DuBose: Rookie Capela finds unexpected spot in McHale’s playoff rotation

Capela Draft

It’s been less than a month since Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale laughed at media questions over additional playing time for rookie big man Clint Capela. In fact, exactly three weeks before Tuesday’s Game 2, McHale said the idea of meaningful postseason minutes for Capela would mean that “a lot of guys are hurt”, adding that the Rockets would be “in trouble” if that happened. Yet there Capela was on Saturday night at Toyota Center, running the floor like a gazelle while playing

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PODCAST: NBA Playoffs Opening Weekend in Review

radio

How many of the 16 teams in the NBA playoffs have a legitimate shot at the championship? It is a fair question, and it was posed to me this morning on NBC Sports Radio by host Erik Kuselias. Just to give you a preview, I did not answer “Trail Blazers,” “Pelicans” or “Celtics.” But I did give an answer that reflects what an odd situation we have on our hands after the first two days of the NBA playoffs. Clearly, the Los

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Western Conference Playoff Preview Snapshots

Western Conference

This is what we have been waiting for since Halloween. The strength of the Western Conference was as good as advertised and has provided a first round of playoffs that should have NBA fans salivating. The best series appears to be the Los Angeles Clippers vs. the San Antonio Spurs, whom you could argue were two of the league’s three best teams coming down the stretch. And approximately two weeks from now, one of those teams will be headed to its offseason,

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SH Blog: West, East playoff races bring winner-take-all drama to final day

Anthony Davis

The NBA regular season ends tomorrow, and as of now — even with most teams having played 81 of their 82 games — not a single first-round matchup is locked in. It’s an incredibly rare situation that promises to bring loads of drama both Tuesday night and especially Wednesday night, as the 2014-15 slate comes to a close. In the West, the complex playoff picture was reasonably summed up in one tweet on Tuesday morning from San Antonio’s star guard Manu Ginobili: So,

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POLL: Who is the MVP, James Harden or Stephen Curry?

silverMVP

The weather app on my smartphone read 39 degrees this morning. It left me wondering: When is this going to change? This is the second straight year in New York that spring has been a rumor rather than a reality, and it can lead a person to convince oneself: This will never change. Which brings me to my mindset on the MVP award. For months, I have been telling myself that James Harden is going to win the MVP award. Every night,

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DuBose: After Harden’s Triumphant Return to OKC, Rockets Grateful for Trades That Weren’t

Morey

Each time the Rockets play the Thunder, four names immediately come to mind: Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin, Steven Adams and Mitch McGary. With all draft picks now liquidated, those players make up the return Oklahoma City received for James Harden in October 2012. Martin left the Thunder in free agency after one season off the bench, and the others all score fewer than eight points per game. That’s it. Lamb, who was supposedly the trade’s crown jewel as the No. 12 pick in 2012, isn’t

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SH Blog: Lopez wins second straight Player of The Week; Gerald Green questions his future in Phoenix

brook-lopez

Brook Lopez is now the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for a second consecutive week — something that no other player has done all season long. Lopez led the Nets to a 3-1 week from March 30 through April 5 behind team-leading averages of 20.8 points (sixth in the East), 10.3 rebounds (fourth in the East) and 2.0 blocks (tied for fifth). He shot better than 50% in all four of Brooklyn’s contests, and ranked seventh in the East for

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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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