Eric Freeman

  • Report: Dwyane Wade could be ready to leave the Miami Heat

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Few active NBA players are as associated with their franchises as Dwayne Wade is with the Miami Heat. Since they selected him with the fifth pick of the 2003 draft, the now 33-year-old future Hall of Famer has won three titles, made eight All-NBA teams, and generally been one of the best players in the league. Beyond those credentials, he has been quite loyal to the Heat (apart from taking a few meetings as a free agent in 2010, which is almost nothing) and seemed like the sort of player who could take on a larger role with the franchise after retirement if he chose to.

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    Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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  • Riley Curry returns to Steph's press conference, sings Big Sean, is cute

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The rest of you can have Stephen Curry, James Harden, and Klay Thompson. For the discerning fan, the true star of the Western Conference Finals was Steph's young daughter Riley Curry, who dominated the aftermath of the Golden State Warriors' Game 1 victory over the Houston Rockets by serving as the cutest press-conference attendee in recent NBA history. Sadly, Riley did not factor heavily into the next three games, perhaps because many playoff games last well past what we assume to be her bedtime.

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    There are a few highlights here, most notably her foray into the curtain at stage left:

    Hide and Seek going well. pic.twitter.com/rncMRn8fxk

    Or when she sang a bar of Big Sean's "Blessings" (via SB Nation), which the Warriors sang on the team plane just before the All-Star break:

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  • Warriors clinch 1st Finals in 40 years with rugged Game 5 win over Rockets

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Although they're best known as a high-powered offensive team, the Golden State Warriors have proven the ability to win in many ways throughout a tremendous season. It's fitting, then, that they clinched the franchise's first NBA Finals appearance in 40 years by topping the Houston Rockets in a rugged, often sloppy 104-90 Game 5 victory to close out the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday night.

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    The good news for Golden State was that Houston didn't fare much better. While Howard finished effectively in the paint, the rest of the Rockets shot 3-of-13 from the field and 1-of-7 on threes. However, James Harden offered his usual creatitivy and ingenuity to get to the line for seven free throws without a miss. While the Warriors were fortunate to be down just 22-17 after such a rough quarter, the Rockets looked to be in control of the game early.

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  • Cavs finish sweep of Hawks with ease, land 1st Finals berth since 2007

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    Eight years later, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are back in the NBA Finals. The Cavs decimated the Atlanta Hawks 118-88 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena, finishing off a comfortable sweep and clinching the franchise's second Eastern Conference title and first since the 22-year-old James led them to the same achievement in 2007.

    LeBron has now matched that finish in his first season since returning to Cleveland as a free agent last summer and will now look to capture the franchise's first championship. As noted by Howard Beck of Bleacher Report via the Elias Sports Bureau, James is the first player to make five straight NBA Finals since Bill Russell, Satch Sanders, K.C. Jones, and Sam Jones did so as members of the Boston Celtics' 1960s dynasty. Cleveland will face the winner of the Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets, which the former currently leads 3-1.

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  • Kyrie Irving returns for Cavs-Hawks Game 4, will start with minutes limit

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    LeBron James will have some help in the Cleveland Cavaliers lineup as they try to complete a sweep of the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. As tweeted by Yahoo's own Marc Spears shortly before Tuesday's tip, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving has been made active and will start Game 4 after missing two games due to left knee tendinitis:

    Cavs guard Kyrie Irving is playing tonight with a 25-minute time limit, sources told Yahoo.

    Irving had been limited by the injury before sitting out Games 2 and 3. He appeared to reaggravate the injury in Game 1 of the conference finals and did not play much of a factor as the Cavs closed out the victory.

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  • Looking ahead to Game 4: Hawks at Cavaliers

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    Previously on "The Hawks and the Cavs" ...

    Game 3 was the rarest of things — a competitive overtime playoff game that's probably more fun to discuss than it was to watch. The Cavs' 114-111 victory featured a prolific (if also fairly inefficient) performance from LeBron James, who started 0-of-10 from the field but finished with five points in the final minute (including the go-ahead three-pointer) while dealing with cramps and various other ailments. His 12th career postseason triple-double was well deserved, because he's virtually the only player creating shots for the Cavs with Kyrie Irving hobbled and out for the last two days. It's very impressive that they are on the brink of a conference finals sweep without so many key players.

    Two Things to Look for in Game 4

    Where will the Hawks turn?

    LeBron's load

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  • Rockets use incredible 1st quarter, Harden's 45 to avoid Warriors sweep

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    The Houston Rockets needed a terrific performance to bounce back from a Game 3 blowout loss and extend their season. A 45-point first quarter certainly qualified as a pretty good foundation for their eventual128-115 win.

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    In tying a playoff record for first-quarter points, the Rockets put forward their highest-scoring period of the season and finished the opening 12 minutes with a 23-point lead. The Warriors made a valiant effort to come back and had to deal with a scary fall and lengthy absence for MVP Stephen Curry, but James Harden scored 33 of his 45 points in the second half to answer every Golden State run and seal the win. The bad news for Houston is that they still have to win three straight, including two in Oakland, to move on to the NBA Finals.

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  • Stephen Curry falls to floor, leaves Warriors-Rockets Game 4 with head contusion

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    The Golden State Warriors came into Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals looking to finish off a sweep over the Houston Rockets. A scary incident in the second quarter brought much greater concerns to the franchise and the NBA as a whole.

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    With 5:52 remaining in the second quarter, Warriors superstar and NBA MVP Stephen Curry jumped to challenge a forthcoming lay-up attempt from Rockets wing Trevor Ariza. However, Ariza stayed on the floor, causing Curry to fall on his back and then to the floor at an odd angle. Curry could not get his hands out to break his fall and appeared to hit his head on the hardwood.

    He stayed down for several minutes as medical staff brought out a stretcher, but Curry was thankfully able to walk off under his own power despite appearing quite dazed.

    You can watch video of the incident here:

    Curry's injury came with the Rockets up 55-36 after a dominant 45-point first quarter. He has been the best player in the series, if not the entire postseason, and scored 40 points in Golden State's Game 3 blowout win.

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  • Looking ahead to Game 4: Warriors at Rockets

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    Previously on "The Warriors and the Rockets" ...

    I mean, what didn't happen in the Golden State Warriors' Game 3 evisceration of the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center? After two hyper-competitive games in which the Rockets may have come away with a 2-0 lead against any other team, the Warriors traveled to hostile territory and handed their opponents one of the most thorough beatdowns of the postseason so far, a 115-80 blowout in which they reestablished their status as title favorites. Houston went home with confidence that it could extend the series — it now looks likely that they will head out on summer vacation fairly soon.

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    Three Things to Look for in Game 4

    Houston's resilience

    The Warriors' will

    Is there any way to defend Stephen Curry?

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  • LeBron, Cavs survive Hawks in OT, now one win away from NBA Finals

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    Game 3 of the 2015 Eastern Conference finals will not be remembered as an especially well played example of NBA basketball. Over 53 minutes, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks handed each other many opportunities to win, with either team only intermittently taking advantage. The Hawks saw their best player ejected under controversial circumstances. Each team came into the game without an All-Star. For these and many more reasons, these squads offered decidedly less than what we hope to see from title contenders.

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    LeBron made a defensive impact on the next play by challenging a Teague layup and forcing a miss too hard off the glass. At the other end, he put up this lay-in for a three-point lead:

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