Kelly Dwyer

  • The Toronto Raptors? Gone till November.

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 8 hrs ago

    It may not feel like much right now, with the Cleveland Cavaliers having moved on with the East’s title and two potential champions from Oakland and Oklahoma City looking a giant step removed from the comparatively lacking Toronto Raptors, but one does have to consider where we were six weeks ago with these Raps.

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    Or, 13 months ago. Or two years, and a month ago.

    On April 16 the Raptors dropped Game 1 of their opening round series to the Indiana Pacers, a harmless team led by a president that was tapping his foot in anticipation of firing the team’s coach. Toronto played mostly undistinguished ball and needed seven games to dispatch a Pacer team that needed until the final days of the regular season to even assure its placement in the postseason.

    Sure? Sure. Yes.

    And that’s it. For the honeymoon, at least.

    Then, the big free agents hit.

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  • Three Things to Watch: Golden State vs. Oklahoma City, Game 7

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 10 hrs ago

    The 2016 Western Conference finals will be decided by a Game 7 on Monday evening. The Golden State Warriors, working from home after returning from a 3-1 series deficit, will take on a smarting Oklahoma City Thunder club.

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    Here are three things to watch, in a setting that could turn into something special:

    Steve’s Shuffle

    One would be rather foolish in presuming that Golden State’s issues – the ones that pushed them toward a 3-1 series deficit in the first place – have completely gone away. Warrior coach Steve Kerr still has his work cut out for him.

    The team’s starting lineup and rotation remains at Oklahoma City’s mercy, at times. Center Andrew Bogut and Draymond Green are often bullied out of harm’s way (that’s a bad thing, they need to rule the paint) by their quicker and longer OKC counterparts in Steven Adams and Serge Ibaka, while the quickness and timing that allowed Stephen Curry to end so many defensive possessions by sneaking in for a rebound could be completely taken away by an on-point Russell Westbrook or Andre Roberson.

    That last part is worth wondering about.

  • Report: Chris Bosh, Heat still at odds over his comeback attempts

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    A new report out of Miami details just how desperate Miami Heat All-Star big man Chris Bosh was to play down the stretch of the 2015-16 season, despite working on medication provided to help save him from his life-threatening blood clots.

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    Bosh, who has been forced to sit out each of the last two seasons from February onward, reportedly wanted to time his blood thinner medication intake in a way that would allow him to still play evening games.

    The Heat center, who last played on February 9, reportedly had comeback after comeback attempt thwarted by Miami brass, who remain fearful for his health.

    From Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald:

    According to a team source, the Bosh camp spent considerable time exploring the idea of Bosh continuing to take those blood thinners, but at a time of day (such as early morning) that the medication would be out of his bloodstream by game time.

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  • Stephen Curry and LeBron James headline the 2015-16 All-NBA Team

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    Golden State guard Stephen Curry and Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, will headline the NBA’s 2015-16 All-NBA Team.

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    The reigning two-time NBA MVP, in yet another unanimous vote, and the two-time NBA champion join Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook and San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard at their respective guard and forward slots, alongside the lone surprise in the starting five: Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.

    Detroit center Andre Drummond took in 13 first-place votes, most on the Third Team, and San Antonio Spurs power forward and fellow Third Team member LaMarcus Aldridge also received three top-tier votes. They’ll join Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, Warriors guard Klay Thompson, and Indiana’s comeback kid in Paul George in rounding out the final crew.

    The lone bit of intrigue has to do with DeAndre Jordan’s placement.

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  • Three Things to Watch: Golden State vs. Oklahoma City, Game 5

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    The Oklahoma City Thunder, in a shocker rightfully unseen some 25 days ago, is on the verge of downing both the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors in consecutive rounds.

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    The Thunder need a Game 5 win on Thursday night, in Oakland against the famed 73-win Warriors, to make the NBA Finals. Fighting for its legacy, the Warriors will attempt to pull together for one last round. Scratch that, “two more chances at making it to the next round.”

    It won’t be easy. Here are three things to anticipate:

    Steve, Looking Out for Stephen

    Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, doing his job, followed with this:

    “Nobody has said anything about Steph being 70% to me,” he said. “Our training staff, relatives, friends, sources with knowledge of our team’s thinking — nobody has told me he’s 70%, so apparently they told the media but they haven’t told me.”

  • Report: Two Raptors seen at a casino prior to Game 5 loss

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    Even relative to the standards of Toronto’s embarrassing showing in its Game 5 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday night, the statlines of Raptors DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph stood out. The starting small forward and reserve hybrid guard combined to shoot 3-12 from the floor with four turnovers between them in the Cavaliers’ 116-78 win.

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    Those numbers wouldn’t usually look too egregious in a blowout loss – their teammates shot 42 percent and turned the ball over 14 times themselves – but a report from the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons can’t help but send a crooked eye the pair’s way. Simmons placed both players at a Cleveland casino in the early hours of Wednesday morning:

    […]

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  • Frank Vogel: 'Inaccurate' to say he begged Larry Bird for his job

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    Larry Bird’s role in the Scott Skiles-for-Frank Vogel switch out in Orlando just got a little less weirder. And, thankfully, a little more tactful.

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    The Magic hired Vogel last week in a move that was confirmed with his press conference on Monday. He replaced Skiles, who shockingly quit as Magic coach earlier in the month with several years remaining on his contract.

    That move wasn’t nearly as shocking as Indiana’s decision not to offer Vogel a new contract (read: fire him on a technicality) after the Pacers’ impressive but ultimately losing effort in its first round series against Toronto.

    And the subsequent tweets …

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  • Three things to watch in Cleveland and Toronto's Game 5

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    Most pegged a slim possibility for the Cleveland Cavaliers to drop a game to the Toronto Raptors in their Eastern Conference finals pairing. The Cavs entered Game 3 undefeated on the postseason, but sometimes focus has a way of waning, and the Raptors are a darn-good, 56-win team. It was possible for the two to mix in Toronto at some point.

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    To take two from Cleveland, however, was a shocker. Toronto needed the maximum amount of games just to make it to this round, while the Cavs had looked like world-beaters throughout. Toss in the fact that the Raptors held off the sort of furious Cavalier comeback that had proven disastrous to Raptors of postseasons past in Game 4’s win, and you’ve finally got a bit of intrigue in the East.

    Of course, things are back in Cleveland now. Here are your Three:

    LeBron James’ tongue

    Not will he mind it, but will it drag?

    The question is, in an every-other-day scenario and even at home, are LeBron James’ legs up for it?

    Toronto’s sustainability

    The storylines are so rote that you almost want to roll your eyes should they show up in real life.

  • Did Dikembe Mutombo give Bismack Biyombo permission to finger wag?

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    It seemed like a quaint throwback, perfectly aligned alongside the 1990s nostalgia that seems to drive just about every website these days

    Toronto Raptors center Bismack Biyombo, a Congo native, had recently taken to emulating Basketball Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo’s famous finger wave after blocking a shot. Biyombo and several media outlets always make a point to report that Mutombo (a fellow Congo native) gave the young Raptor center his blessing:

    “Once [Mutombo] gave me permission to use his finger wag, I just want to leave his legacy,” Biyombo said.

    Now Dikembe, according to TMZ at least, claims that things aren’t exactly that cut and dry:

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  • Revisiting the most important playoff suspensions in NBA history

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    Since the NBA started rewarding physical altercations with harsher penalties in the early 1990s, we’ve thankfully seen the league’s players tone down the actual fisticuffs. Whereas former NBA players like Maurice Lucas, Kevin McHale and just about every late 1980s Detroit Pistons big man you can think of once got away with relatively slim fines for their actions, resulting generations have been asked to sit out games.

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    Even playoff games.

    In the wake of Draymond Green’s Suspension That Wasn’t, we thought it interesting to take a look at some of the more notable and eventually important NBA player postseason suspensions:

    1,643. Dahntay Jones, 2016

    Jones, celebrating his 62nd total minute as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday evening, found glass-clearing Toronto center Bismack Biyombo with a shot to the groin in Cleveland’s Game 3 loss.

    Well, Bismack might have.

    8. J.R. Smith, 2015

    7. Jason Terry, 2006

    6. Derek Harper, 1994