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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Sixth Man Rankings: Can Jordan Crawford sneak into the race?

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JordanCrawfordSH1Last month, while I was working on my Nick Young feature, I asked Wizards guard John Wall what he thought about two of his former teammates’ divergent yet equally successful paths to relevance in the NBA.

At the time, of course, Young was enjoying the hottest and most efficient scoring tear of his professional career. Meanwhile, Jordan Crawford, who had essentially replaced Young as Washington’s volume scorer in 2012, had reinvented himself as a facilitating point guard with the Boston Celtics.

Sixth Man Rankings: What Should Mo Williams Expect on the Free Agent Market?

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Mo williams blazersTo no one’s surprise, Mo Williams says he plans to opt out of his contract for next season and test free agency over the summer.

Williams signed a two-year deal last summer worth $5.6 million, with 2014-2015 a player option. He was scheduled to make $2.7 million next season if he chose to opt into that deal.

Portland, of course, has been the NBA’s most pleasant surprise this season and is tied for the third-best record in the league at 27-9.

Williams has been a big part of the team’s turnaround as he’s proven to be a much needed veteran leader off the bench. His ability to both find shots for others and create shots for himself has given a once-anemic Blazers’ bench some life. (Though they still need more, as colleague Chris Bernucca points out in our latest Rookie Rankings).

Gambling on the Eastern Conference: Long odds on everyone not named Pacers or Heat

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jameswade

Brain-twister for you today, folks.

Go back to the start of the 2005-06 regular season, and try to name a superstar player who has represented the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. Your answer cannot include LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo or Ray Allen.

It’s OK. Keep thinking … 

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10 Fast Facts from Friday night’s NBA games

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EvanTurnerSH1On a night that was filled with overtime thrillers and buzzer-beaters, there was plenty of action Friday night that kept fans on their toes in arenas and on the edge of their sofas in their living rooms.

There were nine games, three of which went to overtime.

Need a rundown without having to click your mouse two dozen times?

That’s what we’re here for.

Here are 10 Fast Facts from last night’s games, plus video highlights at the bottom of this post.