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By John L. | PLAYOFF TIME
No more than 30 minutes after the Cleveland Cavaliers announced Kevin Love would miss the entirety of the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a dislocated left shoulder and labrum tear, the NBA made a swift decision regarding J.R. Smith's punishment for striking Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder in …J. R. Smith
Sunday's 114-105 Game 5 win over the San Antonio Spurs was an anomaly for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Not because the Clippers beat the defending NBA champions in the Alamo City—L.A. pulled that off during the regular season, too—but rather because of how the Clippers secured that crucial victory. …Los Angeles
Kawhi Leonard has made his point by now.
His point was crystal clear after a career-high 32 points in that one-sided 100-73 Game 3 victory last Friday, and his point was simple: He's become the most important piece for the Spurs on both ends of the court.
Don't let that Defensive Player of the Year …NBA
• Covers the New York Knicks for ESPNNewYork.com
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NEW YORK -- Phil Jackson has made it clear that he wants Carmelo Anthony to become more of a leader in the coming seasons, though he has never been specific about what kind of leadership he wants Anthony to display.
If he’s …Carmelo Anthony
The Cleveland Cavaliers swept the Boston Celtics and moved on the the second round of the NBA playoffs on Sunday, but their title hopes took a hit.
In the first quarter Kevin Love dislocated his shoulder after getting tangled up with Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk seemed to hook and hold …Kevin Love
The Cleveland Cavaliers completed a four-game sweep over the Boston Celtics on Sunday, but it was a costly one.
In addition to losing Kevin Love with a dislocated shoulder, the Cavs may have dug themselves a huge hole moving forward thanks in large part to an ugly punch thrown by J.R. Smith.
Over the years, Kobe Bryant has openly admitted that he's patterned his entire game after Michael Jordan. He's stolen a lot of MJ's best moves (see here, here, and here). He's pushed his teammates, including fellow superstars Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard, every bit as hard as MJ used to. And …Kobe Bryant
Unless they become the first team in NBA history to blow a 3-0 series lead, the Chicago Bulls will beat the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the 2015 playoffs. But after that happens (and it will), do they have any momentum left for the next round?
Chicago just might've swept the Bucks if it …NBA
Anthony Davis' first postseason may be over, but his ascent up the NBA's MVP ladder is just beginning.
Although the New Orleans Pelicans got swept out of the first round by the top-seeded Golden State Warriors, Davis acquitted himself beautifully during a brief, but fruitful, four-game run. During …Anthony Davis
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Game 4 could be LaMarcus Aldridge's last as a Blazer
The All-Star forward faces unrestricted free agency once Portland's season comes to an end.
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Bucks hope to keep exploiting Bulls' bigs
The formula that works best for the Bucks against the Bulls …Portland Trail Blazers
The Cleveland Cavaliers are advancing to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in five years, but like Kevin Love's shoulder, the Cavs will need to put their celebration on ice.
In a 101-93 Game 4 victory that resembled a heavyweight prize fight, frustration from both sides manifested …Kevin Love
The Golden State Warriors have one huge advantage over the rest of the NBA, and it's not going away anytime soon
The Golden State Warriors' ascent to the top of the NBA has been part smart team-building and part luck.
They've made savvy draft choices, signings, and trades, and gotten a little bit of luck with players staying healthy and draft picks exceeding expectations.
No matter how you look at it, though, …NBA
Pelicans to offer Davis max deal, sources say
New Orleans Pelicans
With star forward Anthony Davis eligible for a contract extension this summer, Pelicans officials plan to present him with a maximum five-year deal that could exceed $140 million, sources said.
Grizzlies' Conley out …NBA
• Covers the Golden State Warriors for ESPN.com
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NEW ORLEANS -- Anthony Davis cooked Golden State’s defense and offense for much of this series, or so it seemed. The young superstar was great -- averaging 31.5 points, 10.8 boards, 3.0 blocks. Not …Stephen Curry
Rockets fans can almost rejoice. The Houston Rockets are tantalizingly close to a first-round victory over the rival Dallas Mavericks, sitting pretty with a 3-0 series lead. Barring a collapse of historical proportions, Houston will be moving on to the Western Conference Semifinals for just the …NBA
The best team of the NBA's regular season has moved on to the next round. After a thrilling and improbable comeback victory over the New Orleans …Stephen Curry
Even though the NBA postseason has just started, it's been made clear through the few games played that the top two contenders for this year's MVP award are operating on another level from the rest of the field.
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry put together one of the most spectacular …NBA
The Eastern Conference playoffs' opening round has been cloaked by an air of inevitability—one that has upcoming semifinal matchups all but etched in stone. But even though the Cleveland Cavaliers' progression into Round 2 is a foregone conclusion, taking care of business in what could be the …Cleveland Cavaliers
• Former columnist and writer after five years with Sports Illustrated
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• On board of directors for Jim Murray Memorial Foundation.
SAN ANTONIO -- Doc Rivers talked about the difference between the regular season and the postseason ad nauseum over …Doc Rivers
Derrick Rose is dominating in his first playoffs since 2012, and the rest of the NBA should be terrified
Nobody knew what to expect from Derrick Rose heading into his first playoff series since 2012.
But over the first three games of round one, Rose has assuaged any fears of playoff rust by looking dominant and helping the Bulls to a 3-0 lead over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Most encouragingly, he has kicked …Derrick Rose
Restricted free agency is the NBA's greatest oxymoron.
Players hit the market with what may seem like all the liberty in the world, but both they and the team they most recently played for know that freedom is really just an illusion.
See, restricted free agents can sign offer sheets with any team …NBA
The "hack-a-player" strategy has never been popular among NBA fans, and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has drawn some ire during the playoffs this year for his persistent fouling of Los Angeles Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN.com he will examine …Sports Coaching
It's been a season of firsts for the Atlanta Hawks.
Mike Budenholzer, as he learned when former instructor Gregg Popovich game him a memorable call, won his first Coach of the Year award. All five starters were named Players of the Month in January—the first time the league gave such recognition to …Atlanta
Still surprised at how the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year race turned out? Confused as to how Kawhi Leonard took down Draymond Green? Angry over Anthony Davis' lack of first-place votes? Furious that Rudy Gobert didn't receive more recognition?
Well, I wish could tell you it's going to get …NBA
The NBA playoffs are in full swing, and any team with an eye on the trophy will be hoping it has enough depth to go all the way.
As last year’s champions—the San Antonio Spurs—know all too well, a competent bench is crucial for successfully navigating two months of grueling postseason.
But the …NBA
This year’s NBA Most Valuable Player race is the most exciting one in years. And in a moment, I’ll explain why the Rockets’ James Harden should win. But first, let’s get a few things straight.
One, there’s about six guys who would make compelling MVP candidates in virtually any other NBA season. …NBA
After playing less than ten minutes in the Dallas Mavericks' Game 2 loss to the Houston Rockets, the Mavericks announced Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with a back injury.
Asked whether he could see Rondo ever wearing a Mavs uniform again, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle stunningly said, "No, I don't."
The …Rajon Rondo
The Golden State Warriors crawled out from a 20-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to pull off the 123-119 overtime win over the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 3 on Thursday night.
The Warriors came out of the gate hot, shooting 6-of-7 to take a 17-9 lead within the first five minutes of …NBA
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PORTLAND, Ore. -- Zach Randolph watched the 2006 NBA draft on TV, but he didn't know much about the big man his team acquired with the second overall pick. Trail Blazers coaches and management filled him in: talented, athletic, …Zach Randolph