Sport Why Brad Stevens Believes NBA Finals Winner Won’t Deserve Asterisk

18:53  02 july  2020
18:53  02 july  2020 Source:   nesn.com

Ulm outclasses Frankfurt: semi-finals practically fixed

 Ulm outclasses Frankfurt: semi-finals practically fixed After another gala presentation, the basketball players from ratiopharm Ulm can plan for the semi-finals at the master tournament in Munich. Coach Jaka Lakovic's team won the quarter-final first leg against the Fraport Skyliners from Frankfurt on Wednesday with 101: 61 (57:30). After the highest victory in this tournament, the second leg for the Baden-Württemberg, where Dylan Osetkowski collected the most points (18), is only a matter of form on Friday.

Brad Stevens is aware how difficult this road to glory will be.

Brad Stevens standing in front of a crowd © Provided by NESN Brad Stevens

The Boston Celtics head coach dismissed the idea of the 2020 NBA Finals winner having an asterisk next to its name Wednesday in comments he made to The Associated Press. Stevens believes the unprecedented circumstances of the 2019-20 NBA season, particularly the disruption the coronavirus pandemic has caused, has made the Finals-winning task peharps as hard as ever.

“I saw (Houston Rockets guard) Austin Rivers said today, you know that the idea of an asterisk next to this championship, I think he said it exactly right,” Stevens said. “This is going to be a super unique situation and whoever wins it is going to really earn it.”

FA Cup: Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal follow Manchester United to the semi-finals

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The Celtics are among the 22 NBA teams that will resume the season later this month in Orlando. An eight-game seeding round will precede a full four-round, best-of-seven NBA Playoffs, from which the 2020 champion will emerge.

The facts that teams must return from a three-plus-months’ hiatus and remain away from their families and familiar surroundings for another few months, lends credence to what Stevens and others have to say about any “asterisk.”

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Gallery: Analyzing Boston's eight-game regular season schedule game-by-game (SMG)

Giannis Antetokounmpo holding a basketball: Why it matters: These two behemoths were ready to go at just as the season was shut down due to the Utah Jazz' Rudy Gobert's positive COVID-19 test. The Celtics were on a Jayson Tatum-fueled tear, and the margin of victory as much as the winner may be seen as a barometer for the postseason -- even if it shouldn't given all the time off. What to watch for: Who is rusty and/or out of shape on both teams. While it's unlikely anyone will be in their best form even after the ramp-up given the long layoff, this will be our first look at the overall conditioning and health of two of the more likely teams to come out of the East. Who will (probably) win: Both teams will probably be hungry. And both teams will probably be very, very sloppy. Don't put too much stock in this single game either way, but the Celtics Wire will take Boston by a nose.

Celtics’ Marcus Smart Says Robert Williams Is ‘Different Type Of Freak Of Nature’ .
Robert Williams was in the process of working his way back from a left hip edema that saw him miss… Read More »But it appears the time off has allowed the second-year Boston Celtics center to focus on his rehab after being out from Dec. 9 through February, having only seen minutes in four games after being cleared from his injury.

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