Celtics

Should the NBA send the Lakers to the G League?

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Should the NBA send the Lakers to the G League?

The NBA’s trip across the pond this week was fun, but it left me with some burning questions. First, what does the Royal Family actually do, and why can’t I help myself from caring about them? Second, what is the meaning behind the nursery rhyme “London Bridge is Falling Down”? And third, what if the NBA adopted the promotion/relegation system used in European football (soccer)?

Leagues such as the Premier League in England punish teams that finish in the bottom three of the standings by sending them to a lower league while rewarding the top teams in that lower league with a promotion. It’s quite the financial blow to be dropped from one of the biggest professional sports leagues on Earth, and the results would be just as devastating here in the States.

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There’s no way the NBA would ever relegate one of its franchises to the G League, but it sure would do more to prevent tanking than leveling the lottery odds of the worst three teams in the league. Can you imagine the Atlanta Hawks or…wait for it…the Los Angeles Lakers being replaced in their respective conferences by the Rio Grande Valley Vipers or Erie BayHawks? It’s a fun thought experiment until you realize Lonzo Ball would probably average a triple-double in the G League and Lakers fans are insufferable enough when he’s averaging 10 points per game on 35-percent shooting for a terrible NBA team.

A relegation system would do more than just stave tanking, it would help strengthen the G League and add an exciting subplot for teams at the bottom of the NBA standings over the final stretch of the regular season. It would also expose NBA fans to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and their incredible mascot …the Mad Ant.

And it wouldn’t be all bad for the relegated teams, they’d still get their top draft picks; they’d just have to spend a season (or two) playing in Sioux Falls or Delaware.

Of course, this will never happen because the owners and players will never agree to it. Either way, the idea of potentially jettisoning the Lakers to the G League is something Americans and the English can all get behind.

Marcus Smart physically cleared to play

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File Photo

Marcus Smart physically cleared to play

The Celtics might have a big piece back for Tuesday night's Game 5 against the Bucks. 

Marcus Smart, out since last month after undergoing thumb surgery, has been physically cleared to play. The Celtics have yet to announce whether Smart will definitely play Tuesday, but it's hard to imagine the ultra-competitive Smart wouldn't. 

Smart's potential return might go a long way towards the Celtics reclaiming their series lead after winning Games 1 and 2 before dropping two straight in Milwaukee. His impact on games against the Bucks during the regular season illustrated how much his defense can help. 

How to watch/stream Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics, Game 5

How to watch/stream Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics, Game 5

Tune into NBC Sports Boston to watch Game 5 of the opening round of the NBA playoffs, as the Celtics host the Bucks at TD Garden. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by Nissan on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game preview: C's: Game 5 will come down to 'who wants it more'

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

[SHOP: Gear up, Celtics fans!]