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  1. Who are the key role players on contending teams?

    Oct 23, 2012, 12:30 PM EST

    Ray Allen

    In the NBA, you win with star players (except if you’re the 2004 Pistons, the exception to every championship rule). They’re the guys you lean on in the closing minutes of tight games. The guys that can affect a game with their sheer talent and turn what looks to be a sure loss into a…

  2. Eric Spoelstra talks embracing LeBron, positional versatility

    Oct 23, 2012, 12:17 PM EST

    Miami Heat's LeBron James talks with head coach Erik Spoelstra during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Miami

    Heat coach Eric Spoelstra calls what the Heat do position-less basketball — the idea is to have any player be able to play in any spot on the floor if it creates and/or takes advantage of a mismatch. For example, Chris Bosh is the center, but he can knock down threes and you have to…

  3. Video: In case you forgot, DeAndre Jordan knows how to finish

    Oct 23, 2012, 11:17 AM EST

    BASKET-CHN-NBA

    There are a couple of reasons to run this clip. One is the DeAndre Jordan finish which is monster. He was like this all game against the Andrew Bogut-less Warriors, a team that lacks an inside presence and Jordan took advantage. The other is that Ralph Lawler’s calls are the best. Jordan has looked good…

  4. ‘Melo says he’ll play the four until Stoudemire returns. It should be longer.

    Oct 23, 2012, 11:02 AM EST

    Miami Heat v New York Knicks - Game Four

    The challenge of getting Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire to mesh on offense — to get the Knicks playing well when the two of them and Tyson Chandler are all on the court — remains the key to the entire season on the island of Manhattan. But not the start of the season. With Stoudemire…

  5. Quote of the Day: Carlisle compares Mavs turnovers to “Kama Sutra”

    Oct 23, 2012, 10:31 AM EST

    Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks

    “We’re doing it every way you can do it. If we were a sex manual it’d be a best-seller.” —Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle discussing the rash of Mavericks turnovers this preseason, speaking to the Star Telegram (hat tip to SLAM). The Mavericks are averaging 19.2 points per game this preseason. They are doing it…

  6. Video: John Lucas III with the shot of the night from Monday

    Oct 23, 2012, 9:29 AM EST

    Raptors guard John Lucas III goes to the basket between Bucks defenders Mike Dunleavy and Beno Udrih during their NBA basketball pre-season game in Toronto

    John Lucas III isn’t going to see the floor a lot early in the season in Toronto — Kyle Lowry and Jose Calderon are ahead of him on the depth chart. Until the Raptors find someone to take on Calderon and his quality play and inflated $10 million contract in a trade, Lucas is going…

  7. Dwight Howard thought he should have won DPOY last year

    Oct 23, 2012, 8:53 AM EST

    Tyreke Evans, Dwight Howard

    Dwight Howard was the three-time defending NBA Defensive Player of the Year going into last season. But there was no four-peat. Howard had a messy off-the-court season in Orlando that he should want to forget, plus he finished the season injured. Tyson Chandler won the award for his fantastic play in the paint that turned…

  8. PBT Extra: Southeast Division preview… the Heat are really good

    Oct 23, 2012, 8:00 AM EST

    Miami Heat's James and teammate Wade walk to the bench in a timeout against the Detroit Pistons in a preseason NBA basketball game in Miami

    Welcome back to our PBT Extra preview tour of the NBA divisions, the next stop is the Southeast division. Which is top-heavy with a Miami Heat team that should be better than last year’s title squad. It’s not just LeBron James‘ newfound maturity or the addition of Ray Allen, it’s that the Heat have figured…

  9. Jeff Van Gundy confirms it was NBA who kept his brother off air

    Oct 23, 2012, 12:17 AM EST

    Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers

    Stan Van Gundy came right out and said the reason he is not one of the studio hosts for ESPN’s NBA Countdown studio show (the one that wraps around their game broadcasts on ESPN and ABC) was that David Stern and the NBA shut him out. His brother Jeff Van Gundy — the lead analyst…

  10. Austin Rivers sprains ankle he had surgery on last summer

    Oct 22, 2012, 11:17 PM EST

    Monty Williams, Austin Rivers

    UPDATE #2, 11:17 pm: Austin Rivers left the building in a walking boot, but that is no big deal as they are used as a precaution by teams on almost any ankle sprain anymore. Rivers also said:  “I don’t think it’s nothing too serious.” I will ignore the double negative and assume he meant it…

  11. PBT Extra: Atlantic Division preview… this is one deep division

    Oct 22, 2012, 9:01 PM EST

    Jason Terry, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo

    It’s back — PBT Extra has returned just in time to start doing some division previews for the NBA season. Matt Stroup and I start off our run of previews in the Atlantic, which is as deep a division as there is in the NBA. There are playoff teams and the Raptors are going to…

  12. League GMs say Durant now more clutch than Kobe

    Oct 22, 2012, 7:31 PM EST

    Kevin Durant

    There are 15 seconds left in the game, your team is down by one, and you can have anybody in the NBA take that shot. Who do you want? For years now NBA general managers have said “Kobe” in their annual survey when asked what one player they would want taking a shot with the…

  13. Avery Johnson already frustrated with Brooklyn defense

    Oct 22, 2012, 6:19 PM EST

    Avery Johnson

    You get the feeling this will be a trend this season. Avery Johnson is a coach who focuses on getting his guys to defend. He’s got a very talented offensive roster in Brooklyn but not guys really known as “defense first” players — when Brook Lopez is the guy defending the paint you’re going to…

  14. GM Survey: Where Darko Milicic is underrated and Carmelo Anthony is MVP

    Oct 22, 2012, 5:30 PM EST

    Carmelo Anthony

    Everyone has that buddy that acts perfectly logical and sane, but forces you to reevaluate your friendship after he blurts out something like, “Carlos Boozer is going to win MVP this year!” Well, good news everyone: NBA General Managers are just like you, me, and your friend you can no longer take seriously. Let’s take…

  15. Video: Meyers Leonard, Damian Lillard do the dougie

    Oct 22, 2012, 5:20 PM EST

    Damian Lillard

    Well, at least it’s not someone doing the Gangnam Style horsey dance. I’m over that. These are your Portland Trail Blazer rookies, primarily Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard, doing the Dougie as part of some on-court hazing by LaMarcus Aldridge and the Portland Trail Blazers. Lillard has got some moves. Leonard dances like a 7’1″…

  16. Is Dwyane Wade becoming underrated?

    Oct 22, 2012, 5:04 PM EST

    Dwyane Wade

    NBA General Managers seem to think so. In the GM survey that was released earlier today, NBA executives were asked who they thought the best shooting guard in the league is. Wade was listed second (behind Kobe Bryant), receiving 23.3% of the vote. This is down from the 40.7% of the vote Wade received last…

  17. Kobe pushing Howard to be more complete offensive player

    Oct 22, 2012, 4:40 PM EST

    Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers

    There’s still a reputation among some that “all Dwight Howard can do is dunk.” It’s wrong. First, the basic premise that “all this guy can do is get the most efficient shot in basketball on a regular basis” and somehow that makes him a bad offensive player is flawed. But beyond that, anybody who has…

  18. Will Dwight Howard stay with Lakers after season? Yes. Probably.

    Oct 22, 2012, 3:03 PM EST

    Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers

    We didn’t need John Cusack driving across country with Daphne Zuniga to teach us there are no sure things in life. Unexpected twists turn what seem predestined into something all together different every day. So sure, it is possible that come next summer when Dwight Howard becomes a free agent he will choose not to…

  19. Report: Gilbert Arenas close to signing contract to play in China

    Oct 22, 2012, 2:06 PM EST

    Jonny Flynn, Gilbert Arenas

    Since being amnestied by the Orlando Magic before the start of last season, Gilbert Arenas has been trying to make his way back into the league. He finally caught on with the Memphis Grizzlies near the end of the season, making 17 regular season appearances and averaging only 4.2 points in 12.4 minutes a game.…

  20. Referees to enforce “Reggie Miller rule” on shooters trying to draw fouls

    Oct 22, 2012, 12:54 PM EST

    Reggie Miller

    You know the play were are talking about — the jump shooter goes up and gets his shot off as the defender comes out to challenge the shot, then just as the defender arrives the shooter kicks his legs forward, makes contact with the defender and goes down like he was shot. It’s about trying…

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