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 NBA is two months away from what could be its best playoff bracket ever

    The NBA will enjoy a day off three weeks from Thursday, as the league’s regular season ends the night before. Fourteen teams will take to the offseason, some of them happily, while some clubs will rue the fact that they’ll miss out on the postseason because of either disappointing play (New York) or stellar competition (whichever 48-win team is on the outside looking in on the Western bracket). Two days later, 16 teams will begin what could be a two-month playoff run, as the NBA sets to deciding its champion.

    And though the East looks comparatively weak, and though in an instant a poorly timed injury could lay waste to 5 1/2 months of regular season work, this still factors to be a fascinating, evocative playoff turn. It doesn’t just take yet another heart-stopping Indiana Pacers-Miami Heat game to remind you of this, though that doesn’t hurt, because this could wrap up to be the Greatest Playoffs Ever.

    Don’t believe me? Need a little Magic and Larry in your bracket? Prefer a 72-game

    Read More »from The NBA is two months away from what could be its best playoff bracket ever
  • In a lot of ways, it’s hard to believe that San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills is only 25 years old. He’s been such a reliable, ubiquitous presence on the ha-ha blog scene for so long, while making his way as a towel-waving reserve on the Spurs bench, that he just feels like the sort of crafty veteran that only recently had to be talked out of losing his flip phone.

    What you forget is that there is still room to grow, for even four or five more years. Mills has made a huge jump as San Antonio’s backup scoring guard this season, putting up starting quality stats along the way. He’s averaging 19.1 points for every 36 minutes he plays, while doing fantastic work in the paint and behind the arc (nearly 41 percent on the year), leading the league-leading Spurs’ bench unit.

    Why the change, from decidedly below average (and not always guaranteed minutes) to a top of the line sparkplug? Apparently Mills decided to drop a few plugs in the months following San Antonio’s Game 7 NBA Finals loss

    Read More »from Gregg Popovich credits Patty Mills' improvement to shaping down from being 'a little fat ass'
  • Kobe Bryant is still upset. That’s nothing new, the man sort of thrives on this steely nastiness that has paired with his significant physical gifts to gift the NBA with a transcendent era. The Bryant Era, one we’re in no hurry to shoo away, was paired for eight of its initial seasons with Shaquille O’Neal, a larger-than-life character and player who had the abilities, size and smarts to turn into the NBA’s greatest center ever.

    The problem was that nobody knew we were in a Kobe Bryant era during his rookie season, and for the next seven seasons after that neither O’Neal nor subsequent Laker coaches wanted the Bryant era to take hold, preferring instead to mainly go through the league-altering O’Neal as Los Angeles chased down three championships. Following O’Neal’s peak season of 1999-00, though, he routinely returned from summers off looking out of shape and often not nearly as motivated as the trimmed-down giant who dominated during his lone MVP season.

    Bryant, who had a front-row

    Read More »from Kobe Bryant on Shaquille O'Neal: 'It used to drive me crazy that he was so lazy'
  • Tuesday night’s Los Angeles Lakers win over the New York Knicks could have been a season highlight. With former coach Phil Jackson smirking on from a luxury suite above, the team that spurned Jackson as personnel chief absolutely demolished the team that recently hired Jackson, downing New York by 31 points. That blowout also included a 51-point third quarter for the Lakers, with Chris Kaman playing a big part in the release.

    For Kaman to even be playing was a bit of a surprise. The former Clippers and Mavericks center hadn’t seen any court action in the month of March, so he was a bit taken aback to be told he was in the starting lineup as the Lakers lined up against what is still a very formidable Knick frontcourt. Kaman is clearly unhappy with the Lakers, and for unnamed reasons Laker coach Mike D’Antoni is no big fan of Kaman’s – because why else wouldn’t be play the talented center during this waste of a season?

    On top of that inaction, Kaman also revealed that D’Antoni hadn’t

    Read More »from Chris Kaman hadn't spoken to coach Mike D'Antoni for three weeks before a surprise starting nod
  • DraftExpress.com maestro Jonathan Givony, who is usually plugged in on such things, alerted us to a rather interesting bit of NCAA-to-NBA news we were previously unaware of. You know how the NCAA tournament – which, again, we’re all fans of over on the NBA side of things because we love good basketball and even bigger drama – ends on April 7? The NCAA apparently stipulates that players considering leaving school early to place their name in the NBA draft pool have until just April 15 to research their potential draft status, and either sustain their NCAA eligibility or dive into the draft.

    That’s eight days after the NCAA season ends.

    That’s nearly 2 1/2 months before the NBA draft.

    That’s one month before the NBA’s draft lottery.

    That’s well before most NBA teams have any clue as to a player’s draft viability.

    That’s before players can work out with NBA teams.

    That’s two months before the NBA’s own early entry deadline, now basically moot outside of international ball or D-League

    Read More »from The NBA needs to goad the NCAA into changing its unfair 'early entry withdrawal deadline'
  • Dating back decades, Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News has a history of, um, drawing attention to his Sunday NBA roundup columns with random drops of what should be Very Big News. There are often several observations that are either unsourced or culled from league sources going off the record, and though we’re trying to be kind, sometimes these tidbits don’t play out in reality.

    In his latest, Lawrence dropped what should have been the main focus of his column, an item referencing a pretty massive bombshell – that a franchise player and one-time NBA MVP was expected by his team to return in time for the playoffs after sitting out most of the season with a right knee injury. Here’s Lawrence’s take:

    It’s no joke — the Bulls really are expecting Derrick Rose to make it back from his latest knee injury in time for the playoffs.

    Again – this was dropped in the middle of a massive column, and it wasn’t even the general focus. Yes, Phil Jackson going to New York is pretty big, if by

    Read More »from Despite a conflicting report, Derrick Rose will not return to the Chicago Bulls this season
  • Why Bob Knight is wrong about the NBA, and most other things

    On sports talk radio Tuesday morning, former Indiana University head coach Bob Knight said a very stupid thing. He also phrased a very stupid thing inappropriately. He referenced rape while talking about something that had nothing to do with rape, as if anything other than the act of rape could be compared with rape.

    He used it while discussing a particular aspect of pro and “amateur” sports, the latter of which he has profited greatly from, something we’re charged with writing about -- even if mentioning it in a column that references the act of rape somewhat leads us to unfortunately mirror what Bob Knight did.

    ESPN, who, along with Applebee’s, employs Bob Knight, featured the ex-basketball coach on the Mike and Mike Show on Tuesday morning. Via Sporting News, here was Knight’s takeaway line:

    "If I were involved with the NBA, I wouldn't want a 19-year-old or a 20-year-old kid to bring into all the travel and all the problems that exist in the NBA. I would want a much more mature

    Read More »from Why Bob Knight is wrong about the NBA, and most other things
  • It seems so obvious that it’s almost surprising you don’t hear about it more often. If you’re able to locate an NBA player’s house, you can tell when the player in question is away from that house just by picking up a pocket team schedule from any random convenience store. And if you are the type that wants to act like a jerk and break into someone’s house, all you have to do is time your jail-worthy offense alongside the player’s working night out.

     This, apparently, is what happened to Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young on Sunday. With Nick offering a much-needed 26 points in a rare Lakers win over the Orlando Magic, burglars were allegedly working over his house, glomming onto $100,000 worth of Young’s belongings, according to Nick.

    TMZ had the first report:

    Sources tell us ... Nick came home after defeating the Orlando Magic at Staples Center around 11pm and noticed an upstairs window was broken. 

    We're told the scumbag (or scumbags) ransacked the master bedroom -- taking

    Read More »from Burglars reportedly stole $100K worth of swag from Nick Young's home while he played on Sunday night
  • Somehow, the ‘amazing’ Jason Kidd has his Brooklyn Nets humming

    Jason Kidd wants everyone to simmer down. Now. (Getty Images)

    The Brooklyn Nets entered the 2014 calendar year with a 10-21 record, the squad had lost six of seven at this point, with its only win of that batch coming against the lowly Milwaukee Bucks. Of course, at this point, no NBA team had crammed 31 games, many of them nationally televised against stout opponents, into a two-month term; but the Nets had to peel those games off in order to allow for the team’s mid-January trip to London, one that would see Brooklyn playing just one game in eight days.

    That win in London – a 17-point thrashing of an Atlanta Hawks squad that at that time was far ahead of Brooklyn in the standings – wasn’t the team’s turnaround point, as Brooklyn had won five of six contests just prior to it – including conquests over the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder. It helped right the schedule ship, though, and as a result the Nets are a gleaming 27-10 in 2014 alone. That run continued on Sunday evening, as the Nets came down from a double-digit disadvantage to down a Dallas Mavericks team that is clawing for its own playoff berth out West.

    The approach was typical of the 2014 run. The Nets played marvelous, long-armed defense, and they watched Joe Johnson carry the team in overtime. From Stefan Bondy at the New York Daily News:

    Read More »from Somehow, the ‘amazing’ Jason Kidd has his Brooklyn Nets humming
  • Joe Dumars celebrates the selection of Brandon Knight with Tom Gores (Getty Images)

    The Detroit Pistons, built to make the 2014 playoffs, have lost 15 of 18. They’ve lost 15 of 18 in the wake of interim head coach John Loyer’s successful debut win over the San Antonio Spurs, they’ve tumbled six and a half games out of what is a rather embarrassing Eastern Conference playoff bracket, and the worst aspect of all of this is the way Detroit is going about its losing ways. It’s true that the team has played worse since former head coach Maurice Cheeks was fired just past the halfway point of his first season in Detroit, but the squad doesn’t look a whole hell of a lot different as it spirals to a miserable end.

    That end will probably result in the release of Loyer as head coach when 2013-14 ends, and an attempt to dignify Joe Dumars’ removal as Pistons general manager. Dumars is a Detroit legend that won two titles with the team as a player, joined its front office in 2000 and took over for good as personnel boss in 2001 while putting together the eventual 2004 NBA champions, but he’s also gone through nine coaches since 2001, and the team hasn’t made the playoffs since a sub-.500 first round showing in 2009.

    Since then, the Pistons have been purchased by Tom Gores, who has watched as Dumars signed Josh Smith to a large free agent deal, while trading for a freshly-signed Brandon Jennings. With his team now acting as the lamest of all the king’s ducks, Gores spoke to Detroit media during halftime of a Pistons/Los Angeles Clippers contest on Saturday.

    Read More »from Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores discusses what appear to be imminent changes to his team’s front office

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