Dan Devine

  • The Hawks pulled their Game 1 giveaway T-shirts because they didn't have Jeff Teague's name

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 15 hrs ago

    Most NBA teams offer some sort of giveaway for fans who attend playoff games. Whether T-shirts, "We Don't Bluff" Growl Towels or foam horns, these freebies represent an effort to show appreciation for those who bought tickets to support the team's postseason push by providing them with a cool event-specific piece of memorabilia. They also help present a unified, color-coordinated backdrop for the on-court action and create a unique visual element that makes the home gym look especially cool for nationally televised postseason contests.

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    This, of course, begs the question: Who got left off? Our answer comes via the eagle-eyed Jake Martinsek:

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  • Pelicans coach Monty Williams thinks Oracle Arena's so loud it might be illegal

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 19 hrs ago

    There were some tense moments late, thanks in large part to a 20-point fourth-quarter explosion by superstar Anthony Davis, but for the most part, the Golden State Warriors ably handled the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday in Game 1 of the two teams' opening-round playoff series. The No. 1-seeded Dubs exploded out of the gate, rolling up a 10-point lead just eight minutes into the game and leading by as many as 25 late in the third quarter. As you might expect, the Oracle Arena faithful were in full throat, "a gold shirt-wearing sellout crowd of 19,596 that rocked and roared most of the afternoon," according to Antonio Gonzalez of The Associated Press.

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    While Monty might not have insinuated the Dubs are doing anything shady, there have been other accusations of teams pumping in crowd noise to rattle the opposition.

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  • The 10-man rotation, starring Russell Westbrook, who burned bright and faded away

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 20 hrs ago

    A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.

    C: GQ, Triangle Offense and Grantland. Bethlehem Shoals, Russ Bengtson and Brian Phillips bid a fond farewell to Russell Westbrook's almost literally unbelievable 2014-15 season, and sing songs of praise for the man himself.

    6th: Eye on Basketball. Good stuff from James Herbert on DeMar DeRozan's rise from quiet, unassuming rookie to the Toronto Raptors' All-Star leader.

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  • Raptors' Lou Williams wins 2014-15 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 20 hrs ago

    Toronto Raptors guard Lou Williams is your 2014-15 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, the league announced Monday, earning recognition as the NBA's top reserve after helping propel the Raptors to a franchise-record 49 wins and their second straight Atlantic Division title.

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    Williams received 78 first-place votes and amassed 502 total "award points" — five points for a first-place vote, three for a second-place nod, one for third-place — from the panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters who cast ballots. Isaiah Thomas, who came off the bench in 66 of his 67 appearances for the Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics this season, finished second in voting, receiving 33 first-place votes and totaling 334 points.

    Williams' win breaks a longstanding individual-honor drought for the club from the Great White North:

    Lou Williams is the first Raptor to win a non-rookie-of-the-year NBA award, and the first Raptor to win any NBA award since 1999. Hey now.

    ... which is pretty neat.

    Williams also wins a car from award-sponsor Kia:

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  • Zach Randolph bought 500 tickets to Blazers-Grizzlies Game 1 to give away to fans

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 22 hrs ago

    The only thing better than being there in person to watch your favorite team open the playoffs with a dominating win is having somebody else pick up the tab for you to do it. Five hundred Memphis Grizzlies fans enjoyed that sweet, sweet feeling on Sunday, taking in the Grizzlies' dominant 100-86 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at FedEx Forum after receiving tickets paid for by star power forward Zach Randolph:

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    "I do what I do because I remember when times were tough growing up, so I want to help families that experience those hardships," Randolph said in a statement after being named a finalist. "To win the award would be an honor for my family, my team and for Memphis, and serve as a reminder that I can always do more."

    pic.twitter.com/NLg29s9PAk

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  • Kyrie Irving scores 30 in playoff debut to lead Cavs past Celtics in Game 1

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    On Saturday, Anthony Davis showed out for a national television audience and put a serious scare into the Golden State Warriors in his postseason debut. On Sunday, it was Kyrie Irving's turn to make a blockbuster premiere.

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    It shouldn't have surprised any of us that the 23-year-old point guard would look awfully comfortable in the playoff spotlight; after all, we're talking about a former No. 1 overall pick and a three-time All-Star who won Most Valuable Player honors at the 2014 NBA All-Star Game and the 2014 FIBA World Cup. But Irving made quick work any lingering doubts about the way he'd handle his first taste of postseason play.

  • Raptors' Ujiri fined $35K for saying 'We don't give a s--- about it' at pre-Game 1 rally

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The NBA announced Sunday that Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri has been fined $35,000 for "using obscene language in a public setting on April 18." The Raptors organization has also been fined an additional $25,000 after Ujiri said, "We don't give a s--- about 'it'" — a reference to recent comments made by Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce — during a pre-game rally on Saturday.

    Pierce made himself Public Enemy No. 1 in Toronto when he told ESPN.com's Jackie MacMullan in a wide-ranging (and pretty fascinating) interview that he didn't feel that the Raptors — whom he beat in a winner-take-all Game 7 in Canada in the opening round of last year's playoffs as a member of the Brooklyn Nets, and whom he now faces as a member of the Wizards in the first round of the 2015 postseason — didn't "have the 'It' [factor] that makes you worried."

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  • Predict this: Harden leads 7 in double figures, Rockets take Game 1 over Mavs

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    Before it became clear which opponent his Dallas Mavericks would face in the opening round of the 2015 NBA playoffs, owner Mark Cuban told Grantland's Kirk Goldsberry he'd pick James Harden as this year's Most Valuable Player for his work in propelling the Houston Rockets, "because that’s not a very good team over there.” Cuban also called the Rockets, as constructed by fellow analytics advocate and longtime foil Daryl Morey, "predictable," because "you know exactly what they're going to do" in an offense that emphasizes shots at the rim, from the free-throw line and from beyond the 3-point arc.

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    With Howard off the floor, Dallas shot exactly 50%.

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  • Dan Devine's Inarguable Power Rankings: 2015 first-round playoff matchups

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    After six long months, we're finally here, on the cusp of the 2015 NBA Playoffs. We're down to 16 teams — perhaps not the 16 best , but don't worry, Adam Silver's working on it — set to face off in eight opening-round matchups for the right to advance to the conference semifinals and take one step closer to hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

    The Eastern and Western brackets weren't set in stone until late on the final night of the regular season, but now we know who's playing who, when and where each series will start, and where we can watch. (If you're not sure about any of that, please peruse our trusty 2015 NBA playoff schedule. With all that in place, the question now before us is this:

    Which first-round playoff matchup is best and most watchable?

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    8. No. 1 Atlanta Hawks vs. No. 8 Brooklyn Nets

    [Related: Read our full Hawks-Nets series preview]

  • BDL’s 2014-15 Playoff Previews: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Memphis Grizzlies

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    How They Got Here

    • Portland : Coming off 54 wins and an unforgettable opening-round victory over the Houston Rockets, the Blazers largely stood pat. With one of the league's best big-minutes lineups in place and no picks in the 2014 draft due to past trades, general manager Neil Olshey bolstered the bench by signing veterans Chris Kaman and Steve Blake; beyond that, he banked on in-house development and roster-wide improvement in executing coach Terry Stotts' schemes.

    They're facing an opponent even more banged up than they are, and will get a few days to help Gasol, Conley and Allen heal. Plus, if this goes the distance, they get Game 7 at The Grindhouse. If the pre-swoon Grizzlies are ever going to re-emerge, this is the time.

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