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  1. NBA Playoffs: Thunder play well, but Spurs win while still seeming unstoppable

    May 30, 2012, 12:10 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs - Game Two

    The San Antonio Spurs have now played an even ten games in the NBA Playoffs and, amazingly, have won every one of them. The wins haven’t all been dominant — Tuesday night’s 120-111 victory ended up being one of their more difficult challenges this season — but it’s been astounding to watch the old, formerly…

  2. Thunder/Spurs Game 2: The rise of Westbrook, Harden

    May 29, 2012, 1:41 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs - Game One

    I said going into this series Russell Westbrook was the key to Oklahoma City’s chances against the Spurs — he needs to attack off the pick-and-roll, get into the lane and finish. Or kick it out. But he needs to disrupt the Spurs defense and put a lot of points on the board in the…

  3. Thunder-Spurs: The life and times of Kevin Durant in Game 1

    May 28, 2012, 2:05 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs - Game One

    Momma said there’d be days like this. Kevin Durant had a pretty bizarre Game 1 vs. San Antonio. He couldn’t get it going in the first half, shook loose in the third quarter, and then was bottled up by San Antonio in the fourth. He hit free throws, a result of the Spurs’ defensive approach…

  4. Popovich reaches into toolbox, makes adjustments, Spurs win Game 1

    May 28, 2012, 12:18 AM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan celebrates in the final seconds of Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder in San Antonio

    There’s a reason the Spurs haven’t lost a game since before you sent your taxes in (19 in a row now) — they can adapt and take what you give them. Gregg Popovich is the master of adjustments and this roster is a huge toolbox of options for him to choose from. He and the…

  5. Playoff Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

    May 25, 2012, 2:54 AM EDT

    duncan-parker

    SEASON RECORDS San Antonio 50-16 (1 seed) Oklahoma City 47-19 (2 seed) SEASON SERIES San Antonio took the season series 2-1, however Manu Ginobili missed all of them (which might worry Thunder fans), the games were in March and earlier, bottom line these teams are different now. OFFENSE/DEFENSE RANKINGS (points per 100 possession)
 San Antonio:…

  6. Kevin Durant, LeBron James head All-NBA Teams

    May 24, 2012, 2:39 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat

    Here’s the problem with nitpicking the All-NBA teams — there are no bad players on any of the first three. You can argue if you want (and as I would) that LaMarcus Aldridge deserves a spot on the third team more than Carmelo Anthony or Dirk Nowitzki, but that doesn’t make the guys on the…

  7. USA’s Olympic basketball schedule released

    May 23, 2012, 4:39 PM EDT

    Dwyane Wade Team USA Olympics

    In just a little over two months, Team USA will tip off the defense of its gold medal at the London Olympics. Man, that is coming up fast. We got our first look at the schedule for the Games and Team USA’s toughest games of pool play will come at the beginning and end of…

  8. And-1 links: Adam Morrison is looking better than ever

    May 23, 2012, 12:03 PM EDT

    _ylt=AibFObPLZf732T

    After a one day hiatus, we return our daily look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points. • That’s Adam Morrison to the right, going with the…

  9. Video: James Harden and Manu Ginobili are similar, awesome

    May 22, 2012, 6:22 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Clippers

    This video, uploaded to YouTube by “antisocial215,” uses clips of Spurs and Thunder swingmen Manu Ginobili and James Harden to show just how similar their beautiful games are — both are left-handed, deceptively athletic, good shooters and ball-handlers, and both use their superior basketball IQ and on-court grace to do some absolutely gorgeous things on…

  10. Lakers-Thunder Game 4: Kevin Durant and a new era dawning

    May 20, 2012, 3:17 AM EDT

    Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant

    Things change. It’s inevitable. And on Saturday night, you have to wonder if the guard changed officially in the Western Conference, and the NBA. 103-100, Thunder over Lakers. Kobe Bryant was the closer. The dagger. The Black Mamba. As recently as Friday night, he was the ultimate clutch weapon (as long as we’re only talking…

  11. Lakers-Thunder Game 3: L.A. wins free throw contest by a lot, wins game by 3

    May 19, 2012, 3:15 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Three

    Forty-two free throws is a lot of free throw attempts. Forty-one free throws made is a lot of makes. The Lakers got one, made the other, and walked out of Staples with a win in Game 4, 99-96. We can talk about a lot of things. The way that the Lakers attacked the Thunder defensively,…

  12. Video: Russell Westbrook and Metta World Peace fight for loose ball, receive double technicals

    May 19, 2012, 3:12 AM EDT

    artest-westbrook

    Late in the second quarter of the Lakers’ Game 3 victory over the Thunder, Russell Westbrook hit the deck to secure a loose ball. Metta World Peace then attempted to reach in and grab it, hoping to get a jump-ball call from the official standing nearby. As with many physical plays involving World Peace, that’s…

  13. Is Game 3 must-win for the Lakers? Yes, yes it is.

    May 18, 2012, 3:53 PM EDT

    Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant

    One last time we can thank the lockout for the joys of a condensed schedule — the Lakers and Thunder are going to play the rare playoff back-to-back the next two nights. Which clearly favors the younger legs and better athletes of the Thunder. It’s going to be a lot harder for the Lakers to…

  14. Video: Lakers’ Metta World Peace gets “Punk’d”

    May 16, 2012, 6:36 PM EDT

    Metta World Peace

    Who sits around and says, “let’s test the patience and restraint of Metta World Peace?” Well, the guys at “Punk’d.” They have World Peace’s publicist in on the deal and they trap World Peace in the parking lot (a common fear in LA), complete with annoying fans wanting photographs and a dim-witted person on the…

  15. Lakers-Thunder Game 2: Let’s try this again, Lakeshow

    May 16, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Lakers v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

    So what do the Los Angeles Lakers need to do to improve in Game 2 vs. the Thunder? A brief list: 1. Do not be terrible 2. Defend jumpshots better 3. Have Pau Gasol act like an NBA player 4. Work the ball inside to draw more contact and get to the line 5. Again,…

  16. Orlando is in trouble now because it’s not good at drafting

    May 14, 2012, 6:38 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v Orlando Magic

    More and more research is showing, if you want to build a sustainable winner in the NBA you need to do it on draft day. Look at the teams still playing. Miami had to draft Dwyane Wade, which made it possible to bring in Shaq to get them one title (and LeBron James doesn’t come…

  17. Lakers-Thunder Western Conference Semifinals Preview: No longer a feel good story

    May 14, 2012, 4:42 PM EDT

    Russell Westbrook, Matt Barnes

    Two years ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder faced the Los Angeles Lakers in the first-round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs. It was supposed to be a nice learning experience for a team on the rise, a quick lesson from the reigning champs as to how the playoffs work. Instead, the world was introduced to the…

  18. Metta World Peace won’t be fist-bumping Harden because he’s a reserve, apparently

    May 13, 2012, 11:16 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers

    Metta World Peace will not be reaching out to James Harden in Game 1 regarding that whole “elbowing him in the head and knocking him unconscious” bit that happened last month. From the L.A. Times: World Peace has not spoken to Harden since elbowing him in the second quarter of the Lakers 114-106 double-overtime victory…

  19. Lakers survive and advance, eliminate Nuggets in Game 7

    May 13, 2012, 2:26 AM EDT

    gasol-nuggets-game-7

    It wasn’t easy for the Lakers in Game 7, just as it wasn’t easy for them the entire series. But in the end, L.A. was at full strength for the first time this postseason, and played to its strengths for much of the night, ending Denver’s season 96-87 at Staples Center on Saturday, and advancing…

  20. In Game 7, can Lakers finally answer questions haunting them?

    May 12, 2012, 3:58 PM EDT

    Lakers' Gasol, Bryant and Bynum react after losing to the Nuggets following their NBA Western Conference basketball playoff game in Los Angeles

    It’s a do-or-die Game 7, but the questions are the same one since Game 1. Can the Nuggets get the Lakers to play their up-tempo, scattered game? Can anyone on the Lakers stop Ty Lawson? Can the Lakers slow the game down, pound the ball inside to their big men and use their size and…

  21. Video: I just want a beard like Harden

    May 11, 2012, 12:52 PM EDT

    james-harden

    Don’t we all want a beard like James Harden? Clever little song parody above (Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger”) saying what we are all thinking about the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year. We’re all a little jealous. Admit it. I still like what Nick Collison said best about Harden — he could survive a…

  22. Nuggets blow out Lakers to force a Game 7

    May 11, 2012, 2:17 AM EDT

    kobe-game6-nuggets

    Denver more than held serve on its home court in Thursday night’s Game 6 against the Lakers; the team made a statement. Facing their second elimination game of the series, the Nuggets made sure this one was never in doubt, opening the game on a 13-0 run and leading by as many as 28 points…

  23. Thunder’s Harden named Sixth Man of Year on Thursday

    May 10, 2012, 4:18 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game Five

    UPDATE 4:18 pm: The NBA has made it official, James Harden is your runaway winner of the Sixth Man of the Year award. Of the 118 ballots cast 115 had Harden No. 1, the other three had Philadelphia’s Lou Williams in the top spot. As I said below, those three people should have to explain…

  24. USA Basketball given extension to submit Olympic roster

    May 9, 2012, 1:54 PM EDT

    NBC London Olympics logo

    USA Basketball faced a challenge — the deadline to submit their Olympic roster was June 18. That is before the NBA finals will be over (most likely), it is well before USA Basketball opens training camp on July 6 in Las Vegas. But the USA has gotten an extension, reports the USA Today. The deadline…

  25. Report: Dwyane Wade up in air about London Olympics

    May 8, 2012, 9:51 AM EDT

    Dwyane Wade Team USA Olympics

    Team USA has already lost some guys who would have played key roles at the London Olympics — Dwight Howard in the middle and Derrick Rose at the point. Now another key contributor could drop out, reports David Aldridge at NBA.com (via Hoopshype). Dwyane Wade sounded slightly less than 100 percent certain he’ll be in…

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