Ball Don't Lie
Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 14 hrs ago
A Los Angeles Lakers season that started with a great deal of hope and optimism has turned for the worse yet again. After beginning 2016-17 at 10-10 with a chance at a playoff berth, the Lakers have dropped 22 of their last 28 games and find themselves with the fourth-worst record in the NBA. As in other recent years, the biggest question of this season seems to be whether they will luck out in the lottery and hold on to their top-three protected first-round draft pick.
The Lakers hit a new low on Sunday in their visit to the Dallas Mavericks. And by that we don’t mean a low just for this season, but a franchise-record loss. The Mavs led 67-33 at halftime and added to that margin on their way to a 122-73 win. The 49-point loss and 34-point halftime deficit are records for the Lakers, the most consistently successful franchise in NBA history.
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Chalk up another first for the NBA, some 70 years into the league’s existence. A twin brother out here just hitting a game-winning shot over his other, NBA-playing, twin brother.
Detroit Pistons forward Marcus Morris nailed a tip-in over his twin brother Markieff at the buzzer, giving the Pistons a 113-112 victory over the Washington Wizards. Watch:
Following the win, Marcus copped to a bit of driveway shenanigans in playing against his brother in the final seconds of what usually is a referee-less NBA close contest. From Vince Ellis at the Detroit Free Press:
“I grabbed him,” Morris said with a grin afterward. “I grabbed him and put my hand on his shoulder. … I knew that was him. You can’t make that call at the end of the game. That’s what it is.”
“Twin” brother, Mr. Schuhmann.
That is to say, Marcus had himself a night.
With just seconds left in what could have been a defining game as a Chicago Bull, Dwyane Wade was gifted with a loose ball and wide open court in Chicago’s contest with the Kings on Saturday evening. With the score tied, Wade streaked down the court and, well:
He missed a dunk, by quite a bit even, and without the ball bouncing 30 feet away and out of bounds. This miss allowed the Kings to recover quickly in their attempts at scoring a game-winning bucket of its own.
However, for whatever reason, the referees calling the game gave Wade a delayed whistle following Sacramento’s in-bounded pass, stopping a Kings possession prior to heading to the replay booth while the Kings understandably stewed. DeMarcus Cousins, on the same court at the same time as Dwyane Wade’s missed dunk, was called for a foul upon review.
Awarded with two free throws, Wade missed the first and was well on his way toward creating the sort of atmosphere that NBA websites are named after prior to nailing the second.
Because he’s … crafty?
The Kings, meanwhile:
Our intentions aren’t to pile on every single tale of Knick woe in what has been an unendingly rough few decades 2016-17 season, but though Saturday night’s New York loss to Phoenix didn’t feature a series of body blows to the bow of this struggling franchise, the team’s last second, 107-105 defeat to the Suns feels like the dirtiest of shots.
Have you ever seen a potential game-winning shot go in and out like this?
It seems cruel. Carmelo Anthony missed at the buzzer after a 31-point, six-assist, seven-rebound night, one of his better performances of the year, falling in the face of former teammate Tyson Chandler and a traveling Phoenix team that was designed to lose and working many miles away from home.
The Knicks actually enjoyed a three-point lead with just other two minutes to go in the contest, prior to five quick Devin Booker points on what turned out to be a 12-point fourth quarter and 26-point night overall for the second-year guard.
In and out.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has not held back in his public estimation of newly-sworn in president Donald Trump, as the longest-serving coach in North American pro sports already painted himself as aghast that his country would elect a leader who had energized his base with a series of “xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic” remarks.
With Trump now elected, Pop wasted little time in discussing the 45th president’s first few hours, and the “thin-skinned” fallout that hit the airwaves on Saturday after the free press accurately reported on the attendance at his inauguration on Friday. Prior to Saturday’s nationally-televised affair against the defending champion Cavaliers in Cleveland, Popovich spent some time with the assembled media:
[Follow Dunks Don’t Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
Pop actually named a few names, though..
By the time Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway was traded away from the Orlando Magic in 1999, the team’s fledgling would-be dynasty was long over. It died in an instant in July 1996 when Shaquille O’Neal left the franchise as a free agent to join the Los Angeles Lakers, leaving his teammate of three years to play out three more fitful seasons with the club before asking to move West himself.
The Magic made the playoffs three times and the NBA Finals once in three seasons with Hardaway and O’Neal playing alongside each other, and they seemed fit to rule the league landscape even with Michael Jordan returning to the Chicago Bulls after an 18-month sabbatical spent mostly playing minor league baseball. In May, 1995 the Hardaway and O’Neal-led Magic downed the Jordan-paced Bulls in the Eastern Conference semifinals. A year later Penny and Shaq would play their last game together as a revenge-minded Bulls team swept the pair out of the playoffs.
For good reason, sadly.
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It used to be, you had to go to the stadium to do something like this. To the arena. To the field. You had to show up in person, do something stupid, and encourage other giddy fans, drunk on all the winning (or, just, alcohol), to follow suit in aping your stupid thing. Then your stupid thing becomes a stupid tradition, and suddenly we’re all throwing octopuses onto the ice after a hockey goal.
In the social media age, though, we can raise a cat over our shoulders in the comfort of our own home, take a picture, and watch as it becomes a movement. Suddenly, stupid is glorious.
Especially in this case, where Philadelphia 76ers fans delirious at the team’s 8-2 record over its last 10 games are raising their housecats over their heads following each victory. The sweep, inspired by Sixers rookie Ben Simmons and originally thought up by fan @GipperGrove, is now a bit of a thing. As everything tends to be these days.
Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago
Carmelo Anthony has made his position clear. He wants to stay in New York, and to try to win a championship in New York, as a member of the New York Knicks, and he is not interested in waiving the no-trade clause in his contract to facilitate a move somewhere else just because the Knicks are struggling right now.
If team president Phil Jackson and company, though, were to decide to make their struggles, shall we say, a little more official? Well, then, the 11-time All-Star might ponder changing his tune.
From a new chat with Al Iannazzone of Newsday:
Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract, but he said he would be willing to listen to management if they told him they wanted to make a change.
The Knicks declined to comment.
More NBA coverage:
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Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago
Just about everyone around the NBA had the same reaction to Russell Westbrook being left out of the Western Conference starting lineup for the 2017 All-Star Game in New Orleans: Utter disbelief. What with the dynamic Oklahoma City Thunder point guard averaging a freakin’ triple-double and all.
Charles Barkley called it disrespectful, Kevin Garnett dubbed it the biggest All-Star snub in league history, and Chandler Parsons succinctly said, “Dude averaging a triple-double and not starting in the All-Star Game is wild.” All of this was so plainly obvious that even an NFL player could point it out.
All-Star starters (COMBINED)=19 Russ=21
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Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago
Over the years, a number of NBA players have been loud and clear in expressing their belief that media members shouldn’t really be tasked with voting for stuff like year-end awards and All-NBA teams, because they don’t think we know much about, well, anything. And when the NBA decided to switch up the All-Star voting system this year, halving fans’ influence in selecting All-Star starters and instituting both player and media balloting with each accounting for one-quarter of the final tally, some players, like the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving, reiterated their opposition to media voting.