Rookie Rankings, Week 9: Jusuf Nurkic, Winning

Jusuf Nurkic Nuggets

It’s hard to find an NBA player – let alone a rookie – who had a better week than Jusuf Nurkic. Last Saturday, the center from Bosnia and his Denver Nuggets teammates were lying in wait for the Memphis Grizzlies, who were coming off a tougher-than-expected road win over the Los Angeles Lakers the previous night and had to make one of the league’s tougher overnight trips. LA to Denver may not seem like much, but it is a long flight

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James Harden’s surprising defensive improvement makes him MVP contender

James Harden

When you’re already a proven NBA superstar, improvement usually comes in subtle ways. For Houston Rockets star James Harden, his ascent into the MVP conversation (it’s essentially a two-man race at this point between he and Stephen Curry, unless Anthony Davis’ New Orleans Pelicans make the playoffs) has come from a slight improvement across and board and an understanding that league MVPs are, and always will be, two-way players. The Rockets have had to rely on Harden this year more than

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Photo of the Day: Bulls Visit the White House

Bulls Presidential Table

The Chicago Bulls took a nice trip through the White House on Thursday on their day off. The team is in Washington, D.C. for their road game on Friday against the Wizards. I don’t know much about politics or the White House, but it looks like a few of them could stay behind and would fit right in with Mr. Obama and his staff.

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Photo of the Day: Rick Ross Is a True Heat Fan

Ross Tattoo Feature

Rapper Rick Ross is from Miami, so of course he’s a Heat fan. Not only that, he might be their single greatest fan in the entire world. You’re probably wondering why, and that’s what this Photo of the Day is here for. Ross decided he would get something that (hopefully) no one else has on their face: a Miami Heat tattoo. I understand if you’ve got a tattoo to support your favorite sports team, but your face? Never in a million

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Scotto: Forget New York and LA – Rondo and Mavs a Perfect Long-Term Fit

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While Knicks president Phil Jackson spent Monday night finalizing a three-team deal that he hopes will make Madison Square Garden relevant again, across the East River, Mavericks guard Rajon Rondo was helping Dallas beat Brooklyn with one of his patented double-doubles. You know, the one that doesn’t require points. Jackson has the woeful Knicks going all in on free agency, creating enough cap space to possibly lure two stars to the World’s Most Famous Arena. The main targets are obvious – Marc Gasol,

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Photo of the Day: Smith and Shumpert Thank Fans and Knicks

JR Smith

The three-team blockbuster trade involving the Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks has been made official, after initial reports of the trade on Monday evening. Now that it’s gone through, the players involved had some things to say to their now former teams before they left town. Dion Waiters, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert each showed respect for the franchises after they were traded.

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Photo of the Day: Diggin’ For Gold

Damjan Rudez Diggin' Feature

I had originally had another photo picked out for the day, but when I saw this picture I had to use it. Indiana Pacers forward Damjan Rudez had a little extra curricular activity going on on the bench against the Utah Jazz. By that, I mean he was going searching for something. Not on the bench or anything basketball related. He went digging for something much more valuable than that.

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Brandon Knight, Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green lead emerging players in contract years

jimmy-butler

Young players having the best seasons in their careers right before they’re due a new contract is hardly a new phenomenon, but it takes on new significance due to the NBA’s current economic situation. A likely escalation in the salary cap this summer will allow free agents to obtain more expensive contracts from a larger pool of teams with newfound cap space. A quartet of these young, emerging stars— Milwaukee’s Brandon Knight, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Orlando’s Tobias Harris and Golden State’s

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