Scotto: Durant to Wizards Unlikely; Wittman and Grunfeld Imperiled

Durant USA

Remember when a potential homecoming for Kevin Durant with the Washington Wizards was the buzz around the league? It wasn’t all that long ago, and it seemed more than plausible, for rational reasons. Free agents sometimes want a new start; players sometimes want to return closer to their hometowns; teams that are one superstar away from being legit contenders can sometimes get that superstar of their dreams. That was the plan that drove the Wizards’ thinking for the past 12 months … if not

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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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Sprung: Portland Surging With Elite Lillard-McCollum Backcourt

Blazers

After losing four starters and their sixth man over the summer, it seems so unlikely insane that the Portland Trail Blazers are currently tied for the sixth seed in the Western Conference. The reason why Portland is the hottest team in the league aside from Golden State is the play of its backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, which has quickly become one of the league’s elite guard pairings.  The Blazers have now won 10 of their last 12 and

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Sheridan: Who Will Play For Team USA?

Durant USA

We have two pieces of news to pick apart today: The announcement that USA Basketball has released a list of 30 finalists for the 2016 Olympic team, and the “non-commitment” from LeBron James regarding whether he will be part of the party. And yes, it will be a party. The games are in Brazil, after all. And LeBron, whose non-commitment is disingenuous at best, does not miss a good party. So let me tell you a little story about the Brazilians. [Read more…]

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Sprung: What Has Gone Right and Wrong for Eastern Conference Contenders

NBA-Eastern-Conference

For the first time in roughly two decades, the Eastern Conference is better than the Western Conference from top to bottom. Nine East teams are at .500 or better – nearly twice as many teams as last season, when sixth-seeded Milwaukee finished 41-41. And the East actually has a winning record against the West this season at 100-98 What changed so quickly from last season, when articles were written about how there was the greatest disparity in conference strength in recent memory? “I

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Towns, Porzingis, Okafor lead most impactful rookie class in 5 years

NBADraft

If you’ve noticed that this year’s rookie class is being talked about and praised around the league and in the media, there’s good reason for that.  This year’s top five picks— Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, the Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell, Philadelphia’s Jahlil Okafor, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis and Orlando’s Mario Hezonja— are making a larger early impact than any top-five group in at least a half decade. A detailed statistical analysis of top five picks over the last five years shows that over the first two

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