Western Conference Finals Preview: Five Things to Watch

Warriors

On your mark, get set, go! Track meet, drag race, whatever analogy you like, the Western Conference finals between the top-seeded Golden State Warriors and second-seeded Houston Rockets should be played at a breakneck pace by a pair of teams who are attempting to change the paradigm of NBA offenses. During the regular season, the Warriors led the league in points per game, overall shooting and 3-point shooting. They were second in threes made and scored at least 110 points 40 times,

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DuBose: Third star or not, Morey made the right moves for Rockets to contend

Harden & Howard

It’s time we start appreciating these Houston Rockets for what they are instead of wondering what could be down the road. For much of the 2014-15 season, the narrative about Houston for many around the NBA — myself included — has been more about the future than the present. Sure, today looked nice with James Harden and Dwight Howard, but general manager Daryl Morey seemed so close to forming a “Super Team” last summer with Chris Bosh and again at the trade deadline with Goran

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PODCAST: How McHale’s Rockets pulled off a comeback for the ages

Dwight Howard interview

With 14 minutes left, Game 6 felt just like the two in Los Angeles before it. The Rockets were close at the half, trailing by only two, but they were blitzed yet again in the third quarter, with the Clippers pushing the 64-62 halftime edge to 89-70. In the prior two cases, the Rockets folded and lost by 25+ points. This time? They were able to deliver a stunning 49-18 counter-punch to the Clippers to close the game and tie the series at 3-3, sending it back to Houston for a

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PODCAST: What’s Wrong With the Rockets?

Harden & Howard

The Houston Rockets haven’t lost three games in a row all season long. But if they’re going to keep that streak alive in Tuesday’s Game 5 — and with it, their season — they’re going to have to overcome a tidal wave of momentum in favor of the Clippers. [Read more…]

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Tweet of the Day: NBA Athletes Offer Condolences In Wake of Cancer Patient’s Death

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Last November a young 19-year-old lady by the name of Lauren Hill made headlines for scoring a basket in a NCAA Division III women’s college basketball game. Her team, the freshmen squad of Mount St. Joseph, won the opening tip against Hiriam College and she received the pass leading to an uncontested layup, which she made with her left hand — as her right (dominant) hand had lost some of its coordination due to the treatments she had been receiving for

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Bernucca: For West Teams, Trade Grades as Deadline Arrives Early

Rajon Rondo and Josh Smith

After last week’s loss in Atlanta, Memphis Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger – whose team has the fifth-best record in the NBA – lamented his roster’s shortcomings. “We have to get another playmaker on the floor,” Joerger said. “We’re going to have to start playing multiple point guards (at the same time). We’ve got to be able to get inside of defenses.” It doesn’t matter that the Grizzlies have been at or near the top of the league for most of the season.

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James Harden’s surprising defensive improvement makes him MVP contender

James Harden

When you’re already a proven NBA superstar, improvement usually comes in subtle ways. For Houston Rockets star James Harden, his ascent into the MVP conversation (it’s essentially a two-man race at this point between he and Stephen Curry, unless Anthony Davis’ New Orleans Pelicans make the playoffs) has come from a slight improvement across and board and an understanding that league MVPs are, and always will be, two-way players. The Rockets have had to rely on Harden this year more than

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