Jrue Holiday’s defensive genius lifts Bucks over Celtics in crucial Game 5 victory: ‘He’s a winner’

BOSTON – Everything Jrue Holiday does on defense is done with a purpose. “What’s the point of you trying to steal the ball if you’re just going to hit it out of bounds?” Holiday asked The Athletic in March. When Holiday dropped that musing in the middle of an in-depth 30-minute conversation about his defense, … Read more

Thompson: Now, we learn if these Warriors are championship worthy after getting embarrassed in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The characteristics of the past championship teams have just been imputed onto this edition of the Warriors. Largely because the three best players – Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are still in the core – it is often concluded this is a continuation of the dynastic era of three titles … Read more

Bucks put Celtics on the brink, display championship pedigree

BOSTON – What happened? No, really—what just happened? The Bucks beat the Celtics 110–107 on Wednesday, seizing a 3–2 lead in the series. And, seriously—how did that happen? “We beat ourselves,” said Boston guard Marcus Smart. Said coach Ime Udoka, “We know we gave up a golden opportunity tonight.” Added forward Jaylen Brown, “We gave … Read more

Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic officially named NBA MVP

DENVER – Nikola Jokic plays for Denver. And for Serbia. Both places can once again make the same claim: For the second consecutive season, they’re home to the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. The league announced Wednesday night that Jokic had won back-to-back MVP awards. The Nuggets ‘big man is the second consecutive international player to … Read more

Bob Lanier, NBA force who left big shoes to fill, dies at 73

Bob Lanier, the left-handed big man who muscled up beside the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as one of the NBA’s top players of the 1970s, died Tuesday. He was 73. The NBA said Lanier died after a short illness. The Hall of Famer had worked for the league as a global ambassador. The Athletic reported … Read more

Joel Embiid asks ‘what else I have to do’ to win MVP, says all energy now focused on ‘bigger picture’ of helping Philadelphia 76ers win NBA title

12:59 AM ET Tim BontempsESPN MIAMI – Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid congratulated Nikola Jokic on winning the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for a second straight season, adding Tuesday night that there was “no right or wrong” answer among several deserving candidates. But Embiid also said that, going forward, he’ll steer his focus toward … Read more

Jimmy Butler’s play in this series is a reminder of what the Philadelphia 76ers could have been

When the definitive history of the Process-Era Philadelphia 76ers is written someday, there will be many moments and decisions to revisit. Without the benefit of hindsight yet, it is impossible to know which were the most consequential. But it’s impossible to watch what Jimmy Butler did to the Sixers Tuesday night in the Miami Heat’s … Read more

Hollinger: In the NBA playoffs, everybody is angry at everyone… and it’s wonderful

OK, can we all now admit the first round of these NBA playoffs was a little tame? Sure, there were tidbits of drama here and there, but in the end, all eight series went chalk, with nary a seven-game series and few in serious doubt beyond Game 3. In addition to the shortage of second-week … Read more

Bucks GM Jon Horst on Game 3: ‘That wasn’t a quality playoff basketball game, and I think officiating played a role’

Following the Bucks’ 103-101 victory in Game 3, the Celtics were unhappy with the game’s officials. They believed Bucks guard Jrue Holiday fouled Celtics guard Marcus Smart on a 3-point attempt with 4.6 seconds remaining and that Smart deserved three free throws. Smart and head coach Ime Udoka passionately argued their position on the court, … Read more