Bernucca: Spurs Aren’t Streaking, They’re Gliding

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lebron-wade1There have been some fair comparisons drawn between the current 17-game winning streak of the San Antonio Spurs and the remarkable 27-game run put together a year ago by the Miami Heat.

Both teams expect to compete for the NBA championship. Both teams found their rhythm at the most opportune time of the season. Both teams stormed to the league’s best record and home court advantage throughout the playoffs.

There are obvious differences as well. For one, San Antonio still needs 10 straight wins – a run reached by only three other teams this season – to merely match Miami’s streak. Even if they win out, the Spurs will still come up one short of the Heat and have to resume the chase next season.

But here’s the biggest difference. The Heat were somewhat consumed by their streak. The Spurs are not consumed by theirs.

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SH Blog: Completed and failed trades on Thursday, Big Baby bought out by Magic

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If you were hoping for a blockbuster, “Woj Bomb” type of trade on Thursday, you were out of luck.

The trade deadline came and went on Thursday without any real stars packing their bags, but plenty of teams made relevant moves throughout the day to bolster their franchises in some way.

Our Chris Sheridan has the trade analysis of all the deals, but you can find more on everything that went down and everything else that fell through below.

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SH Blog: Dan Gilbert still has hopes for Cavaliers this season, Barkley says Curry is not a superstar

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Dan GilbertThe Cleveland Cavaliers are an absolute mess this season, and owner Dan Gilbert has finally had enough.

After watching his team suffer a humiliating defeat at home against a depleted Los Angeles Lakers team on Wednesday, Gilbert made the decision to fire general manager Chris Grant, the architect of this currently-disastrous team. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports first reported the news:

Gilbert informed Grant of his dismissal late Thursday morning, sources said.

Assistant general manager David Griffin will take over as the interim GM, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Gilbert had grown increasingly frustrated with the losing and dysfunction within the Cavaliers, and the loss to the Lakers – who finished the game with four eligible players – was the breaking point.

Grant had a reputation as a hard-working executive, but failed to construct an infrastructure of talent to return the Cavaliers to the playoffs for the first time since LeBron James left as a free agent in 2010.

Grant had been responsible for drafting several high lottery picks that have yet to validate themselves, including No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett in the 2013 NBA draft. Grant has been waiting for several top-five draft picks, including Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson, to fulfill their promise.

So who are the potential replacements for Grant? Ken Berger of CBSSports says there is no shortage of good general managers to choose from:

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SH Blog: Leonard has fracture in right hand, Woodson confronted Chandler about questioning his defensive tactics

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In case you haven’t noticed, Dwyane Wade has been missing an awful lot of games this season for someone who reportedly has no injuries.

The Miami Heat’s training staff have Wade on a strict schedule in terms of when he should play – he has missed 12 games on the season – to preserve and prepare his body for the playoffs. The problem with this is that the team is just 7-5 when he is out of the lineup, and it’s a growing concern when you consider the championship aspirations of this team. The guard has missed three consecutive games for the first time this season, and LeBron James finally discussed how missing his partner hurts the Heat in their process of becoming a great team this season, from Michael Wallace of ESPN:

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SH Blog: Nuggets lose JaVale McGee; Pierce and Garnett still don’t talk to Ray Allen

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Andrea BargnaniToday the Knicks got destroyed by the Spurs. The Spurs are still great, and the Knicks are missing Tyson Chandler, but this can’t say good things about the Knicks’ ability to stay near the top of the East.

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