Bernucca: Hawks are Best Team No One Has Seen

Hawks Korver Carroll Horford Millsap Teague

The hottest team in the Eastern Conference doesn’t have a three-headed monster like the Cleveland Cavaliers. It doesn’t have a scrutinized superstar returning from injury like the Chicago Bulls or a rapper sitting courtside at every home game like the Toronto Raptors. Heck, it doesn’t even have a national TV appearance, even though it plays in TNT’s backyard. But the Atlanta Hawks have won nine of their last 10 games, flying well under the radar toward the top of the conference. The Hawks

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Rookie Rankings, Week 5: Young Wolves Showing Some Bite

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Which team has the best rookie duo this season? Coming out of the draft, you had to like the Chicago Bulls, who traded into the lottery to grab Doug McDermott and finally signed Nikola Mirotic. But while Mirotic has been a pretty steady contributor, McBuckets might need a new nickname – like McD-League. The Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic each had two first-round picks that looked like they might be able to crack the rotation. But James Young has been

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Bernucca: Knicks, Pistons Aren’t Tanking, But Sure Look Like It

Stan Van Gundy with hands

We all know what the Philadelphia 76ers are doing. Call it whatever you want – tanking, rebuilding, deconstructing, hoarding – the 76ers are openly, unabashedly and intentionally sinking to the bottom of the NBA, because GM Sam Hinkie has convinced ownership that is the fastest way to get back to the top. Hinkie has constructed a roster that is inherently non-competitive. The Sixers have the fewest first-round picks and the most undrafted free agents of any team. Their highest-paid player makes $6.6

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Rookie Rankings, Week 4: Parker Keeps Things in Perspective

Jabari Parker

When Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker learned he had won Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for November, he wasn’t planning any celebrations. “It’s all good and dandy,” said Parker, who averaged 12.2 points and 5.9 rebounds for the surprisingly competitive Bucks. “I’m not trying to be disrespectful or ungrateful, but it’s only one month. “It’s just because I’m insecure, that’s all. … That’s the honest truth. You may not be able to brag about the same things a month (later).” Parker’s honesty

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Bernucca: West’s Advantage Over East Bigger Than Ever

Warriors

Leave it to Jeff Van Gundy to use the holiday season as another outlet for his vastly underrated sense of humor. During Wednesday’s ESPN telecast of New York-Dallas, the analyst said he was thankful that there were not two Eastern Conferences. But as Thanksgiving quickly morphed into the Christmas shopping season, perhaps Van Gundy could ask Santa Claus for another Western Conference. Because that would allow us to throw out the Eastern Conference with all the torn wrapping paper, ugly sweaters and

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Rookie Rankings, Week 3: Wiggins Making a Push on Parker

Andrew Wiggins

There was a bit of NBA history made in the Milwaukee-Minnesota game Wednesday. The matchup was billed as the first meeting between Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, the top two picks in the 2014 draft. But for the first time, four teenagers played in the same game. The Bucks had Parker and second-year forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Timberwolves had Wiggins and fellow rookie Zach LaVine. Not only did all four teenyboppers play, they all started. And not only did they all

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Bernucca: Cavs Are More Than Fragile. They’re Flawed

Cavs Chalk Toss

Over the weekend, LeBron James called his slumping, underachieving Cleveland Cavaliers “a fragile team.” James is partially right. As a group, the Cavaliers aren’t dealing very well with the lofty expectations put upon them by pundits like me. Right now, they look like a typical front-running team that lacks mental toughness and gives in at the first sign of trouble. That was evident Saturday, when the Cavaliers sprinted to a 26-8 lead in the first eight minutes – and were overwhelmed thereafter

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Three-Man Weave: Conference Calls

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We are less than four weeks into the NBA season. And while it is a small sample size, it is large enough to determine whether teams are off to good starts or bad starts. The bigger question is how long can these teams sustain their starts? For that, we have brought back the Three-Man Weave, where three Sheridan Hoops staff members answer three questions. Making his Weave debut is columnist Ben DuBose, who also handles our Tuesday blog. He was able to

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