Sprung: Joe Johnson’s Sudden, Precipitous Decline Haunts Nets

Joe Johnson face Game 2

When asked recently about the trade value of Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson, one Western Conference scout summed it up in six brutally painful words: “He makes a lot of money.” After 15 NBA seasons and seven All-Star appearances, the 34-year-old Johnson has turned from a very good basketball player into just another contract a team can’t wait to get off its books. Mercifully for Brooklyn, Johnson’s contract expires at the end of this season. When it’s all said and done in Brooklyn—

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Bernucca: If Outspoken Butler Isn’t Leader of Bulls, Who Is?

Jimmy Butler

If you are like many Americans – middle-class, middle-aged males not unlike myself – and watched your first NBA games this season on Christmas, then you probably think the Chicago Bulls are just fine. If you have watched at any other time this season, then you know otherwise. On Christmas, the Bulls played perhaps their best game of the season. They went into Loud City without injured emotional leader Joakim Noah and never trailed against the Thunder, leaving with a convincing 105-96

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Sheridan: Screw the Riley Rule, Make Luke Walton the West All-Star Coach

Popovich-Kerr

In all likelihood, Luke Walton will be spending All-Star Weekend on vacation in two months. This would be a travesty, and it is time for someone to tell NBA commissioner Adam Silver to prevent a miscarriage of recognition. I will take on the job. As most of you know, the honor of coaching each conference’s All-Star team goes to the coach whose team has the league’s best record prior to the break. Last year, that job fell to Steve Kerr, who was

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Hubbard: Kerr’s record skies thanks to Luke Walton

Luke

During a playing career that spanned 11 seasons, Luke Walton played in 564 games but started only 138 times. The man is obviously accustomed to coming off the bench. So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised by his success with the Warriors, whose 26-1 record entering Wednesday night’s games is a reflection of the near-perfect basketball they have been playing. Walton has been the absolute perfect sub for Steve Kerr, who has yet to coach a game this season while recovering from back

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Towns, Porzingis, Okafor lead most impactful rookie class in 5 years

NBADraft

If you’ve noticed that this year’s rookie class is being talked about and praised around the league and in the media, there’s good reason for that.  This year’s top five picks— Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, the Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell, Philadelphia’s Jahlil Okafor, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis and Orlando’s Mario Hezonja— are making a larger early impact than any top-five group in at least a half decade. A detailed statistical analysis of top five picks over the last five years shows that over the first two

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Hubbard: Warriors Done Chasing Records, Ready to Chase Championship

Luke Walton big

OAKLAND – During Golden State’s otherworldly 24-0 start, interim coach Luke Walton was asked how it felt to get no official credit for the victories. NBA policy is that only the permanent coach can accumulate wins and losses, so those victories went to Steve Kerr, who has yet to coach this season while recovering from back surgery. The winning streak, which set an all-time pro sports record for consecutive victories to open a season, ended Saturday with a 108-95 loss to

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Sprung: Porzingis Drawing Praise But Still Has Weaknesses

Kristaps Porzingis

For all the brilliant performances, jaw-dropping athletic feats and impressive double-doubles we’ve seen from New York Knicks 20-year-old rookie Kristaps Porzingis, the 7-3 Latvian still has a lot to improve upon as he navigates through his first NBA season.  There will be growing pains for Porzingis along the way – no pun intended – including the rough patch he is currently enduring. In New York’s last three games— a road trip to Utah, Sacramento and Portland— Porzingis had a total of 17 points, 13 rebounds

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