Playoffs Day 11: Hawks, Nuggets, Bulls stay alive; Pacers advance

Stan Van Gundy with hands

Just when it seemed fair to come to the conclusion that the first round of the playoffs (with the exception of the Clippers-Grizzlies series) sucked worse than a broken Oreck … Just when it looked like Thursday might be a decent time to schedule a date night … Halt! It’s all good. We were ridded of the Orlando Magic and their soap opera season in the first game of the night Wednesday, and after that came dramatics and comebacks that made that early evening

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Playoffs Day 10: Preview of Magic-Pacers, Celtics-Hawks, Sixers-Bulls, Nuggets-Lakers

Rajon-Rondo

The first round of the playoffs are seemingly coming to a quicker close than many may have anticipated. The Mavericks and Jazz have already been swept out, and one of the remaining teams in each series is on the brink of elimination. Four teams will try to extend their postseason on Tuesday night as they head into their series down 3-1, but history is not on their side, as only eight teams in NBA history have come back from a 3-1 deficit. The

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Ernst & Young improperly counts Most Improved Player voting

andrew-bynum

There was more than a little head-scratching when the Most Improved Player voting was released Friday. In addition to Ryan Anderson undeservedly winning the award, a scan of the balloting showed a single first-place vote going to Andrew Bogut. Bogut played just 12 games this season, driven to the sidelines by a pair of injuries. He also was dealt from Milwaukee to Golden State at the trading deadline. In addition, all of his numbers – except his formerly horrific free-throw shooting –

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Playoffs Day 8: Thunder sweep Mavericks; Clippers and Pacers win thrillers; Spurs beat Jazz

Dirk Nowitzki

Take out the brooms. Who would have thought we’d be saying that about the reigning World Champions? The Dallas Mavericks were swept by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night after only eight days of playoff basketball, becoming the first team to be eliminated in the 2011-2012 Playoffs. As the TNT crew stated, they’re going fishing. It marked only the second time the team was swept out of the playoffs. The first time was against the Portland Trail Blazers in 1990, in a best-of-5 format. It

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Ryan Anderson, who didn’t improve a lick, is Most Improved Player

RyanAndersonMagic

Ryan Anderson is not the NBA’s Most Improved Player this season. Yes, the voting by a media panel says he is, and the Orlando Magic made a big to-do about their guy winning the award, even though he really didn’t improve and has stunk up the postseason joint something fierce over the last week. But Anderson should not have been voted Most Improved Player. Andrew Bynum should have. Or James Harden. Or Gerald Green, who wasn’t even in the NBA the last

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Playoffs Day 5: Grizzlies get even; Spurs, Pacers romp

zach randolph

The Memphis Grizzlies are one of the less glamorous teams in the postseason party. They shoot 3-pointers about as poorly as any team in the NBA. They don’t have many high flyers offering up highlight-reel dunks a la Blake Griffin. They have not one but two ground-bound post players in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. The Grizzlies simply defend like mad, play through their big men and try to make hay in transition and at the free-throw line. And for the last

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Playoffs Day 5: Previews of Jazz-Spurs, Pacers-Magic, Clippers-Grizzlies

Chris Paul

The Coach of the Year was announced Tuesday, with Gregg Popovich coming out on top by a wide margin. It was certainly well-deserved, but there were plenty of other coaches that warranted attention as well. Thirteen coaches received votes, including Frank Vogel, Lionel Hollins, Tyrone Corbin, Stan Van Gundy and Vinny Del Negro – mid-season crisis and all. The work of these fine coaches will be on display tonight as we look into the preview of three playoff games on Wednesday night. Utah (0-1) at

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Bernucca: Injuries have cleared easy path for Heat’s return to NBA Finals

220px-Chris_Bosh_e1

Notice a trend in the first round of the playoffs? Teams are missing and losing their star players. It is somewhat of an issue in the Western Conference, where the Los Angeles Lakers will be without suspended forward Metta World Peace for another four games and the Los Angeles Clippers will be without injured forward Caron Butler until perhaps the NBA Finals – if they get that far. Over in the East, there is a veritable All-Star team of sidelined players. Dwight Howard.

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