A reminder: The format of the AP game stories for the NBA will be the same as last season: A 150-word NewsNow will be followed by a 300-word writethru and a 600-word writethru with quotes from both teams that will include chunky-text bullets with story lines, key plays, injuries and a lookahead to what’s next for each team.
_ Team and season previews:
_ Team capsules were sent Oct. 20.
_ Team-by-team previews were sent Oct. 16, using the Things to Watch format.
_ NBA conference previews will be sent Oct. 23.
_ An AP Graphic: NBA Season Preview 2 is also available for members
_ A season preview will be sent Oct. 26 by Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney.
BKN—TOO MUCH PRESEASON?
It’s not that NBA coaches want to shorten the preseason itself. They like the month they get between the start of training camp and the beginning of the regular season. It’s just that the games get in the way of the work. “I’ve expressed myself to the people that make those decisions on more than one occasion,” said Cleveland Cavaliers coach Blatt said. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. 800 words, photos sent on Oct. 21.
OKLAHOMA CITY _ For years, Kevin Durant’s seasons were easy to predict. He’d be in the race for the scoring title and the MVP award, he’d be among the league leaders in minutes, and his Oklahoma City Thunder would be in the title hunt. Those things are likely true again, but much more is unclear than usual. He’ll be a free agent after this year, he’s coming off a broken right foot that required three surgeries and cost him most of last season, he has a new coach in Billy Donovan, and his teammate, Russell Westbrook, emerged as an MVP-caliber player in his absence. Constant questions about those issues have left Durant in a foul mood heading into what could be a make-or-break season for the franchise. By CLIFF BRUNT. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos Friday morning
BKN–THE INJURY ISSUE
One by one last season, star after star went down with injury. Kevin Durant. Kobe Bryant. Kevin Love. Chris Bosh. On and on and on. Commissioner Adam Silver has made keeping the NBA’s players healthy one of his biggest priorities, urging the league’s medical staffs to share best practices. The schedule has been changed to reduce back-to-backs, the union has hired a sports scientist to aid the process and several teams have made changes to their medical and training staffs to address the issues. Anything to slow the scourge of injuries. By Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski. UPCOMING: 950 words, phtos by noon Saturday.
For overall questions about NBA coverage, please contact Assistant Sports Editor Oscar Dixon at email@example.com.