In all their years in the NBA, the Boston Celtics had only put together six seasons worse than the one they muddled through in 2013-14. The shattered remains of their former glory were cobbled into a team built to lose games and win ping pong balls in a draft allegedly top-heavy with potential franchise players. But 25 wins and the sixth pick later, the Celtics are setting forth on the slow journey upward.Their coach, Brad Stevens, having suffered through the
Last season began with championship expectations for the Brooklyn Nets, thanks to the headline additions of three future Hall of Fame stars: Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce on the court, and Jason Kidd on the sidelines. However – less than a year later – Kidd has burned his Brooklyn bridge with the Nets, Pierce signed with the Wizards this summer and Garnett is coming off the worst statistical season of his career. Furthermore, key role players such as Shaun Livingston, Andray Blatche
When the final buzzer sounded on the Toronto Raptors last season, the team was left deflated on its home court after a crushing last-second Game 7 loss. It was an ending to a season that no one – not pundits, not fans, maybe not even management – could have predicted. After 18 games and a 6-12 record, it appeared as though the Raptors were destined for yet another forgettable season, lodged firmly in the bottom third of the NBA. Instead, after
Everything is bigger in Texas. Including losing streaks. And the Philadelphia 76ers are on the verge of the biggest losing streak in NBA history. After a couple of relatively narrow losses in which they were more competitive and provided a smidgen of hope for their suffering fans, the Sixers are back to normal and getting clobbered again. Philadelphia is up to 25 straight losses as it prepares for Thursday’s game at Houston. Another loss will tie the 76ers with the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers for the
Phil Jackson won’t be awful as president of the New York Knicks. He certainly won’t be as bad as Isiah Thomas was in running the club. And he will almost certainly be better than David Kahn, Bryan Colangelo, Joe Dumars, Otis Smith and Geoff Petrie have been in recent years. But Phil Jackson isn’t Isiah Thomas, or David Kahn, or Bryan Colangelo. He’s Phil Jackson, with a reputation of all things basketball that he touches turning to gold. And that’s exactly what
How do you score 61 points in a game and not get named NBA Player of the Week? Well, if you’re LeBron James, you total 58 points in the three ensuing games, all losses. James and the Miami Heat had one of their worst three-game stretches of the season, minimizing the impact of his 61-point explosion a week ago and giving Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors to Carmelo Anthony, whose New York Knicks had a rare good week. Anthony averaged 29.0
By the end of 2013, the Brooklyn Nets looked like a team needing as much construction as the Gowanus Expressway. Since the start of 2014, Brooklyn has cruised up the Eastern Conference standings like a driver in the HOV lane.
Before the season, championship expectations were attached to both the Knicks and the Nets. The Knicks were coming off the team’s first season with at least 50 or more wins and a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals since the 1999-2000 campaign, when Jeff Van Gundy patrolled the sidelines, Patrick Ewing wrapped up his final season in New York and Allan Houston was in the prime of his career. The Nets were coming off their first trip to the playoffs in six years