Denver Nuggets struggling without star power

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Of the eight teams that reached the Western Conference playoffs last season, six of them had at least one player among the NBA’s top-20 in win shares. The two playoff teams that did not have a player among the top 20 were Memphis, with stars Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Zach Randolph, and San Antonio, who boasts the famed star quartet of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard. Obtaining, maintaining and sustaining a roster with All-Star level talent

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Five problems plaguing the New York Knicks

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The New York Knicks have lost five straight games and are now 2-6 after wins over Cleveland and Charlotte in their first three contests. So what are the Knicks doing so poorly over the league’s first two-plus weeks?   The offense is disastrously slow and inefficient The Knicks’ 88.7 Pace, or approximate possessions per game, is the worst in the league. New York has consistently gone late into the shot clock as they learn the Triangle offense, looking for the perfect pass or

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Scotto: Autopsy of Phil Jackson’s State of the Knicks Address

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NEW YORK – Phil Jackson addressed the sorry state of the Knicks (2-6) Monday, preached patience with words such as “process” and “progress,”  addressed the Triangle offense, Carmelo Anthony and more. Patience? The Knicks have advanced past the first round once in the past 14 seasons. Progress? The offense has looked like any other geometrical shape during most games. Anthony? After shedding weight and coming into training camp in the best shape of his life, it appears once again that the former scoring champion

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Bernucca: Thunder’s Big Problem is Jackson, Not Westbrook or Durant

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There were two pieces of bad news coming out of Loud City this weekend. And there was a disproportionate reaction to the wrong one. There was far too much hand-wringing to the news that Russell Westbrook will be joining fellow Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on his broken right hand. The Thunder are going to survive November without Durant and Westbrook. They have 14 games between now and Dec. 1, the projected earliest return for

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Kotoch: LeBron’s Emotional Return Derailed by Carmelo and the Knicks

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CLEVELAND – All day, Clevelanders were jubilant and optimistic about the season opener at Quicken Loans Arena. After four long years, LeBron James’ return to the Cavs and his home region would take its next step. For many fans, the previous night’s Bulls blowout win was a sign that the Cavs would be able to show up and run the Knicks off the court. With a city in a 50-year championship drought, the Cavs are clearly enabled to end the streak. Championships

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Sprung: How the Thunder Will Survive Without Kevin Durant

Shane Battier of the Heat defends Kevin Durant of the Thunder

How will the Oklahoma City Thunder do without Kevin Durant for the first six to eight weeks of the season? It’s extremely hard to tell, considering Durant has missed a total of 16 regular season games over the course of his seven-year career, including just two over the last two seasons. Durant’s lone absence last season came on Jan. 24 in a 101-83 win over Boston in which Russell Westbrook did not play, either. With Durant sidelined by a Jones fracture in

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Antetokounmpo, Hardaway, Plumlee Lead East’s Breakout Team

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Training camps are over, exhibition games have begun, and the excitement is palpable as we build towards the 2014-2015 season with players who should have breakout or standout seasons. Here are five players in the Eastern Conference – one at each position, no rookies – who will take the next step towards greatness this upcoming season. Tomorrow, the West.

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Five Things To Watch: New York Knicks

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The New York Knicks looked like the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus on a nightly basis last season. Carmelo Anthony’s free agency, and the uncertainty it brought, hung over the Knicks like a dark cloud on a rainy day. J.R. Smith had knee surgery before last season and violated the league’s anti-drug policy, resulting in a five-game suspension to start the season. He then became more preoccupied with untying the shoelaces of opponents instead of loosening their laces with his

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