Kelly Dwyer

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Kelly Dwyer is the editor of Ball Don't Lie. He has written for various websites about the NBA since 1997, he lives in Indiana with his wife, two children, three cats, and yes, Kelly Dwyer is a "he."

  • Attending a live sports event as a child can act as a pretty evocative event. Some 25 years on, I can still recall first seeing the green of Wrigley Field’s grass and Notre Dame Stadium in the gloaming to nearly pitch-perfect detail. Even the bright-green Astroturf at Rosemont Horizon for a Chicago Sting game still sticks. My kids are still buzzing from their first NBA game from a few weeks ago, and every live interaction – whether you’re plunking down three bucks to go see the local high school’s baseball game or handing your youngster the Jack Nicholson seats at a Golden State Warriors game – is worth it.

    Unless, of course, Stephen Curry overreacts to the swarming of a pick and roll and fires a pass all the way across the court at your kid’s face. In this instance, you need to have Sacramento Kings coach Keith Smart on your family’s side. Watch (via The Basketball Jones):

    Read More »from Keith Smart grabs the loose ball, saves a young fan from being beaned with an errant pass (Video)
  • Brandon Jennings is annoyed (Getty Images)

    Despite an interim head coach, an uncertain future, and a recent swoon that has seen the team lose seven of its last nine games, the Milwaukee Bucks are in no danger of losing the final playoff spot in the Eastern bracket. The team is six and a half games up on the ninth-place Philadelphia 76ers, even after falling to Philly on Wednesday night in a game that saw Bucks guard Brandon Jennings miss the entire fourth quarter.

    Brandon didn’t miss it due to injury, it should be pointed out. He missed it because prior to the fourth quarter Jennings had missed all three shots from the field in an invisible performance. Interim head coach Jim Boylan decided to sit the fourth-year guard for the last 12 minutes, and things didn’t exactly work out following the decision. Here’s Jennings, as quoted by Dan Gelston of the Associated Press, following the loss:

    With the Bucks in the playoff chase, Jennings was benched in the fourth quarter, and wondered why he was singled out.

    ''I don't see any All-Stars in this locker room,'' he said.

    Read More »from Brandon Jennings was benched for the entire fourth quarter on Wednesday, and he is not happy about it
  • The hubris of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise has been well-documented since the swoon that started this squad’s 37-35 run toward the West’s eighth seed. The team receives just as much media coverage as the defending champion Miami Heat, and far more words have been written about this year’s Lakers than the West-leading San Antonio Spurs and Western championship-defending Oklahoma City Thunder combined. Because the Lakers are the Lakers – and writers like me can’t stop talking about them – people have been pretty sick of this crew since mid-winter.

    On Tuesday, we discussed how Los Angeles will probably sneak in the back door of the playoffs due to a weak schedule, and various lucked-out charms (injuries to key opponents, the possibility that playoff teams will be sitting their starters in the last week of the season) between now and the end of the 82-game turn. Minnesota, just one game away from being officially eliminated from the playoffs entering Wednesday, served as a suitable obstacle for the Lakers. Los Angeles, somewhat, acquitted itself well – only giving up 117 points to the NBA’s 24th-best offense before the game’s final possession.

    [Also: LeBron calls for justice after Heat's 27-game winning streak snapped | Photos]

    And here is the game’s final possession:

    That’s Kobe Bryant missing a free throw that would have clinched the game, following through needlessly on his shot, letting a 6-2 point guard grab the rebound, and fouling the guard as he attempted a three-point shot to tie the game.

    Except, of course, Kobe Bryant wasn’t called for a foul on Ricky Rubio. And why, you ask, wasn’t Kobe called for a foul?

    Read More »from Kobe Bryant fouls Ricky Rubio on the game’s final possession, no whistle is blown, Lakers win! (Video)
  • Jimmy Butler makes Chris Bosh look silly (Getty Images)

    Through the latter stages of the Miami Heat’s 27-game winning streak, we repeatedly brought up the fact that luck, timing and inevitability would result in the team eventually losing to a squad that didn’t seem worthy of the Heat’s presence. The Heat are the defending champions and the best team in the NBA, but because this is the NBA the best team doesn’t always win every time out. It’s why Miami entered its streak with a 29-14 record.

    That record was bumped up to 56-14, and now it stands at 56-15 thanks to a Chicago Bulls team that was working without three of its starters in Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Richard Hamilton, and perhaps its best shooting guard in Marco Belinelli. Chicago rode withering perimeter defense and a few kind non-calls on its way to a gutty, moving win that hardly felt like “just one of those nights” for Miami. Despite the Heat’s 13 missed three-pointers.

    In a season full of unanswered questions and lowlights for Chicago, despite a 39-31 record, here are the highlights from Wednesday’s game:

    Read More »from We all should have known that it was going to be Chicago that ended Miami’s streak (Video)
  • Earlier on Wednesday, Eric Freeman pointed toward Metta World Peace’s competitive nature as a reason why he may try to squeeze in a quicker than usual return from a lateral meniscus tear in his left (jumping) knee. That plan may still be at the forefront of Metta’s mind, but things have been complicated significantly by the news out of Los Angeles from Wednesday afternoon. MWP will undergo surgery for his tear, damn, and he’ll be out a minimum of six weeks. From the Associated Press:

    The Lakers announced the timeline on Wednesday. World Peace is scheduled to have surgery Thursday and he won't be ready when the playoffs begin next month, if the Lakers reach the postseason.

    In spite of a perimeter triptych that will now feature Steve Nash, Jodie Meeks, and Kobe Bryant – three of the worst perimeter defenders in the NBA – guarding opponents, the Lakers will probably still make the playoffs. As we talked about on Tuesday, the team’s upcoming schedule and obstacles facing both the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz make any usurping a tough task. This doesn’t mean the Lakers will likely be an active NBA team when MWP is cleared to play, though. The regular season ends in three weeks, Metta probably has three weeks worth of recovery following that to work through, to say nothing of the days and games he’ll need to get up to NBA speed.

    Six weeks, as prescribed, doesn’t always mean “six weeks.” As Laker forward Pau Gasol knows too well.

    Read More »from Metta World Peace will be out for six weeks, as Pau Gasol recovers from his own six-week recovery
  • Dwyane Wade can't believe he lost his Pace card, again (Getty Images)

    Though I’m from Chicago and spent part of Dwyane Wade’s college career living in the city, I was unaware of the current Miami Heat All-Star until his breakout run during the 2003 NCAA Tournament. Wade, then working for Marquette, came out of nowhere to lead an unheralded team to the Final Four. Wade was then drafted into the Miami Heat, he became our modern-day Jerry West, and won two NBA championship rings along the way. All while working as a Chicago native.

    Or, as his Twitter bio reads, a Robbins, IL.-native. Dwyane identifies more as a product of the city’s suburbs than its interior. On the eve of taking on his hometown team, a club once run by a player in Derrick Rose that grew up in the Chicago neighborhood of Englewood (far from the safest place to grow a family), Wade drew a distinction between his technically “suburban” upbringing, and the status afforded to those that grew up within the Chicago city limits to the Sun-Sentinel’s Shandel Richardson:

    "It's always been a knock on guys who played in the suburbs," said Wade, who played at Richards High in Oak Lawn, Ill., about 25 minutes outside the city. "You didn't get as much attention because they think it's not as tough or whatever the case may be. I think I represent the city. Guys are proud of that, but it's something different between guys that go to school in the city and the suburbs."

    Read More »from Back home in Chicago, Dwyane Wade talks up the ‘knock on guys who played in the suburbs’
  • LeBron James of the Miami Heat braves the Chicago cold (Getty Images)

    When we initially spoke about the Miami Heat’s ongoing winning streak, the idea that luck and timing could play as big a factor as opponent and talent was tossed out. The NBA works as an entertainment device, bent on sending teams around North America for 82 games in a five and a half-month turn, and as a result the best team doesn’t always win every night.

    The Miami Heat, defending champions, are the NBA’s best team. This is why the Heat have won 27 games in a row. The NBA record for consecutive wins is 33, set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, and if Miami keeps winning the Heat have a chance to break that record on April 9 when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks. The same Milwaukee franchise, you may have read, that stopped the Lakers’ streak some 41 years ago.

    Can the Heat pull it off? Is it worth reeling those wins off, when attempting to defend a championship sometime in mid-June? And which David, on the Heat’s schedule, has the stones to pull off the eventual upset? Click the jump for the breakdown.

    Read More »from Miami Heat Streak Watch: The Heat take to Chicago to go for 28 straight wins
  • Lamar Odom, Angry Maverick (Getty Images)

    Lamar Odom was a Dallas Maverick during the 2011-12 season. In a move that should have worked out perfectly for a team that could have used Odom’s all-around gifts and ability to play several positions, the Mavericks traded absolutely nothing in order to acquire one of the better players on a Lakers team they had swept the postseason before on their way to the 2011 NBA championship. The idea of Odom flinging passes and smarts on a team with Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter fell just short of a ‘Portlandia’ episode in terms of keeping the dream of the 1990s alive, but it also should have resulted in a confluence of savvy and skill that could have made the Mavericks contenders.

    [Also: Lakers' Metta World Peace has lateral meniscus tear in his knee]

    Instead, Odom and Nowitzki showed up to camp out of shape following that year’s lockout. Nowitzki recovered, to much acclaim, while Odom remained sluggish. Lamar shot 35 percent on the season, barely made an effort on either end of the floor, disappeared from the team following the All-Star break, and was asked to leave the squad before the playoffs even started. On Tuesday, Odom and his Los Angeles Clippers visited Dallas for the first time since the Mavericks dealt Odom to the Clippers. And because he’s still refusing to own up to what a waste of a year 2011-12 was, these are the things that Lamar Odom said to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:

    "Guilty? No, no, no," Odom said when asked if he felt guilt about the way his season in Dallas unfolded. "It happens."

    Read More »from Lamar Odom, do you feel guilty about your work with the Mavericks? Lamar: ‘Guilty? No, no, no’
  • David Stern tells Terrence Ross to maybe buy an Audi? (Getty Images)

    For the last 35 years or so, most major car companies have been moving away from offering cars with rear-wheel drive. And though the speedsters that usually dot the covers of major car magazines typically feature cars with rear or all-wheel drive, the overwhelming majority of vehicles on the road are front-driven affordable cars that think handling-first and burnouts-second.

    Terrence Ross, like most of us, probably grew up working his way through front-wheel drive cars; and it’s likely that the Toronto Raptors rookie never had to deal with the sort of snow drifts he consistently sees in Toronto while growing up in Portland. Upon moving to Toronto, though, Ross decided to cash in on a whopper of a muscle car, a Dodge Challenger. A wonderful Mopar beast to appreciate in a straight line, but not much to bank on in terms of handling and those sometimes salted Ontario streets.

    From an interview with Sportsnet’s Holly MacKenzie, via The Basketball Jones, Ross details one scary encounter with 470 horsepower hunk of metal, and a large chunk of snow on a Canadian highway. From Holly’s feature:

    Sportsnet.ca: How have you been dealing with driving in the snow in Toronto?

    Ross: The first car I had up here was a Challenger. I was trying to get home quick. They were like, ‘Just get on the highway. The highway is clear, you can drive as much as you want, you’ll be fine.’ It’s just getting out of the parking lot. My car hit like a massive snow clump. It was like nine or 10 cars behind me all honking their horns. Quincy had to come and put basically like a blanket under my tires so I could get traction.

    Read More »from Raptors rookie Terrence Ross was not prepared for driving through Toronto snow
  • Look out, Lakers: Breaking down the race for the West’s eighth seed

    Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Millsap, Kobe Bryant (Getty Images)

    In one week’s work, time off that should have been spent resting the old bones of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash, the Los Angeles Lakers have been blown out by the Phoenix Suns, they blew what should have been a decisive win at home by the Washington Wizards, and they should have been blown out by the Golden State Warriors on Monday. The Warriors loss was especially galling, Los Angeles played terrible defense and impatient offense and only made a game of it late once the young Warriors weirdly decided to stop running after misses.

    Seven days, three losses, and suddenly the lower part of the West’s playoff bracket is worth paying attention to. The rolling Houston Rockets are in no danger of falling out of seventh place, so it will come down to the perplexing Lakers, the improving Dallas Mavericks, and the frustrating Utah Jazz for that final spot in the West. The Lakers currently hold the last spot, up a game on Utah and a game and a half up on Dallas, but as we’ve learned dozens of times during this odd 2012-13 season, anything can happen with Los Angeles. Anything that’s mostly awful.

    Can anything happen with Dallas, or Utah? Let’s figure this out.

    Read More »from Look out, Lakers: Breaking down the race for the West’s eighth seed

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