Heisler: Doc Rules Clippers … but Lakers Still Rule L.A.

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LOS ANGELES — Doc Rivers has seen challenges before, as when he went 102-144 in his first three seasons in Boston, before Danny Ainge got him Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to go with Paul Pierce. The rest became Celtics history, leading to their 2008 title and the one they came so close to in 2010 when they led the Lakers by 13 in the second half of Game 7. Not that the Celtics had been forgotten before that… as much as

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Artest’s Stint in China May Come to a Premature End

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Metta World Peace, Ron Artest, Panda Friend. Whatever the name is on his medical form and the roster chart, the diagnosis is still the same: ‘Recurrence of knee injury – recovery time: three-to-five weeks.’ In the NBA, this would mean a spell on the sidelines. But in the Chinese Basketball Association, it is often the end of the season for an overseas player. This is the ruthless nature of life in the CBA, particularly for the league’s American imports. They’re brought in

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Sheridan: Aside from Kirilenko, What Trades Can Nets Actually Make?

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We have our first trade speculation frenzy of the 2014-15 NBA season courtesy of Marc Stein of ESPN.com, who is using his bully pulpit at the Worldwide Leader to throw a little something against the wall, saying the Brooklyn Nets have made it known around the league that Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez are available via trades. But as Stein reports, nothing is imminent. And we should further remind you that players who signed contracts over the summer are

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Sprung: Blazers on the rise through improved defense, continuity

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The three best records in the NBA belong to the Warriors, Grizzlies and Blazers. What do all three Western Conference teams have in common? Continuity. Besides for some minor tweaks, (Shaun Livingston, Vince Carter, Steve Blake and Chris Kaman) Golden State, Memphis and Portland retained their core players and have been extremely successful over the first quarter of the regular season. For Portland, now at 16-4 after Sunday’s win over New York, this is the third season the LaMarcus Aldridge-Damian Lillard-Nicolas Batum-Wes

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Scotto: King James and Cavs Hit Stride in Royal Affair

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BROOKLYN – King James beheaded the Brooklyn Nets during an epic gathering at Barclays Center, and it is now safe to say that royalty is a word befitting the Cleveland Cavaliers. With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sitting on one side of the court and America’s most popular couple – Jay-Z and Beyonce – directly across, LeBron James ruled with an iron fist.

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Bernucca: Knicks, Pistons Aren’t Tanking, But Sure Look Like It

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We all know what the Philadelphia 76ers are doing. Call it whatever you want – tanking, rebuilding, deconstructing, hoarding – the 76ers are openly, unabashedly and intentionally sinking to the bottom of the NBA, because GM Sam Hinkie has convinced ownership that is the fastest way to get back to the top. Hinkie has constructed a roster that is inherently non-competitive. The Sixers have the fewest first-round picks and the most undrafted free agents of any team. Their highest-paid player makes $6.6

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Hubbard: Tanking used to be much more fun

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When I regularly covered the NBA on a daily basis too many years ago, a number of us promised ourselves that when new days arrived, we would never bore people by talking about the good old days. The notion that the past is always better than the present is a sermon delivered by the aged and, as Pete Townshend once wrote, “Hope I die before I get old.” But having observed the Philadelphia 76ers the last two years, I can’t help myself: Tanking

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Jarrett Jack: Getting Schooled in a Good Way

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Jarrett Jack is 31 years old and is in his first season with the Brooklyn Nets, his seventh team in 10 years. Most players would feel lucky playing for half as many seasons, but very few think about what they’re going to do with their lives once their NBA career is over. Jack’s parents made sure their son thought about his post-playing career right after he decided to leave Georgia Tech following his junior season to enter the NBA draft. “It’s something I

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