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- BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: Golden State Warriors (Ball Don't Lie) October 21, 2014The Golden State Warriors cannot be criticized for lacking ambition. Mark Jackson led the franchise to the playoffs in two consecutive seasons (out of his three total), a feat that made him their most successful head coach since the first Don Nelson era. His reward was a speedy dismissal. For whatever tensions existed between Jackson and his bosses — and there were many , to the point where a disaster may have loomed — it is fairly apparent that the people in charge of the Warriors expect to challenge for titles, not to lose out on homecourt advantage in the first round and take one playoff series every couple years. Owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber want one of the league's preeminent franchises. The question isn't only if they have the roster to get them there, but whether they have hired the right man for the job. Former Phoenix Suns general manager, TNT commentator, and golfing buddy Steve Kerr has no coaching experience of any kind, just like Jackson when he was hired in 2011. Yet there's no guarantee that the Warriors will get lucky twice, even if Kerr has a sterling reputation and has said all the right things so far. The Warriors have taken a gamble, again, and Kerr may not connect with his players as well as Jackson did in his three seasons with the club. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Sign up and join a league today! ] However, Kerr and his staff (which includes Alvin Gentry, his coach in Phoenix) can improve the team in other ways. It will take some work to match last season's third-ranked defense (by points allowed per possession), but there is a clear opportunity to best a No. 12 offense that belied Golden State's reputation as an especially potent group. While Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson strengthened their status as the best outside-shooting duo in the NBA, the offense as a whole often became stagnant and went away from its strengths, especially when eschewing the pick-and-roll. With versatile players like Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Draymond Green, and Andrew Bogut in the lineup, there's no glaring reason why Golden State can't become a better offensive team. Failure to do so would be the clearest sign that Kerr did not have a particularly impressive first season in Oakland. Then again, it's not entirely clear how Kerr and the franchise will define success. Is it enough for him to set the team on a course toward achieving the results that Jackson didn't, or will he need to exceed them now? It's not necessarily prudent to set such rigid standards before the team even plays a regular-season game. Nevertheless, controversial coaching changes require fairly exacting analysis. The outcome of such gambles reflect upon the franchise well beyond win-loss record. 2013-14 season in 140 characters or less: A coach pit himself and his team against the world, winning a few battles and losing the war. Did the summer help at all? The answer to this question depends largely on your belief in Kerr and his abilities relative to those of Jackson. As previously noted, those opinions will vary and can't be discussed with any certainty for at least a few months. If we stick to the roster, then the Warriors should be a little better. For one thing, they lost only Jermaine O'Neal, a quality reserve big man who missed several months and may be of limited use at 36 years old. They added Shaun Livingston as a much-needed backup point guard who can defend bigger guards when teamed with Curry; Brandon Rush, who performed well with Golden State as a reserve wing in 2011-12; and Leandro Barbosa, unlikely to match his years in Phoenix but still a speedy guard with explosive tendencies. Plus, reserve center Festus Ezeli returns after missing all of last season with a knee injury. Go-to offseason acquisition: Livingston is still iffy for opening night , but when he's in the lineup he will give the Warriors options that they lacked last season. Though not the world's most adept floor leader, Livingston can contribute in many areas (8.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.2 steals in 26 minutes per game for the Brooklyn Nets in 2013-14) while freeing up other members of the team to excel. The Warriors lacked playmakers other than Curry and Iguodala, and they figure to be heavily dependent on those two for the same qualities this year. But Livingston provides some cover for a team that can use the help.
- Why the NBA's draft lottery reform is a slippery slope (Yahoo Sports) October 21, 2014At least one prominent general manager is worried the proposed changes will benefit big-market franchises.
- 76ers should be even worse than last season (The Associated Press) October 21, 2014PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Name a starter for the Philadelphia 76ers.
- Plumlee lifts Nets to 99-88 win over 76ers (The Associated Press) October 21, 2014NEW YORK (AP) -- Mason Plumlee had 20 points and 17 rebounds to help the Brooklyn Nets beat the Philadelphia 76ers 99-88 on Monday night.
- BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: Utah Jazz (Ball Don't Lie) October 20, 2014
- Cavaliers Pick Wiggins at No. 1, Bringing N.B.A. Draft Speculation Full Circle June 27, 2014In the end, the top three selections were essentially what observers expected all along, with Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid picked by the Cavaliers, Bucks and 76ers.
- A Basketball Life of Harsh Reality, Starkly Revisited May 11, 2014A new documentary on Allen Iverson by the filmmaker Zatella Beatty explores the explosive, tough-as-nails former M.V.P.’s role as an iconoclast and cautionary tale.
- With a Spirited Garnett Back, the Healthy Nets Edge the 76ers April 6, 2014In their victory over the 76ers on Saturday, the Nets had their entire roster available for the first time since Feb. 27.
- With Rare Success, 76ers Fail to Break Record March 30, 2014Although the 76ers had tied the N.B.A. record for consecutive losses at 26, they won with flair on Saturday and failed to set a new mark in futility.
- 76ers’ 26th Straight Loss Ties Mark; Hawks’ Defeat Aids Knicks March 28, 2014Philadelphia equaled the N.B.A. record for consecutive losses by falling at Houston by 22 points.