Bernucca: Among the Elite, Thunder the Team to Beat

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Kawhi Leonard A look at the overall NBA standings shows four teams at the top – Indiana, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Miami – separated by one game in the loss column. In fact, they were dead even until three of them lost Sunday. 

Just a notch below them are three more teams – Houston, the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland – separated by two games in the loss column. They also would have been dead even had the Blazers held on Sunday against the Rockets.

Let’s call these teams the Magnificent Seven, because your NBA champion is somewhere among them. Dismiss any of them at your own peril; these are the only teams who, at the season’s three-quarter pole, have won at least two-third of their games.

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Bernucca: NBA Buyout Season’s Winners and Losers

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I’m kinda high on what the Charlotte Bobcats did with Ben Gordon.220px-Gordon7_20091204

The Bobcats waived Gordon on Sunday, preventing him from appearing in the postseason should he sign with another team. While they may have alienated his agent – not a trifle thing in the business world of the NBA – two things should be pointed out.

1. When teams waive or buy out players at this time of the season, they are essentially establishing a price they are willing to pay to that player to not play for them.

2. In this case, the Bobcats made it impossible for Gordon to come back to haunt them in the playoffs.

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PODCAST: Time to dump on the Thunder?

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If you are looking for someone to bail on the Thunder because of their recent three-game losing streak, you are looking in the wrong place.

The temptation around the country is to couple the return of Russell Westbrook and the three-game loss streak, and to draw a correlation between the two.

And the other temptation when it comes to the Thunder is to bash Kendrick Perkins, the least-productive starting center, in terms of offense, in the entire Western Conference.

Well, sorry to be a voice of reason, but here’s the way I see things: Every team goes into a funk once or twice per season, at a minimum. And the Thunder just went through theirs. And as for Perkins, he is NOT in the lineup to produce big numbers. He is in the lineup to defend opposing centers, and the only time his true value will become apparent is if and when OKC faces Dwight Howard in the Western Conference playoffs.

For more on the Thunder, plus a look around the NBA, give a listen to this podcast with the ”Steely, Lump & Rohde” show on KRXO – 107.7 The Franchise in Oklahoma City.

Popular Basketball Internet Radio with Sheridan Hoops Radio on BlogTalkRadio

Kamenetzky Bros. Power Rankings: Thunder, Clippers Buff Up in February Free Agency

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grangerclippersOnce and forever, the rich get richer, whether you’re talking the United States wealth gap or the disparity between NBA conferences.

The March 1 deadline for players to be bought out and remain playoff-eligible for a new squad has passed. Per usual, the superior conference emerged even stronger. To wit, the Chicago Bulls just added Jimmer Fredette, released by the Sacramento Kings after failing to justify his lottery pick status.

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Tweet of the Night: Thunder are back on track

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RussellWestbrookSH1The Oklahoma City seem to be back on track after a rocky start when Russell Westbrook returned to the lineup after the All-Star break.