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Risk Management in Rip City

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Over the past 13 games, the Portland Trailblazers have completely fallen apart, giving up 108.4 points per 100 possessions. You can't mimic Indiana's conservative defense when your starting point guard hasn't met a screen that hasn't smushed him. Robin Lopez has provided the Blazers with a defensive foundation, a solid backdrop on which they built their philosophy. But Roy Hibbert he is not.

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Kevin Durant and LeBron James are saving the season

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With no all-encompassing narrative, no 27-game winning streaks, no villains to concoct new heroes, the NBA fell into a rut, as all things with a circadian rhythm are wont to do. Late January, most teams suiting up for game 45 of 82; doldrums are an expectation— maybe it's because of the stark contrast to last season, they just feel a little more pronounced. Then Kevin Durant happened.

2

Kobe Bryant’s Chess Match With Immortality

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There's Keynesian Economics. There's Heisenberg's String Theory. There's Martin Heidegger. There's David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. And then there's the realm of Kobe Bryant's mind. Understanding Kobe isn't rocket science. Actually, he's confounding in ways that would make aerospace engineering blush.

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On John Wall: Growing Pains and Growing Gains

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In line with legions of potential-laden youngsters, the elusive ingredient John Wall lacked was consistency. After returning from a knee injury last season, Wall gave us a preview of just how devastating he could be when given the ability to harness his talent by pure exercise of will. Today, his floorsmanship is prestidigitation on 94x50 parameters. Basically, he's scary good. And he's only going to get better.

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Presented Without Comment: Ricky Rubio Passes Basketball

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The English language harbours an infinite quantity of words, which allow for sentence construction to create an even more boundless mixture of vocabulary, turns of phrase and expression. Ultimately, it is not enough. Some emotions defy description just as some plays defy analysis. The Timberwolves did something tantalizing today, as they've become wont to do, and… well, it didn't precisely defy analysis. Ricky Rubio's dimes exude bewilderment, Dirk Nowitzki was discombobulated but not in a way that's curious and Kevin Love, you see, makes the shots around these here parts.

5

Russell Westbrook Hit A Game Winner But Man, Did You See That Rebound?

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Friday against the Golden State Warriors, Westbrook nailed a trey that put Oklahoma up by one point and left just 0.1 seconds on the clock. The game-winner secured a win for his rolling squad and left us speaking in tongues. Let's not allow the electricity of the moment to confuse us, though. This was not the play of the game, or even his. Westbrook's defining imprint on the game seconds before the shot when he flung into the air and lunged for an offensive rebound that would have otherwise belonged to the 6'11 Jermaine O'Neal.