Eric Freeman

  • Otto Porter loses Tony Snell on defense, just stands still and stares

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 7 hrs ago

    There is an old basketball truism that defenders should not be caught ball-watching on defense. The idea is pretty simple — when guys focus on the ball, they lose sight of other offensive players and allow them to get open shots. Anyone with any experience in basketball does not need an example to prove the point.

    Newcomers, though, could stand to learn a lot from the mistake Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter made in the final seconds of Tuesday night's game against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. Then again, merely stating that Porter got caught ball-watching does not communicate the hilarity of whatever caused him to allow Tony Snell to get open.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Let's take a look on Vine, too, because a play this silly benefits from endless viewings:

    Porter is not going to live this moment down any time soon. The brilliant folks at The Wizznutzz have already turned him into a meme:

    new trend: OTTOING u jus stand on a lonely street corner in akimbo position waiting for the asteroid pic.twitter.com/7I6LFRQihX

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  • Josh Smith shooshes crowd, fails as Hawks storm back to beat Rockets

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 8 hrs ago

    Houston Rockets forward Josh Smith has heard a lot of criticism over the past few years that he takes too many three-pointers. Those comments are accurate — Smith hasn't topped 31 percent from long range since 2010-11 — but it's easy to see how he may have grown tired of the naysayers after several years. He probably gets the gist at this point.

    We can understand, then, why Smith may have chosen to respond to the haters during the Rockets' visit to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night. After hitting his first triple of the game with 2:19 remaining in the third quarter, the former Hawk put his finger to his lips to quiet down the booing crowd.

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    But Smith didn't stop there. He did the same thing after his second three-pointer put the Rockets up 84-72 with 11:03 left in regulation:

    Despite what would be understandable embarrassment, Smith did not try to walk back his actions. If anything, he doubled down on them. From Kevin Arnovitz for ESPN.com:

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  • Chris Paul hits the dagger over Kevin Garnett, Clips beat Wolves

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Kevin Garnett may be 38 years old, but he remains one of the most versatile defenders in the NBA. When KG needs to switch onto a guard, it's a fair bet that he will be able to stick on the ballhandler and force a tough shot. Not being the defensive force he used to be does not mean that he can't make an impact.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Sometimes, though, Garnett's excellent defense is not enough, which the Minnesota Timberwolves learned in Monday night's game vs. the Los Angeles Clippers at Target Center. With under a minute remaining and the Clippers up 106-103, Garnett switched onto Chris Paul after a pick from DeAndre Jordan. As he has so many times in his career, he stuck with one of the league's best ballhandlers. But Paul made several moves to get just enough space and altered his shot to make sure it would not be blocked:

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  • Jarrett Jack's game-winner allows Nets to fend off Warriors

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Enough has gone right for the Golden State Warriors this season that fans can be forgiven for expecting them to pull out an unlikely comeback victory. Down 108-99 to the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center with 3:29 left in regulation, the Warriors went on a 9-0 run over more than two minutes to tie the game on a Stephen Curry jumper (to give him eight points in the run alone) with just 1:08 on the clock. Given the Warriors' performance this season, it seemed as if they were headed for a victory on the sixth and final game of their Eastern Conference road trip.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    It was not to be. After a Golden State turnover, the Nets called on former Warrior Jarrett Jack to create their final shot with the shot clock turned off. The defense from Curry was quality, but Jack got the better of him with this pull-up jumper:

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  • James Harden suspended 1 game for kicking LeBron James in groin

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The Houston Rockets went all out after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers by two points on Sunday, even going so far as to declare James Harden "the new King James" after having vanquished LeBron James in regular-season battle. Unfortunately for Harden, it looks like he will see some punishment for deposing the old monarch.

    The NBA announced Monday that Harden has been suspended one game for kicking James in the groin with 2:08 remaining in the third quarter. Harden was issued a flagrant-1 foul during the game, but that has since been upgraded to a flagrant-2. Harden will miss the Rockets' Tuesday game at the Atlanta Hawks, another East contender.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Take a look at the play:

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  • Westbrook dominates again, but Blazers come back to top Thunder

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook is the biggest story in the NBA right now, a player contributing at an MVP level and impressing with the sheer volume of his production even when he's not particularly efficient. He is currently the definition of a must-watch player.

    Westbrook notched his third-straight triple-double in Friday night's road game against the Portland Trail Blazers, but for the second game in a row he could not lead his team to a win. The Blazers came back from a 13-point fourth-quarter to deficit to top the Thunder 115-112, dropping OKC to just a half-game ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans for the final playoff spot in the West.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

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  • Alexey Shved throws the ball way over the basket, confuses all

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    The New York Knicks have given their fans little to cheer about this season. At their worst, the squad with the NBA's worst record have inspired questions about exactly where they're going, whether Derek Fisher is the right man to lead them, and the extent to which Phil Jackson can construct a winner. It's easy to watch them and feel very confused about what it all means.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Credit to guard Alexey Shved, then, for riding those vibes and coming up with one of the most confounding plays of the year. With roughly 7:00 remaining in the fourth quarter of Friday night's game at the Detroit Pistons, Shved darted to the basket after catching a deflection of his own pass for ... well, we're not really sure. Because instead of putting the ball in the general vicinity of the basket, he threw it 10 feet over everything. Take a look:

    We could take some guesses at what happened here, but it's probably more enjoyable just to chalk it all up to some kind of cosmic coincidence. Let the mysterious remain mysterious.

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  • Wizards lose to Sixers in another woeful performance, need answers

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    The Washington Wizards have moved from genuine contention to serious disappointment over the course of just a few weeks. Unfortunately for them, there do not appear to be easy answers to their problems.

    The Wizards faced the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center in need of a win after having lost five straight and 10 of their last 12. On paper, the opponent would have seemed to offer them a solid chance at a victory — the Sixers had lost five in a row themselves and quite famously suffer from a talent gap. So it's a mark of how bad things have gotten for Washington that they lost 89-81 in a listless display during which Philadelphia rarely looked particularly threatening. This was a truly bad basketball game, and the worst team in it held hopes of challenging for a title less than a month ago.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    The Sixers iced the game with an off-balance fadeaway from journeyman point guard Ish Smith, who signed all of five days ago:

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  • Bledsoe and Westbrook stuff the stat sheet as Suns top Thunder in OT

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    The NBA is full of amazing lead guards, but perhaps no two are as active as Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns. Even when they're not at their best, these two players simply make things happen at both ends. They run around, fly through the air, and often crash into opponents and teammates. If they stop moving, something is probably wrong.

    Thursday night's game between the Thunder and Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena showed how both Westbrook and Bledsoe can impact a game. Phoenix ended up with a 117-113 overtime win, but the final score gives little indication of the straight-up weirdness of the night.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    After Phoenix had held an eight-point or low-double-digit lead most of the way, OKC fought back to turn the final few minutes into a battle for the win. With 20 seconds on the clock and the Suns up 109-106, Westbrook went to the rim in lieu of taking a game-tying three. He managed to tie the game anyway:

     

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  • LeBron dominates with season-high 42 points, Cavs handle Warriors

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    Thursday's matchup between the league-best Golden State Warriors and red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers was billed as a potential NBA Finals preview. As with so many high-profile games before it, the night was dominated by LeBron James.

    The Cavs superstar scored a season-high 42 points on 15-of-25 shooting as Cleveland beat Golden State 110-99. The Warriors got out to a hot start in a high-scoring first quarter but were handled by the Cavaliers over the final three quarters in a game whose result rarely seemed in doubt.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    In addition to his impressive scoring total, James added 11 boards, five assists, and three steals over 36 minutes. Take a look at some of his highlights below:

    While Cleveland's offense gets much of the attention, their defense arguably impressed more vs. Golden State. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 30 points on 10-of-30 shooting. MVP candidate Curry especially struggled when guarded by taller wings and looked off most of the game.

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