Toronto Raptors

Lakers Dropped to No. 6 Seed After Loss against the Toronto Raptors

Despite LA Lakers star LeBron James return, Los Angeles has fallen to sixth place in the Western Conference. James missed 20 games because of a high-ankle sprain he injured on March 20. Unfortunately, he also left Sunday’s game against the Toronto Raptors midway through the fourth quarter. He didn’t return because of another ankle injury. 

The Lakers are struggling. They have lost to the visiting Sacramento Kings on Friday and have now lost against the Toronto Raptors. Because of this, they now have 36-27 overall. Moreover, the No. 5 seed belongs to the Mavericks, who have the same record but hold the tiebreaker over the Lakers. With the way things are going, Los Angeles is in danger of dropping to a play-in game. 

Lakers On Brink Of Falling Into Play-In Tournament

For punters who know how to bet on sports like basketball, you’ll probably gauge the Lakers’ performance. We can safely agree that if the regular season ended now, the defending NBA Champion Lakers would be close to the play-in tournament. And James is not happy about it. He stated in an interview, “Whoever came up with that s*** needs to be fired.” 

This differs from his previous statement in May 2020, where he favoured the play-in tournament.

James stated, “One thing you can’t just do is go straight to the playoffs, because it discredits the 60-plus games that guys had fighting for that position.

“You got Portland. You got Memphis…New Orleans and Sacramento tinkering around there…so if there’s five or ten games left…why not those guys battle it out? Make them play each other all five games?”

Toronto Raptors Win Against the LA Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers vs Toronto Raptors game was held at Staples Center. Two Raptors players stood out in their amazing performance, Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam. The former had a season-high 37 points with 11 assists. Siakam, on the other hand, finished with 39 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots on 15-for-26 field goals. This was the first time in franchise history that two Raptors players finished with 35 plus point double-doubles in the same game.  

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse stated, “Those two guys played great. They were really awesome. Pretty electrifying.”

On Sunday night’s game, the Lakers led by six points, 38-32, after the opening quarter, but this didn’t last long. The Raptors took control in the second quarter and got a 13-point lead into the halftime break. For the third quarter, the Raptors still led with 2 points. Los Angeles tried to take control in the fourth quarter, but the Raptors won with 114-121.

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Basketball Hoop

NBA’s Basketball Africa League Announces Its Debut

The NBA’s Basketball Africa League announced its long-awaited debut that’s to be held on 16 May 2021 in Kigali, Rwanda. It will feature several club teams from across Africa. Twenty-six of the games will take part at the Kigali Arena, and the title game will be concluded on 30 May 2021.

The Basketball Africa League was supposed to debut last March 2020 in Dakar, Senegal. However, it was postponed because of the pandemic that has plagued the world. 

A Revolutionary Step for Basketball in Africa

In an emotional meeting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Dikembe Mutombo hugged him and said, “You made my dreams come true.” Mutombo, a Basketball Hall of Famer, further stated in an interview, “I was fortunate enough to play this game and dreamed of something like this happening in the continent. Today, we see that. I don’t have to explain the importance of it to myself.

“I was the first player to ask commissioner Silver to come to Africa. We were trying to find a way to grow the game on the continent. Now, the commissioner made it happen with the league. No more just going and playing a [exhibition] game. This is great.”

The Basketball Africa League is the first professional league of the NBA outside of North America.

What the Basketball Africa League Will Consist Of

BAL would be a 26-season event and will include 12 teams. They are the following:

  • Algeria’s GSP (Groupement Sportif des Petroliers)
  • Angola’s Petro de Luanda (Clube Atletico Petroleos de Luanda)
  • Cameroon’s FAP (Forces Armees et Police Basketball)
  • Egypt’s Zamalek
  • Madagascar’s GNBC (Gendarmerie Nationale Basketball Club)
  • Mali’s AS Police (Association Sportive de la Police Nationale)
  • Morocco’s AS Sale (Association Sportive de Sale)
  • Mozambique’s Ferroviàrio de Maputo
  • Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers BC
  • Rwanda’s Patriots BC
  • Senegal’s AS Douanes (Association Sportive des Douanes)
  • Tunisia’s US Monastir (Union Sportive Monastirienne)

Six teams that won the title in national leagues will compose half of the 12 teams. These are the teams in Angola, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia. They received automatic berths. On the other hand, the six other teams had to play their way into BAL through qualifying tournaments. FIBA’s African regional office organised the tournaments back in 2019. These included Algeria, Madagascar, Mozambique, Cameroon, Mali and Rwanda.

Furthermore, they’ll be dividing the 12 teams into three, four team divisions. They will play each team in their respective group once, and the top eight teams will advance to the playoffs. It will be single elimination. 

Safety Measures and Protocols Will Be Strictly In Place

In order for the season to begin, BAL will seek help from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. They will help implement strict health and safety protocols so that all the teams and personnel will be able to travel to Rwanda for the games.

According to BAL president Amadou Gallo Fall, “We are thrilled that the inaugural Basketball Africa League season will take place at the world-class Kigali Arena.

“Through the BAL, we will provide a platform for elite players from across the continent to showcase their talent and inspire fans of all ages, use basketball as an economic growth engine across Africa, and shine a light on Africa’s vibrant sporting culture.”

With the upcoming games on the horizon, some of the best bookmaker offers will surely be popping up on sports betting platforms. It will be an exciting event for many, especially since it’s the first-ever league outside North America!
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Women Basketball

6 Top Transfers for Women’s College Basketball this 2020-21 Season

In women’s college basketball, transfers commonly take place. More often than not, it provides the best results for the players and the programs, especially this 2020-21 season. The transfers in their first seasons have made an impact, from graduate students who bring experience to sophomores that have found the team and position that’s suitable for them. Because of these impressive transfers, many basketball bettors have been looking for some of the best betting rewards for their wagers. 

To know more about these transfers, here are some of the best transfer newcomers in women’s college basketball.

2020-21’s Transfers for Women’s College Basketball

1.) Destiny Slocum

Slocum is with Arkansas. She previously played one season at Maryland and two seasons at Oregon State. Now in her senior year, she is part of the Razorbacks. The basketball player had one of her best games of the season in Arkansas’ with a 74-64 victory at LSU. She scored 29 points on 11 of 15 shooting from the field. Moreover, she averages 15.6 points and 3.9 assists this season.

2.) Kierstan Bell

The guard college basketball player was part of the all-Big Ten freshman team with Ohio last year. ESPN HoopGurlz ranks her No. 8 in the class of 2019. Now she is the highest-rated recruit to play for the Eagles. She averages 25.2 points and 11.2 rebounds. Moreover, the Florida Gulf Coast is riding an 18-game winning streak with the 6-1 Bell on their team.

3.) Katie Benzan

Benzan is known to have been an all-Ivy league player for Harvard for three years. Now, she is bringing instant offence to the Terrapins. She averages 15.2 PPG and shoots 51.1% from the long range. Because of this, Maryland leads with 68 3-pointers. She also has 56 assists and 26 steals, making her second on the team in both categories. 

4.) Evina Westbrook

With such a young college basketball team that consists of seven freshmen, the No. 1 ranked Huskies welcomes the redshirt junior, Westbrook. She played for two years at Tennessee and sat out last season. Furthermore, Westbrook has started all 19 games and averaged 9.5 points, 4.7 assist and 5.4 rebounds.

5.) DiJonai Carrington

Carrington is the third graduate transfer guard to perform well for Baylor. She is known to be one of the most outstanding players for the 2019 Women’s Final Four. Aside from that, in Lady Bears, she ranks second in scoring 13.0 points even though she came off the bench. She is also known to be the best 3-point shooter, scoring 25 of 77 on the said college basketball team. She averages 4.5 rebounds and ranks number one on her team for 34 steals. That’s why Carrington has also become one of the BIg 12’s top defenders.

 6.) Raina Perez

The NC State is the reigning ACC tournament champions, and with one of their top players, Aislinn Konig, graduating, they needed someone to step right in to help direct the team. They rightfully chose Perez for this. She was known as the Big West player of the year at Cal State Fullerton. Now, she’s a senior with Wolfpack, where she averages 9.2 points, 5.1 assists and 3.9 rebounds.

The 2020-2021 season seems off to be a great start for women’s college basketball. A lot is in store for these transfers, and bettors and fans alike can’t help but be excited.

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