D&B Radio Talk Stanley Cup, NBA Finals

After a short hiatus, D&B are back to discuss the recently completed NHL and NBA Playoffs. Click here to give it a listen!

Podcast Shanks – Mavs and Thunder Free Agency

NBA free agency is always one of the more excitement and in many cases, tense times of year. Contenders can be reduced to bottom feeders with the devastating loss of a superstar while other teams who may be on the bubble could surge ahead thanks to a key acquisition. Or, you could just be the damn Warriors and Spurs and sign everybody…

For teams who don’t have that luxury, however, Darreck Kirby and Brennan Scala of Podcast Shanks take a look at the prospects for the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder and discuss how they can try to get back in the thick of contention.

NBA-Free-Agency-2017

Mavs Rout Thunder Behind Smothering Defense

Seth-Curry-Crossover

The return of Wes Matthews provided Dallas with an added spark Sunday night. It wasn’t that the team hadn’t been playing defense already -far from it. With their 104-89 victory tonight, Dallas strung together its seventh straight sub-100 defensive effort. Not bad for the boys in blue. The best example of this was a wild sequence in which Matthews took on Russell Westbrook at the top of the key and simply hounded him with active hands and solid positioning. Every time Russell turned, the Mavs flashed an added defender, forcing the triple-double machine back toward Matthews. Westbrook and Wes danced a bit, then Russ flipped up an awkward off-balance shot at the buzzer that missed everything. The crowd erupted and Wes pumped his fist. Matthews might have only chipped in 9 points, but his relentless effort nevertheless fueled a stellar effort. [Read more…]

Wesley Matthews Returns To Line-Up vs OKC

By Darreck Kirby
Dallas Mavericks Beat Writer

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Minnesota Timberwolves

After missing the past two games with a hip injury, Wesley Matthewws is finally ready to return to the Mavericks lineup tonight vs Oklahoma City. The timing couldn’t be much better as OKC, even without explosive two-guard Victor Oladipo, still boasts the triple-double machine that is Russell Westbrook. And given Yogi Ferrell’s disadvantage in size and athleticism, don’t be surprised if Wes draws the proverbial short stick. Furthermore, with this being the second game of a five-game homestand, Dallas needs a win if it’s going to remain in the hunt for the Western Conference’s 8 seed. Wes Matthews returning, even if not immediately into the starting lineup, should help that cause. [Read more…]

Project Shanks NBA Preview: Northwest Division

By Matthew Carpenter
PSDC Writer

NBA NORTHWEST DIVISION PREVIEW

Projected Order Of Finish

1. Blazers. I’m going there. The Blazers are thin, but man can they score. There’s not a better point/post offensive duo than Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge. I went there too. I’m also a big Nicolas Batum fan. The Blazers have to score 100+ to win, but they’re able to do that most of the time. Some believe Portland is a prime candidate to take a step back in a ruthless conference. My response is that Lillard just turned 24 and for each birthday he’s gifted more ice for his veins. He’s one of my favorite players to watch and only getting better. The Blazers only have a handful of national telecasts for the first half of the season so they’re a great League Pass team if that’s your thing.

damian-lillard

Say ‘Hello’ to: Chris Kaman! Reluctant to begin his post-NBA career as an evolutionary biology class specimen, the Caveman tries to jumpstart his career after an uninspiring turn with the Lakers. And the Blazers desperately need his help. [Read more…]

Controversy in OKC: Thunder/Clippers Game 5

By Darreck Kirby
PSDC NBA Writer

By now you’ve all likely seen or heard about the controversial pair of calls at the conclusion of Game 5 between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers. What you may not know, is that there shouldn’t even be a controversy to speak of.

Reggie.Jackson.Matt.Barnes.Controversial.Play

[Read more…]

Dallas Mavericks Playoff Preview: San Antonio Spurs

By Darreck Kirby
PSDC Dallas Mavericks Beat Writer

The Dallas Mavericks fell just short Wednesday night, not only losing to the Memphis Grizzlies by one in overtime but their grasp on the Western Conference’s seventh seed as well. As a result, the Mavs have drawn the short straw and will face the West’s top seed, San Antonio Spurs, whom they’ve lost nine straight to. What’s worse, they actually won the season series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the West’s No. 2 seed, 2-1, with both victories being quite recent. Facing the Spurs and not the Thunder in the opening round could very well deny Dallas a chance to advance in the postseason, although they would’ve been the underdog in either matchup. So how do the Mavs match up with the league’s lone 60-plus win team?

dirk-nowitzki-kawhi-leonard-dallas-mavericks-san-antonio-spurs

Offense: Led by Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis, Dallas’ offense has proven all year long that they can hang with the best of them, ranking eighth in points per game. The team also excels in assisting, where they rank sixth in the league. The Spurs, meanwhile, rank sixth in points per contest and first in assists, further solidifying them as the superior team, even in the Mavs’ strongest areas. [Read more…]

Dallas Mavericks Rise Up, Edge Thunder in OT

By Darreck Kirby
PSDC Dallas Mavericks Beat Writer

It was one of the most exciting games of the season for the Dallas Mavericks, and one almost nobody expected them to win. Sure, the team dominated the Thunder a little over a week ago, but the Thunder were without All Star point guard Russell Westbrook at the time, thus disrupting the flow of their offense and removing a large chunk of their scoring punch not named Kevin Durant. So what hope could they possibly have this time around?

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

As it turns out, plenty. Dallas came out with something to prove, not just to themselves but to the rest of the Western Conference, really. The team’s overtime loss Sunday night against the Nets dropped them outside of the playoff picture, leaving some to question their chances. But behind Dirk’s vintage performance (32 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals), and Monta Ellis’ fourth quarter brilliance, Dallas battled back to force overtime against the Thunder and who is certain to be the league’s MVP this year, Kevin Durant. [Read more…]

Five Things to Watch for in the Second Half of the NBA Season

By Jake Hyman
PSDC Writer

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

OK, I know the second half of the NBA season has technically already started but really, the All-Star break is the true midway point.

So here we are with Indiana sitting pretty at 40-12, the Phoenix Suns remarkably in the top eight in the West and the New York Knicks in complete disarray.

Here are five things to look forward to before the playoffs arrive and all hell breaks loose:

1. TRADE DEADLINE (THURSDAY 3:00 P.M. ET)

It is always an exciting time of the year as the trade deadline approaches with a lot of fruitless rumors and speculation. This year a question I keep hearing is, “Will Carmelo Anthony get dealt?” The answer is flat out NO. [Read more…]

Why Kevin Durant’s Run Isn’t Something To Be Ignored

By Darreck Kirby
PSDC Writer

It’s not every day that you see a scoring showcase quite like the one Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant has been putting on the past 12 games. Sure, Durant has always been a great scorer, but what he’s doing right now is something that hasn’t been seen in any form since 2003. That’s the last time a player, in this case Tracy McGrady, scored at least 30 points in at least consecutive 12 games (his streak ended at 14).

Kevin-Durant-Thunder

But what makes Durant’s run so impressive? Well for one he’s doing it without his All-Star sidekick Russell Westbrook. The OKC point guard has been out since Christmas Day after having his third knee surgery since April, but it hasn’t affected the Thunder’s overall play that much. Although they struggled initially, going 5-4 and falling back to fourth in the West, but now they’ve won nine straight and beaten some excellent teams along the way behind Durant’s increased barrage. They’ve beaten Houston, Portland, San Antonio, Sacramento, Golden State, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta and now defending Champion Miami during that stretch; no easy feat. [Read more…]

2013 NBA Draft Lottery: Team-by-Team Needs

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Big Man

Tonight, the NBA announced the winners of the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery. It goes without saying, if you are in the lottery you need a lot of help, but each team has a different need. This is how the lottery shook out and what needs each team needs to address in the draft this season.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers- SF, PF, C, SG

Cleveland is the only really bad team that already has a superstar, Kyrie Irving, now they need to get him some help. The really need an outside shooter at the two-guard or small forward position. Also, finding a replacement for Anderson Varejao needs to be addressed.

2. Orlando Magic- PG, PF, C, SG

Orlando only has one point-guard under contract and that is overpaid, under-talented, 31-year-old Jameer Nelson. Orlando has several young pieces from the Dwight Howard trade, but they don’t have a go-to scorer or a player that can get in the lane and make plays for others.

3. Washington Wizards- SF, PF, C

With John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Wizards are set in the backcourt. Washington needs to add more rebounding and better interior defense. A small forward that can shoot will help space the floor and open up the lane for Wall and Beal.  [Read more…]