Meet the contenders for the NBA title

Kevin Durant

A look at the teams in the mix for the NBA title as we approach the annual All-Star break, which takes place next weekend in Orlando.

There are really only two teams in the Eastern Conference with a legit chance of winning the tile … as of today:


You can hate the Heat all you want, but you can’t argue the fact that they’re probably the best team in the NBA, and that’s with injuries too. They just swept a back-to-back-to-back on the road by 15-plus points each. Ho hum.
The Thunder have to be the favorite out of the West, and with guys like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, it’s easy to see why. Those two are great, but it’s the supporting cast — James Harden, Thabo Sefolosha, and Kendrick Perkins — that will put them over the top.
If it’s Bulls vs. Heat in the Eastern Conference finals, nobody will be surprised. Chicago is solid across the board, have the best record in the East, and now play 12 out of the next 16 at home. They’ll need a healthy Derrick Rose though.

After a rocky start to the season, the defending champ Mavericks look to be back on track. It’s just a matter of time before the Lamar Odom trade starts paying huge dividends. And don’t forget Dirk Nowitzki either — one of the all-time great scoring power forwards.

Puncher’s chance

The Sixers were thought to be decent, but this good? It’s true. The second unit, or “The Night Shift” of Thadeus Young, Louis Williams, and Evan Turner has separated the Sixers from the pretenders. They are extremely deep, and it will show in the postseason.
You would be crazy to write off the Lakers. They’ve got maybe the best frontcourt in the NBA with Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, and Kobe Bryant is somehow still at the top of his game. Trading for a point guard could be the missing piece.
“Lob City” has lived up to the hype so far, and if the Clippers can stay healthy, athleticism alone is enough to shoot them to the Western Conference finals. With Chris Paul and two beasts in Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, they can win any given night.
There are many questions ahead, for the Knicks, but mainly, “Can Jeremy Lin and Carmelo Anthony coexist?” The answer better be yes, because they lucked out with Lin. He won’t keep up this pace, but he’s the point guard they desperately needed and he saved Mike D’Antoni’s job. Add on Amar’e Stoudemire, and the Knicks could make serious noise.


Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…


Incubus singer Brandon Boyd on his newest act,…

The rocker is releasing two new passion projects.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.


Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.


Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.


Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…