Heisler: L.A. x 2 in Elite 8: Fun (yawn) while it lasted

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LOS ANGELES — L.A. uber alles…. As in days of yore, we are once more the center of the basketball universe with two (2) of the NBA’s remaining eight teams! Actually, it only turned out to be one day of yore… from Sunday afternoon when the Clippers upended the Grizzlies in Game 7 to Monday night when the Lakers, who had just escaped the Nuggets in their Game 7, took the floor in Oklahoma City. By Tuesday night when the Spurs wore down

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Heisler: Still the Lakers after all these years

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LOS ANGELES – Still crazy after all these years…. There was a time when the Lakers were just a good NBA team, like their romantic underdogs in the ‘60s with Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, and the Showtime teams that threw off the Celtics’ dominance in the ‘80s. Then came Shaq, Kobe and, a few years later, Phil, and nothing was the same for years…. Besides the feud that broke up their dynasty with three titles when Shaq was shipped to Miami as

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Heisler on NBA Playoffs: “Somebody gets trashed every day”

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// Check out this video of Jack Nicholson Mark Heisler, our Hall of Fame columnist, weighing in on the state of NBA basketball coverage in the day and age of social media, the 24/7 news cycle and the journalistic need to sensationalize coverage in order to engage eyeballs. Give a close listen to what Mark has to say. It’ll be the topic of his column Wednesday. It makes a lot of sense, and it comes from the perspective of a super-respected senior writer

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Heisler: Another way of saying ‘Dirty play’–’Playoff basketball’

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This BS has got to stop, all right. Dallas Coach Rick Carlisle was right, noting “The dirty BS has to stop,” after losing Games 1-2 in Oklahoma City, not that a lot of tears were shed at seeing his defending world champions’ hair, and skeletal systems, mussed up. The Mavs play as rough as anyone, as Carlisle all but conceded in his plea for humanity. “Playoff basketball is physical,” said Carlisle. “We don’t like the cheap shots when they give them. They don’t

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Heisler: On the bright side for lockout-shortened 2010-11 season, it’s over!

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I finally figured out the problem with the NBA’s lockout-shortened 2011-12 season … They didn’t shorten it enough. These days, all sports’ regular seasons seem like interminable waits for the real deal, even if they’re cut from 82 games to 66, crammed into 123 days that started on Christmas, fooling the veterans, most of whom apparently stopped working out at Thanksgiving. If it was an inelegant rush to put this mess behind them, you could see the season as a triumph… if you fell

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Heisler’s Wednesday Power Rankings

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At this point of every season, even 66-game ones, I like to offer a little prayer of thanksgiving: Thank heavens that’s over! If you want to know who I ranked first, instead of copping out again with a 12-way tie, the answer is San Antonio. If you want to know who proved themselves to be best, that would be no one. Not that the regular season was going to tell much about the elite teams, unless one went 60-6. For all the opinions spouted from

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Heisler: Kobe or not Kobe: The answer’s finally in the affirmative

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LOS ANGELES — I didn’t set out to major in Kobe Bryant, having long since graduated when he showed up here at 17. Things just led that way. I covered his father, Joe, whom he called Jellybean, as a 76ers rookie in the 1970s. I knew the family from Baker League games, where I met Joe’s gregarious father, Big Joe. After not having seen Joe for decades, I ran into him at the 1995 Adidas camp at Fairleigh Dickinson where his

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Heisler’s Wednesday Power Rankings

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As the drama builds for the ultimate honor that Sheridan Power Rankings (Wednesday Edition) can confer, the leader going into the last week is…. What leader? I can’t think of anyone who should be No. 1, or at least who deserves to have it to itself, so I have a five-way tie for No. 1. No one has led anything lately. Chicago has the best record, plays the best ball night-in and night-out and would be an easy pick… if Derrick Rose didn’t keep

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