Dan Devine

  • How Andre Roberson totally changed the Western Conference finals

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 15 hrs ago

    When the Oklahoma City Thunder went to the 2012 NBA finals, they seemed to have everything. Youth, talent and athleticism; a dominant scoring forward; the game's explosive point guard; an emerging interior defensive menace; and a reserve wing playmaker who, when deployed alongside the first two, made them nearly indefensible.

    Then they lost in the finals, as young teams do. Then the realities of roster management and fear of a cap-strapped future in luxury-tax hell set in. Then James Harden got traded, and ever since, Oklahoma City has had a hole on the wing that it's never quite been able to fill.

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    Thabo Sefolosha, though very good at what he did, he couldn't fill it. Neither could Kevin Martin. Nor could Jeremy Lamb or Perry Jones. Reggie Jackson came closest, but that fit never really fit, and it ended in a beef that's still broiling.

    It's almost too obvious, really.

    As a result, Kerr said before Game 5 that the Warriors will have to re-evaluate their approach to handling Roberson.

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  • Kyle Lowry's reaction to Game 5's stat sheet contains multitudes

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 18 hrs ago

    There were some things worth discussing after the Cleveland Cavaliers decimated the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday — Kevin Love's resurgence, the return of Cleveland's shot-making, the way the Cavaliers' blitzing of pick-and-rolls featuring Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan totally short-circuited the Raptors' offense, etc. I know; I wrote about those things.

    Sometimes, though, that old saw about a picture being worth 1,000 words really holds true ... and seeing Lowry's reaction to the Game 5 stat sheet as he sat down for his post-game press conference with DeRozan just about said it all:

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    Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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  • Cavs find the touch, torch Raptors to get within one win of Finals

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    So, as it turns out, the Cleveland Cavaliers didn't forget how to shoot and defend. They just forgot to pack their A-game when they left for Canada, and when they got back to Quicken Loans Arena for Game 5, they found it. Man, oh man, did they find it.

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    After serious struggles on both ends of the floor in Games 3 and 4 in Toronto, which the Raptors won to even the series after two blowouts to open the conference finals, James' supporting cast stepped up in the first half of Game 5.

    That group ran the lead to 25, thanks in part to a return to the HORNS set that flummoxed Toronto in the fourth quarter of Game 4, which resulted in too-easy buckets like this high-handoff from James to Jefferson:

    31-point halftime lead for Cavaliers is the largest halftime lead in a conference finals game in NBA history

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  • Kawhi, Draymond, Avery Bradley lead 2016 All-Defensive First Team

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    It's probably not much consolation, after a postseason run that ended two rounds sooner than he would've liked, but Kawhi Leonard just earned a unanimous selection to the NBA's 2016 All-Defensive First Team.

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    After getting selected on all but 13 First Team ballots last year, the San Antonio Spurs star and reigning and back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year received first-place nods on all 130 ballots cast by sportswriters and broadcasters, earning a perfect 260 possible "award points" in voting. (You get two points for each First Team selection, and one point for each Second Team nod.) Leonard is once again joined on the First Team by Golden State Warriors forward and DPoY runner-up Draymond Green, who received 123 first-place votes, and Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who made 47 First Team ballots and 43 Second Team slots to total 137 points, good enough for his second All-Defensive berth.

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  • Joakim Noah leaving Bulls feels both unthinkable and inevitable

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    After nine years, two All-Star selections, a Defensive Player of the Year nod and countless barbaric yawps, Joakim Noah's time with the Chicago Bulls may be at an end. Following a disappointing season shortened by shoulder surgery, the 31-year-old center will enter unrestricted free agency this summer, and according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Noah has already begun to say his goodbyes:

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    For what it's worth, Noah's camp swiftly responded with a "nothing to see here."

    Bill Duffy, Noah's agent: "Joakim and I speak on daily about his future. There has been zero indication he doesn't wish to return to Bulls."

    ... so Bulls fans hoping Noah sticks around might not need to start lighting candles and hammering out their vigil schedules just yet.

    ... for better or for worse:

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  • The NBA wouldn't remove Draymond Green from Game 4, so OKC did

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    The NBA gave Draymond Green a stay of execution on Monday, deciding that the splitting of Steven Adams' uprights that kickstarted the Oklahoma City Thunder's Game 3 annihilation of the Golden State Warriors didn't merit a one-game suspension. Instead, the All-Star power forward would be allowed to suit up for the fourth game of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday.

    Given that new lease on life, Green promised Tuesday to change nothing about his approach, pushing the pedal to the metal exactly as he has throughout his journey from the second round to star status.

    “I’m never going to be careful,” he said at Tuesday's shootaround. “I’m just going to be me, and the game will play out how it plays out.”

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  • This small child dressed as Steven Adams has already won Game 4

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    Steven Adams has been an absolute superhero for the Oklahoma City Thunder this postseason — right down to finding himself on the business end of unjust deeds perpetrated by villainous opposition — and thus it is only right and appropriate that small children in Oklahoma City begin dressing up in their best Steven Adams costumes. You are doing good work, small child outside Chesapeake Energy Arena before Game 4 of the Western Conference finals:

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    Yo this little girl going Steven Adams mustache/tattoo combo has already won fan of the game pic.twitter.com/vYQmZ76HJx

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    Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

    Follow @YourManDevine

  • Craig Sager to receive Jimmy V Perseverance Award at 2016 ESPYs

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    While the TNT crew was offering outfit-based tributes to colleague Craig Sager, who's at Chesapeake Energy Arena to broadcast Game 4 of the Western Conference finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, ESPN was announcing its own very special nod to Sager's fortitude:

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    BREAKING: Craig Sager will be the recipient of this year’s Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. #SagerStrong pic.twitter.com/tHEK7M4gg7

    Congratulations to Craig Sager, the 2016 @ESPYS Jimmy V Recipient! #SagerStrong https://t.co/6YVDnJ3Ntk

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    Sager will receive the award at the 2016 ESPYs on July 13.

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  • TNT honors Craig Sager's cancer fight with special socks, ties

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    As part of their ongoing effort to show support for colleague Craig Sager's fight against acute myeloid lymphoma, the crew behind TNT's broadcast of Game 4 of the Western Conference finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors are sporting a pair of sartorial tributes to the legendary sideline reporter.

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    First, the eye-popping and bright-hued socks, courtesy of NBA apparel partner Stance:

    The @NBAonTNT crew are wearing special "Sager Strong" socks for Craig Sager. I need to find some. #GSWvsOKC pic.twitter.com/OEOy1da8Mb

    Sager socks... Dope. #SagerStrong pic.twitter.com/PBAPkKJJnY

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  • Magic Johnson really thinks Kobe Bryant's the greatest Laker ever

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    When he took the mic at Staples Center last month to introduce Kobe Bryant before the final game of his illustrious 20-year NBA career, Magic Johnson made his feelings known.

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    "We are here to celebrate greatness, for 20 years," Johnson said. "Excellence, for 20 years. Kobe Bryant has never cheated the game. He has never cheated us as the fans. He's played through injuries, he's played hurt, and we have five championship banners to show for it. [...] He is not only a great and unbelievable sports icon, but also, he's the greatest to wear the purple and gold."

    That assessment raised some eyebrows — there have, after all, been quite a number of legends to suit up for the Los Angeles Lakers over the years, including the one making the statement. But during a recent visit to ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Johnson held fast to his belief that Bryant's the greatest Laker ever:

    "I care," Jimmy Kimmel cracked. "I care."

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