Basketball Insiders Week in Review 3/13


Spurs Are The Usual Suspects

By Moke Hamilton

Over the course of the past 20 years, the San Antonio Spurs have proven to be the NBA’s model franchise, and it’s not even close. And as they do battle with history while in the mega-shadow cast by the Golden State Warriors, entering play on March 6 with a 53-9 record, it’s happening again.

We are ignoring the Spurs and discounting their ability to walk away with all of the marbles, once again.

Whether it’s Michael Jordan’s quest for a three-peat somehow outshining Tim Duncan’s historically good rookie season or the 1999 NBA Finals occurring both after a lockout shortened season and in the absence of Patrick Ewing, it seems that there has always been something better and more interesting to discuss and observe than the boring old San Antonio Spurs.

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Can the Lakers Lure Kevin Durant?

By Eric Pincus

The Los Angeles Lakers are nearly through yet another disappointing season, and now have 61 wins combined over the past three years — just slightly ahead of the Golden Warriors’ win-count for the current campaign.

The Lakers’ primary hope for a quick turnaround is luring a pair of top free agents this summer — with the biggest prize of all being Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant.

The challenge for the Lakers will be convincing Durant to leave a contending team to join a squad heading for a third straight lottery appearance.

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Dekker Adjusting to Not Playing

By Joel Brigham

Houston Rockets rookie Sam Dekker has played in three games this season. That’s it. Three.

That’s an incredibly low number for any first-round pick, let alone one as talented as Dekker. But as just about any first-year player can attest, finding playing time on a team that doesn’t have a whole lot of minutes to go around can be tough, especially when there are injury concerns as well.

Dekker, for example, missed all of Summer League with a back issue that would eventually require surgery. Having missed three months of the regular season, Dekker has found it challenging to get himself some playing time.

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Suns Still Fighting Despite Down Season

By Cody Taylor

Although the record for the Phoenix Suns doesn’t necessarily reflect it, the players inside the locker room are still showing plenty of fight. They’re buying into the new system created by interim head coach Earl Watson, and their play on the court is beginning to show that.

The Suns have posted one of the worst records in the league up to this point at 17-46. They find themselves with the third-worst record in the NBA, behind only the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers.

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Not Where The Magic Wanted To Be

By Steve Kyler

The Orlando Magic are not where they expected to be.

When the 2015-16 season opened, the Magic believed they would be firmly in the hunt for the playoffs and slightly better than the eighth seed in the East. For most of November and December, they looked exactly like that team – ending the 2015 calendar year in the fourth spot in the East with a 19-13 record.

Since the calendar flipped, the Magic have gone on to an 8-22 record and now find themselves a full five games out of the postseason with 20 games left to play. To make matters worse for the Magic, their remaining schedule includes 12 road games and 14 games against teams with an above .500 record.

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Jeff Green Inconsistent So Far With Clippers

By Jesse Blancarte

The NBA’s February 18 trade deadline passed and it seemed as though all deals had been reported. However, it’s not uncommon for trade negotiations to go down to the wire and for deals to be reported well past the 3 p.m. deadline.

Twenty-two minutes after this year’s deadline had passed, Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies finalized a trade before the buzzer. The Clippers agreed to send Lance Stephenson and a protected first-round pick to the Grizzlies in exchange for Jeff Green. The deal was met with mixed reactions; some people loved the deal for the Clippers, some people hated it.

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Contract-Year Player Watch – Revisited

By Lang Greene

Back in November, we took a look at 15 players who were on the verge of free agency this summer. Some guys were struggling on the floor to start the season with free agency looming in the near future, while others were putting together some of their best work under the pressure.

Today we take a look at these same guys and how they’re faring headed down the stretch. Did they maintain, improve or decline?

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Q&A: Larry Sanders Explains Break from NBA

By Alex Kennedy

Former NBA center Larry Sanders is one of the most misunderstood athletes in professional sports.

When he decided to leave the NBA at 26 years old, agreeing to a buyout that left the bulk of his recently-signed $44 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks on the table, most people couldn’t comprehend his decision. Yes, he took a personal leave of absence after being suspended twice for violating the NBA’s anti-drug program, but why would a very talented player walk away from the NBA and all of the perks that come with that lifestyle? Fans were equally confused and disappointed, as Sanders had become an exciting, up-and-coming center in Milwaukee.

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About Kyle Cape-Lindelin

Kyle Cape-Lindelin

Kyle Cape-Lindelin is based out of Portland, OR covering the NBA while being one of the newsline editors and contributor to "Out of Bounds."