Ball Don't Lie

  • Even John Wall's career night couldn't buy the Wizards a win

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 3 hrs ago

    It can be very sad to see a team with hope for resurgence start a new season by falling flat on it face. Such has been the case for this season’s Washington Wizards. After suffering through a disappointing 2015-16, the Wizards were supposed to return to contention for a playoff spot (at the very least) and see new head coach Scott Brooks help lift backcourt duo John Wall and Bradley Beal to new heights. Instead, they entered Tuesday night’s home game against the Orlando Magic with a 7-12 record and plenty of uninspired performances. It’s enough to make fans pine for the Randy Wittmann era.

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    Even the best moments for the Wizards are turning out poorly. The matchup with the Magic was instructive in this respect. Point guard John Wall set a new career high with 52 points (18-of-31 FG, 5-of-8 3FG, 11-of-14 FT) and added eight assists and three steals in what was far and away the best individual performance of the night.

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  • Phil Jackson 'could' regret calling LeBron's friends a 'posse,' but he doesn't

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 5 hrs ago

    Three weeks after referring to LeBron James’ friends and business partners as his “posse,” sparking a backlash from the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar over what he took as the disrespectful use of racially coded language, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson offered his first public comments on the matter during a television interview aired Tuesday. He didn’t exactly fall all over himself trying to make amends.

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    Jackson joined the CBS Network show “We Need to Talk,” and prompted by panelist and Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie to discuss the LeBron issue ahead of Wednesday’s nationally televised showdown between the Cavs and the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, talk he did:

  • D'Angelo Russell talks of a 2018 Lakers Finals run, Metta World Peace warns of entitlement

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 9 hrs ago

    The Los Angeles Lakers rightfully earned their status as one of the NBA’s great early stories, winning six of ten and then half of its first 20 games after seasons of 27, 21 and 17 wins. Working with new coach Luke Walton in the place of the disastrous and deadening Byron Scott, the team has showcased a joie de vivre that cannot completely be credited to a lone contributor.

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    Well then.

    It’s almost as if they’re entitled to love basketball.

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  • Larry Bird always knew his style of play would break his body, but he couldn't stop

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 11 hrs ago

    This summer will mark the 25th anniversary of Larry Bird’s retirement from professional basketball. The Legend remains one of the most revered and decorated players in the history of the sport — a 12-time All-Star, three-time champion, a three-time Most Valuable Player and one of the greatest shooters ever to set foot on a basketball court. (Even as recently as a few years ago.)

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    BH: Do you feel like if you hadn’t have done all that running that you would’ve played longer?

    LB: I had to do it.

    BH: But do you think you would’ve lasted longer if you hadn’t?

    BH: Did he mean how far you ran, or how hard you played?

    “Quinn,” he said, “I’m in trouble.”

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    “I had genuine concerns about what it would mean for the rest of his life,” Dyrek said.

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  • Earl Watson and John Lucas take issue with Steve Kerr's medicinal pot revelations

    Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie 12 hrs ago

    Steve Kerr last week admitted to using pot in an unsuccessful attempt to quell the back pain that has plagued him since he underwent two significant back surgeries. The operations, one of which caused a spinal fluid leak, forced Kerr to miss half of the 2015-16 season; as the Golden State Warriors coach was cripplingly averse to light, prone to blinding headaches and unceasing back pain.

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    In a follow-up interview with Tim Bontemps at the Washington Post, Kerr elaborated that he does “find it ironic had I said, ‘I’ve used Oxycontin for relief for my back pain,’ it would not have been a headline.”

    […]

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  • Grizzlies turning to Marc Gasol in time of need, and he's delivering, as always

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 14 hrs ago

    It wasn’t quite Klay Thompson scoring 60 points in 29 minutes or Russell Westbrook notching a triple-double (his sixth straight) in the third quarter for the 19th time in his career, since it took Marc Gasol two overtimes to get his stats, but the Memphis Grizzlies center’s effort Monday was a thing of beauty.

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    Gasol finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, two blocks and a pair of steals, the most vital statistic of which was probably this step-back 3-pointer to send Monday night’s game into overtime:

    The Spaniard snatched his first rejection from Davis’ hands in the second quarter, and his second block, on Terrence Jones, came with 2.7 seconds left in overtime, sending the game into a second OT:

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  • Latvian big man Davis Bertans won the Spurs-Bucks fight with his postgame quote

    Ben Rohrbach at Ball Don't Lie 17 hrs ago

    Davis Bertans doesn’t look like a typical NBA enforcer. If not for the patchy scruff on his face and him ducking under doors, the redhead’s lanky frame and haircut — an anti-mullet combo of crewcut in back and boys regular up front — has him primed for a fourth-grade photo shoot, laser beams and all.

    Bertans also plays for the San Antonio Spurs, who have gone three full seasons and nearly four whole years without an ejection. And I’ll give you three guesses who — yup, it was Stephen Jackson against the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 9, 2013. And that was just for incessant complaining about the officials.

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    And of course Michael Beasley joined the fracas, shoving Bertans and peacemaker Jonathon Simmons, before Monroe treated Nicolas Laprovittola’s face like Alec Baldwin treats paparazzi cameras …

    “We just got tired of playing soft,” said Popovich.

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  • Horford's blown game-winning lay-up saves Rockets from tough loss

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Not every late win in the NBA depends on out-executing or out-clutching the other team. Often, the victorious side merely gets lucky, whether via a fortuitous call or some other matter of random chance. A team can do everything in its power to lose and still win. In those cases, the post-game celebration is more about avoiding disaster than earned success.

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    The Houston Rockets got to feel that sweet relief at the end of Monday’s home game against the Boston Celtics. Down six points after a 35-17 third quarter for the Celtics, the Rockets worked their way back to take a 107-102 lead on a James Harden three-pointer with 53 seconds on the clock. An Avery Bradley cut the margin to three points on the next possession, after which Patrick Beverley rebounded a Harden miss to give the Rockets a clear advantage with only 21 seconds on the clock. They’d only have to make their free throws to sew up their third win in a row and fifth in six games.

    Smart didn’t exactly help matters with his attempt at drawing a foul on the rebound, either:

  • Announce Meyers Leonard's name correctly, or he will correct you

    Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    It hasn’t been the strongest start to the season for Portland Trail Blazers big man Meyers Leonard. He’s struggled to earn regular minutes in Terry Stotts’ frontcourt rotation, and hasn’t consistently produced in the burn he’s gotten, entering Monday averaging a shade under six points and 3.5 rebounds in 16 minutes per game while shooting just 37.6 percent from the floor.

    Basically, outside of his hair looking tremendous, not much has gone right for Meyers this year. When you’re in that kind of rut, and life’s got you down, sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name — like, say, good ol’ Chicago, about four hours north of where Leonard played his high school ball in Robinson, Ill., and a couple of hours away from Champaign, where the 7-footer shined for the Fighting Illini.

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    Except … well, things didn’t quite turn out that way for Meyers when the Blazers took on the Chicago Bulls on Monday night:

    — CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) December 6, 2016

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  • Klay Thompson sets NBA record for points in under 30 minutes

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The Golden State Warriors of the past three seasons are famous for setting records. They’ve won 73 games in a regular season, had Stephen Curry set virtually every three-point record imaginable, and established new standards for what it means to run a high-powered offense. It’s hard to be surprised by them anymore.

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    Still, what Klay Thompson did against the Indiana Pacers on Monday Night in Oakland managed to rewire a few more brains. The Warriors’ No. 3 scoring option set a new NBA season high with 60 points on 21-of-33 FG, 8-of-14 3FG, and 10-of-11 FT. That showing set a new career high for Thompson, who two seasons ago put up 52 on a night when he scored an NBA-record 37 points in a single quarter. Monday was even better for the Warriors All-Star, who started the season in a slump as the team integrated Kevin Durant into the starting lineup.

    Also, Warriors owner Joe Lacob gave him a rose: