Scotto: Brooklyn Nets are Legit Contenders After Sweeping LeBron — UPDATED

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LeBron James trophyNo team has done what the Nets have done. And going into the playoffs, what they’ve done should not be dismissed.

On Tuesday, the Brooklyn Nets became the first team ever to post a 4-0 season series sweep over LeBron James since he entered the league more than a decade ago.

After being crowned by the Nets, James took out his frustration on TNT’s Craig Sager during a postgame interview when asked if Brooklyn was Miami’s biggest challenge in the East.

“Get out of here, Craig,” James replied. “Next question.”

While James avoided the question, there’s no denying it – Brooklyn has a legitimate chance to win the East now.

SH Blog: Cuban to fund HGH study; Jackson speaks about Melo’s year

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Mark_Cuban_2011Mark Cuban is putting his money where his mouth is.

And it has nothing to do with the Dallas Mavericks or the refs or David Stern.

It has everything to do with the future of sports medicine and the potential inclusion of HGH in the professional world of sports. According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas, Cuban is funding a study on the potential benefits of HGH use for recovering athletes. Here’s more from the story: 

Scotto: Knicks’ Season, Futures of Melo, Woodson On the Line — UPDATED

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knicksNEW YORK — For Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony, making the playoffs is all that matters.

The same can be said for coach Mike Woodson.

However, after a heartbreaking one-point loss to the Washington Wizards on Friday night, the Knicks find themselves one game behind the Atlanta Hawks for the final playoff spot — and two games behind in the loss column — with only five remaining games.

Anthony’s desire to reach the postseason is understandable. Since entering the NBA as part of the heralded draft class of 2003, he has never missed the playoffs. Not even the Big Three in Miami can say that.

If Anthony reaches the postseason again, he’ll have to do it with a strained right shoulder that “gave out” against the Wizards.

“Throughout the course of the game there was no strength on the passes, causing turnovers and things like that,” Anthony said. “But hopefully I’ll be alright.”

NYK_Woodson_MikeFor Woodson, however, making the playoffs means much more. His job is on the line.

“No playoffs, no Woody,” one league source told SheridanHoops.

“Without question he’s fired (if they miss the playoffs),” one Eastern Conference scout also told SheridanHoops.

SH Blog: Beverley potentially lost for the season, Woodson says Anthony would be MVP candidate if Knicks’ record was flipped

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Patrick BeverleyWhen the Houston Rockets have their full starting lineup intact, they are capable of being one of the best teams in the league. Since late January, they have won 19 of the last 24 games and have established an identity as a team to be reckoned with.

Unfortunately, their hopes of being a powerhouse in the West in the playoffs took a major hit on Friday with the news that point guard Patrick Beverley could miss the remainder of the season due to a knee injury, from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley could be lost for the rest of the season with a torn meniscus in his right knee, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Beverley, 25, will get a second opinion on the injury soon, sources said, and then it’ll be determined whether there’s possibly a rehabilitation process that could expedite his return before the end of the NBA playoffs, sources said. 

VIDEO: Did bad loss to Cavs doom Knicks? Who gets West’s eighth seed? Beware the Grizzlies

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Carmelo AnthonySunday night’s self-destruction against the Cavs was about as bad of a loss as the Knicks could have imagined, given that they had a chance to pull within two games of the Atlanta Hawks, who had lost earlier in the day.

Well, to be fair, it wasn’t totally a self-destruction. Jarrett Jack was phenomenal for Cleveland on offense, repeatedly burning Raymond Felton, and Luol Deng did a terrific job on Carmelo Anthony, keeping the ball out of the NBA’s second-leading scorer on multiple possessions.

But this still goes down as a bad, bad loss for the Knicks, whose eight-game winning streak came to a halt.

It’s too bad we will not have a race for the eighth spot in the East. It seems that way, though you cannot understate just how bad the Hawks are — and how capable they are of losing their three-game lead.

In the West, the Suns and Mavs are battling it out for the final playoff spot, and Phoenix gave itself a big boost Sunday by getting 61 bench points in a huge comeback victory over the Timberwolves. The Suns now have four winnable games to close out the month, then a very difficult April schedule.

Will they get in? And which low-seeded team will have the best chance of making some noise in the first round of the playoffs?

My answers in this video interview with Noah Coslov of CineSport.