Eastern Conference Playoff Preview Snapshots

NBA-Eastern-Conference

Everyone knows that the Eastern Conference is nowhere near as good as the Western Conference.  But that doesn’t mean that the first round of the East playoffs won’t be compelling. As everyone knows, all you need is one road team to win to make a series interesting. Can the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks rediscover their rhythm? Did the Boston Celtics build confidence with two late-season wins over Cleveland? Is Chicago’s Derrick Rose returning to form or just an accident waiting to happen again? Do

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Most Improved Player Rankings: Why Jimmy Butler should take home the award

Jimmy Butler

It’s that time of year again. After all of the laughs, other-worldly performances, and misguided declarations that someone was dead, we’ve arrived at the end of the season. It’s time to pick a winner for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. As always, I told myself I wasn’t going to cry. As always, I lied to myself. (Sniffle) We saw a lot of improvement in the NBA this season. The Atlanta Hawks went from Eastern Conference Playoff Team With a Losing Record™ to The Spurs

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Brooklyn Nets lose control of their playoff hopes

Joe Johnson face Game 2

BROOKLYN – A string of poor play may cost the Brooklyn Nets a playoff spot in the pathetic Eastern Conference. Their inability over the last several games – and throughout the season as a whole – to consistently beat winning teams could end up being the back-breaker for this ballclub. Despite being without Joakim Noah, the Chicago Bulls outscored the Nets 30-15 in the third quarter and ran away with a 113-86 laugher that cost Brooklyn the eighth spot in the East,

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Sprung: Arrests didn’t faze Hawks in win over Nets

Hawks-Brooklyn

BROOKLYN — Not so long ago, what defined a tumultuous day for the Atlanta Hawks would have had something to do with ownership. Or management. Not a perp walk. So for the Hawks to do what they did Wednesday night — a gutsy road win over a probable playoff team — speaks to their fortitude as a team, a darned good team. Just hours after reserves Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic were released from police custody – the pair was arrested outside a

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Bernucca: Leonard Giving the Spurs a Big Bang

Kawhi Leonard

What do James Harden, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James have in common? They’re all legitimate MVP candidates, of course. But what else does that Awesome Foursome have in common? In a potential playoff series against the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, they can all expect to see an individual matchup with Kawhi Leonard. In case you’ve been transfixed by March Madness, the Spurs are looking like a championship contender. Again. If you want some perspective, my son Andrew was born

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Tweet of the Day: Responding to Cancer

For all of the perceived frustration with Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard — whether he clowns around too much or is really committed to winning on the court, he is truly a compassionate guy. That much is evident by his heart for kids and can be seen in his response to news that James Fisher, a young boy, had lost his fight with brain cancer.A video posted by Dwight Howard (@dwighthoward) on Mar 30, 2015 at 12:15pm PDTRest in peace lil

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Bernucca: Scoreboard Watching, Lottery Style

NBALottery-ping pong

Teams in the NBA playoff races aren’t the only ones watching scoreboards this time of year. Take the Philadelphia 76ers, for example. The Sixers lost their first 17 games, were mathematically eliminated from the playoff race nearly a month ago and almost certainly will lose 60-plus games for the second straight season. But GM Sam Hinkie and the rest of the Sixers’ front office are tracking the results of other games almost as closely as their own. That’s because Philadelphia could have

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SH Blog: Dwight Howard in, Pat Beverley out for Rockets; Derrick Rose expects to be cleared for contact soon

Dwight Howard interview

Just as one key starter returns to the Houston Rockets after two-plus months away, another could soon be facing an injury of comparable intensity. Dwight Howard returned to the starting lineup on Wednesday for the first time since January 23. It’s just the 33rd game played this season for Howard, who has dealt with ongoing right knee problems since first suffering a bone bruise in training camp. Unfortunately for the Rockets, Howard’s return coincides with a new injury to starting point guard Pat

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