Sprung: Blazers on the rise through improved defense, continuity

AldridgeLillardSH1

The three best records in the NBA belong to the Warriors, Grizzlies and Blazers. What do all three Western Conference teams have in common? Continuity. Besides for some minor tweaks, (Shaun Livingston, Vince Carter, Steve Blake and Chris Kaman) Golden State, Memphis and Portland retained their core players and have been extremely successful over the first quarter of the regular season. For Portland, now at 16-4 after Sunday’s win over New York, this is the third season the LaMarcus Aldridge-Damian Lillard-Nicolas Batum-Wes

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Photo of the Day: Raptors Pay Tribute to Vince Carter

Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter

Vince Carter put the Toronto Raptors on the map. For a young franchise in the NBA playing outside the United States, you can see why “Air Canada” meant so much to the city and to the Raptors organization. They don’t garner much interest from big free agents, having to build their roster through the draft, which has been a problem facing Toronto since its inception into the league. Then Vince Carter changed all that. He made the Raptors exciting, using his

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Scotto: Is Andrew Wiggins The Next Paul George?

Andrew Wiggins

BROOKLYN – Andrew Wiggins grew up watching Vince Carter during his “Air Canada” days, back when Tracy McGrady was also with the Toronto Raptors, showing his early flashes of stardom. The phenom drew comparisons to both former Toronto players as ceilings for his development when he entered the NBA draft. However, a handful of games into his NBA career, the 19-year-old has drawn numerous comparisons to Paul George in recent conversations with several league general managers, executives and scouts. Wiggins had his best

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Five Things To Watch: Dallas Mavericks

Chandler Parsons Dallas

About an hour after I had rolled into the Audi Garage next to the American Airlines Center in Dallas, and about four hours after I left San Antonio, where I had watched the Mavericks lose Game 7 of the first round of the 2014 playoffs to the eventual NBA champion Spurs, members of the Mavs spoke to the media. On the floor of their practice court, Dirk Nowitzki spoke about the disappointment of that game after taking the Spurs to the

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Five Things To Watch: Memphis Grizzlies

Grizzlies Knicks Basketball

The Memphis Grizzlies begin the 2014-15 season with high hopes. With the core in place and an exceptionally deep bench, making a return to the Western Conference finals – or further – is the goal. Last season, the injury bug bit the Grizzlies. Multiple key players missed extended time, and the Grizzlies couldn’t separate themselves in the West as a result. Ending the season contemplating what could have been is unpleasant, and it’s a situation the Grizzlies don’t care to find themselves

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Five Things To Watch: Toronto Raptors

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When the final buzzer sounded on the Toronto Raptors last season, the team was left deflated on its home court after a crushing last-second Game 7 loss. It was an ending to a season that no one – not pundits, not fans, maybe not even management – could have predicted. After 18 games and a 6-12 record, it appeared as though the Raptors were destined for yet another forgettable season, lodged firmly in the bottom third of the NBA. Instead, after

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Chris Bernucca’s Postseason Award Choices

DPOY trophy

Transparency is a two-way street. For years, NBA media members – echoing the sentiments of its passionate fan base – wanted more transparency from Commissioner David Stern and his executive staff. Whether it was a lottery drawing, a suspension in the playoffs or a referee scandal, folks felt like they were entitled to an explanation. And they were. Stern grudgingly came around. He arranged for the media to meet with referees prior to the season about rules changes. He allowed the media

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