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. 

SH Blog: Westbrook tentatively returning vs. Heat; Silver wants higher age requirement

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East All-Star jerseyI’ve never been huge on the All-Star Game. Sure, the novelty is great. I mean, all the stars are there. But that wears off pretty quickly, and then I remember that what I really like about basketball is seeing players stand out above the rest, and that doesn’t usually happen in an all-star environment. I also like defense sometimes.

Speaking of players standing out above the rest, if you haven’t seen John Wall’s dunk from last night, go do that right now. Once you come back, I’ll have the latest NBA news for you.

Bernucca: Who Is On Your Team’s Mount Rushmore?

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rushmoreThis past week, NBA TV released excerpts of an extended interview with LeBron James (airing in its entirety Monday night) in which Steve Smith asked “The King” to name his Mount Rushmore of basketball.

James offered a quartet of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. But it’s really an unfair question, because in addition to those four players, there are at least three more – centers Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell – who are in the “best ever” conversation. And that group doesn’t include active players who eventually will join the conversation as well, like Kobe Bryant and James himself.

A better exercise might be establishing a Mount Rushmore for each team.

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SH Blog: A list of relevant players expected to come up in trade rumors, Howard says he doesn’t have to ask for the ball anymore

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With the trade deadline slowly approaching (next Thursday, to be exact), there are a specific group of players who should concern themselves with the possibility of being dealt.

Whether it’s due to the team’s priorities or their own contract situations, there are eight specific players who will come up in plenty of rumors before it is all said and done, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com. Here are some of the most intriguing thoughts from the piece:

lowryKyle Lowry was supposed to be an early trade chip for relatively cheap this season, but his stock has risen exponentially since Rudy Gay was traded. The point guard has elevated his level of play to the point where most believed he was snubbed from this year’s All-Star team (I thought he should have made it over DeMar DeRozan). If anything, however, all Lowry has done is make Masai Ujiri’s job more difficult:

Now it appears the Raptors are less likely than more likely to trade Lowry by the deadline. If a team overwhelmed them with an offer, they’d most assuredly listen, but the likelihood is growing that Lowry will finish the season in Toronto. The chance of a division championship is too enticing.

That doesn’t mean the Raptors are going to pay him in the summer.

The fear of investing heavily, only to find that this season is fool’s gold, a contract drive by a player with a history of injuries, is likely too great. The best guess is that Lowry plays it out, and, depending on how he and the Raptors do down the stretch, he’ll be in the driver’s seat in the summer.

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Scotto: Durant Atop MVP Discussion with Historic January

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BROOKLYN – Kevin Durant treated the league like a game of NBA 2K14 on a nightly basis in January. Kevin Durant

Durant is a 7-footer with the handle of a guard, the shooting ability of a sniper, the leaping ability of a kangaroo and the rebounding ability of a power forward.

Basically, he’s the player we all created from scratch in a video game as kids with the ratings boosted as high as possible.

Recently, Durant added “Slim Reaper” to his list of nicknames along with “KD” and “Durantula.”

It’s now time for a more appropriate nickname for Durant: “MVP.”