DuBose: Rockets hope postseason can change narrative

James Harden

HOUSTON — From the moment the Houston Rockets broke training camp in late September, one of the primary goals had been to earn a playoff rematch of last season’s Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors. So, mission accomplished? Not quite. Undoubtedly, the Rockets envisioned themselves closer to the team they were in 2014-15 (56-26 overall, No. 2 seed) than the mediocre, 41-41 squad that had to win its final three games this week just to qualify for the playoffs as the eighth

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Bernucca: For Some Teams, Playoffs Have Already Started

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On Saturday night, while most basketball fans were watching the Final Four, the NBA playoffs got under way. Not officially, of course. That doesn’t happen until April 16. But for the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and other teams fighting for the bottom of the brackets, the postseason already has started. Detroit’s 94-90 victory at Chicago on Saturday wasn’t quite a Game Seven. The Pistons aren’t quite home free just yet, and the Bulls aren’t quite dead. But it sure looked an awful

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Hubbard: Warriors Done Chasing Records, Ready to Chase Championship

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OAKLAND – During Golden State’s otherworldly 24-0 start, interim coach Luke Walton was asked how it felt to get no official credit for the victories. NBA policy is that only the permanent coach can accumulate wins and losses, so those victories went to Steve Kerr, who has yet to coach this season while recovering from back surgery. The winning streak, which set an all-time pro sports record for consecutive victories to open a season, ended Saturday with a 108-95 loss to

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Bernucca: Is NBA Experiencing Parity, or Mediocrity?

Warriors

Is the NBA inching toward parity? Or slowly sinking into mediocrity? Those may seem like strange questions during a season in which the Golden State Warriors have imposed their dominance over the rest of the league in unprecedented fashion. Yes, at 22-0 the Warriors have obliterated the best start in NBA history and have looked downright unbeatable while the clock was ticking during a vast majority of those 22 games. In that sense, they present a very strong argument against the notion

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Sprung: An analytic look at LeBron James’ polarizing postseason

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For the fifth straight year, LeBron James is going to the NBA Finals. How do his numbers stack up this season versus the past four seasons? It’s quite interesting. James is deserving of all the praise he’s getting after becoming the first player to reach five consecutive NBA Finals since the dynastic Boston Celtics of decades ago. James has been asked to do more for the Cleveland Cavaliers on offense than even in his early-career Cavs days, and it’s taken a toll

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PODCAST: Scotto on James Harden, Stephen Curry, LeBron James and NBA Playoffs

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James Harden scored a playoff career-high 45 points to help the Houston Rockets avoid elimination in Game 4 against the Golden State Warriors. During the game, Stephen Curry took a hard and awkward fall resulting in a head contusion as the basketball world held its collective breath. Meanwhile, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving limited with a knee injury. On the other hand, the Atlanta

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PODCAST: Dwight Howard facing suspension for elbowing Bogut, but …

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Rod Thorn, the NBA’s dean of discipline, has a tough decision to make. Should Dwight Howard’s elbowing foul against Andrew Bogut from Game 4 of the Western Conference finals be upgraded to a flagrant-2, which would force Howard to miss Game 5. The precedent is there, whether it was Al Horford getting ejected from Game 3 of the Atlanta-Cleveland series or J.R. Smith getting suspended two games for elbowing Jae Crowder of Boston during the first round. Elbows to the head are a

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Ladewski: Curry v. Harden is a matchup that shouldn’t end too soon

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OAKLAND, Calif — It’s not often that the Most Valuable Player and the MVP runner-up meet in the playoffs — 21 times before this season, to be exact. Even less are the number of times the matchup exceeded the hype. In that case, you may want to stay tuned to the Western Conference finals, because James Harden and Stephen Curry have something special going on right now. The monster showdown continued in Game 2 on Thursday night, and it was brilliant, fabulous,

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