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  1. PBT Podcast for Dec. 10: Talking Lakers with Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report

    Dec 11, 2013, 8:44 AM EDT

    Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Lakers

    Kobe Bryant is back on the court for the Lakers — and with a huge contract that will keep him the highest paid player in the NBA for two more seasons after this one. In the latest edition of the PBT podcast myself and Eyton Shander of NBC Sports Radio welcome in Kevin Ding of…

  2. The Extra Pass: The league’s leading lineups; plus Tuesday’s recaps

    Dec 11, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

    Toronto Raptors v Houston Rockets

    After watching two of the league’s best starting lineups duke it out in Indiana, let’s check in on the best and worst lineups around the league so far this season. Best Net Efficiency Rating (minimum 150 minutes) Houston: Patrick Beverley–James Harden–Chandler Parsons–Terrence Jones–Dwight Howard Net efficiency is the difference between a team’s offensive rating and…

  3. Tuesday night NBA Grades: Kobe plays pretty well, Suns’ backcourt plays better

    Dec 11, 2013, 2:51 AM EDT

    Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Lakers

    Here is our nightly look at some of the noteworthy things around the NBA, the things you missed while freaking out that there are now cockroaches which can survive a freezing winter just fine… Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers. He looked better. Kobe was more fluid and in part because (as he noted after the…

  4. Kobe Bryant’s first dunk since return (VIDEO)

    Dec 11, 2013, 12:24 AM EDT

    Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers

    Kobe Bryant can dunk again. It’s not going to be remembered as one of his most thunderous throw downs, but he got around P.J. Tucker with the spin, got to the rim, took off with both feet and dunked. It’s about steps with Kobe on his return. His turnovers were down, he got a dunk…

  5. Amir Johnson shuts down Kawhi Leonard at rim (VIDEO)

    Dec 10, 2013, 11:59 PM EDT

    Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat

    Amir Johnson has had a couple strong games — 32 points against the Lakers Sunday, then another 19 points and 9 boards against the Spurs Tuesday. Plus this awesome block of Kawhi Leonard at the rim. Leonard is athletic, has a freakish wingspan and goes up strong. Johnson was stronger. That is what rim protection…

  6. Pacers win first Conference Finals rematch vs. Heat

    Dec 10, 2013, 10:09 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers - Game Six

    The Pacers wanted their Dec. 10 game vs. the Heat a whole heck of a lot more than Miami did, after falling to the eventual back-to-back champs in the Conference Finals a season ago and being very open with their goals heading into this year’s campaign. Indiana hasn’t been shy about declaring its desire to…

  7. Jeremy Lin says he will play Thursday; Kevin McHale missed practice for personal reasons

    Dec 10, 2013, 7:40 PM EDT

    BASKET-US-TAIWAN-TPE-NBA-PACERS-ROCKETS-LIN

    Jeremy Lin was playing his best basketball — at least since a couple weeks in New York a couple years ago — to start the season, having shown off a new-and-improved jumper (39 percent from three). He was a great spark plug sixth man. But he tweaked his knee back on Nov. 27 and has…

  8. Charlotte to officially unveil Hornets logos on Dec. 21

    Dec 10, 2013, 7:01 PM EDT

    Hornets

    The Charlotte basketball organization will revert from the Bobcats to the Hornets next season, in a move that has hopes of re-engaging the local fan base with what has been a historically terrible basketball franchise. Winning solves any team’s problems in terms of ticket or merchandise sales, of course, but in absence of that, an…

  9. Doc Rivers second-guesses Jason Kidd’s use of Paul Pierce

    Dec 10, 2013, 5:52 PM EDT

    Doc Rivers, Jason Kidd

    NBA coaches comprise a fraternity. Many coaches like each other after years of working in the same field. Even the ones who dislike each other share an understanding of the responsibilities and pressures of this incredibly demanding job. That’s why it’s incredibly rare for a coach to publically criticize one of his peers, even if…

  10. Danny Granger expected to return to Pacers Friday night

    Dec 10, 2013, 5:40 PM EDT

    Danny Granger

    Danny Granger was a key reason the Pacers were supposed to be better this season — whether starting or coming off the bench, this is a former All-Star who can score the rock and add another offensive weapon to a team with the best defense in the league. However, a calf injury has sidelined him…

  11. Brian Shaw blames Nuggets’ slow starts on pizzas and nachos

    Dec 10, 2013, 4:44 PM EDT

    Brian Shaw

    The Denver Nuggets have been outscored in every first quarter they’ve played this month. They’ve scored a little and fallen behind (22-18 to the Wizards on Monday night), scored a lot and still fallen behind (29-27 to the Nets on Dec. 3) and have just been plain routed (39-15 by the Celtics on Friday). Yet,…

  12. Dwyane Wade misses shootaround but expected to play vs. Pacers Tuesday

    Dec 10, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT

    d wade

    Tuesday night we are getting an Eastern Conference Finals preview — Indiana vs. Miami. Please let it be an Eastern Conference Finals preview, because if one of these teams stumbles due to injury or whatever else the other one can start planning what to wear to NBA Finals press conferences. It’s a two-team East this…

  13. ‘Lil Chris now in latest Chris Paul, Blake Griffin ad (VIDEO)

    Dec 10, 2013, 3:23 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers' Paul and Griffin wait for play to resume as the Clippers trail the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles

    The Clipper locker room is not like others — Chris Paul‘s son has the run of the place and some other team members regularly bring their children in. It’s different, but it works for the Clips, who have pretty good team chemistry. Now ‘Lil Chris is showing up in the latest Foot Locker ad. And…

  14. Wizards challenge limits of sustained offensive ineptitude in single possession

    Dec 10, 2013, 2:32 PM EDT

    Randy Wittman

    Randy Wittman, coaching a Wizards team that has a singular focus of reaching the 2014 playoffs, watched his squad start 2-7 – placing him firmly on the hot seat. Washington then won seven of its next nine, and even with losses in its last two games, that should be enough for Wittman to keep his…

  15. Report: Bulls likely to sign D.J. Augustin once he clears waivers

    Dec 10, 2013, 1:58 PM EDT

    Toronto Raptors v Milwaukee Bucks

    How much do the Chicago Bulls miss Derrick Rose at the point? It looks like they are going to pick up D.J. Augustin, who was waived Monday by the Toronto Raptors. So reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. The Bulls lost superstar point guard Derrick Rose for the season, and have been searching for further…

  16. Days before he faced LeBron, Paul George said Durant is NBA’s toughest cover

    Dec 10, 2013, 1:29 PM EDT

    Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Five

    Paul George not only has to be the focal point of the Indiana Pacers offense, but also he usually gets assigned to cover the other team’s best wing player. LeBron James does too, but often only for a quarter or so. Even Michael Jordan had a great defender in Scottie Pippen to carry the load…

  17. Utah Jazz to honor Jerry Sloan with jersey retirement

    Dec 10, 2013, 12:44 PM EDT

    Image (1) nba_sloan.jpg for post 1640

    This is as it should be. On Jan. 31 next year the Jazz are going to retire a number in honor of Jerry Sloan. For 23 years  Sloan was the Utah Jazz — not the face of it (that would be John Stockton and Karl Malone) but the driving force behind a franchise that played…

  18. A day later, Kobe didn’t think he played quite so bad

    Dec 10, 2013, 12:23 PM EDT

    Kobe Bryant

    Asked after the game Sunday night what he thought of his form in his return from an Achilles tendon rupture, Kobe Bryant said, ““Right now my form is a horse s— form” and gave himself an “F.” A day later, he softened his tone, speaking to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles. “It wasn’t as…

  19. Why question “When did basketball get so bad?” misses mark

    Dec 10, 2013, 11:40 AM EDT

    Tahoe Celebrity Golf

    NBA basketball right now is entering a golden age. Just not everybody appreciates that. Charles Barkley swung by the Dan Patrick Show on Monday and together they sounded like grumpy old men telling you how basketball isn’t as good now as it was when they were fans of the sport. At least they didn’t throw…

  20. Rudy Gay gets standing ovation from Kings’ fans (VIDEO)

    Dec 10, 2013, 10:58 AM EDT

    Rudy Gay

    Rudy Gay did not suit up for the Sacramento Kings Monday night. Not that they needed him, they got 32 from DeMarcus Cousins, 31 from Derrick Williams and 24 from Isaiah Thomas as they rolled to an impressive win over Dallas. However, when Gay (and Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray) walked into the building Monday…

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