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LeBron James admits he still has no idea what this team can do

With the cadre's health lacking, LBJ still doesn't know. (Author: Gardener)

LeBron JamesWith the cadre's health lacking, LBJ still doesn't know. The Lakers continue to disappoint this season. After a big loss to the Suns Tuesday night in Los Angeles, they fell back to the .500 mark at 16-16. And with a tough selection of games on the horizon, things don't look too bright. And in all fairness to Frank Vogel and his team, they have never played a game in full health. That is LeBron James' argument to the Suns after her loss. The Lakers star sounded a little annoyed when asked if he could really gauge where he stood as a team at this point in the season. … We do not know it. … We do not know it. I can't remember the last time we played the same starting XI and had the same rotation from the bench. It was long ago. So it's difficult to assess. The Lakers really are a team looking for their identity after just over 30 games in the season. But they also run the risk of falling below .500, something James hasn't seen with a team in 33 games since 2007-08. Remember, the Lakers just got Trevor Ariza in games too, and they still miss Kendrick Nunn. Both guys are said to be a pretty big part of the Lakers rotations. That certainly complicates things as the Lakers won't be back in full swing until around February. The hope is that they can keep up the pace in the Western Conference until then, but a lot of that will fall on James and Russell Westbrook.

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Spurs are going to help the Lakers round off 22 years of Staples Center memories, and it's almost too perfect

It was real, Staples Center. (Author: Gardener)

Staples CenterThursday December 23rd marks a special night in the history of the Lakers franchise as fans fill the Staples Center one last time before the arena transforms into the Crypto.com arena - and the Spurs will be there to to experience the moment. A special night of remembrance with pre-game opening videos that look back on memories; special tickets; T-shirts; According to NBA writer Mark Medina, the Lakers organization is planning even more. The night ended with the Spurs defeating the Lakers 118-107 in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. It's not the only memory Spurs fans have of the Staples Center, especially in the early 2000s when the Silver and Black and the Lakers, partly led by the late Kobe Bryant, were embroiled in rivalries. (The Lakers have a lot of memories on Spurs court; no one in San Antonio needs to be reminded of 0.4.) But do you remember tears streaming down the Staples Center when the Spurs defeated the Lakers in the 2003 Western Conference semifinals? Or the following year, at the start of the season, on November 5, 2004, when Manu Ginobili posted posters for a crowd of Lakers players? The Staples Center sets the stage for half the fun between the Spurs and the Cali team that San Antonio fans love. Variant of Omicron Discovered in Nearly Every Harris County's Wastewater Treatment Plant as Viral Load Rises in Downtown Houston Variant of Omicron Pushes More Houston Restaurants and Bars to Temporary Closure The Lakers won two previous duels against the Spurs this season. The tip-off on Thursday is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. Local time. Can the Spurs repeat history 23 years later?

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Joe Johnson (Celtics) and Isaiah Thomas (Lakers) among the players with 10-day contracts

New rules stipulate that teams that are missing several players due to positive tests must sign replacements (Author: Gardener)

Joe JohnsonWith 80+ players in COVID health and safety logs and the Omicron variant proliferating at shocking pace, the NBA and the players union have agreed new rules designed to help teams create more complete roster. The new rules, which apply until January 19, provide that substitute players' salaries do not count towards the salary cap or luxury tax. If a team has multiple COVID cases on their list and needs to sign a replacement, the player must be available at the start of their next game. Both teams must have eight players for an NBA game to be played. The league has postponed eight games this season and several teams have been severely understaffed. In one particularly absurd case, the Chicago Bulls signed Stanley Johnson on December 9th to a 10-day contract only to test positive two days later, to which coach Billy Donovan said, "We need a hardship now for a hardship". . "The Bulls only played one game before Johnson's 10-days was up, the result of two postponements, and he was inactive for it and isolated according to health and safety protocols. Vaccinated G-League players called up can be stand up for their NBA teams immediately, but are tested daily for the first five days of their 10-day contract with ESPN.Last week, two-time all-star Isaiah Thomas joined the Los Angeles Lakers after finishing his G-League - Grand Rapids Gold debut with a 42-point performance. Lance Stephenson has also been called up by Grand Rapids and is expected to make his Atlanta Hawks debut on Wednesday. If you're struggling to keep track of who went where is, here is a team-by-team list of players who recently signed 10-day contracts, along with the date they were signed (or in some cases the day the signing was signed) calibration was reported):

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Should Lakers consider a trade between Ben Simmons and Anthony Davis?

The Lakers are reportedly searching the trading market for a mid-season deal. And three superstar names got involved. (Author: Gardener)

Ben SimmonsThe Ben Simmons drama that shrouded the start of the NBA season was once the greatest single story the league had to offer. A disgruntled All-Star refused to perform and then reluctantly joined his team after losing ground to the persistent stalemate between the two. He was then incapacitated by the team who claimed they wanted him back so badly after the game started. While things have been the opposite of cordial for the two sides in the city of brotherly love, the drama has become almost contentious a little over two months into the season started. Philly holds up after Simmons' absence and retains sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Simmons, meanwhile, remains in the 76ers' squad, but has yet to prepare for a single game. In fact, he wasn't even seen on the team's sideline during games. While Simmons 'actual local efforts have generated minimal topics of conversation, the NBA talkingheads' imaginative gear has turned in relation to what could be if Simmons ended up elsewhere on the trade. When Bayless spoke about a report Thursday that the Los Angeles Lakers would love to land Simmons, he said Simmons is worth even more than Anthony Davis. "Ben Simmons is more than three years younger than Anthony Davis," he said on Undisputed. If you want a basketball player, I suggest that Ben Simmons is more valuable to you than Anthony Davis right now. He got his ring and it almost felt like he was half retired. I don't see the urgency of his game. ”But for Shannon Sharpe, taking over Simmons is a potential reality that doesn't make sense. "I'm trading AD for Nikola Jokic, for Dame Lillard or Joel Embiid, but not no Ben Simmons!" Said Sharpe. “Your back room is Russell Westbrook and Ben Simmons. I get AD didn't play well. He didn't play well last year and I think he got off to an even worse start this year. I'm not trading it for Ben Simmons. Davis' name wasn't the only one in the mix in L. Even LeBron James has seen the trade rumor mill simmer in his direction during the team's fights as reports of his LA misfortune have swelled, but according to The Athletic's Shams Charania , through James' agent Rich Paul, no team will be receiving a care package with "The King" this Christmas season or in the near future. Still, the fact that the rumors even exist is worrying to Bayless. "That was a bolt from the blue for me," said Bayless. "I think it hit Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka right between the eyes too, and they looked at each other like, 'What? We're not dealing with LeBron James.' But Shams connected with Rich. ... For me, Rich Paul answered the question and gave it credibility. You'd think Rich would say, "What? Why are you asking me that question? "But it didn't seem like Shams got that answer." As we near the NBA's hearty Christmas entrée, that fact becomes crystal clear: it's going to be a lot harder for the Lakers to put on winning shows every night than previously thought. But will it get so bad that even King James is no longer inviolable?

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Christmas Day NBA Betting Preview

Betting insights and analysis, while the Lakers host the Nets at Christmas in a clash between two teams with title ambitions. (Author: Gardener)

Christmas DayBetting insights and analysis, while the Lakers host the Nets at Christmas in a clash between two teams with title ambitions. Five games from noon to midnight with the top teams and the biggest stars in the league. Due to an explosion of positive COVID-19 tests across the league, some of these top teams are understaffed and many stars are in the health and safety logs instead of on the pitch. ESPN reported Tuesday that the 10 teams playing at Christmas have been informed that game times may be changed if COVID-19 issues force changes. This includes three Nets games and one Hawks game, both of which are played at Christmas. Players in the league's health and safety logs include: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Trae Young and Luka Doncic, according to CBS Sports' runlist. All of them are supposed to play at Christmas if they are allowed to. James Harden cleared the COVID-19 logs and should be playing the Lakers again. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving remain in the league's health and safety protocols, which could sideline them on Saturday. COVID-19 outbreaks have kept the Nets from playing since Saturday. Brooklyn has three postponed games so far, the most tied on points in the league with the Bulls. Durant's goal will be sorely missed when he can't leave, but Harden's game design can ensure the rest of the team is involved against the Lakers' poor defense. Brooklyn's Offense ranks 11th in points (109.7 PPG) and 10th in defense (106.3 PPG). Granted, a lot of it was on the pitch with Durant - the team are 2-1 without him as the games for which he would not have been available have been postponed. Los Angeles has lost a losing streak of three games averaging 13.7 points. Los Angeles has a home game against the Spurs on Thursday night before the first clash of the season with the Nets. LeBron James carries the Lakers burden, while Anthony Davis is out for several weeks with a knee injury. James plays 37 minutes per game, which would be his highest score since the 2016-17 season. The Lakers have also relied heavily on Isaiah Thomas who was picked up last week due to availability issues. Thomas plays 26.2 minutes per game and averages 11.7 points in three games with the team. The Los Angeles offense is slipping - it now ranks 10th (109.8 PPG) while the defense ranks 27th in permissible points (111.2 PPG). If the Lakers play the version of the Nets that lost to Magic at home, A. Though Los Angeles has its own problems, it still has James, the best player on the floor in the situation. The Lakers have the worst record against the spread (ATS) in the NBA (12-20) and Brooklyn isn't much better (12-17-1). Still, I like the Davis-less Lakers to beat the Shorthanded Nets. was kept under 100 points in two of their last three games, both of which were defeats. Brooklyn only scored 93 points in its last few games. Nets games stay under more than 56% of the time while the Lakers do so 50% of their games. Given the squads they may have on the pitch, it's hard to imagine these teams adding up to 234 points. James Harden, Paul Millsap and Jevon Carter have all been removed from the NBA's health and safety protocols and are expected to play on Saturday. But the Nets roster will still be a shell of their own when they take on Los Angeles. Durant, Irving, Bruce Brown and LaMarcus Aldridge are just a few of the Brooklyn players who will be absent from the competition, putting a damper on what initially appeared to be a star-looking affair. The good thing for the Nets is that the Lakers won't be at full strength either. Los Angeles announced last week that Davis would be out for at least four weeks with an MCL sprain. The Lakers have also dealt with their own COVID-19 issues with four players and coach Frank Vogel, which are still in the logs until Thursday afternoon. Still, more of their core has stayed active and the depth of the Lakers (at least compared to Saturday) gives them a slight edge. The Nets and Lakers have been two of the leagues worst offensive teams as of Saturday December 11th. On Thursday evening, the Lakers were last in the league in the offensive since that day and scored only 98 points per 100 possession. The Nets were far better (a total of 110.2 points per 100 possessions), but were only 18th in the offensive ranking. With so much movement in both squads lately, it's hard to think of this as a multi-point issue. Take that under and enjoy the gift of a low score game.

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Ranking of the Lakers' greatest strengths in 2 months

It wasn't a nightmare for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2021-22 NBA season, but it's in this ballpark ... (Author: Gardener)

2 monthsIt wasn't a nightmare for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2021-22 NBA season, but it is in this ballpark. The team cannot prevail in the overall standings, the change is constantly being reshuffled due to injuries, illness and inconsistency, and the team lacks a recognizable identity. Still, it's hard to save this team. With warts and all, the Lakers can still scare their opponents as the combined star power of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook alone is enough to believe that - to borrow a phrase from Boston Celtics lore - anything is possible may have some glaring weaknesses, but they also have some strong strengths. It's true; the roster is mostly ancient, but that can be a good thing in some ways, especially any experience-related, and that is perhaps best reflected in the club's 5-1 record in games like the three Points or less have been decided. There is no panic on this team and it shows when the stakes are raised. In addition, this roster has managed to stay in touch with an almost constant change of rotation. The Lakers have lost more than three games in a row, and on Tuesday they had only one slump like this and shooting restrictions can be difficult to overcome. But his influence on the transition offensive was obvious and at times electric. In a single season, the Lakers are breaking points by the 21st. If they don't attack a set defense, they can still conjure up images of Showtime as both Westbrook and James can puncture recidivist defenders for thunderous finishes or passes to the point to their teammates on Day 1, "Lakers coach Frank Vogel told reporters Open court situations were really dynamic, really exciting, it was really fun to be there. " There are myriad reasons the Lakers shouldn't win the title this season, but there is one big reason they can't be left out of the race. You have LeBron James, and teams with LeBron James always have a knockout-powered punch chance. Analysts and the stats sheet will both tell you that the 36-year-old - 37 before the calendar changes to 2022 - is not what he was in the past, but there is no mention that he is still one of only three players who averaged 25 points, six rebounds and six assists, or that the Lakers are 6.3 points per 100 possession better with him than without, via NBA.com. If you remove James from that list, the Lakers never get a glimpse of the championship talks. But he's on the list so his crown requires a certain amount of respect in these discussions.

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San Antonio Spurs at the Los Angeles Lakers - odds, tips and predictions

Analysis of the odds and lines of the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday at the Los Angeles Lakers, with NBA expert tips, predictions and best bets. (Author: Gardener)

the Los Angeles LakersThe San Antonio Spurs (12-18) wrap up a four-game road trip on Thursday night with a game against the Los Angeles Lakers (16-16). Below we take a look at the Spurs vs. Lakers odds and lines and meet our NBA expert tips, predictions and bets. The Spurs have alternated wins and losses in their last eight games, winning a 116-92 win over the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center on Monday. The Lakers have lost three in a row after winning three in a row. You are outnumbered under COVID protocols due to F. Anthony Davis' knee injury and several players. Tipico Sportsbook odds; Access the USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a complete list. Spurs +102 (bet $ 100 to win $ 102) | Lakers -125 (bet $ 125 to win $ 100) Spurs +1.5 (-108) | Lakers -1.5 (-112) F (ankle) from F (ankle) likely F (belly) likely Deposit $ 10 or more and get $ 100 instant bets at Tipico Sportsbook! Place your legal online sports betting at Tipico. The Lakers are getting two players back from the COVID logs as C Dwight Howard and G Talen Horton-Tucker both missed the Suns game. The Spurs have scored a lot of goals lately. In their last eight games, alternating wins and losses, they averaged 116.1 points per game. The Lakers have allowed 111 points per game in their three consecutive defeats. Howard's return will help defensively. The Lakers will slow the Spurs offensive. Take the LAKERS (-125) and the Spurs trend of alternating wins and losses continues. They didn't cover the spread at a loss in this eight-game Spurs roller coaster ride. The Lakers have covered the spread in four of their last five wins, and such a small spread that it is not possible to pick a Lakers win and a Spurs cover as that would mean predicting exactly one win in Los Angeles. Six of Spurs' last eight games have exceeded the forecast total. The Lakers had only reached the over in one of their last eight games. Bet legally online with a trustworthy partner: Tipico Sportsbook, Sportsbook Wire's official sports betting partner in CO, NJ and soon also in IA. Bet now! Bet now! If you're looking for more sports betting tips and tips, access all of our content on SportsbookWire.com and BetFTW. Please play responsibly. Follow Jess Root on Twitter. Follow SportsbookWire on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Gannett may earn revenue from Tipico for referring viewers to betting services. Tipico has no influence on this income and is in no way dependent on or connected to the newsrooms or reporting. General terms and conditions can be found on Tipico.com. General terms and conditions can be found on Tipico.com. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA).

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James Harden cleared before the Lakers game on Christmas Day; Nets still have 10 players in COVID-19 logs

Steve Nash said Harden, Paul Millsap and Jevon Carter no longer have health and safety protocols, but three others are in (Author: Gardener)

James HardenJames Harden has released the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols, Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash said Thursday. So he can fly with the team to Los Angeles on Friday. However, Brooklyn still has 10 players on their logs ahead of the Christmas game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Rookies Kessler Edwards, David Duke Jr. and Cameron Thomas all put the logs in, Nash said, joining Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Day'Ron Sharpe, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre 'Bembry, Bruce Brown and James Johnson. If an NBA player tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate themselves until 10 days have passed after the first positive test or symptoms appear, or until two PCR tests tested negative at least 24 hours apart . Before he can return, he must be cleared by a team and league doctor. Harden and Carter introduced protocols on December 14th, the day after Millsap. Based on that schedule, more reinforcements could come - Aldridge, Bembry, Brown and Johnson all entered the logs on Dec. 14 - but, according to Nash, the team expects to be severely understaffed against the Lakers. "We don't expect anyone else to get out of the logs, but it is possible," said Nash. "So you have to do two negative tests 24 hours apart, I think, so I think we can return two negative tests tonight and tomorrow night, but we're not predicting anyone will come out anytime soon." Nash said that in the logs the players were "largely asymptomatic" and that those with symptoms had "very mild". The Nets haven't played basketball since their 100-93 loss to Orlando Magic on Saturday at the Barclays Center. Brooklyn closed its training facility after the initial outbreak, but has since reopened it for healthy players for individual training sessions. "But no group training," said Nash. Nash said the Nets are hoping to have some proper training on Friday, but he's not sure if it is an option or not. Assuming Harden plays in Los Angeles, he could share the floor with four new teammates - last week Brooklyn signed Langston Galloway, Shaquille Harrison, James Ennis III and Wenyen Gabriel on 10-day contracts with hardship exceptions. "Sometimes it can be funky when you go back to the gym after a week or so - and some of our guys stay longer," said Nash. positive energy and at the same time not putting too much pressure on us to play flawlessly out of the goals. "Game, said Nash. Translation: He has to play five on five, which could mean that he has some work with the" stay ready " -Group gets (i.e. other players working back from an absence or from rotation). * Nicolas Claxton, who missed Brooklyn's last game with a wrist injury, could play in Los Angeles but Nash is unsure of himself in a position in which he has a chance to play on this journey. So we'll just see and hopefully he can come back and not miss out on too much of his rhythm, timing and impact. " * Joe Harris is "certainly getting better," said Nash, but he "will not continue playing." This trip is safe and I'm not sure when he would return. "Harris had an operation on his injured ankle on November 29 and his Agent told ESPN that he would be out for 4-6 weeks If there were doubts that the game would take place on Saturday as planned, Nash was final: yes, a version of the Nets will take the place in Los Angeles (the NBA requires every team at least eight available players). "said Nash." I think we signed - what do we have, four G League boys?

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James Harden cleared before the Lakers game on Christmas Day; Nets still have 10 players in COVID-19 logs

Steve Nash said Harden, Paul Millsap and Jevon Carter no longer have health and safety protocols, but three others are in (Author: Gardener)

James HardenJames Harden has released the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols, Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash said Thursday. So he can fly with the team to Los Angeles on Friday. However, Brooklyn still has 10 players on their logs ahead of the Christmas game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Rookies Kessler Edwards, David Duke Jr. and Cameron Thomas all put the logs in, Nash said, joining Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Day'Ron Sharpe, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre 'Bembry, Bruce Brown and James Johnson. If an NBA player tests positive for COVID-19, they must isolate themselves until 10 days have passed after the first positive test or symptoms appear, or until two PCR tests tested negative at least 24 hours apart . Before he can return, he must be cleared by a team and league doctor. Harden and Carter introduced protocols on December 14th, the day after Millsap. Based on that schedule, more reinforcements could come - Aldridge, Bembry, Brown and Johnson all entered the logs on Dec. 14 - but, according to Nash, the team expects to be severely understaffed against the Lakers. "We don't expect anyone else to get out of the logs, but it is possible," said Nash. "So you have to do two negative tests 24 hours apart, I think, so I think we can return two negative tests tonight and tomorrow night, but we're not predicting anyone will come out anytime soon." Nash said that in the logs the players were "largely asymptomatic" and that those with symptoms had "very mild". The Nets haven't played basketball since their 100-93 loss to Orlando Magic on Saturday at the Barclays Center. Brooklyn closed its training facility after the initial outbreak, but has since reopened it for healthy players for individual training sessions. "But no group training," said Nash. Nash said the Nets are hoping to have some proper training on Friday, but he's not sure if it is an option or not. Assuming Harden plays in Los Angeles, he could share the floor with four new teammates - last week Brooklyn signed Langston Galloway, Shaquille Harrison, James Ennis III and Wenyen Gabriel on 10-day contracts with hardship exceptions. "Sometimes it can be funky when you go back to the gym after a week or so - and some of our guys stay longer," said Nash. positive energy and at the same time not putting too much pressure on us to play flawlessly out of the goals. "Game, said Nash. Translation: He has to play five on five, which could mean that he has some work with the" stay ready " -Group gets (i.e. other players working back from an absence or from rotation). * Nicolas Claxton, who missed Brooklyn's last game with a wrist injury, could play in Los Angeles but Nash is unsure of himself in a position in which he has a chance to play on this journey. So we'll just see and hopefully he can come back and not miss out on too much of his rhythm, timing and impact. " * Joe Harris is "certainly getting better," said Nash, but he "will not continue playing." This trip is safe and I'm not sure when he would return. "Harris had an operation on his injured ankle on November 29 and his Agent told ESPN that he would be out for 4-6 weeks If there were doubts that the game would take place on Saturday as planned, Nash was final: yes, a version of the Nets will take the place in Los Angeles (the NBA requires every team at least eight available players). "said Nash." I think we signed - what do we have, four G League boys?

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Luka Doncic's COVID; Did Lakers 'LeBron James' team change "ruin basketball"?

Here's a look at 12 of the biggest NBA storylines for today, including what happened at the Dallas Mavericks. (Author: Gardener)

Luka Doncic'sHere's a look at 12 of the biggest NBA storylines for today, including what happened at the Dallas Mavericks. Here's a look at 12 of the biggest NBA storylines for today, including what happened at the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks' COVID issues were hit again yesterday after Luka Doncic tested positive. "Everything changes every hour," said Jason Kidd. It could be argued that COVID is "ruining basketball". As a result, positive "hard" roster changes need to be made. Oh, and speaking of "ruining basketball" ... In an appearance on the Bootleg Kev podcast, former NBA security guard Iman Shumpert talks about stars changing "loyalties". And Shumpert focuses on Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James as the guy who "ruined" the game. It was LeBron who went to Miami first, "Shump said." (LeBron) knows he ruined basketball. Personally, I love the NBA for the loyalty I thought was there. You can find a league-wide COVID tracker here. This gives more meaning to Jalen Brunson and some of the new Mavs signers ... Brandon Knight is one of the most notable 10-day hardship signers. Knight, number 8 of the overall selection in the 2011 draft, last played for the Detroit Pistons in 2020 and was the sixth selection in last year's G-League draft from the Sioux Falls Skyforce. In the team's second hardship, the Mavs signed Carlik Jones from the Texas Legends in the G-League. Jones, who played collegially in Louisville last season, has been with the Mavs since the Summer League. In 10 games this season, the 6-foot Jones averaged 20.2 points per game, 5.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists. The Legends brought College Park Skyhawks their worst loss of the season. Chicago Bulls head coach Phil Jackson took his 500th victory as an NBA coach after 682 games. He becomes the fastest coach to win 500 games in NBA history. Cleveland Cavaliers Center (and 7'5 "semi-cult hero) Tacko Fall started his first NBA game against the Boston Celtics, his former team. Fall ended with four points and 10 rebounds in a 111-101 loss. Shai Gilgeous -Alexander finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. Former 7-time all-star Joe Johnson is back in the NBA and signs a 10-day hardship with the Boston Celtics. Johnson last played for the Houston Rockets in 2018 and returns back after his 3.5 year absence, former Indiana Pacers Guardian Lance Stephenson also made his comeback in the NBA, signing a 10-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks, scoring one point but giving five assists and got eight rebounds in 23 minutes against the Orlando Magic. The Mavs will receive the defending champions Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, who will play in the second half in a row after the Houston Rockets home game on Wednesday, because you just don't know who ive been testing the position and who is out, so we'll see. ”- Coach Jason Kidd on posts from newbies.

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