Kurt Helin

Stephen Curry

One-handed, no-look, over-the-head halfcourt shot? No problem for Stephen Curry.

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Stephen Curry makes half court no-look shot nonchalantly after practice

A video posted by Marc J. Spears (@marcjspears) on

I know Stephen Curry was shooting uncontested looks well in the last round, but this is is ridiculous.

Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports recorded this shot at the end of a Warriors’ practice. The Cavaliers would probably let Curry take that shot during the Finals, but maybe that’s a mistake.

 

PBT Extra with NBASavant.com: Number shows Matthew Dellavedova’s defensive value

Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four
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Everybody was talking about Matthew Dellavedova during the Eastern Conference Finals. In Atlanta it was often with an adjective we will not run on this family-friendly site, after his run-ins with Kyle Korver (who had ankle surgery because of it) and Al Horford (who was thrown out of a game).

But he was on the court for David Blatt for a reason — and I don’t mean Kyrie Irving’s knee. Dellavedova brings value on the defensive end, something we help point out in this PBT Extra, with a little help. PBT has partnered with the fantastic NBASavant.com to break down the Sports VU Camera data and look more closely at the advanced stats of the NBA playoffs and what decided a series.

Dellavedova is going to have to bring that same energy to the NBA Finals for the Cavaliers to have a chance against the loaded backcourt of Golden State.

Report: Pelicans have second interview with Alvin Gentry

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors - Game Five
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Tom Thibodeau is available. Jeff Van Gundy wants the job.

But Alvin Gentry is the guy that New Orleans GM Dell Demps has had his eye on. The former NBA head coach and current lead assistant of the Golden State Warriors just got his second interview with the Pelicans (this time with VP Micky Loomis in the room), reports John Reid of the Times-Picayune.

But unlike nine days ago when he was interviewed for the first time in San Francisco, Gentry’s second interview occurred in New Orleans, sources say.

Gentry is the first known candidate to be extended a second interview by the Pelicans. But sources confirm that Jeff Van Gundy is still in the mix, along with Tom Thibodeau and Vinny Del Negro.

Nothing is going to happen imminently here; Gentry is helping the Warriors gameplan for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals right now. Having more than a week off before the start of the Finals allowed Gentry time to get to New Orleans for the interview, but he’ll be busy for the next couple of weeks.

Gentry would be different in style than the recently-fired Monty Williams (and sort of the polar opposite of Thibodeau) — he’s a player’s coach whose specialty is on the offensive end of the court. Gentry is the best offensive mind available on the open coaching market, having helped Steve Kerr put the powerhouse Warriors offense together this season. The season before that he was the right hand to Doc Rivers in Los Angeles and handled that offense, where he led Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to being the most inefficient offense in the NBA. Gentry runs a modern NBA offense with ball-screens, motion, up-tempo play and plenty of three-point shooting to space the floor.

Imagine what he could do to better utilize Anthony Davis (especially with a healthy Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson). That said, the Pelicans had a top 10 offense last season, the problem was their bottom 10 defense. It would be interesting to see if Gentry would bring in a defensive specialist as his lead assistant.

Gentry has more than 700 games as an NBA head coach and a .475 win percentage in them.

 

PBT Extra: Houston Rockets face interesting off-season

Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets - Game One
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While some would make the argument the Houston Rockets overachieved this season, I don’t see it that way. This is one of the five or six best teams in the NBA — even if you think the Clippers and Spurs were better squads — and they showed some real resilience in the playoffs. James Harden was a stud (despite the last game).

But it’s not going to be easy for them to replicate that success next season, which is what Jenna Corrado and I discuss in this latest PBT Extra.

There are questions about the future of Josh Smith, Patrick Beverley and others with the team. Plus you know Daryl Morey is going big game hunting this summer. He always does.

LeBron James on how to slow Stephen Curry: “The same way you slow me down … You can’t.”

OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 12:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors goes in for a layup over LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat at ORACLE Arena on February 12, 2014 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry.

The two most popular players in the NBA this season (with Kevin Durant out) go head-to-head on the NBA’s biggest stage. These are two guys who will get their points, and LeBron James attests to that in a quote given Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

The truth is more complex.

I’m not sure we’ll see a 40 point game from either this series — both teams have the defensive players and systems that can make things difficult for those stars. Draymond Green will draw LeBron, Iman Shumpert and Kyrie Irving will draw Curry. Make no mistake, LeBron and Curry will get their points, but don’t expect LeBron to go off for 42 like he did in the last meeting.

But if you commit resources to stopping the stars, other opportunities will open up. The Warriors depth and flexibility puts them in a better position to take advantage. That’s why they are the favorite.