Bernucca: Sorry Big O, But Today’s Game Is Much Better

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I hope Oscar Robertson was watching Saturday night. I hope he saw Stephen Curry answer his ridiculous, attention-starved musings as definitively as possible. I hope he wasn’t too jaded to see Curry handle the ball in a way Robertson only wished he could. I hope his eyesight still works well enough to see from where Curry was launching – and making – his shots. And I hope Robertson and a number of NBA stars from bygone eras will just shut up and

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Bernucca: Winners and Losers at the Trading Deadline

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When the biggest names on the move at the NBA trading deadline are Brandon Jennings, Jeff Green and Markieff Morris, it is a bit of a letdown. There is legitimate reasoning behind last week’s relatively quiet activity. This summer marks uncharted territory for NBA teams and their general managers, none of whom want to be the guy who shoots before aiming. The salary cap is going to jump from $70 million to more than $90 million this summer. That is an unprecedented

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Tobias Harris headed to Pistons for Jennings, Ilyasova

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We have our first trade deadline deal — almost exactly 48 hours before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. Just months after signing a max contract extension with the Orlando Magic, Tobias Harris is being dealt to the Detroit Pistons for point guard Brandon Jennings and stretch forward Ersan Ilyasova. The news was broken by our own Michael Scotto — not a bad scoop for that young man. Just my opinion, but the deal is a coup for Pistons coach/general manager Stan Van Gundy, who

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Bernucca: Handing Out My Midseason Awards

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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

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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

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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

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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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