It was a rough night in Denver for the Warriors’ Stephen Curry.
Not only did the Nuggets avoid elimination with a Game 5 victory, they were able to shut down Curry in the process.
Denver held Curry to a series low 15 points on 7-of-19 shooting, including just 1-of-7 from three-point distance. This came after Curry had averaged 30 points per game over his last three, all of which were wins for the Warriors.
It wasn’t just the low scoring output that was troubling for Curry. The Nuggets were extra-physical with him throughout the night, especially early in the game when setting screens on him and making sure contact was made anytime he went cutting through the lane.
Kenneth Faried was the one who appeared to be dishing out most of the physical play on Curry, and Warriors head coach Mark Jackson accused the Nuggets of playing dirty against his superstar afterward.
All of this is to say that Curry had plenty of reasons to be frustrated. And he took out some of that frustration on a fan as he exited the floor of the Pepsi Center immediately following his team’s loss.
We have no idea how inflammatory the fan’s comments were, but clearly whatever was said was enough for Curry to feel the need to respond. The commentary from the TNT crew in the video clip above makes the whole thing seem hilarious, but anytime a player confronts a fan in that way, there’s a possibility for things to go in a very bad direction.
Draymond Green says he didn’t talk much with Kevin Durant during playoffs
Me and KD weren’t really talking during the playoffs. During the playoffs, it’s a little different. More is at stake. So, we weren’t talking much, and that’s normal. So, I heard something come out where they said, “Oh, Kevin Durant and Draymond was talking during the playoffs.” They were lying. But if that’s what they want to believe, if that makes them feel better about themselves — and when I say “them,” I’m talking about whoever, whoever’s saying it — then believe it. But they’re wrong.
If Green and Durant kept their distance during the postseason, that seems reasonable.
Durant’s former co-workers shouldn’t have a right to dictate his friends outside work, but when there’s direct competition, it’s a little different. It’s fair to ask Durant to separate himself from Green then.
There’s still no perfect solution. Durant’s and Green’s prior relationship opened the door for questions. But suggesting Durant and Green never should have bonded in the first place is unrealistic.
So, there’s little left to do but hope Durant and Green handled it was well as Green said they did.
Enes Kanter on claim nobody wants to play with Russell Westbrook: ‘Wrong!!!’
Of course, many players want to play with Russell Westbrook. He’s a great player and even better competitor. People want to be around someone so maniacal about winning and capable of delivering.
But there’s an obvious difference between Kanter and Durant. It’s much easier for a pick-and-roll big man than a superstar wing to play with Westbrook.
Westbrook tends to over-dribble, and he can be selfish. I’d understand Durant preferring a team with more ball movement like the Warriors.
Kanter doesn’t have the cachet to pick any team at any salary like Durant did. Of his options, Kanter is probably genuinely happy to play with Westbrook. And the Thunder should be happy to have Westbrook (as long as they do). His strengths far outweigh his flaws.
No scoring star seamlessly blend with each other. Even LeBron James and Dwyane Wade — close friends and one an elite passer — struggled to mesh early in their Heat days. It’s just hard when there’s one ball.
So, it’s unfair to kill Westbrook for this drawback to his game. Maybe he’d click better with another star who’s more aggressive than Durant. And it’s not even as if Westbrook and Durant failed together. Oklahoma City won a lot of games with those two.
Plenty of players would sign up to replace Durant as Westbrook’s partner in crime.
Report: Amar’e Stoudemire wanted to play for Suns next season
It didn’t make more sense now. Phoenix already has 15 players, the regular-season roster limit. John Jenkins and Alan Williams have unguaranteed deals, but why waive one for Stoudemire? The Suns are semi-rebuilding, and Tyson Chandler already serves as a veteran big.
There’s a reason Stoudemire retired rather then sign somewhere. Maybe nobody wanted him.
But it’s also only July, and teams are still filling out their rosters. If Stoudemire wants to keep playing, he might have opportunities later, especially after the trade deadline. He’s just 33. There’s now reason to believe his retirement won’t stick.
Fisher has done plenty since retiring as a player — getting hired by the Knicks, getting fired by the Knicks and in between being attacked by Matt Barnes and finding another controversy about player relations.
All the while, Fisher counted against the cap for the Thunder, his last NBA team.
Oklahoma City finally renounced him to sign Alex Abrines.
Albert Nahmad of Heat Hoops:
To create the cap space to sign Alex Abrines, Thunder renounced its Early Bird rights to former player and head coach Derek Fisher.
These are becoming fewer and further between, because teams are using cap room more frequently as the salary cap skyrockets. Gone are the days of a team operating above the cap for a dozen straight years.
There’s also even less utility in old cap holds now that a player must have played the prior season for a team to be used in a sign-and-trade. (Not that these holds were useful except the rarest of occasions prior, anyway.)
Fisher’s quick transition from playing to coaching helped make this an exception, allowing this weird (and trivial) transaction.