Bernucca: For Some Teams, Playoffs Have Already Started

Stan Van Gundy with hands

On Saturday night, while most basketball fans were watching the Final Four, the NBA playoffs got under way. Not officially, of course. That doesn’t happen until April 16. But for the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and other teams fighting for the bottom of the brackets, the postseason already has started. Detroit’s 94-90 victory at Chicago on Saturday wasn’t quite a Game Seven. The Pistons aren’t quite home free just yet, and the Bulls aren’t quite dead. But it sure looked an awful

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Bernucca: This Week Will Reveal if Bulls Have Quit

Bulls jersey sleeves

There is an NBA team that started this season with a roster that included an MVP winner from this decade; a recent Defensive Player of the Year; the runner-up in the most recent Rookie of the Year voting; and two All-Stars, including one deemed the league’s Most Improved Player. The roster also included some highly promising youngsters and a handful of savvy, playoff-tested veterans. The team seemed to be a lock for the postseason, having made the playoffs every year but

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Sheridan: Obsession Over LeBron’s Twitter Unfollow Disses Raptors

LeBRon-Unfollow

LeBron James supposedly unfollowed the Cavs on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. And this is major news. You know, in this business all journalists are supposed to be neutral. Sportswriters go to practices, attend games, speak to the players in locker rooms and tell stories based upon that special access. Once everyone has fulfilled their obligations, the players and the media get to go about their normal lives until reconvening again the next day … then the next … and the

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Bernucca: Are the Hawks Finally Flying Again?

Hawks logo secondary

Last season, the Atlanta Hawks were one of the NBA’s best regular-season stories, winning 60 games. This season, they needed almost 60 games to remember what winning is. After their best season since moving to Atlanta nearly 50 years ago, the Hawks have spent most of this season spurting and sputtering. They got off to a 7-1 start, which many took as a good sign considering they were a measly 7-6 out of the gate last season. There was a six-game

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Three-Man Weave: Should Kobe Bryant Be An All-Star?

Kobe Smile

We are back with a long-overdue edition of the Three-Man Weave, taking a look at the NBA All-Star Game starters. What did the fans get right? What did they get wrong? Should Kobe Bryant be part of the All-Star Game? And what does John Malkovich have to do with all of this? Let’s get right to it. 1. Which Eastern Conference player should have been an All-Star starter? [Read more…]

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Scotto: Mikhail Prokhorov’s Contradictory News Conference and Brooklyn’s Murky Future

Mikhail Prokhorov

BROOKLYN – Mikhail Prokhorov’s news conference left as many questions as it did answers for the future of the Brooklyn Nets. “Frankly speaking, I deserve a championship now much more than six years ago,” Prokhorov said, one day after dismissing coach Lionel Hollins and general manager Billy King. “I think we have been really bold and we did our best in order to reach a championship. And I still believe with some luck, our results might have been more promising. “But I’ll

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Sprung: What Has Gone Right and Wrong for Eastern Conference Contenders

NBA-Eastern-Conference

For the first time in roughly two decades, the Eastern Conference is better than the Western Conference from top to bottom. Nine East teams are at .500 or better – nearly twice as many teams as last season, when sixth-seeded Milwaukee finished 41-41. And the East actually has a winning record against the West this season at 100-98 What changed so quickly from last season, when articles were written about how there was the greatest disparity in conference strength in recent memory? “I

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Bernucca: Skiles Working His Defensive Magic in Orlando

Magic pregame huddle

As an NBA coach, Scott Skiles has always had a definitive modus operandi. In his three previous jobs, Skiles has dramatically improved his team’s defense, in some cases taking it from near the bottom of the league to near the top. That improvement helps the team become an absolute pain in the neck to play and make a quantum leap from the lottery to the playoffs. Then at some point, Skiles and his hypercompetitive nature become a bit overbearing for some players,

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