Dan Devine

  • Paul Pierce celebrated sweeping the Raptors with so many Internet jokes

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 3 hrs ago

    There are plenty of reasons why the Washington Wizards swept the Toronto Raptors out of the 2015 postseason. Some of them have to do with the Raptors' own failings, especially on the defensive end, as they plummeted from the top of the East to a dispiriting four-game defeat and into a summer that could feature franchise-shaking change. Some of them have to do with John Wall being damn near unguardable, Bradley Beal getting back to making shots he'd struggled to at times this season and Otto Porter becoming a nightmarish defender for Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan to deal with.

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  • Billups: Knicks must add vocal leaders, because 'Melo is 'not that guy'

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 4 hrs ago

    After a disappointing campaign that saw them post the worst record in their 69-year history, the New York Knicks face a summer likely to be chock full of change, as Phil Jackson begins rebuilding the roster he spent most of this misbegotten season tearing down. He'll look to land a cornerstone with a top-five pick in June's 2015 NBA draft, hoping to find a future franchise-leading talent to pair with current foundational piece Carmelo Anthony.

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    From Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

    The mere fact of having been around a while doesn't make you valuable in and of itself, though. Most of those vets the Knicks had in 2012-13 and lost thereafter made, at one point or another, tangible on-court contributions.

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  • Chris Paul leads Clippers past Spurs to Game 4 win, knots series at 2-2

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 22 hrs ago

    After dropping an overtime heartbreaker in Game 2 and getting blasted on Friday night to fall behind the San Antonio Spurs two games to one, a lot of us wondered how the Los Angeles Clippers would respond on Sunday. Would they once again get trampled by a surging Spurs squad led by newly minted Defensive Player of the Year and top scoring threat Kawhi Leonard? Or would they fight their way out of the corner into which they'd painted themselves?

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    Spurs owner Peter Holt screamed "That sucked!" walking off the court.

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  • Cavs win Game 4, finish sweep of Celtics, but enter Round 2 with questions

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The Cleveland Cavaliers took care of business on Sunday, earning a 101-93 win over the Boston Celtics to finish off a four-game sweep in their best-of-seven first-round playoff series. They sustained some costly damage in the process, though, losing two starters — one to injury, the other to ejection — during the course of a 48-minute slugfest that could have the Cavs entering Round 2 wounded and short-handed.

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    Love would not return, limiting him to just under 5 1/2 minutes of floor time after his star turn in Game 3.

    The physicality only escalated after halftime, as Smith responded to Crowder shoving him in the lane by swinging his right fist backward, clocking Crowder on the side of the face and sending him crumpling to the ground:

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  • Here's a shirtless Darko Milicic singing and giving beer to his tattoos

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    When last we checked in with Darko Milicic, the former No. 2 overall pick had decided to pursue an invigorating and rewarding second career as a professional kickboxer. While that new venture got off to something of a rocky start. the 7-footer sure seems to be enjoying himself in the great post-basketball hereafter:

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    LeBron James is the only member of the top five of the vaunted 2003 draft class participating in this postseason. I'm not saying that Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh aren't enjoying the early end to their seasons as much as Darko is, but I am saying that I'm going to need to see the folk-singing beer-crushing videos to prove they are.

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  • J.R. Smith ejected after flagrant foul on Jae Crowder in wild Cavs-Celtics Game 4

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith was ejected from Sunday's Game 4 against the Boston Celtics after hitting the Celtics' Jae Crowder in the face early in the third quarter.

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    With Cleveland holding a 21-point lead coming out of intermission, Boston's Brandon Bass attempted to work in the post against the defense of the Cavs' Tristan Thompson. As Bass backed Thompson down, Crowder barreled down the paint, looking to establish rebounding position. He crashed into Smith, who looked to anchor down and box out. Crowder responding by leaning on Smith's shoulder blades with his right forearm.

    Smith responded by rearing back and swinging his right arm backward, clocking Crowder right on the jaw. Crowder crumpled to the floor following the punch, with his left knee trapped underneath him; as he lay on the hardwood, he reached for his left leg in pain.

    Instead, relatively little came of the scuffle:

    Explanation (1/3): 1:44/Q2: Following offensive foul on Perkins, an altercation ensued...

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  • Kevin Love suffers dislocated left shoulder on 'bush-league play' by Kelly Olynyk

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love played only five minutes and 22 seconds of Game 4 of his team's first-round playoff series with the Boston Celtics on Sunday, leaving the contest after injuring his shoulder in a battle for a loose ball with Boston's Kelly Olynyk:

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    With just under 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the opening quarter, Love and Olynyk were scrapping for rebounding position after a missed 3-pointer by Boston's Jae Crowder. Olynyk latched onto Love's left arm as they ran away from the basket; after a couple of seconds of tangling, Love yelped in pain and instantly grabbed for his left shoulder. The referees whistled Olynyk for a loose-ball foul and Love sprinted straight off the court, back to the Cavaliers locker room.

    After the game, the head coaches for both teams downplayed the notion that Olynyk intentionally and maliciously went after after Love's shoulder:

    Stevens on Love injury: “Can’t imagine there was any negative intent by Kelly, b/c that’s not kind of person he is, & you hope Love is OK."

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  • Harden's playoff-career-high 42 leads Rockets past Mavs to 3-0 lead

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    The Dallas Mavericks emptied both barrels on Friday night, throwing every ounce of offensive firepower they had at the Houston Rockets in an attempt to overwhelm Kevin McHale's favored crew and fight their way back into their opening-round series. Unfortunately for Rick Carlisle and company, in this matchup, Houston's got the deadliest weapon.

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    James Harden set a new career playoff high with 42 points (15-for-24 shooting, 5-for-7 from 3-point range, 7-for-7 from the foul line) to lead Houston to a 130-128 win over the Mavericks in Game 3 on Friday. The MVP candidate delivered the final two in the form of this step-back dagger from the left elbow over the outstretched arm of Dallas center Tyson Chandler to give Houston a three-point lead with 12 seconds left in a furious offensive affair:

    Mavs season came down to a Monta midrange jumper.

    It's a testament to just how potent Ellis and Nowitzki were, though, that it even came down to one shot at the end.

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  • What to watch for in Friday's NBA Playoffs Game 3s

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    We've got a trio of Game 3s on tap for Friday night, with two series teetering on the brink of the point of no return and one that could absolutely still go either way. Here's a look ahead at what to keep an eye on during this evening's three-game playoff slate.

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    ***

    Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks, 7 p.m. ET — Rockets lead, 2-0

    The unit of Jefferson, Barea, Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler and Monta Ellis (a lineup that hadn't logged a single minute together during the regular season) offered a real offensive spark in Game 2, torching Houston for 27 points in 11 minutes of floor time. It literally gave it all back on the other end, though, allowing 29 points (-2) with the small Ellis-Barea backcourt providing little resistance to Houston's ball-handlers and the steps-slow tandem of Jefferson and Nowitzki creating too many messes for Chandler to credibly clean up.

    Much, much better.

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  • The 10-man rotation, starring Rondo, Carlisle and scenes from failed marriages

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 3 days 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: ESPNDallas. Tim MacMahon offers a great look at the similarities and differences between Rick Carlisle's relationships with Jason Kidd and Rajon Rondo, how the former flourished and how the latter fell apart.

    PF: RealGM. Jonathan Tjarks looks at the Rondo affair as another in a perhaps troublingly long line of bad-news breakups for the Mavericks: "The problem for Dallas is they are becoming like the husband with four ex-wives — who is the common denominator in all these failed relationships?"

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