Scotto: Future Stars Shine Bright in Jordan Brand Classic

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Jordan Brand Classic LogoThe Jordan Brand Classic introduced us to the game’s future stars. And from the looks of it, the future is bright.

Top recruits from Duke, Kansas and Kentucky dazzled in the All-American Game and showed why each program has drawn considerable buzz heading into next season.

Seton Hall – which had five recruits named to the Jordan Brand Classic – dominated the Regional Game.

Canada shined in the International Game once again thanks to Jahvon Blair’s MVP performance with the help of his fellow countryman, Anthony McNish.

In addition, Udoka Azubuike – a 14-year-old from Nigeria – looked like a man amongst boys poised to become the next top recruit in a few years.

NBA Admits Another Officiating Error, This One on Dwight Howard’s 6th Foul

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RocksnipIf you were watching the Houston-Portland game late Sunday night, you may have thrown something at your television set in disgust when Dwight Howard’s sixth foul was called. Yes, even if you are a Trail Blazers fan.

The call was so egregiously wrong, it was heinous.

Well, today, the NBA has owned up to the mistake — marking the second time in as many days that the league office has issued a statement acknowledging a grievous error.

SH Blog: Al Jefferson has foot injury; NBA salary cap set to increase by $5M

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Nothing in the NBA playoffs is going like it’s supposed to. The Pacers look like they’re all done, the Spurs struggled to get past the Mavs, the Warriors-Clippers game was a mess of missed free throws and turnovers, the Wizards are winning games… yeah, it’s a little weird.

Of course, we’re only one game in. There’s going to be lots more. But right now, if I were a Pacers fan, I’d be worried. Losing to a Hawks team without Al Horford, a Hawks team that finished the regular season with a losing record, on your home court is not the way #1 seeds should be opening the playoffs.

The last two years, top contenders have had their star point guards go down to knee injuries in the first round. Russell Westbrook recovered, but we’ve barely seen Derrick Rose since. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen this year. The playoffs are better when the stars play.

There’s still one game to go tonight, and it should be a good one. Can the Rockets guard Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge? They’re considering bringing back a strategy they tried briefly for this series. Read on to find out what it is.

First, though, let’s get to the rest of the NBA’s latest news:

Blazers-Rockets Playoff Preview: Five Key Factors

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CarlesimoI was listening to P.J. Carlesimo on the radio yesterday morning (how many of y’all remember that he guided the Brooklyn Nets last season?), and he made a good point. Almost never is there an upset in a 4 vs. 5 series. The teams are usually too evenly matched.

In this case,  we have two teams that finished with identical 54-28 records.

Houston gets the home court by virtue of winning the season series 3-1. And if they get past the Blazers, they move into the second round against the San Antonio Spurs (baring a major upset by Dallas) knowing they had the Spurs’ number this season, sweeping them 4-0.

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.