Ball Don't Lie Staff

  • BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: All 30 team previews, collected in one spot

    Ball Don't Lie Staff at Ball Don't Lie 29 days ago

    It's been 136 days since the San Antonio Spurs put the finishing touches on their five-game demolition of the Miami Heat to win the 2013-14 NBA championship. Since then, we've seen a new decision that knocked over the dominoes that shifted the balance of power in the Eastern Conference, a foot fracture that could tilt the brutal West, a long overdue change in L.A., and more movement — of players, coaches, front-office staffers and everything else — than you can shake a stick at ... except in San Antonio, of course, where the Spurs brought back their entire O'Brien-winning roster in pursuit of the repeat title that's thus far eluded them.

  • 2014 NBA draft tracker

    Ball Don't Lie Staff at Ball Don't Lie 5 mths ago

    Who are the Cleveland Cavaliers taking with the No. 1 pick? How far will Joel Embiid fall after having foot surgery? Will the Minnesota Timberwolves trade Kevin Love?

    Follow all the news leading up to and during Thursday's 2014 NBA draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., with Yahoo Sports' NBA experts Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears and the Ball Don't Lie crew.

  • Ball Don't Lie's 2014 NBA Finals Preview, featuring the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat

    Ball Don't Lie Staff at Ball Don't Lie 5 mths ago

    The 2013-14 NBA season is now more than eight months old, and the league itself is 12 months removed from where it was this time last year – the Miami Heat are set to defend their championship against the San Antonio Spurs. Don’t act like you’re not into that.

    Read on, as Ball Don’t Lie's triptych of scribes breaks down the Finals that await us all.

    Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test

    A few rogues can’t topple a system. That’s the idea, at least, bashed over our heads while reading lines culled from Magic’s Showtime runs and Michael Jordan’s triangle-based dominance. Once you pair up against a system that allows for individuals to contribute to something greater than what would be the sum of its parts, all hope is lost.

    This isn’t to discredit the Miami Heat’s work on the offensive end, the Erik Spoelstra-led outfit features its own mystifying sets involving misdirection and work away from where you think the work is actually taking place, but the two-time defending champs don’t improvise or share nearly as much as these Spurs. This is because, most of the time, the team’s most prominent players don’t have to.

    The Spurs? They have a system.

    Prediction: Heat in 7.

  • 2014 NBA draft lottery: Each team's shopping list

    Ball Don't Lie Staff at Ball Don't Lie 6 mths ago

    Each team in the 2014 NBA draft lottery needs something. OK, some of them need a lot of somethings. The Ball Don't Lie staff takes a look at the biggest positions of need for each team holding a lottery pick, along with the wild-card Charlotte Bobcats Hornets.

    1. Milwaukee Bucks (15-67, 25 percent odds of winning No. 1 pick)

    Everything that could have gone wrong for the Bucks did go wrong this year, from expected centerpiece Larry Sanders' myriad problems through roster-decimating injuries and a total whiff in free agency. Milwaukee is already paying big bucks for Sanders (four years, $44 million), Ersan Ilyasova (two years, $15.8 million) and Zaza Pachulia (two years, $10.4 million) in a crowded frontcourt that also features 2012 lottery pick John Henson, which might make general manager John Hammond reluctant to add yet another piece at the four or five.

    2. Philadelphia 76ers (19-63, 19.9 percent)

    3. Orlando Magic (23-59, 15.6 percent)

    4. Utah Jazz (25-57, 10.4 percent)

    5. Boston Celtics (25-57, 10.3 percent)

    6. Los Angeles Lakers (27-55, 6.3 percent)

    7. Sacramento Kings (28-54, 4.3 percent)

    8. Detroit Pistons (29-53, 2.8 percent)

    9. Cleveland Cavaliers (33-49, 1.7 percent)

  • Ball Don't Lie's 2014 conference finals previews: San Antonio vs. Oklahoma City

    Ball Don't Lie Staff at Ball Don't Lie 6 mths ago

    The Conference finals are here. Things are starting to get serious, as the NBA has whittled itself down to just four teams. Let’s break this down.

    Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test

    The San Antonio Spurs are going to win this series. The team is too good, it has played too well and its seemingly unending supply of offensive options are eventually going to be too much for the Oklahoma City Thunder to handle. This, plus the revenge factor from 2012 and the idea that, once again, the Spurs have come too far to blow it now should put San Antonio into its second consecutive NBA Finals, looking for the fifth ring in the careers of Tim Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich.

    The already oft-repeated tipping point is the (to San Antonio, dubious) absence of Thunder big man Serge Ibaka. Oklahoma City has at times played very well without Ibaka, against very good teams, but the loss of his floor spacing, ability to finish inside and defense-tilting ways would seem to be too much to overcome. As well it should be.

    Nah. Probably not.

  • Ball Don't Lie's 2014 Conference finals previews: Indiana vs. Miami

    Ball Don't Lie Staff at Ball Don't Lie 6 mths ago

    The Conference finals are here. Things are starting to get serious, as the NBA has whittled itself down to just four teams. Let’s break this down.

    Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test

    The Miami Heat got what they wanted, a trip to the third round of the playoff bracket for the fourth consecutive year, a chance to defend their Eastern Conference crown, one that has been in place since 2011.

    The fans got what they wanted, a long hoped-for pairing of the two best teams in the conference, squads that gave us a thrilling second- and then third-round series in 2012 and 2013, teams that squared off for four killer regular-season games in 2013-14.

    The Indiana Pacers? They’ll say that they got what they wanted, a chance to dethrone the team that has knocked them out of the playoffs in consecutive seasons. A chance to go at a Heat squad with home-court advantage in hand, without having to work a potential Game 7 in Miami as was the case last June. A chance to work through the champs on the way to only the second NBA Finals appearance in franchise history. An opportunity to win its first pro basketball championship since taking the ABA crown in 1973.

    Prediction: Heat in 7.

    Prediction: Heat in 6.

  • Ball Don't Lie's 2014 NBA Playoff Previews, featuring the San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers

    Ball Don't Lie Staff at Ball Don't Lie 6 mths ago

    The NBA’s Greatest First Round Ever has ended, which is a bit of a shame, but the idea that half the participants in the Greatest First Round Ever are still active should keep you keen on taking in the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. This is where the minds behind Ball Don’t Lie prepare you for what you’re about to see.

    Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test

    In 2004-05, after a year spent licking its wounds following a second-round ouster from the playoffs, the San Antonio Spurs re-worked their defense in a way that was as ahead of its time as it was blindingly efficient. The squad shot to the top of the defensive ranking charts by encouraging teams to light up the night sky with mid-range jumpers. It made a point to mind the fouls, the players spent careful attention to both stopping 3-pointers and shots around the rim, and a too-slow NBA was quick to embrace what was then considered a fundamentally sound practice of stepping in for the sort of long two-pointer that made Larry Brown's or Doug Collins’ day.

    Prediction: Spurs in 7.

    Dan Devine's One Big Question

    Can the Spurs slow down LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard enough to outscore the Blazers?

    Prediction: Spurs in 7.

  • Ball Don't Lie's 2014 NBA Playoff Previews, featuring the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets

    Ball Don't Lie Staff at Ball Don't Lie 6 mths ago

    The NBA’s Greatest First Round Ever has ended, which is a bit of a shame, but the idea that half the participants in the Greatest First Round Ever are still active should keep you keen on taking in the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. This is where the minds behind Ball Don’t Lie prepare you for what you’re about to see.

    Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test

    From October until April, we bleat on and on about the importance of the regular season, how these games genuinely do mean so much, how there is a litany of things we can learn from while taking in contests pitched in the middle of the 82-game season, pointing to playoff history for proof of as much. How you would have known the 2007 Warriors stood a puncher’s chance against Dallas had you just watched Golden State play the Mavs in the previous regular seasons, maaaaan, and how you would have called Memphis over San Antonio in 2011 had you just bothered to tune in during February, maaaan.

    And the Nets are pressed and dried flowers, tucked into a well-worn scrapbook at their Nana’s house. They’ll always have the regular season to look fondly upon, at least.

    Prediction: Heat in 6.

    Dan Devine's One Big Question

  • Ball Don't Lie's 2014 NBA Playoff Previews, featuring the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers

    Ball Don't Lie Staff at Ball Don't Lie 6 mths ago

    The NBA’s Greatest First Round Ever has ended, which is a bit of a shame, but the idea that half the participants in the Greatest First Round Ever are still active should keep you keen on taking in the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. This is where the minds behind Ball Don’t Lie prepare you for what you’re about to see.

    Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test

    If it feels like a bit of a bummer that one of these two championship-caliber teams has to go out in the second round, then turn that glass into something half-brimmed half-full, partner.

    The Clippers should win this series. The team often plays bigger than the sum of its parts, which is something you can’t quite say for Oklahoma City. Los Angeles may have needed seven games to down the Golden State Warriors in the first round, but GSW matched up well with the Clippers, the teams truly don’t like each other, and it can’t be easy to take four games in seven tries while your owner is being banned from the league after admitting to saying terrible things on an audiotape heard by millions.

    This is where the Clippers, all veteran-laden and Ubuntu-familiar, would appear to step in.

    Prediction: Clippers in 6.

    Prediction: Thunder in 7.

  • Ball Don't Lie's 2014 NBA Playoff Previews, featuring the Indiana Pacers and Washington Wizards

    Ball Don't Lie Staff at Ball Don't Lie 6 mths ago

    The NBA’s Greatest First Round Ever has ended, which is a bit of a shame, but the idea that half the participants in the Greatest First Round Ever are still active should keep you keen on taking in the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. This is where the minds behind Ball Don’t Lie prepare you for what you’re about to see.

    Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test

    Do the Pacers look selfish?

    Do the Wizards look, I dunno, dominant ?

    Neither tag seems to fit at this point, but you wouldn’t be wrong in expecting as much from either side as they set to take on each other in a second-round matchup few could have expected earlier in the season. Indiana had long ago mapped out its route to the third round of the Eastern Conference bracket, piling high and working hard in attempts to secure home-court advantage over the defending champion Miami Heat.

    It’s also why the Pacers will take this series. Washington has talent, there is to be no doubt, but Indiana thrives on orthodoxy.

    That doesn’t mean the Pacers should bank on a one-sided series. Far from it.

    Prepare for the slugfest, though. Your patience will be tested.

    Prediction: Pacers in 5.

    Dan Devine's One Big Question

    Prediction: Pacers in 7.