Eastern Conference Finals Preview: Five Things to Watch

LeBron-NoHeadband

Despite all the talk of a parity-filled, wide open, volatile NBA postseason, the top two teams from each conference advanced to the conference finals. For those of you who ignored the Eastern Conference outside of Cleveland and Chicago, the Atlanta Hawks won 60 games and are the top seed out East. Game One is Wednesday night in Atlanta, with LeBron James’ Cavaliers wearing the road burgundy, or those unattractive navy alternates. Atlanta went 3-1 against Cleveland during the regular season, although

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Free Agency: DeMarre Carroll’s Value is Soaring

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Beyond the young stars who will receive their first max contracts this offseason, few players have improved their stock and value in the NBA this postseason more than Atlanta Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll. The only Hawk starter who wasn’t an Eastern Conference All-Star this season, Carroll brings energy, intensity, strong perimeter defense and a smooth 3-point stroke. At a time when the NBA emphasizes “3 and D” players more than ever before, Carroll (22nd in our Free Agent Rankings) is set to

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Deron Williams’ improbable monster game evens Nets-Hawks series

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BROOKLYN— Barclays Center may never have been louder than it was on Monday night. Normally, the Brooklyn arena is filled with many fans of Nets opponents and it would take something extraordinary or abnormal for the crowd to really get to a decibel level worthy of the postseason. After a three-game stretch that signified one of the lowest points in his disappointing tenure with the team, Deron Williams energized the Brooklyn Nets and this arena like nothing before seen in this

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Western Conference Playoff Preview Snapshots

Western Conference

This is what we have been waiting for since Halloween. The strength of the Western Conference was as good as advertised and has provided a first round of playoffs that should have NBA fans salivating. The best series appears to be the Los Angeles Clippers vs. the San Antonio Spurs, whom you could argue were two of the league’s three best teams coming down the stretch. And approximately two weeks from now, one of those teams will be headed to its offseason,

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Sprung: Bulls’ championship hopes hinge on Rose, again

Derrick Rose Bulls sleeves

It’s difficult enough to try to integrate an injured star player at any point during an NBA season. It’s even tougher to ease back a star during the season’s stretch run and adjust during the playoffs. This is the challenge the Chicago Bulls face once again in bringing point guard Derrick Rose back into the fold. Four games into a comeback from his most recent knee injury, the Bulls are very pleased with Rose’s progress and optimistic that they are coming together just in

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Brooklyn Nets lose control of their playoff hopes

Joe Johnson face Game 2

BROOKLYN – A string of poor play may cost the Brooklyn Nets a playoff spot in the pathetic Eastern Conference. Their inability over the last several games – and throughout the season as a whole – to consistently beat winning teams could end up being the back-breaker for this ballclub. Despite being without Joakim Noah, the Chicago Bulls outscored the Nets 30-15 in the third quarter and ran away with a 113-86 laugher that cost Brooklyn the eighth spot in the East,

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Sprung: Arrests didn’t faze Hawks in win over Nets

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BROOKLYN — Not so long ago, what defined a tumultuous day for the Atlanta Hawks would have had something to do with ownership. Or management. Not a perp walk. So for the Hawks to do what they did Wednesday night — a gutsy road win over a probable playoff team — speaks to their fortitude as a team, a darned good team. Just hours after reserves Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic were released from police custody – the pair was arrested outside a

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Sprung: Roy Hibbert says acting is harder than playing basketball

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Indiana’s playoff hopes looked especially dim after a 15-30 start, but a stretch of inspired play in February and March had the team at 30-34 on March 12 after a seven-game winning streak. Paul George was set to come back and it looked like the Pacers were going to be the team no one wanted to draw in the first round. Since then, Indiana has lost eight of 10 including Monday’s crucial 111-106 setback in Brooklyn against the Nets. The Pacers

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