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 thinks on its feet, and Cleveland is plodding proof

    In this year’s NBA Finals, Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt has decided to slow down the game, limit possessions, limit potentially turnover-causing passes around the perimeter, and ride LeBron James’ isolation play to a 2-1 series lead. He’s been absolutely spot-on in his approach.

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    During the regular season, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr completely abandoned an offensive game plan, put into place by former W’s coach Mark Jackson, which just about mirrored what Blatt is doing in Cleveland right now. Isolation play and simple screen and roll sets designed to highlight the All-Stars were thrown out the window, and a fevered, risk-taking approach led to the Warriors finishing a few blown outlet passes away from ending the season as the league’s leader in offensive efficiency. He came through with an inspired and correct call.

    In the NBA’s other conference, Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer aped the

    Read More »from The NBA thinks on its feet, and Cleveland is plodding proof
  • Cleveland holds off Warriors, follows LeBron James to a 2-1 NBA Finals lead

    The easy script for these suddenly plucky Cleveland Cavaliers continues to roll on. Initially pitched as a star-heavy team full of well-heeled All-Stars, the Cavs are playing their best defense of the season, and they’ve taken a 2-1 advantage in the 2015 NBA Finals. The Cavs downed Golden State 96-91 in Game 3 behind another near-triple-double from LeBron James, and several key plays from the irascible Matthew Dellavedova.

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    The Cavaliers point guard, only starting because of Kyrie Irving’s season-ending knee injury, made a three-point play with just over 2:30 left to quell a Golden State comeback. Directly following a Stephen Curry 3-pointer that cut the Cavaliers' lead to one, Dellavedova hit a crouching, scrambling – cramblin’ – runner in the lane that drew a foul on the NBA's MVP. A series of dives to the floor in pursuit of loose balls in the minutes that followed only added to the legend.

    Dellavedova

    Read More »from Cleveland holds off Warriors, follows LeBron James to a 2-1 NBA Finals lead
  • When hardcore NBA fans saw the referee crew that the league rolled out in Game 2 of the Finals on Sunday, there was a bit of a collective gulp. Lead ref Scott Foster was joined by Zach Zarba and Tony Brothers, and both Foster and Zarba are two of the more, um, prominent referees working today. If you’ve ever been frustrated at what you thought should have been a non-call, something the refs should have let go, chances are either Foster or Zarba blew the needless whistle on that one.

    As it turns out, neither blew the whistle enough in Game 2.

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    The NBA admitted that four calls were muffed badly in the overtime portion of Cleveland’s gutty win, with LeBron James ending up on the wrong end of two of them while acting as the beneficiary in another miss. That pitch/pull with LBJ even happened on the same play, as he traveled just prior to being badly hacked on a lay-in attempt.

    The NBA’s website concluded what we all

    Read More »from The NBA admits that referees missed four calls in overtime of Game 2, which happens.
  • Looking ahead to Game 3: Golden State vs. Cleveland

    Previously, on Warriors vs. Cavaliers …

    I don’t know how we got here.

    I don’t know why we’re talking about James Jones in the second week of June.

    I don’t know how a team that made less than a third of its shots won a game, on the road, against a squad that entered the contest having won 80 of its previous 98 games.

    I don’t know how this team, this Cleveland team, did as much with just seven players working double-figure minutes. In a 53-minute game.

    I don’t know why we think we ever have this silly game figured out.

    LeBron James had no Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, or even Sasha Pavlovic in Sunday’s Game 2 win. If you think this is braying sportswriter nonsense, you’d be forgiven, but it is absolutely astonishing that James was able to lead a dismantled and rebuilt Cavalier squad to a win over the Warriors in Oakland while missing 24 shots in 50 minutes of action.

    James’ second-best teammate, emerging 7-footer Timofey Mozgov, didn’t even play in the fourth quarter

    Read More »from Looking ahead to Game 3: Golden State vs. Cleveland
  • Cleveland stuns on the road behind LeBron James, ties the NBA Finals at 1-1

    It’s a make or miss league, they tell us. And if you like misses, Game 2 was your sort of scene.

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    The Cleveland Cavaliers stunned just about anyone who had been paying a whiff of attention to these NBA Finals, downing the 67-win Golden State Warriors in overtime to take a 1-1 series tie back to Cleveland. These NBA Finals were expected to be a one-sided affair with Cleveland working without the injured Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, and yet the Cavs rallied behind LeBron James and the indefatigable Matthew Dellavedova in order to pull out the 95-93 win.

    The Warriors had to overcome an 11-point deficit with 3:13 left in the contest in order to force that overtime, with a series of calls going their way on both ends. James wowed all onlookers with a 39-point, 16-rebound and 11-assist night, but he also missed 23 of 34 shots from the field and clanged a potential game-winner in regulation. Warriors guard and NBA MVP

    Read More »from Cleveland stuns on the road behind LeBron James, ties the NBA Finals at 1-1
  • Looking ahead to Game 2: Golden State vs. Cleveland

    Previously, on Warriors vs. Cavaliers …

    Game 1 of the NBA Finals was a dead set classic, until just about every conceivable part of it fell apart.

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    Tied after three quarters, tied after four quarters, both squads pitched a thrilling back and forth throughout the second half after either side took turns dominating the first and second quarters. Cleveland’s minimalist approach broke even against Golden State’s five-man attack prior to a devastating final few minutes for the Cavaliers.

    Cleveland missed 12 shots over the last two minutes of regulation and then overtime prior to a harmless LeBron James lay-in in the final seconds of the contest, turning the ball over four times along the way. More deadening was the loss of Kyrie Irving to a fractured kneecap in what was just a two-point game midway through overtime, knocking the All-Star out for the series.

    Prior to that, Irving and James combined to form a killer duo.

    Read More »from Looking ahead to Game 2: Golden State vs. Cleveland
  • It was a regulation classic, and an overtime bummer.

    The Golden State Warriors dominated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the extra frame during Game 1 of the NBA Finals, taking the contest by a 108-100 mark after Cleveland fell apart in the final five minutes. NBA MVP Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 26 points, as the Cavs watched helplessly as point guard Kyrie Irving limped badly to the locker room in overtime with what appears to be the latest in a string of injuries to the All-Star.

    Irving had been brilliant throughout the game, keeping the Warriors on edge with crafty drives and expert passing, and his block of Curry late in regulation in what appeared to be an easy and wide open layup helped secure Cleveland’s chance at an extra frame. LeBron James, working mostly in Michael Jordan-styled isolation plays in the post, added a personal career Finals-high with 44 points, but it wasn’t enough as Golden State pulled away in what was previously a close and contested affair.

    James missed

    Read More »from Golden State overcomes LeBron James' 44 points, takes Game 1 of the NBA Finals
  • David Lee – and not Stephen Curry and not Andre Iguodala – is Golden State’s highest-paid player. He is also healthy, quite talented, and less than two years removed from an All-Star berth. Last season, under former Warriors coach Mark Jackson, Lee averaged 33 minutes a game and started all but two of the 69 contests he played in, working up averages of 18 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.

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    Under new coach Steve Kerr, however, those averages dropped 18.4 minutes, 7.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest. He has played in just nine out of his team’s 15 playoff games thus far, 68 minutes total, and doesn’t figure to work all that often in a Finals matchup against a Cleveland Cavaliers team that has been forced to go small in these playoffs.

    He’ll also make over $15 million again next season, in the final year of the six-year and nearly $80 million deal he agreed to be signed and traded with to Golden State in 2010.

    Read More »from The forgotten yet professional David Lee knows Golden State wants to deal him
  • Just when you think the novelty of Taiwanese animation has worn off, something like this pops up on your Twitter feed:

    That’s … that’s something. I don’t know if I should be excited for these Finals, or fearful of them.

    (Hat-tip: Al Madrigal.)

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    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!

    Read More »from Let the wonders of Taiwanese animation prepare you for the NBA Finals (Video)
  • During Cleveland Cavaliers training camp in 2009, Cavs guard Delonte West asked coach Mike Brown for permission to spend a four-day respite back at his home in Maryland, and away from the team. It probably seemed a bit odd to most to be citing burnout with the NBA season not even officially begun, but West was working through depression and stress issues and had recently been arrested on a rather frightening weapons charge after over-medicating.

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    The Cavaliers permitted his stay away from the team. What happened next, and we’re not exaggerating here, may have saved West’s life.

    From Chris Haynes at the Northwest Ohio Media Group:

    "I was dealing with so much guilt," West said. "I wasn't processing things right. I was under the impression that I was going to do nine years minimum. Everything I've ever dreamed of, the sweat and tears of what I worked for would all be wiped away."

    […]

    West walked to the locker

    Read More »from Delonte West credits LeBron James for saving him at his two lowest pro moments

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