• Is this the first summer that will allow us to slough off the San Antonio Spurs? Possibly. Perhaps. You don’t have to shovel dirt on a team to wonder about its future.

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    Mind you, San Antonio has aligned itself with a rather enviable outlook even if the team’s franchise leader walks away this summer. Tim Duncan, having just turned 39 and having just about accomplished everything a man can in an NBA career, could retire this summer. He’s not under contract for next season, and he would be excused for not wanting to suit up for the October-to-June grind that he’s quite familiar with. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich may have been joking a bit when he mentioned the pretty good paycheck that Duncan would be set to gain by returning for another year or two, but at some point in a career there’s only so many souped-up Nissans and sweet sword sets you can buy.

    It really does tumble from the top. It is outrageous that the Spurs

    Read More »from The San Antonio Spurs? Gone till November.
  • It’s hard not to pile on. Trust us, we tried to be nice with this one.

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    The Brooklyn Nets had to recover to win 38 games this season, in a campaign spent working in the lacking Eastern Conference for two-thirds of the schedule. The team, genuinely, shocked everyone by merely acting competent against the struggling Atlanta Hawks in the first round – and yet the squad still wasn’t entertaining enough to let us forget that a 45-win Thunder team featuring Russell Westbrook was left to watch from home.

    Nobody was paid more to play basketball than the Brooklyn Nets this season. The team actually went on a payroll-cutting mission last summer and still ended up with a payroll that neared $88 million. That’s prior to luxury taxes, mind you.

    The owner, reportedly, is done with his toy. The team’s general manager, the hilarious Billy King, may have been tasked with spending as much money as he could right away, but there are

    Read More »from The Brooklyn Nets? Gone till 2019.
  • How They Got Here

    Houston: What looked like a tough battle between in-state rivals ended up as a Rockets rout. The Dallas Mavericks gave the West's No. 2 seed little of a fight in the first round, winning a sole game well after Houston's advancement to the next round took on the air of inevitability. That pivotal moment happened some time during Game 2, when Rajon Rondo essentially chose to end his brief tenure as Mavs point guard and Josh Smith and Dwight Howard teamed up for roughly six dozen alley-oops as the Rockets grabbed the most convincing 12-point win in recent memory. The eventual Game 5 clincher completed an impressive series victory for the Rockets, who proved themselves to be much more than the sum of a bunch of James Harden free throws. The presumptive MVP runner-up showed well with 28.4 ppg on 46.5 percent shooting for the series, but these five games were defined by much more, including an apparent return to form for Howard and strong performances for role players

    Read More »from BDL's 2014-15 NBA Playoff Previews: Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers
  • How They Got Here

    Cleveland: It should have been a typical first round series. Hell, had the thing taken place in 1995, we wouldn’t be “here” at all. Boston would have been out in three. Game 4 never would have happened.

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    The Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics engaged in a routine, one-sided blowout sweep that featured a championship contender going up against a young upstart that truly shouldn’t have even made it into the playoff bracket. Most prognosticators seemed to agree that Boston shouldn’t have taken a single game, and though the C’s made it close early in Game 1, the series was neither compelling nor all that threatening to Cleveland’s championship chances.

    Boston did well to not be totally blown out of the water, but the single-digit losses in Games 2, 3 and 4 weren’t really telling. Cleveland owned this series, toying with a game Boston club while biding its time until an over-.500 opponent could show up.

    Read More »from BDL's 2014-15 NBA Playoff Previews: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls
  • Two of the PGA Tour's sartorial stalwarts are considered by their peers to be the most overrated. 

    A Sports Illustrated anonymous survey of PGA Tour players recently found that Rickie Fowler and Ian Poulter are considered to get too much hype given their perceived talent level. Both Fowler and Poulter received 24 percent of votes on the question of which player is most overrated on the PGA Tour.

    The 26-year-old Fowler has just one PGA Tour win, a playoff victory over Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points in the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship. However, he became just the third player (Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus) in golf history to finish in the top five in all four majors in a season. Then again, he was also the first player to accomplish the feat without winning one of the majors.

    Poulter hasn't won on the PGA Tour since 2012 either. He lost control of The Honda Classic in March, paving the way for a surprising Padraig Harrington win. He has eight top-10 major finishes, but some have been

    Read More »from Fowler, Poulter voted most overrated by anonymous peer vote
  • Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry was officially announced as the 2014-15 NBA Most Valuable Player on Monday morning. The news was first broken on Sunday night  by Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com and later confirmed by Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears.

    Curry received 1,198 total points in the voting and received 100 first-place votes out of 130 ballots. Houston's James Harden (936 points, 25 first-place votes), Cleveland's LeBron James (552 points, five first-place), Oklahoma City's Russell Westrbrook (352 points) and New Orleans' Anthony Davis (203) rounded out the top five.

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    Poole first reported the news following the Warriors' comfortable victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

    Curry had been anxiously awaiting news of the award. A week ago, he told Yahoo's Marc Spears that he got nervous after receiving a call on his phone that said it was from "NBA." It was

    Read More »from Warriors' Stephen Curry named 2014-15 NBA MVP
  • Damian Lillard and the Portland Trailblazers are out of the playoffs, but Lillard stills wound up giving a celebratory speech over the weekend. During his three-year NBA career, Lillard has been slowly finishing his degree at Weber State, where he played before getting drafed prior to his senior year. He finally got that degree after all of the extra hours, and found himself at the podium for graduation.

    Two-and-a-half nights ago, I was in Memphis, Tennessee. My team was facing elimination in an NBA playoff game, and I couldn't sleep. I was thinking to myself, "I’m not ready to go home. I don’t know what’s going to happen next." It was 5 a.m., light was coming out and I said "You know what, I could start thinking of what I’m going to say for my speech in case we lose."

    After the audience laughed, he continued.

    It's the truth. So I started thinking – the only thing I could think of was everything I picked up at Weber State. 

    We're guessing the

    Read More »from Mad Dash: Damian Lillard gets diploma, gives graduation speech
  • Rory McIlroy would kindly like to remind you he has no plans on giving up the world No. 1 ranking to Jordan Spieth anytime soon.

    McIlroy finished off three opponents on Sunday in the WGC-Cadillac Match Play en route to his 10th PGA Tour win, just a day before he turns 26. His day at TPC Harding Park culminated in a 4 and 2 win over long-hitting Gary Woodland to capture his second World Golf Championships event in his last three tries.

    The Ulsterman began his day by making a 60-foot bomb to finish off Paul Casey on the 22nd hole of their quarterfinal match that resumed Sunday after darkness halted play the night prior.

    The four-time major winner then drew Jim Furyk in the semifinal round. A tight match all the way through, McIlroy prevailed 1 up when he played the final three holes in 4 under par, including an eagle at the par-5 finishing hole to secure a place in the final.

    Both McIlroy and Woodland played sloppy early, backing up a birdie at the par-5 first each with a pair of bogeys.

    Read More »from Rory McIlroy sails past Gary Woodland for WGC Match Play title
  • OAKLAND, CA - MAY 03:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors shoots over Jeff Green #32 of the Memphis Grizzlies during Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals during the NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2015 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)OAKLAND, CA - MAY 03: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors shoots over Jeff Green #32 of the Memphis Grizzlies during Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals during the NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2015 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)The majority of pre-series analysis said that the Memphis Grizzlies would have a very difficult time beating the Golden State Warriors without star point guard Mike Conley. Sunday's Game 1 of their Western Conference Semifinals matchup did little to disabuse anyone of that notion.

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    The No. 1 seed Warriors carried over the success of their first-round sweep of the New Orleans Pelicans with a 101-86 victory over the Grizzlies at Oracle Arena. Golden State used hot shooting to build an early lead and amped up the defensive pressure on Memphis in the second half to stay in firm control. The Warriors led by double digits for all but a few seconds after the halftime break and look to able to win several key matchups for at least as long as Conley is out recovering from facial surgery.

    The most anticipated one-on-one matchup of the series defined the first quarter. Warriors power forward Draymond Green appeared to have a

    Read More »from Warriors handle Grizzlies with ease, win Game 1 in a rout
  • Tony Allen – Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard, sainted King of All Things Gritty and Grindy – will not cede his court-space for anyone.

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    Least of all you punk kids, with all your dancing and bebopping:

    The Golden State Warriors crowd, denied a chance to watch an adorable children’s dance routine, understandably booed heartily:

    Allen, to his credit, seemed to realize his misstep and give one of the kids a bit of dap:

    "I thought they were done," Allen said afterward, according to Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears. "Obviously, they weren't. But like I said, it's all about right now. I'm focusing in on Game 2. I'm not really worried about what the crowd is talking about."

    Nor did the crowd's booing seem to bother him.

    "They don't even understand that I'm not even worried," Allen said. "I'm not expecting them to give me a round of applause either. I'm just out here competing. I am looking forward to the defensive
    Read More »from Tony Allen will walk right through your dance routine, children (Video)

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