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How the Russell Westbrook solo act will play in OKC

The NBA world is watching to see how Russell Westbrook leads a Thunder team and chases a championship without Kevin Durant.

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Durant optimistic heading into preseason (1:13)
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Knicks preparing for season (0:58)
AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo
21hBen Alamar

Data helping NBA players redefine meaning of athleticism

When it comes to NBA players, motion-capture technology isn't just for video games. The P3 Applied Sports Science group is using data to determine how players can utilize specific athletic gifts.

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Durant and Thompson drain jumpers for 75 seconds without missing (1:15)
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Kerr starting from scratch with roster overhaul (1:54)
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Doubters need to keep watching Cavs' game 7 win (2:12)
Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports
1dChris Forsberg

Marcus Smart could be the Celtics' X factor

Marcus Smart has shown glimpses of his potential. If the Celtics are to take a big step forward this year, Smart needs to make a leap of his own.

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LeBron looks ahead to final stage of career (0:36)
Jason Miller/Getty Images
3dDave McMenamin

Veteran Cavs don't view age as a problem

Age is just a number to the Cavs, who may have the oldest roster in the NBA but still have youth on their side when it comes to their top-end talent.

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3dEthan Sherwood Strauss

Why Warriors want to win -- but not too much

Despite an unprecedented collection of talent, the Warriors are managing expectations and say another NBA single-season wins record is not the goal.

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Curry schools teammate in practice (0:15)
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Can VR fix Andre Drummond's foul shooting? (2:14)
Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports
3dBrian Windhorst

The melancholy end to the Big Three era in Miami

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh turned Miami into the center of the basketball universe. Six years later, the book on the Big Three closes just as abruptly and surprisingly as it opened.

Now

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Here's Jeff Hornacek on Kristaps Porzingis' shooting: "I think he's improved greatly from last year just watching him shoot. He's really feeling confident about the shot. His corner 3s seem like they're automatic." NYK thinks Porzingis can improve on his FG% (42% last year) by adding arc to his shot.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Phil Jackson got involved in Thursday's scrimmage after a sloppy sequence. "He got mad at us one time because we was running the offense and we didn't throw the ball into the post," Derrick Rose said. "He came over, kind of grumpy a little bit. That was my first time ever seeing him like that."

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Jeff Hornacek said all the back-end-of-the-rotation guys have impressed thus far. He said this of rookie Willy Hernangomez: "Willy's just a very knowledgeable player. He's got a great feel for the game. He's got great finishes. To me, he's like that Marc Gasol type....So he's got a bright future."

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Jeff Hornacek said Phil Jackson and Steve Mills spoke to the team at a meeting on the eve of their first practice in West Point. "These guys know what's at stake. They want to get back in the playoffs and they know they're going to have to ... improve throughout the year to get there."

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Jeff Hornacek says the Knicks wouldn't hesitate to cut a player on a guaranteed contract to make room on the 15-man roster. The Knicks have 15 guaranteed contracts and would have to cut one player if they wanted to keep a player on a partial-guarantee, such as guard Chasson Randle.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Jeff Hornacek wants his team to play instinctively this season. "We're not a team that has to call a lot of plays, they're all reads," he says. Phil Jackson would prefer that as well, but the Knicks have had trouble at times playing instinctively in the triangle over the past 2 seasons.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Jeff Hornacek on Kristaps Porzingis . "We are having him run down the middle of the court if he's the first big (across half court). And then if he doesn't get it hes got to figure out where to go. He has the ability and he has the permission to either stay in the post or float out to the 3-point line."

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Here's Kristaps Porzingis on the new aspects of Jeff Hornacek's offense: "We're going to have more early pick and rolls, get the ball moving, get some movement and then spreading the floor. We have great shooters." The Knicks, by the way, ranked 26th in offensive efficiency last year.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Kristaps Porzingis has already been on the receiving end of some pretty Joakim Noah interior passes. "He reacts quick when he sees something. He's not scared to throw the ball right there. The same situation as with our point guards now, I've just got to be ready to catch it and finish it."

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Kristaps Porzingis has been working on creating a connection with new Knicks guards Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings. "I've got to be ready to catch the ball and finish easy buckets. That's a thing that we didn't have last year." NY ranked 30th in fast-break points and 24th in pace last season.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Derrick Rose grew up in Chicago idolizing Phil Jackson: "He's like a legend in Chicago. It's an honor just being around him. He's someone that his resume speaks for itself."

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Derrick Rose hasn't had a one on one conversation yet with Phil Jackson, but he looks forward to the opportunity. "I don't want to bug him about it. I don't want to rush to have that conversation. I feel like it's going to happen whenever it does."

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Derrick Rose delivered the following line with a laugh when asked if he's talked to his agent, B.J. Armstrong, a former Bull, about the triangle: "Yeah, we talked about it. But me and BJ are two different players. He was a shooter bro....BJ's job was just to give Mike the ball and get out the way."

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Scrimmage video: JP Tokoto hits a jumper on one end and Joakim Noah finds a cutting Courtney Lee on the other end. Lee with a strong finish.

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Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Derrick Rose and Kristaps Porzingis say that the Knicks have incorporated pick and roll into their transition/early offense. That seems like it will be an opportunity for Rose and Brandon Jennings can create off the dribble before settling into the triangle offense.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Joakim Noah finds a trailing Kristaps Porzingis for an open 3-pointer, which Jeff Hornacek notes was taken from '4-5 feet' behind the line.

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Jovan Buha ESPN Editor 

Paul Pierce believes anyone -- even established stars like Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan -- can learn from Kevin Garnett: "Anybody can pick up something from an all-time great. He is one of the greatest players to ever play the game. So, whenever you've got somebody that can come in and share some valuable experience, it's a plus. Unless you're already sitting on the sidelines with five championships and 15 All-Star [appearances], and stuff like that, you probably don't want to hear nothing. But, when you have a guy like Kevin who was the greatest at his position, when he talks, you want to listen."

Jovan Buha ESPN Editor 

Doc Rivers said he doesn't foresee KG accepting a coaching job this season: "I don't think he wants to coach. He's not that crazy. Who would ever want to do that? ... There's no way that's going to happen. I think he has a teaching future. This [situation] is as organic as it could be. I just told him to come around and figure it out. Do whatever you want. Whatever he does, I'm good with, because I do think he can have a very positive impact on us."

Jovan Buha ESPN Editor 

Doc Rivers on Kevin Garnett's presence at Clippers training camp: "KG was phenomenal today. This morning, before practice, he had a teaching clinic that you would pay a lot of money to see. It was great. It was great for Blake [Griffin] and [DeAndre Jordan] and the young guys as well. It's great to have him around. He's a great teacher. We know him as a great player. I knew him as a great teacher. He'll be really good for us."