Basketball

  • That ridiculous Game 4 was exactly what the NBA Finals needed

    Nothing that happened with the Warriors and the Cavaliers made sense, but we loved it all the same.

    Game 4 might have been the dumbest thing that has ever happened on an NBA Finals hardwood. It was also the most sensational 48 minutes of shotmaking from one team that we’ve ever seen in the Finals. If the first assertion isn’t true, the second one most certainly is.

  • The 2008 Celtics were the first and most fascinating NBA superteam

    Ten years ago, the NBA’s first modern superteam was formed. There hasn’t been a successor quite like it.

    The first lesson of NBA roster building is there are no guarantees. The can’t-miss phenom gets hurt in Year 3. The dynamic pair of teammates decide they can no longer stand each other’s company. The big acquisition that’s supposed to put you over the top weighs you down and kills your cap sheet.

  • The 21 players who could win NBA MVP this season

    With the Warriors stars stealing votes from each other, the NBA MVP race is wide open this year. Let’s break it down.

  • The 25 games you don't want to miss in 2016-17

    With the full NBA schedule released, we have scanned the slate for 25 extra-special games you won't want to miss:

  • The 76ers are being honest about their need to trade a big man

  • The Bucks’ Game 7 loss ends a season choke full of missed opportunities

    The Milwaukee Bucks are a Chick-Fil-A combo missing the waffle fries, or a new Drake banger missing the drumbeat. There’s something essential that’s missing about them when they otherwise should be great.

  • The Bulls haven't lost a Thursday TNT regular-season home game since 2013

    The Bulls have established an odd, but longstanding streak: they’ve won every regular-season home game played on a Thursday TNT special since 2013. And they’ve taken down all formidable opponents while establishing this super-specific dominance in a talented league.

    Chicago squeaked out a 104-103 victory against the Celtics on Thursday thanks to two free throws from Jimmy Butler in the final minute. That gave Chicago 17 straight wins on TNT Thursday night games.

  • The Bulls were worth watching for a grand total of TWO games this season

    For two games, I actually enjoyed watching the Chicago Bulls. Those two games happened last week, when they beat the top-seeded Boston Celtics twice at home to open up the first round.

    Four games later, the Bulls season is over and done. It’s been a long time coming.

  • The Cavaliers have been really bad on defense

    They say defense wins championships, but if that’s the case, the Cleveland Cavaliers are dead in the water.

    The Cavaliers got pummeled by the Washington Wizards on Saturday, 127-115. They allowed John Wall to scorch them for 37 points and 11 assists while Bradley Beal ran rampant for 27 points and 6 assists. The Wizards scored 71 points in the first half and watched seven players score in double digits. They shot 60 percent as a team.

  • The Celtics Game 1 performance proves they can win no matter who’s in the lineup

    With 1:44 left in the fourth quarter and the Celtics up 18, Al Horford, Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum checked out of the game. It wasn’t the Big 3 Brad Stevens envisioned when the season began, but it’s the crew that got the job done anyway.

    The Celtics have battled injury all season long. First Gordon Hayward. Then Kyrie Irving, Daniel Theis and Marcus Smart. They found a way to win ball games all season long. Game 1 against the 76ers was no different.

  • The Celtics’ road struggles could doom them vs. LeBron James

    If Boston can’t win on the road, then it sets up an enormous Game 7 against a nearly unstoppable LeBron.

    What the Boston Celtics have done in this NBA postseason — without Gordon Hayward all year, without Kyrie Irving since the last weeks of the regular season — is completely and utterly impressive, full stop. But it’s worth noting that the success they’ve accomplished has mostly come at home, which makes Saturday’s results not too surprising.

  • The center position in the NBA is dying

    Free agency proves that traditional centers don’t just matter as much anymore. Why is this the case?

    More than two weeks into the 2017 NBA free agency period, nine centers have signed new contracts for a combined $145 million. Nine centers have combined to lock up a bit more guaranteed money than Jrue Holiday. Nine centers have combined to lock up $50 million less than Stephen Curry. Nine centers have combined to lock up $30 million less than Blake Griffin.

  • The Clippers are outscoring teams by even more than last year’s Warriors

    After the Los Angeles Clippers’ 127-95 Monday rout of the Brooklyn Nets, it’s clear the team has the “singular focus” Chris Paul referenced after the game.

    ''No excuses, we said we're going to come out the same way every night,” he said. “It's all about playing the right way. We got to keep building.''

  • The cord-cutter’s guide to legally watching the NBA

    You love NBA basketball. You want to save money by getting rid of your monthly cable bill. You can do this! We’ll tell you how.

  • The curious signing of Joffrey Lauvergne

    Can the underperforming Frenchman finally carve out a role in the NBA?

    While rumored talks between the Spurs and several star free agents were teased in mid-June, little ended up happening. Even in this relatively quiet offseason, one of the Spurs’ few moves has stayed so far under the radar it’s practically scraping its belly on the ground: the Joffrey Lauvergne signing. There’s no mystery why few have taken notice; JoLau has barely earned any playing time on several mediocre rosters and is now playing for his fourth team in as many years. But at the very least, this signing is intriguing because

  • The DeMarcus Cousins trade should be rock bottom for the Kings. It won't be.

    Seven years of desperately trying to make an uneasy marriage work resulted in one of the worst trades in NBA history.

    The Sacramento Kings have been in the NBA draft lottery for 10 straight years. With those 10 picks, the Kings managed to draft exactly one star, DeMarcus Cousins. On Sunday, Sacramento traded him to the New Orleans Pelicans. Now they have little to show for ever having had Cousins in the first place.

  • The Five Most Disappointing Teams of the 2016-2017 Season

    It has been a great year of basketball in the NBA. Sadly, not every team can have a positive season. These are the five teams who have let their fans down the most.

  • The huge draw that is Barangay Ginebra

    IT goes without saying that in the Philippine Basketball Association, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel team is a huge draw. When the Kings are on center court, practically everything is abuzz.

  • The Jazz are still the West’s quietly dominant force

    There are a lot of acceptable reactions you can have to the Utah Jazz obliterating the New Orleans Pelicans 127-94 on Wednesday. You could say, “Wow, this Jazz offense shot 55 percent with 14 made threes, which I didn’t know they could do.” Or, “Dang, I thought the Pelicans were getting better, and they didn’t even put up a fight here.” And then there’s the classic response, “JOE JOHNSON IS STILL IN THE LEAGUE!?” as you marvel at his game-high 27 points that he actually, definitely scored because he is somehow still in the league.

  • The Jazz have the kind of roster that can make the Warriors uncomfortable

    LANNERY: There is a school of thought out there that the Utah Jazz are one of the few teams that can seriously mess with the Warriors. Now it's true that the Jazz went 0-4 against the Warriors last season and the games at Oracle weren't particularly close, but Utah did hang with them at home and took one game to overtime.

    It's not that reasonable people think Utah can upend Golden State. Rather, it's the acknowledgement that this is an odd team with serious defensive potential. The Jazz remind me a bit of the Grizzlies in the sense that, all things considered, good teams would rather not deal with their size and their crowd.