Sprung: Jeremy Lin won’t cut it for Rockets with Patrick Beverley out

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JeremyLinSH1Dwight Howard, James Harden and Chandler Parsons are the big-name players, but the Houston Rockets would not be a top-four team in the Western Conference without Patrick Beverley.

Houston is 36-16 when Patrick Beverley starts, but they will miss him for at least two weeks (and likely for the duration of the regular season) with a torn meniscus. His replacement is one Jeremy Lin.

You remember him, right?

Even if Beverley doesn’t have the best offensive and defensive numbers, it doesn’t seem likely that Lin has the skill set to adequately replace what Beverley does for this team.

“Obviously we’re going to miss Pat’s defensive intensity and passion and the energy he brings every single possession,” Parsons told SheridanHoops.

Bernucca: You Can Have the NCAA Tournament

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sportsWICHITAstate_t640I don’t like the NCAA Tournament.

I don’t like that college basketball’s regular season provides little postseason incentive. I don’t like that the coach is a bigger personality than the players. I don’t like that the games are played on neutral courts. I don’t like that one bad game or bad call or bad break can end a team’s season. I don’t like that “close” becomes a synonym for “well-played.” And I don’t like that poor play determines the outcome much more often than great play.

Most of all, I don’t like how I’m supposed to just accept that it’s fantastic and wonderful and beautiful, when it’s actually substandard basketball in a flawed format that tells me less and less every year about the game I love, which is the NBA.

I’m not trolling here. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’ve truly felt this way for a while. Part of it is admittedly a lingering distaste developed over more than a decade of working on a sports news desk and spending countless hours having to plan, preview, write, edit, update and package all of the words and numbers associated with the NCAA Tournament.

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SH Blog: Parsons says he would boo Howard if he was still a fan, Woodson says Knicks still have a shot

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Dwight-HowardThe clip above is what the Orlando Magic decided to show in the second quarter of the game against the Houston Rockets when Dwight Howard came to town on Wednesday. It was a short tribute video for all the marvelous years Howard gave to the franchise.

The question is, why in the world would the Magic do this?

Were they really looking to honor and thank Howard for his time with the team? If that was truly what they had in mind, that’s certainly a silly way of showing their appreciation, as the crowd showered the arena with boos through the entire video.

The Magic know that fans in Orlando are going to boo the hell out of Howard until the day he retires. Showing a tribute clip and having the crowd booing it all night is a great way to mock what he did for them (not thank him), and Howard certainly isn’t going to shed any tears over it with the crowd reacting that way. Perhaps the result was the actual intent, in which case, bravo.

Here is a cleaner version of what the tribute video looked like:

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Sheridan’s MVP Rankings, March 5 Edition: What Do the Readers Say?

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vote1It’s a two-man race. We all can agree on that, right?

But who is the more worthy candidate: LeBron James? Or Kevin Durant?

This week, we let y’all have your say as we post a poll within this post. You can even vote for somebody else if you so choose, but the majority of folks will vote for the player who leads the league in scoring or the player who went off for 61 points on Monday night.

Once you cast your ballot, the results will appear. And the Cook County rules are in effect, so you can cast a vote from the graveyard if you like. This is a basketball poll, after all, so stuffing is encouraged. (Get it?)

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Scotto: Knicks Making Melo’s Free Agency Decision Easy

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Carmelo AnthonyWho needs the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus to come to town when you have the Knicks at Madison Square Garden?

Just when you think it can’t get worse for the Knicks, it does. Carmelo Anthony appears more tired than ever of being the ringleader.

Before facing the Miami Heat on Thursday night, Anthony told the media which factors he will consider when making his free agency decision – and it’s not good news for the Knicks.

“A lot of things are going to be thought about when that time comes,” he said. “Off the court, on the court, just a lot of things are going to have to be put all on the table.”