• The playoffs begin on Saturday, thankfully, which means it’s that lovely time of spring (and it is spring, right? It’s not going to snow again, is it?) when the minds behind Ball Don’t Lie to offer you their thoughts on the upcoming pairings in the first round of the NBA’s postseason.

    Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test

    The Houston Rockets ascended just as the Portland Trail Blazers descended over second half of the season, but both teams ended 2013-14 with weird little stretches that should leave fans sufficiently pleased and intrigued with their first round playoff series.

    Portland’s playoff seeding status was all but assured, the team truly had little to play for over the last couple of weeks of the season, but the roster still reeled off nine wins in ten tries to end the year. This included several wins over lottery teams that had little to play for, but one should note that the group shot back to life offensively against several very good playoff teams (Chicago, Golden State,

    Read More »from Ball Don’t Lie’s 2013-14 Playoff Previews: Houston Rockets vs. Portland Trail Blazers
  • The playoffs begin on Saturday, thankfully, which means it’s that lovely time of spring (and it is spring, right? It’s not going to snow again, is it?) when the minds behind Ball Don’t Lie to offer you their thoughts on the upcoming pairings in the first round of the NBA’s postseason.

    Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test

    If you’ve been removed, understand the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards have done exactly as they’ve been told. Even if their fans should be a little uneasy about where each team is at.

    Washington’s financial and future salary-cap fixture isn’t exactly a Knicks-styled nightmare, but it did give up just about all its assets to cash in on the absolute top potential of this current lot. It’s made the playoffs – all right! well earned! – but this was a squad built to move into the first or possibly second round of the playoffs and little else. The team has benefitted, for once, from relatively good health, with the possible exception of big man Nene, who has returned to

    Read More »from Ball Don’t Lie’s 2013-14 Playoff Previews: Chicago Bulls vs. Washington Wizards
  • Bellator fighter Rick Hawn became a seasoned competitor long ago. The Judo player has competed on national and international levels since he was a child.

    That's probably why the fighter is able to be so fiery in the ring but cool as chilled steel just a few days before fighting for a major championship. Cagewriter is visiting with Hawn as he heads into an April 18 fight against Douglas Lima for the vacant Bellator welterweight title, and he's calm and unhurried as we pester him with technical questions about the differences between Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

    Hawn is also relaxed as he talks about taking on Lima but admits that winning the Bellator title would be a major accomplishment. "It would mean a lot," he says.

    Hawn is well-acquainted with desire. His dad had studied Judo before Rick was born and got his son into class early on.

    By the time Hawn was 12, he had a specific goal in Judo - make the U.S. Olympic team. It was an unusual amount of certainty and commitment for a 12

    Read More »from Rick Hawn looks to bring it in Bellator title bout
  • The match between relegation threatened Blackpool and promotion hopefuls Burnley proved interesting for reasons other than the football. First, Blackpool supporters forced the match to be momentarily halted early on when they threw tennis balls and oranges onto the pitch in a prearranged protest against the club's owner, Karl Oyston and the lack of investment that has put the club in danger of dropping further down the Football League after their one season in the Premier League in 2010/11.

    (Getty)

    The protest would prove to be a high-point on the day for Blackpool though, as assistant coach Bob Malcolm brought the club to a new low when he hit Stephen Dobbie, one of Blackpool's own players, in the face during an animated argument just before Dobbie entered the match in the 70th minute. Dobbie still came on despite the altercation, but Malcolm, who was ruling the touchline with an iron fist while caretaker player-manager Barry Ferguson was on the pitch, was sent to the stands by the match

    Read More »from Blackpool assistant coach sent off for hitting his own player in the face
  • The playoffs begin on Saturday, thankfully, which means it’s that lovely time of spring (and it is spring, right? It’s not going to snow again, is it?) when the minds behind Ball Don’t Lie to offer you their thoughts on the upcoming pairings in the first round of the NBA’s postseason.

    Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test

    For those just hopping to the NBA season, understand the Charlotte Bobcats didn’t luck or back their way into their second (and final, considering the franchise’s imminent name change) playoffs.

    Sadly for Charlotte, the Miami Heat didn’t, either.

    You didn’t hear much about the Miami Heat this year, comparatively, because a lack of a 27-game winning streak will do that to a nation’s fancy. The Indiana Pacers held the Eastern Conference’s best record for nearly every day of the 2013-14 regular season, the San Antonio Spurs finished with the league’s best regular season record yet again, and Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant will likely and rightfully lope away

    Read More »from Ball Don’t Lie’s 2013-14 Playoff Previews: Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Bobcats
  •  

    Since losing a decision to Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren in 2012, Douglas Lima has won four straight fights via KO or TKO and has earned another crack at the title. He'll get it tonight in Council Bluffs, Iowa in the main event of Bellator 117.

    Lima will get another shot at Bellator gold tonight but won't get a chance at revenge with Askren. Though Askren never lost his belt, he was released by the promotion and allowed to walk away.

    Now, the belt is vacant and Lima will take on Rick Hawn, who is also on a red-hot four win fight streak. The Brazilian admits that he hoped to be able to face Askren for the belt.

    "It is a little bit of a let down, yeah," he tells Cagewriter.

    "Anytime you have a loss like that you want to try and get even."

    That said, Lima is focused on things he can control - namely being ready for Hawn, a former Olympic Judo competitor with nasty strikes on the feet.

    "But, you know what, being a champion is what is important to me," Lima goes on.

    "I want

    Read More »from Douglas Lima looks to bring Bellator title home
  • The playoffs begin on Saturday, thankfully, which means it’s that lovely time of spring (and it is spring, right? It’s not going to snow again, is it?) when the minds behind Ball Don’t Lie offer you their thoughts on the upcoming pairings in the first round of the NBA’s postseason.

    Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test

    Without the paper, this looks like yet another fantastic Western pairing. San Antonio and Dallas, those ancient combatants, teams that took on each other to great acclaim several postseason times over the course of the dueling Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki eras, in a first-round matchup that shouldn’t be predetermined by Dallas’ stinkful eighth seed and San Antonio’s well-worked top overall seed in the Western Conference.

    In 2014, though, these records seem to hold out. Dallas is a respected 49-win team, one that had to navigate a terrific Western Conference and make sure that every game counted down the tough playoff-earning stretch. San Antonio is a league-best 62-win

    Read More »from Ball Don’t Lie’s 2013-14 Playoff Previews: San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks
  • Being a professional golfer has plenty of perks, but on Friday at the European Tour's Maybank Malaysian Open one of the players in the field ran into a situation that was anything but desirable.

    Pablo Larrazabal, a 30-year-old professional golfer from Spain, was playing his round when hornets came after him. Larrazabal tried to get the hornets off with a towel, but it wasn't enough as he was stung nearly 20 times, eventually jumping in a nearby lake to get the critters off him.

    Larrazabal eventually got out of the lake, dried off, got a new shirt and went to hit his shot on the par-5 5th hole, knocking it up there to about 15 feet and rolling in the putt for a very unexpected birdie.

    "Like 30 or 40 of them started to attack me, big time," Larrazabal said after his round. "Maybe the scariest moment of my career by far."

    The video of the attack is below, and make sure to check out his post-round interview to hear what he had to say about the crazy happenings at Kuala Lumpur Golf and

    Read More »from Pablo Larrazabal gets stung by hornets, jumps in lake, makes birdie immediately after
  • Hefty Marseille striker Andre-Pierre Gignac is threatening legal action against Burger King over a newspaper ad poking fun at his weight. The fast food chain is taking a second crack at the French market and as part of their relaunch, they decided to use a twist on PSG fans' popular "a Big Mac for Gignac" chant.

    So they swapped out the name of McDonald's burger for their own in an ad that appeared in Marseille newspapers.

    This reportedly upset Gignac (perhaps because they didn't actually give him any Whoppers), whose lawyer is now threatening legal action for unauthorized use and denigration of the striker's name. Gignac has scored 19 goals in all competitions this season and he's currently joint-third on the list of Ligue 1's top scorers. So if he is eating lots of burgers, it seems to be working for him.

    - - - - - - -

    Brooks Peck is the

    Read More »from Marseille striker threatens to sue Burger King over Whopper ad
  • Spurs have announced that they're not asking for Real Madrid to give them back Gareth Bale, but if the Spanish giants decide to do it on their own, it would be very, very nice of them. This comes after Bale scored the winning goal against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final in dramatic fashion, while Tottenham hope to retain sixth place in the Premier League.

    "We're not proposing that Real Madrid return Gareth to us in exchange for their money back because we've already spent all of the money on seven lottery tickets," Spurs chairman Daniel Levy mumbled to himself while eating his breakfast this morning. "So that's out. But if Real Madrid would like to just give Gareth Bale back to us as a gift, it would be impolite to refuse. And we certainly wouldn't want to be rude to such a kind, generous, understanding and dare I say handsome club."

    Spurs have regressed this season without the star who scored seven match-winning goals for them last year. The seven players brought in last summer

    Read More »from Future News: Tottenham declare that it would be nice if Real Madrid just gave Gareth Bale back to them

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