Bernucca: For Some Teams, Playoffs Have Already Started

Stan Van Gundy with hands

On Saturday night, while most basketball fans were watching the Final Four, the NBA playoffs got under way. Not officially, of course. That doesn’t happen until April 16. But for the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and other teams fighting for the bottom of the brackets, the postseason already has started. Detroit’s 94-90 victory at Chicago on Saturday wasn’t quite a Game Seven. The Pistons aren’t quite home free just yet, and the Bulls aren’t quite dead. But it sure looked an awful

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Rookie Rankings, Edition 5: Which Rookies Will Play in the Postseason?

Myles Turner

No matter whom you like in the race for NBA Rookie of the Year, one thing is certain: Both Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis will be watching the playoffs on TV. That’s no dig at either player. It is usually what happens to high draft picks during their first couple of seasons. You have to go back to Derrick Rose in 2008 to find a top overall pick who reached the playoffs in his rookie season. In fact, among the last 40

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Bernucca: A Closer Look at Warriors’ Chase for 73 Wins

Warriors Championship Rings Top Curry

It’s time to get serious about the Golden State Warriors and their pursuit of 73 wins. Even before the advent of the 24-hour news cycle required media members to have an ironclad opinion 10 minutes after something happened, I have always been a more patient sort. Yes, a record 24 straight wins to start the season got my attention. But that is less than one-third of an NBA campaign. Over the course of 5 1/2 months and 82 games, teams slump. Teams

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

NBA-Eastern-Conference

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

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Scotto: 2016 NBA New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's Resolution Calendar

The Golden State Warriors’ historic start, led by Stephen Curry’s MVP campaign, and Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour have captured the headlines so far this season. We saw LaMarcus Aldridge become the biggest free agent to change teams and Kevin McHale became the first coach to get fired in Houston. Will Kevin Durant leave the Thunder this summer? Will Jeff Hornacek become the first coach fired in 2016? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. A new calendar year will bring more coaching changes,

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Bernucca: Is NBA Experiencing Parity, or Mediocrity?

Warriors

Is the NBA inching toward parity? Or slowly sinking into mediocrity? Those may seem like strange questions during a season in which the Golden State Warriors have imposed their dominance over the rest of the league in unprecedented fashion. Yes, at 22-0 the Warriors have obliterated the best start in NBA history and have looked downright unbeatable while the clock was ticking during a vast majority of those 22 games. In that sense, they present a very strong argument against the notion

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Scotto: NBA Season’s First Quarter Observations

quarterpole1

We’re a quarter of the way through the regular season and the NBA landscape has shifted dramatically. Kobe Bryant is retiring after this season and wants to be remembered as a “talented overachiever” when it’s all said and done. Meanwhile, Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers (3-15) trail only the Philadelphia 76ers (1-19) for the league’s worst record. With every loss, the Lakers grow closer to keeping their top-three protected draft pick and potentially land top prospect Ben Simmons. On the flip side, the Golden

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Bernucca: Paul George Isn’t The Same Player Anymore. He’s Way Better

Paul George

Do you remember what Paul George was like before his gruesome injury? Do you remember the 2013 playoffs, when he showed everyone how much better he was than supposed MVP candidate Carmelo Anthony? Do you remember how he accepted and met the challenge of defending LeBron James in those Pacers-Heat playoff wars? And how much respect James had for him? Well, Paul George isn’t that player anymore. He’s better. [Read more…]

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