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Report: Marcus Smart Set to Return to Practice

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Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Marcus Smart is expected to be a full participant in Sunday’s off-day practice but Stevens does not expect the team to engage in any live action as it prepares for Game 4 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Smart had said he hoped to engage in full-contact work for the first time since tearing his oblique during the final week of the regular season. Stevens indicated that Smart would likely have to seek any potential contact activity before or after Sunday’s workout.

The team set a 4-6 week recovery timeline for Smart after the injury. Stevens had previously said that he expected Smart to participate in some 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 work as the next step in his rehab. Smart participated in all non-contact activities of Boston’s practice on Thursday.

Source: Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston

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Sources: Bulls Hire Billy Donovan as Head Coach

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The Chicago Bulls have hired former Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan as their new head coach, the team announced Tuesday.

Arturas Karnisovas, the Bulls’ executive vice president of basketball operations, aggressively pursued Donovan after the coach left the Oklahoma City Thunder, sources said, selling Donovan on a partnership and vision for a talented young roster and a chance to lead one of the league’s anchor franchises.

In an official statement, Donovan thanked the team’s ownership “for the opportunity to coach the Chicago Bulls” and said he is looking forward to working with Karnisovas.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Report: Giannis Antetokounmpo Named NBA Most Valuable Player

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Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the 2019-20 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, the NBA announced today.

This is the second straight Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award for Antetokounmpo, who becomes the 12th player to earn the honor in consecutive seasons. A native of Greece, Antetokounmpo is the first player from Europe to be selected as the NBA MVP more than once. Antetokounmpo, 25, also joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players to win multiple NBA MVP awards by the age of 25.

Source: NBA

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Report: Nick Nurse, Raptors Agree to Extension

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The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have signed head coach Nick Nurse to a multi-year contract extension. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. This past season, Nurse guided the Raptors to a 53-19 record during the regular season (second best in the NBA) and set a franchise-record with a .736 winning percentage. Toronto also reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the fifth straight year.

Source: Toronto Raptors

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