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#pounditSaturday, October 24, 2020

Articles tagged: NBA playoffs 2018

Andre Iguodala still considered day-to-day by Warriors, is improving

Andre Iguodala

Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala is gradually improving from his knee issue, though he’s still considered doubtful for Game 2.

Iguodala is considered day-to-day, according to coach Steve Kerr, and may yet play in the series, though Sunday’s game still looks unlikely.

The Warriors have been maintaining that things are getting better for Iguodala, and the player himself has been doing the same. Perhaps there will be a change when the series shifts to Cleveland, though it’s slightly worrying that his status for Game 2 isn’t more optimistic despite the fact that there was a full two-day gap between Games 1 and 2.

Kobe Bryant weighs in on JR Smith’s blunder

We already know what LeBron James’ reaction was to JR Smith’s epic blunder on Thursday, and now another all-time great is giving his two cents as well.

Retired Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant posted a tweet Friday reacting to Smith forgetting the score and dribbling out the clock to ultimately cost his Cleveland Cavaliers Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Bryant used a fitting emoji to describe the play before advising Smith and the Cavs to forget it and move on.

What is interesting here is that Bryant, who played in seven Finals and won five championships during his illustrious NBA career, used almost identical language to describe the 27-55 season that the Lakers had in 2013-14.

Simply forgetting about such a devastating gaffe that led to such a devastating loss may be easier said than done for the Cavs, especially against a seemingly invincible team like the Golden State Warriors. But at least Bryant was much more forgiving of Smith than the Internet was.

Ty Lue backs JR Smith, says he will start Game 2

LeBron JR Smith

Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue isn’t worrying about J.R. Smith going forward, despite his massive blunder at the end of Game 1 of regulation.

Lue said Friday that he hasn’t lost confidence in Smith, and that he will start Game 2, believing he can shake off the mistake he made when he seemed to forget the score in the final possession of regulation.

Smith and Lue couldn’t even get their stories straight on what actually happened. Lue knows it does Smith and the Cavaliers no good to keep talking about it, though, so he’s going to praise his player and try to move on as quickly as possible. The team has no other choice.

Warriors defend taking last shot, not accepting shot clock violation

Tristan Thompson Draymond Green

The Golden State Warriors think they had every right to put up a shot with five seconds left in overtime instead of taking a shot clock violation.

The play, with the Warriors up ten, led to Tristan Thompson’s ejection, but nobody on Golden State would do things any differently. In fact, it was done on coach Steve Kerr’s orders, as he has told his team to never take a shot clock violation if they can avoid it.

“If there’s time on the clock and the shot clock differential, whatever, just play it to the end. I don’t think we would get on our feelings if somebody came down and finished out a possession and got a shot up,” Stephen Curry said, via Mark Medina of Bay Area News Group. “Obviously, if they’re doing some taunting or doing some crazy stuff, that’s a little different. But if you’re just playing the game of basketball and finishing out a possession instead of taking a turnover, I don’t see any problem with that at all. Guys are out there to finish a game and play the right way. So I think that’s part of playing the right way.”

“It’s no disrespect to any other team. It’s just what we do,” Kevin Durant said. “We don’t want to take the turnover. We take the shot. So we’ve been doing that all year, since I’ve been here, too.”

All the same, that did not sit well with Thompson, who likely won’t care for these explanations either.

Draymond Green had hilarious reaction to JR Smith’s Game 1 blunder

JR Smith LeBron James

JR Smith had one of the biggest mental lapses in NBA playoff history at the end of Game 1 of the Finals on Thursday, and you knew the most outspoken player on the Golden State Warriors’ roster would have something to say about it.

As you have likely seen, Smith grabbed an offensive rebound on a free throw with the game tied and just seconds remaining in regulation. Instead of going right up with the ball and trying to hit a game-winning shot, he pulled it out and looked like he was trying to kill the clock. When Green and Stephen Curry were asked about the play, Green’s reaction was priceless.

The assumption was that Smith thought the Cavs had a lead, but he later claimed he knew it was tied and expected Tyronn Lue to call a timeout. While Green’s face said it all, he also offered up his own theory.

“I guess that further goes along with my theory,” Green said. “I thought he was looking for LeBron (James). I would have looked for LeBron too, I guess.”

LeBron was understandably furious over the play, and his reaction led to Smith becoming an instant meme sensation. The Cavs went on to lose in overtime, so the mistake proved to be incredibly costly.

Kevin Love not concerned about discipline for leaving bench during scuffle

Kevin Love

Tristan Thompson may be facing disciplinary action from the NBA for the scuffle he was involved in late in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but Kevin Love is confident the same will not be true for him.

Thompson was ejected with 2.6 seconds remaining in the game when he threw an elbow into Warriors guard Shaun Livingston, who was attempting a meaningless jump-shot. As Thompson was leaving the court, he shoved Draymond Green and a scrum broke out.

During that shoving match, Love was seen walking onto the court. Leaving the bench area during a fight is supposed to trigger an automatic suspension in the NBA, but Love insists he was already on the court trying to get the officials’ attention before the scuffle began. This video seems to support his claim:

As soon as Thompson threw the first shove, Love turned around and headed back to the bench area. He shouldn’t have been on the court in the first place, but walking out to get a referee’s attention doesn’t result in an automatic suspension like walking out during a fight does.

Thompson should probably be more worried about being suspended than Love. The Cavaliers big man had already been ejected before he took part in the extracurricular activities, so the NBA will have to determine if he left the court in a timely fashion. Plus, his explanation for why he was so upset may not hold a lot of weight.

LeBron James expects to have blurry vision for a while after Draymond Green poke

LeBron James eye

LeBron James ended up with a nasty-looking red spot on his eye after he was fouled by Draymond Green early in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, and the Cleveland Cavaliers star expects to still be feeling the effects of the injury over the weekend.

While speaking with reporters after his team’s 124-114 overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors, LeBron said his vision was blurry during Game 1 and got worse as the night went on. He expects the blurred vision to continue for “the next couple of days.”

In his typical fashion, Green protested the foul call and picked up a technical. He really had no business arguing, and the spot left on LeBron’s eye is proof of that if this video of the play isn’t enough:

Fortunately, the Cavs and Warriors have two days off before Game 2 on Sunday. Between LeBron’s eye issue and how chippy things got at the end of Game 1, both sides could use the rest.

JR Smith, Ty Lue differ on explanation for blunder

LeBron JR Smith

JR Smith seems to be trying to cover his tracks for his mental mistake at the end of Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.

After George Hill missed a free throw, the game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors was tied. Smith snagged an offensive rebound and then dribbled as if he thought the Cavs had the lead and he was running out the clock.

Video even appeared to show Smith explaining to LeBron James that he thought the Cavs were ahead rather than tied at 104.

Alas, the game was tied and the mistake cost the Cavs a chance to try and win it. Cleveland got blown out in overtime.

After the game, everyone was asked about the play. Cavaliers head coach Ty Lue said Smith thought the team was ahead. Smith tried to cover his behind and tell everyone he knew the game was tied.

Unfortunately for JR, most think he’s lying, and the video evidence is a big reason why. At least he gave us a funny meme with his mistake.

Tristan Thompson upset over ‘bulls—’ Shaun Livingston shot

Tristan Thompson Draymond Green

Tristan Thompson was thrown out of Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night, and now he is sounding off on the circumstances that led to it.

During the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 124-114 loss in overtime, Thompson was ejected in the final seconds for committing a flagrant 2 foul on former teammate Shaun Livingston. The Golden State Warriors guard took a late shot with the game already decided, and Thompson did not appear to appreciate it.

After the game, Thompson said that he didn’t think Livingston’s shot was appropriate, calling it ‘some bulls–t.’ Here is video of his comments, but obviously beware of the foul language:

After fouling Livingston, Thompson then got into it with another Warrior, which may now subject him to a possible suspension from the league for Game 2. Livingston’s shot may have been questionable, but Thompson has to exercise more restraint there, especially as one of the Cavs’ lone quality bigs.

Steve Kerr implies LeBron James playing better than even MJ

LeBron James

LeBron James has been playing incredible basketball this postseason. He’s been so good that Steve Kerr seemed to even put him in a class above Michael Jordan.

LeBron scored 51 points in a great performance in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night against the Golden State Warriors. If not for an overturned foul call, missed George Hill free throw, and blunder by JR Smith, the Cleveland Cavaliers might have won Game 1. Instead, the Warriors came out ahead 124-114 in overtime.

After the game, the Warriors head coach had high praise for LeBron James.

“They have a guy who’s playing basketball at a level I’m not sure anyone has ever seen before,” Kerr said after the game.

Keep in mind that Kerr was a teammate of MJ on the Chicago Bulls and won three championships with Jordan. Few are better qualified to speak on that topic than a guy who played alongside Jordan and is now coaching against LeBron.