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

atl

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

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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

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Bernucca: For West Teams, Trade Grades as Deadline Arrives Early

Rajon Rondo and Josh Smith

After last week’s loss in Atlanta, Memphis Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger – whose team has the fifth-best record in the NBA – lamented his roster’s shortcomings. “We have to get another playmaker on the floor,” Joerger said. “We’re going to have to start playing multiple point guards (at the same time). We’ve got to be able to get inside of defenses.” It doesn’t matter that the Grizzlies have been at or near the top of the league for most of the season.

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Bernucca: Who’s Getting Maximum Production From Minimum Veterans?

Leandro Barbosa

In today’s NBA, the formula for winning in recent years was simple: Accumulate as many maximum-salary stars as you can without breaking the bank. But when you start piling up eight-figure salaries against the luxury tax, the bank breaks pretty quickly. So teams fill out their rosters with minimum-salary veterans. And if you look at the top of the NBA standings right now, many teams are getting very productive seasons from veterans signed to minimum-salary deals. The Chicago Bulls added Pau Gasol to Jimmy

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Bernucca: “They’re the Spurs” Might Not Be Enough This Season

Spurs Ring 2014 Multiple

Every time someone summons up the nerve to ask, “What’s wrong with the Spurs?” the defending NBA champions have provided an emphatic response: Nothing. They did it in November, beating the Clippers and Warriors on the road on consecutive nights after losses to Houston and New Orleans. They did it again in December, beating the Clippers to end a four-game losing streak that included back-to-back excruciating triple-overtime losses. And they did it again last night, beating the Rockets for the first time

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Bernucca: Phil Can’t Fix Knicks Through Twitter

PhilJackson-DerekFisher

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

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Bernucca: Knicks, Pistons Aren’t Tanking, But Sure Look Like It

Stan Van Gundy with hands

We all know what the Philadelphia 76ers are doing. Call it whatever you want – tanking, rebuilding, deconstructing, hoarding – the 76ers are openly, unabashedly and intentionally sinking to the bottom of the NBA, because GM Sam Hinkie has convinced ownership that is the fastest way to get back to the top. Hinkie has constructed a roster that is inherently non-competitive. The Sixers have the fewest first-round picks and the most undrafted free agents of any team. Their highest-paid player makes $6.6

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Bernucca: West’s Advantage Over East Bigger Than Ever

Warriors

Leave it to Jeff Van Gundy to use the holiday season as another outlet for his vastly underrated sense of humor. During Wednesday’s ESPN telecast of New York-Dallas, the analyst said he was thankful that there were not two Eastern Conferences. But as Thanksgiving quickly morphed into the Christmas shopping season, perhaps Van Gundy could ask Santa Claus for another Western Conference. Because that would allow us to throw out the Eastern Conference with all the torn wrapping paper, ugly sweaters and

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