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Kawhi Leonard’s Gradually Ascending Star

via flickr | Mark Runyon

Such lofty preseason expectations for Kawhi Leonard were never fair. The popular assumption that the high-motor, mild-mannered Leonard would usurp Manu Ginobili as the third wheel in the San Antonio machine this season was always naive, a result of kneejerk NBA Finals judgments and the belief that time was finally catching up with the Spurs.

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Dirk Nowitzki: Out With The Old, In With The Old And New

via flickr | Drriss & Marrionn

33 year-old Dirk Nowitzki, still basking in the glory of newly-minted titles like NBA champion and Finals MVP, opened the 2011-2012 season out of shape. The impending consequence was the worst campaign of his professional career: Nowitzki appeared in just 53 games, registered his lowest player efficiency rating since 2000, and failed to lead Dallas to a playoff birth for the first time in 12 years.

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2014 All-Star Profile: Chris Bosh

via flickr | Gabriel Li

LeBron James and Steph Curry traded four would-be game-winners in the final 60 seconds of the Heat’s wild 111-110 win over the Warriors in Oakland on Thursday night. Miami squandered a seemingly insurmountable 21-point third quarter lead at the hands of surreal Golden State shot-making and a raucous Oracle Arena crowd, setting the stage for James to steal back the victory with a 27-footer as .2 seconds remained on the game-clock.

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2014 All-Star Profile: Blake Griffin

via flickr | clappstar

Somewhere between the time he jumped “over” a kia in 2011 and Chris Paul separated his shoulder on January 3rd, Blake Griffin’s game was taken for granted. Not his highlights, of course. The jaw-dropping dunks that made Griffin a superstar his rookie year came more frequently than ever. But the crux behind his eroding reputation as a player had as much to do with those posterizations and alley-oops as any sudden deficiencies. Was Griffin, he of dropping raw statistics for consecutive seasons, really much more than the league’s best dunker?

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Open Shots (1/28): On DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross, Miami Getting Big, Paul George Superstar, and more

via flickr | Fizzcity Gallery

[caption id="attachment_3524" align="aligncenter" width="721"] via flickr | Fizzcity Gallery[/caption]

The Corner Three

Toronto  DeRozan/Ross

Two games before Terrence Ross set twitter ablaze