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SportsPulse: If there is a team that proves they are ready to play, it is the Houston Rockets. Mark Medina of USA Today Sports explained why they should be considered serious contenders for the NBA championship.

USA Today

We have spent the first weekend of game seeding on the foam campus in Orlando, Florida, and the NBA is indeed back.

Four offline games ended at the end of the weekend, and some of the biggest stars in Sunday’s games performed well at critical moments. In the six games from the afternoon on Monday, fans can expect professional players to play similar to the NCAA tournament.

In the first game on Monday, Toronto beat Miami 107-103, continuing to maintain a strong performance. Fred VanVleet led the Raptors with 36 pounds, setting a career-high 36 points, hitting 7 of 12 three-pointers and 13 of 13 from the free throw line.

Denver and Oklahoma City played a game on NBATV at 4 p.m. Eastern Time, which has important seed significance in the Western Conference.

Indiana and Washington State also played in Memphis at 4pm Eastern Time, and New Orleans played on ESPN at 6:30pm Eastern Time. This is the game that the Pelicans need to win after losing the first two games to restart. . Tipping in San Antonio and Philadelphia. The Lakers and Jazz ended the game at 9 PM Eastern Time on ESPN.

Uncertain time: Rockets may become the ultimate saboteur in a strange year

prediction: A selection of 2020 season awards and NBA champions

As the game entered the final stage, the number of playoff positions and seeds increased. Jeff Zillgitt, Mark Medina – live at Disney World – and the USA TODAY sports NBA team provide 24/7 updates, including all analysis, news and highlights:

Schroeder leaves a bubble for the birth of a child

Before coach Billy Donovan was announced in the game against the Nuggets on Monday, Thunder guard Dennis Schroder left the NBA bubble because his second child was born. Schroeder said in mid-July that he planned to be with his wife Ellen when the time was right.

Donovan said: “This happened this morning, so he is with his family now.” “If not later today or tomorrow, I will have the opportunity to talk to him and learn more. Now, at least in He will be absent in this game. We may be able to gather more information once we have the opportunity to spend more time with him on the phone.”

Players can leave the NBA bubble due to absence. According to the NBA’s health and safety regulations, as long as they test a negative reaction to COVID-19 when they leave campus every day, players who have asked for leave to return to the Disney Complex must be isolated for four days.

Schroeder said: “For me, it is very difficult.” “I love my teammates, I love basketball, but family is always the most important.”

Schroder is the sixth man candidate of the year, averaging 18.9 points per game on the Thunder bench and shooting 46.9%, a career high.

-Oklahoma

What about the uncertain COVID-19 test?

As the NBA tests more than 1,000 people every day, uncertain COVID-19 testing is bound to occur. What happens if the player returns to the uncertain test?

The NBA has an agreement for this situation and updated it in a memo sent to the team on Monday.

If a player’s clinical tests are inconclusive, asymptomatic and without any clinical problems, he will go into isolation. The player will undergo a second test, and if the retest returns negative, the player will undergo another test (FDA-approved rapid test) approximately eight hours before the player’s next game. If the test result is negative, the player will be allowed to exit the quarantine area and participate in the next game.

According to the memo, if a player returns to another uncertain test or a positive test, he will be actively tested according to the existing agreement.

Take Jimmy Butler as an example.

On Sunday, Miami’s Jae Crowder hinted that Butler was in isolation, although the team had no official comment. But Butler played in Monday’s game against the Toronto Raptors, which means Butler may not pass the test, enter the quarantine area and return two negative tests to qualify for the game.

Coach Honors Woden Budenholzer

The National Basketball Coaches Association announced on Monday that Mike Budenholzer of Milwaukee and Billy Donovan of Oklahoma City were named NBA coaches of the year by their colleagues.

Budenholzer led the Bucks to a 53-12 record before the COVID-19 suspension this season, and the Bucks are also expected to win 66 or 67 games. The Bucks ranked seventh in offensive efficiency (112.2 points per 100 possessions), ranked first in defensive efficiency (101.8 points per 100 possessions allowed), and ranked in the league in net points (+10.4).

The Bucks’ offensive efficiency was basically the same last season, but their defensive efficiency improved by three points. It will help when you have Giannis Antetokounmpo by your side.

Before the offseason, Donovan’s Thunder beat their opponents 40-24-after losing Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers and Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets in the offseason, he did it . In what looked like a year for the Thunder to rebuild, Donovan ensured that the Thunder remained a competitive playoff team.

Obvious omission: Toronto’s Nick Nurse did an excellent job of keeping the Raptors in the league’s best team, especially after Kawhi Leonard left the Clippers On the defense. The nurse is great and I am glad to see his ranking in the media poll.

State of the playoffs

The Lakers can become the first important player to enter the playoffs today. With victory, they will get the first seed in the West. Under them, the seed race is still very tense. The difference between the third-placed Nuggets and the sixth-placed Thunder is only 1.5 games.

The Spurs took a quiet 2-0 lead at the restart and entered ninth, two games behind the Grizzlies. Both Memphis and New Orleans started 0-2. The Pelicans are 3.5 games behind the eighth Grizzlies, and a third-game losing streak may completely overwhelm the hopes of the playoffs.

Despite losing on Sunday, Milwaukee is still fighting for the top seed in the East. Miami is two games behind Boston and ranks third, but the Heat also tried to stop Indiana and Philadelphia. Only three games ranked the Heat in fourth place, while the 76ers ranked sixth.

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