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That means decision-making, particularly with guard Russell Westbrook and forward Kevin Durant, 23-year-old All-Stars who came unraveled in last season's playoffs when they advanced to the conference finals for the first time.

What's the best synonym for unraveled? How about using falling apart or undone?

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Absent any context about what you want to say, there can't be any "best" synonym. –  Robusto Apr 8 '12 at 1:59
    
There is no right answer to this question. Voting to close. –  MετάEd Apr 8 '12 at 2:03
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Probably the best synonym for unraveled is raveled. –  John Lawler Apr 8 '12 at 2:20
    
What's wrong with unraveled? Seems apt enough to me... –  J.R. Apr 8 '12 at 11:39
    
I just need a better word to explain "unraveled" here, what's wrong with it? and shame on you John Lawler. –  stonebird Apr 8 '12 at 21:18
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closed as not a real question by MετάEd, Jasper Loy, J.R., Brett Reynolds, Mitch Apr 8 '12 at 12:34

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1 Answer

Unravel = unfold, disentangle or untangle.

Idiomatically, gradually being dispensed, revealed or exposed.

"Falling apart" is not what it means.

If you choose "getting undone", it does not mean "falling apart" kind of "undone" but the "untangle" kind of undone.

Think of the issue as a huge mess of tangled up string, and someone (or some set of events) are attempting to unravel (straighten up) the string.

The result of disentangling could be starting to get a clearer picture of the situation, or could be starting to feel the effects of the situation.

The causes of the housing financial bubble began to unravel
= The causes of the housing financial bubble was gradually being revealed.

.

The effects of the housing bubble began to unravel after years of accumulated malpractice
= The effects of the housing bubble started to roll out after years of accumulated malpractice.

.

The years of intricate Japanese anti-competitive relationships between conglomerates were unraveling upon the economy of Japan in the 1990s, causing a lost generation of Japanese economic output.
= The years of intricate Japanese anti-competitive relationships between conglomerates were unfolding their effects upon the economy of Japan in the 1990s, causing a lost generation of Japanese economic output

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