The Celtics are already into the second round, beating the Wizards in Game 1 yesterday.
But Avery Bradley left Boston’s first-round victory over the Bulls with some harsh words for Jimmy Butler.
First, some context. Butler after Bradley scored 24 points on 11-of-19 shooting and helped hold Butler to 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting in Game 5, via Joe Giza of WBZ-TV:
Isaiah is going to do what Isaiah does, so you’ve got to live with that. But you can’t let Avery Bradley have a game like he did.
Michael Giardi of CSN New England:
Bradley again won the matchup in Game 6, scoring 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting and limiting Butler to 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting.
You want to know something? I took it personal. There was a few guys that walked up to me and said, I think Jimmy had said last game, “We can’t let guys like Avery Bradley score 20.” And I usually don’t say anything. I just go out there and play hard. But I feel like every player should respect this game and respect the guys that go out there and prepare every single night. And I feel like I won the battle tonight. Not only that, I play hard every single game. I feel he should respect that, somebody that goes up and gives him respect every single game. So, I’m just going to leave it there. But, like I said, I definitely won two battles in a row.
I don’t think trying to hold someone who averaged 16 points per game in the regular season to few than 24 is some personal insult. But credit Bradley for using it as motivation anyway.
It clearly worked.
During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”
Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.
The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.
Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:
“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.
That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.
There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.
Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.
That place turned out to be the Pacers.
Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.
That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.
Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.
Pacers fans delivered.
They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.
Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.
The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.
“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”
Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.