Bernucca: A Closer Look at Warriors’ Chase for 73 Wins

Warriors Championship Rings Top Curry

It’s time to get serious about the Golden State Warriors and their pursuit of 73 wins. Even before the advent of the 24-hour news cycle required media members to have an ironclad opinion 10 minutes after something happened, I have always been a more patient sort. Yes, a record 24 straight wins to start the season got my attention. But that is less than one-third of an NBA campaign. Over the course of 5 1/2 months and 82 games, teams slump. Teams

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Bernucca: Handing Out My Midseason Awards

Curry

This is the time of year when we give out our midseason awards. But before we get to the drudgery of Sixth Man Award and Most Valuable Player, let’s start the festivities with a special award for individual achievement that goes to Rashad Vaughn. Vaughn is a shooting guard for the Milwaukee Bucks and the second-youngest player in the NBA. He is one of the dozens of rookies who have made virtually no impact in their first season. He is averaging 2.5 points

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Bernucca: Doc Rivers the GM Keeps Doc Rivers the Coach Busy

doc-rivers

Over the last two weeks, Doc Rivers the coach has done a fantastic job of covering for Doc Rivers the GM. The Los Angeles Clippers have won nine straight games, the last eight without superstar forward Blake Griffin, who – in case you hadn’t noticed over the past couple of seasons – has overtaken Chris Paul as the team’s best player. When Griffin got hurt, the Clippers appeared to be in trouble. They had just lost three straight games to San Antonio,

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Bernucca: Tim Who? Duncan’s Donut Illustrates Spurs’ Transition

Spurs_2014_NBA_Championship_Ring_01

In case you didn’t notice, the transition into a new era for the San Antonio Spurs hit a milestone of sorts this past weekend. For the first time in 1,360 career games, Tim Duncan did not score. Coming off a three-game absence – one for rest and two due to knee soreness – the no-brainer Hall of Famer played just 13 minutes Saturday, missing all three of his shots and failing to get to the line. And it was no coincidence that in

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Bernucca: If Outspoken Butler Isn’t Leader of Bulls, Who Is?

Jimmy Butler

If you are like many Americans – middle-class, middle-aged males not unlike myself – and watched your first NBA games this season on Christmas, then you probably think the Chicago Bulls are just fine. If you have watched at any other time this season, then you know otherwise. On Christmas, the Bulls played perhaps their best game of the season. They went into Loud City without injured emotional leader Joakim Noah and never trailed against the Thunder, leaving with a convincing 105-96

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Bernucca: If Anthony Davis Was a Top-Five Player, Wouldn’t the Pelicans Be Better?

Anthony Davis

Can we now stop pretending that Anthony Davis is the second coming of Wilt Chamberlain? Can we now stop with the hyperbolic declarations that Davis is going to own the NBA in two years or that Davis is going to make the New Orleans Pelicans a perennial title contender? Can we now stop calling Davis a top-five player? Top-five players elevate teams by themselves. Top-five players assure their teams of 50 wins and playoff berths, regardless of circumstances. Top-five players don’t say, “We

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Bernucca: Skiles Working His Defensive Magic in Orlando

Magic pregame huddle

As an NBA coach, Scott Skiles has always had a definitive modus operandi. In his three previous jobs, Skiles has dramatically improved his team’s defense, in some cases taking it from near the bottom of the league to near the top. That improvement helps the team become an absolute pain in the neck to play and make a quantum leap from the lottery to the playoffs. Then at some point, Skiles and his hypercompetitive nature become a bit overbearing for some players,

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Bernucca: Is NBA Experiencing Parity, or Mediocrity?

Warriors

Is the NBA inching toward parity? Or slowly sinking into mediocrity? Those may seem like strange questions during a season in which the Golden State Warriors have imposed their dominance over the rest of the league in unprecedented fashion. Yes, at 22-0 the Warriors have obliterated the best start in NBA history and have looked downright unbeatable while the clock was ticking during a vast majority of those 22 games. In that sense, they present a very strong argument against the notion

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