Rookie Rankings, Week 11: New International Rookie Game Format is Good Idea

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The glorious history of NBA All-Star Weekend is littered with bad ideas. Remember 2-Ball? The Wheel of Fortune at the Slam Dunk Contest? The game uniforms that had different colors on the front and back, so you couldn’t tell which players were on which team? This week, however, the NBA announced a change to one of the All-Star Weekend events that is a really good idea. The Rising Stars will pit American players against international players. The Rising Stars has undergone several changes

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Bernucca: Handing Out My Midseason Awards

James Harden

One of the biggest knocks against the NBA is that when the season starts, there are only five or six teams that can truly win the championship, making the regular season and the early playoff rounds interminably tedious. Not this season. As we reach the midway point – 18 teams have played at least 41 games, another nine have played 40 – there are no less than a dozen teams with legitimate title aspirations, including a handful that haven’t been in the

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Rookie Rankings, Week 10: The Cavs Should Have Kept Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins

Maybe the Cleveland Cavaliers should have kept Andrew Wiggins. Yeah, I know, it’s easy to say now, with Kevin Love sitting out fourth quarters and contemplating whether to re-up alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, while Wiggins drops 20 every night for the Minnesota Timberwolves. But I’m not just saying it now. I said it back in the summer, too, before the big deal was even done. 

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Rookie Rankings, Week 9: Jusuf Nurkic, Winning

Jusuf Nurkic Nuggets

It’s hard to find an NBA player – let alone a rookie – who had a better week than Jusuf Nurkic. Last Saturday, the center from Bosnia and his Denver Nuggets teammates were lying in wait for the Memphis Grizzlies, who were coming off a tougher-than-expected road win over the Los Angeles Lakers the previous night and had to make one of the league’s tougher overnight trips. LA to Denver may not seem like much, but it is a long flight

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Bernucca: Who’s Getting Maximum Production From Minimum Veterans?

Leandro Barbosa

In today’s NBA, the formula for winning in recent years was simple: Accumulate as many maximum-salary stars as you can without breaking the bank. But when you start piling up eight-figure salaries against the luxury tax, the bank breaks pretty quickly. So teams fill out their rosters with minimum-salary veterans. And if you look at the top of the NBA standings right now, many teams are getting very productive seasons from veterans signed to minimum-salary deals. The Chicago Bulls added Pau Gasol to Jimmy

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Rookie Rankings, Week 8: Smart Shows Toughness, Now Has to Play Smart

Smart vs Cousins

Whether you are in the schoolyard or the prison yard, the theory remains the same: If you’re the new guy and want to prove your toughness, go pick a fight with the biggest guy in the yard. That’s what Boston Celtics rookie Marcus Smart did in Wednesday’s home win over the Sacramento Kings. In the fourth quarter with the Celtics pulling away, the 6-4, 220-pound Smart ran directly into the chest of the 6-11, 270-pound DeMarcus Cousins, who was trying to set

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Rookie Rankings, Week 7: Mirotic Earning His Minutes With Bulls

Mirotic Feature

When the offseason began, all the talk around the Chicago Bulls was regarding the acquisition of veteran All-Star forward-center Pau Gasol and how he would work in a three-man big rotation with Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. Then the focus shifted to former MVP point guard Derrick Rose and his arduous comeback from a pair of debilitating knee injuries as he played for Team USA in the World Cup and arrived in training camp. Once the first two months of the season

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