Goran Dragic: Creative, energetic, unafraid and the savior of the Phoenix Suns’ season

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PHX_Dragic_GoranGoran Dragic slashes, drives and penetrates into the lane like no other NBA player, creatively opening up space to create for himself and his Phoenix Suns teammates. That creativity, though, comes with a heavy price: the beating he takes on a nightly basis as he hurtles into and bounces around defenders with his breathtakingly fun to watch forays towards the basket which sweep opponents and fans alike off their feet like a swift and strong gust of wind.

Dragic’s offensive game is so unique stylistically, but this year he’s coupled his singular energy and fervor with the efficiency both Dragic and his Suns have lacked. For any ball-handler to shoot over 50 percent from the field and nearly 42 percent from three is impressive. For Dragic to do so with his number of minutes and a usage rate, especially when guard Eric Bledsoe was injured, makes him one of the NBA’s most valuable players this season on the league’s most surprisingly successful squads.

“He’s really stepped up his game this year, especially when we needed him when Eric went out,” said Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek. “He was playing great prior to that, but then without Eric he maybe averaged 22 points a game. He had to play bigger minutes for us. He’s a great player.”

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Big Day For ‘The Big Diesel’, Shaquille O’Neal

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There are many names for four-time NBA champion and future Hall of Fame great Shaquille O’Neal—many of which he has given himself:  The Big Aristotle, The Big Galactus, Shaqtus, Diesel, Steel and Hobo Master (yes, Hobo Master) among others.

Thursday O’Neal celebrated his birthday. After a long NBA career and continued success off the court, perhaps it’s time to consider a new name…perhaps The Big Father Time?

As he continues to grow older, his popularity still remains. Three of the basketball organizations that he played for professionally—stateside and in international play (having won gold medals in the ’94 FIBA World Championship and ’96 Summer Olympics)—took time recognize his birthday.

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Tweet of the Day: Phoenix Suns, Leandro Barbosa Honor Fallen Detective

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While Pheonix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers square off Tuesday, the team and its players will be honoring a fallen police detective.

John Hobbs, 43, was a 21-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department. He and his partner, 44, were both shot while attempting to arrest an ex-convict, identified as William Thornton, for violation of probation.

According to Police Chief Daniel Garcia, Thornton, who was also a key suspect in a Feb. 25 attempted murder case, “immediately opened fire” on Hobbs and his partner—who were undercover.

Hobbs, who was hit first, fell to the ground, but continued to return fire, hitting the suspect multiple times. His partner, who was also hit, remains in hospitalized in stable condition. Neither officer was wearing a bulletproof vest, as Police Sgt. Steve Martos stated that ”they didn’t have time.”

Both Suns guard Leandro Barbosa and PR director Casey Taggatz tweeted about the team’s choice to honor Detective Hobbs.

Tweet of the Day: Groups Announced For World Cup 2014

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Monday didn’t just bring with it sadness for Denver Broncos fans and joy for the 12th Man of the Seattle Seahawks. Monday brought forth excitement for basketball fans around the world.

2014 is the FIBA Basketball World Cup, which begins in 207 days.

The draw for the team groupings happened on Monday.

The NBA Offseason: A Betting Preview

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dwighthoward

The Dwight Howard signing had a humongous effect on the futures market for who will win the NBA title.

And then it started a trickle-down effect.