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#pounditThursday, October 29, 2020

Articles tagged: NBA playoffs 2018

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert throws shade at referees during Game 3

Dan Gilbert

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was not happy with the free throw disparity during the first half of Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night.

Cleveland went into the locker room with a 58-52 halftime lead over the Golden State Warriors. However, they did not attempt a single free throw during the first half. Upon receiving the halftime score sheet, Gilbert tweeted a photo and circled the free throw attempts and makes for both teams. He later deleted the post.

Perhaps something was pointed out to the referees, because it did not take them long to send LeBron James to the free throw line in the third quarter.

Gilbert surely wasn’t the only one at Quicken Loans Arena who noticed the lack of free throws for the Cavaliers.

Andre Iguodala hobbles to locker room before halftime

Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala headed to the locker room early during Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday.

Iguodala took a pass late in the second quarter and drove to the basket for a layup attempt. As he went up, he was challenged at the hoop and got fouled. Iguodala appeared to be hurt after he landed and was walking around gingerly.

ABC cameras later showed Iguodala heading to the locker room before the game went to halftime. He appeared to be limping somewhat.

Game 3 marked Iguodala’s first appearance in the series. He had been sidelined by a knee injury suffered late in Game 3 of the Golden State Warriors’ series with the Houston Rockets.

Iguodala played 11 minutes in the first half, scoring four points.

Draymond Green nearing suspension after latest technical foul

Draymond Green

Draymond Green is nearing an automatic suspension after being called for his latest technical foul.

Green and Tristan Thompson were called for double-technicals midway through the first quarter of Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. The two had been jawing for a while, so the refs decided to do something about it.

Not only did the double techs put each player one tech away from an automatic ejection from the game, but they also moved Green closer to a suspension.

That was Green’s fifth technical foul of the playoffs. A player receives a one-game suspension if they amass seven techs during the playoffs.

Green was also called for a foul a minute later and was furious about it, though he did not confront an official. And to think: Steve Kerr actually said this about Draymond earlier in the postseason.

Kendrick Perkins fires back at Warriors over Stephen Curry incident

Kendrick Perkins Steph Curry

The Golden State Warriors were not pleased with Kendrick Perkins over an incident with Stephen Curry on Sunday, and now the veteran big man is taking an opportunity to hit back at them.

Curry and Perkins got into it with each other during the Warriors’ Game 2 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers when the former tripped over the legs of the latter on an end-of-the-quarter three-point attempt from the corner. Perkins, who is inactive, was sitting on the Cavs bench at the time.

The Warriors were reportedly angry over the “dangerous” play and concerned that Curry could have suffered an ankle or knee injury as a result of Perkins not moving his legs out of the way.

On Tuesday, Perkins responded to those gripes in an interview with Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

“I was just sitting there and [Curry] landed on my leg,” said the 33-year-old. “And he was standing over my leg and I don’t understand what people want me to do. He was like, ‘What you on?’ and I’m like, ‘What you mean what I’m on?’ I’m sitting over here.

“I don’t know why people keep wanting to pick battles this way,” Perkins continued. “Might want to choose that [expletive] wisely, man, [rather] than [bleeping] with me. I don’t think I’m the problem that they want, though, might want to pick another battle.”

Perkins, who has carried a reputation as an intimidator throughout his NBA career, has not played in a single game for the Cavs this postseason but has functioned as an assistant coach of sorts for them, yelling instructions from the bench. His vocal presence in the Finals previously made him a target of another Warriors player as well.

Tristan Thompson explains why he got so angry over ‘helpless’ question

Tristan Thompson

Tristan Thompson became so frustrated with a question after Game 2 that he abruptly walked out of an interview, and on Tuesday he explained what it was about the question that irritated him so much.

After Stephen Curry scored 33 in the Golden State Warriors’ 122-103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, a reporter asked Thompson if he felt “helpless” at times trying to guard the two-time NBA MVP. He did not react positively, to say the least.

On Tuesday, Thompson told reporters it was a “dumb question.”

“That was a dumb question,” he said. “It just made no sense. Do you feel helpless? You (might) feel helpless if you’re getting robbed at gunpoint. That’s helpless. It’s basketball.”

Thompson was probably taking the question too literally, but you can understand his frustration. Curry was on fire in the game, which was summarized nicely with all of the posts about him we saw on social media. The Cavs will be a step closer to getting swept if they allow Curry to do that in Game 3 — whether they feel “helpless” or not.

Did Draymond Green troll LeBron James with ‘Be Better’ shirt?

The petty wars in this year’s NBA Finals continue.

During his media availability session on Tuesday, Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green wore a shirt that read “Be Natural, Be Better” on the back. Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports shared an image:

The timing of Green’s fashion statement is interesting to say the least. After Game 1 of the Finals last week, LeBron James walked out of his postgame press conference and told the media to “be better tomorrow” in a viral clip that Warriors head coach Steve Kerr also made a funny reference to recently.

As for Green, he is coming from a position of strength since the Warriors are currently up 2-0 on James and the Cavaliers. The two players also have a well-known history of trolling each other, so the shirt was probably no coincidence.

Andre Iguodala upgraded to questionable for Game 3

Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala has seemingly been getting closer to return to action with the Golden State Warriors, and Steve Kerr expressed some optimism over the veteran swingman’s status for the first time in a while on Tuesday.

While speaking with reporters, Kerr revealed that Iguodala has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable for Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

Barring some sort of setback, it sounds like Golden State will be getting Iguodala back by Game 4 at the latest. Fortunately for them, there is no reason to rush him back now that they have jumped out to a 2-0 series lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Iguodala was named the NBA Finals MVP in 2015, and a big reason for that was the excellent defense he played on LeBron James. The latest report we heard about his injured knee sounded very promising, so there’s no reason he can’t go right back to playing that role if he’s cleared for Game 3.

Tyronn Lue says Cavs will ‘give Rodney Hood a chance’ in Game 3

Rodney Hood has basically been a non-factor for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the postseason, and his playing time has decreased with each series. After he got on the floor for four minutes in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Tyronn Lue says Hood will be called upon to contribute more in Game 3.

Lue told reporters on Tuesday that Hood is going to get an opportunity on Wednesday night, but the Cavs coach would not say if he is planning to make starting lineup changes.

Hood technically got a “chance” in Game 2, but Lue must be talking about giving the 25-year-old more than just four minutes. Given the way the first two games have gone for Cleveland, that makes sense.

After he played horribly in the Cavs’ second-round sweep of the Toronto Raptors, Hood has basically been taken out of Lue’s rotation. He was a DNP in four of the last five games Cleveland played against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, and he didn’t touch the floor in Game 1 against the Warriors.

Hood is fortunate he wasn’t suspended or fined by the Cavs for the stunt he pulled earlier this postseason, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Lue knows his team needs a spark in order to have any chance of beating Golden State, so he might as well give Hood a shot.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst took brutal shot at Jordan Clarkson after Game 2

Brian Windhorst

Jordan Clarkson has had a rough NBA Finals so far to say the least, and now he is taking body shots from the media as well.

In an appearance Monday on ESPN’s “The Hoop Collective,” veteran reporter Brian Windhorst took a savage swipe at the Cleveland Cavaliers guard for his performance in the first two games against the Golden State Warriors.

“What would be more valuable to the Cavs? Jordan Clarkson or Kyrie Irving, on crutches, on the court, getting treated for a bacterial infection, with the IV bag coming down with him?” asked Windhorst.

Clarkson has managed only six total points and one total assist in the series so far, shooting just 3-for-13 from the field. Coupled with his below-average defense, it is clear he is hurting the Cavs on both ends of the floor right now.

Granted, perhaps Clarkson deserves some slack after being acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers at the February trade deadline and being asked to make the transition from a free-reign sixth man on a bottom-feeding team to a valuable (at least in theory) role player for a title-contending juggernaut.

Regardless though, the 25-year-old is taking heat from everywhere right now, and even Windhorst can’t resist getting his digs in.

H/T NBA Reddit

JaVale McGee says Game 2 win was ‘most fun I’ve had in basketball’

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee has played in over 550 games for five different teams during his NBA career, but the veteran big man has never had more fun than he did in the Golden State Warriors’ Game 2 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.

McGee drew a somewhat surprising start in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, and he rewarded Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s confidence in him by scoring 12 points in 18 minutes. It was the 30-year-old’s first ever NBA Finals start, and to say he was excited would be an understatement.

“I wasn’t necessarily surprised,” McGee said, per Melissa Rohlin of the San Jose Mercury News. “But I was honored. Is that the word? Yeah, I was honored.”

McGee threw down two dunks in the first minute of the game, and he was a big reason why the crowd at Oracle Arena was hyped up from the opening tip. He said the fans were so loud he had trouble communicating with his teammates.

“I’m trying to call screens for [Draymond Green] while he’s on LeBron [James] and he can’t hear me,” McGee said. “I’m screaming at the top of my lungs.”

The Warriors’ four All-Star starters typically play well when McGee starts alongside them, and JaVale thinks that has something to do with opposing teams paying no attention to him. He said his job is simply to “get to the open spot and just dunk the ball” when defenders try to stop Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.

While McGee admits he was a bit jittery during last year’s championship run, the 7-footer says he’s now just having fun.

“There’s way less nerves,” he said. “Last year was the first Finals I was in, so it was more uhhhh uhhhh. Now it’s just basketball. … It’s the most fun I’ve had in basketball.”

For a guy who has been ruthlessly mocked for some embarrassing flubs throughout his career, it’s nice to see McGee make a contribution to a winning cause. That must be a refreshing feeling for him.