Kelly Dwyer

  • The Memphis Grizzlies? Gone till November.

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    It’s to the Memphis Grizzlies’ great credit that the team wasn’t regarded as a laughingstock in NBA circles this year. The team was never widely mocked for fielding 28 players this season, for being swept by an average of 22 points per game in the first round, or for relying so heavily on Vince Carter and Jordan Farmar in the postseason.

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    Sure, there were some (enthusiastic, really!) jokes flying around Twitter when that website was alerted to the fact that Lance Stephenson, Tony Allen and Zach Randolph would all now be working on the same team, but beyond that there was nary a diss to be found. There might be plenty of silly GIFs of Lance and Tony floating around – and, in his day, black and white YouTube clips of Zach – but the NBA absolutely loves those three. And the league respects these Grizzlies.

    And it has no idea what comes next, in Memphis.

    Add in the disparate nature of Gasol and Conley’s current contract structures, and you have more and more weight to add onto things.

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  • Charles Barkley apologizes to the Rockets owner, CEO, GM (Video)

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Every since John Stockton hit a Western Conference finals-winning three-pointer over him in 1997, Charles Barkley has had a contentious relationship with the Houston Rockets, the last of three NBA teams the Hall of Famer played for.

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    The next season saw Barkley chirping with longtime local hero Clyde Drexler about Drexler’s apparent snail-paced approach to returning from a hamstring injury in his final season, while Barkley battled to drag an aging Rocket team to the West’s No. 8 seed. Then Barkley took a pay cut in his third season with the franchise in order to make room for acquiring Scottie Pippen’s max deal. Barkley worked the 1999 season for $1 million.

    The Rockets signed Barkley to a $9 million deal for his injury-shortened swan song in 1999-00, but Barkley has intimated several times through the years that the team has yet to fully pay off what might be a deferred payment deal. Or that, in spite of Barkley working for just 20 games in his final year, he should have been paid more in total to make up for working for the minimum in 1999.

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  • Clippers' Blake Griffin out for the playoffs, Chris Paul out 'indefinitely'

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    In one of the more devastating basketball-only press releases in recent NBA history, the Los Angeles Clippers announced on Tuesday that Blake Griffin will be out for the rest of the postseason and Chris Paul is out "indefinitely." Paul’s right hand fracture and the Griffin’s re-injured left quad will severely derail any hopes the team has of winning its first title.

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    In 24 hours, the Clippers went from staring down an upstart-yet-outmanned Portland Trail Blazers team, flush with a 2-1 advantage with Paul and Griffin on board, to a 2-2 series tie in a first-round matchup they might not win. Worse, the Clippers will likely not be able to take advantage of Stephen Curry's two-week (or probably longer) right knee strain in the second round.

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  • Tyronn Lue on LeBron's no-calls: 'He's the Shaq of guards and forwards'

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    The quick read regarding LeBron James’ offensive brilliance is that he’s a pass first guy that just happens to have a Karl Malone-sized physique. That it’s just fine not to send him to the line a Dwyane Wade or Kevin Durant-level of times per game, because James is looking to score first and dive toward the rim second. If even then.

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    You don’t have to be rooting on LeBron James’ behalf, though, to notice that the rules behind his trips to the lane don’t always seem on the level. Yes, James is allowed to use a big butt and a smile while backing down defenders in the post, but that’s because he’s stronger and better than most – the same way Earl Campbell was allowed to do what he did, and Mike Trout is allowed to do what he does. We don’t penalize Klay Thompson’s skills from behind the arc by turning his threes into twos.

    "He's the Shaq of guards and forwards.”

    […]

    "He's so strong and so physical, when he goes to the basket, guys are bouncing off of him. Those are still fouls, but he doesn't get that call because he's so big and so strong and so physical.

  • The Dallas Mavericks? Gone till November.

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    We’ve defended just about each and every one of Mark Cuban and the Dallas’ Mavericks’ personnel moves since Dec. 2011, but with his team five months removed from a championship and staring down exactly zero Conference semifinals played in the years since, it’s getting harder and harder.

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    Cuban and general manager Donnie Nelson surveyed the landscape following the 2011 lockout and understandably decided that bringing the whole gang back would eventually contribute to a commitment in mediocrity. Without meaning to, due to the team’s insistence (again, understandable at the time) at honing in on a series of mercurial acquisitions and potential pickups, the franchise has been decidedly mediocre in the five seasons since. Even if Lamar Odom played to potential or Deron Williams and/or Dwight Howard swung on by during the offseasons that followed, it’s hard to see any resulting outfit approximating the power of the 2011-12 championship squad.

    Outside of the trip to the lottery that hit in 2013, this season had to be the toughest.

    Well, like almost all of the Mavs.

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  • The Detroit Pistons? Gone till November.

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    From 2010 to 2015, Detroit’s “gone ‘till November” status usually hit a few weeks prior to the All-Star break, a break that Pistons players rarely had anything to do with. Not only was Detroit stuck in the NBA’s worst sort of rebuilding rut – never winning more than 32 games, never winning fewer than 27 – the team produced some of the league’s most godawful basketball. Even for some teams that won half as many games, you could still find things to entertain yourself with.

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    The slow turnaround began in 2014, when former president Joe Dumars was let go and Stan Van Gundy was brought into replace both Dumars’ personnel gig, and Larry Drew as head coach. With veteran Jeff Bower handling the technical end of things as general manager, the Pistons went on to create a measured rebuilding.

    To that end, the Pistons will be relying on an odd quirk to extend the team’s fortunes into that of an Eastern contender – the NBA abolishing the intentional foul rule. This would allow the team to play Drummond more fourth quarter minutes without fear Clang City setting in.

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  • Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin combine for 55, Charlotte takes Game 4

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    A game filled with a wild array of massive and one-sided runs ended up splitting the difference in the end. The Charlotte Hornets continued to defend their home turf, riding the hot hands of guards Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin, tying their series with the Miami Heat at 2-2 with an 89-85 win.

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    Walker scorched Miami for 34 in the win on 13-28 from the floor, repeatedly getting into the teeth of the defense and once again working with equal parts talent and charming leadership qualities. He had help in the form of reserve guard Lin, as Joe Johnson’s 16 points paced the Heat.

    It was as if both teams took turns playing terrible or brilliant ball on both ends.

    The Heat overcame Dwyane Wade’s two early fouls to rush out to an 11-point lead behind Johnson and some timely plays from Luol Deng and center Hassan Whiteside. The tide turned late in the first quarter, though, with Jeremy Lin’s first appearance.

    It wasn’t enough to mitigate the contributions of the team’s stellar backcourt scorers, though.

  • Doc Rivers just kind of compared Stephen Curry to Kendrick Perkins

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    On Monday, it was announced that Golden State MVP Stephen Curry had been diagnosed with a sprained right MCL. The injury is less severe than what some may have feared Curry suffered when he fell on a wet spot on the floor on Sunday afternoon, but it will knock him out of action for at least two weeks, with that time frame not even taking into consideration a potentially slowed return to form when it is decided that Curry is well enough to play.

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    Rivers, always good for a tweak, made some curious comparisons when asked about Curry’s absence on Monday:

    Then there’s Kendrick Perkins. Doc Rivers just kind of compared Stephen Curry to Kendrick Perkins.

    (That’s us being nice. Doc Rivers will do anything at this point to send a little shot Golden State’s way.)

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  • Kyrie Irving's heroics lead Cavaliers to first-round sweep of Pistons

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    The Detroit Pistons took three of four games from the Cleveland Cavaliers during the regular season. Clearly aware of the past as potential prologue, LeBron James and company made darn sure the Pistons didn’t even get a whiff of a win in their first-round pairing.

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    James’ Cavs took Game 4 on Sunday evening by a 100-98 score, sweeping Detroit in the Pistons’ first visit to the postseason in seven years. James notched his third double-double of the series with 22 points and 11 rebounds, but it was point guard Kyrie Irving whp led Cleveland in both scoring and swagger with a team-high 31 points, and a late 3-pointer that gave the Cavs a 100-96 advantage with 43 seconds remaining. It was Irving’s fourth three of the game.

    Detroit could never turn the corner, however, working against a Cavalier team that is clearly growing on a public stage.

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  • Celtics overcome 16-point deficit to beat Hawks, tie series at 2-2

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    The Boston Celtics are supposedly star-less and, until Friday evening, were win-less in the postseason. Staring down a 16-point deficit at home against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, however, the mitigation hardly mattered.

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    The C’s rode the hot hand of All-Star Isaiah Thomas’ 28 points in a 104-95 Game 4 win in Boston, tying the first-round series at 2-2. Four other Celtics players – Marcus Smart (20), Evan Turner (17) Jonas Jerebko (16), and Jae Crowder (12) – also finished in double-digits, as the team overcame Hawks forward Paul Millsap’s playoff-career-high of 45 points.

    Millsap seemed to be everywhere, stepping out defensively on Boston’s potential slashers, owning the boards with a game-high 13 rebounds, while swatting four Celtic shots. His all-world effort wasn’t enough to save a Hawk team that shot 26 percent from the floor without him, though, while continuously allowing Boston open room to penetrate on the other end.

    It wasn’t as if Atlanta didn’t have its chances.

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