Bernucca: Handing Out My Midseason Awards

Curry

This is the time of year when we give out our midseason awards. But before we get to the drudgery of Sixth Man Award and Most Valuable Player, let’s start the festivities with a special award for individual achievement that goes to Rashad Vaughn. Vaughn is a shooting guard for the Milwaukee Bucks and the second-youngest player in the NBA. He is one of the dozens of rookies who have made virtually no impact in their first season. He is averaging 2.5 points

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Sprung: What Has Gone Right and Wrong for Eastern Conference Contenders

NBA-Eastern-Conference

For the first time in roughly two decades, the Eastern Conference is better than the Western Conference from top to bottom. Nine East teams are at .500 or better – nearly twice as many teams as last season, when sixth-seeded Milwaukee finished 41-41. And the East actually has a winning record against the West this season at 100-98 What changed so quickly from last season, when articles were written about how there was the greatest disparity in conference strength in recent memory? “I

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Bernucca: Skiles Working His Defensive Magic in Orlando

Magic pregame huddle

As an NBA coach, Scott Skiles has always had a definitive modus operandi. In his three previous jobs, Skiles has dramatically improved his team’s defense, in some cases taking it from near the bottom of the league to near the top. That improvement helps the team become an absolute pain in the neck to play and make a quantum leap from the lottery to the playoffs. Then at some point, Skiles and his hypercompetitive nature become a bit overbearing for some players,

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Scotto: NBA Season’s First Quarter Observations

quarterpole1

We’re a quarter of the way through the regular season and the NBA landscape has shifted dramatically. Kobe Bryant is retiring after this season and wants to be remembered as a “talented overachiever” when it’s all said and done. Meanwhile, Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers (3-15) trail only the Philadelphia 76ers (1-19) for the league’s worst record. With every loss, the Lakers grow closer to keeping their top-three protected draft pick and potentially land top prospect Ben Simmons. On the flip side, the Golden

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Bernucca: Paul George Isn’t The Same Player Anymore. He’s Way Better

Paul George

Do you remember what Paul George was like before his gruesome injury? Do you remember the 2013 playoffs, when he showed everyone how much better he was than supposed MVP candidate Carmelo Anthony? Do you remember how he accepted and met the challenge of defending LeBron James in those Pacers-Heat playoff wars? And how much respect James had for him? Well, Paul George isn’t that player anymore. He’s better. [Read more…]

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Bernucca: For Hinkie & Sickly Sixers, It’s Time For “Process” To Begin

Brando

In the classic war movie Apocalypse Now, Marlon Brando plays a decorated American colonel who has abandoned the war in Vietnam to set up his own dystopian military conclave in Cambodia that features random missions, animal sacrifices and human beheadings. Martin Sheen plays an American captain sent on a classified mission to assassinate the colonel. When Sheen arrives at the camp, he is asked if he believes the colonel’s methods are unsound. And Sheen replies, “I don’t see any method at all,

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Bernucca: Extensions Prove That Everybody Will Get Paid

money

If you take a quick look at the contract extensions given to the 2012 NBA draft class, nothing seems extraordinary. Eight eligible players received extensions. While collusion conspiracy theorists might point out that it’s two less than the 2011 class, it also is one more than the 2010 class and the same number as the 2009 class. As in previous seasons, the top pick got a five-year max deal and at least one other lottery pick also received a max deal of

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Five Things To Watch: Orlando Magic

Magic Rob Hennigan Mario Hezonja

It has been three seasons since the Orlando Magic have had to change their franchise’s future and goals by trading Dwight Howard. Three seasons since GM Rob Hennigan was installed and broke everything down, sold off everything that was not bolted down and committed to a long rebuilding process centered on the draft and sustainability. And so here the Magic sit, three years after that fateful decision. And with what? The Magic professed that 2015 would be the season the team showed

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