Eric Freeman

  • Like
  • Follow
Author

Eric Freeman is a contributor to Ball Don't Lie. As a lifetime fan of the Golden State Warriors, he has learned not to set high expectations for his favorite teams. Eric is also a co-founder of The Classical. He lives in San Francisco.

  • Blazers fend off tough Clippers to win series, move on to Warriors

    No one gave the Los Angeles Clippers much chance to challenge the Portland Trail Blazers after Chris Paul and Blake Griffin went down with season-ending injuries in Game 4 of their first-round series earlier this week. The Clippers weren't able to win any games without their stars, but they pushed the Blazers much farther than most thought they would. Portland pulled off a great accomplishment in Friday's 106-103 Game 6 win to move onto the Western Conference Semifinals, especially given the low expectations most had for them before this season. But they'll also feel a little fortunate to survive against an opponent that gave them all they could handle even with a decimated roster.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Friday's result was in doubt until the final seconds. Down 103-97 with 1:37 remaining after two Damian Lillard free throws, the Clippers tied it up with six-straight points in a little more than a minute. That set up what was likely to

    Read More »from Blazers fend off tough Clippers to win series, move on to Warriors
  • Lakers announce Luke Walton has been hired as head coach

    Luke Walton will man the Staples Center sidelines next season. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)Luke Walton will man the Staples Center sidelines next season. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)The Los Angeles Lakers have their new head coach, and he's a face familiar to the fan base.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    The Lakers announced Friday night that Golden State Warriors lead assistant coach Luke Walton has reached an agreement with the franchise to become its next head coach. Walton will replace Byron Scott, who had two team options remaining on a four-year deal and was told he would not return last weekend. The Warriors gave the Lakers permission to meet with Walton following the conclusion of their first-round series with the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

    From the announcement:

    Earlier today, the Los Angeles Lakers and Luke Walton reached an agreement on a multi-year contract for Walton to become the next Head Coach of the team, it was announced by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Walton will begin his new duties at the conclusion of the Golden State Warriors season.
    "We're excited to bring Luke back to Los Angeles, where
    Read More »from Lakers announce Luke Walton has been hired as head coach
  • Hawks eliminate punchless Celtics in Game 6, move on to face Cavs

    The Hawks frustrated the Celtics at the hoop throughout Game 6. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)The Hawks frustrated the Celtics at the hoop throughout Game 6. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)The Atlanta Hawks entered this postseason ranked first in the NBA in points allowed per possession since December 15. Their first-round series with the Boston Celtics confirmed that defensive excellence over six games, with Thursday night's clinching 104-92 win at TD Garden serving as perhaps the most impressive performance of the bunch.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Two days after dominating the Celtics during a pivotal Game 5 win in Atlanta, the Hawks controlled proceedings again, this time on the road. While the offense was slow to get going, Atlanta limited Boston to just 33 points and 27.6 percent shooting, including a 3-of-18 mark from beyond the arc. Those numbers improved considerably in the second half, but the Hawks countered with a much more explosive third quarter to enter rout territory. A late Celtics run helped to avoid an outright blowout and make the last few minutes marginally interesting, but this game belonged to the Hawks

    Read More »from Hawks eliminate punchless Celtics in Game 6, move on to face Cavs
  • Blazers stumble early, surge late for 3-2 lead on hurting Clippers

    The Los Angeles Clippers had about as negative an experience as a playoff team can in Monday's Game 4 at the Portland Trail Blazers, losing to fall into a 2-2 series tie and seeing stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin succumb to serious injuries. Considered favorites in this first-round series and a strong contender to defeat the Stephen Curry-less Golden State Warriors in the next round just a few hours prior, the Clippers instead were forced to face harsh new realities and the likelihood of an early exit.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    By many standards, then, the Clippers exceeded expectations in Wednesday night's Game 5 at Staples Center. They just didn't do enough to win, dropping it 108-98 to the Blazers in a result that showed much of what L.A. lacks without its two biggest names. It took Portland some time to seize control of what looked like a stunner early, but their stars eventually impressed themselves upon the proceedings and

    Read More »from Blazers stumble early, surge late for 3-2 lead on hurting Clippers
  • Warriors eliminate Rockets, advance to 2nd round in breezy blowout

    Few doubts remained over the Golden State Warriors' ability to defeat the Houston Rockets without Stephen Curry before Wednesday's Game 5 in Oakland. The presumptive back-to-back MVP played just 39 minutes while active for two games before spraining the MCL in his right knee before halftime of Game 4, and the Warriors have had little trouble handling the rudderless Rockets in all but one of their matchups this series. There are questions as to how far Golden State can go without the league's leading scorer, but Houston provided little resistance.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    In many ways, then, the Warriors' series-ending win in Game 5 was very predictable. Nevertheless, the extent of the devastation was perhaps not foreseen. Because the Warriors never really gave the Rockets a chance in a wire-to-wire 114-81 victory that looked headed for a blowout after just a few minutes. For those keeping score at

    Read More »from Warriors eliminate Rockets, advance to 2nd round in breezy blowout
  • Hawks clobber Celtics in Game 5 despite major early scoring woes

    The final score of the Atlanta Hawks' series-tilting 110-83 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of their series suggests that the game was one-sided and the result was rarely in doubt. Yet the margin of victory does not communicate the depths of the Celtics' disappointing performance in this pivotal game, because they very easily could have taken control of the contest early and moved towards a blowout of their own. Instead, they head home down 3-2 and face elimination in Game 6 at TD Garden on Thursday night.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    It's remarkable that the Hawks were able to win so handily given their early struggles. Atlanta scored just 19 points in the first 18 minutes of the game, breaking 20 right at the 6:00 mark of the second quarter on a Paul Millsap lay-up. That bucket ended a terrible offensive stretch for the Hawks, who opened the game shooting 6-of-34 (17.6 percent) from the field

    Read More »from Hawks clobber Celtics in Game 5 despite major early scoring woes
  • Blazers take Game 4, even series against suddenly hurting Clippers

    When news of Stephen Curry's knee injury broke on Monday afternoon, many analysts tabbed the Los Angeles Clippers as new favorites to move on to the Western Conference Finals. Instead, the team finished the day with major questions about their ability to get out of the first round.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    The Portland Trail Blazers won Game 4 of their first-round series against the Clippers 98-84 in a quality performance at Moda Center, but the bad news for the visitors went way beyond a freshly tied series at 2-2. All-NBA point guard Chris Paul left the game in the third quarter with a fractured right hand that threatens to keep him out for the foreseeable future, and forward Blake Griffin joined him on the sidelines minutes later with a re-aggravation of the left quadriceps injury that began his 41-game absence this regular season.

    Severities and recovery timetables are not yet known, but head coach Doc Rivers seems like someone who

    Read More »from Blazers take Game 4, even series against suddenly hurting Clippers
  • Chris Paul fractures hand in Clippers-Blazers Game 4, ruled out

    The NBA has seen its second injury to an All-NBA point guard in as many days. One day after presumptive Golden State Warriors superstar back-to-back MVP Stephen Curry sprained the MCL in his right knee, Los Angeles Clippers leader Chris Paul left Monday night's Game 4 of his team's series against the Portland Trail Blazers with what was later diagnosed as a fractured third metacarpal in his right hand. In other words, he broke his hand.

    Paul appeared to suffer the injury while defending the Blazers' Gerald Henderson on a shot blocked by DeAndre Jordan with 6:28 remaining in the third quarter. Take a look here:

    Paul left the game with 6:07 remaining in the third quarter and went to the locker room for evaluation. The diagnosis was announced early in the fourth quarter, and the Clippers went on to lose 98-84 as the Blazers tied the series at 2-2.

    The full extent of the fracture is not yet known, although ESPN's J.A. Adande has reported that a source tells him the expectation is that

    Read More »from Chris Paul fractures hand in Clippers-Blazers Game 4, ruled out
  • Westbrook's superstar play leads OKC by Dallas, on to San Antonio

    Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made a curious statement before Monday night's Game 5 against the Oklahoma City Thunder when he declared that do-everything superstar Russell Westbrook is not a superstar. While it's not clear if Cuban has a very high threshold for the league's elite or just wanted to get people to talk him, few sane basketball viewers would quibble with the point that Westbrook is the kind of dominant player who makes massive contributions to his team's success. It seemed beyond odd to diminish the accomplishments of the guy who's been the best player in this first-round series.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Cuban's comments look even weirder after the events of Game 5, a 118-104 win to close out the series. Westbrook was electric, putting up 36 points (13-of-23 FG, 3-of-8 3FG, 7-of-8 FT), 12 rebounds, and nine assists in a dominant, superstar-level performance. His play helped the Thunder take the first quarter 35-24 and

    Read More »from Westbrook's superstar play leads OKC by Dallas, on to San Antonio
  • Can the Warriors survive two weeks without Stephen Curry?

    How will the Warriors look with Steph in street clothes? (Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)How will the Warriors look with Steph in street clothes? (Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)The first major story of the 2016 NBA Playoffs arrived Monday with the news that Golden State Warriors guard and presumptive back-to-back MVP Stephen Curry will miss at least two weeks with MCL sprain of his right knee, as first reported by The Vertical. The overwhelming championship favorites and 73-game winners will now be without the league's top offensive weapon for parts of two series and could even enter the Western Conference Finals as underdogs.

    The question is not just what the Warriors will look like without Curry, but whether his absence will doom a season that looked set to crown them as one of (if not the!) greatest teams in NBA history.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    It's perhaps silly to look too far ahead when Golden State still needs to close out its first-round series with the Houston Rockets, but anyone who has watched that matchup should feel like a clinching win is more inevitability than likelihood. The Warriors hold a

    Read More »from Can the Warriors survive two weeks without Stephen Curry?

Pagination

(3,229 Stories)