Ingram's bounce-back effort helps Pels nab 8-seed

Andrew Lopez, ESPNApr 20, 2024, 12:47 AM ET

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NEW ORLEANS — Prior to Friday night, the week had not gone the way Brandon Ingram would have hoped.

As the New Orleans Pelicans forward attempted to come back from a bone bruise in his left knee, he had two subpar games as the Pelicans dropped their regular-season finale and the first play-in tournament game to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ingram responded Friday, and as a result, the Pelicans are headed to the playoffs.

Behind a team-high 24 points from Ingram and an all-around defensive effort, the Pelicans defeated the Sacramento Kings 105-98 to advance to the playoffs as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. New Orleans will face the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night.

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“This was the goal at the beginning of the year,” Ingram said. “Throughout it,

DeRozan keen on return to Bulls, but with caveat

Jamal Collier, ESPNApr 20, 2024, 12:01 AM ET

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MIAMI — While DeMar DeRozan reiterated a desire to remain in Chicago as the Bulls‘ season ended Friday night, he also emphasized just how much he wants to win, particularly as his career winds down.

In the aftermath of the Bulls’ 112-91 loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament — the second consecutive season Chicago has been eliminated by Miami for the No. 8 seed — DeRozan stated his preference to re-sign with the organization but expressed his frustration with losing in the same spot as a year ago.

“My stance on wanting to be here is still the same, but I just want to win,” said DeRozan, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. “Just have the opportunity to win and not [have] to go home to see the first

North Carolina's Ingram opts to enter NBA draft

Associated Press

Apr 20, 2024, 01:02 PM ETOpen Extended Reactions

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina starting wing Harrison Ingram is entering the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-7, 225-pound Ingram announced his plans with a statement and video posted on social media Saturday.

Ingram arrived after averaging 10.5 points in two seasons at Stanford. He was the No. 3 scorer (12.2 points) and No. 2 rebounder (8.8) for the Tar Heels, who claimed the Atlantic Coast Conference’s regular-season title and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Ingram had multiple huge performances during the season, including a double-double in his first Duke-UNC game and 19 rebounds against North Carolina State for the biggest output by a UNC player in that rivalry’s history.

The Tar Heels are losing two other starters in veteran big man Armando Bacot and guard Cormac Ryan. Guard RJ Davis, a first-team Associated Press All-American, still has a fifth year of eligibility

Isaiah Collier: NBA draft scouting report and intel

By | April 20, 2024

2004 | 6’5 | 210 LBS | 6’4 WS

Team: USC

Best aggregate mock draft rank: 1 / Worst rank: 19

2023-24 Stats:

In 2023-24, Collier averaged 16.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 0.2 blocks, and 1.5 steals per game. He shot 49.0 percent from the field, 33.8 percent from three, and 67.3 percent from the foul line.

Strengths:

* Decent shooting percentages (almost 50 percent from the field, just under 33 percent from three)

* Solid ball handler with creativity and craftiness, changes speeds well

* Size and strength advantage at 6-foot-4, making him tough to defend at the point of attack

* Excellent court vision and facilitation in

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2024 NBA playoffs bracket: Complete field set as Heat, Pelicans claim No. 8 seeds, first round starts Saturday

Kim O’Reilly, CBS Sports

The bracket is now set for the 2024 NBA playoffs, and the first round kicked off Saturday afternoon. The Play-In Tournament took place this week to determine the final two seeds in each conference. The Heat and Pelicans were victorious on Friday night to secure the No. 8 seeds in the East and West, and they advanced to face the Celtics and Thunder, respectively. Earlier in the week, the 76ers and Lakers earned the No. 7 seeds, while the Warriors, Hawks, Bulls and Kings were all eliminated in the Play-In Tournament.

With the eight first-round matchups set in stone, it’s time for playoff basketball. Action starts Saturday with four Game 1s: Cavaliers-Magic, Timberwolves-Suns, Knicks-76ers and Nuggets-Lakers. The other four series tip off on Sunday, and the first round could run through

How to bet each first-round series

Fantasy Staff

Apr 19, 2024, 03:18 PM ETOpen Extended Reactions

How should you bet the first round of the NBA playoffs?

Here are our NBA betting experts Tyler Fulghum, Andre Snellings, Eric Moody, Jim McCormick and Steve Alexander with the bets they like most for each series.

Odds are updated as of publication. For latest odds go to ESPN BET

No. 2 New York Knicks vs. No. 7 Philadelphia 76ers

76ers to win the series 4-2 (+350). Jalen Brunson has averaged 34.8 points and 7.4 assists per game over the past 16 games, and the Knicks have been playing great, but I believe the 76ers will be too much for New York, especially without Julius Randle. Philadelphia has a 31-8 record in the games Joel Embiid has played, which is significant. The Knicks also rank last in pace, which actually benefits Embiid from a conditioning perspective.

The favorites, the underdogs and the Lakers: All you need to know for the playoffs

NBA Insiders

Apr 20, 2024, 09:26 AM ETOpen Extended Reactions

The NBA playoffs are here. Let’s take a closer look at the 16 teams that still have a chance to win the 2024 title.

In the Eastern Conference bracket, the Boston Celtics ran away with the top overall seed, but that didn’t mean this race lacked drama down the stretch. The New York Knicks needed overtime on the final day of the regular season to secure the No. 2 seed, completing a final month of reshuffling below the Celtics in the standings.

The Western Conference postseason picture is stacked with superstars. It’s led at the top by the Oklahoma City Thunder, whose massive rebuild is far ahead of schedule. The No. 3-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves, meanwhile, finally figured out their center partnership and have a face-of-the-league-caliber player in guard Anthony Edwards. Both contenders will try

Terry Rozier still not ready

By | April 20, 2024

What’s the buzz on Twitter? Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz
Per source, Heat guard Terry Rozier’s neck – while improving – is not healthy enough yet. He’s week to week at this point. But injury is NOT considered career threatening, per source. – 9:47 AM Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
Heat go up 20 in second period, take 47-37 lead into half. Jaquez 10 for Heat, DeRozan 15 for Bulls. The offenses have set the NBA back about a decade. Although without Butler, Rozier, sort of what Heat need. – 8:14 PM Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
Heat go up 20 in second period, take 47-37 lead into half. Herro 10 for Heat, DeRozan 15 for Bulls.

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Cole Anthony's passion for Pokémon brings balance to hoops-heavy life

Jerry Jiang

Apr 20, 2024, 08:46 AM ETOpen Extended Reactions

Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony might be as passionate about Pokémon as he is about basketball.

On Feb. 27, Orlando’s TikTok account asked different players from the Magic to guess various characters from the popular Nintendo game. Forward Mortiz Wagner mentioned that Pokémon was Anthony’s game, and when Anthony stepped up to the plate, he did not disappoint, getting all of his guesses correct.

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Anthony, 23, told ESPN that he has been a fan of the game, created in 1996, his whole life.

When he was growing up, he used to make trips to Detroit to visit his grandparents. They had a family friend who had a Game Boy Color.

It was the first game Anthony ever played.

“I was playing Pokémon Yellow on the Game Boy Color,” Anthony told ESPN. “That was an old system; [there’s] no backlighting on this.

'This is so exhausting': The Knicks' season as told by Ben Stiller's social media

Anthony Gharib, ESPNApr 20, 2024, 08:43 AM ET

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Ben Stiller’s routine is simple. When the New York Knicks are playing, he clears his schedule and tries to be home.

He doesn’t make dinner plans on game nights. Stiller guesses that might be the definition of “being maybe a little too into it.” When not sitting courtside at Madison Square Garden, his preference is simply watching the team alone.

“I can then … shout or scream at the screen or whatever,” Stiller told ESPN. “And I find when I’m watching the game in public, I start releasing sounds that I’m not aware of when I’m alone.”

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When he’s watching by himself, Stiller remains connected to his fellow Knicks faithful across the world thanks to his frequent posts on X.

Stiller’s posts are almost strictly about the team. Since the start of the 2023-24 season on Oct. 25, 2023, “#Knicks” or