The NBA Offseason: A Betting Preview

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dwighthoward

The Dwight Howard signing had a humongous effect on the futures market for who will win the NBA title.

And then it started a trickle-down effect.

Jerry Buss Twitter Reaction

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Over the All-Star break, news broke that longtime Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss had been hospitalized and was battling cancer.

Monday, Dr. Buss passed away.

[Heisler on Buss: As owners go, he stands alone]

Many NBA players (former and current), owners and personnel sent their regards via Twitter.

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The Bernucca List – Edition 40

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Alex C. is one of the many Sheridan Hoops readers who make this site possible.

We have a number of interactive features on Sheridan Hoops. One of them is this one – The Bernucca List, which tests the NBA knowledge of our readers in what we think is a fun way.

Alex C. nailed the correct answer to last week’s list, which was “Players who have finished second in MVP voting multiple times.” Everyone on the list finished second at least twice; Jerry West finished second four times without ever winning it.

I told Alex C. that he had the right answer and asked him if he had correctly answered any other lists earlier this season. I have been trying to keep track of which readers have the most correct answers, and the truth is I didn’t want to click back through every list this season.

So Alex C. took pity on my laziness and responded to my response.

That is what we want here at Sheridan Hoops. Sure, we want huge readership. Yes, we want to be bookmarked and followed by everybody. But more important, we want a site that NBA fans find comfortable, intelligent and inclusive.

Readers like Alex C. make that goal realistic.

This week’s list is after the jump.

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The Bernucca List – Edition 35

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Now that this weekly feature has missed its regularly scheduled day for a second straight week, we may just move it to Friday. That will be discussed at the home office.

Last week’s edition of The Bernucca List was “active players whose uniform number is zero.” Reader Kyle Neeley provided the correct answer just under three hours after the list was published.

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Five Reasons to Feel Positive about the Detroit Pistons

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(This is another in a series of 30 guest columns that will run in October, when optimism reigns supreme across the NBA. The theme will be “Five Reasons to Feel Positive About … ” We encourage you to follow the authors on Twitter and visit their sites. – CS)

pistons small logoAfter seven straight years of 50-plus wins from 2001-2008 – including one championship - it has been a rough half decade for the Detroit Pistons.

The trade of fan favorite Chauncey Billups was supposed to jump start a new era of contention, but the move backfired in a big way when the $90 million investment in Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva went about as wrong as it possibly could have.

Instead of remaining perennial contenders in the Eastern Conference, the Pistons became a regular in the lottery. Worse yet, they weren’t bad enough to land a top-three pick, never selecting higher than seventh. They’ve been mired in mediocrity, the fans have become apathetic and contention still seems a long way off.

Still, it’s finally easy to see why fans should be excited about basketball in Detroit again. Here’s five reasons:

1. Greg Monroe

Although the Pistons haven’t picked high in the draft since their downward spiral began, they got arguably the best player in the 2010 draft with the selection of Greg Monroe of Georgetown. The multi-faceted big man has already shown 20-10 ability and is on the doorstep of being a top-five center in the NBA.

Monroe doesn’t have the flash of John Wall, the enticing potential of Derrick Favors or the raw talent of DeMarcus Cousins. But he produces at a consistently high level and has been a great teammate since stepping on the hardwood.

He is crafty around the basket, using smarts to compensate for a lack of athletic ability. Last season, he had one of the best true-shooting percentages in the league despite the fact that he largely had to create for himself, with less than half his field goals coming as the result of an assist.

If he takes a step forward in year 3 as he did in year 2, he will make his first All-Star team and will be in the national conversation as one of the NBA’s best big men.

2. Light at the end of the tunnel

The signings of Gordon and Villanueva have been an albatross on the franchise since before the ink dried on the contracts. They were overpaid and surrounded by little talent, meaning their deficiencies couldn’t be covered up by teammates.

But finally it looks like the franchise is poised to move on. Gordon is already gone, traded for Corey Maggette and his expiring contract. Villanueva is still on the team but looks to be a prime amnesty candidate following this season.

And with that money off the books, combined with the collection of young talent the team has amassed during its lean years, the franchise has a chance to reinvest that money to complement its young base.

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