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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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

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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

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Bernucca: Are Sacramento Kings Overlooked? Or Playing Over Their Heads?

DeMarcus Cousins

There was a lot of attention on the Pacific Division this past weekend. People were wondering when the Golden State Warriors would finally lose and when the Los Angeles Lakers would finally win. Both happened Sunday, with the Warriors – playing without Klay Thompson and David Lee – finally falling at Phoenix and the Lakers – getting production from someone other than Kobe Bryant – knocking off the Charlotte Hornets. But if you ask me, the attention was misplaced. With consecutive playoff

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Bernucca: Thunder’s Big Problem is Jackson, Not Westbrook or Durant

Westbrook Curry resize 1

There were two pieces of bad news coming out of Loud City this weekend. And there was a disproportionate reaction to the wrong one. There was far too much hand-wringing to the news that Russell Westbrook will be joining fellow Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on his broken right hand. The Thunder are going to survive November without Durant and Westbrook. They have 14 games between now and Dec. 1, the projected earliest return for

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Bernucca: Looking For a Championship Outlier? Try the Mavericks

Dirk-Nowitzki-Dallas-Mavericks-NBA-9-485x728

One of the common complaints about the NBA – and a somewhat legitimate one at that – is that there are only a half-dozen teams or so that can truly win the championship. Think about it: Who do you have winning it all this season? Chances are it’s one of the “Fab Five” – Cleveland, Chicago, San Antonio, Oklahoma City or the Los Angeles Clippers. And you’re not off base, either. One of those teams is my pick – our staff’s

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Bernucca: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of the 2013-14 NBA Season

clint

There were 1,230 games during the NBA season, and I read the stories and boxscores for every single one. That is how I compile Page 2 of my weekly notes column, which features the categories Quote of the Week, Line of the Week, Line of the Weak and the Trillion Watch. It’s also how I find gems like Mo Williams mysteriously playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. After my column is published every Monday, I take the winners of those weekly categories and save

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