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  • After clawing their way back from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit, the Charlotte Bobcats held a lead over the Atlanta Hawks entering the final half-minute of the fourth quarter on Monday night. Mike Budenholzer's playoff-bound Hawks found one last bit of inspiration, though, tightening defensively to influence Bobcats guard Gary Neal into a wild desperation jumper that went awry, giving Atlanta the opportunity to tie the game ... which they did, thanks to a simple but sharp bit of pick-and-roll basketball that saw rookie center Mike Muscala create enough room for jitterbug scoring guard Lou Williams to get into a wide-open space at the left elbow and pop a jumper that knotted things up at 93 with 2.6 seconds remaining.

    With one chance to beat the buzzer and secure a big late-season road win, you might've expected Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford to draw up a final shot for his big fella, center Al Jefferson. Well, if that's the case, you were probably surprised by what wound up

    Read More »from Chris Douglas-Roberts hits game-winning runner to push Bobcats past Hawks (Video)
  • A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.

    C: PistonPowered. Dan Feldman surveys Joe Dumars' now-complete tenure leading the Detroit Pistons, and tries to figure out where things went, and kept on going, wrong: "Nearly a decade-and-a-half of change came to this, but throughout the destructive transitions emerged three constants that led to Dumars’ downfall: failed pursuits of superstars, repeated unwillingness to challenge players and a lack of long-term planning."

    PF: Hardwood Paroxysm. Robby Kalland on how the Miami Heat try to find the balance between resting injured/creaky players and maintaining roster-wide rhythm on the court. They've clearly veered toward rest in the case of Dwyane Wade's balky knees, but that has come at the cost of increased minutes for LeBron James and Chris Bosh; that will not be the case on

    Read More »from The 10-man rotation, starring the near-constant changing that doomed Joe Dumars
  • Erie Bayhawks' CJ Leslie, left, has his shot blocked by Texas Legends' Melvin Ely, right, during a Dec. 21, 2013, D-League game. (AP/Erie Times-News, Jarid A. Barringer)

    The New Orleans Pelicans waived reserve center Greg Stiemsma on Monday, jettisoning the 6-foot-11 shot-blocker with just two games left in the regular season. Stiemsma was coming to the end of the one-year, $2.7 million deal he signed in free agency back in July, and he wasn't an especially productive player for the disappointing Pelicans — his most notable moments this season included being headbutted by Hasheem Thabeet and hit in the throat by O.J. Mayo — so it's not necessarily stunning that New Orleans would want to move on without him, but it was a little surprising for the hammer to drop before the end of the regular season. (Especially, it seems, for Stiemsma.)

    Despite the surprising timing, though, the Pelicans requesting waivers on Stiemsma represents the kind of minor transaction that doesn't really move the needle much for a team hurtling headlong toward a long offseason and, if a little bit of ping-pong-ball luck is with New Orleans, another lottery selection. There is one

    Read More »from Veteran big man Melvin Ely returns to NBA after 3-year absence as D-League call-up by Pelicans
  • Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins entered Sunday's matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves sitting on 15 technical fouls for the season. On one hand, that's a lot — more than anyone else in the league except Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin. On the other, though, it's the same amount that Cousins has had since Feb. 25, when he got T'd up twice and ejected from a blowout loss to the Houston Rockets. That outburst put the third-year man from Kentucky within a hair's breadth of getting a mandatory siesta — according to the punishment schedule laid out in the NBA rulebook, a player's 16th technical foul of the season carries with it not only a $5,000 fine, but also a one-game suspension — and in the aftermath of the loss to Houston, Cousins promised his coaches, teammates and Kings fans that he'd be on his best behavior to ensure that he remained in the lineup as the Kings finished out their season.

    To his credit, Cousins has been a man of his word for the past seven weeks, avoiding

    Read More »from DeMarcus Cousins suspended for season finale vs. Suns after getting 16th technical foul (Video)
  • There was a reason why Joe Dumars was able to hang on for so many years as Detroit Pistons general manager. He was beloved as a player; the 1990 NBA Finals MVP was the only member of the Bad Boy Pistons for whom outsiders could stand to root, kind of like the opposite of an aerial view. It wasn’t that distinction that made him so workable, though, so un-fungible. Dumars, who stepped down from his post as Pistons personnel el jefe on Monday, actually used to be damn good at his job. And people unfortunately tend to forget this.

    The whiffs are notorious. This is the man who signed and dealt for both Josh Smith's and Brandon Jennings’ 20-foot jump shots last summer. He signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva in 2009 – to big contracts to actually start for his basketball team. He drafted Darko Milicic with, wait for it, the second pick in the 2003 NBA draft, when everyone knew that Chris Kaman or Travis Outlaw (or Dwyane Wade or Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh or whatever) would have been

    Read More »from Joe Dumars is stepping down as Detroit Pistons general manager


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