Kevin Durant is enjoying one of the most efficient seasons of his career. When it comes down to MVP voting, who doesn’t love a comeback story?

With the Golden State Warriors’ season on the line, Kevin Durant knew he had to suit up Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals. He had missed the last nine games with a strained calf suffered in the Western Conference Finals, but with Golden State down 3–1 against the Toronto Raptors, there was no other choice in his mind.

Durant started off hot, pouring on 11 points in just 12 minutes. Then, two minutes into the second quarter, he brings the basketball up to the right wing. Raptors forward Serge Ibaka, in charge of containing the Slim Reaper that possession…

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Edited | Original image via Brian C. Cox

The Utah Jazz superstar is always in the pursuit of greatness, both on and off the basketball court

ON JANUARY 19, the Utah Jazz are hosting the New Orleans Pelicans in a game that’s earned the NBA League Pass designation — seemingly not exciting enough to be broadcasted on national television. With less than a minute remaining in the first half, the Jazz are up by three for a score of 52–49. Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram pulls up for a deep midrange jumper from the left wing. A bit long off the rim, a waiting Bojan Bogdanovic collects the defensive rebound for the Jazz and immediately passes to Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell runs up the right sideline at a…

It seemed that Silver was different from other commissioners in that he made the NBA about “players first,” but perhaps that was mistaken

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Adam Silver | Edited with Adobe Photoshop | Original image via Getty/Andy Lyons

Under commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA has enjoyed unparalleled international and economic growth. He also hasn’t been afraid to face unique challenges head-on. Silver swiftly banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the NBA for life in 2014 after making racist remarks and successfully arranged the completion of the 2019–20 season in the $170 million Orlando bubble. There’s no question that Silver has taken the league to new heights, but no commissioner of a professional sports league is without mistakes.

The 2020–21 season has been a whirlwind slowed only by postponements and cancellations of games due to team-wide COVID-19 outbreaks. Teams…

The Kings have been surging lately, but is their success sustainable?

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De’Aaron Fox | Edited with Adobe Photoshop | Original image via Getty/Rocky Widner

To say that the Kings have been a surprise in the last two weeks is a serious understatement.

Since having their two-game mini-series against the Grizzlies postponed on Jan. 24–25 due to COVID-19, Sacramento has surged to a 6–2 record in their last eight games. They now sit at 12–12, just one game removed from a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Most of their recent fortune can be attributed to point guard De’Aaron Fox. Fox has stepped up his game as of late, averaging almost 28 points and eight assists in his last ten games.

As a Kentucky freshman…

At 72 years old, the legendary Gregg Popovich is the oldest coach in the NBA, both currently and in league history. He’s done it all in his 24 years as head coach for the San Antonio Spurs, including five championship rings and three Coach of the Year selections. Popovich has nothing left to prove, yet he’s still kicking; the Spurs currently sit at 11–10, good for tenth in the Western Conference. Though San Antonio hasn’t been stellar this season, there’s a reason they made 22 straight playoff appearances under Popovich.

The Spurs don’t have a true franchise player right now…

“Most Improved Player” is the most variable award each season in the NBA. Winners can be any position, come from any college or country, and have any level of experience. The playing field is completely level, as long as they make a large enough leap from the previous season. To arrange the different winners of the Most Improved Player Award, I have three major categories:

  1. They’ve risen out of obscurity and become an impactful contributor for their team, but they haven’t quite reached All-Star level (Goran Dragic in 2014, Pascal Siakam in 2019).
  2. They’ve jumped from solid contributor to All-Star…

Kevin Durant is enjoying one of the most efficient seasons of his career. When it comes down to MVP voting, who doesn’t love a comeback story?

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Kevin Durant | Edited with Adobe Photoshop | Original image via Getty

With the Golden State Warriors’ season on the line, Kevin Durant knew he had to suit up Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals. He had missed the last nine games with a strained calf suffered in the Western Conference Finals, but with Golden State down 3–1 against the Toronto Raptors, there was no other choice in his mind.

Durant started off hot, pouring on 11 points in just 12 minutes. Then, two minutes into the second quarter, he brings the basketball up to the right wing. Raptors forward Serge Ibaka, in charge of containing the Slim Reaper that possession…

The Jazz have been putting the pieces together so far this season. But how sustainable is their success going forward?

Regular season NBA basketball is one of the most unpredictable sports known to man. Without warning, a juggernaut team like the Bucks can drop a game by 20 points to the Knicks (it happened on December 27!). But nobody really bats an eye. It was just their third game of the season, and they had crushed the Warriors on Christmas Day, 138–99. But this isn’t a tale about dominant teams; this is about the Utah Jazz and their eight-game win streak.

The Jazz began the season 4–4, with two losses at the hands of the Timberwolves and Knicks, two of…

The Hawks were abysmal last season, but 6'1" Trae Young took on the tallest orders. Young lit up the league in his sophomore season to the tune of 29.6 points and 9.3 assists per game and earned his first All-Star selection. He showed his dangerous — and seemingly endless — bag of tricks each and every night, taking ankles and nutmegging defenders without cease. Despite his virtuosic offensive performances, he and his team were near the bottom of almost every major defensive category. …

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Adam Silver | Image via The New York Times

The NBA playoff bubble experience last summer was summed up best by LeBron James.

“I haven’t thought about the bubble much after I left,” James said to a reporter. “You continue to give me PTSD every time you ask me about the bubble. I started shaking thinking about 96 straight nights in that place.”

Sure, the players did stay at Disney World, a five-star resort with world-class amenities, but it took a toll on their mental health. The Lakers and Heat spent over three months in Orlando, and it was difficult for them to be without their loved ones. …

Natalie Wells

High school junior from Long Island, writer for Basketball University! Check out my blog: www.topofthekeyblog.com

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