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Kevin Durant on chasing MVP: ‘Not really, I’ve been there, done that’ Bulls extended coach Billy Donovan before season started Three things to know: Luka Doncic looks like an MVP, but can he keep this up? Watch Dinwiddie get ejected for elbow to Poole’s face; Mavericks still win behind Doncic’s 41 points Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns out 4-6 weeks with calf strain

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Kevin Duran On Monday night, the Nets scored another win with 45 points on 19-of-24 shooting, seven rebounds and five assists.

If you’re talking NBA Season 4 MVP, Durant should be part of it: 30 points per game on 54.8 percent shooting (and a ridiculous 65.9 percent shooting), 6.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. . game, as well as play in solid defense and be the anchor of the Nets. After scoring 45 points to give Brooklyn a victory over Orlando, Durant was asked about the MVP chant and trophy chasing and was clearly uninterested.

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Durant has MVP numbers, but he does. Stephen CurryLuka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jason Tatum and others. If Durant is going to come to the fore, the first thing to happen is that Brooklyn needs to win a lot more games – 11-11 won’t cut him when Tatum’s Celtics and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks have two best records. in the NBA. Winning games and finishing in the top three teams in the conference matters to some voters (and is traditionally one of the MVP metrics).

Bulls fans aren’t thrilled that the team, with a 9-11 record, is 11th in the East, not counting the play-in.

The Bulls management doesn’t either, but they don’t put the blame on coach Billy Donovan – in fact, they extended it right before the start of the season, history. broken by Shams Charania of The Athletic and has since been confirmed by Bulls media relations staff at KC Johnson NBC Sports Chicago.

Why an extension? Because Donovan and the head of the basketball department, Arturas Karnishovas, have a close relationship, writes Johnson.

Karnishovas’ unwavering faith in Donovan is based on his leadership and communication skills. The two men talk almost daily, and there is never any misunderstanding in their common direct conversation, even when the topic becomes difficult.

And not everything was or remains smooth sailing for the Bulls, who played without Lonzo Ball from January and start from 9-11 in the season with modest external expectations.

No details about the length of the extension have been made public.

This is a decision about stability. Donovan is a good coach and the front office trusts him. That’s enough to get a few extra years on his Chicago contract.

The Bulls’ problems aren’t with Donovan, but rather with a roster that has a “playoff team but nothing more” ceiling—a ceiling that’s lower this season due to injuries forcing constant rotation changes. The Bulls are suffering especially without Lonzo Ball’s defense and transition game (still out of action after another knee operation). Chicago has defended well this season without Ball (10th in the league), but offense is in the bottom 10 and misses the easy baskets that Ball helps get with his passes and crosses (plus he can knock down a few triples). Donovan has done a decent job with the players he has.

In Chicago, that’s enough to get a few more years.

Three Things is NBC’s five-day coverage of last night in the NBA. Verify Every weekday morning for what you missed the night before, plus the gossip, drama, and dunks that make the NBA a must-watch.

1) Luka Doncic looks like an MVP, but can he continue like this?

Luka Doncic vs. Stephen Curry.

The schedulers gave us the MVP nominees at the start of the season, as well as two guys who have had to carry a huge load this season waiting for their teams to gather around them. Lately curry has become more than Clay Thompson started to recover, and some rotation changes improved off-the-bench play.

Luka is still on an island the size of Brunson, waiting for help. Tuesday night this island got smaller when Spencer Dinwiddie was thrown out for elbowing the Warriors in the face Jordan Pool.

It just meant more Doncic, and he reminded everyone why nobody wants to play the Mavericks in the playoffs with a 41-point triple-double (12 rebounds, 12 assists).

Doncic was a force of nature, although Curry had a chance in the final 10 seconds but was called to travel (a challenge disputed by the Warriors).

The Mavericks won 116–113. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 25 points, including five 3-pointers for Dallas, but that was Luka Doncic’s show.

Doncic has been asked to carry a huge load for Dallas this season. He has a usage rate of 38 during the first quarter of the season, a number that would be in the top 10 of all time (roughly 1987 Michael Jordan and 2006 Kobe Bryant).

How long can Doncic do this without starting to wear out? No risk of injury? Sure, those other players like Jordan and Kobe have made it through the entire season, but they also haven’t made the playoffs that Dallas is hoping for. After leaving EuroBasket, Doncic started this season in the best shape he’s ever been in to start an NBA campaign, but there were stretches of time where he started to look exhausted. And there are nights like Tuesday when he leads the Mavericks to victory and looks unstoppable.

Doncic is young, but being asked to take on that burden would also put a limit on how good this team can be. Curry gets this help. Giannis Antetokounmpo also publishes historical usage percentages for this season, but Chris Middleton will return to the Bucks and take on some of that workload. Mavericks touted Christian Wood as an answer, but he comes off the bench and his defense is not favored by Jason Kidd. This one-man show is bigger than ever in Dallas.

If the Mavs want to win the postseason, it can’t just be Luca’s show. But during the regular season for a few nights this is enough. At least until it wears out.

2) Damian Lillard back Sunday, not soon enough for the Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers are missing Damian Lillard (calf sprain, second of the season) – they are 1-4 in the current five-game stretch without him, showing their worst defense of the season. The last of these defeats was a loss to the Clippers without Kawhi Leonard or Paul George – was perhaps the team’s worst defeat of the season. Anferny Simons scored 37 points, the Trail Blazers led by 18 points in the second half, and yet they lost to a team whose best offensive weapon was Nicholas Batum (32 points).

The good news for the Blazers is that Lillard is set to return on Sunday, according to TNT’s Chris Haynes.

If you didn’t watch the late game on TNT, you missed the battle between two teams trying to stay afloat while their star (or stars) sit wounded.

Portland is still 11-10 on the season but struggled last week. What happened…


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