The Warriors won their 10th in a row on Tuesday, besting a Bucks team that has won just seven times all season and is at the bottom of the league-wide standings.
The games still need to be played, however, and Golden State allowed Milwaukee to hang around for a half or so before blowing them out over the final two periods to finish with a 101-80 victory that now has them sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference standings.
Warriors fans get on David Lee quite a bit for his inconsistency and lack of defense, but he’s been killing it on the offensive end of the floor as of late, and performed no differently in this one. Lee made 10 of his 12 shots, and finished with a game-high 22 points and 18 rebounds.
Although it was a 21-point victory for Golden State, it came on an off night of shooting from both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who combined to hit just three of their 17 attempts from three-point distance. But when the Bucks shoot just 38.8 percent from the field and get outrebounded by 17, that leaves plenty of margin for error.
The Bucks got just five points and six rebounds from franchise cornerstone Larry Sanders, who’s better at fighting with teammates these days than he is playing the game of basketball. Brandon Knight has been the best Buck all season long, and he finished with 18 points on 53.3 percent shooting, to go along with four assists.
The Warriors are at Brooklyn on Wednesday, and while road back-to-backs are never easy, they should have an advantage against a Nets team that will be without Deron Williams due to injury. From there Golden State hosts the Celtics and the Nuggets before hitting the road to face Oklahoma City, by which time their win streak could realistically have reached 13 games.
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.