Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk, who set an infuriatingly high screen on Kelly Oubre and dislocated Kevin Love‘s elbow, said he’s not a dirty player.
Draymond Green disagrees.
Green on the Dray Day podcast:
Kelly Olynyk is a dirty player. You do little stuff dirty, and then you want to take a charge on something? Come on, man. Oubre ain’t hit him that hard. Nor should he have been suspended. Y’all already kicked him out of the game. So essentially he’s getting a game-and-a-half suspension for that?
Olynyk caught him in the face, in the neck, with a couple elbows. And that’s what I don’t understand. You let people get away with stuff and then finally when somebody reacts you penalize that guy. But you’re not going to penalize him for continuing to elbow this guy in the face? I don’t get that.
He’s dirty. Dirty player. Man, I don’t respect guys like that. I know he’s not like the greatest basketball player of all-time so maybe you feel like you’ve got to do that. But – just dirty. I don’t respect that, man. He dirty.
There’s a big difference between knowing all the tricks because knowing all the tricks ain’t doing stuff to hurt people. Like, come on, you really yanked this dude’s shoulder out of place. I don’t roll with that. He just — dude’s dirty. Veteran tricks is grabbing an arm so a guy can’t get there to block the shot or passing the ball and cutting somebody off so they can’t get there to contest, just stuff like that. But you ain’t doing nothing to hurt nobody. This dude be out there trying to hurt people. I don’t rock with bruh like that.
I don’t know whether Olynyk is dirty or reckless, but at a certain point, what’s the difference? He doesn’t take the proper care to ensure he’s not injuring his opponents.
But Green isn’t sparking a deep discussion of whether Olynyk is dirty. The Warriors star is just generating a bunch of pot-calling-the-kettle-black retorts.
Kyle Lowry said before the season he’d decline his $12 million player option and expect the Raptors to treat him like a franchise player.
Today, Lowry confirmed he’d opt out – but gave a different priority for free agency.
Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic:
I don’t believe this is true. If it were, he’d sign a minimum-salary deal with the Warriors and back up Stephen Curry.
Lowry surely wants to win. But every player on his level has always wanted to win on their terms – with a huge salary and major role. Some make concessions, giving up a little money and/or stature on the team. But winning a ring has never been the only priority for someone as good as Lowry. David West came closest, but he was far less valuable than Lowry when he signed with San Antonio then Golden State.
The practical question is where Lowry falls on the spectrum.
The Raptors face a narrow – maybe even closed – path to title contention with an expensive roster that doesn’t look particularly close to breaking through LeBron James and the Cavaliers. And Lowry knows it. But Toronto can also offer the most money, a projected $205 million ($41 million annually) over five years.
Other teams could offer up to a projected $152 million ($38 million annually). But few, if not no, plausible championship contenders will have max cap space.
Lowry doesn’t sound like someone returning to Toronto, but again, I don’t think he meant what he said. What did he mean? That’s a far more important, and far tough to answer, question.
A couple championship general managers – Cavaliers general manager David Griffin and former Pistons general manager Joe Dumars – have emerged as contenders to run the Hawks’ front office.
Another name to watch: Thunder assistant general manager Troy Weaver.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Weaver has earned respect for his ability to evaluate players in totality – their talent and their personalities. His ability to connect with people offers a broad pool of players to choose from and still fit a culture.
But Atlanta just demoted Mike Budenholzer (president) and Wes Wilcox (general manager), and Weaver has never held a title as lofty as the ones those two just lost. Would they answer to someone so unproven? That’s not a drawback with Griffin and Dumars.
On the other hand, if the Hawks believe Weaver would do the best job, they should value him over Wilcox. Integrating Budenholzer, who’s also head coach, into the new structure will be trickier.
Weaver deserves a chance to run his own team somewhere, though Atlanta brings complications.
The Rockets lost Nene to injury early in their Game 4 win over the Spurs.
Now, Houston will have to cope without him for longer.
Houston Rockets center Nenê will miss the remainder of the postseason with a left adductor tear. The Rockets medical staff is currently reviewing treatment options. An update will be provided once a decision is made.
This series likely now diverges even more in style.
Clint Capela has the size to matchup with San Antonio’s traditional bigs – Pau Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, David Lee and Dewayne Dedmon – but Nene was Houston’s only other reliable option for that. Montrezl Harrell is undersized and inexperienced, and Chinanu Onuaku is even more raw. Rather than break out one of those young players, the Rockets could turn to Ryan Anderson at center. They found success with that in Game 3, but the Spurs will test Anderson’s defense more with more type to prepare.
Houston will surely counter by using Anderson’s 3-point shooting to drag a Spurs center out of the paint.
In a series that was already somewhat about big vs. small, with Nene sidelined, the differences between these teams look even more pronounced.
Kyle Lowry ran into trouble with how he complimented LeBron James in the past.
This year, the Raptors guard made no such mistake, offering unequivocal praise.
Lowry, via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
“They’ve got LeBron James,” Lowry told The Vertical late Friday night. “Nobody’s closing the gap on him. I mean, that’s it right there: They’ve got LeBron James and nobody’s closing the gap on him.”
“I don’t know when his prime is going to stop,” Lowry told The Vertical. “I don’t think it’s going to stop anytime soon. I think he’ll be able to continue what he’s doing for a long time. But that’s basketball. You’ve got to find a way to beat the best.”
And that was after Game 3.
Without much confidence from its best player or Lowry himself due to injury, the Raptors were swept by the Cavaliers. LeBron has now won 20 straight playoff series against Eastern Conference foes, going 80-20 in those games.
With that final nail of the coffin hammered in, how does Lowry – who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer – feel about the situation?
Marc Stein of ESPN:
This speaks to the power of LeBron.
The Warriors – who won 73 games then added Kevin Durant – are the NBA’s consensus top team. Golden State, San Antonio and Houston each won more games than any Eastern Conference team. The Clippers and Jazz might have also done so if healthier.
But Lowry personally felt LeBron’s dominance the last two years, Cleveland eliminating Toronto. An escape from his wrath might feel appealing, even if it’s not logical.