Sprung: Raptors Players Analyze Potential Playoff Showdown With Cavs

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While the Golden State Warriors chase their 73rd win and fans and pundits around the NBA fantasize about a possible Western Conference finals matchup against San Antonio or Oklahoma City, there’s only really one Eastern Conference finals matchup people are looking forward to: Cleveland vs. Toronto.  After being swept by Washington in last year’s first round and having not won a playoff series in 15 years, most Raptors players had little to no interest in discussing a potential clash with the

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Sheridan: Obsession Over LeBron’s Twitter Unfollow Disses Raptors

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LeBron James supposedly unfollowed the Cavs on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. And this is major news. You know, in this business all journalists are supposed to be neutral. Sportswriters go to practices, attend games, speak to the players in locker rooms and tell stories based upon that special access. Once everyone has fulfilled their obligations, the players and the media get to go about their normal lives until reconvening again the next day … then the next … and the

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Bernucca: Are the Hawks Finally Flying Again?

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Last season, the Atlanta Hawks were one of the NBA’s best regular-season stories, winning 60 games. This season, they needed almost 60 games to remember what winning is. After their best season since moving to Atlanta nearly 50 years ago, the Hawks have spent most of this season spurting and sputtering. They got off to a 7-1 start, which many took as a good sign considering they were a measly 7-6 out of the gate last season. There was a six-game

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Sprung: Raptors Have Defense, Components To Make Deep Playoff Run

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After 55 games, the Toronto Raptors have the same 37-18 record that they had last year. So why will this team avoid the disappointment the Raptors had a year ago?  The 2014-2015 Raptors finished the regular season 12-15 and were mercilessly swept by Washington in the first round. Toronto hasn’t won a playoff series since the 2000-2001 season, when this columnist was in the seventh grade. So why and how is this Toronto team a legit contender, perhaps the only contender, who

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Sprung: What Has Gone Right and Wrong for Eastern Conference Contenders

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For the first time in roughly two decades, the Eastern Conference is better than the Western Conference from top to bottom. Nine East teams are at .500 or better – nearly twice as many teams as last season, when sixth-seeded Milwaukee finished 41-41. And the East actually has a winning record against the West this season at 100-98 What changed so quickly from last season, when articles were written about how there was the greatest disparity in conference strength in recent memory? “I

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Scotto: NBA Season’s First Quarter Observations

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We’re a quarter of the way through the regular season and the NBA landscape has shifted dramatically. Kobe Bryant is retiring after this season and wants to be remembered as a “talented overachiever” when it’s all said and done. Meanwhile, Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers (3-15) trail only the Philadelphia 76ers (1-19) for the league’s worst record. With every loss, the Lakers grow closer to keeping their top-three protected draft pick and potentially land top prospect Ben Simmons. On the flip side, the Golden

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Fantasy Spin: Road Warriors Go For 20th Straight

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Launching a seven-game road trip, Golden State edged Utah 106-103 on Monday to remain unbeaten. Tonight in Charlotte should be a slightly easier task. Al Jefferson (calf) is out, giving Cody Zeller $3800 an opportunity. Kemba Walker $7500 and Nicolas Batum $7400 are the safe plays, Jeremy Lamb $4800 the value pick but it’s hard to recommend them. [Read more…]

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