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."

  • The Atlanta Hawks, it’s been proven, do not embrace playing from ahead.

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    The East’s top seed gave away home-court advantage in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday, blowing an early double-digit lead while allowing the upstart Washington Wizards to dictate the pace. The Hawks appeared to have learned very little from the team’s too-close 4-2 first-round win over the Brooklyn Nets, falling in a 104-98 loss that felt far more one-sided than the score would indicate.

    This isn’t to take away from the Wizards, who played a decisive and strident form of basketball, led by lead guard John Wall’s 18 points and 13 assists. Third-year guard Bradley Beal paced the team with 28 points, leaving at one point in the fourth quarter with appeared to be a painful badly sprained right ankle prior to returning.

    Read More »from The Washington Wizards steal one on the road, take a 1-0 series lead over Atlanta
  • The Portland Trail Blazers? Gone till November.

    The Portland Trail Blazers are about to enter a chaotic, potentially torturous and franchise-altering postseason. None of this was ever supposed to happen.

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    Most factored the Blazers to be just a slight skip below the litany of Western championship contenders entering 2014-15, but nobody would have been shocked had the team taken three series’ on its way toward its first Finals berth in 23 years. Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge took turns dominating the Houston Rockets in a first round win last year, and the team’s ever-expanded supporting cast appeared to have enough to keep Portland in the thick of it while slogging through an 82-game turn.

    The facts check out – another Northwest Division win, a fourth seed because of that win, the sixth-best record in the West and All-Star appearances for both Aldridge and Lillard. Nobody could have guessed that heart and soul swingman Wes Matthews would tear his Achilles

    Read More »from The Portland Trail Blazers? Gone till November.
  • The Milwaukee Bucks? Gone till November.

    For once, the Milwaukee Bucks are fascinating. That, in and of itself, is a good start for what had been a forgotten franchise.

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    Several teams went into 2013-14 looking to tank their way into a high draft pick. Some of those teams, like the Suns and Raptors, failed upward – winning twice as many games as projected while possibly delaying the inevitable rebuild they’ll still need to turn things around. Other teams, like the 76ers and Celtics, did as expected.

    It was Milwaukee that ended the season with the NBA’s worst record, though, working with a roster that was designed to go after a .500 record and lower rung of the Eastern playoffs … again. Fans hated this, and somehow willed that depressing, Larry Drew-led team into the cellar where it perked up with a high pick and Jabari Parker in Wisconsin.

    Things were supposed to improve with Jason Kidd running the show entering 2014-15, but not by this much. The Bucks

    Read More »from The Milwaukee Bucks? Gone till November.
  • Kevin Durant is sure going to have a lot of choices before him when he becomes a free agent in 14 months. That’s when he’ll become one, by the way. It won’t be until July 2016 that we’ll find out where Durant wants to spend the next four or five seasons of his career, but we do know that pondering and rumor-mongering about his upcoming choice will dominate the news cycle on most days. This man is 12 months removed from winning the MVP and teams are going to line up for the privilege to pay him through his prime.

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    According to one seemingly locked-in member of the extended Golden State Warriors family, the W’s will most definitely be one of those teams. And they may even have the means to make it happen. Via Pro Basketball Talk and Warriors World, here’s Golden State guard Klay Thompson’s father Mychal Thompson digging in a bit:

    “I also heard it on good authority from a team that plays in the Bay Area that they’re

    Read More »from Klay Thompson's father reminds us that Kevin Durant could join the Warriors in 2016
  • Bob Myers wins the Executive of the Year Award, in a semi-surprise

    The Executive of the Year award is a strange one to handicap, as sometimes the league’s best executive of a particular year could be the guiding hand on a losing team, and sometimes the best teams in the NBA take in upwards of a half-decade to fully construct. As was the case with 2013-14’s Executive of the Year, San Antonio’s R.C. Buford, his movement was spurred into action by David Robinson breaking his foot in Dec. 1996. It certainly wasn’t the Feb. 2014 Austin Daye deal that pushed the Spurs over the top.

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    This is why it was calming to have an outright, one-year candidate for 2014-15. A guy that went out and picked up the league’s best player before adding several other major rotation players all within the confines of the calendar year.

    Because this is the NBA, though, that guy came in second place.

    Golden State Warriors general manager won the 2014-15 Executive of the Year award on Friday, beating out

    Read More »from Bob Myers wins the Executive of the Year Award, in a semi-surprise
  • The Dallas Mavericks? Gone till November.

    This might be too easy, but it’s also too accurate.

    This, from the Dallas Morning News’ Eddie Sefko, is the Dallas Mavericks’ season:

    According to multiple sources, Rondo did not receive a playoff share as the Mavericks divided up $208,940, their portion as a team that competed in the first round, but did not advance.

    […]

    We're not talking about a big chunk of money, by NBA standards. Assuming the other 14 Maverick players got full playoff shares, their take per person was $14,924.

    This is a team that gives players personal locker stall amenities that might outstrip your living room. This is a team that will spare no coin in chasing down free agents. This is a team that will decline to sign a player to a hefty contract or stay out of the luxury tax, not because of cheapness but because of basketball reasons – owner Mark Cuban doesn’t want to be hamstrung in later years from being able to spend as much money as he can on building a winner.

    And yet the team denied Rajon Rondo the

    Read More »from The Dallas Mavericks? Gone till November.
  • Following Tuesday night’s slate of NBA action, it’s probably fair to assume that we might be in the final throes of the NBA’s “Hack-a-[Whomever]” era. It was slow while it lasted, from about 2000 until 2015 (with a brief and hilarious blip in 1997), and nobody will miss it when it’s gone.

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    That doesn’t particularly mean the era should go done get gone, y’all, but it’s hard to see NBA commissioner Adam Silver not pushing for some sort of change when he meets with team owners in the early stages of summer. Even though Silver, as recently as last weekend, said he remains unconvinced that he should fully back a change to the current setup.

    From Brian Mahoney at the Associated Press:

    ''I've gone back and forth,'' Silver said during a meeting with a group of Associated Press Sports Editors.

    ''I've sat in meetings with some of the greatest players like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird who said that players should learn to
    Read More »from The NBA will probably do something about the intentional fouling rules. Should they?
  • Atlanta's first round playoff problems look awfully familiar

    The Atlanta Hawks seem to have a big problem. They seem to have acquired a cold. A long-lingering, Eastern Conference-bred, cold.

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    Atlanta is currently stuck at a 2-2 stalemate with a Brooklyn Nets outfit that was almost universally derided entering the postseason. That Nets team has looked mediocre at best and listless at worst for most of the regular season, and a heaping dosage of that seemed to carry over into the first game of what was expected to be a short series. Brooklyn has gained confidence as it has moved along, however, taking both games in at home and forcing the Hawks to hold their own as they enter that typically-pivotal Game 5 on Wednesday.

    The Hawks should be more than familiar with this scenario.

    This is more or less the same team that gave the Indiana Pacers all it could handle in the first round of the 2014 playoffs, taking that top-ranked Pacer team to seven games before Indiana finally

    Read More »from Atlanta's first round playoff problems look awfully familiar
  • The New Orleans Pelicans? Gone till November.

    The New Orleans’ Pelicans first run to the NBA playoffs (as the actual “Pelicans”) got off to a very chilly bang:

    Yee-ikes. That’s … good?

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    Not just for the downer that regarded what was described by many as an unexpected playoff berth to be a franchise-saver – it would be unrealistic to pin any coach or general manager’s future on making or breaking it at the bottom of the West’s nutty playoff bracket – but to the unnerving thought that maybe it isn’t the best possible move for this organization to retain both Monty Williams as coach and Dell Demps as general manager. That a barely-there three-pointer, shot by a 7-footer on Feb. 6, would eventually decide the fates (again, good or bad) for Pelicans fans.

    The Pelicans did make

    Read More »from The New Orleans Pelicans? Gone till November.
  • The Boston Celtics? Gone till November.

    Things are so cutthroat, so cynical in the modern NBA that we’re left to worry even over what should be the most warming and potential-laden of situations. The Boston Celtics manage to be both, currently, surprising many with its all-out team play down the stretch of what was supposed to be another lost season, earning a playoff berth while still managing to add significant assets along the way. All while declining to surrender a significant asset of their own.

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    (Unless you think the 2019 NBA draft, laden with teenagers born around the fin de siècle – gulp – will change the NBA. I wouldn’t care to know how this year’s freshman class of high schoolers are doing, and we’ll get to this later.)

    Boston won 40 games in 2014-15 and was close to a victory in many more, the complete opposite of a 2013-14 campaign that saw them (understandably) sleepwalking right from the get-go, unable to even shake things up late in Rajon

    Read More »from The Boston Celtics? Gone till November.

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