But there were others. Like when Kenneth Faried chased down Thaddeus Young and denied a dunk that most players just would have surrendered.
Then there is Arnett Moultrie trying to spin from the post into the lane for a shot and having it just swallowed up and grabbed out of the air by JaVale McGee. That’s the kind of block a coach loves — not sent three rows into the stands so the other team gets the ball back, but grabbed and used to start a fast break the other way.
Report: Austin Rivers returning for Clippers-Jazz Game 5
This is neither as big a deal as the Clippers will make it out to be nor as meaningless as Rivers’ many detractors will claim.
The 6-foot-4 Rivers will provide an important defensive upgrade on the perimeter. The Clippers haven’t successfully hidden Jamal Crawford and Raymond Felton, allowing Utah too many quality looks. Here how the Jazz have shot when defended by each, per NBA.com:
Crawford: 18-of-36 (50%), including 7-of-17 on 3-pointers (41%)
Felton: 13-of-24 (54%), including 5-of-8 on 3-pointers (63%)
Russell Westbrook might not want to talk about his supporting cast distinctively, but it’s a real issue for the Thunder, who trail the Rockets 3-1 in their first-round series.
Even Andre Roberson, who has impressively defended James Harden, brings a glaring weakness: free throws. Roberson is 2-for-17 from the line in the playoffs, including 2-for-12 in Game 4 yesterday. Houston even repeatedly intentionally fouled him late.
It was agonizing for all but the most partisan Rockets supporters – though even Houston’s bench, while at least implicitly mocking Roberson, appeared put off that he missed yet again.
Isaiah Thomas: ‘Mentally and emotionally, I’m not here’
“Mentally and emotionally I’m not here,” Thomas said after Game 4, the first time he has spoken publicly since his sister’s death. “So I just feed off of what the guys give me. They give me a lot of confidence. I can’t do it without those guys. They believe in me. Being here is what makes me sane and makes me feel somewhat normal through these tough times.”
Thomas has played well for Boston, which won twice in Chicago to even its series with the Bulls, 2-2. It’s remarkable considering the heavy emotional burden and extra travel, going to Seattle for his sister’s funeral then joining the Celtics in Chicago.
His teammates have clearly rallied around him, and that surely helps. But I can’t even imagine how he’s simultaneously handling such a tragic family situation and the biggest games of his career.
Kyrie Irving knocks flamingo from Pacers fan’s hands (video)