Although the departure of Lance Stephenson has been seen as a crucial loss for the Indiana Pacers, the team was prepared to move forward without him. Was the five-year, $44 million deal scoffed at by Stephenson more of a calculated play by Larry Bird and the front office than an irreversible blunder? The takeaway from Stephenson’s departure was the team believing, to a certain degree, that Lance was a bigger factor in Indiana’s dysfunctional quasi-collapse following last season’s All-Star break than Paul
How you gonna beat the Miami Heat? For the last three seasons, that was the most important question for the other 29 NBA teams — and it remains the case this season, too. But the Knicks and Nets did it on successive nights, which shows it is not impossible.
Growing up, fans are taught several “facts” about team sports. It’s a fact that teamwork is better than selfish play. It’s usually a fact that a good defense beats a good offense. It’s a fact in baseball that last licks is more advantageous than leading off. Perhaps no “fact” is more emphasized, however, than the notion that the best players in every sport always start. In the NBA in 2013, that “fact” is fiction. It couldn’t be further from the truth.
My apologies for not posting this for its usual Thursday run. High school basketball season has started, and as a JV coach, it is a busy time. Reader Brian Rivel is making a name for himself. For the second straight week, he provided the first correct answer to the most recent addition of The Bernucca List.
News has been floating around on Thursday about the possibility of the Lakers looking to acquire the talents of LeBron James when the best basketball player on the planet becomes eligible to hit the market again in 2014. As ridiculous as that sounds right now, it apparently is in the realm of possibility if James chose to test free agency again. Having won a championship with the Heat in just two seasons, though, the chances of him leaving Dwyane Wade
A loyal reader from Singapore asked about Harrison Barnes yesterday. Almost simultaneously, Bruce Wrigley’s weekly column examined the battle between Barnes and Brandon Rush for minutes at SF. Then the rookie started last night and scored 20 points on 8-11 shooting. Is he suddenly a hot fantasy commodity? Not exactly. The Warriors were playing at home against Maccabi Haifa, which is hardly the best team in Israel, which is not the strongest foreign league. They do have a wealthy owner
The Dwightmare saga suddenly and finally came to a close on Friday, as a reported four-team trade from Thursday came to a conclusion that sent center Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers. So who won and lost big in the trade? Chris Sheridan has the analysis here. The Lakers, without a doubt, become an epic team, and Mark Heisler explains how Howard is the newest version of Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. With such an unbelievable team assembled, can the Lakers win