Bernucca: Do injuries to Love, Nowitzki change West playoff picture?

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When we wrote last month that the Western Conference playoff picture would be filled in by the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves, it was assumed that both teams would have their alpha dogs at power forward. Now that Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Love are both out until at least December, that picture could be changing. Nowitzki and Love both are top-10 players whose presence instantly legitimizes their teams as playoff-worthy, regardless of the other 14 players sharing a locker room and airplane with them.

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Fantasy: Camp Battles

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In today’s column I am going to take a look at how some of the most interesting camp battles are turning out. It is very early but it’s worth looking at the impressions of people who are watching teams closely, in order to get a sense of who is gaining and who might be losing ground. If you have an early draft (and I’ve already had one and have another coming up on Friday) then it’s well worth passing on

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Tweet of the Night: @MagicInsider (Brian Schmitz)

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This was the 2,000th Tweet posted by Brian, a friend and a fixture in the Orlando media scene: It’s hilarious how people still fall for Shaq’s Don Rickles’ act: His target, media, fans. He said long ago, “It’s all entertainment.” — Brian K. Schmitz (@MagicInsider) October 5, 2012 That tweet has nothing to do with Stan Van Gundy, who may have been shown the door by ESPN after they were close to making a deal to bring him in as a studio analyst,

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Fantasy Spin: September 29, 2012 – Part II

Southeast Division Fantasy Preview Part II In Part 1, we covered the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks. In Part II, we look at the Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards and Charlotte Bobcats. Orlando Magic “Incompetence is the world’s greatest cloak for corruption.” I heard this quote on a local radio talk show discussing the referee situation in the NFL. I wish I knew the guest so I could properly credit him. It stuck with me as a perfect explanation for what may be going

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Bernucca: Three new coaches have plenty of work to do

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There are three NBA teams with new coaches for the start of the 2012-13 season, and no one is expecting any of them to work miracles. In fact, ownership and management appear to be expecting just the opposite. The Charlotte Bobcats and Orlando Magic both are undergoing massive rebuilding projects and don’t seem overly concerned with winning. Both teams have hired inexperienced coaches with strong backgrounds in player development, which means they also have strong backgrounds in patience. It remains to be

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Forbes: 12 NBA owners among 400 richest Americans (Prokhorov not included)

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Pity poor Paul Allen. He only came in at No. 20 on the Forbes list of the 400 Richest Americans. But at least he’ll have something to hold over the heads of the other owners when they convene next month for the Board of Governors meeting in New York (then again, Allen– worth 15 billion– may not attend. He usually sends someone in his place). The only owner who can flex muscles with him is Mikhail Prokhorov of the Brooklyn Nets, with $13.2

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Tweet of the Day: Glen Davis

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Every big person needs one of these !!! I love it Ayo so fresh and so cleaninstagr.am/p/PnDgrAklEb/ — Glen Davis (@iambigbaby11) September 15, 2012   Should we tell him? Think he knows? It ain’t a toilet.

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Dwight Howard won’t be ready for preseason opener, perhaps longer

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Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard will not be ready for the team’s preseason opener due to ongoing issues with his surgically repaired back. On Thursday night, the team confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that Howard – the prize acquisition of the NBA offseason – is not expected to be ready when the Lakers open camp Oct. 2 or when they play their preseason opener five days later vs. Golden State at Fresno. The timetable is actually more optimistic than one laid

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