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."

  • Phil Jackson doesn't 'know what's so great about ... the East'

    Phil Jackson makes a promotional appearance for a credit card. (Getty Images)Phil Jackson makes a promotional appearance for a credit card. (Getty Images)Phil Jackson thinks the New York Knicks, following a hoped-for spree in the free agent market, have enough to make the playoffs.

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    You have heard this before, unluckily for you this isn’t still 2014 and the words “presumptive nominee” still precede Donald Trump’s name in every bit of wire copy, but this is also a new era in New York Knick basketball. Yes, Jackson claimed prior to 2014-15 that his new team would have all it needed to make that year’s playoffs prior to a 17-win season, but this turn (like every single one of Patrick Ewing’s infamous NBA championship guarantees) is different.

    It’s less about the Knicks, this time, and more about how much the East stinks. From a talk on Monday with WNBC in New York, via ESPN New York’s Ian Begley:

    He was asked by the interviewer if he believed the Knicks could make the postseason and "maybe go even further."

    "Why not?" Jackson said. "I don't know what's so great

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  • Jerry West suggests LeBron should want to 'strangle' media critics

    Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James enters Sunday’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals already down 0-1, with nary an NBA observer giving his Cavs a great chance at overcoming a Warriors team working with home court advantage in the weeks following GSW’s record-setting 73-9 regular season run.

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    An expected Finals loss would run James’ career NBA Finals record to 2-5, a seemingly unacceptable record for a generation that grew up with Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls peeling off a 6-0 record in the NBA championship round. To many columnists, soulless cable TV types and social media tough guys, this is further proof of James’ apparently lacking worth as an all-time player.

    To Hall of Famer Jerry West, who currently works as part of the front office in Golden State, this is all a load of hooey. From a discussion with reporters during Saturday’s media availability session:

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  • Three Things to Watch: Golden State vs. Cleveland, Game 2

    LeBron James catches up. (Getty Images)LeBron James catches up. (Getty Images)LeBron James usually makes Game 2 of the NBA Finals his own.

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    OK, not always – he fell in 2011 to the Mavericks and his otherwise-terrible Cleveland Cavaliers team lost in Game 2 to the Spurs in 2007 – but for the last four NBA Finals runs his teams in Miami and Cleveland have managed to pull out a victory. Two were rather desperate, like the time his Heat team evened the 2012 and 2013 Finals after starting in a 0-1, prior to an eventual championship. Two others, in Finals losses to the Spurs in 2014 and Golden State Warriors last year, hardly mattered in the end.

    He’ll have a chance to run the streak up to five on Sunday, as his Cavs stare down a Warriors team that ran away from Cleveland in Game 1 despite a miserable combined shooting night from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, as the two All-Stars that combined to miss 19 of 27 shots from the field. That’s unlikely to happen again, we know as much, but we’re

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  • Assessing each of the NBA's 2016 head coaching commitments

    The Coaching Carousel, thankfully, has stopped. Kindly dismount the creepy horse and form an orderly queue that will take you past the gate on your way toward Draft City, followed by a spin through our star attraction: Free Agent Land.

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    Ten NBA teams – a third of the league!! – committed to brand new head coaches this spring, in a season that isn’t technically over, and in a Carousel run that began just a month and a half ago. One other squad removed the “interim” tag from their coach’s mark in the team directory, and two other franchises sent out contract extensions to their incumbent lead men.

    It was all a bit much. Now that everything is assured – save for what will no doubt be a very entertaining introductory news conference for the Lakers’ Newest Guy – it’s time to take stock in who went where.

    Boston Celtics: Brad Stevens, extension

    Though six years is an eternity in NBA coaching contract terms, few batted

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  • Three reasons why Golden State beat Cleveland in Game 1

    The defending champion Golden State Warriors struck first in Game 1 of the 2016 NBA Finals, rolling out to an early lead and downing the Cleveland Cavaliers by a 104-89 score.

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    Here are three reasons why the Warriors pulled away with ease …

    Bench Alignment

    The Golden State Warriors are Shaun Livingston's ninth NBA team. (Getty Images)The Golden State Warriors are Shaun Livingston's ninth NBA team. (Getty Images)Relegated to also-ran status at times during the team’s 1-3 start to the Western Conference finals, Golden State’s bench unit was limited in its matchups against the Thunder and hardly made a dent even in winning. Moving Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup in Game 7 weakened the crew’s numbers even more.

    Against Cleveland in Game 1? Let’s say things opened up a bit.

    Reserve guard Shaun Livingston, who managed just 27 total points in seven games against Oklahoma City, somehow led all Golden State scorers with 20 points in the win. Only one bucket was collected in garbage time, as well, as the GSW bench maintained a steady pulse throughout. It was needed,

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  • LeBron James and Stephen Curry aren't classic 'rivals.' So what?

    No, Stephen Curry and LeBron James aren’t exactly “rivals” at this point. This isn’t a criticism of either player, nor is this another insipid statement on how today’s super-soft NBA has become too darn collegial for another old man’s tastes.

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    Nah, it’s just that they’re not there yet; presuming they’ll ever get there, as this league evolves. Even on the eve of their second consecutive Finals pairing (and possibly even after this June has finished), they just don’t strike as foes in the same way that their MVP and superstar predecessors once did. Through little fault of their own.

    James and Curry were asked about as much during Wednesday’s media day, in the lead up to Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals, and both acknowledged as much:

    “You guys make rivals. I think it’s great for the sport. It’s great for all sports,” he said. “I don’t think me and Steph . . . when you talk about rivalries, you talk about

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  • The Oklahoma City Thunder? Gone till November.

    Kevin Durant pauses. (Getty Images)Kevin Durant pauses. (Getty Images)We should probably start by thanking the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Kevin Durant.

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    Not just for pushing the Western Conference finals to seven games, allowing us the maximum amount of times to view this team battle the Golden State Warriors, but for keeping 2015-16 nice and decent.

    Perhaps it was due to the paucity of option, or his potent supporting cast, or a run that fell just one game short (three different times!) of the NBA Finals, but we hardly heard a peep about Durant’s impending free agency all season. At least in relative terms to the last two noisy times LeBron James made himself available to jump ship.

    Maybe your local newspaper general sports columnist is right. Maybe Durant is a swell sort that likes his milk room temperature and his apple pip pipin’ hot, and LeBron James is everything that’s wrong with sports. Whatever the reason, though teams have been prepping for Durant’s free agency for as long

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  • Cavs fan loses Western Conference finals bet, eats shirt (Video)

    People love to place bets, talk up silly things, and follow sports. Too often, and usually with too many cameras rolling, we have to watch the fallout of an unholy confluence of the three.

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    We’re not sure why Reddit user and Cavalier fan ‘PARTYxDIRTYDAN’ was betting on the Western Conference finals, especially when his Cavs were playing in the Eastern finals last week (as a massive favorite, no less), but here we are. This young man bet fellow Redditors that he’d eat his shirt if the Warriors defended their Western crown (background via Deadspin), and, well

    (Anyone else surprised to hear the voice of a live-in companion in the video?)

    No wagering, folks. No wagering.

    - - - - - - -

    Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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  • Tyronn Lue was taken aback by David Blatt's '[messed]-up' firing

    Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt apparently had a strong ally in the man who eventually replaced him.

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    Current Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue reportedly went to bat for Blatt once Lue was informed by Cavs general manager David Griffin that the team was going to fire the head coach after a 30-11 start to the 2015-16 regular season.

    Lue, who finished his regular season with a 27-14 run (with LeBron James missing five of those contests, compared to just one sit-out with Blatt) and a trip to the NBA Finals, was not unlike the rest of the league in its disbelief that the Cavaliers would dismiss the former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach just a season and a half into his NBA career.

    Chris Haynes at Cleveland.com recounts Lue’s initial reaction when Griffin told him of his decision to let Blatt go:

    "This is f----- up, Griff."

    That didn't prevent Griffin from calmly asking Lue if he could take over. Hired as the

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  • The Toronto Raptors? Gone till November.

    Bismack Biyombo lets loose. (Getty Images)Bismack Biyombo lets loose. (Getty Images)It may not feel like much right now, with the Cleveland Cavaliers having moved on with the East’s title and two potential champions from Oakland and Oklahoma City looking a giant step removed from the comparatively lacking Toronto Raptors, but one does have to consider where we were six weeks ago with these Raps.

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    Or, 13 months ago. Or two years, and a month ago.

    On April 16 the Raptors dropped Game 1 of their opening round series to the Indiana Pacers, a harmless team led by a president that was tapping his foot in anticipation of firing the team’s coach. Toronto played mostly undistinguished ball and needed seven games to dispatch a Pacer team that needed until the final days of the regular season to even assure its placement in the postseason.

    That Game 1 loss came on the heels of a massively disappointing 2015 first round sweep at the hands of the Washington Wizards, a team that couldn’t even make the playoffs

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