Dan Devine

  • Klay and Steph save Warriors season, stun Thunder to force Game 7

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Throughout the Western Conference finals, as you watched the Oklahoma City Thunder push, and press, and suffocate the Golden State Warriors with their superior length and athleticism, you might have found yourself wondering what exactly the Warriors had to do to get back to being the Warriors — what adjustments they could make to turn the tide in a series that seemed to be running away from them with the speed of a Russell Westbrook fast break. At some point in your search, you might have settled on a particularly elegant solution: either Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson will have to go absolutely berserk, and man, it'd sure help Golden State if both of them did.

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    It didn't feel much like analysis, but, well, there it was ... and on a scintillating Saturday night in Oklahoma City, well, there it was.

    pic.twitter.com/Dl8X3n8aAg

    And they should, because Klay Thompson's shot-making in Game 6 was the stuff of legend ... and his reaction after the game was, too:

    Uh wut OKC pic.twitter.com/rjdbgNCfxH

  • Steven Adams gets revenge by absolutely posterizing Draymond Green

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Draymond Green became Public Enemy No. 1 in Oklahoma after delivering a swift kick to the nether-regions of Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams during Game 3 of the 2016 Western Conference finals, an act that many felt merited a suspension for the Golden State Warriors forward, but one that the NBA declined to punish by sitting Green down for a game. While plenty of Thunder fans were enraged by what they perceived as a serious injustice, Adams just laid in wait ... until the second quarter of Game 6, when it was time for him to seek vengeance:

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    Here's the Steven Adams poster on Draymond Green (photo via (@sarahcphipps) pic.twitter.com/gQVQy8xNAX

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  • Warriors-Thunder Game 6: Three things to watch

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The Golden State Warriors survived on Thursday, holding off a late Oklahoma City Thunder charge to earn a 120-111 win in Game 5 of the 2016 Western Conference finals behind strong play from several contributors, headlined by the 31 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals produced by back-to-back NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry. The win cut OKC's lead in the best-of-seven series to 3-2, and showed the Warriors were capable of bouncing back after the Thunder absolutely ran them off the floor in Games 3 and 4 to draw within one win of an NBA Finals berth.

    "It will take all of our IQ, all of our gamesmanship, and just 48 great minutes to get a win down there, considering how the last two games have gone," Curry said after Game 5.

    Here are three things to keep an eye on as the Warriors work to fight off the end of their record-setting season and title defense, and the Thunder attempt to finish off a second straight historically great opponent in pursuit of their first NBA Finals appearance since 2012:

    1. Can the Warriors really do all that again?

  • How Andre Roberson totally changed the Western Conference finals

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 3 days 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 3 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 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 5 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