How will the Oklahoma City Thunder do without Kevin Durant for the first six to eight weeks of the season? It’s extremely hard to tell, considering Durant has missed a total of 16 regular season games over the course of his seven-year career, including just two over the last two seasons. Durant’s lone absence last season came on Jan. 24 in a 101-83 win over Boston in which Russell Westbrook did not play, either. With Durant sidelined by a Jones fracture in
FUBAR, Excruciating, Manipulated. These were all terms that I used to describe the search for the new Executive Director of the NBPA. The process that was used to replace Billy Hunter was full of twists and turns, intrigue, and uncertainty. It lasted way too long and was managed clumsily. There was a vote that wasn’t, then a do-over when word circulated about a seemingly forced outcome. At the end of the day the final vote was done hastily amid protest. Then, against
Four months have passed since the masterpiece was finished with a throwback flourish that had purists spouting superlatives and invoking sacred basketball institutions like the Red Holzman Knicks, the Jack Ramsay Blazers . . . Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, James Naismith. The Spurs joined the pantheon of great teams when they mutilated the Heat dynasty in the 2014 NBA Finals, playing a brand of team basketball that Naismith would have found ideal, even if it was unimaginable when he invented the
On Thursday, we gave you our All-Breakout Team for the upcoming season for the Eastern Conference. Today, we bring you our Western Conference All-Breakout Team. These are the players we believe are on the verge of breaking out or standing out. We used the same parameters – five players, one at each position, but no rookies. Let’s get right to it.
Training camps are over, exhibition games have begun, and the excitement is palpable as we build towards the 2014-2015 season with players who should have breakout or standout seasons. Here are five players in the Eastern Conference – one at each position, no rookies – who will take the next step towards greatness this upcoming season. Tomorrow, the West.
By this point, David Blatt’s journey – from the suburbs of Boston to Princeton to Israel, followed by a Magellanesque coaching journey around Europe, a Euroleague title with Maccabi Tel Aviv and finally landing a head coaching job in the NBA with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers – is well documented. But what Blatt has learned along the way and what he brings to the professional game is more than worth chronicling. Maccabi Tel Aviv, Blatt’s former team, just completed its
For those who gamble, the preseason over/under win projections are wondrous to pore over. It is the one point during the year when you can make an assessment of how the offseason went, and how it will translate into success — or lack hereof — on the court. Last season, two-thirds of the NBA teams failed to reach their projected win total. This season, nobody is projected to win 60 games by the oddsmakers in Las Vegas, which I find interesting. It
Before Bruce Levenson’s infamous email and Danny Ferry’s infamous scouting recital, the Atlanta Hawks were actually one of the quietest teams in the NBA this offseason. In the face of one of the most active transaction cycles in NBA history, Atlanta’s limited action in free agency was by design. General sentiment within the organization was – and remains – that the team will take an important leap forward as long as they remain healthy. After all, before center Al Horford tore his right pectoral –