Double Dribble

An NBA blog from Newsday's Bobby Bonett

Roundup: Duncan staying put, Williams to Hawks

Philadelphia 76ers' Lou Williams (23) reacts with fans

(Credit: AP)

The moratorium on free agents officially signing with teams was lifted at midnight Wednesday. And as expected, Deron Williams signed with the Nets, and Steve Nash was shipped to the Lakers.

The rumor mill is still churning, though, and figures to heat up now that teams can start to lock up players for the 2012-13 season. Here are some of the latest:

Hornets will match on Gordon

Despite...

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Brandon Roy enters free agent rankings at No. 7

LBJ is bringing the baby hook back

LeBron James walks off the court after the

(Credit: AP)

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

Sometimes, you're really good, then on top of that you get lucky, and then you hit a ridiculous shot.

As part of a 28-point night, LeBron James managed to score on an absurd, running baby hook off the glass during Miami's series-clinching 105-93 win over Indiana. James cooly glanced at the Pacers bench after hitting the shot, as if to say,...

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Heat will be without Haslem, Pittman for Game 6

YouTube screenshot of Dexter Pittman from Game 4

(Credit: YouTube)

NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson announced Wednesday that both Dexter Pittman and Udonis Haslem were supended for their flagrant fouls on Lance Stephenson and Tyler Hansbrough in Tuesday's win over the Pacers.

Pittman will be banned for three games for "striking the neck and shoulders" of Stephenson, while Haslem will miss Game 6 for "striking...

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Heat-Pacers marred by flagrant fouls; Bird calls team 'soft'

Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade, lower left, loses the

(Credit: AP)

A quick glance at the box score might not show much intrigue from Game 5 of the Heat-Pacers series. Miami rolled to a 32-point win, LeBron James (30 points) and Dwyane Wade (28) dominated, and Indiana's scoring-by-committee strategy was inept, with nobody scoring more than 11 points.

Look deeper at said box score, though, and you see a big fat "3" under the "flagrant fouls"...

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Dwyane Wade had a bad night

Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat runs

(Credit: Getty Images)

Last night, for just the second time in Dwyane Wade's career, the Miami Heat shooting guard was held to less than 10 points in a playoff game.

The first time was in the 2004 postseason. Wade shot 1-for-8 from the field, finishing with two points, as the Heat lost to the Hornets, 77-71. Then a 22-year-old rookie, Wade's Heat were up 2-0 heading into the game, and wound up winning the series...

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Larry Bird named Executive of the Year

Larry Bird, president of basketball operations for the

(Credit: AP)

Fellow league executives named Indiana Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird the NBA's Executive of the Year on Wednesday.

Bird is the first Pacers executive to receive the award.

The Pacers finished 42-24 under Bird, and earned the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. Indiana is tied with Miami, 1-1, in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Among Bird's notable roster...

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Austin Croshere pokes fun at Amar'e Stoudemire

Twitter picture posted by Austin Croshere.

(Credit: @AustinCroshere)

Even Austin Croshere is getting in on the Amar'e Stoudemire-fire extinguisher fun.

The longtime Pacer, who retired from the NBA after 14 games with the Bucks and Spurs in 2008-09, posted the picture to the left on Twitter prior to Indiana's 97-74 win over the Magic yesterday.

In case you can't read it, the masking tape reads, "*Please do not hit*," an obvious reference to Stoudemire's...

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NBA playoff power rankings

San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan, left, Manu Ginobili,

(Credit: AP)

At the start of each playoff round, you can find updated power rankings in the Double Dribble. The rankings are formulated based on what team still playing is most likely to win the NBA championship. So, for example, you'd expect the No. 4 team to beat the No. 5 team in a playoff series, but the No. 4 team would likely lose to the No. 3 team.

1. SAN ANTONIO SPURS

The red-hot Spurs enter...

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First round NBA playoff predictions

Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague (0) and guard

(Credit: AP)

After the lockout, the Chris Paul trade fiasco, the Dwight Howard and Lamar Odom drama, the Metta World Peace elbow, and a lot of basketball in a short period of time, wer'e finally here: In less than 24 hours, the first round of the NBA playoffs tips off.

Here are predictions for the opening series:

No. 1 San Antonio Spurs vs. No. 8 Utah Jazz Gregg Popovich’s management of the veteran...

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