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


SH Blog: Durant, Beverley undergo successful surgeries with months of recovery ahead; Rose returns to 5-on-5

Kevin Durant

Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant underwent successful bone graft surgery on Tuesday morning for his ailing right foot, and the timetable of 4-to-6 months for his return to basketball activities remains in place. From the team’s official release: Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant underwent successful bone graft surgery today for the fifth metatarsal of his right foot, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced. The procedure was performed by Dr. Martin O’Malley with Thunder medical personnel present at


Most Improved Player Rankings: Jimmy Butler returns to the NBA

New Jordan Stern

Jimmy Butler shaved his head and wore No. 45 in his return with the Bulls last week. (We think). Last time we were all together in this space, I announced that Jimmy Butler was dead. That was evidently erroneous and inaccurate reporting. I apologize for that. I was just trying to honor a veteran. I know now that Jimmy is not dead. In fact, he only missed 11 games for the Chicago Bulls, then returned triumphantly last week against the


Sheridan: West Quest: Facing Dallas in the first round

James Harden

First place in the Southwest Division changed hands again last night as the Memphis Grizzlies snapped a three-game slide by defeating the Sacramento Kings while the Houston Rockets lost to the Toronto Raptors. So Memphis is back on top, but with only a half-game lead over Houston. The winner of the division is likely to get the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, and that means a matchup with the No. 7 seed. And although nobody can say with any degree of


Tweet of the Day: Responding to Cancer

For all of the perceived frustration with Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard — whether he clowns around too much or is really committed to winning on the court, he is truly a compassionate guy. That much is evident by his heart for kids and can be seen in his response to news that James Fisher, a young boy, had lost his fight with brain cancer.A video posted by Dwight Howard (@dwighthoward) on Mar 30, 2015 at 12:15pm PDTRest in peace lil


Bernucca: Scoreboard Watching, Lottery Style

NBALottery-ping pong

Teams in the NBA playoff races aren’t the only ones watching scoreboards this time of year. Take the Philadelphia 76ers, for example. The Sixers lost their first 17 games, were mathematically eliminated from the playoff race nearly a month ago and almost certainly will lose 60-plus games for the second straight season. But GM Sam Hinkie and the rest of the Sixers’ front office are tracking the results of other games almost as closely as their own. That’s because Philadelphia could have


Sheridan: LVP Rankings, a.k.a. the Worst of the Worst


The MVP debate is a great one this season, and as I mentioned in my most recent edition of my MVP rankings: This is one season when things could truly go down to the wire. As in Game No. 82. But what about the other end of the spectrum? Who have been the Least Valuable Players? The guys you may never have heard of, or guys whose weaknesses are well-chronicled but particularly acute this season. Those players’ lack of production should not


SH Blog: Dwight Howard in, Pat Beverley out for Rockets; Derrick Rose expects to be cleared for contact soon

Dwight Howard interview

Just as one key starter returns to the Houston Rockets after two-plus months away, another could soon be facing an injury of comparable intensity. Dwight Howard returned to the starting lineup on Wednesday for the first time since January 23. It’s just the 33rd game played this season for Howard, who has dealt with ongoing right knee problems since first suffering a bone bruise in training camp. Unfortunately for the Rockets, Howard’s return coincides with a new injury to starting point guard Pat