Sprung: Raptors Have Defense, Components To Make Deep Playoff Run


After 55 games, the Toronto Raptors have the same 37-18 record that they had last year. So why will this team avoid the disappointment the Raptors had a year ago?  The 2014-2015 Raptors finished the regular season 12-15 and were mercilessly swept by Washington in the first round. Toronto hasn’t won a playoff series since the 2000-2001 season, when this columnist was in the seventh grade. So why and how is this Toronto team a legit contender, perhaps the only contender, who


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


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


Five Things To Watch: Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo Jabari Parker Bucks Own the Future Horizontal

The Milwaukee Bucks were one of last season’s biggest fairy tale stories. It’s not a common occurrence in the NBA for a team to go from a sorry 15 wins in one season to the playoffs in the very next campaign. But that’s exactly what the Bucks did in 2014-15. If that wasn’t remarkable enough, it is the factors that contributed to Milwaukee’s success that really stand out. Caoch Larry Drew was fired and replaced by Jason Kidd after Kidd’s power play


Three-Man Weave: Who Won the East’s Offseason?

Cavs Court Feature

There has been a lot of activity during the offseason. Since July 1, there have been free agent signings totaling nearly $2 billion. In addition, there have been a dozen trades involving 22 players and 12 draft picks. But which teams have really improved themselves? And which teams have taken a step backward? In this edition of the Three-Man Weave, we take a lot at who won – and lost – the offseason in the Eastern Conference. 1. Which Eastern Conference team has had


Bernucca: 2015 NBA Draft Trade Grades

Billy King

As many predicted, there was no shortage of trades at the 2015 NBA draft. There just weren’t any big ones. We were all hoping for a blockbuster like DeMarcus Cousins to the Los Angeles Lakers or the Toronto Raptors detonating their roster. Instead, we may have to wait for the powderkeg of Kings training camp, when George Karl first asks Cousins to show harder on a pick-and-roll. We even would have settled for a team such as the Celtics or Hawks taking


Fantasy Spin: Daily NBA Contests Have Three Start Times

Russ & CP3

A very busy Sunday starts at 3:00 EDT, with five matinees, three of them excellent matchups. Early-Only and All-Day contests revolve around the Russell Westbrook $13200 decision. Contradictory arguments can be made that he’s too good to leave out of lineups, and too expensive to use. [Read more…]


New Orleans Pelicans feeling the pressure after losses to Celtics, Sixers, Knicks

Anthony Davis

The Madison Square crowd was in a frenzy. New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams had just called a meaningless timeout with 8.1 seconds left and his team down 99-92 to a New York Knicks team that had lost 16 straight games dating back to Dec. 12. New Orleans failed to score after the timeout, and the Knicks won at home for the first time since Nov. 22. A 2-3 road trip against Eastern opponents looks bad enough for a New Orleans Pelicans


Sprung: Kyle Lowry is the Early Eastern Conference MVP

Kyle Lowry

The Eastern Conference’s leader in Win Shares signed a highly publicized free agent contract this past offseason with the East’s best team. That player is not LeBron James but Kyle Lowry, the undisputed leader of the Toronto Raptors. And it is Toronto – not Cleveland – which has the East’s best record at 18-6. Lowry and the Raptors are 5-3 without All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who injured his groin the day after Thanksgiving in a loss to Dallas. SheridanHoops went one-on-one with Raptors