Bernucca: Thunder’s Big Problem is Jackson, Not Westbrook or Durant

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There were two pieces of bad news coming out of Loud City this weekend. And there was a disproportionate reaction to the wrong one. There was far too much hand-wringing to the news that Russell Westbrook will be joining fellow Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on his broken right hand. The Thunder are going to survive November without Durant and Westbrook. They have 14 games between now and Dec. 1, the projected earliest return for

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Scotto: Lance Stephenson Vows To Take Charlotte’s Offense Into His Own Hands

Lance Stephenson

NEW YORK – Three games into the Lance Stephenson era, the star free agent signee is not pleased with his role in Charlotte and vowed to make a change. “I didn’t let the game come to me,” Stephenson said after Charlotte’s 96-93 loss to New York. “I just tried to make something happen. I let the game come to me the last two games and I ended up doing nothing so I’ve got to just play more aggressive, be in attack

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Hubbard: Should Harden trade still be cursed for OKC?

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James Harden probably would not mind being compared to Babe Ruth. As an avid video game player, he has likely played Madden. I’m not too sure he would welcome a comparison with a billy goat, but since the subject is curses and jinxes, if he knew the humorous history of the Curse of the Billy Goat, he’d probably be OK with the reference. When I first heard the surprising news in October 2012 that the Oklahoma City Thunder had traded a

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Bernucca: 2011 Draft Contract Extension Scoreboard: Free Agent Market Just Got Crowded

Kawhi Leonard

On first blush, next summer’s free agent market seemed a bit fallow. The biggest names among 2015 unrestricted free agents have been out there for some time – Marc Gasol, Rajon Rondo, DeAndre Jordan, Paul Millsap and Tyson Chandler. A nice collection of players, sure, but nothing like the star power of the potential 2016 free agency market. Greg Monroe joined the fray when he accepted his qualifying offer from the Detroit Pistons. And there are likely opt-outs coming from Goran Dragic,

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Kotoch: LeBron’s Emotional Return Derailed by Carmelo and the Knicks

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CLEVELAND – All day, Clevelanders were jubilant and optimistic about the season opener at Quicken Loans Arena. After four long years, LeBron James’ return to the Cavs and his home region would take its next step. For many fans, the previous night’s Bulls blowout win was a sign that the Cavs would be able to show up and run the Knicks off the court. With a city in a 50-year championship drought, the Cavs are clearly enabled to end the streak. Championships

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Ruland: Top 5 Bang for the Buck NBA Players

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When I first sat down to write this piece, I immediately knew I had a battle between the player and the coach in me. The player in me wants a high motor, energy guy that takes no prisoners and would bite their own grandmother in the neck to win. The coach/general manager side of me wants guys that compete and play the right way, partly by making their teammates better. After 20 years of coaching, I learned rather early that I

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Scotto: The Return of Derrick Rose and Chicago’s ‘Scary’ Team

Derrick Rose

NEW YORK – After mixed results while playing for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup this summer (he had one good game, and it was Coach K, not Coach Thibs, who inspired him), Derrick Rose returned to the NBA hardwood for the first time in a regular season game since Nov. 22, 2013. “I think USA Basketball did a great job of making sure that my nerves weren’t too high,” Rose said. “I wasn’t too antsy when I was out

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