BROOKLYN — A lot has changed since Brooklyn last wore its home whites on Feb. 6. The Nets have played better basketball in their fight for an Eastern Conference playoff spot with the help of smaller, younger lineups, going a very respectable 3-5 on a vicious eight-game Western Conference road trip that ended with a big win in Dallas on Saturday night. “I’m excited to be home, but I’m also excited that we’ve played better, been more competitive,” said Nets head
We don’t blame you if you haven’t been paying attention to the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race. The West obviously has been far more interesting. While Golden State looks secure in the top spot, the next six teams are all playing better than .600 basketball and separated by just seven losses. And Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Phoenix – all vying for the eighth and final spot – are within two games of each other. The East? Well, the top
The MVP is James Harden’s to lose, right? And Coach of the Year is a two-man race between Steve Kerr and Mike Budenholzer, correct? Not so fast. It is still February, the temperature here in New York is going to hit zero again tonight, and the number zero was an accurate reflection on the chances of Russell Westbrook contending for the MVP award and Stan Van Gundy being in the mix for Coach of the Year as recently as Christmas. To refresh your
Why is the trade deadline different from all other nights of the year? It’s not. The West just got tougher. In the East, where there’s no life-or-death importance attached to getting better, the top teams sat this one out while the bad teams—your Knicks and 76ers—dumped, shut down or otherwise disposed of their best players in order to tank more definitively.
The NBA trade deadline usually brings a lot of activity with it each year. Thursday, however, there was a surplus of trade activity. It almost seemed as if, if there was a deal to be done, it was done. If you’re looking for the details of the trades, our own Chris Sheridan broke down the trade deadline activity earlier this afternoon.. [Sheridan: Analyzing Thursday’s Trade Deadline Deals — Sixers Win] If you want to know what the players were thinking as the deals
If you were to browse through the list of NBA champions since 1980, you’d find that there is just one notable outlier to the rule that suggests title contenders need a superstar to win it all – the 2003-04 Pistons. While that Detroit team featured four players who were either already multi-time All-Stars or went on to become multi-time All-Stars later in their careers, no one would have mistaken any of those Pistons players as the prototypical “superstars” entering the 2004 postseason.
When you consider the number of basketball savvy writers on our staff and the number of opinions they have, it is obvious that we always go way too long between editions of the Three-Man Weave. But it is back. In this edition, we take a look at the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff bracket, the sizzling Atlanta Hawks and perhaps the best Shootout field in All-Star Weekend history. 1. Assuming the six teams in the East above .500 make the playoffs,
In yet another drama-filled week in the NBA, Lance Stephenson has managed to find his way into the mix again. There have been plenty of talks regarding the Charlotte Hornets swingman’s future in recent weeks, most notably ending in his being dealt before the trade deadline. The Hornets have been playing much better basketball as of late, but it’s the opposite side of the coin for the Brooklyn Nets, who have lost eight of their last 10 games and have dropped