Author: Kurt Helin

PBT Extra: Al Horford deserves praise for Hawks’ game winner

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If Al Horford doesn’t make this play, all we’re talking about is why Dennis Schröder is the guy taking this shot.

But  Horford deserves to become the man everyone is talking about thanks to his offensive rebound and putback — and I’m glad we’re talking about him. This is one of the most underrated players in the NBA stepping up.

The Atlanta Hawks have the advantage, but this feels like a Game 7 is coming.

PBT Extra: Some pressure on Clippers heading into Game 6

Chris Paul, Blake Griffin
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The Los Angeles Clippers have never been to the conference finals before.

Win Thursday night at home and they are there — which arguably makes this the biggest game in franchise history.

That’s what Julie Donaldson and I discuss in this latest PBT Extra. After the Rockets picked up a win at home in Game 5, I think you’ll see a different Clippers team in Game 6. Los Angeles didn’t have the same effort plus missed a lot of good looks in Houston Tuesday night, Thursday those trends likely reverse.

John Wall: “My hand feels fine” (VIDEO)

John Wall
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After a tough Game 5 loss on the road, John Wall at first played it safe in his comments to the media, saying he likely was a game-time decision for Game 6 on Friday.

But later in his postgame press conference, he said his hand was fine and sounded like a guy who was not going to sit out Game 6.

Wall also said he did take a few hits to the hand but played through it. He admitted there is a risk of falling and turning this non-displaced fracture into a more serious displaced one, but he wanted to be out there.

Wall had 15 points on 7-of-16 shooting. When he attacked and got inside he still finished very well, but he was 1-of-8 beyond 16 feet, his jump shot was not threatening.

PBT Extra: Three reasons for the Bulls to be optimistic about Game 6

Chicago Bulls V Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Three
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The Bulls are on the brink of elimination heading into Thursday night’s Game 6, but I tell Julie Donaldson there are good reasons for Bulls fans to be optimistic they can live to play another day.

The best news for Chicago is the return of Pau Gasol, who gives them needed scoring and depth up front. Gasol has not been brilliant this series — the defense was four points per 100 possessions worse when he was on the court in the first two games — but they need his offense and the depth more than anything.

 

Paul Pierce yelled “series” after his late corner three. That didn’t work out.

Paul Pierce
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When Paul Pierce banked in a game-winning shot to give the Wizards a Game 3 win over the Hawks, he told the television cameras he didn’t call “bank” he called “game.”

He tried to step that up a notch when he hit this three to put the Wizards up one with 8.3 seconds left.

Pierce knows how to talk. Except, there were 8.3 seconds on the clock. The game and the series were not over thanks to Al Horford.

With John Wall back, the Wizards still have a legit shot to win this series. But Pierce and the Wizards need to make sure they have the last nail in the coffin before talking again.