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Stephen Curry is on a collision course with LeBron James to determine NBA supremacy (Yahoo Sports)
(Sat, 23 May 2015 23:50:57 PDT)
This season's MVP will likely have to go through the game's best player in the NBA Finals to fully validate his greatness.

Cavs star James urges calm as Cleveland rocked by verdict
(Sat, 23 May 2015 19:59:03 PDT)
Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James hopes the team's playoff run can be a rallying point for a city divided by the acquittal of a white police officer in the shooting of an unarmed black couple. The verdict, which triggered minor protests, comes amid widespread tensions in the United States over police treatment of blacks following the deaths of a number of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement. Just a month ago, riots erupted in Baltimore over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in police custody -- a case in which six officers have been charged.

Stephen Curry sets new NBA record for most 3-pointers in one postseason (Ball Don't Lie)
(Sat, 23 May 2015 19:32:35 PDT)
Stephen Curry added another record to his illustrious Most Valuable Player-winning season with this 3-point make with 4:32 remaining in the second quarter of Game 3 of the Western Conference finals between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets: [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] That triple was Curry's 59th of this postseason, a new NBA record for most 3-point makes in a single playoff run. Hall of Fame sharpshooter Reggie Miller had the previous mark, with 58 during the Indiana Pacers' march to the NBA Finals in 2000. Miller needed 22 games and 147 attempts to set his record. Curry needed 13 games and 138 attempts. It was Curry's second 3-pointer of Game 3, and it was an absolute bomb — Rockets defender Jason Terry gave too much ground as Curry stepped toward a screen, so Steph just pulled up from 29 feet away and splashed the jumper. It's just ... I mean, what do you do about that? Earlier this season, Curry broke the NBA record for made 3-pointers in a single season — a record he already owned . He reached 1,000 made triples faster than any other player in league history. And now, he's got the single-postseason 3-point crown, too, firing up more than 11 3-pointers per playoff game to this point — a number that seems absurd until you realize that, given his accuracy, it'd be crazy not to let it fly that often. With all due respect to "The Grindfather," we've never seen anything like this; when it comes to long-range shooting, the record books are little more than a blank page on which Stephen Curry's writing new stories each and every time he takes the floor. Curry added five more long bombs after his record-setter, finishing 7-for-9 from 3-point land in a virtuoso 40-point, seven-assist, five-rebound performance as the Warriors demolished the Rockets on Saturday, 115-80 ,  to take a 3-0 lead over Houston in the best-of-seven series. If the Warriors can finish off the Rockets and advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1975 , Curry — who is now averaging 29.9 points, 6.6 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game in these playoffs — will have the chance to get the record he really wants. From Sam Amick of USA TODAY : "You know what mark I want?" he said just before walking away. "Danny Green's." That would be San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green, of course, who broke Ray Allen's record for most three-pointers made in an NBA Finals (27) two years ago while the Warriors watched from home. If Curry keeps up his torrid pace and the Rockets can't find an awful lot of answers very, very quickly, the Warriors won't be watching this June. They'll be hosting, welcoming either the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Atlanta Hawks to the not-so-friendly confines of Oracle Arena for a date with both destiny and the game's preeminent flamethrower. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

Looking ahead to Game 3: Hawks at Cavaliers (Ball Don't Lie)
(Sat, 23 May 2015 18:32:54 PDT)
Previously, on "The Hawks and The Cavaliers" ... Sing it, Terrance : OK, fine. There was other stuff. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Cleveland Cavaliers' defense continued to short-circuit the Atlanta Hawks' offense. The Cavs mostly kept the Hawks' starters whisper-quiet, holding Mike Budenholzer's club to 41.8 percent shooting from the floor, a 6-for-26 mark from 3-point range, and a rate of offensive efficiency (92.4 points per 100 possessions) comfortably below the woeful Philadelphia 76ers' dead-last regular-season mark. Tristan Thompson repeatedly beat Atlanta's lackadaisical boxouts, grabbing 16 boards, five of which came on the offensive glass. The soon-to-be restricted free agent vacuumed up more than 21 percent of available misses while he was on the court, which would've been the NBA's  fourth-best rebounding rate  this season. Cleveland's supplementary wings, who figured to be especially important with All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving ruled out due to  left knee tendinitis , came through. After contributing just four points on 1-for-16 shooting in the Cavs' Game 1 win , Matthew Dellavedova, Iman Shumpert and James Jones bounced back in a big way, combining for 36 points on 13-for-29 shooting, including a 9-for-18 mark from downtown. Mostly, though, it was LeBron James, who can do absolutely everything and who absolutely did. The four-time MVP turned in a 30-point, 11-assist, nine-rebound masterpiece in a 94-82 win that gave Cleveland a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals, and a chance to close out the Hawks in Ohio. Three Things to Look For in Game 3 The Cavs' suffocating defense

NBA-National Basketball Association roundup
(Sat, 23 May 2015 16:16:40 PDT)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving tested his ailing left knee with a brace during practice and was listed as questionable for Sunday's Game Three of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks. Irving sat out the Cavs' victory over the Hawks in Game Two on Friday night after tendinitis flared up in the knee. Cleveland took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series and could close out Atlanta at home.

Hawks-Cavaliers Preview (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 23 May 2015 15:26:14 PDT)
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) -- - Kyrie Irving plopped down on a courtside bench following a brisk workout and two team trainers quickly went to work adjusting straps on his new knee brace. The Cavaliers, completely in command of the Eastern Conference finals, may soon be closer to full strength. Irving made some cuts and drives while wearing a brace on his left knee Saturday and the Cavs said the All-Star guard is questionable for Sunday's Game 3 against Atlanta.

Hawks' Korver has ankle injury, out for rest of playoffs
(Sat, 23 May 2015 13:50:29 PDT)
(Reuters) - The Atlanta Hawks were dealt a severe blow on Saturday when All-Star guard Kyle Korver was ruled out for the rest of the playoffs with "a severe right ankle sprain", the National Basketball Association team said. The 34-year-old suffered the injury late in the third quarter of Game Two of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Atlanta on Friday, after becoming entangled with opposing guard Matthew Dellavedova. "Korver will see a foot and ankle specialist to determine the best course of treatment," the Hawks said in a statement.

NBA-Hawks' Korver has ankle injury, out for rest of playoffs
(Sat, 23 May 2015 13:44:00 PDT)
The Atlanta Hawks were dealt a severe blow on Saturday when All-Star guard Kyle Korver was ruled out for the rest of the playoffs with "a severe right ankle sprain", the National Basketball Association team said. The 34-year-old suffered the injury late in the third quarter of Game Two of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Atlanta on Friday, after becoming entangled with opposing guard Matthew Dellavedova. "Korver will see a foot and ankle specialist to determine the best course of treatment," the Hawks said in a statement.

Hawks lose Korver for remainder of playoff run
(Sat, 23 May 2015 13:34:59 PDT)
Atlanta Hawks 3-point sharpshooter Kyle Korver will miss the remainder of the team's NBA playoff run with a severe right ankle sprain, the club announced Saturday. The 34-year-old American guard suffered the injury late in the third quarter of Friday's 94-82 home loss to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference finals. The Cavaliers lead Atlanta 2-0 in the best-of-seven series to decide which team will advance to the NBA Finals against the Western Conference champions, either the Golden State Warriors or Houston Rockets.

Hawks' Kyle Korver out for the playoffs with sprained ankle (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 23 May 2015 13:32:01 PDT)
Already facing a daunting task after losing the first two games at home in the Eastern Conference final, the Atlanta Hawks were dealt another major blow Saturday when 3-point specialist Kyle Korver was ruled out for the rest of the playoffs because of a severely sprained right ankle. Cleveland's Matthew Dellavedova slammed into the side of Korver's ankle late in the third quarter of the Cavaliers' 94-82 victory Friday night. Korver will be examined by a foot and ankle specialist to determine the best course of treatment, but there's no chance of him playing again this postseason, the team said.

Atlanta's Kyle Korver out for the rest of the playoffs with an ankle injury (Ball Don't Lie)
(Sat, 23 May 2015 12:04:48 PDT)
What was at one point a dream season – four All-Stars, the Eastern Conference’s best record , home court advantage against LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals – has been shot to bits within four days’ time. Not only are the Atlanta Hawks down 2-0 to those Cavaliers , but the team’s resident All-Star sharpshooter has taken a fall: BREAKING: Kyle Korver is OUT for the remainder of the playoffs with ankle injury. — Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) May 23, 2015 The All-Star took x-rays following the game which showed no sign of a broken bone in his right leg, but it was eventually discovered that Korver suffered a severe high right ankle sprain when Cleveland’s Matthew Dellavedova rolled into him while chasing down a loose ball: Kyle missed all of the fourth quarter with the injury . Korver has struggled during the postseason. He’s made just 35.5 percent of his three-pointers during the playoffs after an absurd regular season that saw him hit 49 percent of his looks from long range. Kyle has shot just 39 percent overall while struggling to lurch free of playoff-styled defense intent on stopping the game’s most dangerous three-point shooter (via Tom Haberstroh ) from acquiring good looks. His substandard play, relative to his All-Star-level brilliance from the regular season, is a huge part of the reason why Atlanta struggled to dispatch both Brooklyn and Washington before dropping two home games to the Cavaliers in the Conference finals. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] Fellow Hawks swingman DeMarre Carroll gutted through a left knee bruise and made it through 33 minutes in Game 2, but he also missed four of six shots and added just six points after entering the series as Atlanta’s top postseason scorer. The team’s depth at that position is also lacking due to the absence of Thabo Sefolosha, whose broken right fibula was allegedly caused at the needless hand of the NYPD . The Hawks can go big in Korver’s absence, bringing perimeter-orientated Mike Scott off the pine or Austin Daye out of the mothballs, but this is a crucial blow for a team charged with winning two games in Cleveland just to get back to where it was entering Wednesday evening. - - - - - - - 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! Follow @KDonhoops

The LBJ Show (Rotoworld)
(Sat, 23 May 2015 00:58:00 PDT)
LeBron James was in MVP-form Friday night, while Kyle Korver and Al Horford added their names to the injury report. Could this be the end for Atlanta?

23 ways of looking at LeBron James (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 22 May 2015 23:54:55 PDT)


James leads Cavs to 94-82 win over Hawks, 2-0 series lead (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 22 May 2015 22:59:08 PDT)
One is enough for the Cleveland Cavaliers, as long as it's the King. LeBron James scored 30 points and the Cavaliers took total command of the Eastern Conference final even without injured star Kyrie Irving, beating the Atlanta Hawks 94-82 on Friday night for a 2-0 lead with the series heading to Ohio. Cleveland pulled away with a dominating third quarter.

Short-handed Cavs dominate to stretch series lead over Hawks
(Fri, 22 May 2015 21:55:54 PDT)
The Cleveland Cavaliers barely missed injured Kyrie Irving as they cruised to a 94-82 victory over Atlanta and a commanding lead in the NBA Eastern Conference finals. Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James fueled the win, falling one rebound shy of a triple-double with 30 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds. The Cavaliers notched their second straight victory on the Hawks' home court, holding the Eastern Conference top seeds to 41.8 percent shooting from the floor.

Dominant LeBron's near-triple-double leads Kyrie-less Cavs to 2-0 lead over Hawks (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 22 May 2015 21:26:10 PDT)


Cavaliers take control with dominating win over Hawks
(Fri, 22 May 2015 21:16:58 PDT)
(Reuters) - LeBron James scored 30 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers, playing without an injured Kyrie Irving, cruised to a 94-82 victory over the Atlanta Hawks to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. In a game where the final score flattered the Hawks, Cleveland took control with a 26-21 first quarter and then blew the game open as they outscored Atlanta by 13 points in the third, leading by 20 at one point. Point guard Irving sat out the game with a knee injury, while Atlanta's Kyle Korver missed the fourth quarter with an ankle sprain and Al Horford was briefly hobbled in the fourth quarter after he banged his knee.

NBA-Cavaliers take control with dominating win over Hawks
(Fri, 22 May 2015 21:13:54 PDT)
LeBron James scored 30 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers, playing without an injured Kyrie Irving, cruised to a 94-82 victory over the Atlanta Hawks to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. In a game where the final score flattered the Hawks, Cleveland took control with a 26-21 first quarter and then blew the game open as they outscored Atlanta by 13 points in the third, leading by 20 at one point. Point guard Irving sat out the game with a knee injury, while Atlanta's Kyle Korver missed the fourth quarter with an ankle sprain and Al Horford was briefly hobbled in the fourth quarter after he banged his knee.

Hawks lose Korver to right ankle sprain against Cavs (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 22 May 2015 19:46:00 PDT)
Atlanta's Kyle Korver has an ankle injury and might not return for the Atlanta Hawks against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. Korver left with about a minute remaining in the third period with a right ankle sprain and walked straight to the locker room. The Hawks said he was doubtful to return.

Hawks' DeMarre Carroll (left knee sprain) to start Game 2 vs. Cavaliers (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 22 May 2015 17:31:31 PDT)
DeMarre Carroll will occupy his normal slot at small forward in the Atlanta Hawks' starting lineup on Friday night for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, just two nights after suffering a left knee injury that had many fans fearing for the worst. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] Carroll went down in apparent agony midway through the fourth quarter of the Hawks' Game 1 loss to the visiting Cavaliers: He couldn't put any weight on his left leg as he was helped off the court and back to the Atlanta locker room, and left the arena on crutches. But follow-up X-rays and a magnetic resonance imaging exam on Thursday confirmed that the 29-year-old forward — who's been both the Hawks' leading scorer throughout this postseason and their best perimeter defender, a critical piece in the attempt to slow down Cavaliers superstar LeBron James — had suffered no structural damage to his left knee . Despite that good news, though, it was still considered something of a longshot for "The Junkyard Dog" to find his way back into the lineup in time for Friday's Game 2. But with the Hawks in an 0-1 hole and needing to salvage a split at Philips Arena to get back into this series, Carroll's choosing to give it a go, despite reportedly laboring , wincing and grimacing his way through pregame warmups. There is a chance that Carroll, widely regarded as a gamer and one of the league's tougher competitors, could be making a pennywise but pound-foolish decision in electing to go full-bore on a recently sprained knee with the bounty of unrestricted free agency — in which he's expected to command quite a lot of attention as one of the market's premiere 3-and-D wing players, a career first for the journeyman out of Missouri — after the end of the Hawks' season. But evidently, concern at forestalling the end of that season for as long as possible matters more to Carroll on this Friday night than what could be waiting for him on the other side. Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer and his training staff will have to keep a very close eye on Carroll's movements in the early going, and must be prepared with a quick hook in favor of reserve swingman Kent Bazemore should Carroll look like he's endangering himself, the Hawks, or both by trying to push too hard too fast. The hope, though, is that Carroll responds in returning from his sprain like Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard did from his on Thursday — some wary early moments, followed by sound and strong play after loosening up and getting into the flow of the game. Carroll, Coach Bud and company will hope for a different outcome than the one the Rockets got at Oracle Arena. If nothing else, they'll be heading into battle with their full starting five intact, which has tended to be very good news for the Hawks throughout this franchise-record dream season. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

Hawks' DeMarre Carroll starts vs. Cavaliers in Game 2 (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 22 May 2015 17:24:56 PDT)
Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll was a surprise starter in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. The Hawks waited until seeing Carroll test his sprained left knee before finalizing their starting lineup less than 30 minutes before the game. Carroll participated in a shootaround that was closed to media earlier Friday.

Cavs' Irving held out of Game 2 with sore left knee (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 22 May 2015 16:49:01 PDT)
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving missed Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night after he had his ailing left knee examined by Dr. James Andrews. Irving had been listed as questionable after scoring only 10 points and sitting out the final 8 minutes of the Cavaliers' victory in Game 1. The team announced about 90 minutes before the game that Cavaliers physician Dr. Richard Parker accompanied Irving on the visit to Andrews.

Kyrie Irving (left knee tendinitis) out for Hawks-Cavaliers Game 2 (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 22 May 2015 16:19:37 PDT)
The Cleveland Cavaliers announced point guard Kyrie Irving will not play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday. The All-Star and newly minted All-NBA Third Teamer  skipped Friday morning's shootaround and was examined by Dr. James Andrews as he continues to struggle with the left knee tendinitis that has plagued him for the past couple of weeks . [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

The 10-man rotation, starring Stephen Curry getting on a roll (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 22 May 2015 11:51:43 PDT)
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Sports Illustrated . Lee Jenkins on how Stephen Curry gets cranked up, and how hard it can be to slow him down once he does. PF : USA TODAY Sports . The backlash to Stephen Curry's daughter Riley being wonderful at a post-Game 1 press conference was dumb, as were debates surrounding whether there should have been some backlash were dumb, and none of it, from my perspective, deserved much actual thoughtful consideration. Sam Amick provided some anyway, and it resulted in a good column. SF : Talking Points . Tim Kawakami breaks down the interplay among Steve Kerr's assistants, who have melded strategic acumen, competitive fire and a deft personal touch to help the Golden State Warriors reach new heights this season. SG : Wizards Insider . After a second straight strong postseason, including a dynamic two-way performance against the Atlanta Hawks, Bradley Beal seems likely to receive a maximum contract extension. The question is: When should the Washington Wizards offer it to him? PG : Grantland . Jonathan Abrams profiles Cleveland Cavaliers center Timofey Mozgov, whose career could've amounted to little more than a footnote in Blake Griffin's rise to superstardom ... if he wasn't so damn big and such a tireless worker. 6th : FiveThirtyEight . Reuben Fischer-Baum and Nate Silver tell the story of each NBA franchise's peaks and valleys, game to game and season to season, in some nifty interactive charts. 7th : SB Nation . Ricky O'Donnell on Robert Upshaw, whose size, athleticism and shot-blocking talent make him one of the 2015 NBA draft's most intriguing prospects, but whose past on- and off-court troubles could give prospective employers pause. 8th : The Record . Tara Sullivan on Isiah Thomas' first press conference since taking over as the new president of the WNBA's New York Liberty, a controversial hire that has raised a great deal of concern : "a 25-minute back and forth that did nothing but expose a few more layers of his phony sincerity and obsequious smiles." 9th : SB Nation . Jesus Gomez takes a closer look at why Kyle Korver's struggled so mightily in this postseason. In short: other teams are doing a really, really good job of defending him away from the ball. 10th : Philadelphia Inquirer . Mike Sielski on the possibility that Philadelphia 76ers draft lottery representative Nerlens Noel — unlike prior lottery reps Jrue Holiday and Michael Carter-Williams — is actually a building block for roster-churning executive Sam Hinkie. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

2015 NBA mock draft: Post-lottery edition (Yahoo Sports)
(Fri, 22 May 2015 10:24:10 PDT)
The NBA's draft order is set. Here's an early look at who might be going where.

Cavaliers-Hawks Preview (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 22 May 2015 09:29:01 PDT)
ATLANTA (AP) -- - While the Atlanta Hawks try to figure out who will guard LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers are just grateful the four-time MVP is still standing. James was limping around, Kyrie Irving went to the bench and may miss Game 2 and DeMarre Carroll is a game-time decision after being helped off the court in the opener. There was ''raging fear'' swelling in Cleveland coach David Blatt when he saw James in obvious pain after rolling his right ankle for the second time in the playoffs.

Looking ahead to Game 2: Atlanta vs. Cleveland (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 22 May 2015 07:04:27 PDT)
Previously, on The Hawks and The Cavaliers … Any amount of good cheer that was supposed to emanate from Atlanta’s first hosting of a Conference finals game since the Nixon administration was shot to bits in a chaotic second half. Cleveland Cavalier supersub J.R. Smith went off to the tune of 28 points in Cleveland’s 97-89 win , with 17 of those points coming in the second half and 24 of those tunes coming from behind the three-point line as he tied an Cavs playoff record with eight three-pointers. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] His explosion came just before a frightening knee injury to Hawks swingman DeMarre Carroll. Carroll, who was the team’s leading playoff scorer, top three-point shooter and ace defender heading into this series, planted on his left knee during a Eurostep move on a drive to the basket in the fourth, only to fall hard to the floor after his left knee gave out. Initial fears about a torn ACL (or worse) were scuttled on Thursday as an MRI revealed no structural damage, but he is still only listed as “day to day” and questionable for Friday’s Game 2. The Hawks did well to compete early and even stage a late-game comeback following Carroll’s injury. The team made 10 of its first 13 shots before Cleveland’s defense got its act together, and Jeff Teague ( 27 points on 24 shots ) stayed aggressive throughout; despite some iffy playmaking and shotmaking decisions. Carroll and fellow forward Paul Millsap combined to miss 13 of 18 shots and hoped-for X-factor Dennis Schroeder missed eight of 10 looks off the bench. LeBron James, meanwhile, went all LeBron all over ATL, scoring a game-high 31 points while adding eight rebounds and six assists. In one game, James’ team stole the home court advantage that Atlanta spent the whole of the autumn and winter earning, while looking all the more like a world-beater despite the injuries that continue to plague the team.

In this generation, 3-pointers are paramount in the playoffs (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 21 May 2015 23:36:33 PDT)
Those notable names of the past, the ones still insisting that NBA playoff offenses must pound the ball inside, have been awfully quiet this week. Never has that been more apparent than in these playoffs. The four remaining teams - Golden State, Houston, Cleveland and Atlanta - are among the five teams that made at least 10 3-pointers per game during the regular season.

Hawks' Carroll avoids serious injury, listed as questionable (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 21 May 2015 16:39:50 PDT)
An MRI on DeMarre Carroll's left knee showed no structural damage, and he hopes to play for Atlanta in Friday night's Game 2 against Cleveland in the Eastern Conference finals, Carroll's agent said Thursday. Mark Bartelstein told The Associated Press that Carroll has only a knee sprain and ''maybe a little'' bone bruise. The Hawks confirmed the MRI showed only a knee sprain and said Carroll would be listed as questionable.

Assessing the myriad injuries that have plagued the 2015 NBA postseason (Ball Don't Lie)
(Thu, 21 May 2015 14:52:16 PDT)
This has gotten out of hand, and there isn’t much our hands can do about it. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] Wednesday night’s DeMarre Carroll injury marked the latest in a significant strain of nasty setbacks that has made the 2015 playoffs a walkthrough of the walking wounded. Carroll will be just fine, in terms relative to the scare we saw in Game 1 of his team’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s still in significant pain and questionable for the rest of his team’s series, however long that lasts. We start with him, as we document a postseason gone twisted. Literally. DeMarre Carroll, sprained left knee . It looked bad. It really looked bad . Carroll planted on his left knee after a Eurostep in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the Eastern finals, and his knee just decided not to give back as DeMarre rose for a layup. He clutched that knee in agony after falling to the floor and could not put weight on it while being lifted to the locker room. He left the arena on crutches, as the whole of the viewing public assumed the worst for an overachiever that is set to make a deserved dent on the free agent market this summer. Impact : Currently listed as “day-to-day,” the “every-other-day-to-day” schedule of the Eastern Conference finals does Carroll no favors. He may not have torn anything, but the Hawks’ leading playoff scorer will not be the same player as his team’s dream season moves along. Kevin Love, separated left shoulder . It wasn’t intentional, but it sure looked like it. Boston Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk basically ended Love’s season with a clumsy rebounding move that ripped Love’s shoulder from its socket, necessitating 4-to-6 months’ worth of rehab and knocking the Cleveland Cavalier forward out of the playoffs. Love charged Olynyk with making the move on purpose , something the second-year Celtic denied, and while Olynyk may not have been attempting to end Love’s first postseason run, man, you just can’t do that. Impact : Love’s absence, combined with a J.R. Smith suspension and a Game 1 Chicago Bulls win in the next round, was thought to put Cleveland’s championship hopes on ice. Instead, the Cavs roared back against a listless Bulls squad to take that series, and they currently hold a 1-0 lead over Atlanta as LeBron James goes it alone . Thabo Sefolosha, broken right fibula and torn ligaments . What you want to do is write 4200 words. What you have to do, until all the lawsuits and investigations have cleared, is mind your space and hope that that we still live in a society where just the facts, ma’am, will come out. As if that was ever the case. Sefolosha was reportedly barely in the vicinity of an altercation between Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland and a would-be assailant in the early hours of April 8 . A TMZ video showed Sefolosha being pulled to the ground by several NYPD officers, reportedly a hundred feet from Copeland’s incident, while compliant. Sefolosha, choosing his words carefully as the National Basketball Players Association readied a lawsuit against the NYPD , later told reporters that his season-ending injury was “caused by the police.” Impact : In pure, stupid, basketball terms Thabo’s injury was already a crucial blow long before DeMarre Carroll went down with his knee sprain. A gifted defender and passer, Sefolosha was hired with the express written consent of defending LeBron James in the playoffs, and the Hawks will miss him on several levels. Donatas Motiejunas, back surgery . Motiejunas acted as a needed jack of all trades for Houston this year, utilizing solid enough spacing and surprising low post pep while acting as the squad’s fourth leading scorer. The Rockets rallied to make it to the West’s second seed before the team’s regular season ended, but Motiejunas had to watch from afar over the season’s final three weeks. Impact : Houston has done well to make the Western Conference finals for the first time since 1997, but it sure would be nice to see Motiejunas bounding around in a matchup against Golden State that seems perfectly suited for his style of in-and-out play. He scored double-figure points in three of his four games against the Warriors during the regular season. Rajon Rondo, back injury . Rajon Rondo never liked playing under Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. Rick Carlisle never liked the way Rondo dismantled Dallas’ previously top-ranked offense with his ball-dominating ways. The injury was a sham, the benching was real, and the gamble was a loss . Impact : The Mavericks declined to give Rondo a playoff bonus , and it is safe to say Rondo’s cap hold won’t be a nagging factor for Dallas this offseason. Jrue Holiday, right leg injury . This is a lingering concern, dating back a year and a half , and a frightening one for the NBA’s first player to be born in the 1990s. The New Orleans Pelican guard is reported to want to undergo yet another surgery to take the screw out of his surgically repaired right leg , and that seems the safest maneuver possible in the wake of another season mostly lost to constant pain and limited action. Impact : Holiday missed 12 of 19 shots spread out over three games in the 2015 postseason, and he had to sit out Game 4 of his team’s first round sweep at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. Wesley Matthews, torn Achilles . After his Portland Trail Blazers gutted out a wrist injury to LaMarcus Aldridge and a surprising second half step backward from star guard Damian Lillard, the team’s heart and soul had to sit the final five weeks of the regular season and eventually the postseason with a torn Achilles. Matthews, who was shooting 39 percent from long range while averaging 15.9 points per game, handled his injury with his typical grace and humor . Impact : The Blazers smartly reached out to acquire shooting guard Arron Afflalo in an attempt to circle the wagons prior to Wes’ injury, and he responded by hitting 40 percent of his threes as a Blazer. Afflalo hurt his shoulder in early April , however, and was an afterthought during the postseason as Portland bowed out in the first round. How this affects Matthews and Afflalo’s free agent turns remains to be seen. LaMarcus Aldridge, left thumb injury . Some of us were wrong. He didn’t just want an All-Star Game bonus. He wasn’t just, understandably, looking out for his free agent future. LaMarcus Aldridge played through a significant amount of pain with a thumb injury that should have put him out for two months, staying on the court as his Blazers fought to retain their status as a Western Conference postseason perennial. He waited until the offseason to have surgery, but not before leading his team to a gutty run that ended in the first round of the playoffs. Impact : Aldridge will be healthy by the time training camp starts following surgery, and his injury hardly left him as an approximation of his usual self – a testament to his ability to play through pain. He will explore the free agent market as he decides what to do with his last big contract, and last few years as a franchise-level player. Chris Paul, strained left hamstring . Paul, who made a point to play 82 games after what has been an injury-plagued career thus far, had to time this perfectly. He had to wait until Game 7 of his team’s Finals-worthy showdown with the defending champion San Antonio Spurs for things to go pear-shaped. It had to happen at the exact worst time. Chris Paul always has an excuse, right? Impact : It didn’t matter .

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