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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Sprung: The Analytics of Stephen Curry’s Improvement

Curry1

After winning the MVP last season and leading his Golden State Warriors to an NBA championship, Stephen Curry has been even better over the first quarter of this 2015-2016 season. Like a lot better, to the point where his offensive wizardry and shot-making mastery has become unfair to opposing defenses that are seemingly rendered helpless by his abilities. The Warriors are now 22-0 after blowing past the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night, the best start to an American professional sports season after

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Sprung: Can Kobe Bryant win the MVP Award?

KobeTrophies

What would it take for Kobe Bryant to win the 2015-2016 NBA MVP award? As we handicap the MVP race for the 2015-2016 season, we’ll take a look at last season’s top five finishers— Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and LeBron James— along with Kevin Durant. But a question many Angelenos and basketball fans around the world have is what kind of numbers would Bryant have to put up in his age-37 season to take home the crown? To

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Marks: “Super Stat” Harvey Pollack in the Fight of His Life

Harvey Pollack 1

Editor’s note: This story originally was published in February, when our Jon Marks had the chance to spend some time with Ron Pollack, the son of legendary statistician Harvey Pollack, who died Tuesday at the age of 93. PHILADELPHIA – The vigil begins early. Ron Pollack arrives at Hahnemann Hospital at 8 o’clock every morning – just in time for doctor’s rounds – and heads immediately for the Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit. He brings his I-Pad and other electronic

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Bernucca: LeBron Doesn’t Need Any More Validation

Will this be the third time NBA fans are treated to this scene?

See that guy? That white silhouette inside the red and blue? That’s Jerry West. He’s the NBA logo and has been since 1969, when he was still playing. Jerry West’s nickname was “Mr. Clutch.” Former Boston Celtics radio announcer Johnny Most, who disliked every player not wearing green and white, used to call him “Gentleman Jerry.” To my knowledge, Jerry West and Julius Erving are the only visiting players who ever received polite applause upon entering the lion’s den known as Boston

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Schayes: Here’s Why Intentional Fouling Doesn’t Work

Josh Smith

Please, people, don’t panic!  The strategy of fouling bad foul shooters, incessantly creating a parade to the free throw line, will die a quiet death. I’m not talking about a team that is behind by 6 with a minute to go trying to get the ball back. I’m talking about the “Hack-a-Shaq” – or Dwight, or DeAndre – strategy of putting a 40 percent shooter on the line 40 times a game. Yes, it is bad television. It kills the flow of

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Bernucca: Leonard Giving the Spurs a Big Bang

Kawhi Leonard

What do James Harden, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James have in common? They’re all legitimate MVP candidates, of course. But what else does that Awesome Foursome have in common? In a potential playoff series against the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, they can all expect to see an individual matchup with Kawhi Leonard. In case you’ve been transfixed by March Madness, the Spurs are looking like a championship contender. Again. If you want some perspective, my son Andrew was born

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