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Mega-trade of Kyrie Irving, Isaiah Thomas doesn’t change much in East

The first few seconds of your first earthquake are disconcerting. You don’t know what’s happening. The undulation, the noise, the inability to focus — it’s all disconcerting. But once you’ve been in a few, you know the feeling. You don’t relax, but you don’t panic, either.

Mega-trade of Kyrie Irving, Isaiah Thomas doesn’t change much in East

Such is another week in the dramatic life of LeBron James jersey. Another ‘quake? Big deal. It’s like he lives in a village called Frackingtown.

Kyrie Irving’s gone? Isaiah Thomas’ hip is jacked up worse than the Cavs thought about wholesale NBA jerseys? …

Kevin Love’s shoulder? Irving’s knee? Dwyane Wade’s knee? For that matter, Larry Hughes’ foot?

Guys go down next to James year after year, yet very little has stopped the party since 2007 — and not at all since 2010. And while a whole lot of people got their NBA jackets cheap and knickers twisted when Cleveland temporarily braked the deal, the end result was as good as anyone in Northern Ohio could expect, given the complete lack of leverage the Cavaliers had once Irving’s trade demands and unhappiness became public. (No, Koby Altman’s future as a GM isn’t ruined; everyone around the league knows the straight jacket every Cleveland exec is in, with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert driving the bus. Hey, he paid for the bus; he can drive it if he wants NBA jersey for cheap. Altman did a hell of a job getting what he got.)

Yet rarely have the two best teams in a conference made a trade with one another the summer after, jangling up all the pieces from their five-game Eastern Conference finals series just a few months ago.

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Thomas may miss the start of training camp. He says he’ll be fine eventually, but can’t say for sure he’ll be on the court at the end of the month. But there is no doubt in the James camp that whether Thomas is ready for training camp or not, or the start of the regular season or not, James will still be on the last East team standing in June 2018.

There’s also a little less variance in the number of NBA jerseys authentic games teams play vs. opponents that are playing the second game of a back-to-back, which is important too.

Over the last five seasons, a team that didn’t play the day before has won 59 percent of the time when it played a team that was on the second game of a back-to-back. Only five teams had a losing record in that situation (with a rest advantage) last season.

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Mitchell and Ness Jazz #12 John Stockton Stitched White Throwback NBA Jersey
Mitchell and Ness Jazz #12 John Stockton Stitched White Throwback NBA Jersey

This season, the number of games where one team is playing the second game of a back-to-back and other is not has only been reduced from 349 to 327. More work in that regard was done last season, when the number was reduced from 384 in 2015-16.

The Milwaukee Bucks jersey, one of the three teams with a losing record (3-5) when they had a rest advantage last season, will have the biggest positive discrepancy between games with a rest advantage (13) and games with a disadvantage (9). If playoff positioning is on the line after 79 games, the Bucks are in good shape, because their last three games of the season are rest-advantage games against New York, Orlando and Philadelphia.

On the other side of the spectrum are the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls, who each have a negative discrepancy of five games. The Hawks play only five NBA shorts cheap games with a rest advantage and 10 where they’re on the second game of a back-to-back against a rested opponent. The Bulls play seven of the former and 12 of the latter.

C.J. McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers

Half of the highest-scoring backcourt in the league, he’s improved through each of his first four seasons and fills it up from the 3-point line. He’d likely have to bump out teammate Damian Lillard for the spot.

Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks

The 7-foot-3 Latvian has all the skills to excel and the perfect forum to do it in at Madison Square Garden. If Carmelo Anthony gets his wish to be traded out of New York, the young forward will get more chances to become an All-Star.

Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers

He hasn’t played a single game or laced up his sneakers for an NBA practice. But if the ballyhooed No. 2 Draft pick lives up anywhere close to the hype and the Lakers are competitive, don’t discount the fan voting in L.A. from getting him in the race.

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

Let’s face it: he’d be the reigning Kia Rookie of the Year in 2017 if he’d played more than just 31 games last season. He’s got all the tools and he’s downright fun, too, which makes him a perfect fit to shine at All-Star weekend. It’s there for the taking … if he can stay healthy.