LeBron James surpasses Michael Jordan in career MVP voting shares

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Giannis Antetokounmpo won MVP.

As for the rest of the voting?

Here are the results with first-, second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-place votes and total voting points (10-7-5-3-1 points from first to fifth):

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks): 85-16-0-0-0-962

2. LeBron James (Lakers): 16-84-1-0-0-753

3. James Harden (Rockets): 0-1-64-10-10-367

4. Luka Doncic (Mavericks): 0-0-14-36-22-200

5. Kawhi Leonard (Clippers): 0-0-9-31-30-168

6. Anthony Davis (Lakers): 0-0-5-14-15-82

7. Chris Paul (Thunder): 0-0-3-1-8-26

8. Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers): 0-0-1-4-6-23

9. Nikola Jokic (Nuggets): 0-0-2-2-2-18

10. Pascal Siakam (Raptors): 0-0-2-1-4-17

11. Jimmy Butler (Heat): 0-0-0-2-3-9

12. Jayson Tatum (Celtics): 0-0-0-0-1-1

No, LeBron didn’t win. Nor should he have.

But the only other player in the top eight of voting still alive in the playoffs? His Lakers teammate, Anthony Davis. LeBron has a prime opportunity to bolster his legacy with another championship.

In the meantime, LeBron also boosts his resumé even with his runner-up finish.

LeBron received 753 voting points. A unanimous MVP would’ve received 1,010 voting points. So, with 75% of that total, LeBron gets .75 MVP voting shares.

That puts him ahead of Michael Jordan on the career MVP-voting-shares leaderboard:

Getting a vote every year of his career, LeBron also tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most seasons receiving an MVP vote:

A big caveat: MVP ballots had just one or three slots prior to 1981, when they went to the current five-player format. So, LeBron has had more opportunities to get lower-ballot votes.

Another caveat: LeBron’s lone fifth-place vote last season came from NBA.com fan voting.

But he didn’t just sneak onto the back end of ballots this year – even at age 35. Only Karl Malone, who won 1999 MVP at 35, has finished top two while so old.

And LeBron has been receiving MVP votes since he was a teenager.

He didn’t get the trophy that will endure. But this silver-medal finish still reflects just how incredible his career has been – and continues to be.

Ja Morant, Zion Williamson lead NBA All-Rookie teams

NBA All-Rookie Team 2020
oe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images
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The Memphis Grizzlies are well represented with two players. The Miami Heat — still playing in the Eastern Conference Finals — are well represented by two players that get critical minutes in their rotation.

Then, of course, there is Zion Williamson.

The league has announced the NBA All-Rookie Teams, and as expected it is Ja Morant and Williamson at the top, followed by Miami’s Kendrick Nunn (who finished third in Rookie of the Year voting next. Here are the results, as selected by a group of 100 media members.

ALL ROOKIE TEAMS

First team

Ja Morant, Grizzlies
Zion Williamson, Pelicans
Kendrick Nunn, Heat
Brandon Clarke, Grizzlies
Eric Paschall, Warriors

Second team

Coby White, Bulls
P.J. Washington, Hornets
Tyler Herro, Heat
Rui Hachimura, Wizards
Terence Davis, Raptors

A few notes:

• The New York Knicks’ RJ Barrett finished 11th in the NBA All-Rookie Teams voting, with Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia) and Darius Garland (Cleveland) the next two on the board after Barrett.
• Morant was the only player unanimously selected to the First Team.
• Nunn received more First Team votes than Williamson, which is not about the quality of play as much as Zion only getting in 19 games this season.
• Four-fifths of the First Team was basically a lock (Morant, Williamson, Nunn, and Clarke); the question was who would get fifth. Voters went with Eric Paschall, the 41st overall pick out of Villanova, who rose up to take on a large role as Warriors players went down with injuries during the season. Paschall averaged 14 points and 4.6 rebounds per game this season.
• Coby White got the most Second Team votes.
• All voting was based only on games prior to the NBA restart in Orlando.

Nuggets have chance at historic upset in Game 7 vs. Clippers

Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic in Clippers-Nuggets Game 6
Michael Reaves/Getty Images
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The Clippers were built for the playoffs. The Nuggets appeared to be more of a regular-season team.

And the Clippers were still better than the Nuggets in the regular season.

This second-round series was a mismatch on paper. L.A. (-1000) opened as huge favorite over Denver (+550). Odds provided by our partner, PointsBet.

But the Nuggets enter Game 7 tonight with a chance to pull an extraordinary upset.

Based on averaging the money line for both teams, Denver’s implied odds of winning the series were just 12%.

That’d be the fifth-longest odds overcome in the Sports Odds History database, which has all series since 2001 and some series since 1969.

Here are the biggest upsets on record by this method:

Most of series above Nuggets-Clippers were classics – Denver becoming the first No. 8 seed to upset a No. 1 seed (SuperSonics) in 1994, the “We Believe” Warriors toppling the Mavericks in 2007 and Golden State shockingly sweeping the Jazz in 1989. The 76ers also beat the Bulls in 2012 after Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah got hurt.

Merely getting this far is impressive for the Nuggets. They entered the series as huge underdogs, fell behind 3-1, trailed by 15 in the second half of Game 5 and trailed by by 19 in the second half of Game 6.

Only eight teams entered a series with longer odds and won even three games.

Teams that won the series are blue. Teams that lost the series are gold. This series is red:

Of course, the Nuggets don’t want to settle for pushing the Clippers hard then faltering. Denver wants to win the series. Then the next one. Then the next one. The Nuggets just aren’t viewed as that type of threat.

That puts far more pressure on the Clippers, who have Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, a deep supporting cast and legitimate championship expectations,

The Clippers will probably win Game 7. They’re 7.5-point favorites. If they win, this series will become a footnote. The overwhelming favorite winning, even if it’s more difficult than expected, isn’t a major event. Celtics-Hawks in 2008 just doesn’t resonate.

But if Denver wins? This will go down as an upset for the ages.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis headline NBA All-Defensive Team

NBA All-Defensive Team
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Long, athletic big men who can protect the rim and still switch out and defend a wing are the anchors every team wants to build its defense around. Players such as Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo — there’s a reason those guys finished one-two in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

There’s also a reason they are both on the First-Team All-Defensive team, along with the other DPOY finalist Rudy Gobert of Utah.

The NBA announced its All-Defensive Team on Tuesday.

First team

G: Marcus Smart, Boston
G: Ben Simmons, Philadelphia
F: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee
F: Anthony Davis, L.A. Lakers
C: Rudy Gobert, Utah

Second team

G: Eric Bledsoe, Milwaukee
G: Patrick Beverley, L.A. Clippers
F: Kawhi Leonard, L.A. Clippers
F: Bam Adebayo, Miami
C: Brook Lopez, Milwaukee

The three players with the highest vote totals not to make the team are Kris Dunn (Chicago, guard), P.J. Tucker (Houston, forward), and Jimmy Butler (Miami, forward). Joel Embiid was the center with the most votes behind Lopez, but there was a considerable gulf.

There is no wildcard, “What the heck were they thinking?” pick in this year’s NBA All-Defensive Team. If there is a glaring omission, it is that there is not one Toronto Raptors player on either team, and they had the second-best defense in the NBA this season. Kyle Lowry was fifth in guard voting.

Simmons, Adebayo, and Lopez all made the team for the first time.

Rudy Gobert gets a $500,000 bonus for making the All-NBA team, reports Bobby Marks of ESPN. He adds that Lowry missed out on a similar bonus.

There were a couple of interesting votes from the select media members who voted. Luka Doncic got one first-team vote, and Damian Lillard got one second-team vote. (Media members votes for all the awards will be released after the last award is announced.)

 

 

Report: Chicago Bulls line up interviews with long list of assistant coaches

Chicago Bulls
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Arturas Karnisovas knows what he wants in the head coach of the Chicago Bulls. Someone strong at player development. Someone with good communication skills. Someone who relates to players and who they respect.

He’s willing to interview a lot of people — and a lot of top assistant coaches around the league — to find his guy. Just look at the list ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski put forward of assistants the Bulls have gotten permission to talk to.

No permission was necessary for former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson to interview, but new executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley are talking to several assistant coaches still involved in the playoffs, including Milwaukee’s Darvin Ham, Denver’s Wes Unseld Jr. and Miami’s Dan Craig, sources said.

Among the assistant coaches granted permission to talk to Chicago from eliminated teams, sources said: Dallas Mavericks assistants Jamahl Mosley and Stephen Silas, Philadelphia’s Ime Udoka and one candidate — Minnesota associate head coach David Vanterpool — whose team didn’t qualify for the restart, sources said.

That doesn’t include Chris Fleming and Roy Rogers, who worked on former coach Jim Boylen’s staff.

Nate McMillan is available and checks all the boxes of what Karnisovas is seeking, but McMillan has made it clear he is taking a season off from coaching (he is still getting paid by the Pacers for another year). Hard to see Chicago going with Brett Brown, for that matter.

Udoka has been considered a frontrunner (and has interest from multiple teams), plus Atkinson — who helped develop players and build a winning culture in Brooklyn — has to be taken seriously.

It’s far too early to say there is a true frontrunner for the Bulls’ job, and expect Karnisovas to take his time — he just fired the coach the owner likes, he needs to nail this hire.

The Bulls have young talent on the roster — Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Coby White, Wendell Carter — but how good they really are and how well they fit together remain unanswered questions. Don’t be shocked if Karnisovas spends the next year hiring a coach and seeing who does and does not fit with the program going forward, then becoming more aggressive with his roster shaping moves.