Sprung: New faces in new places: Who is working out?

NFNP_Logo

It’s been just over three weeks since the NBA trade deadline and 10 days since the March 1 buyout deadline that saw numerous players joining playoff contenders. So which acquisitions are soaring and which are flailing? We’re going to look at 15 players who were recently acquired via trade or signing and sort them into three categories: Good, Bad and Obscure. The good players are making positive impacts on their teams, the bad players just haven’t been faring very well on their new

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Bernucca: Erratic Thunder Could Use Mohammed’s Calming Presence

Thunder

In the brave new world of basketball analytics, trends and modules, a simpler stat surfaced this week that was utterly inexplicable. Two teams have lost 10 games this season in which they led after three quarters. One is the league-worst Philadelphia 76ers, who have no one on their roster who knows how to win a game. The other is the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have two of the supposed best closers in the game in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. [Read more…]

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Sheridan: This One Will Go Down as the Trade Dudline

dumpster

We waited all season for this? Are you kidding me? A day of dumpster diving? Ugh. Well, let’s break it all down: LeBron James lost a friend, and that friend, Anderson Varejao, was immediately waived and may just come back to haunt his former team if he signs with an Eastern Conference contender after spending 12 seasons in Cleveland. In related news since we are talking about LeBron’s recent past, Miami Heat owner Mickey Arison saved millions and millions of luxury tax dollars.

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Bernucca: Skiles Working His Defensive Magic in Orlando

Magic pregame huddle

As an NBA coach, Scott Skiles has always had a definitive modus operandi. In his three previous jobs, Skiles has dramatically improved his team’s defense, in some cases taking it from near the bottom of the league to near the top. That improvement helps the team become an absolute pain in the neck to play and make a quantum leap from the lottery to the playoffs. Then at some point, Skiles and his hypercompetitive nature become a bit overbearing for some players,

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Five Things To Watch: Oklahoma City Thunder

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One couldn’t have imagined a worse outcome for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2014-15 season. A massive plague of injuries kept the team below full strength for the entire campaign. Specifically, Kevin Durant missed 55 games, Serge Ibaka missed 18 games and Russell Westbrook missed 15 games. The other four rotation players who started and finished the season with OKC – Anthony Morrow, Steven Adams, Andre Roberson and Nick Collison – missed between eight and 16 games each. All those missed

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Heisler: Trade deadline widens gap between best, worst teams

dragic

Why is the trade deadline different from all other nights of the year? It’s not. The West just got tougher. In the East, where there’s no life-or-death importance attached to getting better, the top teams sat this one out while the bad teams—your Knicks and 76ers—dumped, shut down or otherwise disposed of their best players in order to tank more definitively. [Read more…]

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Bernucca: “Soft” Wizards Staggering Toward All-Star Break

paulwall

After the Washington Wizards ended a season-high five-game losing streak Saturday with a 37-point victory over the Brooklyn Nets, Marcin Gortat wasn’t quite ready to declare that their earth was back on its axis. “At the end of the day, it was Brooklyn, so we can’t get really excited,” he said. There’s nothing like perspective. And Gortat is right: One win against a plodding, tired team is nothing to get excited about. What the Wizards should be is concerned. Prior to the win

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Fantasy Spin: Three DFS Start Times On Busy Sunday

Nikola Vucevic

What a Saturday night. The completely unexpected —and courageous — return of LaMarcus Aldridge (torn thumb ligament) was a success, but the plague of NBA injuries continues. Playing the best basketball of his promising career over the last month, Brandon Jennings will have an MRI on a possible torn Achilles tendon and could be lost for the season. [Read more…]

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