Towns, Porzingis, Okafor lead most impactful rookie class in 5 years

NBADraft

If you’ve noticed that this year’s rookie class is being talked about and praised around the league and in the media, there’s good reason for that.  This year’s top five picks— Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, the Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell, Philadelphia’s Jahlil Okafor, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis and Orlando’s Mario Hezonja— are making a larger early impact than any top-five group in at least a half decade. A detailed statistical analysis of top five picks over the last five years shows that over the first two

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Sprung: Porzingis Drawing Praise But Still Has Weaknesses

Kristaps Porzingis

For all the brilliant performances, jaw-dropping athletic feats and impressive double-doubles we’ve seen from New York Knicks 20-year-old rookie Kristaps Porzingis, the 7-3 Latvian still has a lot to improve upon as he navigates through his first NBA season.  There will be growing pains for Porzingis along the way – no pun intended – including the rough patch he is currently enduring. In New York’s last three games— a road trip to Utah, Sacramento and Portland— Porzingis had a total of 17 points, 13 rebounds

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Sprung: Divac says last season was unfair to Kings players

kings

It would be fitting if the man who helped lead the Sacramento Kings during their most prosperous years could help guide them back after a decade of mediocre irrelevance. You may recognize Vlade Divac’s smooth European voice from your Waze navigation system, but most know Divac— aside from being traded for Kobe Bryant— for being the center of the turn-of-the-millenium Kings team that nearly reached the NBA Finals and turned Arco Arena into the loudest building in sports. With a new arena

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Sheridan: Analyzing Thursday’s Trade Deadline Deals — Sixers Win

rocky

I have written this before but I haven’t written it in quite some time. When all is said and done on the Sam Hinkie Era, the Philadelphia 76ers will be counting up their multiple titles. Yes, multiple. But no, I do not expect JaVale McGee to be a part of any of that. Emmanuel Mudiay? Yes. Jahlil Okafor or Joel Embiid? Yep. The mad scientist in Philadelphia may just be a mad genius. Yes, it was fashionable to make fun of the young

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Sprung: Blazers on the rise through improved defense, continuity

AldridgeLillardSH1

The three best records in the NBA belong to the Warriors, Grizzlies and Blazers. What do all three Western Conference teams have in common? Continuity. Besides for some minor tweaks, (Shaun Livingston, Vince Carter, Steve Blake and Chris Kaman) Golden State, Memphis and Portland retained their core players and have been extremely successful over the first quarter of the regular season. For Portland, now at 16-4 after Sunday’s win over New York, this is the third season the LaMarcus Aldridge-Damian Lillard-Nicolas Batum-Wes

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Five Things To Watch: Portland Trail Blazers

LaMarcus Aldridge

Things have changed in Rip City. For the Portland Trail Blazers, the 2013-14 season not only represented a return to the playoffs, it ended a drought of not making the second round that had lasted longer than a decade.Yes, the Trail Blazers got taken to the woodshed by the San Antonio Spurs in the conference semifinals, doing just enough against the eventual champions to avoid a sweep. But plenty of other teams got whooped by the Spurs, too. Winning against the Houston

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Tweet of the Day: Amid Roster Change, Drummond Staying With Zero

Andre Drummond

The NBA offseason continues to roll along, complete with Kevin Love trade talks seeming to have spiked to an all-time high. If you’re interested, our own Chris Sheridan spoke with Dan Bickley on KTAR 98.7 regarding the latest on a potential trade. The Detroit Pistons have had a rather busy offseason. Theirs began with the hiring of a new head coach and president of basketball operations, Stan Van Gundy. Lacking a first round draft pick, they drafted Colorado point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, whom

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Tweet of the Day: Reaction To Mark Jackson’s Firing

Mark Jackson

OFFICIAL: The #Warriors have relieved Head Coach Mark Jackson of his duties: http://t.co/o8FFN3tbWv — Golden St. Warriors (@warriors) May 6, 2014 Speculation met reality Tuesday afternoon, as the Golden State Warriors fired head coach Mark Jackson. Jackson has led the Warriors to the playoffs in consecutive years—with a 98-66 record over that two-year span, making him the first Golden State coach since Don Nelson to accomplish the feat. However, two years of on-court success—each slowed by nagging injuries—could not prevent team owners from

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