Ball Don't Lie
The Portland Trail Blazers Twitter account wonders if the team can join the awful Eastern ConferenceKelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie45 mins ago
There are seven teams currently slated to head toward the lottery in the Western Conference, per usual, and five of those teams have records good enough to make the Eastern playoff bracket. The 12th-best record in the Western Conference – currently held by both the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers at 9-9 – is tied with the winning percentage of the team with the third-best record in the East. That would be your Washington Wizards. Tied. For third in the East.
The East is terrible this season, and though teams like the Knicks, Bulls, Nets, Hawks and Pistons may eventually get their acts together, the drop-off between standout Indiana and Miami clubs and the rest of the dreck is significant. Worse, the eventual winner of the piss-poor Atlantic Division (the Boston Celtics hold that honor right now, at 8-12) will be rewarded with the ostensible fourth seed in the East this spring due to NBA bylaws.
That’s pretty awful. And it’s especially awful if you’re battling amongst the trees in Pacific Time out West, wondering how this is even fair in the slightest. The Portland Trail Blazers Twitter account struck out first, indirectly looking to inspire a move:
James Worthy and Byron Scott impersonating Nick ‘Swaggy P’ Young is worth a minute of your time (Video)Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 hr ago
Despite a fairly one-dimensional game that's kept him from being a very reliable full-time contributor during his seven-year NBA career, Nick Young has become something of a cult hero and fan favorite among basketball lovers of a certain stripe due to his, shall we say, unique personal style. The young fella who entered the NBA calling himself "Jordan-like" and now calls himself "Swaggy P" is an unrepentant gunner who has averaged more than 15 shots per 36 minutes for his career and has never met a wild shot he wouldn't take (and sometimes make), a hyper-athletic dude with a personal0 for the absurd, and someone whose driving, both on personal1 and on the personal2, sometimes leave something to be desired.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie3 hrs ago
Reggie Jackson sees your crazy Wednesday night shot-making, Avery Bradley, and he raises you this shot-clock-beating bit of nonsense:
I didn't realize Jackson's shorts were large enough to pull shots like that out of his rear end. Must be XXLs.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie3 hrs ago
Everyone here is well aware of the Chicago Bulls medical and training staff, right? The ones that cleared former center Omer Asik to play with a broken fibula during the 2011 playoffs? The one that listed Luol Deng as “day to day” after a spinal tap, before then selling him out to the media and fans before reportedly ignoring him during the summer months that followed? The ones that thought it was just fine to push Joakim Noah’s feet for 40 minutes a game last season in spite of his history with plantar fasciitis? Before he had to sit for most of the second half of the season after developing, you guessed it, plantar fasciitis? The team that put both Noah and guard Jimmy Butler back into games with what should have been obvious, debilitating injuries?
Nate Robinson shoots free throws lefty after injuring right wrist during Nuggets’ win over Nets (Video)Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie4 hrs ago
Near the midway point of the fourth quarter of a Tuesday night contest that was all over but the shoutin' (and, of course, booin'), Denver Nuggets guard Nate Robinson sliced through the Brooklyn Nets' lackadaisical defense toward the hoop in search of more padding for his team's 24-point lead. In pursuit of said hoop, however, he received some harm ... and, true to the 5-foot-9 dynamo's career-long approach, he just kept on pushing:
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie4 hrs ago
Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace are two pretty bad dudes. Despite the perpetual smirk the two tend to walk around with, the New York Knick veterans dole out hard fouls and tough love on the court, while barely concealing their hard guy status on the defensive end.
The Knicks, meanwhile, have lost nine straight. This is part of the reason why it seemed quite believable that both World Peace and Martin would engage in some combination of a shouting match, fight, or heated back and forth at practice, as ESPN reported last weekend. Combining the typical reaction to a losing streak, an embattled coach in Mike Woodson who has been on the hot seat for weeks, and both Metta and Kenyon’s irascible (to say the least) past, and you have a tussle straight out of central casting.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie5 hrs ago
A funny thing happened on the way to the all-but-inevitable squash job the Golden State Warriors were sure to lay on the outgunned, outclassed, overmatched and underwhelming Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night: Dwane Casey's team came out on fire, hitting 16 of their first 24 shots and punching the Dubs in the mouth to take a 17-point lead at the end of the first quarter. And after a back-and-forth second quarter in which Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (14 points on 5 for 5 shooting) and Raptors big man Amir Johnson (12 points, seven rebounds) took turns being unstoppable, the Raptors exploded out of their locker rooms to score the first 10 points of the second half and build a stunning 75-48 lead.
Through 26-plus minutes, the scuffling 6-10 Raps, losers of three straight, were absolutely taking Mark Jackson's squad to school. But a funny thing happened on the way to homeroom ...
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie5 hrs ago
The San Antonio Spurs probably don’t like having to travel out of the NBA loop for a regular season game down in Mexico City. The Minnesota Timberwolves, one can be assured, definitely don’t like having to travel thousands of miles between countries to play a “home” game, which they will against the Spurs on Wednesday. The contest is still a cool exercise, though, with the NBA deciding to play an actual game that counts in basketball-mad Mexico City, as opposed to an exhibition game featuring heavy minutes for players that may not even make the final roster cuts.
Ever-mindful of scouting for youngsters looking to make the leap to the NBA, the Spurs decided to meet with a local youth team following their practice on Tuesday. And, following a photoshoot and team huddle, the defending Western Conference champs kicked off their shoes and set up for a scrimmage with the youngsters.
It didn’t go well for San Antonio. Watch:
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie15 hrs ago
Rookie guards Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo made a bit of NBA history on Tuesday night, and all it took them was a combined 98-plus minutes of work. (They can handle it. They're young.)
In the final 61 seconds of a double-overtime contest between the Orlando Magic, who selected Oladipo out of Indiana with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 draft, and the Philadelphia 76ers, who took Carter-Williams out of Syracuse with the 11th pick, both rookies put the finishing touches on the first triple-doubles of their NBA careers — MCW with an assist on a Thaddeus Young runner that put Philly up five with 1:01 remaining, and Oladipo with a rebound of a missed James Anderson free throw that kept the door just slightly ajar with the Magic trailing 125-122 and less than nine seconds remaining.
- Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie16 hrs ago
The NBA is currently in the midst of an unfortunate, bizarre period of high-profile broken hand injuries. As our Dan Devine noted on Monday, the New Orleans Hornets' Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Clippers' J.J. Redick, and the Brooklyn Nets' Paul Pierce have all suffered broken hands that will keep them out for at least a few weeks each. All three teams will feel those players' absences, but it's also a shame for basketball fans everywhere.
On Tuesday night, another notable player joined that group. In the third quarter of the Charlotte Bobcats 89-82 road loss to the Dallas Mavericks, second-year wing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the No. 2 pick in the 2012 draft, suffered a broken left hand. The official announcement: