Ball Don't Lie
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie16 mins ago
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: Red94. As the Houston Rockets look to even up their best-of-seven series with the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 2 on Wednesday, Richard Li has a suggestion: run, run, run, and go deep, and force one of the shallowest competitors in this postseason to match up with you or get gassed and then gashed.Wed, Apr 236:30 PM PDTPortland at HoustonPreview Game
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie46 mins ago
If the Coach of the Year award is so tough to vote for because there are so many deserving candidates, the Most Improved Player award is equally as vexing because the criteria for the award is debatable at best and vague at its worst. The hardware usually goes to a performer that jumps from pretty good to great in the span of a season, but not before writers and fans debate endlessly about who should be included in the consideration for the process.
Are second-year players, expected to improve, allowed to be in the mix? What about a player that makes the jump from lousy to serviceable – certainly no marquee name, but still making a bigger jump that someone who rounds into an All-Star. What about MVP-level players like Kevin Durant, should they be penalized for starting off at too high a stratum?
Phil Jackson quiets rumors of a rift with James Dolan by talking up Steve Kerr, Carmelo Anthony's contractKelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie2 hrs ago
Much like an NCAA basketball team getting its first loss out of the way before the NCAA tournament hits, perhaps it is best that the New York Knicks’ owner James Dolan and Phil Jackson had their first disagreement about something as relatively benign as the firing of unnamed staff this month. Just a chance to re-iterate just who is who in this relationship, before it comes time to start arguing about coaches, general managers, players, or disclosures with the media.
That’s the report from Frank Isola at the New York Daily News, who revealed that Dolan got in the way of Jackson firing several members of the Knicks staff, citing loyalty as the reason. What role this staff did or will play with the Knicks wasn’t listed, but we do know that Jackson and Dolan have already just about signed off on the fact that, no, Phil really isn’t completely in charge here.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie14 hrs ago
After trailing by 10 points with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter and by six with just under four minutes remaining in regulation, the Washington Wizards came back to beat the Chicago Bulls, 101-99, in overtime to finish off an impressive road sweep at United Center. Randy Wittman's crew will head back to the nation's capital brimming with confidence and holding a commanding 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series. The Bulls will travel east knowing that if they don't figure out a way to scratch out some more points against the Wizards' defense, they might not be long for the postseason.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie15 hrs ago
CHICAGO – Once again, it appears as if the rest of the NBA has caught up to the postseason version of the Chicago Bulls, those noted regular-season thrashers. And the Washington Wizards appear to have turned a corner that could put them in the second round for just the third time since Ronald Reagan’s first term in the town they play in.
The Wizards will return to that home with a 2-0 series lead over Chicago, following their gritty 101-99 overtime win on Tuesday evening. The Wizards erased a 10-point deficit to force overtime and once again encourage Chicago into moving away from its offensive bread and butter – a decidedly modest bread and butter, to be sure, but one that helped the Bulls secure the first-round home-court advantage they relinquished during Sunday’s Game 1.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie18 hrs ago
An awful lot went wrong for the Indiana Pacers in their disappointing Game 1 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, but the most significant damage done by Mike Budenholzer's eighth-seeded birds came during the third quarter. That must have been especially dispiriting for Indiana — after all, as I wrote earlier Tuesday, third-quarter dominance had been a Pacers trademark all season, but during the first game of their quest for an NBA championship, they found themselves being blown off the floor by a 38-44 team en route to giving away the home-court advantage that they'd spent the entire season — or, at least, the first few months of it — fighting so hard to secure.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie19 hrs ago
A decent number of NBA teams enter the regular season with little expectation of winning enough games to qualify for the postseason, but few have ever done so quite as brazenly as the 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers came into this season with a roster that many thought could challenge for the worst record of all-time, cast away several veterans before the trade deadline, engaged in a record-tying 26-game losing streak, and generally looked like a squad with no designs on a winning season. If a basketball fan or analyst took issue with teams tanking over the past few months, it's a safe bet that the Sixers were mentioned.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
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.Thu, Apr 247:30 PM PDTLA Clippers at Golden StatePreview Game
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
The Indiana Pacers enter Tuesday's Game 2 of their best-of-seven first-round playoff series with the Atlanta Hawks coming off a stunning and dispiriting home-court loss, facing serious questions about their core identity and internal makeup, and possibly fighting for their postseason lives, since it's difficult to envision a team that's fallen apart as utterly as the Pacers have over the past three months climbing out of an 0-2 hole on the road, especially at Philips Arena, where they're 2-6 since Vogel took over midway through the 2010-11 season. The Pacers desperately need to find a spark to regain some of the "gold swagger" that carried them to the seventh game of last year's Eastern Conference finals and through the first 3 1/2 months of this regular season, and they need to find it quickly, lest they put themselves in grave danger of becoming just the fifth No. 1 seed in NBA history to be toppled by a No. 8 seed in the postseason, the third to be ousted in Round 1 since the advent of the seven-game opening-round series, and the first since the Memphis Grizzlies knocked off the San Antonio Spurs back in 2011.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
The Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls entered 2013-14 as championship contenders. At various points during the autumn and winter they were the darlings of the NBA. Both teams began the postseason with aspirations to knock off the two-time defending champion Miami Heat. They boast the two best defenses in the NBA, and they’re working against two limited teams in Atlanta and Washington that few gave a nod to as first-round victors.
On Tuesday, both Indiana and Chicago will be fighting to save their seasons. Even in a best-of-seven series, it’s astonishing what one misspent game will cost you.