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NBA Twitter chat: Draft lottery and Zaza’s dirty play on Leonard

NBA Twitter

NBA Twitter
IT’S been another huge week in the NBA, dominated by the playoffs and, of course the draft lottery, with the coveted number one pick in 2017 up for grabs.

The Boston Celtics had the best chance of winning the lottery, thanks to the Brooklyn Net’s utterly preposterous decision to give them about 13 future first round draft picks for the ageing corpses of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce a couple of years ago.

Because of that trade, Brooklyn had to hand over their first rounder this season, which, unfortunately, turned out the be number one.

Here is how the Twitter verse reacted to the news.

With his heart set on Los Angeles, perhaps the best known potential draft pick, Lonzo Ball did not even bother attending the draft, instead honing his game a long way away.

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And it played into his hands, with the Celtics winning the lottery, in just one more charmed moment for general manager of basketball operations Danny Ainge

Poor old Phoenix fans were left shattered when, even though they out tanked the Lakers, they fell to the fourth pick.

It left the lottery board looking like this:

And there was an eery semblance to last year’s draft too.

Leaving plenty of NBA executives reportedly unhappy:

Of course, there were those that thought the draft lottery was rigged – but hey, don’t they think that every year?

And not just rigged to ensure the time-honoured teams snared the top three picks, but also rigged so the right player would end up at the right franchise:

With his nutcase dad LaVar running around spouting complete and utter tripe, consensus number one draft pick Lonzo Ball is not so much a consensus any more.

That honour now falls to the uber talented Markelle Fultz.

And it seems like he’d be a pretty good fit in Boston, given the Celtics’ superstar Isaiah Thomas is an old mate

So the reasoning is, you can’t let the Lakers have number one, because they would have been mighty tempted by Fultz leaving Ball to perhaps land in Boston.

Of course, Ball does not suit the Celtics one bit and wants to be a Laker. It wouldn’t be good for PR if that happened.

So they made sure the Celts got the number one pick – and, with a 25 per cent chance – it was always going to be a good shot.

And then the Lakers leapfrogged Phoenix into the second pick.

Pure speculation, of course, but the conspiracy theories abound.

Did we mention Poor old Phoenix?:

But, I mean, hell, how on earth is anyone outside of Boston meant to be happy that they have the first pick in the NBA draft, when they are still a chance of winning the title?

Well, not really. They’re still in the playoffs, but there is still that whole LeBron thing. They are a gaudy +375 with Bovada.lv to defeat Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals, while the Cavs are -550.

Also, the Celtics, if history is anything to go by, should be afraid… very afraid:

Any way, forget everything that happened on the lottery board, the undoubted highlight was The Process.

The Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid completely stole the show.

Oh, and in case you didn’t love the bloke enough, there is this too:

Just give the guy a shot Rihanna!

Any way, shifting our attention to matters on the court, as we mentioned, the Celtics did manage to win their way into the Eastern Conference finals by beating the Washington Wizards in a decisive game seven and there was one man who was almost completely responsible.

And didn’t Twitter lap it up?

Sharp shooting big man Kelly Olynyk – a much maligned player, both in Boston for his lack of ability and in the wider NBS for his perceived dirtiness – lit up the TD Garden for 26 points – the most by a reserve in a decisive game seven since Phoenix’s Leandro Barbosa drained the same number in a 2006 battle with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Fourteen of those 26 points came in the last term, 12 in a ridiculous three and a half minute stretch where he was left wide open by the Wizards and simply could not miss.

Was it Kelly Olynyk, or this guy reincarnated?

PS, when Kelly Olynyk isn’t playing basketball:

Still, Cavs fans are not the least bit worried:

We can’t say the same for Spurs fans, who find themselves in a 2-0 rut against the best team in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors, with their star player Kawhi Leonard injuring his ankle.

The injury first happened when he stepped on his own man’s foot – David Lee – who was on the bench.

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And then got worse when Warriors centre Zaza Pachullia closed out on him and stepped in his landing space.

Here’s the incident before we tell you what Twitter thought:

Actually, do we really have to tell you what Twitter thought? Of course, just as you would think users lost their collective minds, claiming Pachulia’s play was dirty and unsportsmanlike.

What did inner Zaza think about when he went into the play?

But Kawhi himself didn’t think so.

Although his coach Gregg Popovich disagreed… really disagreed:

Maybe he is a bit dirty after all?

And the Spurs suffered in game 2… really suffered:

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Dominic is an editor and writer at AustralianGambling.com.au and lives for all things sport. He completed a cadetship in journalism for Fairfax many moons ago and went on to cover a wide range of sporting codes, both in Australia and around the globe. He's right at home at AG and is always on the look out for the next great bet.

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