Kelly Dwyer

  • The Chicago Bulls and Tom Thibodeau have finally ended it

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 hrs ago

    In July of 1998, the Chicago Bulls held a press conference to announce that Tim Floyd had been hired as the team’s “director of basketball operations.” The job title was completely made-up; an insult to anyone attending that had to write those four words down in their press report. The Bulls left Floyd to answer questions from the confused about why, after over a year and a half of speculation, that he hadn’t been hired as Bulls coach.

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    It was a tone-deaf, staged, and telling affair run by a franchise that thought they were putting one past us. Some 17 years later, with Reinsdorf still in charge and Floyd acolyte Gar Forman helping run the show, the tradition continues.

    It would help offset Reinsdorf’s distaste for paying the fired coach a bit more than what he’s paying Jose Quintana to pitch this year, and give Chicago the “See?!? He wanted to go! We didn’t want to fire the really talented guy!” -excuse it had long craved.

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  • The Atlanta Hawks? Gone till November.

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    It’s just fine to wonder if the 2014-15 Atlanta Hawks were merely a regular-season wonder. A team to take advantage of your weary outfit on a Monday night in January after you flew in from playing in Miami on Friday and Orlando on Saturday, and possibly enjoyed a little too much of Atlanta on a Sunday night “off.” It’s OK to slough off any comparisons to the 2004 Detroit Pistons, a team with three killer All-Stars and a point man in Chauncey Billups who could take over games with just 12 field-goal attempts to his name. It’s OK to worry.

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    It’s also just fine to point out that this team is another player away. A little “health” away. A little, “can we run the same sets with the same enthusiasm in May that we did in January, please?”-away.

    Then LeBron hit.

    Gravy, to be sure, but damn.

    With that in place, none of this takes away from the work Ferry has put together in working up this roster full of very good players on incredibly reasonable contracts.

    The Hawks will also have the No. 15 pick in June's draft because the Nets are the worst.

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  • Looking ahead to Game 5: Rockets at Warriors

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Previously, on “Warriors against Rockets” …

    It was a typical NBA “backs against the wall” game that would have come off to annoying script had it not been so entertaining.

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    We’re working in the Western Conference, here, where Houston had to claw its way toward the second seed despite playing in a hellacious division while missing center Dwight Howard for half a season. One could classify this as the first step toward a 4-1 Golden State “gentleman’s sweep” of the Rockets had Houston not acted so rudely to the rest of the NBA throughout the year – this was a championship contender from the start of the season, one ill-suited to the 0-3 tag that dogged it as the squad entered Game 4.

    You still have to hit the shots, though. And Houston hit all of the shots.

    Golden State will have another chance in Game 5, but Houston has seen this dance before.

    What to look for in Game 5

    Stephen Curry’s Head

    It’s just fine to wonder, though, however briefly, before moving on to wonder who is going to guard whom in Game 5.

    Dwight Howard’s Head

    Houston’s Human Nature

    Golden State’s Human Nature

  • Shaquille O'Neal swears he'd be 'a Laker to this day' but for Karl Malone's 2004 knee injury

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Despite the troubling (to say the absolute least) rape allegations against Kobe Bryant, despite Shaquille O’Neal’s stated demands for a contract extension, Shaq’s clear weight issues, and the obvious and simmering tension between the two players, the Los Angeles Lakers came out of the 2003-04 regular season going great guns. Coach Phil Jackson would later write that he didn’t think his team’s early good fortune was sustainable, but the Lakers were running at 20-5 when forward Karl Malone hurt his left knee in a collision with Phoenix’s Scott Williams.

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    If I had one wish, I wish we could have gotten those guys a couple years earlier. Karl was older. GP was older. Wish we could have gotten them towards the end of their prime. And you know, I think we would have won that series. And then, if Karl doesn’t get hurt, I’d probably still be a Laker to this day.

    And, as you’d expect, Shaq’s recollections are a little hazy.

    Except that he eventually did.

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  • Houston's Toyota Center invited fans to stay late after Game 4 as floodwaters swirled

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    Severe rain and flooding has badly decimated the Houston area, with the nation’s fourth-largest city watching as two of its biggest interstates were rendered unusable due to the rising waters.

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    Mindful of this, and the idea that over 18,000 NBA fans could be released into a rather dangerous commute home on Monday evening, workers at the Toyota Center urged fans not to leave the arena following the Houston Rockets’ season-saving 128-115 win.

    Toyota Center is advising fans to stay in seats after game due to severe weather outside. Be safe.

    The plea didn’t just extend to the punters in the seats. Rox center Dwight Howard also stayed behind as flash flood warnings dotted the local map:

    From the Houston Chronicle:

    Howard waved to fans as he stayed on the court, but he was getting antsy for some entertainment as he waited.

    However, never fear:

  • Atlanta's Kyle Korver out for the rest of the playoffs with an ankle injury

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    What was at one point a dream season – four All-Stars, the Eastern Conference’s best record , home court advantage against LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals – has been shot to bits within four days’ time.

    Not only are the Atlanta Hawks down 2-0 to those Cavaliers, but the team’s resident All-Star sharpshooter has taken a fall:

    BREAKING: Kyle Korver is OUT for the remainder of the playoffs with ankle injury.

    The All-Star took x-rays following the game which showed no sign of a broken bone in his right leg, but it was eventually discovered that Korver suffered a severe high right ankle sprain when Cleveland’s Matthew Dellavedova rolled into him while chasing down a loose ball:

    Kyle missed all of the fourth quarter with the injury.

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  • Looking ahead to Game 3: Golden State vs. Houston

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    Previously, on The Warriors and the Rockets …

    Your Rockets gave you a game, they did they did.

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    Houston could have bowed down during what tends to be a typical Game 2 blowout. The team was down 17 points during the second quarter in what looked like an expected, homespun one-sided win from a team already up 1-0. Golden State ran out early to what seemed less like an insurmountable point lead and more like an insurmountable advantage prior to an inspired Houston run in the second quarter which helped turn this mess into a 55-all affair heading into halftime.

    Stephen Curry, perhaps.

    The league’s MVP registered 31 points on just 21 shots in Game 2, he turned the ball over six times but he was also the impetus behind most of Golden State’s breakaways. He paired with fellow W’s mainstay Andrew Bogut to create that early Houston deficit, Bogut managed to hit 7-9 shots for 14 points while offering eight boards and four assists alongside five blocks in only 30 minutes.

    Three Things to Look For in Game 3

    Warriors Minding Their Manners

    Josh Smith Defying Stereotypes

    I can’t wait to find out.

  • Looking ahead to Game 2: Atlanta vs. Cleveland

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    Previously, on The Hawks and The Cavaliers …

    Any amount of good cheer that was supposed to emanate from Atlanta’s first hosting of a Conference finals game since the Nixon administration was shot to bits in a chaotic second half. Cleveland Cavalier supersub J.R. Smith went off to the tune of 28 points in Cleveland’s 97-89 win, with 17 of those points coming in the second half and 24 of those tunes coming from behind the three-point line as he tied an Cavs playoff record with eight three-pointers.

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    LeBron James, meanwhile, went all LeBron all over ATL, scoring a game-high 31 points while adding eight rebounds and six assists. In one game, James’ team stole the home court advantage that Atlanta spent the whole of the autumn and winter earning, while looking all the more like a world-beater despite the injuries that continue to plague the team.

    Three Things to Look For in Game 2

    Kyrie vs. Kyle

    Sigh.

    LeBron’s Isolations

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  • Assessing the myriad injuries that have plagued the 2015 NBA postseason

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    This has gotten out of hand, and there isn’t much our hands can do about it.

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    Wednesday night’s DeMarre Carroll injury marked the latest in a significant strain of nasty setbacks that has made the 2015 playoffs a walkthrough of the walking wounded.

    Carroll will be just fine, in terms relative to the scare we saw in Game 1 of his team’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s still in significant pain and questionable for the rest of his team’s series, however long that lasts. We start with him, as we document a postseason gone twisted. Literally.

    DeMarre Carroll, sprained left knee.

    It looked bad. It really looked bad.

    It wasn’t intentional, but it sure looked like it.

    Donatas Motiejunas, back surgery .

    Jrue Holiday, right leg injury.

    MULTIPLE FACIAL FRACTURES.

  • Looking ahead to Game 2: Golden State vs. Houston

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 7 days ago

    Previously, on The Warriors and the Rockets …

    After an initial scare, the top-seeded Warriors roared back to life by doubling-down on the top three facets of the team’s 67-win attack – ball movement, expert defense, and knockout shooting. Houston attempted a comeback behind James Harden’s stellar 28-point night, but Golden State hung on for the Game 1 win with a 110-106 victory. Stephen Curry led the W’s with 31 points, 24 of which came after halftime. Reserve Golden State guard Shaun Livingston had the game of his life with 18 points and seven rebounds, slithering to the goal repeatedly to take advantage of opportunistic buckets while Houston looked elsewhere.

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    Three Things to Look For In Game 2

    Medium Ball

    Dwight’s Knee

    Stephen Curry’s MVP game

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