Bernucca: Hawks are Best Team No One Has Seen

Hawks Korver Carroll Horford Millsap Teague

The hottest team in the Eastern Conference doesn’t have a three-headed monster like the Cleveland Cavaliers. It doesn’t have a scrutinized superstar returning from injury like the Chicago Bulls or a rapper sitting courtside at every home game like the Toronto Raptors. Heck, it doesn’t even have a national TV appearance, even though it plays in TNT’s backyard. But the Atlanta Hawks have won nine of their last 10 games, flying well under the radar toward the top of the conference. The Hawks

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Sprung: Blazers on the rise through improved defense, continuity

AldridgeLillardSH1

The three best records in the NBA belong to the Warriors, Grizzlies and Blazers. What do all three Western Conference teams have in common? Continuity. Besides for some minor tweaks, (Shaun Livingston, Vince Carter, Steve Blake and Chris Kaman) Golden State, Memphis and Portland retained their core players and have been extremely successful over the first quarter of the regular season. For Portland, now at 16-4 after Sunday’s win over New York, this is the third season the LaMarcus Aldridge-Damian Lillard-Nicolas Batum-Wes

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Bernucca: Knicks, Pistons Aren’t Tanking, But Sure Look Like It

Stan Van Gundy with hands

We all know what the Philadelphia 76ers are doing. Call it whatever you want – tanking, rebuilding, deconstructing, hoarding – the 76ers are openly, unabashedly and intentionally sinking to the bottom of the NBA, because GM Sam Hinkie has convinced ownership that is the fastest way to get back to the top. Hinkie has constructed a roster that is inherently non-competitive. The Sixers have the fewest first-round picks and the most undrafted free agents of any team. Their highest-paid player makes $6.6

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Tweet of the Day: Kevin Durant Set To Return To Action

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Kevin Durant will see his first game action since injuring his foot over a month ago. The reigning league MVP is back! At least, he will be. Word broke Tuesday afternoon that the Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant would be making his debut against the New Orleans Pelicans after missing the first 17 games of the season with a Jones Stress Fracture in his right foot. The team broke the news on Twitter, sharing an interview with

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SH Blog: Westbrook electric in return as Thunder begin long climb toward playoffs; Stoudemire rips Knicks’ effort

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Russell Westbrook is back and possibly better than ever, and now the long climb officially begins for the Oklahoma City Thunder as they attempt to re-insert themselves as a contender in the loaded Western Conference. In Friday night’s 105-78 home rout over the Knicks, Westbrook put up 32 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in 24 minutes — making him the first player in the shot-clock era to score at least 32 points and eight assists in a timeframe that short.

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Photo of the Day: Nate Robinson Has Ugly Feet

Nate Pedicure Feature

Nate Robinson should start being a weekly feature on our Photo of the Day. He is very active on Instagram with his pictures and he posts all kinds of fun things. Check out his last feature on POTD. Brace face Robinson is a happy-go-lucky journeyman who’s played all over the NBA, from East to West coast, since being drafted by the Phoenix Suns in 2005. Of course his first four plus seasons in the league were in New York for the

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Bernucca: For Derrick Rose, Image Becoming a Thorny Issue

Derrick Rose

If Derrick Rose wants to sit out games because he doesn’t feel 100 percent healthy, that’s fine. If Rose wants to go to the coaching staff, training staff and management of the Chicago Bulls and develop some sort of maintenance program which allows him to sit out games from time to time, that’s fine, too. In fact, given what the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat have done with their aging stars over the last several seasons – and the success that

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Tweet of the Day: Westbrook Fires Back at a Heckler

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Lakers fans are everywhere. Literally. Before a Sunday night game in Oklahoma City between the Thunder and Houston Rockets, an LA fan had to created a little dialogue from the bleachers. Lakers fan six rows behind the scorer's table screams at Westbrook: "Russ, come to L.A.!!" Russ starts shaking his head no. — Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) November 17, 2014Fan: "You can shoot all you want. Come to L.A. We got rings." Westbrook: "Get yo ass out of here and go back to L.A." —

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