Kelly Dwyer, Editor
Kelly Dwyer is a Basketball blogger for Yahoo! Sports.
In the immediate aftermath of Wednesday night's bonkers Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers, discussion has focused on the failings of Pacers head coach for not having center Roy Hibbert in the game to protect the rim on LeBron James's game-winning, buzzer-beating lay-up. Analysis has covered how LeBron was able to finish so easily, various alternate realities in which Vogel did put Hibbert on the floor, and the Pacers' own reaction to the situation. Even those who have provided some explanation of Vogel's decision-making process — or at least argued that he was choosing between a bunch of insufficient options — have discussed the issue in terms of how Indiana was to contend with the Heat in this scenario.
This approach makes a great deal of sense, because Hibbert is one of the NBA's top defenders and just recently stonewalled Carmelo Anthony on a dunk attempt. Yet, while digging into the Pacers' side of the play is eminently reasonable, it also ignores the most readily apparent fact of the game-winner, which is that LeBron James did something really incredible.
Thankfully, we have the NBA's Phantom Cam to help us focus on LeBron's exploits. The clip is bereft of context — it's entirely LeBron making his move. The lack of perspective communicates the visceral experience: James catches, turns, dribbles, explodes, and finishes. No Pacers can stop him, because he is a unique basketball force.Read More »from Marvel at the LeBron James game-winner on the Phantom Cam (Video)
'What? What's the big deal?' (Issac Baldizon/NBA/Getty Images)
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C: The Point Forward, 8 Points, 9 Seconds and SB Nation. Rob Mahoney, Brett Koremenos and Mike Prada all come to the defense of Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel — or, at least, explain the reasoning for his decision-making for removing Roy Hibbert for the Miami Heat's last two offensive possessions of Game 1, including LeBron James' game-winner.
PF: TrueHoop. Kevin Arnovitz considers several other options Vogel had that would have kept Hibbert on the floor for those fateful final 2.2 seconds.
SF: Miami Herald and SB Nation. Amid all the parsing, picking and probing of the Pacers coach and his choice, Dan LeBatard and Paul Flannery would like us to stop second-guessing for a second and just appreciate how remarkable and ridiculous LeBron's game-winning finish really was.Read More »from The 10-man rotation, starring dissections and defenses of Frank Vogel’s decision
You’re going to see a whole heck of a lot of this over the next few weeks, leading up to the NBA draft on June 27. The Dallas Mavericks did not plan to be and are not happy to be in the lower 14 picks of the draft, due to their first playoff absence in 12 years, and though the team has a fantastic front office and scouting staff (complete with myriad analytic plans they don’t let anyone in on), this is a thin draft and the Mavericks have their eyes set on bigger and better things than their 13th pick in next month’s draft.
Like Dwight Howard, the free agent center that is looking to embark on a tour of suitors this summer that we’re all already annoyed with. In order to clear up more cap space (the 13th pick is set to make $1.7 million next year) to sign Dwight, the Mavericks are reportedly considering shopping their first rounder. From Eddie Sefko at the Dallas Morning News discussed one option on Thursday:
Read More »from The Dallas Mavericks could be one of many teams that might look to dump its draft picks
[Dallas owes] the Oklahoma City Thunder a first-round pick before 2018. That pick is protected through the first 20 picks of the draft. But if the Mavericks don’t convey it by 2017, the Thunder gets the pick no matter when it is in the 2018 draft.
With news jumping out of the bag about the Charlotte Bobcats officially deciding to lose their original team name and glom onto the suddenly available “Hornets” nickname for their franchise in 2014-15, Ben Eagle at Sports Illustrated’s The Point Forward took the next natural step and mused aloud as to whether or not Michael Jordan-owned franchise will go for the full teal reveal.
Then Ben found a video along those revealing lines. It features former Hornets forward Kelly Tripucka modeling the old Charlotte Hornets’ (and now New Orleans Pelicans, because this is all very confusing) team colors and uniform at a 1988 press conference that is, well, somewhat horrifying. Watch:Read More »from Kelly Tripucka frighteningly debuts the Charlotte Hornets’ ‘new’ uniform in 1988 (Video)
It's workout time for lottery teams, and the stories of draft-prospect magic are beginning to trickle in. Take, for instance, DJ Stephens of the University of Memphis, who recorded a 46-inch vertical, according to Chad Ford. Performed while working out for the Brooklyn Nets, the leap is the highest ever recorded by the NBA.
Here's a shot of Stephens goofing around earlier this season, for perspective's sake:
He also lit up the arena during Memphis' brief NCAA tournament run.
The previous leap record belonged to Kenny Gregory, who jumped 45.5 inches way back in 2001. Earlier this draft season, Shane Larkin hit 44 inches. Outside the NBA, though, things get weird: Kevin Bania apparently leaped 64 inches from a standing start (see the video here). Michael Jordan and LeBron James are both in the 44-inch range.
Now, in many ways, the vertical leap in the NBA draft is the equivalent of the 40-yard-dash time in the NFL draft: a nice handy benchmark, but not indicative in and of itself as aRead More »from NBA Draft: DJ Stephens records the highest vertical leap ever measured by the NBA
The NBA has released its last awards of the 2012-13 season, doling out nods for the league’s All-NBA teams on Thursday afternoon.
Los Angeles was well represented as Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant lined the backcourt of the First Team, with Kevin Durant and league MVP LeBron James at the forwards. Tim Duncan, in a surprising but deserved (if inaccurate) vote, finishes that crew off with his first All-NBA nod at the center position. Which is weird, because this is the first time in years that Duncan (who moved over to play with Tiago Splitter in the San Antonio Spurs lineup this season) hasn’t been playing starting center on a routine basis.
New York’s Carmelo Anthony and Clippers forward Blake Griffin head up the forwards list on the Second Team, with Memphis defensive stalwart Marc Gasol at center. San Antonio’s Tony Parker and Oklahoma City guard head up that backcourt, in a voting pool lousy with brilliant All-NBA-worthy guards.Read More »from The NBA releases its All-NBA Teams, and familiar faces abound. And rebound!
He’s not wrong, but there is always a motive behind anything Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari says that appears on the verge of being self-congratulatory. So when he points out, following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ lottery “win,” that Cavs general manager Chris Grant was a regular at Kentucky games throughout the season, he’s not only giving Grant credit for his doggedness and scouting hustle in prepping to possibly pick Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, he’s also pointing out that the GM behind a rebuilding team with a terrible record likely to get a top pick decided to head to Kentucky over and over and over again. And why?
Because Kentucky has top overall pick-like players, and will every year. And hey kids, if you want to be a top overall pick in the NBA draft, come to Kentucky for the year! Just suggestin’ things, John is.
Here’s Calipari’s quote from his conversation with the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s Mary Schmitt-Boyer, as tipped to us by Pro Basketball Talk:
Read More »from John Calipari reveals that the Cavaliers have scouted a lot of Kentucky games, if you know what I mean
"They haven't made mistakes,'' Calipari said in a telephone interview on Wednesday, one day after the Cavs won the lottery to earn the No. 1 pick for the second time in three years. "If they pick him, in all likelihood, history tells you something: It's not a mistake, which means it's good for my kid.
James Pallotta traveled to the Vatican on Wednesday in his role as president of the Italian soccer club A.S. Roma, which will take on rival side Lazio in the Coppa Italia final this weekend. Delegations from the two clubs visited St. Peter's Square during Pope Francis' daily general audience as part of a peace initiative, presenting "Papa Francesco" with jerseys from each side, while Serie A President Maurizio Beretta gave the soccer-loving Argentine Pope a football and a small replica of the Italian Cup.
But the Boston-born businessman is also part of the ownership group that runs the Boston Celtics, so Pallotta brought along a home-white Celtics jersey — with "THE POPE" on the back above the No. 1 — to present, as well. How did the Pope respond?
It's up ... (AP/Gregorio Borgia)
... and it's good! (AP/Gregorio Borgia)
OK, cool. He smiled. He digs it!
FOX Sports was worried he might not, because it just had his generic title rather than his specific name. But it looks like you got all worried for nothing, FOX Sports. No "epic fail" at the Vatican here. Whew! (Nobody should've worried, anyway. As "The State" taught us many years ago, the Pope-a, he's a so nice-a.)Read More »from Celtics minority owner gives Pope Francis ‘The Pope’ jersey during Vatican visit (Photos)
Much of the noise emanating from the Miami Heat’s Game 1 win over the Indiana Pacers had to do with Pacer coach Frank Vogel’s curious removal of perhaps the best defender on the court, for either team, for two crucial defensive possessions in overtime.
That noise is the correct noise. It’s true that the Miami Heat space the floor expertly, and that LeBron James is just as adept at dishing to an open (ish) Ray Allen or Chris Bosh as he is at covering 24 feet in 2.2 seconds, but that’s not the point. The point is for Chris Bosh or Ray Allen to take the shot. Fabulous options, both, but far better options for the Pacers in that instance than LeBron James and an uncontested lay-up. Hibbert guarded Chris Bosh expertly on the possessions that preceded that embarrassing run for Vogel, and while the center’s presence can’t be counted on to call off a Heat score as a certainty or cinch, it certainly would have given Miami a far tougher look than it had.Read More »from The Miami Heat haven’t played their best basketball game yet, which is frightening
Edited by Andy Behrens
Edited by Shane Bacon
Edited by Cameron Smith
Edited by Maggie Hendricks
Edited by Jay Busbee
Edited by Kelly Dwyer
Edited by Jeff Eisenberg
Edited by Graham Watson
Edited by Doug Farrar
Edited by Greg Wyshynski
Edited by Brooks Peck
Edited by Shane Bacon