Sprung: Post-Garnett Nets succeeding with small ball

Prokhorov

BROOKLYN — A lot has changed since Brooklyn last wore its home whites on Feb. 6. The Nets have played better basketball in their fight for an Eastern Conference playoff spot with the help of smaller, younger lineups, going a very respectable 3-5 on a vicious eight-game Western Conference road trip that ended with a big win in Dallas on Saturday night. “I’m excited to be home, but I’m also excited that we’ve played better, been more competitive,” said Nets head

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Sprung: “Big Three” for Cavs Might Be Trio of Former Knicks

Mozgov

The irony was more than evident Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The Cleveland Cavaliers were a disappointing 19-15 when they acquired guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the Knicks, who were embarrassed by the Cavs on Sunday and have the league’s worst record. Additionally, Cleveland acquired former Knicks center Timofey Mozgov from Denver later that week. Since trading for Smith and Shumpert, Cleveland is a robust 17-7, has won 17 of 19 and is now a legitimate threat to represent the

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Chris Bosh: Heat “in a 30-game sprint” towards playoff spot

Chris Bosh

It’s been five years since Chris Bosh found himself in a truly competitive race for a playoff spot. The 2009-2010 season, his last as Toronto’s franchise player and his last before having LeBron James as a teammate, saw his team finish 40-42 and a game behind Chicago for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. In his first year without James since that ’09-’10 season, Bosh and his teammates will now compete in a tight playoff race for the first time in half

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Isaiah Thomas Addresses Goran Dragic Trade Rumors

dragic

With Thursday’s NBA trade deadline quickly approaching, one of the bigger names who’s rumored to be dealt is Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic. Despite Phoenix clinging to a half-game lead over Oklahoma City for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Suns reportedly may want to deal Dragic, who’s an unrestricted free agent after the season. The Lakers, Rockets and other teams have been trying to persuade the Suns to deal Dragic, according to an ESPN.com report

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Mo Williams trade gives Hornets much-needed PG stopgap

Mo Williams

The Charlotte Hornets got much-needed point guard depth on Tuesday in their quest for an Eastern Conference playoff spot by acquiring veteran Mo Williams from Minnesota in exchange for shooting guard Gary Neal and a 2019 2nd round pick. Charlotte can now start Williams at the point with Kemba Walker still out after undergoing knee surgery, and avoid using the much-maligned Lance Stephenson at the position. “Mo Williams is a proven NBA player who gives us additional versatility and depth in the backcourt, both

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Sprung: Austin Rivers Not Doing Much to Help Dear Old Dad’s Bench

DocandAustin

Doc Rivers is still trying to make things work on the basketball court with his son Austin. After orchestrating a three-way January trade for his son with Boston and Phoenix, giving up what many thought was too high a price at the time, Doc is betting on Austin becoming the catalyst for a Los Angeles Clippers second unit that has been in the league’s bottom third this season in both points scored and allowed. Austin has played 10 games so far for Los

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Reggie Jackson’s next 36 games will determine his career path

Reggie_Jackson

The next 36 games will likely determine point guard Reggie Jackson’s career trajectory. Jackson, 24, will become a restricted free agent after the season, assuming he doesn’t exercise a $3.4 million qualifying offer Oklahoma City will almost certainly extend him. How much a team will offer him and what his role will be for the foreseeable future will probably be decided over the duration of the regular season and in the postseason, if the 23-23 Thunder even reach the Western playoffs. Before

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New Orleans Pelicans feeling the pressure after losses to Celtics, Sixers, Knicks

Anthony Davis

The Madison Square crowd was in a frenzy. New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams had just called a meaningless timeout with 8.1 seconds left and his team down 99-92 to a New York Knicks team that had lost 16 straight games dating back to Dec. 12. New Orleans failed to score after the timeout, and the Knicks won at home for the first time since Nov. 22. A 2-3 road trip against Eastern opponents looks bad enough for a New Orleans Pelicans

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