Kelly Dwyer

  • Jimmy Butler leaves game on a stretcher after a hard fall (Video)

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 9 hrs ago

    Jimmy Butler was in the middle of dominating Friday night’s Chicago Bulls/Denver Nuggets game, working with 18 points and five assists, mostly culled off of fearless drives to the hoop. With just over a minute left in the half, however, he took yet another foul and fell down hard:

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    A combination stretcher/wheelchair was brought out from the back hallways of the arena, which Butler initially got into, then waved off prior making his way back to the free throw line. Archaic NBA rules dictate that if a player is unable to shoot free throws due to injury, he must be ruled out of the game.

    Butler made one of two to bring his point total to 19, then asked for the wheelchair’s return prior to being carted off.

    The two-time All-Star and 2015 NBA Most Improved Player missed Wednesday’s Chicago win over Sacramento with left knee soreness, but he’s easily been the healthiest member of his team both this year and in years past.

    Here's Chicago's initial diagnosis:

    Jimmy Butler has a left knee sprain and will not return tonight.

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  • Should the Knicks attempt to move Carmelo Anthony?

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    As is often the case, even just two weeks removed from it, the NBA seems to have no clue as to how busy or impactful its trade deadline is going to be. We could have another deadline starring Anthony Johnson as its top transaction, or a February surprise that involves Deron Williams (then, a franchise player) being shipped unexpectedly to the Nets.

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    All it takes is the first domino to fall, with the rest of the league reacting as they pursue their various motivations. A shot at the Warriors. Cap space for this summer. More draft picks for a brighter future. Team chemistry improvements. A bright, shining, star.

    Phil Jackson’s plan conflicts with Anthony’s win-now plan. It always did. Kristaps Porzingis, the future of the franchise, is 20. Carmelo is 31 with 12 seasons under his belt and nearly 32,000 minutes on his legs.

    “Why not trade him now when you could get something for him,” said one opposing team executive.

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  • Larry Bird: Not 'many 7-footers walking around at the age of 75'

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The NBA, relative to its counterparts in pro baseball and football, is a young league. This is why the ‘In Memoriam’ reel that NBA TV played in its 2015 year-end wrap-up show was so heartbreaking.

    The league, which typically can reliably call up any number of retired legends to judge a Slam Dunk Contest or swap stories in league-run documentaries, lost far too many from its ranks last year.

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    In the wake of the passing of several big men came the good news of the encouraged free medical screenings, funded by the Players Association.

    More saddening, however, are the comments from NBA legend Larry Bird in a recent and typically-brilliant Jackie MacMullan feature:

    (Don’t go. Seriously, don’t go.)

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  • DeMarcus Cousins jaws with Bulls assistant Randy Brown (Video)

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Following a typical DeMarcus Cousins game (stat sheet? Stuffed.), the Sacramento Kings big man weirdly decided to spark up something with Chicago Bulls assistant coach Randy Brown. Just after Sacramento’s 107-102 loss, this odd incident took place:

    Following the contest DMC chalked the back and forth up to “trash talk,” though it’s hard to fathom how much ammunition Cousins would have had following his team’s loss.

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    Cousins on talking to Randy Brown after the game: "We just had a few words, nothing serious, just trash talk."

    As noted, Boogie filled up the box score. It was another 30-point night, his 17th on the season, with 11 rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two blocks (also six turnovers, but sometimes you have to break some eggs). The Kings competed with the visiting Bulls, who were playing without All-Star Jimmy Butler, but the squad just couldn’t turn the corner.

     

    DeMarcus Cousins on the upcoming road trip: 'Gotta get three. Have to.'

    Another very DeMarcus-like night, in Sacramento. Prepare yourself, Eastern Conference – here the Kings come.

  • Are the Timberwolves getting rebuilding all wrong, again?

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    You’re probably supposed to take it easy on the Minnesota Timberwolves. The team was picked, after drafting yet another teenager at the top of the draft, by many to act as the worst team in the Western Conference. Of sadder concern was the loss of team president and head coach Flip Saunders after his battle with Hodgkin lymphoma right before the season started.

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    The team rallied under interim head coach Sam Mitchell to begin 2015-16, though, working up an 8-8 record to start the season; conquests that included quality wins against the Hawks (twice) and Bulls. Since then, however, the squad has lost 26 of 32, with only the incompetency of the Byron Scott-led Lakers keeping them out of the cellar in the West.

    Such fears, combined with the ongoing swoon, apparently have Wolves observers both in and out of the team’s camp more than a little worried. The Associated Press’ Jon Krawczynski discussed as much last week:

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  • The NBA bans sideline floor cameras due to safety reasons

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    NBA camera operators do fantastic work from all areas on, beside, in back of and on top of the court, supplying fans with angles that most will never have the luxury to see in real time. Over the last decade or so, however, the NBA has had to address the issues of camera workers and potentially-dangerous camera equipment lingering just feet away from where players run and jump at full speed.

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    The league has apparently decided to remove one instance of such from its courts. The sideline camera operator, usually relegated to capturing entering players, barking coaches, and the odd three-point swish, is off the map. The league smartly decided that, yeah, we don’t need that thing there.

    Via Zach Harper at CBS Sports, here is a statement released by the NBA’s Referees Association:

    In an effort to protect players and referees, the NBA has banned midcourt sideline television cameras, effective immediately, sources said.

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  • Greg Oden and Tyrus Thomas still battle it out on overseas teams

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    It’s interesting to note that Greg Oden and Tyrus Thomas, two very tall, very talented people that, sadly, fell out of the NBA’s favor due to injury (Oden) and indifference (Thomas), are still hoofing it in international leagues overseas. After making millions, both would have every reason to want to hang it up at this stage in their lives, especially after noting that neither really entered the NBA riding on a wave of anecdotes about them dribbling a tennis ball around their high school hallways in appreciation of their love of the game.

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    Both aren’t exactly flourishing out of the league, but we would be remiss in not passing along two updates as to their current, apparently contented, status. Oden just wrapped up a season in the China Basketball Association, while Thomas is enjoying the stability of his current gig in Germany.

    Reddit user ‘frankeyfang’ was kind enough to share details regarding the final outcome of Oden’s first year in China:

    […]

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  • Should the NBA adopt the WNBA's new playoff format?

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    With recent improved play in the Eastern Conference, the clarion call for a playoff bracket restructuring has died down a bit. The 23-26 Portland Trail Blazers could become the first Western Conference team to make the postseason with a sub-.500 since the 1997 Los Angeles Clippers, while the East’s eighth seed (the Detroit Pistons) is on pace for a 43-39 season.

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    This doesn’t mean the NBA isn’t minding its options, should the pendulum swing back after a 15-year run that saw unending darn good Western teams miss the playoffs, while lacking Eastern clubs snuck in. The best proof of this to date can be found in the WNBA, which announced last week that it plans to completely re-scope its playoff seeding format in the 2016 season.

    From Kavitha A. Davidson at Bloomberg:

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  • BDL's Most Interesting Power Rankings: Golden State is self-aware

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    Let's face it — the best and most powerful teams in the NBA don't really change from week to week. A handful of results in the middle of winter can only mean so much to a franchise's championship hopes. What does shift regularly, though, is how much interest a squad can hold over the course of a season. Every Monday, BDL's Most Interesting Power Rankings track the teams most worthy of your attention.

    THE TOP 15

    1. Golden State Warriors (44-4; last week: 2)

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    The Golden State Warriors nearly lost to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night, on the first night of a back to back and after two travel-heavy nights off. All-Star forward Draymond Green, following a 10-point, 13-rebound, nine-assist and seven-turnover night, was typically candid following the conquest:

    February doesn’t have to act as the dog days. There’s still room for fascination.

    (Maybe it is.)

    As in, “16 wins in a row,”-winnable.

    THE BOTTOM FIVE

  • Washington's Randy Wittman coached in spite of his brother's death

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    Washington Wizards coach Randy Wittman coached on Saturday in spite of learning that, just hours before the team’s win over Houston, that his older brother had passed away.

    The Wizards coach has had a rough few months. His former sideline partner, longtime Minnesota and Washington coach Flip Saunders, died just before the 2015-16 season started. Far less important but also worth referencing is the play of his team, which has underachieved in a 21-24, injury-plagued, season thus far.

    Washington scored a season-high 123 points in the win, with eight players going for double-figures. The team is still two and a half games out of the Eastern playoff bracket.

    None of that matters right now. Our condolences to the Wittman family.