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  1. Russell Westbrook has serious, serious hops

    Apr 23, 2010, 10:02 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook earns no bonus points for beating Derek Fisher off the dribble — that’s a gimme — but he does for knifing through the Lakers big men and throwing it down over Lamar Odom. Respect My Authoritah! Our own Matt Moore breaks down exactly how this came about over at Hardwood Paroxysm.…

  2. Vinny Del Negro calls Kirk Hinrich "Kurt" constantly

    Apr 23, 2010, 9:36 AM EDT

    Personally, I see nothing wrong with this. I think it’s an improvement to his name. But I could be biased here. ESPNChicago has let us in on an inside joke in the Bulls media circle — coach Vinny Del Negro consistently gets guard Kirk Hinrich’s name wrong. Chicago Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro, long an…

  3. Kobe's bad shooting night still good enough to pass Jerry West

    Apr 23, 2010, 9:17 AM EDT

    Drowned out in all the noise in Oklahoma City was another milestone for Kobe Bryant — on a third-quarter 16-foot jumper he passed Jerry West to become the all time leading playoff scorer. Bryant now has 4,465 points scored in the playoffs, putting him eight in front of West. Earlier this season he passed West…

  4. Josh Smith does his best Joakim Noah imitation

    Apr 23, 2010, 8:41 AM EDT

    The name Milwaukee comes from the Algonquian tribe word for “good land.” The Atlanta Hawks Josh Smith would like to disagree with that. Taking the bait from reporters, the Hawks athletic power forward started a little war of words bound to sit poorly with Milwaukee residents, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “There’s pretty much…

  5. Quote of the day, Amen brother

    Apr 23, 2010, 8:18 AM EDT

    “Even the Amens are loud.” –Lakers coach Phil Jackson’s comment to TNT’s Craig Sager about the crowd at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City after a benediction before the game.

  6. NBA Playoffs: Oklahoma City plays like veterans and the Lakers fold under pressure, just like we expected

    Apr 23, 2010, 3:29 AM EDT

    Everyone expected this to be a series of close games, of exciting finishes. In the end, it would be the team with the calm demeanor, the team that played like they seen pressure like this a thousand times and knew how to handle it that was going to win. Oklahoma City, of course. Thursday —…

  7. NBA Playoffs Suns-Blazers Game 3: The Suns are through kidding around

    Apr 23, 2010, 1:27 AM EDT

    In the context of an NBA series, there are always going to be turns that lead to overreactions, except in the instance of a sweep. Phoenix-Portland Game 1 is one such turn. Immediately afterward, the buzzards came a calling. Phoenix was “done.” The matchup advantages seemed evident. LaMarcus Aldridge owned the mid-range, no one could…

  8. David Stern complains about all the complaining

    Apr 22, 2010, 11:08 PM EDT

    Players are complaining about refs, Commissioner David Stern is fining them. Coaches are complaining about the refs, Stern is fining them. I think if he could fine this and other blogs, he would. But in comments to the media before the Lakers/Thunder game, he admitted that Pandora’s Box is open and the toils and sickness…

  9. NBA Playoffs: Bulls rode strong start and hung on for dear life to beat the Cavs in Game 3

    Apr 22, 2010, 10:14 PM EDT

    Winning Game 3 wasn’t going to convince anyone that Chicago will win the series, but this game was huge. The Bulls sprinted out to an early double-digit lead behind a huge opening frame from Derrick Rose (15 in the first quarter alone on 6-of-8 shooting; he finished with 31 points on 26 shots, seven assists,…

  10. John Wall declares he is ready to be number one pick

    Apr 22, 2010, 10:12 PM EDT

    John Wall announced what we all knew — he is declaring for the NBA Draft. He will go number one overall (sorry Evan Turner). The only real suspense is who will be his agent, as Associated Press pointed out. “If I get that No. 1 pick, it’s going to be a dream come true,” said…

  11. Delonte West's trial date pushed back until after season

    Apr 22, 2010, 8:46 PM EDT

    Delonte West’s court date for a series of gun and traffic charges has been delayed again. It now is set for July 21, which would be well after the end of the season, which is good news for the Cavaliers in the playoffs. Brian Windhorst had the details at the Cleveland Plain Dealer: After a…

  12. Caron Butler knows his straws

    Apr 22, 2010, 7:20 PM EDT

    Caron Bulter was chewing straws — only McDonald’s straws — during games for a decade before he came to Dallas and the league suddenly decided it was suddenly dangerous. Right. Tons of logic there. Regardless, Caron Butler knows his straws. He is a straw Jedi. Do not doubt the man.

  13. Rasheed Wallace fined for saying referees baited him into a technical

    Apr 22, 2010, 6:44 PM EDT

    Rasheed Wallace picked up a technical in the Celtics game one win over Miami. Also the sun rises in the east, Hawaii has great beaches and Dane Cook’s 15 minutes are up. (Well, maybe we’re just hopeful on that last one.) But Sheed apparently thought he had too much money and wanted to pay some…

  14. It's official, Aaron Brooks is your Most Improved Player

    Apr 22, 2010, 6:18 PM EDT

    It was leaked yesterday, so no surprise, but today it became official that Aaron Brooks is your NBA Most Improved Player for the past season. We got into the “is he deserving” debate yesterday, not going to rehash all that again. Well, a little, only to say that Brooks would not have had my top…

  15. Barnes and Van Gundy fined fined because Dwight Howard is a foul mangnet

    Apr 22, 2010, 5:57 PM EDT

    Two games into the playoffs and Dwight Howard has racked up 10 fouls, five each game. Which has meant some extra time on the bench and some caution as he tried not to get ejected from games. Howard likes the money he makes, so he hasn’t said a word. But his coach and teammates have…

  16. NBA Playoffs: Tonight is OKC and Durant's time to shine

    Apr 22, 2010, 4:45 PM EDT

    The Thunder are outmatched. Make no mistake about it. They’re in over their heads, a young team of athletic defenders facing arguably the most talented juggernaut in the league. They don’t have the depth inside to dominate the Lakers, though their block efforts in Game 2 helped. They don’t have the star power to draw…

  17. How does Hornets head coach Lawrence Frank sound to you?

    Apr 22, 2010, 4:42 PM EDT

    The New Orleans Hornets are on it, they are knee deep in the search for a new coach. Because you want to make that decision before the draft, to get your new man involved in the scouting and drafting of a player for his system. You don’t just want it to drag out (Clippers, I’m…

  18. Ref Steve Javie oddly absent from the playoffs

    Apr 22, 2010, 2:44 PM EDT

    Officiating in the NBA is an impossible task, and referees who are able to earn respect are generally seen in one of two ways: Opportunists whose mediocrity is rewarded by how many referees fail to do the impossible.  Legitimately good at what they do, even if there’s a certain futility to it. For Steve Javie,…

  19. Dwyane Wade staying in Miami remains the smart bet

    Apr 22, 2010, 2:12 PM EDT

    After the game two loss to the Celtics — you may remember that as the one-on-five game — Dwyane Wade was clearly frustrated. He wants some help. He wants to win and that is going to take more talent than currently sits on the Heat bench. So if he’s frustrated, and he is a free…

  20. Rudy Fernandez has been given his chance, but has lost his confidence

    Apr 22, 2010, 1:40 PM EDT

    Remember the Rudy Fernandez from the gold medal game in Beijing? The one with 13 points in nine minutes on the court. The one that made you think “Damn, Portland has another one, another great young player.” That Rudy Fernandez has gone missing. And Portland could really use him, as he is starting in place…

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