Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 21 hrs ago
For all the touching tributes and sober analysis of Kevin Garnett’s future as an NBA player beyond the expiration of his contract this summer, it is necessary to remind ourselves that he’s still the same sort of KG that we’ve grown to love, fear, and roll our eyes at since 1995.
I mean, the dude blew in a guy’s ear on Saturday night. Watch:
To recap: Garnett fouled Indiana Pacers forward David West, and then loudly stomped around Barclays Center complaining about West’s supposed flopping. Garnett followed this by blowing in West’s ear as the Pacers set up to in-bound the ball, West then brushed Garnett off and received a technical foul for his troubles.
All this took place in the first quarter , mind you.
“I think Lance's was more sensual. That was an aggressive blow.”
That would be Kevin Garnett, king of the “aggressive blow” on defense.
“They didn’t play very well,” Nets coach Lionel Hollins said of his two stars. “They have to play better for us to be better, or them to get more playing time and more consistent playing time.”
Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago
Kevin Garnett spent the first 12 seasons of his career in Minnesota. By the time his contract runs out this July, he’ll have spent two seasons in Brooklyn. In comparison with those bookends, his 2007-2013 turn with the Boston Celtics wouldn’t seem to have the same sort of legitimacy and permanence as, say, John Havlicek’s 16-year run with the C’s.
That didn’t stop a fantastic and appreciative Boxing Day crowd in Boston from giving Garnett the reception he deserved on Friday afternoon. The Celtics faithful lauded the visiting Brooklyn Nets big man with cheers in what could be his final game in Boston as an active player.
Following the game, which Brooklyn won by a 109-107 score, Garnett was his typical self, tossing out big brother-isms to the assembled media:
Kevin Garnett on Boston: "Winning is infinite and I've always had that special relationship with this city." #Celtics
Boston coach Brad Stevens, who was born four months after KG, added this:
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Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago
It’s been a long and enervating year for the New York Knicks so far this season, so one can’t blame the members of this squad for being a little huffy at having to work at noon on Christmas Day before a nationally televised audience.
Still, there’s no excuse for what Quincy Acy did in the fourth quarter of New York’s one-sided loss to the Washington Wizards on Thursday. With the Knicks working in the midst of their best run of what could have been a blowout, Acy decided to ruin every bit of momentum his team had with this needless foul on John Wall and eventual half-punch.
Acy may have a reputation as New York’s resident enforcer, presuming the Knicks have such a thing, but he is a genuinely good dude. This was an odd, out-of-character moment that seemed out of place, but apparently this is the sort of thing that happens when you’re mired in a 5-26 season, one on national display on a holiday.
Though Acy didn’t completely follow through with the punch, the national setting and his hard foul prior to the skirmish earned him a one-game suspension, the NBA announced on Friday. Wall was also fined $15,000 for pushing Acy and "escalating the incident."
Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago
Even though LeBron James is just two months into his first season with this year’s version of the Cleveland Cavaliers, it feels as if James never left Ohio. LeBron may have won two titles with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, but his 2010-14 run with that franchise seems like more the work of a basketball mercenary than anything else.
That wouldn’t seem to stop the Miami faithful from giving him the business upon his first return to South Beach. James and the Cavaliers hit the Heat’s home on Thursday afternoon as part of the NBA’s Christmas Day showcase, and here is the response from the Heat from James’ former hometown crowd:
Not too much vitriol, if we’re honest. At the very worst, the cheers and boos were mixed in equal parts. Certainly nothing like the reception LeBron took in when he played his first game as a member of the Heat when they visited Cleveland for the first time in 2010.
The lack of enmity was in clear display just prior to Thursday’s tip-off. Watch:
A recently released credit card ad features interviews with three NBA players – Cleveland’s Kevin Love, Washington’s John Wall, and Oklahoma City’s Stephen Adams – and asked them what their worst Christmas present ever turned out to be.
It’s a pretty funny clip, with all manner of dry humor, but the initial portion of it got us to pondering. Was Beach Boys founder Mike Love the “uncle on my dad’s side” that gave Kevin Love his worst Christmas gift ever?
A quick bit of internet research reveals that Kevin’s father, former NBA and ABA forward and all-around mensch Stan Love (who spent a chunk of his post-playing career trying to protect his cousin Brian Wilson from assorted hangers-on), only has one brother.
That brother’s name is Mike Love, whom you might know as the guy in the hat from the Beach Boys.
You also might know him as a bit of a prickly pear.
This seems perfectly in line with something that Mike Love – who rightfully fought for and won significant songwriting royalties on endless Beach Boys hits during Kevin Love’s youth – would do.
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Tuesday night should have been another pile-on for the hapless Los Angeles Lakers.
Lakers coach Byron Scott decided to rest Kobe Bryant in anticipation of a trip to Chicago to play the Bulls on national television on Christmas Day, the visiting Golden State Warriors had already beaten the Lakers by a combined 44 points spread out over two contests, and the NBA’s best team seemed primed to destroy the Lakers on Los Angeles’ home floor.
Because the NBA is the NBA, though, the obvious storyline took shape.
Los Angeles moved the ball, it ran a semblance of a structured offense, and it downed the Warriors by a 115-105 score. Seven players scored in double digits against the NBA’s best defense so far this season, as the rest of the league rolled its eyes. What a tidy package to behold.
“Some guys just played like ‘Django Unchained' -- they were free tonight,” he said.
And what would Young tell Bryant?
"I think we learned --”
So pile on, righto?
Pretty sweet dunk, right?
Let’s stop for a minute to remind ourselves the Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett trade was a fantastic move for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Love may be struggling this season, relative to his previous All-Star play, but he tossed in as many points on Tuesday (20) as Wiggins and Bennett combine to average per game.
That dunk wasn’t technically on Love, I suppose, but that’s only because Kevin didn’t bother to jump up to defend the toss-in against his former Minnesota Timberwolves team. A very Kevin Love-like move, and a very Cleveland Cavaliers-like move.
Anyone calling this move symbolic, though, is just trolling for hits.
According to the Flip, he ain’t allowed to talk about Love a no-mo:
For some reason, T-Wolves coach Flip Saunders said he wasn't at liberty to talk about #Cavs F Kevin Love. Says the league gave him a call.
Per league official Flip Saunders was not asked to refrain from speaking about Kevin Love. Guess it's Flip's way of giving Love The Heisman.
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Joe Cocker passed away on Monday. The first band he was ever in was called 'The Cavaliers,' and he played a big part in one of the greatest NBA commercials of all time.
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The David Lee Debacle That Isn’t will look rather silly in a few months.
For the duration of the early part of the 2014-15 season, many outside the Golden State Warriors’ camp have wondered if the team’s highest-paid player would submit to coming off of the bench. Lee, sidelined for all but one of the season’s first 25 games with a hamstring injury, seemed to be the odd man out as former reserve Draymond Green shot his way into everyone’s hearts from the stretch four position. The Warriors boast the league’s best defense and the team nearly has a top five offense despite a slippery start, and they don’t want to mess with chemistry.
Finally healthy, does Lee understand why rookie coach Steve Kerr would want to bring the former All-Star in off of the bench? From Diamond Leung at Bay Area News Group:
"Absolutely," Lee said Monday. "Whether I start tomorrow, or I get a DNP or anything in between, I trust Coach (Steve Kerr) that he's doing this to help our team win games, and that's his only agenda.
We shouldn’t have expected anything less from Lee, and for various reasons.
It was a fantastic year for San Antonio. The city enjoyed the fifth championship of the Gregg Popovich/Tim Duncan era, routing the Miami Heat in a five-game NBA Finals win and showcasing perhaps the most gorgeous brand of basketball since Michael Jordan’s dynastic turn in Chicago.
Popovich (who has been in San Antonio since 1993) and Tim Duncan (1997) have routinely made their adopted hometown proud. The duo combines artistry with dogged competitiveness, a furious tone with a touch of class, and the Spurs' rebound from what should have been an enervating 2013 Finals loss is one of the more compelling comeback stories in NBA history.
As a result, San Antonio radio station WOAI 1200 has decided to award its “2014 San Antonian of the Year Award” to …
Yeah, this guy:
Gregg Popovich? WOAI has him tied for second place. Time for yet another comeback after a chilling defeat, I suppose.
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