The Numbers Say… Rose is Wrong About the Indiana Pacers

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Rose/GrangerDerrick Rose recently made the claim to ESPN Chicago that the Chicago Bulls’ only rival is the Miami Heat. More specifically, Rose downplayed the idea that the fellow Central Division squad Indiana Pacers are ready to be one of Chicago’s true foes in 2013-14.

You can read the quote below.

“People say that it’s a rivalry, but I don’t really see it. I say the team that is more like a rivalry is when Darren Collison was on the team. That one was more like a rivalry, but this team is a great team. They’ve already proven themselves last year by making it to the Eastern Conference finals.

“If anything, by probably in a year or two, it could become a rival. But right now, people say it’s a rival. … I just don’t see it right now.”

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May: Celtics-76ers Rivalry Needs a Rebuild on Both Sides

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celticsbigthreeLess than 14 months ago, the Philadelphia 76ers were four minutes away from a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. Four players remain from that team.

Less than 14 months ago, the Boston Celtics were one win away from a trip to the NBA Finals. Two players remain from that team.

The Celtics prevailed against Philadelphia on that Saturday in May, 2012, with Rajon Rondo recording a triple-double after Paul Pierce fouled out with 4:16 to play and the Celtics clinging to a three-point lead. It remains the last playoff game played by the 76ers, who failed to make the postseason in 2013 and appear headed in a similar direction for 2014, 2015 and maybe longer.

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Bernucca: After Riley-Ainge tiff, we need Heat-Celtics in playoffs

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patrileyIf you are an NBA fan, you should start rooting for the Milwaukee Bucks to snap out of their stupor and the Boston Celtics to stumble down the stretch. Because that will set up the first-round playoff series we all want to see.

A slump by the Celtics and a boost from the Bucks over the last 10 or so games would drop Boston into eighth place in the Eastern Conference and a first-round matchup with the Miami Heat.

And to paraphrase Pat Riley, that would be f***ing great.

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Bernucca: West playoff picture pointing to Lakers-Clippers

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Kobe BryantLess than three weeks ago, the Los Angeles Lakers were mourning the death of owner Jerry Buss, refuting rumors that Dwight Howard would be traded and staring down the draft lottery.

With his team mired in ninth place in the Western Conference, Kobe Bryant defiantly told Sports Illustrated, “It’s not a question of if we make the playoffs. We will. And when we get there, I have no fear of anyone – Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Denver … whoever. I have zero nervousness about that.”

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Hamilton: Knicks Take Boston in What Was Secretly a ‘Must Win’ Game

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“Must win” is probably one of the more overused expressions among NBA fans, and especially Knicks fans. But Thursday night in Boston, it would have been appropriate.

To most around the NBA, Carmelo Anthony’s team is fugazi.

The Knicks don’t rebound particularly well. Their defense is inconsistent. They are going to set the NBA record for 3-pointers hoisted in a season.

They’re not bruisers, they’re not bangers. From here, they look to be the quintessential “win 55 games and lose in the first round” team.

They’re not tough. If you pound on them, they’ll crumble.

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