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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Articles tagged: NBA playoffs 2018

Klay Thompson does not expect Stephen Curry back for start of next series

Stephen Curry

The Golden State Warriors were able to defeat the San Antonio Spurs in five games without Stephen Curry, but they are hoping that will be the only series they will have to play without the two-time MVP.

On Saturday, the Warriors will kick off their Western Conference semifinals series against the New Orleans Pelicans, who swept the Portland Trail Blazers. When asked if he expects to have Curry back, Klay Thompson did not sound all that optimistic.

Curry, who is recovering from an MCL sprain, began practicing again last weekend. One report made it seem like he is not all that close to returning to game action, but Warriors coach Steve Kerr claimed that information was inaccurate.

The Warriors should be able to beat the Pelicans without Curry, so they still aren’t going to rush the star point guard back. If they feel he could benefit from more time off, they’d probably be comfortable waiting until the conference finals.

Watch: Eric Bledsoe, Terry Rozier get techs for scuffle

Eric Bledsoe Terry Rozier

The Eric Bledsoe and Terry Rozier beef came to a head on Tuesday night.

Bledsoe and Rozier got into a scuffle during the third quarter of Game 5 between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics. The two shoved each other multiple times as Rozier was trying to run towards the baseline during an offensive possession. Bledsoe nailed Rozier with a football-type hit, which resulted in Rozier tossing him.

The two were called for double technical fouls for the incident, but nobody was ejected.

This scrap seemed to be brewing for a while. Bledsoe disrespected Rozier with comments made a week ago, indicated there was bad blood between them.

Watch: Meek Mill in Joel Embiid jersey, rings bell before Game 5

Meek Mill Joel Embiid jersey

Meek Mill was the VIP of VIPs at Game 5 of the playoffs between the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat on Tuesday.

Hours after being released from prison, the Philadelphia rapper headed to Wells Fargo Center where he arrived to much fanfare. Meek went to the 76ers’ locker room and was embraced by many of the players:

Meek put on a Joel Embiid jersey and then fired up the home crowd by ringing the bell prior to the playoff game:

Meek Mill’s case has received plenty of attention. Many felt his prison stay for a parole violation was a miscarriage of justice and campaigned for his release. Those attempts for justice were realized when the rapper was released on Tuesday. He was picked up from prison by a Sixers co-owner.

Watch: Marcus Smart gets ovation in return to Celtics

Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart returned to action for the Boston Celtics on Tuesday after a month and a half absence, and he received a standing ovation.

The Celtics guard checked into Game 5 of his team’s playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first quarter and was welcomed warmly by the fans.

Smart wasted no time showing off his hustle, as he dove for a loose ball.

The 24-year-old is averaging 10.2 points, 4.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game this season. He had been out since March 11 as he recovered from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb.

Russell Westbrook fined $10,000, gets tech for Rudy Gobert incident

Russell Westbrook Rudy Gobert

Russell Westbrook was fined $10,000 and assessed a technical foul for his incident with Rudy Gobert during Game 4 of the Thunder-Jazz series on Monday night.

Westbrook was entering the game with under eight minutes remaining and got into it with Gobert, who had just been fouled. The Oklahoma City guard made contact with Gobert:

The NBA reviewed the play and on Tuesday announced that Westbrook had been fined and received a tech.

The Jazz lead the series 3-1 after winning Game 4.

Chris Paul wary of Rockets’ 3-1 lead, has brought up Clippers’ 2015 collapse

Chris Paul Rockets

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, especially if their name is Chris Paul.

With a blowout win on Monday, the Houston Rockets took a 3-1 lead in their first-round series against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Addressing reporters on Tuesday, James Harden hinted that Paul was wary of the lead and brought up the 3-1 advantage his old team, the LA Clippers, blew to (ironically) the Rockets in the 2015 playoffs, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Paul has good reason to preach caution — he still has yet to make a conference finals in his 13-year career and (unfair or not) carries a bit of a reputation as a playoff choker, aided in part by that notorious collapse in 2015.

As for the Rockets, they now head into a potential closeout Game 5 at home Wednesday against the Wolves and obviously cannot get ahead of themselves. The good news though is that their leaders won’t let them get overconfident.

Warriors reporter pulled from coverage after allegedly stealing jacket from team

Warriors logo

A longtime Bay Area sports anchor been removed from covering the Warriors during their playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs after he allegedly stole a jacket from a team staffer.

Steve Berman of The Athletic reports that a video appeared to show ABC7/KGO-TV sports anchor Mike Shumann taking a jacket that belonged to Ralph Walker, the Warriors director of team security, following a practice at the AT&T Center in San Antonio late last week. ESPN reviewed the footage and confirmed that Shumann is visible on the tape and shown walking out of the AT&T Center with the jacket.

Shumann, a former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver who has been with KGO since 1994, was sent home and later apologized to individual Warriors players. The Athletic reports that several players are furious about the incident and do not want it simply brushed aside. Some have said they will refuse to do interviews with Shumann going forward. Walker is a highly respected member of the organization, and Stephen Curry personally thanked him when accepting his NBA MVP award in 2016.

“We are taking these allegations very seriously and conducting a full investigation,” a spokesperson for KGO said in a statement. “As a matter of policy, we do not comment about personnel matters.”

As an ABC/ESPN affiliate, ABC7 has exclusive access to interviews with Warriors players after playoff games. Shumann usually conducts those interviews, so it’s unclear how the network’s coverage will be affected going forward.

While Shumann obviously has a closer relationship with the team, the incident can’t help but remind us of the surreal events that took place after the Super Bowl two years ago. Shumann declined to comment when The Athletic reached out via phone.

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