All Ian Thomsen Stories
The Next Wave
The talent pool on Thursday will be one of the deepest in years. The 14 teams with lottery picks can land an immediate contributor or make trades to fill their needs
STRONG OPENING ACT
The fourth quarter may belong to the closers, but the early moments of these Finals have been shaped by Miami's ever-evolving veteran, Shane Battier
5 MINUTE GUIDE
A primer on the players, coaches, teams and issues to keep an eye on as the season begins (plus a little trade talk for when the February deadline nears)
A Big Question
A pair of trades made the Magic more explosive, but have they also made Orlando too small to contend?
THE PICKS ARE IN
A new Western power will topple the champs, but the Heat is the team to beat
So which is it? (Check one) Block / Charge / No Call
When bodies crash, games can turn on a ref's verdict guaranteed to leave one side crying foul. As the first round starts, a look at the hardest call of all
On the Road to RECKONING
Hop in! From record-breaking All-Star crowds to a potential dream superstar showdown in the Finals, the NBA is cruising toward plenty of excitement over the next year and a half. But lingering over it all—including this week's trade deadline—is the prospect of a work stoppage
Repeat after Me ...
The matchups have changed since 2008, but the result won't: Boston will beat L.A. for the title
LAST STAND OF THE BIG THREE
Despite injuries and old age, the Celtics' Big Three have reached another conference finals. How much longer they play could now depend on the kid they molded
A Jermaine Question
While the fast NBA company he used to keep goes for gold in Beijing, Jermaine O'Neal battles back from injuries. Can he recover enough to turn his new team, Toronto, into a contender?
Ron Wants a Ring
By signing a (somewhat) matured Ron Artest, the Lakers made the coolest move of what has been a sizzling off-season