Bernucca: My annual NBA award picks

Coach of the Year

I write this column every year two days before the regular season ends, and I usually get right to the point. But this year I am going to start a little differently. So let me get one item off my chest and out of the way: Michele Roberts is way off base. The new executive director of the NBA Players Association tried to reinvent the wheel this week when it was reported that she is instituting the Players Choice Awards, which will

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Bernucca: Leonard Giving the Spurs a Big Bang

Kawhi Leonard

What do James Harden, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James have in common? They’re all legitimate MVP candidates, of course. But what else does that Awesome Foursome have in common? In a potential playoff series against the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, they can all expect to see an individual matchup with Kawhi Leonard. In case you’ve been transfixed by March Madness, the Spurs are looking like a championship contender. Again. If you want some perspective, my son Andrew was born

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Sprung: Spurs are living and dying with/without Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard

Where would the San Antonio Spurs be this season without Kawhi Leonard? To answer my own question, probably out of the playoff picture. In a Western Conference where the 8th-seeded New Orleans Pelicans are seven games over .500, the Spurs are 33-16 with Leonard and just 9-9 without him. Leonard leads the team in scoring, defensive rating and minutes per game. There’s an immense difference in Leonard’s stats in Spurs wins and losses, to the point where an off night can torpedo

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Gregg Popovich blasts Spurs’ performance after loss to Knicks

popovich1

The San Antonio Spurs lost to the New York Knicks 104-100 in overtime on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was not happy with his team’s performance. In a short yet purposeful postgame statement to the media, Popovich bashed the way the Spurs played and complimented the way the Knicks played to earn just their 14th win of the season. “We didn’t respect the game, we didn’t respect our opponent,” Popovich said. “It was a pathetic performance. And I

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Bernucca: Suns’ Epilogue on Dragic is Self-Serving Spin

PI-NBA-Suns-Goran-Dragic-011714

There was a lot of shade in the Valley of the Sun this week. It all started with Goran Dragic, who is far from blameless in this mess. But because the Phoenix Suns sent Dragic packing in a trade, president Lon Babby and GM Ryan McDonough got to write the epilogue and spin it in intelligence-insulting fashion. Dragic is an unrestricted free agent this summer. At 28, it’s his first and last chance at a max contract. And while the idea of

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SH Blog: Gregg Popovich explains why he hates in-game interviews, LeBron James says he’d come off bench if it helps team

The Golden State Warriors are one of the most intriguing teams to watch in the NBA, thanks in large part to having the most dynamic backcourt simply known as”The Splash Brothers”. Aside from that,  the team has also made vast improvements in offensive execution compared to previous years, where the ball no longer sticks too long in one player’s hands. They have the third best offense in the league, which is miles better than where they were last season (12th). Make no

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Gonzo: My Memories of Coach K, the Greatest College Coach Ever

Jahlil Okafor and Coach K

I have 1,000 stories about coach Mike Krzyzewski, one for each of his 1,000 wins, but I promise to only tell a few of them. I was a Division 1 coach for 18 years and won 200 games, and winning 1,000 games at the highest level of college basketball is an accomplishment that can only be summed up as unthinkable, unimaginable and something coaches, including myself, can only dream of. I have always felt that the best coaches are the ones who can

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Bernucca: Who Deserves to be an All-Star Reserve?

atl

Every team wants a player in the NBA All-Star Game. Just this week, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban complained that the voting system is “absolutely, positively broken” and lobbied for the NBA to provide additional roster spots for reserves who may have been overlooked by the fans. His reasoning was that leading vote-getter Stephen Curry received a mere 1.5 million votes, which is a miniscule total when you consider the global, electronic balloting process. As he often does, Cuban made some good

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