Sprung: Post-Garnett Nets succeeding with small ball

Prokhorov

BROOKLYN — A lot has changed since Brooklyn last wore its home whites on Feb. 6. The Nets have played better basketball in their fight for an Eastern Conference playoff spot with the help of smaller, younger lineups, going a very respectable 3-5 on a vicious eight-game Western Conference road trip that ended with a big win in Dallas on Saturday night. “I’m excited to be home, but I’m also excited that we’ve played better, been more competitive,” said Nets head

Read more...

VIDEO: Danny Schayes on Nuggets “quitting”

Jusuf Nurkic Nuggets

During Friday’s 104-82 loss to the Utah Jazz, the Denver Nuggets had an interesting huddle. According to the Denver Post, Nuggets players broke a fourth-quarter huddle with the chant, “1 … 2 … 3 … six weeks!” As in six weeks to the end of the season. Yes, the Nuggets have given up on the season, as coach Brian Shaw sensed a month ago. And now Shaw and assistant Lester Connor have been fired. The Nuggets are 20-39, 13th and falling fast in the

Read more...

Bernucca: Handicapping the Leastern Conference Turtle Race

hill

We don’t blame you if you haven’t been paying attention to the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race. The West obviously has been far more interesting. While Golden State looks secure in the top spot, the next six teams are all playing better than .600 basketball and separated by just seven losses. And Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Phoenix – all vying for the eighth and final spot – are within two games of each other. The East? Well, the top

Read more...

Sprung: “Big Three” for Cavs Might Be Trio of Former Knicks

Mozgov

The irony was more than evident Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The Cleveland Cavaliers were a disappointing 19-15 when they acquired guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the Knicks, who were embarrassed by the Cavs on Sunday and have the league’s worst record. Additionally, Cleveland acquired former Knicks center Timofey Mozgov from Denver later that week. Since trading for Smith and Shumpert, Cleveland is a robust 17-7, has won 17 of 19 and is now a legitimate threat to represent the

Read more...

PODCAST: Post-Derrick Rose, Where do the Bulls Go From Here?

Derrick Rose

The Chicago Bulls announced Derrick Rose had an MRI, which showed a medial meniscus tear of the right knee that will require surgery. A timetable for Rose’s recovery will be given following his surgery. That leaves Chicago with Aaron Brooks and Kirk Hinrich as the current options at point guard. Nate Robinson is an intriguing option for Chicago on the free agent market. Robinson played well for the Bulls during the 2013 playoffs where he averaged 16.3 points per game. With that in

Read more...

Bernucca: Suns’ Epilogue on Dragic is Self-Serving Spin

PI-NBA-Suns-Goran-Dragic-011714

There was a lot of shade in the Valley of the Sun this week. It all started with Goran Dragic, who is far from blameless in this mess. But because the Phoenix Suns sent Dragic packing in a trade, president Lon Babby and GM Ryan McDonough got to write the epilogue and spin it in intelligence-insulting fashion. Dragic is an unrestricted free agent this summer. At 28, it’s his first and last chance at a max contract. And while the idea of

Read more...

Sprung: Why Can’t the Rebuilding Magic Show Tangible Improvement?

oladipo

Rebuilding franchises conjure up a wide spectrum of emotions. They prompt hope for a brighter future, frustration that wins will likely be hard to come by in the immediate future and, sometimes, disappointment that tangible progress isn’t being seen quite quickly enough for increasingly rabid fan bases — specially in this instant gratfication digital era. Orlando is an interesting case study. The Magic have what seems like a decent enough young core in shooting guard Victor Oladipo, double-double machine Nikola Vucevic,

Read more...

Heisler: Trade deadline widens gap between best, worst teams

dragic

Why is the trade deadline different from all other nights of the year? It’s not. The West just got tougher. In the East, where there’s no life-or-death importance attached to getting better, the top teams sat this one out while the bad teams—your Knicks and 76ers—dumped, shut down or otherwise disposed of their best players in order to tank more definitively.

Read more...