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

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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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Sixth Man Rankings: Championing Dallas’ second unit, Vince Carter is thriving

Vince Carter

As the Dallas Mavericks compete for one of the most competitive No. 8 seeds in NBA history, they’ve relied heavily on Vince Carter to provide veteran leadership and production to the team’s second lineup. While he is the team’s sixth man by assignment, coach Rick Carlisle still considers him one of Dallas’ most important players. This is evident by Carter’s defined role in the final minutes of close games. Carter is averaging nearly seven fourth-quarter minutes per game in 2013-2014, nearly two

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SH Blog: Will Kevin Love return to L.A. as a Laker?

Kevin Love

LAKERS TARGETING KEVIN LOVE ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Dave McMenamin: Timberwolves president Flip Saunders will do everything he can to keep Love, who is fourth in the league in scoring at 26.3 points per game and third in rebounding at 12.6 per game this season. And Minnesota will have the advantage of being able to offer a five-year extension, versus a four-year deal from any other team. But if Love makes it clear that he has no intention to re-up with the Wolves, Saunders will be

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Sixth Man Rankings: Now a Starter, Tyreke Evans Looks Like a Star

Tyreke Evans

When the Pelicans gave Tyreke Evans a four-year, $44 million dollar offer sheet last summer, fans and analysts alike were skeptical of whether Evans had earned that deal. After several years of franchise turmoil in Sacramento, Evans’ morale was at an all time low. The former Rookie of the Year had regressed from a prolific star in the making to a streaky enigma on one of the league’s worst teams. Committing near-max money to Evans looked like a gross miscalculation by a New

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SH Blog: Aldridge rushing return; Kobe calls out Shaq; Bosh says Big 3 will return to Miami; Westbrook uncertain of playoffs minute restriction

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As teams continue to jockey for position in the Western Conference — and fight for 50 wins just to get in — one of the early season darlings continues to sink. That would be the Portland Trailblazers. Once the talk of the NBA, the Blazers have hit a rough patch at the worst possible time, losing nine of their last 13 games and are now just a half game ahead of the Golden State Warriors for the 6th spot in the

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