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The Bernstein Brief: Popovich Still Knows Best

By Dan Bernstein-‪

Editor's note: Always full of thoughts, Dan will start sharing a few more quick hits with you every week in The Bernstein Brief. Consider it a morning thought that may evolve. As always, tune into the Boers and Bernstein Show at 1 p.m. to hear more.

(CBS) Just for fun, let's check on the last eight players to be named the NBA's Most Valuable Player and see how they're doing. This will end up going all the way back to the winner from 2001-'02.‬

Kevin Durant is healing after surgery on his broken foot, and his recovery will be evaluated at the end of the month. The fracture he suffered is notorious for complications, so there is added anxiety.

LeBron James is adjusting to a new team and a new, leaner body. He's struggling with his shot -- connecting at a 41.3 percent clip -- and using Twitter to reassure nervous Cavaliers fans.

We think Derrick Rose is back to playing regularly, unless he's not, per whatever decision emerges from a shadowy consortium of advisers and practitioners.

Kobe Bryant is shooting and shooting and shooting, in a vain effort to elevate the woeful Lakers to something else. He has missed nearly as many shots (73) as James has attempted (75), but Bryant leads the league in scoring with 27.6 points per game.

In Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki keeps playing effectively in his 17th season since he arrived at age 20 in 1998. His shot is unguardable as ever, even as he slows.

Steve Nash is done, his back finally giving out at the end of the preseason. He had already announced that his 19th year would be his last, but it turned out that his 18th was.

This year marks two decades of action for Kevin Garnett. He's approaching 50,000 minutes played, which would put him fourth in history.

Tim Duncan rested comfortably last night as his Spurs lost 98-81 to the Rockets. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich is trying to defend yet another NBA title and knows the 38-year old will be critical in that effort. Duncan has averaged 21.3 points and 11.7 rebounds in 234 playoff games, all for the Spurs.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score's "Boers and Bernstein Show" in afternoon drive. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.

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