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

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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

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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

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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

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

LVP

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

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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

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SH Blog: Dwight Howard closes in on return to Rockets; Cavs balance health vs. race for No. 2

Harden & Howard

Dwight Howard is finally closing in on a return to the Houston Rockets after missing the last 22 games with swelling in his troublesome right knee. Howard, now 29 years old, participated in parts of Houston’s practice on Monday (video), and both star guard James Harden and head coach Kevin McHale said they were pleased with what they saw from the franchise’s star big man. Howard has been traveling with the team, working out and participating in two-on-two drills for some

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Sprung: MVP Candidates Pros and Cons, By the Numbers

Westbrook-AllStar

This season’s MVP race is shaping up to be the best one in quite some time. The perceived top five candidates this season – James Harden, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook – represent the top five in PER, three of the top five in win shares and lead the NBA in nearly two dozen major statistical categories. We’re pretty well covered with MVP rankings on this site with Sheridan’s regular updates, and other staffers have chimed in

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