMarcus Cousins trade and we all get to keep making fun of Vlade Divac’s ineptitude.
- Sacramento wins the lottery with their own pick, but are therefore forced to send it to Philadelphia as part of that horrifying Nik Stauskas trade… and we all get to keep making fun of Vlade Divac’s ineptitude.
- Minnesota wins the lottery, placing three of the last four number one overall picks on the same roster, thanks in large part to the extra ping pong balls they acquired when the Knicks unwittingly won on the final day of the regular season.
- The Lakers fall just one spot in the lottery, from third to fourth, meaning they are forced to send their draft pick to Philadelphia because they decided to win five of their final six games and let Phoenix end the season with a worse record.
- Phoenix wins the lottery and decides to draft yet another point guard and go all-in on the five point guard lineup.
Follow David on Twitter @dmcgowan24
Lakers’ LeBron James Praises Luke Walton
Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar forward LeBron James is praising former Lakers’ head coach Luke Walton, who is now the head coach of the Sacramento Kings, when the Kings came in to play the Lakers on Friday.
James says that with all the devastating injuries and the non-stop distractions of the constant trade rumors, Walton “did as great of a job as you could do under the circumstances”, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.
Walton was the head coach during James’ first season with the Lakers in 2018-2019 and led the team to a 37-45 record, missing the playoffs.
“Throughout everything that was going on, we were two of the guys that just tried to remain positive and patient, even with the circumstances that we had,” James said during shootaround on Friday.
James reflected on the challenges of last season, pointing to key injuries as contributing factors to the disappointing season.
“I mean, we were right where we wanted to be on Dec. 25, went up into Golden State and played against a very good team and had a very good game,” James said. “And then the injury happened and I’m out 6½ weeks.
“I don’t think anyone could have predicted that, including myself and including Luke. And we were just behind the eight ball. But throughout it all we just tried to remain positive, even throughout with the young guys, with the older guys and whatever the case may be. So I think he did as great of a job as you could do under the circumstances.”
“Um, I agree with LeBron,” Walton said. “[There’s] a longer answer and I’ve spent time reflecting on last season, but for now, couple of hours before a game, it is more focused on tonight’s task and our game planning and rotations and things like that.”
Walton is now at the helm in Sacramento, but he talked about how special it is to return to Los Angeles, even on the opposing side.
“It’s always a special place for me to come into this building,” Walton said. “I have a lot of great memories in L.A. It’s a great opportunity playing here and coaching here.”
“LeBron, he’s one of the greatest players of all time if not the greatest,” Walton said. “So I’m sure last year getting hurt, not making the playoffs, I mean, he’s going right now. And this team kind of follows that lead. They’re playing incredibly well. Their defense and offense starts with him. He looks really good.”
Lakers, LeBron James Showing Marked Strides on Defense
Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar LeBron James is crediting improved health and hard work for his drastic improvement on the defensive end of the court, and James isn’t the only one making an impact on defense for the Lakers this season.
“I’m playing injury free. I’m not injured. My quick twitch is back. My speed is back, my strength is back,” James said, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
The Lakers put that defense on display in a 103-96 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, which boosted their record to 5-1 on the season.
“Playing with a torn groin last year — even when I came back it was still partially torn — it was difficult to be able to move and shift like I’m capable of doing that defensively,” James said. “For me, I just take the challenge. I love being challenged. Coach [Frank Vogel] challenged me, AD [Anthony Davis] challenged me, I challenged myself.
“I put a lot of hard work into my offseason by getting my quick twitch, getting my bounce back, getting my speed back, my reaction time back. My mind has always been there. That’s what it’s all about.”
James’ resurgence on the defensive end of the floor has only mirrored what the Lakers team, as a whole, has done.
“Well it’s contagious, and his commitment on that end of the floor has been a great surprise for us in terms of just how proficient he’s been,” Lakers’ head coach Frank Vogel said of James’ impact. “He’s leading the charge with care factor on that end of the floor. When he’s working that hard and caring that much about getting stops, it carries over to everybody else, and you see it on the floor.”
“Obviously we still have a lot to work on offensively, but we try to make sure that we strive on defense every game,” Davis said. “We want to be the best defensive team in the league, and we’ll be tough to beat.”
“I don’t see it as a role, I see it as my purpose,” Lakers’ center Dwight Howard said. “I think it’s my purpose to go out every single night and play hard defense, trying to block every shot, trying to be in the paint, get a lot of steals, go for loose balls. Whatever I can do for this team, be of service, that’s my mission. I don’t see it as my role, I see it as a purpose.”
“All of us, all of us, with LeBron and AD being the leaders of the team it starts with them,” Howard said. “The first guys on the court it starts with them. The second unit, the Bad News Bears — not the Bad News Bears in a bad way, but they’re going to bring bad news to the other team. That type of bad news. But we come out and you play that hard, tough-nosed defense, it makes it tough for teams to score, then they’ve got to deal with our first unit again.”
It’s a mantra that the Lakers are preaching, and one that is panning out for the Western Conference powerhouse thus far this season.
While the Lakers put in hard work to see results, the same can be said for esports teams looking to take home a championship, or streamers needing to crown themselves the best Twitch channels in the industry.
There are a number of factors to take into consideration to become one of the aforementioned, the best female streamers, or considered the best Mixer channels on the platform. Even if you’re one of the many cosplayers and searching for a cosplay directory to improve your branding.
Starting off with the best streaming equipment is certainly a good start. Educating yourself on the latest esports news, twitch news, and mixer news helps keep you in the know with your industry, and competition.
Lakers’ Anthony Davis Discusses Debut
Los Angeles Lakers superstar big man Anthony Davis is used to handling the majority of the workload for his team in order to have any success on the court, but after his debut with the Lakers at the Staples Center on Wednesday, Davis is realizing that things are different for him now.
Davis doesn’t have to do everything for his team.
“It takes a load off me,” Davis said after the Lakers’ 126-93 victory over the Golden State Warriors, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “It feels good knowing that you don’t have to do much. Everybody has a role, and when you have guys all over the board who can score the basketball, you don’t need to do everything every possession.”
Davis had a solid outing, posting 8 points, 8 assists, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks in his first game since spraining his right thumb early during their game last weekend against the Brooklyn Nets in China.
“He has seen multiple defenders for seven straight years in New Orleans. He is able to read the defense. He can create for himself any time,” Lakers’ forward LeBron James said of Davis.
“There are not many guys in our league that can affect the game the way AD does. He can score, rebound and pass. He just does it at a high level.”
“It doesn’t have to always go through LeBron like it has with teams past, and it doesn’t always have to go through AD,” Lakers’ head coach Frank Vogel said. “Quite frankly, even when those guys are out, I love the role players that we have and their ability to carry the load as well. Whether it’s having two lob threats, and playing the spread game. We’ve got a number of shooters out there that can make you pay when we force help, and there’s a lot of experience on our club, so hopefully the usage and workload will be spread out.”
James is also happy that the addition of Davis will help ease the load on him as well.
“My perspective, personally? It sounds good. It sounds good,” James said. “I saw a stat earlier today where I have 7,000 miles more than Vince Carter or something like that. He’s like seven years older than me.”
‘m born to have workload,” James added. “It is who I am, both on and off the floor.”
“We are just playing together, playing for each other,” Davis said. “It’s going to be a fun year, the way we are moving the basketball, the way we are playing defensively, helping each other out. It is going to be fun. We know it takes all of us to win. We are trying to set a standard right now.”
When a team comes together cohesively, good things can happen, which is why esports teams are made of of the best players that compliment one another. Streaming is no different. Whether you’re a female streamer looking to make her mark, streaming ASMR, putting on game development streams, or simply hosting variety with your IRL streams, you need to stay up on the latest esports news, and make sure you’re rolling with the best streaming equipment on the market. Bring your team together by taking your game to the next level.
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