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Winderman: March mad in NBA, too

Mar 9, 2010, 1:09 PM EDT

March, the time of year people outside of Kentucky and Syracuse start paying attention to college basketball. March Madness, with its compelling drama and emotion, are upon us.

But NBC’s Ira Winderman reminds us that the NBA has plenty of dramatic March storylines as well. Like are the Lakers really in trouble with the three-game losing streak? No. Or do the Cavaliers really need Shaq back until they face Boston or Orlando in the playoffs? No.

And how Brendan Haywood is the real steal of the trading deadline for Dallas.

Stuck in the nonsense that passed for basketball in Washington, Brendan Haywood has turned into the NBA’s version of an American League pitcher dealt to a National League club.

He was mowing them down before his latest neck woes. While Erick Dampier might have provided something that passed for bulk in recent years, Haywood’s length could allow the Mavericks to compete with the height of the Lakers.

For years, Eastern Conference coaches have been touting Haywood as an underappreciated talent, someone lost in Eddie Jordan’s Princeton precepts on offense and indifference on defense.

But Rick Carlisle, having spent his fair share of time in the East, knows exactly what he has and how to utilize it.

Go read the whole thing. If for no other reason than it beats working.

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