Bernucca: NBA Buyout Season’s Winners and Losers

grangerclippers

I’m kinda high on what the Charlotte Bobcats did with Ben Gordon. The Bobcats waived Gordon on Sunday, preventing him from appearing in the postseason should he sign with another team. While they may have alienated his agent – not a trifle thing in the business world of the NBA – two things should be pointed out. 1. When teams waive or buy out players at this time of the season, they are essentially establishing a price they are willing to pay

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Rookie Rankings, Week 17: Can the Best Rookie Come From the Worst Team?

We asked this question in our last edition of the Rookie Rankings: Can a player from a 65-loss team win Rookie of the Year? The answer: One already has. In the 1999-2000 season, the Chicago Bulls were continuing their rebuilding following the second retirement of Michael Jordan and went 17-65. One of their few bright spots was a young power forward named Elton Brand, who averaged 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds and shared Rookie of the Year honors with Houston’s Steve Francis. But

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Bernucca: Feeling the Heat, Pacers Had To Make a Move

PHI_Turner_Evan

All season, the Indiana Pacers have maintained that homecourt advantage for the Eastern Conference playoffs, and their chemistry will give them a great chance to dethrone the two-time NBA champion Miami Heat. Are both slipping away? In the last two weeks, Indiana’s grip on the East’s best record has loosened considerably. And the Pacers’  big move at Thursday’s trading deadline, acquiring Evan Turner, illustrated that their belief in chemistry may have been overstated.

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Bernucca: Who Is On Your Team’s Mount Rushmore?

rushmore

This past week, NBA TV released excerpts of an extended interview with LeBron James (airing in its entirety Monday night) in which Steve Smith asked “The King” to name his Mount Rushmore of basketball. James offered a quartet of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. But it’s really an unfair question, because in addition to those four players, there are at least three more – centers Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell – who are in the

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Larry Sanders’ Awful Season Continues With Surgery, Out 6 Weeks

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When the Milwaukee Bucks signed Larry Sanders to a four-year, $44 million contract extension last summer, it looked like a pretty good move. Sanders showed throughout the 2012-13 season that he could be a highly impactful defensive player. He was just 24 years old (now 25), and the money was in line with other defense-first centers such as Tyson Chandler and JaVale McGee. And nothing has gone right since.

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Rookie Rankings, Week 15: Bennett’s Big Game No Surprise

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Many people were surprised by Anthony Bennett’s first career double-double on Tuesday. Bennett’s struggles as the top overall pick in the draft have been well-documented. So when he broke out for 19 points and 10 rebounds in Cleveland’s home win over Sacramento, there was somewhat of a collective gasp across the NBA. Yes, Bennett established season highs in both points and rebounds in the same game. And yes, it appeared to come out of nowhere. But the truth is that Bennett has

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Bernucca: Clippers Captain is Back, But the Ship Ran Just Fine Without CP3

paulwall

Chris Paul returned to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. We don’t want to be party-poopers, but it probably should be pointed out that the Clippers were better without him. This does not mean that GM Gary Sacks should start exploring trade possibilities for a top-five player. And it doesn’t mean that coach Doc Rivers should go with the hot hand at point guard at the end of games. But it does mean that if the Clippers want to win a championship this

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Rookie Rankings, Week 14: Take a Seat, Kid

oladipo

Another lottery pick has lost his starting spot. First it was Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo, who began the season as a starter and has shifted back and forth from the bench to the starting lineup as teammates have become healthy or injured. To Oladipo’s credit, it has not had a serious impact on his performance. Then it was Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore, who began the season as a reserve, was elevated to starter as coach Mike Malone became disenchanted with

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