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: Patience, Patented Defense Has Pacers in Playoff Picture

PacersPlane

Indiana’s win in New York on Saturday night epitomized the current trajectory of the team’s season. It was a slow and ugly start, but the team persevered through strong defense and playoff-tested experience. The team’s slow and ugly start began actually began nearly eight months earlier, on a sultry Friday July evening in Las Vegas with Paul George’s horrendously gruesome leg injury. The bad luck and misery continued when rotation stalwarts David West, George Hill and C.J. Watson missed the beginning of the season with

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Bernucca: Westbrook is Awesome, But Not Hardenesque in MVP Race

Westbrook Curry resize 1

Let’s get something out of the way here. Russell Westbrook is awesome. Westbrook is one of the game’s top five players, and I’ve felt that way for a couple of years. He may not be a better conventional point guard than Chris Paul or Tony Parker or Stephen Curry. But if any of those guys even dream about being a better player than Westbrook, they better wake up and get back to reality. I also love watching Westbrook play. I cannot recall

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Schayes: Divorce Court for Coaches and Players; A Magic Johnson tale

magiccoach

There are few things that indicate futility more than when a coach loses the connection with his team. When that happens there is nothing to fix, nothing to do, nowhere to turn. It is over. The wonder of team sports is the coming together of a group of people willing to put personal agendas aside for the common goal of winning. When that happens you truly get a whole bigger than the sum of the parts, and magic happens. When people

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SH Blog: Nuggets fire Shaw, but fault remains mixed; Javale McGee set to clear waivers

Denver Nuggets

It certainly wasn’t shocking to see the Denver Nuggets fire Brian Shaw. After all, they’ve lost 12 of 13 games and we’re just days removed from a chant of “1, 2, 3… six weeks!” during another defeat, leading to serious questions about their effort. The 57-win Nuggets of two years ago under George Karl have rapidly transitioned to a laughing stock under Shaw, falling to 36-46 a year ago and now poised to finish much worse this year (currently at 20-39). Shaw, 48,

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VIDEO: Danny Schayes on Nuggets “quitting”

Jusuf Nurkic Nuggets

During Friday’s 104-82 loss to the Utah Jazz, the Denver Nuggets had an interesting huddle. According to the Denver Post, Nuggets players broke a fourth-quarter huddle with the chant, “1 … 2 … 3 … six weeks!” As in six weeks to the end of the season. Yes, the Nuggets have given up on the season, as coach Brian Shaw sensed a month ago. And now Shaw and assistant Lester Connor have been fired. The Nuggets are 20-39, 13th and falling fast in the

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Bernucca: Suns’ Epilogue on Dragic is Self-Serving Spin

PI-NBA-Suns-Goran-Dragic-011714

There was a lot of shade in the Valley of the Sun this week. It all started with Goran Dragic, who is far from blameless in this mess. But because the Phoenix Suns sent Dragic packing in a trade, president Lon Babby and GM Ryan McDonough got to write the epilogue and spin it in intelligence-insulting fashion. Dragic is an unrestricted free agent this summer. At 28, it’s his first and last chance at a max contract. And while the idea of

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Sheridan: Analyzing Thursday’s Trade Deadline Deals — Sixers Win

rocky

I have written this before but I haven’t written it in quite some time. When all is said and done on the Sam Hinkie Era, the Philadelphia 76ers will be counting up their multiple titles. Yes, multiple. But no, I do not expect JaVale McGee to be a part of any of that. Emmanuel Mudiay? Yes. Jahlil Okafor or Joel Embiid? Yep. The mad scientist in Philadelphia may just be a mad genius. Yes, it was fashionable to make fun of the young

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