Kelly Dwyer

  • After falling in Olympic play, Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic is A-OK

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 13 hrs ago

    Luckily for all involved, the 2016 Olympics passed without any major injuries in the Men’s Basketball realm. There will be a bit of fatigue – San Antonio Spurs fans were no doubt fretting over every bead of sweat Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and especially Pau Gasol dropped mid-August – but once again returning NBA players managed to escape the Olympic turn without a significant malady.

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    The streak of good luck seemed to run out early on the Olympiad’s final day on Sunday, though, when Team Spain’s Nikola Mirotic went crashing to the floor following an entanglement during his team’s (infamous) bronze medal win over Australia. The Chicago Bulls forward stayed behind in the play while crutching his right knee in pain on the floor for several minutes after a collision, leading some to fear that he had torn ligaments in that knee in the penultimate game of the 2016 tournament after working unscathed through seven prior contests.

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  • The Lakers and the NBA are taking another chance on Yi Jianlian

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 14 hrs ago

    After a few frustrating free agent chase-downs with Kobe Bryant around, and a 2016 offseason without Bryant on board, the Los Angeles Lakers have mostly committed to the idea of a full-on rebuilding project. New, “rookie” head coach Luke Walton is the team’s biggest free agent signing, there won’t be any agent-favoring vet acquisitions like Carlos Boozer and Roy Hibbert to help fill out the roster, and the team seems fully bent on working with the young prospects it has alongside the 2017 NBA draft pick it will hopefully get to keep next spring.

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    On Monday, the Lakers made what was long suspected official. They signed Yi:

    Inking the deal ✍ pic.twitter.com/xo7w0JeL3v

    — Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) August 22, 2016

    … and touted some modest goals for the forward:

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  • Klay Thompson is already sick of questions about the 2016-17 Warriors

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    One of the benefits of growing up as a basketball fan in the era of the well-publicized “superteam” would seemingly be, if our antennas are pointed in the right direction, the ability to discuss reasonable expectations for the superteams prior to their ever playing a game.

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    (I realize that, for those of us that have actually had to use antennas on the top of our TVs, the idea of a “superteam” isn’t anything new. And that Magic, Bird, Dr. J and to a lesser extent MJ and Hakeem and Kobe and Shaq played with their fair share of Hall of Famers. Still, the attention shown toward the most recent batches pales in comparison to, say, “ooh, the Celtics are going to start Kevin McHale over Cedric Maxwell this year.” )

    Since the 2003-04 Lakers’ attempts to win with Karl Malone and Gary Payton failed, and in the years since we watched LeBron James’ first 185 games with the Miami Heat hardly go according to plan, we’ve been afforded the ability to concurrently learn from and derive more and more talking points from the creation of these sorts of planned out super squads.

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  • In grabbing the gold, Team USA Men's Basketball steadied its ship

    Kelly Dwyer at Fourth-Place Medal 2 days ago

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    Medal count | Olympic schedule | Olympic news

    You couldn’t be blamed for feeling a little frustrated at Team USA on Sunday, even after it dominated Serbia by 30 points on its way toward a third consecutive gold medal in men’s basketball.

    Where was this sort of showing in pool play? Where was that defense, that movement offensively, those snap decisions made so expertly when it came time to decide when to lunge for the steal or to mind the backdoor cuts that have haunted the team throughout its Olympiad run?

    [Featured: Why Phelps is retiring for good this time]

    And that’s exactly what this squad came through with. They beat the silver medalists by 30 points on Sunday.

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  • Team USA Men's Basketball tops Spain, moves on to gold medal game

    Kelly Dwyer at Fourth-Place Medal 4 days ago

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    Medal count | Olympic schedule | Olympic news

    The smooth, almost effortless chemistry is still lacking, but you can’t argue with the results: Team USA will play for the gold medal on Sunday.

    The outfit earned that opportunity with its 82-76 victory over Team Spain on Friday. Klay Thompson led the Americans with 22 points, but it was DeAndre Jordan’s nine points, 16 rebounds, four blocks, two assists and a steal alongside his sprightly impact on both ends that helped push his team over the top.

    Spain did well to keep the game close for the first three quarters and the team’s defensive streak carried over from the win over France, but in spite of the lack of continuity on the offensive end for Team USA the favorites still pulled out the contest, turning this into a double-figure lead early in the fourth quarter.

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  • Charles Barkley isn't happy with the USA Men's Basketball team's construction

    Kelly Dwyer at Fourth-Place Medal 5 days ago

    Until Team USA’s mostly-dominant turn against Argentina on Wednesday, things were looking rather cagey for the American cagers. The group went undefeated through five games in pool play, but its final three contests were won by a total of just 16 points, with near-misses against Australia, Serbia and France (playing without Tony Parker) causing much consternation amongst observers.

    Deserved consternation, it should be noted, because while the tough win over Australia was to be expected and outfits from Serbia and France are to be respected, Team USA hardly looked like a seamless squad working with a product greater than the sum of its total parts.

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  • DeAndre Jordan on a potential gold medal: 'I think they're above NBA rings'

    Kelly Dwyer at Fourth-Place Medal 5 days ago

    DeAndre Jordan, should he win one, would consider his Olympic gold medal more “special” than any NBA championship ring. Should the Los Angeles Clipper win one of those someday, as well.

    This is not adjacent to Carmelo Anthony, but this is also not a case of a red, white and blue-clad jingoist gone troppo in the midst of The Best Summer Vacation Ever; throwing down lobs and teaming up with a series of All-Stars on his way to the highest honor for any athlete.

    Jordan discussed as much with Marc Stein of ESPN:

    “I think they’re above NBA rings,” Jordan told ESPN of the gold medal USA Basketball is chasing here in Rio entering Wednesday night’s quarterfinal game against Argentina.

    “I may get in trouble for saying that, but I believe that. I feel like this is more special. You’re not just playing teams in the U.S. You’re playing teams from all over the world. And this is even more special because there’s an NBA champion crowned every year, but this is every four years.

    “You’ve got to really think about that, man, because it’s extremely special.”

  • LeBron James 'did not retire from Team USA,' possibly eyes 2020

    Kelly Dwyer at Fourth-Place Medal 5 days ago

    Any competitor that walks away from his or her sport, be it a retiree following a decades-long career or a weary power forward that begged out of an All-Star Game due to knee tendinitis, still gets a bit of a pang when they’re watching from afar what they just asked out of.

    LeBron James, currently, is in the middle of those two examples, but he’s still feeling the same pangs. After taking part in the Men’s Basketball portion of the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics, the 31-year old James decided to step aside in order to let a younger generation attempt to defend Team USA’s gold medal. Also contributing to the summer off was the knowledge that he’d have to rest his veteran body in anticipation of defending his and Cleveland’s 2016 NBA championship.

    James, however, wants everyone to know that he’s not exactly done with international competition. As transcribed by Chris Fedor at Cleveland.com:

    As a show, we’d certainly welcome it. From what we’ve seen from the guy, participation in 2024 shouldn’t seem too farfetched a notion either.

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  • LeBron James would like to own and run an NBA team someday

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    LeBron James recently admitted that he’s chasing the figurative “ghost” of Michael Jordan, meaning MJ’s six NBA championship and Jordan’s acknowledged presence as the greatest to ever play the sport of basketball. We hope this particular chase-down block, a LeBron James staple, doesn’t end with LBJ wearing ultra-baggy and pre-torn faded jeans on an NBA sideline in a decade.

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    As transcribed by Joe Vardon from Ohio.com:

    “But I have a feel like I have a good eye for not only talent, because we all see a lot of talent, but the things that make the talent, the chemistry, what type of guy he is, his work ethic, his passion, the basketball IQ side of things, because talent only goes so far.”

    The issue here is that even all of that might not be enough.

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  • Spain dominates France in Men's hoops, moves on to semifinals

    Kelly Dwyer at Fourth-Place Medal 6 days ago

    Medal count | Olympic schedule | Olympic news

    Anyone hoping for another classic Spain/France brawl as the two teams barreled into their quarterfinal matchup in the Men’s Basketball bracket had to be sorely let down. Team Spain dominated from the get-go on Wednesday, downing France by a 92-67 score to advance to the semifinals.

    The team was led by Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic, who managed 23 points, six rebounds, two steals and two assists alongside zero turnovers in the win. Center Willy Hernangomez added 16 points and five rebounds, while Pau Gasol contributed three blocks. Each member of Team Spain scored in the one-sided affair.

    Still, offense wasn’t what put Spain over the top. It was the team’s active and communicative defense that turned France into a blowout victim.

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