Losing a few games in the NBA Playoffs can lead to one’s mind becoming a bit restless as he tries to figure out how to right the wrongs. Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry may have taken this to the extremes, however, as he tries to ensure the defending champions aren’t swept Saturday night by the Oklahama City Thunder.
The Mavericks will be playing for their playoff lives when Game 4 tips off Saturday night in Dallas at 7:30 p.m. on TNT. It isn’t a situation most would figure last year’s title-winners would be in — at least not in the first round — but Terry has undergone some simple steps to get Dallas back on track. Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram brings us the news via Twitter.
“I broke every broom in the house. That’s a little superstition, so I don’t think there will be any sweeps going on.”
“We’re going to try the black suit thing – the funeral. And we just hope it’s not ours.”
Considering nothing else has worked against Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the rest of the Thunder, breaking household cleaning supplies and wearing darker suits than normal to the game might be all that was left for the Mavericks to do. If the Knicks lose this afternoon, there’s no doubt the media will be wondering why they didn’t try the same thing, probably.
The Los Angeles Clippers dropped Game 5 to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, and find themselves down 3-2 as they head back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. The Clippers have had to deal with Utah’s formidable defense, so much so that they’ve built in counters to Jazz defenders overplaying shooters like JJ Redick.
One example of this countering method could be found in Game 3, when the Clippers ran a split cut for Redick. Instead of fighting endlessly around screens for a 3-point shot as you might expect, LA took the easy route and simply cut Redick to the basket for an easy layup as a means to take advantage of an overeager defender.
We’ve talked about the Split Cut here on NBA Playbook before. The Los Angeles Lakers used it earlier in the season to beat the Golden State Warriors, the team that uses the split cut perhaps the most out of any team in the NBA.
Other teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, have adapted the Warriors’ use of the split cut as a counter for their own offense this season, which is a testament to just how useful it is.
If you need a reminder, a split cut all about a screener coming up to screen, then cutting toward the basket before his screen action fully takes place. It’s about timing, and catching defenders off guard when they go to set up their recover positions for screens.
For a full breakdown on the split cut and how the Clippers used it, watch the video above.
John Wall has been super, averaging 27 points and 11 assists while leading the Wizards to a 3-2 lead over the Hawks in the first-round.
Fred Hoiberg opened himself to clowning by complaining about Isaiah Thomas carrying.
So, the Bulls coach got clowned after the Celtics’ Game 5 win.
Late in the Celtics’ Game 5 win over the Bulls last night, Jae Crowder leg-locked Robin Lopez – the same dirty play that caused rancor for Matthew Dellavedova in the 2015 playoffs.
Lopez blocked Crowder’s shot, but the ball went to Al Horford, who attacked the basket. As Lopez tried to rotate to contest another shot, he couldn’t move. Crowder, who’d fallen to the floor, had him in a leg-lock. Lopez freed himself just in time to foul Horford.
Adding insult to avoided injury, Lopez got hit with a technical foul for complaining about the no-call.
I bet the league issues a technical foul on Crowder, too.