Schayes: Death of the NBA Rivalry

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As the NBA tries unsuccessfully to manufacture excitement on Christmas for its slate of games, the real truth is impossible to ignore. The NBA is becoming less compelling to watch because there is no one to hate anymore. Since the 1980s, when the league began expanding from 23 teams to the present 30, the rivalries between teams have been on the slippery slope to insignificance. The league schedule has become just a gigantic list of games with no grudge matches and

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Sprung: Nets face yet another identity crisis without Lopez

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What are the Brooklyn Nets right now, other than a pathetic underachieving ballclub? Brook Lopez is not coming back this season after breaking his foot, and the Nets dropped to 2-8 without him after Monday’s 103-86 loss to Indiana. Brooklyn is 9-18, a .333 winning percentage. “It’s certainly a big setback, he’s a great player,” Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. “One of the best centers in the league, so it’s obviously very difficult to replace what he gives on both ends.” What’s worse

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Warner: Can Kevin Love pull a Wilt Chamberlain?

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I know it’s early, but Minnesota’s Kevin Love has an outside chance to do something that’s only been accomplished by three players in NBA history: Lead the league in scoring and rebounding in the same season. Love leads the NBA in rebounding with 13.9 per game and is third in scoring with a 25.9 average. He trails scoring leader Kevin Durant by 2.2 points a game, a substantial margin but one that’s not impossible to overcome with more than two-thirds of

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Bernucca: In Trying to Overtake Knicks, Nets Have Become Them

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In his stated effort to upstage Knicks owner James Dolan, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has become him. Like Dolan, Prokhorov desperately wants an NBA championship. Like Dolan, he has pursued that desperation with financial abandon, giving his GM an open checkbook. Like Dolan, he has overspent on overvalued big names. Like Dolan, he has mortgaged his team’s future by giving away multiple draft picks. And like Dolan, he appears headed down the abyss. In two months, the Nets have gone from contenders with

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Mitnick: Top Five American Draft-and-Stashes

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NBA teams have been drafting European players and stashing them overseas for several years. But the term “Eurostash” has taken on a whole new meaning this season. It’s the Americans who are being stashed across the pond, too. And one of them can actually be called an “Aussiestash.” There’s a new term for y’all. This year’s draft featured five American players taken out of college who are currently hooping overseas while their rights are retained by NBA teams. And that doesn’t count second-round

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May: What Will Become of Rajon Rondo?

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What is Rajon Rondo supposed to do? If he were willfully shutting out his teammates, that would be one thing. (He has been known to do that in the past). If he was willfully tuning out his coach, that would be another thing. (He has been known to do that in the past as well). If he was being a locker-room cancer, that would be one more thing. (Hold that unhappy thought!) He has been none of these in 2013 and yet there it

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Tony Wroten’s Journey: From Benched Rookie to Most Improved Player Candidate

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Years ago, Tony Wroten was one of the top high school players attending a basketball camp hosted by star point guard Deron Williams. This week, Wroten was guarding Deron Williams. “It’s crazy because, I remember when I was younger, I went to his camp and he told me pointers, and now I’m in the league going against him,” Wroten told Sheridan Hoops.  As crazy as it may have sounded years ago, it seemed just as crazy months ago, when Wroten couldn’t get off

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