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

NBA-Eastern-Conference

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

quarterpole1

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

John Wall

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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Five Things To Watch: Toronto Raptors

Raptors claw

There is no way to sum up the 2014-15 season for the Toronto Raptors without including the word disappointment. You can debate the extent of it, of course – the team did win a franchise-record 49 games and saw point guard Kyle Lowry start in the All-Star Game – but the basic conclusion remains the same. Touted as a new power in the Eastern Conference, the Raptors exploded into last season borne on a wave of “We the North” expectation. This

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Bernucca: NBA’s Largest Pay Raises Show It Pays To Be Patient

Jimmy Butler

It pays to be patient. That is the financial lesson of the NBA’s offseason, which saw the biggest pay raises go to players who turned down contract extensions and gambled on themselves. Among the top 11 pay increases this summer, five went to players who felt like they were being lowballed by their teams — and proved it when they cashed in with bigger deals as restricted free agents this summer. Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Orlando’s Tobias Harris, Detroit’s Reggie Jackson, Oklahoma City’s Enes

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How the Raptors recruited DeMarre Carroll

DeMarre-Carroll

LAS VEGAS– In a free agency period where LaMarcus Aldridge took what seemed like two dozen meetings and DeAndre Jordan’s recruiting process turned into the most bizarre sequences in years, the Toronto Raptors lured prized wing DeMarre Carroll away from the Atlanta Hawks before he left to meet with anyone else. So how did they do it? Well, $60 million over four years certainly helped. But it was more than that. SheridanHoops conducted one-on-one interviews with Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri, coach Dwane

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