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Suns fall to hot shooting Adelaide 36ers from Australia, 134-124 Collin Sexton expects to start for Jazz once he gets back to full speed Ben Simmons looks fine in return, is ‘grateful just to be able to step on that floor’ Annual GM survey predicts Bucks vs. Warriors Finals, Doncic MVP Five teams ready — or desperate — to break through into the playoffs

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The Adelaide 36ers may be from the Australian National Basketball League, but they’re professional players – leave them wide open and they’ll shoot on goal.

The Phoenix treated Sunday as their first preseason game (which it was), and the 36ers hit 24 3-pointers en route to a 134–124 loss to the Suns. The 36ers were the aggressors all night, playing team basketball and putting the Phoenix on their heels.

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It’s just preseason. One preseason game isn’t a harbinger of the season, there should be little more than raised eyebrows in Phoenix. However, since their last game was a crushing 33-point loss to Dallas that knocked them out of the playoffs a season ago, it wasn’t the flavor cleanser Phoenix fans were hoping for.

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Craig Randall – you may remember him from the universities of Memphis and Tennessee Martin – scored 35 points while Robert Franks added 32. A 3-point shot made a great basketball tie and the 36ers were on fire.

The last NBA team to lose to an international team before Sunday was the Thunder in 2016 against Real Madrid. A year earlier, Turkish Fenerbahce defeated Brooklyn in the preseason. It happens.

Reserve point guard Cameron Payne led the Suns with 23 points Deandre Ayton looked solid and fell to 22, as did Mikal Bridgeswho also had 22. Devin Booker scored 13 points and Chris Paul gave out 12 cents.

Thanks to Ayton’s size and Bridges’ athletic rout, the Suns scored 64 paint points, more than double the 36ers’ total. But the math was not on the side of the Suns, they changed deuces to triples and continued to fall behind.

It’s great for the NBL and its brand building efforts – now the 36ers will take on the Thunder this week.

It shrugs and moves on to playing for the Suns. Expect more focused efforts from the team in the next game.

After a staggering trade that was centered around Donovan Mitchell sent Colleen Sexton in Utah, he was immediately expected to go to the Jazz and get the final green light.

However, that didn’t happen in their first pre-season game against Toronto on Sunday. In 18 minutes off the bench, Sexton finished with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting (3-of-4 on 3-pointers), as well as one rebound, two assists, two steals and two turnovers.

It came as a bit of a surprise to most viewers that Sexton didn’t get the starting nod, but he told Deseret News’ Sarah Todd that he expected to come off the bench for this game. He admitted that it was because he hadn’t played much since his meniscus surgery, but he expects to start once he’s back to full speed.

Utah hit the reset button, eliminating four of last season’s five starters. They started a new era around Sexton Lauri Markkanen, Jarred Vanderbilt, and a ton of first-round picks. Sexton has spoken of wanting to improve his passing this season and we will definitely have to see how he gets the opportunity to do that.

The Jazz have cemented their place at the center of Victor Vembanyama’s race, so they won’t have a problem with their young guys learning by trial and error. Just two years ago, Sexton was averaging 4.4 assists per game for Cleveland. However, he will not play alongside another young defender such as Darius Garlandso Sexton has to hold the ball more than ever in the NBA.

Ben Simmons played a real live basketball game on Monday night.

Sure, it’s preseason, but the Nets have unveiled their likely starting five, Simmons. Kyrie Irving, Kevin Duran, Joe Harrisas well as Nick Claxton — and Simmons started a lot of attacks early.

The results were good. Excellent. Good in flashes. Simmons ran well on the court and finished with six points on 3-of-6 shooting, five assists and four rebounds. He missed both free throws he made and all three of his attempts were at the rim, all of his three missed shots were in paint and included an ugly skyhook thing and a miss. There was obvious rust.

The Nets gave him a lot of touches, forcing him to start off early. Whether this will be carried over into the season remains to be seen, the offense has improved thanks to the clear passing and decisions of Kyrie Irving.

Simmons sounded comfortable after the game, quotes via Nick Friedell of ESPN.

“I’m only grateful to be able to step on this floor,” Simmons said. “Step back on the NBA floor. I had a lot of fun there.”

“That’s the thing, I thought I was going to be nervous,” Simmons said. “But I wasn’t nervous. I was excited.”

Simmons insisted on trading those 76ers a year ago and then missed the entirety of last season due to mental health issues. The Nets had enough of his return to the court for 19 minutes in a couple of shifts.

76ers sat Joel Embiid as well as James Harden for the night, but Tyrese Maxi became the best player on the floor, scoring 20 points in 14 minutes and showing a confident three-point shot.

Furkan Korkmazadded another player who was injured. 15 His performance will add depth to the Sixers’ roster.

Claxton ran hard down the court and finished with 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting (all by the rim), with Durant leading with 13 points.

The annual poll of NBA general managers is more of a snapshot of conventional wisdom about the league than a good predictive tool: Last season, general managers overwhelmingly chose the Brooklyn Nets to defeat the Lakers in the NBA Finals and Kevin Duran as the most valuable player. It didn’t exactly work out that way.

That said, it’s an interesting look at how things stand – and where he stands is in the NBA Finals Bucks vs. Warriors. When asked who would win the NBA title, 43% predicted the Bucks, 25% predicted the Warriors, 21% predicted “…


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