Rookie Rankings, Week 11: Sizing Up the Sophs

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With the midway point of the regular season approaching, we thought it would be a good idea to give the rookies a Anthony Bennettbreak and rank the sophomores for two reasons.

1. It is a nice change of pace and gives the reader something new.

2. This rookie class is god-awful and we are running out of ways to describe how bad it is.

At the end of the season, NBA coaches are asked to vote for five players for an All-Rookie Team. We defy anyone who has watched this season to go five-deep into the rookie pool.

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Most Improved Player Rankings: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

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Khris Middleton in actionTwas the night before Christmas, and all through the league, not a player was balling, not even Jeff Teague.

The Most Improved Rankings were crafted with flair, in the hopes that somebody might actually care.

Danny Ainge was nestled all snug in his bed, while visions of Asik danced in his head.

J-Kidd in his kerchief, Lopez in his cast, the Nets have settled down for their long winter’s nap.

When from the Wells Fargo Center there rose such a clatter, I sprang from my laptop to see what was the matter.

And what to my wandering eyes (I have NBA League Pass) did appear, than a man with long arms on a team named for deer.

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Sprung: All-Breakout Team led by L.Stephenson, A.Afflalo, I.Thomas

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time flies'Where the hell has the time gone? It certainly flies as the days get shorter and darkness descends in the late afternoon.

We’re already through the first quarter of the NBA season and almost at Christmas. The league has seen plenty of pleasant surprises, like the consistently stellar Portland Trail Blazers, and many disappointments, like the entire Eastern Conference besides Indiana and Miami.

There have also been a whole host of players who have really progressed in a positive direction over the opening 20 games or so.

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Sixth Man Rankings: Best Bench Players Igniting Surprise Teams

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Growing up, fans are taught several “facts” about team sports.

It’s a fact that teamwork is better than selfish play. It’s usually a fact that a good defense beats a good offense. It’s a fact in baseball that last licks is more advantageous than leading off.

Perhaps no “fact” is more emphasized, however, than the notion that the best players in every sport always start.

In the NBA in 2013, that “fact” is fiction. It couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Five Things to Watch: Milwaukee Bucks

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Brandon KnightCapping off a mediocrity-defining three-year stretch that saw them finish ninth, ninth and eighth in the East, the Milwaukee Bucks should have entered the summer of 2013 with change as the most obvious mandate.

As in change everything.

Despite a return to the playoffs and encouraging progress from big men Larry Sanders, Ersan Ilyasova and John Henson, the Bucks had little to show for their efforts last season, as coaching upheaval and a dysfunctional locker room motivated GM John Hammond to take a flamethrower to his roster once again.

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