The exact same thing we’ve seen for the first two games replicated only with a little bit of excitement from Derrick Favors who showed out against the Spurs. Tony Parker is just too much. Let’s start there.
The Spurs can space the floor so well on offense that you can’t bring help consistently or well enough on Parker on the perimeter. And once he gets inside, that’s it. He’s either going to pull up and softly place it on the rim for gravity and physics to ease it into the hole, dropping in a floater, or spinning it out to those same shooters if you even think about collapsing in. There’s simply no way for the Jazz to counter him. That’s where everything starts.
Devin Harris contributed 21 points and it still wasn’t enough for him to win his matchup. From there, Al Jefferson contributed but still can’t really get loose against the variety of looks the Spurs are throwing at him, and the wings are just non-existent. The Spurs have answers at every position and in every way for the Jazz, and that’s the tone this series has set.
Gordon Hayward was never going to win this matchup. But he needed to at least marginalize the damage. But the young player’s just not ready. It’s not even individual matchups though. The Spurs are so good at getting you moving so you’re matched up on someone you can’t defend, or scrambling to recover on two guys at once, it’s just nearly impossible for a team like Utah to limit them.
The Jazz were going to have a hard time under any set of circumstances, but with Millsap scoring 9 point on 12 shots is going to be absolute death for the Spurs.
In reality, this is like facing the San Antonio Plague. They’re everywhere, all throughout the system, and you can’t attack a symptom without making another worse, while the illness is what destroys you. The Spurs are one game away from advancing and getting a week of rest.
NBA: Kenneth Faried got away with foul on decisive basket in Nuggets’ win over Bulls
The Bulls’ biggest loss Friday was Jimmy Butlerto injury. His absence certainly contributed to a loss to the Timberwolves the following night.
But Chicago also lost to the Nuggets on Friday, and perhaps that wouldn’t have happened if the game were called correctly down the stretch.
With Denver up two points and 21.1 seconds remaining, Kenneth Faried offensively rebounded a free throw and scored. The Bulls then intentionally fouled down the stretch, and Faried and Danilo Gallinari added a few free throws in the Nuggets’ 115-110 win.
Faried (DEN) extends his arm into Gibson (CHI) and dislodges him, affecting his ability to retrieve the rebound.
This was a huge swing. Instead of Taj Gibson – a 69% career free-throw shooter – going to the line for two attempts with Chicago down two points, Faried put the Nuggets up four. Even if Gibson split at the line, the Bulls would have been in significantly better shape.
As usual, we can’t know what would’ve happened if this call were made correctly. But it significantly set back Chicago.
NBA considering if jump-on-back foul should be flagrant foul
The NBA was quick to let people know that this is just something under consideration — there has been no change in the rules. This may well be where the league is headed, but it’s not there yet.
The NBA defines a flagrant foul as “unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent.” To me, leaping on a player’s back like that qualifies. (A flagrant two foul is “unnecessary and excessive contact” and leads to an ejection; this is not that.)
Jared Dudley — one of the more vocal players on union issues — added a good point.
Since we're in the subject! I think it's crazy that the @NBA can make a rule without even discussing it with the players. No input at all
Smith (CLE) makes incidental contact with Turner’s (BOS) body as he attempts the layup.
If this were officiated correctly, the Cavs would’ve had the ball and a two-point lead with 5.9 seconds left. That’s not a lock to win – they’d still have to inbound the ball and make their free throws – but it’s close.
Cleveland is definitely entitled to feel the refs wronged them out of a victory.
Report: Kevin Durant has “done his due diligence on the Bay Area”
Kevin Durant has not made up his mind about what he will do as a free agent this summer. Until his playoff run ends, whenever that may be for the Thunder, his focus will be on bringing a title to Oklahoma City.
But even he admits he can’t help but think about free agency a little.
The Warriors play in front of an intimidating Oracle Arena crowd and are expected to debut a new San Francisco arena in 2019. Durant has quietly done his due diligence on the Bay Area, too, sources told Yahoo Sports.
His people — specifically agent Rich Kleiman and personal manager Charlie Bell — would be stupid not to have done some research on not only Golden State but on every other team he might consider: Houston, Miami, Washington, both teams in Los Angeles, the Knicks, and on down the line. Golden State, playing with Stephen Curry, certainly would have its attractions.
I’m still in the camp that Durant signs a 1+1 deal to stay in Oklahoma City (meaning he can opt out after one more season, in 2017), and it’s all about the cash. While he could get 30 percent of a $90 million cap this summer (about $27 million a season to start), with one more year of service in 2017 Durant could get 35 percent of $108 million ($37.8 million to start). That’s a lot of cash. Plus he gets one more chance at a ring with Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka, who both are 2017 free agents.
But you can be sure whatever Durant decides, it will be well researched and thought out. And he’s not going to announce it in a live special on ESPN.