Kurt Helin

Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat

Dwyane Wade congratulates LeBron James on fifth straight NBA Finals apperance

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With the Cavaliers’ win Tuesday night, LeBron James has made to five straight NBA Finals. The last people to do that? Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, K.C. Jones, Bill Sharman and other members of the 1966 Boston Celtics. LeBron, Russell and Cousy are the only three players to play in five straight All-Star Games and Finals, reports the Ellias Sports Bureau.

It’s another impressive feat from the game’s best player, and the congratulatory mentions rained down on LeBron after the game. Including one from one of his best friends — Dwyane Wade.

Wade had a hand in that — he was central to the Miami team that made four straight Finals, winning two.

But the Eastern Conference is the domain of LeBron — when he moved back home to Cleveland the Cavaliers became instant contenders with a real shot at the Finals. Despite injuries to Kevin Love (out for the playoffs) and Kyrie Irving (dragging around a sore left leg), LeBron found a way to lift this team to the NBA’s biggest stage.

Wade appreciates that.

PBT Extra: Expect a healthy Stephen Curry for Game 5… sorry Houston

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Stephen Curry’s frightening fall seemed to put a dent in the feeling of inevitability that surrounds the Warriors and their march to a title.

Don’t expect there to be any hangover from that in Game 5 Wednesday night.

Curry said he was fine after the game then again on Tuesday — he’s not only going to play, but expect a vintage Curry game. Which is bad news for the Rockets. Houston will put up a fight like they do whenever their backs are against the wall — watch for “elimination game Josh Smith” to show up again — but Curry and this Warriors team are not going to crumble like the Clippers did.

J.R. Smith takes selfie at podium after Cavaliers advance to Finals

JR Smith Selfie
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J.R. Smith on the national stage of the Finals is going to be so much fun.

After an 18 point performance in the Cavaliers’ Game 4 rout of the Hawks, Smith got a podium game. He was up there with LeBron James and Tristan Thompson, and while Thompson was prattling on about offensive rebounds, Smith decided to take a selfie.

#JustSaying

A photo posted by JR Smith (@teamswish) on

Just J.R. being J.R. And if he keeps knocking down shots in the Finals, it all will seem eccentric and not crazy.

Stephen Curry went through concussion protocol twice before returning to court

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After Stephen Curry’s frightning fall in Game 4, there were plenty of reasons to think this could be a concussion. There was the glassy look in his eyes as he walked to the locker room. There was the nasty nature of the fall itself. Then there was the fact when he did return to the court he airballed his first jump hot and looked a step slow throughout the game.

However, Curry passed not one but two concussion protocol tests, reports Tim Kawakami at the San Jose Mercury News.

There was a moment in the Warriors’ locker room, almost an hour after Stephen Curry slammed his head against the floor, that he had passed every test and Game 4 was still going on. In fact, according to Warriors general manager Bob Myers, the team doctors made Curry duplicate the concussion protocols to be doubly sure…

“At the very, very end, when he passed the tests, then it became ‘there’s no reason he couldn’t play,’” (Warriors GM Bob) Myers said. “So then it was, he passed the tests, passed them once, passed them twice… At that moment, he looked at me, said, ‘Yeah, I’m ready to go.’”

I’m not a doctor, if they cleared him then he must have passed the tests (players take a baseline exam before the season for comparison).

Still, you know that Meyers and the rest of the Warriors staff had to be thinking “maybe he should just sit the rest of this one out.” He came back out and wasn’t quite himself all game (the airball maybe was about rust after an hour off and no warmups… maybe). Up 3-0 in the series, there was not a lot of pressure on the Warriors.

Curry reported no symptoms after the game or on Tuesday, which means expect the regular, MVP Curry back for Game 5 Wednesday night. That should concern the Rockets.

Report: Kyle Korver to have surgery on his ankle

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards - Game Six
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And you wonder why the Hawks are mad at Matthew Dellavedova.

A couple games after Dellavedova crashed into his ankle, ending his playoffs, Hawks’ All-Star sharpshooter Kyle Korver told this to David Aldridge of TNT.

Korver averaged 12.1 points a game shooting 49.2 percent from three this season. He was central to the spacing and off-the-ball movement of the Hawks. In the playoffs he averaged 11.1 points per game and shot “just” 39.1 percent from three, but he was drawing a lot of defensive attention (which opened up things more for his teammates, they just didn’t take full advantage).

First, DeMarre Carroll was telling the truth. Carroll also said it was a 4-6 month recovery timeline, so we’ll go with that since he’s on a roll. That could stretch into the start of next season. But there is nothing official.

Second, this news will stir up more discussion of Dellavedova’s play.

If you want to define dirty play as having an intent to injure, then no, Dellavedova is not and was not on this play.

However, he is reckless.

Certainly he plays with energy, but there is a line between aggressive and reckless and he crosses it too often. He does it in a way that does risk the health of other players. While this pattern has been highlighted in the spotlight of the playoffs, Dellavedova had developed the reputation among teams during the season.

And with this play, Kyle Korver will go under the knife.