Skip to main content
Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.
#pounditWednesday, September 23, 2020

Articles tagged: NBA playoffs 2019

Trae Young tells Kevin Durant to get his cape because Warriors need him

Trae Young

Golden State Warriors fans are panicking as the team trails the Toronto Raptors 3-1 in the NBA Finals, though somewhere inside him, Kevin Durant is probably getting some measure of satisfaction.

Durant has not played since injuring his calf late in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals series against the Houston Rockets. The Warriors won that game after he left, clinched in Game 6, and then swept Portland in the conference finals. Their success led some to say the Warriors were better without him — a totally absurd notion that was based on how the Warriors play a better style of team ball when he’s not on the court. Durant made it clear he was bothered by that narrative.

As Golden State faces the 3-1 deficit, some believe they need Durant to return to have a chance. Atlanta Hawks rookie Trae Young feels that way and said Durant needs to grab his cape to play hero for them.

It’s amazing how quickly that silly narrative was turned on its head. The Warriors’ run without Durant was short-lived until they came up against a team much tougher than Portland. That’s when the world found out how badly they missed the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

Steve Kerr said before Game 4 that the Warriors were hoping Durant would be available for Game 5 or 6. They could use him, badly.

Game 5 will be on Monday in Toronto.

Raptors fans take over Oracle Arena with chant after Game 4 win

Toronto Raptors fans

Toronto Raptors fans took over Oracle Arena after their team beat the Golden State Warriors 105-92 in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night.

As Warriors fans hit the exits early following their team’s disappointing loss, Raptors fans stuck around and chanted “We the North!” at Oracle Arena.

They also were heard singing “O Canada.”

The fans stuck around to soak in the atmosphere and joy from the win, with some even being interviewed by NBATV.

Golden State is in their fifth straight NBA Finals and looking to make it three championships in a row, but they’re down 3-1 in the series. Teams in the Finals holding a 3-1 series lead are 33-1 all time, with the one loss being the 2016 Warriors. That means based on history, Toronto is in an excellent spot to upset the Warriors.

Game 5 will be on Monday in Toronto, and you can believe Raptors fans will be out in full force supporting their team. Meanwhile, what may have been the Warriors’ final home game at Oracle Arena was not a good one.

‘Jeopardy James’ sends perfect tweet during Warriors loss

James Holzhauer, better known to the public as “Jeopardy James,” sent a perfect tweet as the Golden State Warriors struggled during Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night.

The Warriors lost Game 4 of their series with the Toronto Raptors 105-92. As they trailed early in the game, Holzhauer sent the following tweet:

What makes it so perfect? Holzhauer went on a 32-episode winning streak on the game show “Jeopardy,” breaking all sorts of records in the process and generating buzz for the show. Similarly, the Warriors are in their fifth straight NBA Finals and have won three of the past four championships. They have been so good many thought they would roll to their third in a row, but the Toronto Raptors have stepped in and are leading 3-1 in the series, one win away from pulling the upset.

And as good as Holzhauer was, he still lost in his 33rd episode to Emma Boettcher in an episode that aired on June 3.

The point is no matter how good and how unbeatable someone or team appears to be, their run of dominance always comes to an end eventually, and seeing whether they will lose is part of what keeps people watching.

Holzhauer, by the way, is a professional sports gambler and has had interest in working for a pro sports team.

Fred VanVleet bloodied after taking inadvertent elbow

Fred VanVleet was treated on the court after being bloodied by an inadvertent elbow during Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night.

VanVleet was standing in the paint as Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston went up for a layup early in the fourth quarter. Livingston caught VanVleet in the face with his left elbow.

The Toronto Raptors guard was down on the floor after being struck and bleeding from around his right eye. ABC’s cameras later showed a tooth on the floor as well.

VanVleet left the game and was shown going into the locker room for further medical attention. He had eight points, six assists and four rebounds in 29 minutes before exiting the game.

ESPN’s Doris Burke later reported that VanVleet was cleared of a concussion and received seven stitches. He was cleared to return to the game.

Klay Thompson’s celebration after 3-pointer had people debating

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson’s celebration after making a shot in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday had fans debating his intent.

Thompson returned from a hamstring strain that kept him out of Game 3 of the series and played well in the first half of Game 4, leading the Warriors in scoring.

Late in the second quarter, he made a long jumper near the corner and celebrated with his hands near his groin.

The celebration was noted by many fans, but there was a debate about whether he was doing the Russell Westbrook “rock the baby” celebration or the Sam Cassell Big Balls Dance.

The way he curled his hands makes us think he was doing something closer to the Cassell celebration. Whatever the case, the way he was playing while fighting through an injury was worthy of any kind of celebration he wanted.

Warriors hope Kevin Durant will be able to play in Game 5 or 6

Kevin Durant Warriors

Kevin Durant is not playing for the first four games of the NBA Finals, but the Golden State Warriors are hoping he’ll be able to play in Game 5 or 6.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told the media before Game 4 on Friday that Kevon Looney would be able to play but Durant would be out. He said they’re hoping the two-time Finals MVP will be able to play later in the series.

Game 5 of the series is scheduled for Monday and Game 6 will be on Thursday. It’s getting so late in the series that one wonders whether the Warriors will be able to even re-integrate him easily after he returns from his calf injury.

Durant suffered a calf strain during Game 5 of the conference semifinals against the Rockets. The Warriors won that game and the next in Houston to win the series. Then they swept Portland without him.

Entering Friday’s Game 4, the Warriors had lost two of their first three games to the Raptors playing without him.

Warriors’ Kevon Looney to play in Game 4 despite injury

Kevon Looney

Kevon Looney will play through injury in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said in his pregame press conference that Looney would play. The Warriors big man was taking shots with the team pregame.

Looney suffered an injury in the Warriors’ Game 2 win over the Toronto Raptors. He was diagnosed with a non-displaced first costal cartilage fracture and said to be out indefinitely. He missed the team’s Game 3 oss on Wednesday.

Looney apparently cannot cause further damage, so playing is a matter of pain tolerance. The big man is going to try and fight through things.

Looney has provided valuable minutes for the Warriors throughout the postseason. He averaged 10 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in the series against Portland.

Warriors fans troll Drake with billboard featuring his lyrics

Beyond being a die-hard Toronto Raptors fan, Drake actually has close relationships with many players across the NBA and probably roots for them when they’re not facing his team. Some Golden State Warriors fans want to make sure everyone keeps that in mind during the NBA Finals.

Two fans paid for a billboard near Drake’s hometown in Toronto that features lyrics from his song “The Motto.” In that track, Drake has a line about his love for the Bay Area.

Again, Drake has lots of NBA allegiances outside of Toronto. Heck, he even had to cover up some of his tattoos for the Finals because of it. That doesn’t make the billboard any less amusing.

H/T Bro Bible

Mark Stevens apologizes in statement for Kyle Lowry incident

Mark Stevens

Mark Stevens issued a statement on Thursday to apologize for his incident with Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday that resulted in a season-long ban by the league.

Stevens, a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors, pushed Lowry and yelled obscenities at the Raptors guard after Lowry dived into the stands in the fourth quarter of the game.

The incident received magnified attention on Thursday. LeBron James posted about it on Instagram. Several players were asked about it during their media availability. The Warriors and Steve Kerr offered thoughts.

The NBA announced that Stevens would be banned for a season and fined $500,000. Stevens issued a statement later on Thursday to apologize.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says he tried to be fair in his handling of the matter and took into account how contrite Stevens was.

“There’s not some rulebook I can look to here for what precisely to do. I try to balance all the different factors and once again, I think this was a fair outcome and I will say we did take into account how contrite Mr. Stevens was.”

A previous report said Stevens would likely be forced to sell his ownership stake in the team before next season.

Report: Mark Stevens will likely be forced to sell ownership stake in Warriors

Mark Stevens

The NBA and Golden State Warriors have already banned Mark Stevens indefinitely for his actions towards Kyle Lowry but may have a harsher punishment in mind.

NBC News reporter Dylan Byers reported on Thursday that Stevens will likely be forced to sell his ownership shares in the Warriors prior to next season as punishment.

Stevens pushed Lowry as the Toronto Raptors guard dove into the stands to save a ball during Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday at Oracle Arena in Oakland. On top of that, Lowry says Stevens told him “go f— yourself” multiple times.

The incident and fact that the fan in question turned out to be a minority owner of the team has become the biggest talking point the day after the game. The league and team have taken action in support of Lowry, with everyone calling Stevens’ actions unacceptable.

The NBA has been serious about protecting players and taking measures to let fans know their conduct cannot cross a line with their behavior at games the way Stevens did. They also have forced an owner to sell in the past for unbecoming conduct, so there is precedent to force someone like Stevens to sell his shares for being a poor representative of the league.