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.
Sources: Warriors star Klay Thompson is dealing with high left ankle sprain and significant bruising, receiving treatment around clock with plan to play in Game 2 of Finals.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 2, 2018
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.
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.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr described Andre Iguodala (leg) as day-to-day and says he is still doubtful for Game 2 although he is improving.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) June 2, 2018
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.
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.
play. Flush it. Move on #nbafinals2018
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) June 1, 2018
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.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) April 16, 2014
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.
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.
Tyronn Lue defends JR Smith on a conference call saying, “JR can shake off anything,” and points out that had Smith not grabbed the offensive rebound off the missed free throw, the Warriors could have had a chance to win it in regulation.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 1, 2018
“He will start. And no, I haven’t lost confidence. JR (Smith) can shake it off,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) June 1, 2018
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.
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.
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.
Draymond Green with an absolutely priceless reaction when told JR Smith told reporters he knew game was tied….. wait for it… pic.twitter.com/HRjxiwGOtn
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) June 1, 2018
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.
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.
Draymond Green: "YOU CHEATED ON YOUR GIRL WHILE SHE WAS PREGNANT "
Tristan Thompson: pic.twitter.com/EiFDELvwJc
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) June 1, 2018
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:
Kevin Love told me he left the bench in OT to argue the call on Tristan, walking onto the court to get in the officials' eyeline, not in reaction to any scuffle & before it even broke out. Video (via @bballbreakdown) seems to back this up; not sure if it will matter to the league pic.twitter.com/JeHmd6Fl2p
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 1, 2018
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.