Coming off the first playoff appearance since 2010 and turning the page on some miserable years, Charlotte now has new hope — and a new old nickname. The Charlotte Hornets have rediscovered their sting and are for real. Guided a year ago by first-year coach Steve Clifford, Charlotte restructured its entire defensive system, and along with star big man Al Jefferson saw its win total spike from 21 all the way to 43. According to analyst David Locke, the Hornets shaved off
The San Antonio Spurs and the organization’s two stalwarts, Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich, are coming off a fifth championship and are poised for another title run next season – provided Duncan doesn’t retire. With five championships in a 15-year period, the Spurs have made a claim to be considered a dynasty. However, some people – most notably Phil Jackson – would disagree because the Spurs haven’t won consecutive titles. Jackson won three consecutive championships on three separate occasions (1991-93, 96-98, 2000-2002).
Phil Jackson won’t be awful as president of the New York Knicks. He certainly won’t be as bad as Isiah Thomas was in running the club. And he will almost certainly be better than David Kahn, Bryan Colangelo, Joe Dumars, Otis Smith and Geoff Petrie have been in recent years. But Phil Jackson isn’t Isiah Thomas, or David Kahn, or Bryan Colangelo. He’s Phil Jackson, with a reputation of all things basketball that he touches turning to gold. And that’s exactly what
I mentioned last weekend that I’ve been watching old NBA games on YouTube, and while Karl Malone, for obvious name-related reasons, is probably never going to be surpassed as my all-time favorite basketball player, Hakeem Olajuwon is making it pretty close. I mean, look at this:
All season, the Indiana Pacers have maintained that homecourt advantage for the Eastern Conference playoffs, and their chemistry will give them a great chance to dethrone the two-time NBA champion Miami Heat. Are both slipping away? In the last two weeks, Indiana’s grip on the East’s best record has loosened considerably. And the Pacers’ big move at Thursday’s trading deadline, acquiring Evan Turner, illustrated that their belief in chemistry may have been overstated.
If you were hoping for a blockbuster, “Woj Bomb” type of trade on Thursday, you were out of luck. The trade deadline came and went on Thursday without any real stars packing their bags, but plenty of teams made relevant moves throughout the day to bolster their franchises in some way. Our Chris Sheridan has the trade analysis of all the deals, but you can find more on everything that went down and everything else that fell through below.
With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, rumors have been rampant around the league throughout the day. Can Cleveland find a taker for Luol Deng? How serious is Sacramento about moving MIP candidate Isaiah Thomas? Will the New York Knicks finally trade Iman Shumpert? Those are some of the many burning questions as general managers try to determine what will be the best course of action for their respective franchises. Some minor deals have already gone down on Wednesday, and plenty more
When the Milwaukee Bucks signed Larry Sanders to a four-year, $44 million contract extension last summer, it looked like a pretty good move. Sanders showed throughout the 2012-13 season that he could be a highly impactful defensive player. He was just 24 years old (now 25), and the money was in line with other defense-first centers such as Tyson Chandler and JaVale McGee. And nothing has gone right since.