NBA Releases Kinder, Gentler 2015-16 Schedule


The kinder, gentler NBA schedule is out. First, here’s the stuff you want. Opening Night is Tuesday, Oct. 27 and has a TNT doubleheader with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers visiting the Chicago Bulls and the New Orleans Pelicans visiting MVP Stephen Curry and the defending champion Golden State Warriors, who will be handing out rings and hoisting their title banner. Both are rematches of playoff showdowns. The following night, it’s ESPN’s turn with Kevin Durant returning for the Oklahoma City Thunder


Bernucca: Who Deserves to be an All-Star Reserve?


Every team wants a player in the NBA All-Star Game. Just this week, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban complained that the voting system is “absolutely, positively broken” and lobbied for the NBA to provide additional roster spots for reserves who may have been overlooked by the fans. His reasoning was that leading vote-getter Stephen Curry received a mere 1.5 million votes, which is a miniscule total when you consider the global, electronic balloting process. As he often does, Cuban made some good


Photo of the Day: A Day in the Life of Rachel Nichols

Rachel Nichols Chicago

Today’s Photo of the Day doesn’t come from an NBA player. Instead it comes from someone who covers the NBA on TNT for Turner Sports, among many other things, the talented Rachel Nichols. She’s very good at what she does and knows what she’s talking about. However, the side of her job that we don’t usually get to see on television is probably the hardest part about it: traveling. [Read more…]


Bernucca: Handing Out My Midseason Awards

James Harden

One of the biggest knocks against the NBA is that when the season starts, there are only five or six teams that can truly win the championship, making the regular season and the early playoff rounds interminably tedious. Not this season. As we reach the midway point – 18 teams have played at least 41 games, another nine have played 40 – there are no less than a dozen teams with legitimate title aspirations, including a handful that haven’t been in the


Bernucca: Phil Can’t Fix Knicks Through Twitter


While many GMs were working the phones this week, Knicks president Phil Jackson was using a different, more contemporary form of communication: Twitter. On Thursday, Donnie Nelson and Danny Ainge swung a five-player trade that sent Rajon Rondo to Dallas and draft picks to Boston. On Friday, Daryl Morey, Flip Saunders and Sam Hinkie worked a three-team deal that landed Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved in Houston and draft picks in Minnesota and Philadelphia. But not Jackson, and not the Knicks. Jackson doesn’t


Bernucca: Hawks are Best Team No One Has Seen

Hawks Korver Carroll Horford Millsap Teague

The hottest team in the Eastern Conference doesn’t have a three-headed monster like the Cleveland Cavaliers. It doesn’t have a scrutinized superstar returning from injury like the Chicago Bulls or a rapper sitting courtside at every home game like the Toronto Raptors. Heck, it doesn’t even have a national TV appearance, even though it plays in TNT’s backyard. But the Atlanta Hawks have won nine of their last 10 games, flying well under the radar toward the top of the conference. The Hawks


Bernucca: Cavs Are More Than Fragile. They’re Flawed

Cavs Chalk Toss

Over the weekend, LeBron James called his slumping, underachieving Cleveland Cavaliers “a fragile team.” James is partially right. As a group, the Cavaliers aren’t dealing very well with the lofty expectations put upon them by pundits like me. Right now, they look like a typical front-running team that lacks mental toughness and gives in at the first sign of trouble. That was evident Saturday, when the Cavaliers sprinted to a 26-8 lead in the first eight minutes – and were overwhelmed thereafter


Bernucca: For Derrick Rose, Image Becoming a Thorny Issue

Derrick Rose

If Derrick Rose wants to sit out games because he doesn’t feel 100 percent healthy, that’s fine. If Rose wants to go to the coaching staff, training staff and management of the Chicago Bulls and develop some sort of maintenance program which allows him to sit out games from time to time, that’s fine, too. In fact, given what the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat have done with their aging stars over the last several seasons – and the success that