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#pounditSunday, September 27, 2020

Articles tagged: NBA playoffs 2018

Twitter critics crush struggling Jordan Clarkson

Jordan Clarkson

Jordan Clarkson continued to struggle in the postseason during Game 2 of the NBA Finals, and the Twitter critics were all over him.

The Cleveland Cavaliers guard came in for four minutes early in the second quarter. He missed a jumper, made a layup, and then got his shot blocked by David West before being replaced.

In Game 1, Clarkson wasn’t much better as he shot just 2-for-9 against the Golden State Warriors. He’s shooting just 30.3 percent in the postseason.

Folks were mocking Clarkson and the Cavaliers’ insistence upon using him despite his struggles. Here’s a sample of some of the tweets.

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Warriors fans hilariously cheer JR Smith during intros

JR Smith LeBron James

Those Golden State Warriors fans are savages.

Usually during team introductions before a game, the home fans will boo the opposing players. That was mostly the case before Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, except for a specific case.

Warriors fans actually gave JR Smith hearty cheers as if he were a member of the Warriors. Of course, the cheers were a nod to Smith’s huge blunder at the end of Game 1.

Dubs fans also were said to have cheered George Hill, who missed a key free throw that could have given Cleveland the lead in Game 1. We also appreciate the poster one fan had to troll JR.

That wasn’t all – the fun continued after Smith went to the free throw line and they chanted MVP!

LeBron James’ eye still red for Game 2

LeBron James eye

LeBron James’ left eye was still quite red for Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

During Game 1 between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, James was poked in the eye by Draymond Green while going up for a shot. After he was poked, James’ left eye was noticeably red in the corner.

Prior to the start of Game 2, cameras focused on James’ face and showed that the redness was still visible.

James said after the Game 1 his vision in that eye was still blurry. While there’s no telling if James’ vision is still less than 100 percent, it’s obvious the redness has not subsided.

Warriors fan has perfect poster trolling JR Smith

JR Smith poster

Those Golden State Warriors fans can be ruthless.

Ahead of Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, one Warriors fan brought a poster to Oracle Arena that trolled Cleveland’s JR Smith over his mental mistake in Game 1.

Yup, Smith was the real MVP.

Although George Hill missed a free throw that could have given the Cavaliers the lead in the game, it was Smith who made the mental error of thinking the game was tied when it wasn’t. That cost the Cavs a shot to potentially win the game after he grabbed an offensive rebound following Hill’s miss.

Steve Kerr ‘optimistic’ Andre Iguodala will play in Finals

Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala won’t play in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, but Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr sounds more confident than ever that he will feature at some point in the series.

Kerr said prior to Game 2 that he is “optimistic” that Iguodala will play at some point in the series as he recovers from a knee bruise.

Iguodala is said to be improving, and is effectively being considered day-to-day. Kerr obviously isn’t going to give a timeline — Iguodala has been slow to recover since suffering the injury in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals roughly two weeks ago. It’s also unclear if he’d get back in time if Golden State made it a short series.

Report: Klay Thompson expected to play Sunday

Klay Thompson

The Golden State Warriors are reportedly likely to at least have Klay Thompson in the lineup for Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, the wide expectation is that Thompson will play in Game 2, though it is unknown how effective he’ll be playing through a high ankle sprain he suffered in Game 1.

Despite the apparent seriousness of the ankle injury, all signs point to Thompson playing. It swelled up in a major way after he finished Game 1, and he has required extensive treatment to get ready for Sunday night’s game. His presence will help, but we won’t know how much of an impact the ankle is having on his play until tip.

Kevin Durant critical of himself for Game 1 shot selection

Kevin Durant Warriors

The Golden State Warriors managed to pull out the win in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but Kevin Durant knows he has some adjustments to make on offense.

Speaking with reporters on Saturday, the star forward was critical of himself for his performance in the opening game and said that he took risky shots instead of smart ones, per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.

Durant did finish with 26 points in the 124-114 overtime victory but shot just 8-for-22 from the field and 1-for-7 from deep. He often played right into the Cleveland Cavaliers’ defensive gameplan by holding onto the ball, sputtering the offense, and settling for contested long 2s, just as he did at times in the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets.

The nine-time All-Star talked some mess before the series, but smarter offensive play will indeed be needed from Durant if he is to live up to it.

LeBron James says Game 1 loss was one of the toughest of his career

LeBron James

Cleveland’s deflating loss in Game 1 of the NBA Finals was on a level of its own, even for a player who has been through as much as LeBron James has.

Speaking with reporters on Saturday, the Cavaliers star called Thursday’s defeat one of the toughest losses of his NBA career but expressed optimism heading into Sunday’s Game 2. He also said that the poked eye he suffered in the game was feeling a lot better, per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.

James has, of course, played in the league for 15 years and seen his fair share of devastating defeats, including five times losing in the Finals. But coming within a JR Smith brain cramp of stealing Game 1 from a heavily-favored all-time team like the Warriors on their home floor is probably unprecedented, even for James. Now we wait to see how he and the Cavs respond on Sunday.

JR Smith seems to walk back reason for play at end of Game 1

JR Smith LeBron James

J.R. Smith seems to have admitted that he wasn’t quite forthcoming with his explanation for his mistake late in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Smith grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed George Hill free throw and dribbled out the clock at the end of the fourth quarter, seemingly thinking the Cleveland Cavaliers were ahead when they were actually tied. After the game, Smith claimed he knew the score and was waiting for someone to call timeout.

On Saturday, he seemed to hedge a bit on his own explanation.

Smith messed up. Everyone knows it, in spite of his efforts to save face. On Sunday, he’ll have a chance to make things right and put it all behind him.

Report: Klay Thompson receiving around-the-clock treatment to play in Game 2

Klay Thompson JR Smith

Klay Thompson’s ankle situation is significant enough that he’s in a fight to play in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, according to a report.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported Saturday that Thompson is dealing with a high ankle sprain and significant bruising stemming from a Game 1 collision with Cleveland’s J.R. Smith, and is being treated constantly to get through Game 2.

The injury looked quite severe live, and Thompson was later diagnosed with a lateral leg contusion and returned to the game. Things appear to be more serious than initially reported. It sounds like Thompson will play, but he may not be pain-free and doesn’t appear likely to be 100 percent.