Report: UNLV’s Bennett to declare for NBA draft

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This isn’t a surprise, in fact it was expected. At least we’re not going to go through the silly “of course I’m coming back… wait, I changed my mind” dance.

UNLV forward Anthony Bennett will go pro next season, reports CBSSports.com.

Sources told CBSSports.com that the 6-foot-8 Canadian forward, who averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game this season, will make an official announcement sometime in the next week.

The 6’7” forward is a lock for the lottery, both DraftExpress.com and ESPN’s Chad Ford currently have him going No. 5 overall.

Bennett is a beast in the paint, a guy with big physical frame who is very athletic and has thrown down some of the best dunks of the college season. In college, particularly in a smaller conference, Bennett was largely used as a four but at the next level he’s more a three. Which means the handles and outside shot he’s shown flashes of have to become more consistent, polished parts of his game. But he has the ability to get there.

This is a down draft at the top, there are no franchise anchor, Anthony Davis kind of picks at the top. Which makes this a good year for guys like Bennett to come out. Teams are trying to project where a guy is going to be in three years, and with his athleticism teams will be willing to do a risk on Bennett. He will go higher than he might have most years.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)

LeBron James blows wide-open dunk (video)

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J.R. Smith (slightly out of context): “We don’t start paying attention until after All-Star break.”

Report: Raptors’ Delon Wright out a month

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Raptors guard Delon Wright dislocated his shoulder, but at least he won’t need surgery.

Raptors media relations:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Raptors (11-5), off to a surprisingly strong start, are second in the Eastern Conference. They’ve bought themselves margin for error. All in all, a month-long absence for Wright isn’t so bad.

Wright had been a key part of an excellent all-bench unit that included Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby, C.J. Miles and Jakob Poeltl. Two-way player Lorenzo Brown has assumed Wright’s role, and Norman Powell – returning from his own injury – will provide a boost. Toronto can also stagger Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan more.

The chemistry of the bench mob was something to behold, but the Raptors should withstand this.