Free Agency: DeMarre Carroll’s Value is Soaring

carroll

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

Read more...

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

Read more...

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

Read more...

Sprung: MVP Candidates Pros and Cons, By the Numbers

Westbrook-AllStar

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

Read more...

Sprung: Patience, Patented Defense Has Pacers in Playoff Picture

PacersPlane

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

Read more...

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

Read more...

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

Read more...

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

Read more...