Bernucca: You Can Have the NCAA Tournament

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sportsWICHITAstate_t640I don’t like the NCAA Tournament.

I don’t like that college basketball’s regular season provides little postseason incentive. I don’t like that the coach is a bigger personality than the players. I don’t like that the games are played on neutral courts. I don’t like that one bad game or bad call or bad break can end a team’s season. I don’t like that “close” becomes a synonym for “well-played.” And I don’t like that poor play determines the outcome much more often than great play.

Most of all, I don’t like how I’m supposed to just accept that it’s fantastic and wonderful and beautiful, when it’s actually substandard basketball in a flawed format that tells me less and less every year about the game I love, which is the NBA.

I’m not trolling here. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’ve truly felt this way for a while. Part of it is admittedly a lingering distaste developed over more than a decade of working on a sports news desk and spending countless hours having to plan, preview, write, edit, update and package all of the words and numbers associated with the NCAA Tournament.

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SH Blog: Emotional Nash out for minimum of two weeks, Gasol calls out D’Antoni’s fluctuating rotation

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It has been a tough road for Steve Nash since leaving the Phoenix Suns to join the Los Angeles Lakers last season.

Aside from all the scrutiny his team has faced due to a lack of success with what was supposed to be a championship roster, he has not been the same player he once was since breaking his leg last season.

When he did come back, his impact on the game diminished as he adjusted to playing next to Kobe Bryant without the ball in his hands. This season, however, has been a different story. With Bryant out without a timetable, Nash was supposed to run Mike D’Antoni’s offense and help carry the team. That, unfortunately, has been anything but the case for the point guard, with good reason.

STORY OF THE DAY:

Steve NashNash has been a shell of himself this season due to what he believed to be nerve damage from the broken leg he suffered last season. He went to get it checked on Monday, and his suspicions were on the dot. Sam Amick of USA Today has details:  

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Five Things To Watch: Denver Nuggets

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GeorgeKarlThe 2012-13 season was a tale of two beings for the Denver Nuggets. The first being was the regular season, where they won an NBA franchise-record 57 games. The other was the playoffs, where they were abruptly taken out by the Golden State Warriors in six games.

This offseason was a shocking one for many Nuggets fans. GM Masai Ujiri, the NBA Executive of the Year, walked away and was replaced by Tim Connelly. Long-time coach George Karl was fired and replaced by rookie coach Brian Shaw. And free agents Andre Iguodola and Corey Brewer were not re-signed.

There is some new blood in the form of free agents J.J. Hickson, Randy Foye and Nate Robinson, further adding to the mystery of the 2013-14 season for the Nuggets. Nobody is sure what to expect out of them. Here are five things to watch.

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Bernucca: The 10 Worst Offseason Free Agent Signings

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DanGilbertPresser100515-300x189Whenever the NBA and the Players Association negotiate a collective bargaining agreement, the media – including Sheridan Hoops – goes to great lengths to understand and explain its rules, exceptions and nuances.

But since the first wave of players began making the jump from high school to the NBA in the mid-1990s, the premise of every new CBA could be summed up in six words: To save the owners from themselves.

Restraint never has been the collective strength of NBA owners. In every CBA, they have installed mechanisms that mandate restraint and prevent them from spending stupidly.

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Power Rankings: The Top 5 Teams in Each Conference

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It’s July 23, and a vast majority of the free agents have found homes, meaning that the player movement portion of the offseason has nearly come to a close.

So most fans would love to see where their team stacks up, right?

Right.

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