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Miami Heat Upset Milwaukee Bucks, Advance to Conference Finals

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The Miami Heat pulled off an upset for the ages by defeating the No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks. Miami will play in their first Eastern Conference Finals this year since 2014.

What We Know:

  • Miami defeated Milwaukee 103-94 in Game 5 on Tuesday, ending the series 4-1. The Bucks were without their MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was out with an injured ankle. Milwaukee fought hard, getting 23 points from Khris Middleton and 17 points from Donte DiVincenzo, but Miami took advantage of them missing Antetokounmpo.
  • The Heat got contributions from everywhere on their roster in their Game 5 victory. Six players scored in double digits for them, with Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler leading the way with 17 points each. The rookie Tyler Herro showed up big with 14 points and he hit some timely baskets down the stretch to put the game away.
  • This series has to go down as one of the greatest upsets in NBA history because of how great this Bucks team was and how easy the Heat made it look to beat them. The Bucks were far and away the best team during the regular season and looked like title favorites. They had the league’s best defense and outscored teams by an absurd 9.6 points per 100 possessions.
  • Not only were they the better team on paper, but they also had the best player in the series with Giannis. Giannis won Defensive Player of the Year and is the presumptive MVP for the 2019-2020 season. Even with all of that in their favor, the Bucks were still no match for the Heat. Miami was in the driver’s seat the whole series, playing phenomenal defense and getting value from everyone on their roster. They made Giannis look human, limiting him to only 21 points game and forcing him into bad shots and early fouls.
  • On the other hand, Jimmy Butler looked like the best player on the court and Miami’s three-point shooters barely missed. It’s not often that the best team with the best player gets bounced in the second round, and in five games no less. The NBA hasn’t announced the 2019-2020 MVP yet, but it sure would be awkward if Giannis wins and he has to accept it from his living room instead of in the bubble.
  • With another season over and no finals appearance, there are questions about Giannis’ future in Milwaukee. He’s entering the final year of his contract and could leave the team in free agency next summer. Typically, transcendent players of Giannis’ caliber try to compete for championships and they’ll leave if they don’t think they can win with their current team. We’ve seen LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Anthony Davis all leave in free agency or request trades because they couldn’t get over the hump with their original teams. Milwaukee has done their best to put a championship-level team around Giannis and only he can decide if he wants to run it back or ask for a way out. For what it’s worth, Giannis has always said publicly that he wants to stay in Milwaukee and he confirmed it again after the loss.

  • Even though they are out of the playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks have already left their mark on the sports world this year. In addition to having a historically great season and a historically great player, the Bucks became the first NBA team to sit out a game in protest since 1961. The Milwaukee Bucks’ action in the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting started a ripple effect in which athletes from every sport sat out in strike. During their strike, the Bucks players were able to speak with the Wisconsin attorney general and lieutenant governor and NBA players forced the league to take action against racial injustice. It’s not a championship, but this Bucks team proved they were special on the court and off the court.

The Miami Heat have only lost one game in the playoffs so far and are looking great. This will be their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since 2014 when they had the Big 3 with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. They will play the winner of the Boston Celtics-Toronto Raptors series.

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Sagar is a Digital Intern at UnmutedCo. He graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in Trumpet Performance and Economics. Sagar writes for Black News Alerts and the BNA Daily Podcast.

Sports

Dodgers Defeat Braves, Complete 3-1 Comeback

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The job isn’t done. The Los Angeles Dodgers are now just four wins away from a World Series Championship after completing a historic 3-1 comeback against the Atlanta Braves.

What We Know:

  • The Dodgers eked out a close 4-3 win Sunday night to advance to the World Series. LA did not have a lead for most of the night. For the majority of the game, the Braves were up or the score was tied. It wasn’t until the bottom of the seventh that Cody Bellinger was able to give the Dodgers their first lead and deliver the final home run.

  • Bellinger hit that on Chris Martin, who had only allowed one home run over the last 24 innings of regular season and playoff play. The Braves took a 2-0 lead early in the game and then held a 3-2 lead at the bottom of the sixth. Enrique Hernandez was able to tie it for the Dodgers, setting the stage for Bellinger.
  • The Dodgers will now have a chance to win their first World Series since 1988. This will be LA’s third trip to the World Series in the last four years. After adding Mookie Betts this year, LA looked like heavy favorites to win it all. They’ll now have their chance to prove themselves against the Tampa Bay Rays.

2020 has been the year of 3-1 comebacks. The Dodger’s win marks the third successful 3-1 comeback in sports this year. The Denver Nuggets of the NBA completed the first two against the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers, becoming the first team in sports to complete multiple 3-1 comebacks in the same postseason.

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Kansas City Chiefs Sign Le’Veon Bell

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The rich continue to get richer as the reigning Super Bowl champions add an All-Pro level running back.

What We Know:

  • Le’Veon Bell has signed a one-year deal to join the Kansas City Chiefs. Bell was released by the New York Jets just days ago after a disappointing and contentious start to the 2020 season.
  • Bell and members of the Chiefs organization expressed their excitement on Twitter. Bell will get a chance to square off against the Jets in week 8.

  • Per NFL protocol, Bell will go through five days of COVID-19 testing before joining the team. He will not be ready to play in the Chiefs’ next game on Monday against the Buffalo Bills.
  • According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Bell narrowed his decision to the Chiefs, Bills, and Miami Dolphins. The Chiefs are 4-1 and coming off a dominant Super Bowl season.
  • The Chiefs rank 13th in rushing yards per game and 10th in yards per carry. Since week 1, they’ve only ranked 19th in rushing and none of their running backs have scored a touchdown. Starting running back Damien Williams opted out of the season for coronavirus concerns. Bell should hopefully bolster their running attack.
  • Bell previously signed a $52 million deal with the Jets in 2019. The former three-time Pro Bowl selection did not meet expectations and did not click with head coach Adam Gase. Both sides agreed to explore trade options and Bell was cut after nothing materialized.

Bell immediately goes from a winless team to the top team in the AFC West. Kansas City has put themselves in great position to defend their Super Bowl title.

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Tyronne Lue to Be Next Clippers Head Coach

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The Los Angeles Clippers are finalizing a five-year agreement to have Tyronne Lue become the next head coach.

What We Know:

  • Lue was an assistant coach with the Clippers during the 2019-2020 season and will replace Doc Rivers. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, former All-Star and Finals MVP Chauncey Billups will join as Lue’s lead assistant coach. Billups had emerged as a candidate for several head coaching and front office vacancies over the years.
  • Lue has been a highly sought after head coaching candidate since the summer of 2019. He initially became the favorite for the Los Angeles Lakers job last summer, but a satisfactory deal was never reached. This offseason, Lue has been one of the top candidates for the Clippers, Rockets, 76ers, and Pelicans.
  • Lue has prior head coaching experience with the Cleveland Cavaliers, leading the team for two and a half seasons. Lue won a championship with the Cavs in his first season as head coach and led the team to three straight finals appearances.
  • Lue’s situation with the Clippers is actually quite similar to his previous stint in Cleveland. Lue was an assistant for the Cavs under David Blatt, and he took over as head coach after Blatt’s dismissal and led them to the 2016 NBA Championship. In LA, he’ll be taking over for a team that he is already well accustomed to and he has star talent in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
  • The Clippers were title favorites in the eyes of many this year, but their early playoff exit left a sour taste. They suffered one of the most epic collapses in NBA history, blowing a 3-1 lead to the underdog Denver Nuggets. Additionally, they again failed to reach the Western Conference Finals, a destination that they’ve never reached in their 50-year existence.

The Clippers should still be in the championship mix next season. They have the star talent and a new yet proven head coach, and they should be motivated to make up for this season.

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