LeBron On Playoffs, Injuries, More
4. Spurs Postseason's Scariest Team
Put it this way: They even had the Suns wondering if they might be better off losing their final game of the regular season to avoid any possibility of facing the Spurs in a potential 3-6 matchup. After all, these are the Spurs that sent the Suns home in the 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008 playoffs.
Record since Dec. 15: 38-20.
And now, with Ginobili's extension locked up, the Spurs enter the playoffs distraction-free. Not that they've traditionally been an easily distracted group. The last time they had issues looming, with David Robinson's pending retirement and the possibility of Jason Kidd replacing Tony Parker at point guard, the Spurs won a championship.
Playoff Schedule: Saturday, April 17
Shaq Sharp In Game 1
ESPN The Magazine
CLEVELAND -- He is supposed to overpower you, to dip his shoulder into your chest, take away your wind and your will, and dunk ferociously as you tumble to the floor. After all, 325 pounds is 325 pounds, two months off or not.
But finesse? Spin moves that leave opponents tottering like a tenpin as he rolls to the cup? Shimmy shakes that send a defender young enough to be his son (almost) stumbling like a man who's had too much scotch?
Those days are supposed to be over.
But Saturday, in the opening act of the biggest postseason in Cleveland Cavaliers history, Shaquille O'Neal defied age and reason. In his first game since Feb. 25, The Big Fundamental, The Big Witness Protection, Shaq Diesel -- let's just call him The Man with many nicknames -- shook off rust like Adrian Peterson shaking off would-be Cleveland Browns tacklers in the Cavs' 96-83 victory over Chicago.
The B.S. Report: 4/16
Bill Simmons talks with Boston Celtics legend and NBA TV and TNT analyst Kevin McHale about the NBA playoffs and the 1980s Celtics teams. Plus, Joe House joins Simmons.
Denver A Playoff Wild Card
Back in November, they loomed as the biggest threat in the West to the Lakers, and Carmelo Anthony was a legitimate MVP candidate. The Nuggets almost wound up in the bottom half of the Western Conference playoff order, and Anthony will be lucky to end up in the top three of anyone's MVP ballot.
The reasons vary, from the unfortunate illness that forced coach George Karl away from the sideline to the untimely injury to Kenyon Martin to the Nuggets' inexplicable pattern of going away from Anthony in fourth quarters. But now they find themselves starting the playoffs as the No. 4 seed, and could get the Lakers if they advance to the second round.