Four months have passed since the masterpiece was finished with a throwback flourish that had purists spouting superlatives and invoking sacred basketball institutions like the Red Holzman Knicks, the Jack Ramsay Blazers . . . Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, James Naismith. The Spurs joined the pantheon of great teams when they mutilated the Heat dynasty in the 2014 NBA Finals, playing a brand of team basketball that Naismith would have found ideal, even if it was unimaginable when he invented the
On Thursday, we gave you our All-Breakout Team for the upcoming season for the Eastern Conference. Today, we bring you our Western Conference All-Breakout Team. These are the players we believe are on the verge of breaking out or standing out. We used the same parameters – five players, one at each position, but no rookies. Let’s get right to it.
Wednesday afternoon, or evening depending on which northern hemisphere you were in, saw the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs in their first preseason exhibition. Their opponent, Alba Berlin (otherwise known as the Berlin Albatrosse). It was, for many, expected to be a blowout in the champs favor, much in the same way that the Cleveland Cavaliers so easily dispatched Maccabi Tel Aviv. Unfortunately, fortune favors the bold. Alba Berlin, though seemingly outmatched in talent, kept the game within striking distance the
PHILADELPHIA – Let’s begin with a question. In the three-plus decades since David Stern took the reins as NBA commissioner from Larry O’Brien and handed them to Adam Silver, what do these franchises – the Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans, Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers – have in common? Answer: None has gone to the NBA Finals. Furthermore, among that group only Denver, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Sacramento and
It might sound ridiculous to try to compare Aron Baynes, an undrafted reserve with four career starts, to Bill Laimbeer, a four-time All Star and NBA champion. However, the two have more in common than you would expect. Before Laimbeer became the ringleader for the Pistons’ Bad Boys and a namesake for a Super Nintendo videogame, he was an afterthought. Sandwiched in the draft between two players who never appeared in the NBA, Laimbeer – the 65th overall pick in 1979 – was forced to
On Thursday, we brought back our Three-Man Weave, taking a look at some of the big picture questions for Eastern Conference teams that the offseason may or may not have answered. Today, we shift our focus to the Western Conference, where the player movement has been less dramatic and more subtle but entirely interesting and thought-provoking. Let’s take a look at some of the bigger issues. 1. Which team has taken the biggest step forward in the Western Conference?
For the third straight year, the Dallas Mavericks went into the summer trying to snag a superstar to line up alongside Dirk Nowitzki. Two years ago, the Mavericks went after All-Star point guard Deron Williams, who took a pass on playing in his home state with no local income taxes and re-signed with the Brooklyn Nets. The consolation prizes were Elton Brand, Chris Kaman and O.J. Mayo. Last year, the target was All-Star center Dwight Howard, who stung the Mavericks by signing
With the 2014 NBA Draft fast approaching, teams have a tough decision to make due to Joel Embiid’s unexpected foot injury. After having surgery on his right foot – believed to be a very serious type of injury – the 7-footer is expected to miss four-to-six months of action. Not surprisingly, this has caused teams to reconsider their plans of drafting the center. The Cleveland Cavaliers, in particular, are looking at Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins now. They may even simply trade