Bernucca: For Some Teams, Playoffs Have Already Started

Stan Van Gundy with hands

On Saturday night, while most basketball fans were watching the Final Four, the NBA playoffs got under way. Not officially, of course. That doesn’t happen until April 16. But for the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and other teams fighting for the bottom of the brackets, the postseason already has started. Detroit’s 94-90 victory at Chicago on Saturday wasn’t quite a Game Seven. The Pistons aren’t quite home free just yet, and the Bulls aren’t quite dead. But it sure looked an awful

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Bernucca: If Anthony Davis Was a Top-Five Player, Wouldn’t the Pelicans Be Better?

Anthony Davis

Can we now stop pretending that Anthony Davis is the second coming of Wilt Chamberlain? Can we now stop with the hyperbolic declarations that Davis is going to own the NBA in two years or that Davis is going to make the New Orleans Pelicans a perennial title contender? Can we now stop calling Davis a top-five player? Top-five players elevate teams by themselves. Top-five players assure their teams of 50 wins and playoff berths, regardless of circumstances. Top-five players don’t say, “We

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Sprung: Pelicans’ Ish Smith Making Most of Unexpected Opportunity

Ish-Smith

On Saturday, Oct. 24, three days before the start of the NBA regular season, 27-year-old guard Ish Smith was finishing up the Washington Wizards’ final preseason practice as he and his teammates prepared for Wednesday’s season opener in Orlando. Then, like he had five times before in his career, Smith got cut. Smith was one of five players on non-guaranteed contracts waived by Washington that day, an all-too-familiar occurrence for a player who spent his previous five seasons on eight different NBA

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Five Things To Watch: Golden State Warriors

Warriors

Every four decades, the basketball galaxy is in alignment for the Golden State Warriors. And on cue, last season was one of those moments as the Warriors won their first NBA championship since the days of Rick Barry 40 years ago. Last season’s Warriors were a talented group, particularly deep and immune to significant health problems, which they managed to avoid. In a breakthrough season, Stephen Curry achieved NBA Most Valuable Player status. Even their postseason matchups seemed to be hand-picked. And they did all of this with a rookie coach, no less. Now comes

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Five Things To Watch: New Orleans Pelicans

Anthony Davis

Superstars change everything for NBA teams. For any team without one, the goal becomes finding a way to get a hold of one, either via trades or in the draft. Once a team is able to land one, however, everything changes. For the New Orleans Pelicans, everything changed in the 2012 draft when they landed Anthony Davis. Last season, they watched him emerge as – at worst – the third best player in basketball, and everything changed again. Coming off their first playoff

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Five Things To Watch: Golden State Warriors

Warriors jersey sleeves

For Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, it was another summer of  dreams and possibilities after a relatively disappointing 2013-2014 season that ended in dramatic fashion in the first round of the playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers. During the offseason last year, there was some talk about the possibility of Dwight Howard having interest in joining the Warriors. It was unlikely (and never materialized), but the interest alone elevated the team’s status to a destination that was slowly but surely becoming

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SH Blog: Joerger staying with Grizzlies; Lakers interested in Hollins

MEM_Joerger_Dave

Over the last couple days, it looked like the Grizzlies were this year’s Nuggets: a playoff team undergoing massive front office shakeup and losing their well-regarded coach. Today, they’re still down a couple executives (though by many accounts, not Masai Ujiri-caliber), but in an unexpected move, it looks like coach Dave Joerger is sticking around. How unexpected? Well, let’s look at a couple pieces that came out earlier today. First, from Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor interviewed Dave Joerger

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SH Blog: Spurs prepared for Ibaka return

SergeIbakaSH1

I recently moved to Ohio, a couple hours down the Turnpike from Cleveland, and a couple hours (but a more complicated drive) from Detroit. I’m not sure how this is going to affect my NBA allegiances. When I lived in Baltimore, the obvious choice was the Wizards, but sharing with Washington people goes against a lot of the things I believe in. In Halifax, the Raptors were the de facto local team, but they played halfway across the country, and

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