What happened in the fourth quarter of Game 6 between the Clippers and Rockets is not going to be repeated. Sure, the Clippers got tight as their lead dwindled, but Blake Griffin is not going to miss point blank shots like that again. The Clippers are not going to miss good-look threes again. On the other side, the Rockets know Josh Smith hitting step-back threes like his last name is Curry is not sustainable.
But it didn’t need to be sustainable for the Rockets to force a Game 7 —now they have a deciding game on their home court. And the momentum.
Can Doc Rivers get the Clippers mentally turned around? Are Blake Griffin and Chris Paul mentally tough enough for a Game 7 on the road? They beat the Spurs in a Game 7, but can they repeat that outcome?
Or does the Clippers’ curse continue?
For the record, I’m picking the Clippers in a close one.
PBT Extra: Will Washington force a Game 7 against Atlanta?
The second round series between Atlanta and Washington certainly has not been pretty at times (or even much of the time), but it has been entertaining and fairly even. That said, I expect at home and with John Wall the Wizards will pick up the win Friday night and force a Game 7.
Then they very well may win that.
After Cavaliers advance to conference finals, J.R. Smith takes jab at Knicks
After Thursday’s game, Smith took a little dig at the Knicks on Instagram.
Smith was not long for the Knicks after Phil Jackson came to town — there may be no player that is a worse fit for the triangle offense than Smith. It was a question of when he would go, not if. The divorce was not smooth, and clearly J.R. still has a little resentment. There certainly are some club owners in NYC that miss Smith as well.
I’m sure that Jackson is not losing sleep over any of this.
PBT Extra: Grizzlies have no good answers for Warriors’ defense
All series long there has been plenty of talk about the Golden State offense — and with good reason, it’s impressive.
But the real key to their Game 5 win was their defense, and it’s that end of the floor Julie Donaldson and I discuss in this PBT Extra.
Golden State is playing well on that end, and I’m not sure there are good counters for Memphis. The Grizzlies need better three point shooting to open up the floor enough to give Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph room to operate inside.
Watch highlights of Rockets’ fourth quarter charge to keep season alive
Credit the Rockets for playing with the desperation of a team that did not want to go home. Corey Brewer had 15 points, and Josh Smith 14, plus the Rockets played much better defense as well. The Clippers played not to lose and left the door open, the Rockets stormed through it and took the win.