Eastern Conference Finals Preview: Five Things to Watch

LeBron-NoHeadband

Despite all the talk of a parity-filled, wide open, volatile NBA postseason, the top two teams from each conference advanced to the conference finals. For those of you who ignored the Eastern Conference outside of Cleveland and Chicago, the Atlanta Hawks won 60 games and are the top seed out East. Game One is Wednesday night in Atlanta, with LeBron James’ Cavaliers wearing the road burgundy, or those unattractive navy alternates. Atlanta went 3-1 against Cleveland during the regular season, although

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SH Blog: Kyrie Irving to play through injuries to both legs; Pelicans fire Monty Williams

Kyrie Irving

Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving is set to play in tonight’s crucial Game 5 between the Cavaliers and Bulls despite injuries to both of his legs. Irving’s right foot has been strained since Game 2 of Cleveland’s first round series against Boston, and now he’s said to be truggling with tendinitis in his left knee after overcompensating for the sore right foot. From Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com: “If the consideration is now, then, I mean, I should have been sitting out maybe about

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Sheridan: Weekend in Review — My Thoughts on Blatt & Hack-a-DJ

underthebus

What a weekend it was — buzzer beaters from Paul Pierce and LeBron James, a foulfest in the Rockets-Clippers yawnfest, not a peep out of future ESPN castoff Bill Simmons … but a mouthful from LeBron James, who threw David Blatt under the bus again. And rightfully so. I’ve known Blatt longer than any U.S.-based journalist covering basketball, and this site has reported on his successes overseas more than any other American basketball Web site. When he won the Euroleague Final

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PODCAST: Can We Please Have D-Wade vs. LeBron in NBA Playoffs?

boombox

Dwyane Wade leads the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring. His team has defeated LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers twice during the regular season when the Cavs have traveled to Miami. If there is one potential matchup that is going to make the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs interesting, it is Heat vs. Cavaliers. As the standings look now, a 2 vs. 7 matchup between the teams could take place. But Miami could still fall to No. 8 or rise

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SH Blog: Dwight Howard closes in on return to Rockets; Cavs balance health vs. race for No. 2

Harden & Howard

Dwight Howard is finally closing in on a return to the Houston Rockets after missing the last 22 games with swelling in his troublesome right knee. Howard, now 29 years old, participated in parts of Houston’s practice on Monday (video), and both star guard James Harden and head coach Kevin McHale said they were pleased with what they saw from the franchise’s star big man. Howard has been traveling with the team, working out and participating in two-on-two drills for some

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Sprung: “Big Three” for Cavs Might Be Trio of Former Knicks

Mozgov

The irony was more than evident Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The Cleveland Cavaliers were a disappointing 19-15 when they acquired guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the Knicks, who were embarrassed by the Cavs on Sunday and have the league’s worst record. Additionally, Cleveland acquired former Knicks center Timofey Mozgov from Denver later that week. Since trading for Smith and Shumpert, Cleveland is a robust 17-7, has won 17 of 19 and is now a legitimate threat to represent the

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Maccabi Tel-Aviv defeats Real Madrid in Euroleague Championship rematch

sofoklis-schortsanitis-64653665

In a rematch of last season’s Euroleague Championship, Maccabi Tel-Aviv narrowly edged out previously undefeated Real Madrid 90-86 for an important Top 16 victory on Thursday night. Greek center Sofoklis Schortsanitis (known as Sofo in Europe), stood out for Maccabi Tel-Aviv, scoring 11 of his 17 points in the opening period, and drawing eight fouls to go along with his eight rebounds. Former Memphis Grizzlies guard Jeremy Pargo also put in a strong performance for the winning side, going for 11

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Sheridan: MVP Rankings; Edition VIII — Blatt is right on LBJ, sort of

jeffvangundy

Back when his team was under .500 and LeBron James was or was not on strike, I sent a text to David Blatt letting him know that I was hearing rumblings that certain members of the Cleveland media had an intense dislike for him, asking him where he was getting his p.r. advice. He wrote back tersely, the implied message being: Don’t text me anymore. I do not believe you. Well, then this Brian Windhorst column came out saying that folks around

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