Hubbard: Duncan sits but Spurs rock & roll


SAN ANTONIO — The challenge posed by a team that is 56 games better than .500 and chasing history is profound. An opposing coach must have a masterful game plan, cleverly and skillfully juggle his personnel and perhaps come up with a surprise or two. You wouldn’t think that could be accomplished by sitting a man who is arguably the best power forward in NBA history, but that’s exactly what Spurs coach Gregg Popovich did Saturday night. Tim Duncan played only eight


Hubbard: Not surprisingly, the Spurs are a surprise


The Spurs have carved out a unique reputation for themselves. Because of their history the last two decades, we have come to expect greatness from them — and then when they produce it, we’re somewhat surprised. While comparing and contrasting some of the Spurs’ statistics, I stumbled on one that should qualify as amazing: When using 36-minute projections, Tim Duncan is the 12th leading scorer on the team. Yes, that is correct. Eleven Spurs have averaged more points per 36 minutes than Duncan,


Most Improved Player Rankings: It’s Not LeBron’s League Anymore


The two aging giants came together at center court, a herd of national TV cameras surrounding them like those crazy, suicidal fish that swim alongside sharks and somehow get away with it. (Nature is weird, man). They embraced, in that bro-hug type of way players do, and shared a few words of mutual respect before going their separate ways, Kobe Bryant toward the ruthlessly dimming twilight of his career and LeBron James out of the visitor’s locker room at Staples Center,


Bernucca: Grizzlies Take Grit ‘n’ Grind to Another Gear

Grizzlies Knicks Basketball

Just six NBA teams have played at a .600 pace this season. A seventh briefly reached the threshold last week, and you have to wonder how in the world they got there. Consider that this team:Is in the bottom five in 3-point makes, attempts and percentage in the most prolific season for 3-pointers in league history.Has been without its best player for over a month.Responded to losing its best player by dealing two more of its top five remaining rotation players


Rookie Rankings, Edition 5: Which Rookies Will Play in the Postseason?

Myles Turner

No matter whom you like in the race for NBA Rookie of the Year, one thing is certain: Both Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis will be watching the playoffs on TV. That’s no dig at either player. It is usually what happens to high draft picks during their first couple of seasons. You have to go back to Derrick Rose in 2008 to find a top overall pick who reached the playoffs in his rookie season. In fact, among the last 40


Bernucca: Erratic Thunder Could Use Mohammed’s Calming Presence


In the brave new world of basketball analytics, trends and modules, a simpler stat surfaced this week that was utterly inexplicable. Two teams have lost 10 games this season in which they led after three quarters. One is the league-worst Philadelphia 76ers, who have no one on their roster who knows how to win a game. The other is the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have two of the supposed best closers in the game in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. [Read more…]


Most Improved Player Rankings: Can Steph Curry really keep getting better?


I’ve been watching a lot of Donald Trump speeches lately (not by choice), so like our possible future president, I’m just going to come right out and say something stupid off the top of my head: I don’t think Stephen Curry is real. I think he’s an Old Spice commercial, tricking all of us into thinking he’s actually doing the things he’s doing on the court. Think about it for a second. It’s brilliant product placement, really. The man is cashing 40-foot shots on a routine basis. He’s


Hubbard: Reflections on Kobe and Phil .. and Their Differing Paths


Less than 48 hours and one unrelated storybook ending separated the two scenes involving Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson. One was warm and fuzzy, perhaps only because the aging warrior was no longer a threat. The second was sad and unpromising, with the evidence suggesting the aging warrior is no longer a threat. On Saturday night, the Spurs celebrated the career of Bryant, who was visiting San Antonio for the final time as a player. It was touching tribute to an