Kelly Dwyer

  • Zach LaVine dedicates his Slam Dunk Contest win to Flip Saunders

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 12 hrs ago

    Shortly after his deserved win in one of the greatest Slam Dunk Contests of all time, 20-year old Zach LaVine decided to pay tribute to late Minnesota Timberwolves coach and president Flip Saunders in an Instagram post:

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

    From the caption:

    I dedicate this dunk contest and the trophy to my late coach, Flip Saunders and the Saunders family. He's the one that always believed in me and drafted me! We all loved Flip and his memory will live on forever!

    LaVine, like quite a few of us, was lucky to have Flip Saunders in his life. For however briefly a run.

    - - - - - - -

    Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

  • Zach LaVine tops Aaron Gordon in a slam-dunk contest for the ages

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 13 hrs ago

    In what was arguably the greatest NBA slam-dunk contest ever, Minnesota’s Zach LaVine prevailed on Saturday night after a one-on-one showdown with Orlando’s Aaron Gordon left the two just about out of perfect dunks to throw down.

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

    We think. There’s a stadium full of people in Toronto that wouldn’t mind seeing the lights be turned back on, and another opportunity to see the guys go at it for another round.

    LaVine defended his 2015 dunk contest win with yet another stirring display that was no doubt spurred on by the presence of Gordon. The Magic forward likely would have been in last year’s contest had it not been for a left foot fracture that cut out a goodly chunk of his rookie season. Gordon pushed the defending and eventual champ to his limit, resulting in a record six consecutive perfect scores.

    (Denver’s Will Barton and Detroit’s Andre Drummond also participated.)

    Barton’s first-round entry wasn’t bad, and we appreciate Will the Thrill’s "Thriller"-styled entry, but his night was quickly doused by a series of second-round misses:

    - - - - - - -

  • Klay Thompson downs Stephen Curry to win the Three-Point Shootout

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 15 hrs ago

    Of course it’s Golden State. Of course it’s the Splash Brothers.

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

    Warriors guards Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry not only met up in the final round of Saturday’s NBA Three-Point Shootout, but they put on the best shooting displays of the night at the exact right time while – with apologies to Phoenix Suns rookie Devin Booker, who shared the final round stage with the two – basically competing head to head. Curry exploded for 23 points in the final round, a seemingly insurmountable score to overcome until Klay Thompson nailed his final eight shots to finish with a Shootout-high and Shootout-winning 27 points.

    Thompson both knocked off the defending champion while taking in his first Shootout victory in his second shot at the trophy. Watch his blistering final round:

    As such, Thompson took down teammate Curry and Booker, the youngest-ever Three-Point Shootout participant.

    A rare Shootout tiebreaker was needed, with Booker, Redick and Harden allotted 30 seconds and three racks to work with, and the rookie prevailed with nine points with the veterans falling short at eight apiece.

  • Karl-Anthony Towns is your tallest-ever Skills Challenge winner

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 16 hrs ago

    The NBA’s Skills Challenge was expanded to include big men in 2016, and if Saturday’s back and forth is any indication, the future is bright for this league’s tallest types.

    And its shortest ones.

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

    Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns became the second rookie (Damian Lillard, 2013) and by far the tallest NBA player to win the competition.

    Towns knocked off 5-11 Boston Celtics All-Star Isaiah Thomas, who was one made three-pointer away from being the shortest player to ever win the event. KAT, at 7-feet tall, is also the youngest player to have ever won the Skills Challenge.

    Watch:

    Towns beat out Golden State All-Star Draymond Green and Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins in the NBA’s unofficial “big” bracket before taking on the diminutive Thomas in the final round. The challenge asks that players dribble through obstacles before firing a 25-foot chest pass into a target, followed by a drive up court for a layup, and then a drive back to the other side for a three-pointer to cap things off.

    - - - - - - -

  • NBA referees read mean tweets about themselves (Video)

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Refs have the toughest jobs in the NBA. They’re asked to call a game that is impossible to accurately referee, taking in pressure from both a league front office that scrutinizes every call while sending them video clips of where they went terribly wrong, alongside the coaches, players and especially fans from both sides of the half-court line that all think that the zebras are out to get them.

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

    Also, apparently now there’s also Twitter to contend with.

    Via USA Today, the National Basketball Referees Association official Twitter account (in a bit inspired by Jimmy Kimmel’s show) decided to show some refs a few of the nasty tweets sent their way:

    (Actually, those were probably a few of the nicer tweets sent that account’s way.)

    NBA referees never get those odds.

    - - - - - - -

  • Gimme Some Raptor News: Vince Carter saves everything

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    In honor of the NBA visiting Toronto for the city’s first All-Star Game, we’ve decided to look back on some of the more engaging moments in the team’s up and down (but turning up!) history.

    The abrupt end to Damon Stoudamire and Isiah Thomas’ turn in Toronto was so upsetting, that the team’s new ownership group and general manager had to act decisively in order to save face.

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

    Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment purchased the Raptors in full the day prior to the deal that sent the former Rookie of the Year to Portland for a package including Kenny Anderson and an unheralded rookie in Alvin Williams. Faced with yet another player that didn’t want to be there, GM Glen Grunwald shipped Anderson to Boston for a package including Chauncey Billups and future trade considerations.

    Toronto made the postseason. Then things had to all Raptor-y again.

    Raptors gonna Raptor, right? Not this time.

    All because Vince Carter, of all people, held it together.

    Previously:

  • All-Star Saturday odds: Can Steph Curry defend his 3-point title?

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    This weekend's All-Star Saturday events in Toronto offer the usual mix of exciting young players, big names, and time-tested formats. This year, we're handicapping all three events — the Taco Bells Skills Challenge, the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and the Verizon Slam Dunk — so you know who to watch closest. Read on for a look at the favorite, the contenders, and the dark horses.

    Favorite

    Stephen Curry: Tell me, at this point, what isn’t Stephen Curry the favorite for?

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

    The defending Three-Point Contest champ and likely two-time NBA MVP is on pace to break his own record for 3-pointers in a season in the 58th game of this campaign . He’s now doing a year’s worth of work – mind you, a record-breaking year’s worth of work – in 71 percent of the time.

    Bovada line: -110

    The Curio

    Bovada line: +4000

    The Replacement

    The Pro

  • Gimme Some Raptor News: The Ballad of Isiah and Damon

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    In honor of the NBA visiting Toronto for the city’s first All-Star Game, we’ve decided to look back on some of the more engaging moments in the team’s up and down (but turning up!) history.

    Quite a bit was in the way of a successful launch for the expansion Toronto Raptors in 1995. There was the uncertainty of the NBA, for the first time, playing in Canada. Patronizing newspaper columns both in and out of the country basically treated the team’s potential fans as if they’d never seen the ball itself, as if they’d never seen something so orange and leathery before (Donald Trump, at that point, was just a stateside curio).

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

    Luckily for the Raptors, however, they were blessed with something no other NBA expansion team entered the league with. Not in the 1960s, early or late 1980s did any team come complete with two driving personalities to help sell the league and new fans on a rookie franchise’s bonafides.

    Things, as they tend to do with Thomas, then started to fall apart.

    Such a swift fall for an expansion team that, for a while, looked like it had two steps up on NBA history.

  • Chris Paul threw himself in front of an intentional fouler (Video)

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    Even in the middle of a fantastic, profitable, and possibly record-breaking season, NBA commissioner Adam Silver probably can’t wait for next October because of plays like this. He probably cannot wait to change the rules, and we wish he didn’t have to wait to change the rules.

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

    [ STACK: Why the Golden State Warriors spend hours floating in salt water ]

    Too clever, literally, by half.

    That’s Tommy, angry at a move that he would give elventy trillion Tommy Points to had Paul been wearing green and white.

    Still, this is not ideal.

  • James Worthy is loath to criticize former teammate Byron Scott

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    In-studio NBA analysts, let’s be honest, don’t usually create heaps of legendary reports. Yes, Charles Barkley continues to entertain (even if we’re not entirely sure if he watches League Pass) and someone like Bobby Jackson will pop up from time to time, but the limitations of the medium and the fact that many are paid (however indirectly) by the team they “cover” tends to get in the way of anything memorable.

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

    This is why it isn’t the biggest journalistic crime in late-night, deep local cable history if these ex-players play favorites. Against an ex-coach. In the face of an opposing team they haven’t bothered to watch all season. In favor of a buddy, and/or ex-teammate.

    (Emphasis mine.)

    What.

    Oh.

    What’s Worthy going to do, though?

    - - - - - - -