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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Articles tagged: NBA playoffs 2018

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.

Report: Andre Iguodala is pain-free, nearing return

Andre Iguodala

Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala is reportedly closing in on a return having not played since Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.

According to Chris Haynes of ESPN, Iguodala did a full workout and sprinted on Saturday, and while he didn’t play in Game 2, he is pain-free and anticipates returning before the series is over.

“I aim to play in Game 3, but I’ve aimed to play in Game 2 and Game 3,” Iguodala told ESPN after Game 2. “We’ll just have to see.”

Iguodala being pain-free is a pretty big deal, as it was one of the major tests he would have to pass in order to return. His coach anticipates that he’ll play before the series ends, and it sounds as though Wednesday’s Game 3 is actually a realistic target for a possible return to action.

Report: Warriors players angry over ‘dangerous play’ from Kendrick Perkins

Kendrick Perkins Steph Curry

Kendrick Perkins was not even wearing a uniform during Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, but that did not stop the veteran big man from angering his opponents and getting into a confrontation.

At the end of the third quarter of Golden State’s win over the Cavaliers, Stephen Curry tripped over Perkins’ legs on a 3-point attempt as time expired. Curry felt that Perkins either stuck his feet out or made no effort to move, and he immediately confronted him. ESPN’s Chris Haynes reports that several of Curry’s teammates were also bothered by the “dangerous play” and felt Curry could have suffered a serious knee or ankle injury because of Perkins’ “reluctance to move his knees and feet.”

Curry chose not to explain why he was so angry.

“I’m not going to get into it,” he told Haynes. “No comment.”

Perkins was signed by the Cavs late in the season and has not played a significant role on the court, but he’s managed to become part of the story on multiple occasions. Between the tripping in Game 2, his incident with Draymond Green in Game 1 and the beef he had with Drake, Perkins has attracted plenty of attention.

LeBron James after Game 2 defeat: ‘It sucks to lose’

LeBron James

LeBron James put things pretty simply after a Game 2 loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals on Sunday night.

LeBron’s Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Warriors 122-103 to drop down 2-0 in the series. James was asked after the game whether he can enjoy the competition at all despite losing.

“Absolutely not. It sucks to lose,” James said. “It sucks when you go out there and give it everything that you have and you prep, and your mind is in it, your body is in it, and you come out on the losing end. But nothing would ever take the love of the game away from me. I think the competition is something I live for. It sucks to lose, that’s for sure. But it definitely won’t stop me from preparing to be better the next day.”

The whole question was pretty silly. Did someone expect James to say he appreciates the tough battles with the Warriors while his team is losing? Not a chance. The guy is a competitor and is going to battle undermanned. There’s nothing satisfying or pleasing about that.

Tristan Thompson not happy about Stephen Curry question

Tristan Thompson

Stephen Curry was all that anyone could talk about during Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, much to the annoyance of Tristan Thompson.

After Curry dropped 33 points on an NBA Finals-record nine triples in Golden State’s 122-103 win over Cleveland, Thompson was asked by a reporter in the locker room if the Cavaliers felt “helpless” trying to guard the two-time MVP. Thompson dropped a number of expletives in response and proceeded to cut his interview short. He also gave a vulgar reply to another question about the officiating, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

It was obviously a frustrating evening for Thompson, who finished with just five rebounds (albeit 11 points) and regularly found himself stuck on an island defending Curry in Cleveland’s switch-heavy scheme.

Curry’s night was certainly historic and led to some great Twitter reactions. But it is never fun to be on the other side of such a performance, as Thompson and the Cavs can attest to.

Steph Curry cracks joke about Klay Thompson’s ankle injury

Stephen Curry was in a good enough mood after Game 2 of the NBA Finals to deliver a funny line about his history of ankle injuries.

During Game 1, Klay Thompson suffered an ankle sprain after a collision with JR Smith. He reportedly received around-the-clock treatment prior to Game 2.

Thompson did play in Game 2 and scored 20 points in 34 minutes on the floor. After the game, Thompson was responding to a question about his ankle when Curry interjected with a line that prompted laughter.

Curry has had his share of ankle injuries during his career. If there’s one person who knows what it’s like dealing with one and recovering from one, it would be him. Thompson certainly has a good resource at his disposal.