Victor Oladipo Has Facial Fracture, Out Indefinitely

Victor Oladipo, Gal Mekel

Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo is out indefinitely after suffering a facial fracture in practice Thursday.  The Magic announced Friday that Oladipo took an inadvertent elbow to the face during a practice drill. The second-year guard will undergo a surgical procedure Saturday. There is no timetable for his return. Oladipo already was nursing a sprained MCL suffered in preseason that had prevented him from playing in any exhibition games. He returned to practice Monday, and the Magic were hoping that Oladipo could

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Five Things to Watch: Atlanta Hawks

Hawks core for 2014

When the Atlanta Hawks hired Danny Ferry as general manager in the summer of 2012, one of the first things he impressed upon the organization was the importance of patience. The Hawks promptly traded Joe Johnson for replacement-level flotsam to keep their payroll flexible and patiently waited for Josh Smith’s contract to expire to determine where their newfound wealth would be allocated. With the exceptions of signing Paul Millsap to a two-year, $19 million deal and re-signing Jeff Teague for four years

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Five Things To Watch: Washington Wizards

Nene

It’s been a long, long time since the Washington Wizards were expected to be a top team in the Eastern Conference. But after defeating the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs for their first postseason series win in nine years, the Wizards are entering a season with high expectations. How high? Well, there is some talk that after last season’s 44-38 mark, the Wizards could win 50 games – which they haven’t done since the 1978-79 season. Here

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Five Things To Watch: Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic players

Despite the Orlando Magic becoming a better and deeper squad this offseason, a playoff push in the 2014-15 campaign still seems a step too far, even in the weaker Eastern Conference. GM Rob Hennigan has done a good job of moving on from Dwight Howard, creating a manageable payroll and rebuilding the Magic with young, exciting and athletic players. Orlando has 10 players on their rookie contracts, several of whom have already established themselves as legitimate NBA players. For now, those players

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Five Things To Watch: Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets

Coming off the first playoff appearance since 2010 and turning the page on some miserable years, Charlotte now has new hope — and a new old nickname. The Charlotte Hornets have rediscovered their sting and are for real.  Guided a year ago by first-year coach Steve Clifford, Charlotte restructured its entire defensive system, and along with star big man Al Jefferson saw its win total spike from 21 all the way to 43. According to analyst David Locke, the Hornets shaved off

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Eisenberg: With Management Mess, Hawks Look For Stability on Court

NBA: Washington Wizards at Atlanta Hawks

Before Bruce Levenson’s infamous email and Danny Ferry’s infamous scouting recital, the Atlanta Hawks were actually one of the quietest teams in the NBA this offseason. In the face of one of the most active transaction cycles in NBA history, Atlanta’s limited action in free agency was by design. General sentiment within the organization was – and remains – that the team will take an important leap forward as long as they remain healthy. After all, before center Al Horford tore his right pectoral –

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Five Things To Watch: Miami Heat

Heat jersey sleeves

The Miami Heat had an offseason that gave fans numerous swings of emotion. The best player in the league, LeBron James, left for Cleveland as a free agent. But that same week, Chris Bosh turned down an offer to join James Harden and Dwight Howard in Houston and agreed to sign a maximum-level contract with the Heat. Pat Riley then quickly assembled a new team with several new players – Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts, Danny Granger and Shannon Brown, just

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Despite 61, LeBron not Player of the Week

mask-bron

How do you score 61 points in a game and not get named NBA Player of the Week? Well, if you’re LeBron James, you total 58 points in the three ensuing games, all losses. James and the Miami Heat had one of their worst three-game stretches of the season, minimizing the impact of his 61-point explosion a week ago and giving Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors to Carmelo Anthony, whose New York Knicks had a rare good week. Anthony averaged  29.0

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