Kelly Dwyer

  • The Chicago Bulls declined to celebrate after a needed Game 1 victory (Video)

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 13 hrs ago

    To say that the Chicago Bulls take their direction from coach Tom Thibodeau is an understatement. Whether the team is flying high under MVP-level Derrick Rose, battling it out with a Rose-less batch of scrappers, or the current combination of both routines, the Bulls won’t dance. Don’t ask ‘em.

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    Ask anyone in the Chicago locker room, and they’ll tell you they performed as expected in winning Game 1 of the team’s Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yes, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving still suit up for the Cavaliers, but the Cavs were without Kevin Love and J.R. Smith and at the very least a competitive go is to be expected.

    Following the win, via Uproxx, they acted as expected:

    Even if Thibodeau doesn’t want to hear any excuses:

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  • James Dolan and Isiah Thomas define entitlement yet again

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 15 hrs ago

    At first, it was funny. Knicks being Knicks. James Dolan being James Dolan. Isiah Thomas, again, thinking he’ll be good at something he’ll most assuredly fail at. Madison Square Garden (read: James Dolan) hired Isiah to run the WNBA’s New York Liberty, despite Thomas having absolutely no experience in women’s basketball in either the pro or collegiate ranks, and despite his well-documented strikeouts suffered while running the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks.

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    Then, late on Thursday afternoon, it became something to get angry about:

    Clarification: this statement on the Anucha Brown Sanders trial & Isiah Thomas came from Madison Square Garden: pic.twitter.com/PEa7MuQlk8

    This is textbook entitlement.

    The unyielding back-slapping and continued entitlement amongst the undeserved elite in this situation is maddening and, depending on your toleration for cynicism, expected.

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  • The San Antonio Spurs? Gone till November.

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Is this the first summer that will allow us to slough off the San Antonio Spurs? Possibly. Perhaps. You don’t have to shovel dirt on a team to wonder about its future.

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    It really does tumble from the top. It is outrageous that the Spurs had to play the Los Angeles Clippers in a first round series that seemed better suited for late May, but the Spurs also mined their own fortune by understandably resting players throughout the season, losing in the final game of the regular season while falling to the sixth seed, and repeatedly going to an intentional fouling strategy against DeAndre Jordan despite little returns.

    What they are asking for is your time, and possibly a break.

    The Spurs are looking in that direction as they attempt to move forward. The team decided not to formally give a contract extension to Kawhi Leonard during the last offseason, understanding that his cap hold was far preferable to his cap figure as the team looked to either replace a retiring Duncan with Marc Gasol or LaMarcus Aldridge via free agency, or augmenting the team upon learning of Duncan’s return.

  • The Brooklyn Nets? Gone till 2019.

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    It’s hard not to pile on. Trust us, we tried to be nice with this one.

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    The Brooklyn Nets had to recover to win 38 games this season, in a campaign spent working in the lacking Eastern Conference for two-thirds of the schedule. The team, genuinely, shocked everyone by merely acting competent against the struggling Atlanta Hawks in the first round – and yet the squad still wasn’t entertaining enough to let us forget that a 45-win Thunder team featuring Russell Westbrook was left to watch from home.

    Nobody was paid more to play basketball than the Brooklyn Nets this season. The team actually went on a payroll-cutting mission last summer and still ended up with a payroll that neared $88 million. That’s prior to luxury taxes, mind you.

    You know the drill by now. Let’s look over the rubble.

    And the end result was 38 wins. And what’s worst is what could come next.

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  • BDL's 2014-15 NBA Playoff Previews: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    How They Got Here

    Cleveland : It should have been a typical first round series. Hell, had the thing taken place in 1995, we wouldn’t be “here” at all. Boston would have been out in three. Game 4 never would have happened.

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    The Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics engaged in a routine, one-sided blowout sweep that featured a championship contender going up against a young upstart that truly shouldn’t have even made it into the playoff bracket. Most prognosticators seemed to agree that Boston shouldn’t have taken a single game, and though the C’s made it close early in Game 1, the series was neither compelling nor all that threatening to Cleveland’s championship chances.

    Boston did well to not be totally blown out of the water, but the single-digit losses in Games 2, 3 and 4 weren’t really telling. Cleveland owned this series, toying with a game Boston club while biding its time until an over-.500 opponent could show up.

    Chicago : Chicago fans can relate. Crying Time is over, however.

    Head-to-Head

    Likely Starting Lineups

    Matchups to Watch

    LeBron James vs. Everyone

    How Cleveland Can Win

  • Tony Allen will walk right through your dance routine, children (Video)

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    Tony Allen – Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard, sainted King of All Things Gritty and Grindy – will not cede his court-space for anyone.

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    Least of all you punk kids, with all your dancing and bebopping:

    The Golden State Warriors crowd, denied a chance to watch an adorable children’s dance routine, understandably booed heartily:

    Allen, to his credit, seemed to realize his misstep and give one of the kids a bit of dap:

    Nor did the crowd's booing seem to bother him.

    This is what happens when you’re charged with following Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for 48 minutes. You tend to work in kind of a daze.

    (Hat-tip: CBS Sports and The Score.)

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  • The Washington Wizards steal one on the road, take a 1-0 series lead over Atlanta

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    The Atlanta Hawks, it’s been proven, do not embrace playing from ahead.

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    The East’s top seed gave away home-court advantage in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday, blowing an early double-digit lead while allowing the upstart Washington Wizards to dictate the pace. The Hawks appeared to have learned very little from the team’s too-close 4-2 first-round win over the Brooklyn Nets, falling in a 104-98 loss that felt far more one-sided than the score would indicate.

    This isn’t to take away from the Wizards, who played a decisive and strident form of basketball, led by lead guard John Wall’s 18 points and 13 assists. Third-year guard Bradley Beal paced the team with 28 points, leaving at one point in the fourth quarter with appeared to be a painful badly sprained right ankle prior to returning.

    Beal was crying heading to the locker room. pic.twitter.com/uEFNtYHzoz

    Whether this sustains or not is up to the Hawks.

    Credit these Wizards. This just seems to be their time of year. Again.

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  • The Portland Trail Blazers? Gone till November.

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    The Portland Trail Blazers are about to enter a chaotic, potentially torturous and franchise-altering postseason. None of this was ever supposed to happen.

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    Most factored the Blazers to be just a slight skip below the litany of Western championship contenders entering 2014-15, but nobody would have been shocked had the team taken three series’ on its way toward its first Finals berth in 23 years. Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge took turns dominating the Houston Rockets in a first round win last year, and the team’s ever-expanded supporting cast appeared to have enough to keep Portland in the thick of it while slogging through an 82-game turn.

    "I'm definitely not one to prolong things or drag it out,'' Aldridge said. "That's not really my personality."

    Aldridge isn’t alone on the free agent front.

    Arron Afflalo, weirdly, could opt out of the last year and $7.7 million of his contract, giving the Blazers even more room to play.

  • The Milwaukee Bucks? Gone till November.

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    For once, the Milwaukee Bucks are fascinating. That, in and of itself, is a good start for what had been a forgotten franchise.

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    Several teams went into 2013-14 looking to tank their way into a high draft pick. Some of those teams, like the Suns and Raptors, failed upward – winning twice as many games as projected while possibly delaying the inevitable rebuild they’ll still need to turn things around. Other teams, like the 76ers and Celtics, did as expected.

    It was Milwaukee that ended the season with the NBA’s worst record, though, working with a roster that was designed to go after a .500 record and lower rung of the Eastern playoffs … again. Fans hated this, and somehow willed that depressing, Larry Drew-led team into the cellar where it perked up with a high pick and Jabari Parker in Wisconsin.

    The improvement will have to come from within. As it already did, surprisingly, in 2014-15.

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  • Klay Thompson's father reminds us that Kevin Durant could join the Warriors in 2016

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    Kevin Durant is sure going to have a lot of choices before him when he becomes a free agent in 14 months. That’s when he’ll become one, by the way. It won’t be until July 2016 that we’ll find out where Durant wants to spend the next four or five seasons of his career, but we do know that pondering and rumor-mongering about his upcoming choice will dominate the news cycle on most days. This man is 12 months removed from winning the MVP and teams are going to line up for the privilege to pay him through his prime.

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    “I also heard it on good authority from a team that plays in the Bay Area that they’re going to go hard after Kevin Durant.”

    Mychal Thompson isn’t just your typical NBA dad. He was the first overall pick in the 1978 NBA draft, nearly an All-Star in Portland, and was a reserve center on back to back champion Laker teams in 1987 and 1988. Since retirement he’s worked as a color commentator for Minnesota Timberwolves games, and he currently has the same role for Laker radio broadcasts.

    It’s do-able, though. Which is rather frightening.

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