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ESPN replacing Sage Steele with Michelle Beadle as ‘NBA Countdown’ host

As the NBA playoffs approach, ESPN is making a key personnel change.

Network veteran Sage Steele is out. Michelle Beadle is in, the network announced Tuesday.

Beadle, who rose to popularity as personality on ESPN2’s “SportsNation,” will become the full-time host on “NBA Countdown,” leading the network’s coverage throughout the the postseason, including the Western Conference finals and NBA Finals on ABC. The shift likely means Sage Steele will no longer have a role in ESPN’s NBA coverage.

Beadle joined the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” in 2009. She began her stint on “Countdown” at the beginning of this season, frequently joining former players-turned-analysts Jalen Rose and Chauncey Billups in the studio on the network’s regular Wednesday and Friday night broadcasts.

Center Tristan Thompson will miss both contests after sustaining an injury during the Cavs’ 122-102 win against the Magic on Tuesday, the team announced.

If the 6-9, 238-pound Thompson doesn’t suit up, it would end his streak of 447 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the NBA.

Tristan Thompson did not travel to Boston & will have MRI on his thumb after hurting it last night, sources said. X-rays were negative.

Windhorst also reported the MRI is precautionary, meaning even if Thompson shouldn’t be out for an extended period of time. In anticipation of Thompson’s absence, the Cavaliers have called up late-season signee big man Larry Sanders from the Canton Charge, Cleveland’s D-League affiliate.

The Cavs hold a 2-1 advantage over the Celtics in Cheap Kids Jerseys NHL New England Patriots Cheap Jerseys the season series. The Cavaliers and Celtics are No. 1 and No. 2 in the Eastern Conference standings.