Eric Freeman

  • NBA Playoff Picture Update: Warriors come out, play, clinch top seed

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 17 hrs ago

    With just a few weeks remaining until the NBA postseason, every night can impact the standings. NBA Playoff Picture keeps you up to date on all the most important news for all 16 berths and seeds.

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    Wonderful Warriors: With a 108-95 win at the Milwaukee Bucks, the Golden State Warriors have clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and will have homecourt advantage in every playoff series at least until the NBA Finals. The team's 60th win also broke a franchise record for victories previously set in 1975-76, the last time they finished with the conference's best record.

    MVP candidate Steph Curry led the way with 25 points on 8-of-13 FG and 6-of-9 3FG, drawing to within 25 of his record for most triples in a single season. That mark is in sight with nine games left, but it's unclear how much Curry will play with the team's regular season goals already met.

    Sunday's Most Important Games

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  • NBA, Pacers issue joint statement against Indiana 'religious freedom' law

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The state of Indiana and its governor Mike Pence have received substantial criticism over this week for the passage and signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law that keeps state and local government from prohibiting individuals and businesses from expressing strongly held religious beliefs. Critics believe that the measure provides cover for discrimination against and denial of service to LGBT individuals in practice, among other concerns. Many individual organizations have spoken out against the measure, including the Indianapolis-headquartered NCAA, which will also hold the Men's Basketball Final Four in the city next weekend. President Mark Emmert clearly expressed his displeasure with the law on Thursday, reiterating its commitment to welcoming all people to its tournaments and events.

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  • NBA Playoff Picture Update: The East goes through Atlanta

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    With just a few weeks remaining until the NBA postseason, every night can impact the standings. NBA Playoff Picture keeps you up to date on all the most important news for all 16 berths and seeds.

    [DraftKings: FREE entry to huge cash Fantasy Basketball Contest with first deposit]

    With 10 games left to play, Coach of the Year favorite Mike Budenholzer will need to find a balance between resting key players and getting the team into championship shape in advance of the postseason. The good news for the Hawks is that they should be fine in the opening round regardless of how they fare in games 73 through 82. Sometimes it pays to play in the East.

    Notorious billionaire entrepreneur, tech guru, and outspoken owner Mark Cuban brought Ellis into the spotlight for other reasons, though. After one non-call, Cuban took to Twitter to complain about his leading scorer's inability to get to the free-throw line:

    It's criminal how Monta doesn't get callsPushed.Hit in face.Hit on arm.Im tired of turning in calls.Fans need to post video to wake NBA up.

    Saturday's Most Important Games

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  • John Wall saves Wizards in regulation, seals 2OT win over Hornets

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The Washington Wizards have had a disappointing second half of the season, but the continued strong play of John Wall has been a saving grace. Although not without his share of stinkers, the All-Star point guard has played up to his reputation and kept the Wizards within shouting distance of homecourt advantage in the first round. Even when the Wizards eventually lose, Wall usually does his part.

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    Wall kept Washington in another game Friday night, although this time it ended with a victory. Down 96-94 to the Charlotte Hornets with seconds on the clock, the Wizards got the ball to Wall off the inbounds pass and saw him send the game to overtime for the second consecutive game with a pull-up jumper:

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  • Stephen Curry goes for 38 as Warriors crush Grizzlies

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Conventional NBA wisdom says that a team that has not made the conference since 1976, is led by a head coach who had never served on any staff prior to this season, and boasts zero players with any NBA Finals appearances does not have the experience to win a title. It could be worth remembering that there's a first time for everything, though, because the Golden State Warriors are playing well enough to buck those trends.

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    Friday's big win against the second-best team in the conference was a team effort, as usual, but MVP candidate Stephen Curry was the obvious star of the show. Curry went for 38 points (8-of-12 3FG), 10 assists, and three steals in 34 minutes, scoring 17 of his points during a 31-16 third quarter that essentially decided the result.

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  • Longtime NBA announcer and NCAA star Hot Rod Hundley dies at 80

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Rod Hundley, one of the greatest players in West Virginia Mountaineers history and a fixture in the NBA for nearly 50 years, has died at 80 years old. The first-overall pick in the 1957 NBA Draft, known by his nickname "Hot Rod," made two All-Star teams as a member of the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers before moving to the broadcast booth, where he served as the longtime television and radio play-by-play man of the New Orleans and Utah Jazz.

    Current West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins tweeted the news on Friday night:

    West Virginia lost a dear friend today as Hot Rod Hundley has passed away. He will be dearly missed. Rod not only.... pic.twitter.com/aH4ooE56Aw

    The Jazz began a long social media tribute to the franchise legend with this tweet:

    We lost a legend today. RIP Hot Rod Hundley. #YouGottaLoveItBaby pic.twitter.com/vjU1jwF9IE

    More comments have come from many former colleagues, players, friends, and fans, many under the hashtag #RIPHotRod.

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  • NBA Playoff Picture Update: What's at stake in Friday's big matchups?

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    With just a few weeks remaining until the NBA postseason, every night can impact the standings. NBA Playoff Picture keeps you up to date on all the most important news for all 16 berths and seeds.

    [DraftKings: FREE entry to huge cash Fantasy Basketball Contest with first deposit]

    Thursday's lone game was a notable one for the playoff picture, with the Milwaukee Bucks beating the Indiana Pacers 111-107 to maintain their hold on sixth place and send the losers into a virtual three-way tie for ninth place in the East. Nevertheless, a single result is not going to change the postseason landscape too much. With that in mind, we've decided to eschew an in-depth breakdown on the Bucks win and turn our attention to a heavy 13-game Friday with several games of note. Read on for a look at the biggest matchups and how they could impact the standings.

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  • Rockets outlast Pelicans in Dwight Howard's slight return to action

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    The Houston Rockets made it very clear that Dwight Howard's return to the court in Wednesday's visit to the New Orleans Pelicans would not find the eight-time All-Star pushing the limits of the sore right knee that had kept him out since January 23. Based on that expectation, Howard's first game back was a success, even if it provided few opportunities to judge his current level of play.

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    Howard started and played his as-expected 16 minutes in the Rockets' 95-93 victory over the Pelicans, logging four points (2-of-3 FG), seven rebounds (all defensive), two assists, a block, and four fouls in a clearly secondary role. The mere fact that he played in a real NBA game is good news for the Rockets as they jockey for seeding and prepare for the playoffs, but this game also served as a reminder that Howard is not at his typical star level and may not be at any point again this season.

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  • George Hill's winning lay-up snaps Pacers' 6-game losing streak

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    The fight for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference has been one of the tightest races in the NBA this season, with positions changing seemingly every day as several teams attempt to become humongous underdogs to the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers in the opening round of the postseason. A strong second half has allowed the Indiana Pacers to become one of those squads, although a three-game losing streak had sent them from a potential upset pick to a team just trying to claw its way back into the top eight in the standings. The Pacers entered Wednesday night's road game against the Washington Wizards — themselves in the midst of a four-game losing streak — needing a win to keep up with the competition.

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  • NBA Playoff Picture Update: The Warriors won the division!

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    With just a few weeks remaining until the NBA postseason, every night can impact the standings. The NBA Playoff Picture Update keeps you up to date on all the most important news for all 16 berths and seeds.

    [DraftKings: FREE entry to huge cash Fantasy Basketball Contest with first deposit]

    Pacific Power: All hail the Golden State Warriors, your new Pacific Division overlords. The Warriors erased a five-point halftime deficit with a 36-18 third quarter to grab an ultimately convincing 122-108 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. That win brings the Warriors to 58-13, good enough to clinch their first division title in 39 years. They seemed pretty excited about it:

    SQUAD! pic.twitter.com/U8NkoNOVWu

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    At 42-29, the Raptors sit one win behind the 43-29 Chicago Bulls. The teams play each other on ESPN on Wednesday, so we should get a better sense of that race soon.

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