Sprung: Can Kobe Bryant win the MVP Award?


What would it take for Kobe Bryant to win the 2015-2016 NBA MVP award? As we handicap the MVP race for the 2015-2016 season, we’ll take a look at last season’s top five finishers— Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and LeBron James— along with Kevin Durant. But a question many Angelenos and basketball fans around the world have is what kind of numbers would Bryant have to put up in his age-37 season to take home the crown? To


Sprung: Curry Could Become Best Playoff Shooter Ever

Curry Playoff Shot Chart

Stephen Curry has a legitimate chance to go down as the greatest shooter in NBA playoff history. With just two days before the Golden State-Cleveland NBA Finals finally begins, an appreciation of Curry’s shooting stroke — and the changing landscape of how offenses emphasize the three — point to Curry having a chance to at least be part of an elite playoff performance list. The 27-year-old MVP ideally will be playing in many more postseasons over the course of his career and should be


Sprung: An analytic look at LeBron James’ polarizing postseason


For the fifth straight year, LeBron James is going to the NBA Finals. How do his numbers stack up this season versus the past four seasons? It’s quite interesting. James is deserving of all the praise he’s getting after becoming the first player to reach five consecutive NBA Finals since the dynastic Boston Celtics of decades ago. James has been asked to do more for the Cleveland Cavaliers on offense than even in his early-career Cavs days, and it’s taken a toll


Free Agency: DeMarre Carroll’s Value is Soaring


Beyond the young stars who will receive their first max contracts this offseason, few players have improved their stock and value in the NBA this postseason more than Atlanta Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll. The only Hawk starter who wasn’t an Eastern Conference All-Star this season, Carroll brings energy, intensity, strong perimeter defense and a smooth 3-point stroke. At a time when the NBA emphasizes “3 and D” players more than ever before, Carroll (22nd in our Free Agent Rankings) is set to


Sprung: Bulls’ championship hopes hinge on Rose, again

Derrick Rose Bulls sleeves

It’s difficult enough to try to integrate an injured star player at any point during an NBA season. It’s even tougher to ease back a star during the season’s stretch run and adjust during the playoffs. This is the challenge the Chicago Bulls face once again in bringing point guard Derrick Rose back into the fold. Four games into a comeback from his most recent knee injury, the Bulls are very pleased with Rose’s progress and optimistic that they are coming together just in


Sprung: Spurs are living and dying with/without Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard

Where would the San Antonio Spurs be this season without Kawhi Leonard? To answer my own question, probably out of the playoff picture. In a Western Conference where the 8th-seeded New Orleans Pelicans are seven games over .500, the Spurs are 33-16 with Leonard and just 9-9 without him. Leonard leads the team in scoring, defensive rating and minutes per game. There’s an immense difference in Leonard’s stats in Spurs wins and losses, to the point where an off night can torpedo


Sprung: MVP Candidates Pros and Cons, By the Numbers


This season’s MVP race is shaping up to be the best one in quite some time. The perceived top five candidates this season – James Harden, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook – represent the top five in PER, three of the top five in win shares and lead the NBA in nearly two dozen major statistical categories. We’re pretty well covered with MVP rankings on this site with Sheridan’s regular updates, and other staffers have chimed in


Sprung: Patience, Patented Defense Has Pacers in Playoff Picture


Indiana’s win in New York on Saturday night epitomized the current trajectory of the team’s season. It was a slow and ugly start, but the team persevered through strong defense and playoff-tested experience. The team’s slow and ugly start began actually began nearly eight months earlier, on a sultry Friday July evening in Las Vegas with Paul George’s horrendously gruesome leg injury. The bad luck and misery continued when rotation stalwarts David West, George Hill and C.J. Watson missed the beginning of the season with