NBA Compiles the Top 10 Blocks of the 2013-14 Season

August 12th, 2014 by Ken Chin No comments »
If you like vicious, momentum-crushing blocks, this video is for you. From LeBron James stuffing Spencer Hawes at the rim to Victor Oladipo victimizing Damian Lillard at the apex of his jump, the NBA compiled the 10 best rejections of the 2013-14 season into one video. Which one is your favorite? [NBA]Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

Kevin Love Trade Puts Andrew Wiggins Under the Microscope Immediately

August 12th, 2014 by Jim Cavan No comments »
On the one hand, recent remarks by Kansas head coach Bill Self suggesting that Andrew Wiggins would relish the challenge of becoming the face of the Minnesota Timberwolves speak to a drive and maturity uncommon for a 19-year-old rookie. On the other hand, be careful what you wish for. Wiggins might think his youth and inexperience will warrant him a few years of leeway, but for a fanbase as starved for relevance as this one, the microscope is sure to be subatomic from the start—if not in the way one might think. We’re talking, after all, about a franchise that’s watched not one, but two elite-level superstars—Kevin Garnett and now Kevin Love—be sent off for more promising shores. Worn as their patience has been, T-Wolves fans will expect this star to burn brighter and faster than the two that came before. Not that this is anything new for Wiggins, of course. When you’re the top-ranked high ...

Ranking the Philadelphia Flyers’ 5 Best Highlight-Makers in the Last Decade

August 12th, 2014 by Dan Fremuth No comments »
The Philadelphia Flyers have had a host of highlight-makers in the team's 47-year history. But the orange and black have arguably never had a more dynamic set of highlight-makers than the City of Brotherly Love and its fans have seen over the last 10 years. It's been one of the most back-and-forth, up-and-down and entertaining decades in Flyers' history, and it's been showcased by some of the most exciting players in team history. For the purpose of this breakdown, several factors were considered when determining the final rankings. Of course, highlight-reel goals weighed very heavily, but additional consideration was also given to highlight-reel finishes at crucial moments during the postseason. In addition, a player's ability to generate highlights through other means (hits, fights, etc.) also factored into a player's final ranking. With that, here's a look at the Flyers' five best highlight-makers over the last decade.Begin Slideshow

Pittsburgh Penguins Position Battles to Watch in 2014

August 12th, 2014 by Joseph Sykes No comments »
With the first game of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ regular season in a little less than nine weeks, questions surrounding the opening day lineup have already begun to spark. It’s not hard to understand that certain positions are a lock, such as Evgeni Malkin at center on the second line or Christian Ehrhoff’s slot on the first defensive unit. Others, however, will be. In this article, we will go over the three areas on the ice that have people guessing as to who will play where. Since we are only in the middle of August, it seems these questions won’t truly be answered until the puck drops on opening day on Oct. 9.Begin Slideshow

Los Angeles Kings’ Position Battles to Watch in 2014 Offseason

August 12th, 2014 by Eric McKelvie No comments »
The Los Angeles Kings have incredible depth at forward, defense and in goal. Plus, they are still a young team.  The first line of Marian Gaborik, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown should be solidified heading into next season, and Jonathan Quick is firmly entrenched as the team's starting netminder. However, aside from at those spots, there are a number of position battles which will take place prior to next season. At forward, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson will look to maintain spots in the top six, while Brayden McNabb is looking to secure a regular spot in the lineup on defense. These are the Kings' position battles to watch in the offseason.Begin Slideshow

Kevin Love to Cleveland Cavs Does Not Shift Eastern Conference Power Structure

August 12th, 2014 by Stephen Babb No comments »
The Eastern Conference underwent a significant facelift with the surprise announcement that LeBron James would return home to his Cleveland Cavaliers. It's tempting to assume that the next superstar defection will be similarly momentous. Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that the "Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement in principle to send All-Star forward Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick..." Wojnarowski added, "The deal cannot be finalized until Aug. 23, because Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, cannot be traded until one month after the signing of his rookie contract." While the move involves one of the biggest names in the game, it more resembles piling on than a game-changing development. The more things change for LeBron's Cavaliers, the more they remain fundamentally the same. This was already one of the two best teams in the East, even before Love forced his way out of a middling ...

10 Most Successful Jersey Numbers in NBA History

August 12th, 2014 by Adam Fromal No comments »
Numbers aren't just numbers in the NBA. Sure, some players might pick their uniform number out of a hat or show no care whatsoever, taking whatever's available.That's what Kyrie Irving did, for example, in picking No. 2 as he told Justin Tejada of SIKids.com back in 2012: "That was just a random number I picked when I got drafted. It has no significance."But for others, the numbers they wear night in and night out might hold a great deal of meaning. So, what's in a number? Potentially a lot, as Dwyane Wade—who you might quickly associate with No. 3—explained to NBA.com back in 2011: I've heard of people who wouldn't sign with a team because they didn't have a particular jersey number. It could be a deal breaker, and I totally understand why. A number is a big thing for athletes. At the end of the day, a lot of people won't know your name ...

Is Dwight Howard Ready to Put the Houston Rockets on His Back?

August 12th, 2014 by D.J. Foster No comments »
Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard hasn't shied away from putting a target on his back, but for the Rockets to have any substantial success in the 2014-15 season, he'll have to put the team on his back a well. Although there were serious questions leading into last year about whether Howard would ever be the same physically or if he was in the midst of a steep decline, a lot of those were put to bed. Howard recovered nicely from back surgery, and he used the 2013-14 season to slowly climb back to be the player we grew accustomed to seeing during his time with the Orlando Magic. Although the Rockets ultimately fell in the first round to a Portland Trail Blazers squad, Howard finished the season with an exclamation mark. Over the course of the six-game series, Howard averaged a whopping 26 points, 13.7 boards, 2.8 blocks and a career-high playoff PER of ...

How Far Will Indiana Pacers Fall Without Paul George?

August 12th, 2014 by Dan Favale No comments »
Unrestrained optimism is no match for the Paul George-less Indiana Pacers. No matter how his absence following an open tibia-fibula fracture is spun, no matter what context it's put in, there is no bright side. The Pacers are going to stumble, slip and ultimately fall without him. There is no preventing it, only making it easier to deal with.  All of that is a given. And with regression unavoidable, there's no use entertaining the question some will try so hard to ask: Will the Pacers survive without George?  Not at all. Not in the way they're accustomed to surviving and competing.  Struggle is the only certainty. And figuring out how deep the Pacers' collapse will stretch is the only issue worth debating.   Loss Upon Loss Replacing George isn't possible. It never could be. What he can do for the Pacers won't be found anywhere. His 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game were indispensable. He gave the Pacers 36-plus minutes ...

7 NBA Stars We’d Love to See Switch Jersey Numbers

August 12th, 2014 by Jim Cavan No comments »
When one goes through something as traumatic as Paul George’s recent leg injury, it’s only natural he’d look somewhere—anywhere—to help turn the page as quickly as possible. For George, the change was all in a number. On Monday, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported the Indiana Pacers star would switch his jersey number from 24 to 13 whenever the All-Star forward returns to the floor. According to Rovell, the change may have had its roots, at least in part, in a suggestion made by Grantland’s Bill Simmons one year ago: By the way, I have some advice that will help Paul George become a household name. He should change his number immediately from No. 24 to No. 13. Here's why ... can you think of anyone being helped by a nickname more than Paul George suddenly becoming PG-13? 'Uh-oh, PG-13 is heating up!' No complaints here, obviously. That’s pretty genius. At the same time, part of us ...