NBA Nation

By John L. | #THISISWHYWEPLAY

LeBron James has already played more NBA minutes than Michael Jordan did in his entire career

People are once again debating the merits of NBA players taking nights off to rest as the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and Cleveland Cavaliers all had their best players sit out recent nationally televised games.<p>Some point to stars in previous generations who never took games off just …

NBA

Metrics 101: The Top 5 NBA Defenders at Every Position

Don't test these guys.<p>Though offense often reigns supreme in today's NBA, especially with the ceaselessly expanding use of three-point jumpers, some players can slow down almost anyone. And while big men have historically dominated the Defensive Player of the Year race, there are plenty of …

Basketball

'Tinderization of the NBA' Reportedly Helping Players' Performance in Road Games

A general manager and former player have both claimed that NBA players are performing better on the road in the modern NBA, in part, because they can use dating apps and social media to meet potential sexual partners rather than staying out late in clubs, according to Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com.<p>An …

Basketball

Steve Kerr Says He'd Be Open to Less Pay for Reduced NBA Schedule

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr proposed reducing the NBA regular season from 82 games to 75 Tuesday and stated he'd be willing to take a pay cut to make it happen.<p>Tim MacMahon of ESPN passed along comments from the reigning Coach of the Year about potential solutions for resting …

Basketball

Nearly Forgotten, J.R. Smith Is Cleveland Cavaliers' Secret Playoff Weapon

CLEVELAND — J.R. Smith is sitting at his locker, openly complaining about having to put on a shirt.<p>No one is really listening, mind you. Reporters and cameras are too busy gathered around All-Star teammate Kevin Love, who's giving his mandated postgame presser.<p>Eventually, Smith lets out a deep sigh …

Basketball

Steph Curry Can Still Decide Everything

After Steph Curry predicted James Harden would win MVP, and after Russell Westbrook responded by asking "Who's he?", Curry was asked if he wanted to …

NBA

Culture: How the San Antonio Spurs Became Synonymous with Success

The calendar reads February 12, and the San Antonio Spurs sit at 41-13 heading into a Sunday afternoon tilt against the Knicks at Madison Square …

San Antonio Spurs

NBA Power Rankings

The Golden State Warriors, truth be told, have returned to the summit of ESPN.com's weekly NBA Power Rankings somewhat by default.<p>A 3-0 week against …

Basketball

The Warriors are mad Oklahoma City doesn’t kiss Kevin Durant’s feet anymore

Good morning. We have that and more in Monday’s NBA newsletter.<p>Kevin Durant made his first trip back to Oklahoma City back in February. Apparently the Warriors are sore that the Thunder didn't roll out a red carpet and fete Durant at that point. ESPN's Chris Haynes reports that Golden State …

NBA

Every NBA Team's Most Promising Prospect

Feel like peering into the future of your favorite NBA team?<p>It's understandable if you don't. Not every squad is adequately stocked for tomorrow. Others are so committed to the present now that's it's tough to think about anything else.<p>Still, in the spirit of March Madness, when we deign to take …

Basketball

The NBA's MVP of Every Age Group

Two years have passed since we last named an NBA MVP at every age. Let's fire up that process yet again, because handing out just one Maurice Podoloff Trophy is lame.<p>Twenty-two different age groups, spanning from 19-year-olds to 40-year-olds, are represented in 2016-17. Players are sorted by how …

Basketball

Why this Russell Westbrook pass is his most magical MVP movement

This nutmeg pass is Russell Westbrook personified.<p>Russell Westbrook pulled off the pass of the season in the Thunder’s huge win over the Raptors on Thursday. In fact, it might be more than the pass of the season. This might have been the best pass in the past several seasons. We’ll need to let the …

NBA

What's up with Jimmy Butler?

<b>The Bulls faced a big game</b> Wednesday, such as this Bulls team can face an actual big game. But anyway, it was a chance to close in on the eighth playoff spot in the dogbreath Eastern Conference and it was at home.<p>The Grizzlies faced a big game Wednesday, too. It was a chance to close in on the …

NBA

The Biggest Overachievers and Underachievers of 2016-17 NBA Season

Each and every year, we enter the NBA season determined not to be caught off guard.<p>Each and every year, we fail.<p>Preseason expectations are meant to be broken—to be proved wrong. There's isn't an 82-game schedule that goes by without a handful of surprising and disappointing teams throwing off …

Basketball

Ranking the Top 10 Free-Agent Targets of the 2017 NBA Offseason

After NBA Commissioner Adam Silver hands the Larry O'Brien Trophy to the 2017 champions, the entire focus of the sport shifts—first to the draft, then to the free-agency pools, which will suck in millions and millions of dollars.<p>Over $1.8 billion was spent in just over a day last year. This …

Basketball

Which NBA Teams Need the No. 1 Seed Most in Both Conferences?

Some NBA teams have historically cared more than others about playoff seeding, but this year, there's one club in each conference that <i>should</i> be pushing for the top spot harder than everyone else.<p>A lot can change between now and the end of the regular season, but the Golden State Warriors and …

Basketball

Should The Warriors And Cavs Be Getting Worried?

Here is a fun stat, courtesy of ESPN’s Marc Stein: In March the Warriors are 28th in the NBA offensive efficiency, and the Cavaliers are 29th in …

Basketball

NBA scores 2017: The Spurs are now in first place in the Western Conference

The Spurs and Warriors are tied in the loss column but San Antonio owns the tie-breaker<p>Yes, it has finally happened. The Spurs have taken over the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and passed the Golden State Warriors. While the Spurs and Warriors are actually tied in the loss column with 14 …

NBA

5 Most Surprising Stats in Golden State Warriors' Strange Season

So much for the 2016-17 NBA season lacking suspense on account of the superteam Golden State Warriors.<p>The Dubs may well punctuate this campaign with a third straight trip to the Finals and their second world title in three years. But even if that happens, this marathon has already diverted from its …

Basketball

Passing the Torch: 8 NBA Teams with New Alpha Dogs

More torches are being passed inside NBA locker rooms and pecking orders now than in recent memory.<p>Rebuilding teams always feature players jostling for importance, so we're used to a certain level of status turnover. But there are extra transitions taking place within the league's middle …

Basketball

NBA Teams That Should Consider a Coaching Change by Season's End

The NBA's coaching carousel has turned into a carnival of carnage over the last four years. Only five current head coaches (Gregg Popovich, Erik Spoelstra, Rick Carlisle, Dwane Casey and Terry Stotts) were hired prior to the 2013 offseason.<p>Since then, the 25 remaining jobs have turned over at least …

NBA

Lamarcus Aldridge out Indefinitely with Heart Arrhythmia

San Antonio Spurs star LaMarcus Aldridge is out indefinitely while undergoing further evaluation for a minor heart arrhythmia.<p>The Spurs posted the official announcement Saturday on social media:<p>Losing Aldridge would be a significant blow for the Spurs as they attempt to keep pace with the Golden …

San Antonio

Magic Johnson says he will quit if he cannot turn Lakers around

Apr 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers former player Magic Johnson introduces Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (not pictured) before a game …

LeBron James has made an emphatic change to his game and it laughs in the face of the biggest concern about his season

LeBron James certainly doesn't look tired.<p>Despite playing a near-league-leading 37.6 minutes per game in his 14th NBA season — 39 minutes per game since the All-Star break — and after having played well into June for six straight years, James looks pretty spry.<p>Look no further than Thursday night …

Cleveland

The Russell Westbrook Problem

The most exciting play in basketball somehow happens five times a game. It’s always Russell Westbrook grabbing a rebound or an outlet pass, then …

Basketball

What’s at the root of the Warriors’ struggles? Errant 3-point shooting

OAKLAND — They have a sidelined superstar lugging around a bulky knee brace, a second-unit struggling to score points, a grueling schedule that has …

Basketball

WATCH: Warriors' Stephen Curry teaches trash-talking rookie a lesson

Jaylen Brown was the victim of the back-to-back MVP<p>Boston Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown learned a lesson on Wednesday: Do not talk trash to the back-to-back MVP. On the final possession of the third quarter, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry faked Brown out of his shoes, beat the buzzer with a …

Basketball

Awards? Spurs Couldn't Care Less, but Kawhi Leonard Still Might Win MVP

SAN ANTONIO – Stepping to a microphone at Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium in 1996 to accept the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance, Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder famously dismissed the very notion of awards for art of any sort.<p>"I'm going to say something...on behalf of all of us," Vedder …

Basketball

How Kawhi Leonard Became Complete

How did a No. 15 pick from San Diego State become the best two-way player in the league and a potential MVP? Nathaniel Friedman reflects on the quiet, almost invisible ascendance of Kawhi.<p>In today's NBA, egoists are an endangered species. The league's best players haven't just eschewed a me-first …

San Antonio