NBA season preview: SouthWest division packing a tough bunch of five

Paul Suttor 4:20 PM   It starts with the defending champion San Antonio Spurs and it doesn't get much easier from there. The SouthWest division is easily the hardest in the NBA.

Capitals forward bides her time for WNBA

Stephanie Talbot is able to make an impact on games even when she makes mistakes.

Jon Tuxworth 6:00 PM   The bright lights of the WNBA are calling but Canberra Capitals coach Carrie Graf has one sage piece of advice for Stephanie Talbot - "don't go until you're ready''.

Lakers guard Nash ruled out for season

Back injury: Lakers guard Steve Nash is unlikely to play again.

12:22 PM   Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash may have played his last game in the NBA after being ruled out of the upcoming season because of a recurring back problem.

New York Knicks sign Australian centre Jordan Vandenberg

Close to the big time: Australian centre Jordan Vandenberg has been signed by the Knicks.

Roy Ward 11:13 AM   Victorian centre Jordan Vandenberg has signed with the Knicks but may spend the season in the D-League.

Adelaide Lightning beat undermanned Dandenong Rangers

Roy Ward   The Rangers fought to the end but Adelaide scored its first win of the WNBL season.

Cosier on track for WNBL return, as is Jackson

Lauren Jackson.

Jon Tuxworth   Santa will come early for the Canberra Capitals after coach Carrie Graf revealed injured superstar Lauren Jackson would be back on deck "well before Christmas".

Exum critic now full of praise for Aussie

'Easily my fastest flip-flop ever': Bill Simmons is now a Dante Exum fan.

Just a week ago, Bill Simmons said Utah's decision to use pick five on Dante Exum "has a chance to be one of this century's legendary bad lottery picks".

Kings ready to snap 14-game losing streak against Perth

Calling the shots: Sydney Kings guard Ben Magden

Adrian Proszenko   Sydney may have won their most recent fixture against bogey team Perth, but the official NBL records show a 14-game streak in favour of the westerners.

Lakers sinking without a trace in the Pacific

Paul Suttor

Paul Suttor   The Los Angeles Lakers used to own the Pacific division. This season they not only face the prospect of finishing at the bottom of it for the second year in a row, they are another Kobe Bryant serious injury away from being the worst team in the western conference.

Basketball ACT clampdown on bad behaviour

Basketball

Jon Tuxworth   Basketball ACT will trial a zero tolerance policy to stamp out poor behaviour in its open men's and women's summer leagues, with acting chief executive officer Tom Moore admitting steps had to be taken to "provide them with a safe environment in which to play".

Durant upbeat despite injury

Upbeat: OKC star Kevin Durant.

Four-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant, last season's NBA Most Valuable Player, was upbeat on Tuesday as he discussed starting the season on the sidelines.

Bishop goes to Bendigo to stamp her authority

Abby Bishop

Chris Dutton   The Canberra Capitals are intent on ending a three-year hoodoo against the Bendigo Spirit to "make a statement" about their WNBL championship credentials.

Melbourne's McRae learns lesson after ankle injury

Rookie on the rise: Melbourne United import Jordan McRae finds a way through traffic against the Breakers on Sunday.

Roy Ward   Tape those ankles, rookie. Melbourne United star import Jordan McRae hopes to have a long NBA career ahead of him but he ran feet first into one of the oldest pot holes in professional basketball on Tuesday. Not taping his ankles before training.

Knicks' Shumpert insists on tuning out distractions, staying positive

Fresh persepctive: New York's Iman Shumpert.

Al Iannazzone   Michael Jordan used to have a "Love of the Game" clause in his contract, meaning the world's most precious basketball commodity in his prime could lace 'em up anytime, anywhere and dunk on anyone - even if some decent college player egged him on in some podunk high school gym outside of Fresno, California.

NBA injuries show it's time to give it a rest

Horrific: Paul George lies on the court after suffering his badly broken leg in August.

Mike Wise   Michael Jordan used to have a "Love of the Game" clause in his contract, meaning the world's most precious basketball commodity in his prime could lace 'em up anytime, anywhere and dunk on anyone - even if some decent college player egged him on in some podunk high school gym outside of Fresno, California.

Lin is ready to make his mark in LA

Linsanity a distant memory: Jeremy Lin during his high-profile time at New York.

Mike Bresnahan   If you ever meet Jeremy Lin, don't bring up the "L" word. He doesn't like it. Definitely tries to create distance from it. That wild run in New York might as well have happened three decades, not three seasons, ago.

Gortat continues to bring big game, personality to Wizards

Polish Hammer: Washington centre Marcin Gortat.

Jorge Castillo   A year ago, the greatest basketball player Poland has produced was a member of the Phoenix Suns. Today, Marcin Gortat is a key contributor for the rising Washington Wizards on the court and a local celebrity in Washington off it. He is a rare quality center in today's spread-the-floor NBA and a rarer personality, a charismatic and brazen character unafraid to speak his mind, reveal his emotions and shave his head into a mohawk.

Howard ready to be recognised among NBA elite again

Rebounding: Houston centre Dwight Howard.

Michael Lee   Before he ripped the bags of ice from his knees, reached for his green, turtle-shell shaped Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle backpack and walked out of a lounge inside the bowels of Toyota Center in his Mickey Mouse T-shirt, Dwight Howard burst into an old Gospel hymn.

For LeBron James, leadership is everything now

Ready for the next chapter: LeBron James.

Jeff Zillgitt   The Miami Heat never truly were LeBron James' team, no matter how Dwyane Wade tried to spin it. It was thoughtful and generous for Wade to say so, but at most the two shared it, given Wade's long history with the franchise.

Bulls confident they have right supporting cast for Rose

Unquestionable talent: Bulls guard Derrick Rose.

Michael Lee   bc-bkn-bulls-rose 10-18 1034 (WPBLOOM All sports!) //Chicago Bulls confident they have the right supporting cast for Rose// By Michael Lee (c) 2014, The Washington Post.