Kelly Dwyer

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

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 46 mins 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.

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

    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 3 hrs 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:

    - - - - - - -

  • Revisiting the most important playoff suspensions in NBA history

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 21 hrs 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.

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

    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

  • Three things to watch in Oklahoma City vs. Golden State's Game 4

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    It isn’t an elimination game, and it isn’t if the Golden State Warriors haven’t been here before. Things are slightly different, though, this time around.

    The defending champs stared down 2-1 series deficits twice in the postseason last year, prior to winning it all, and needed a playoff win on the road to tie things up. However, those eventual wins came against a lacking Memphis Grizzlies team and an injury-plagued Cleveland Cavaliers outfit.

    Not an Oklahoma City club that has taken six of nine games against two teams that won a 140 combined games during the regular season, a Thunder outfit that downed the venerable (and eventually vulnerable) San Antonio Spurs, a squad that looks far more athletic and composed than these Warriors.

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

    And yet, for all the plaudits this OKC team should be taking in, all eyes are elsewhere. Here are three things to watch during Tuesday’s Game 4:

    Draymond’s station

    It doesn’t matter what angle you’re taking, as you view the Draymond Green situation.

    And if even that doesn’t win you over? Go back to those old Bird tapes.

    Thunder sinking the small

  • Draymond Green will not be suspended for Game 4, following kick

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Following his altercation with Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams on Sunday night, Golden State Warriors All-Star Draymond Green will not be suspended for Game 4 of his team’s Western Conference finals contest with the Thunder.

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

    The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news:

    The NBA will not suspend Golden State's Draymond Green for Game 4, league sources tell @TheVertical.

    Green’s flagrant foul will be upgraded to a ‘Flagrant 2’ foul, upon review.

    The decision will leave many league observers curious as to why Cleveland’s Dahntay Jones was suspended for a similar (some would say, “identical”) infraction on Sunday, while a clear star and series-shifter in Green was allowed to play another day.

    Toss in Green’s continued protestations of innocence and, well, this tweet …

     

    … and you may have a player that presented a solid enough defense.

    - - - - - - -

  • Oklahoma City dominates Golden State in OKC, takes 2-1 series lead

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    The Oklahoma City Thunder are formidable, potent and rife with potential. And in the span of six days they’ve taken two games over the course of six days from a team that needed 64 days to register its second regular-season loss.

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

    OKC downed Golden State, a team that finished the regular season with a 73-9 record, 133-105 on Sunday evening. The Thunder took Game 3 of the Western Conference finals, earning a 2-1 series lead and pushing the Warriors to its third 2-1 postseason deficit in two years. The Thunder rallied from Draymond Green’s latest incident with Oklahoma City center Steven Adams to finish the second half on a 22-5 run and 67-38 splurge spread out over 18 minutes to send Golden State back to the drawing board for the second time in a week.

    - - - - - - -

  • Draymond Green clocks Steven Adams in the groin. Again. (Video)

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    The Oklahoma City Thunder were well on the way to a 2-1 Western Conference finals lead over the Golden State Warriors, but Thunder center Steven Adams is not having the best week of his life.

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

    Six days after being wrung to the floor by Festus Ezili in Game 1 and four days after being nailed in the groin by a knee from Draymond Green in Game 2, Adams was clocked yet again in that area by Green as the Warriors power forward went up for a shot in the second quarter of Sunday evening’s Game 3. As you can see above, Adams was called for a shooting foul on the play, though Green’s follow-through move earned Draymond a flagrant foul.

    Reaction following the game was, as you'd expect, mixed:

    Steven Adams on Draymond Green kick: "It happened before, mate. He's pretty accurate."

    Westbrook on Draymond's kick: "Honestly I think it's intentional. That's two times in the last two games."

    Draymond on the kick: "I don't see any possible way that someone could think that was intentional."

    And, well, the jokes just tell themselves at this point:

  • David Blatt: Get along with your star, or else 'you’re going to be in trouble'

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    The Cleveland Cavaliers lost on Saturday night, running head coach Tyronn Lue’s all-time postseason coaching record to an unacceptable 10-1. The Cavs are in no danger of being unseated by the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference finals, a score of injuries couldn’t even deny them a trip to Finals last season, and Cleveland is playing its best ball since LeBron James returned to the team in 2014.

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

    The team wasn’t playing all that bad a brand of ball when former head coach David Blatt was fired last winter. Blatt had the team at 30-11 when he was let go, but the gaudy win totals almost felt like fool’s gold. He never seemed to be on the same page as LeBron, his back and forth with his players felt a little forced, and the team showed little of the on-court chemistry that marked the team’s undefeated first month of the 2016 postseason.

    He also talked about the difference between coaching in Europe and coaching in the NBA.

    - - - - - - -

  • Bo Kimble, fearful of Chris Bosh's health, wants Bosh to hang it up

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    Bo Kimble has firsthand knowledge regarding how horrifying it can be to watch a teammate and friend risk his life to compete in a relatively pointless basketball game.

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

    Kimble’s Loyola Marymount teammate Hank Gathers fell to the floor after suffering a massive heart attack during a game against the Portland Pilots in 1990, passing away at the age of 23. The star forward was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat just four months before, after collapsing to the court in another game, but had lowered his dosage of heart medication after complaining that it was adversely affecting his game. Gathers was the NCAA’s leading points per game scorer at the time of his death.

    "There are so many other things he could do with his life. Hank Gathers had the same thing, Hank could have been a comedian, and actor or did speaking engagements. It’s not worth the risk. I would just say absolutely not, don’t do it."

    […]

    We also spoke to Hank's brother Derrick who echoed Kimble's sentiments.

    The tests took about an hour to complete.

    - - - - - - -

  • Report: Frank Vogel is the new head coach of the Orlando Magic

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    The newest Orlando Magic regime has made its third head coaching choice in its attempts to swim back to relevance in the post-Dwight Howard era.

    Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel was the first to report on Thursday that the team will hire Frank Vogel as its new head coach.

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

    The former Indiana Pacers coach will replace Scott Skiles, who was a surprise hire in 2015 and an even more surprising resign’er earlier this month.

    Vogel, who ran the Pacers from 2011 until the team’s first round exit last month, was also a surprise fire in the wake of what was a return to form for Indiana this season.

    The personnel helped, to be sure, but Vogel certainly knows defense.

    A week later, Scott Skiles resigned as Magic coach.

    - - - - - - -