PBT Extra: Warriors want to pick up pace for Game 4


The Golden State Warriors need a few things to change if they are going to even this series in Game 4. For one, they need the Stephen Curry from the last half, not the one from the first two-and-a-half halves of this series. They need something from the front line of Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut.

But what they need most is some transition buckets and a faster tempo, something I discuss with Jenna Corrado in this PBT Extra.

NBA: J.R. Smith should have been called for a foul on Andre Iguodala’s late jumper


Correction: Iguodala’s shot was initially ruled a 3-pointer. The NBA review considers it a 2-pointer. The post has been updated to reflect.


The NBA released its officiating report for the final two minutes of the Cavaliers’ Game 3 win over the Warriors, identifying two missed calls.

One: J.R. Smith should have been called for fouling Andre Iguodala on this 3-pointer 2-pointer:

Sending Iguodala for three two free throws while trailing by five with nine seconds remaining would have still left the Warriors in a tenuous situation. But they would have at least had more — i.e., some — hope.

However, Golden State wouldn’t have been even that close if the other incorrect call.

The NBA said David Lee set an illegal screen by grabbing Iman Shumpert’s leg before this Stephen Curry 3-pointer:

The Warriors came out ahead on missed calls in the Final two minutes, and they still lost. There isn’t much room for griping. Whatever exists, limit it to the first 46 minutes.

Nike to replace Adidas as official maker of NBA uniforms, apparel


For a decade now, Adidas has been the maker of the NBA’s official uniforms and apparel — those Chicago Bulls practice long-sleeve T-shirts, the Stephen Curry Warriors T-shirts, the LeBron James jerseys all were Adidas products. But the company decided to bow out of when other competitors came into the bidding process.

Nike won that bidding war.

Nike and the NBA announced a deal Wednesday where the iconic brand tied to NBA stars from Michael Jordan through LeBron will be the NBA’s official uniform and apparel supplier for at least eight years.

“This partnership with Nike represents a new paradigm in the structure of our global merchandising business,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a released statement.  “As our exclusive on court apparel provider, Nike will be instrumental in our collective efforts to grow the game globally while applying the latest in technology to the design of our uniforms and on court products.”

Nike has made the Team USA jerseys for the Olympics for years; this will build off of that experience. Nike also will manufacture the jerseys for the WNBA and D-League.

“We’re excited to bring the full power of our global reach, innovation and creativity to partner with the NBA and grow the game in a way only Nike can,” Nike President & CEO Mark Parker said in his statement.  “In Nike, Jordan and Converse we have three of the most connected brands in the world, and look forward to making the global growth of the game a successful strategy for both the NBA and Nike.”

This was the expected outcome after Adidas decided to get out of the business. While it was possible Under Armour could have tried to pay big for a foothold, the NBA and Nike have deep ties and business relationships in place.

But mostly this is about Nike coughing up the cash. According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Nike will pay the NBA $125 million annually to supply the uniforms, which is more than double what Adidas was paying (and why they dropped out).

This should be good for the look of the league — Nike does things well and does them with a flair. They get marketing, but they also get design. This is a marriage that should lead to some fun looks for the NBA at future All-Star Games and beyond, starting in the 2017-18 season.

Back in 2012, Nike signed to be the official uniform supplier of the NFL.

Steve Kerr says Draymond Green is getting treatment for back spasms, should be ready for Game 4


The Warriors have struggled to find their offense against the Cavaliers to this point of the NBA Finals, and the relative disappearance of Draymond Green has been a big reason why.

During the regular season, Green was a reliable safety valve that Golden State could count on to relieve the pressure from its shooters. Green could consistently convert shots inside and out, including from three-point distance.

He’s been dreadful in this series, however, and an ongoing back issue may be to blame for his recent round of troubles.

Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Steve Kerr said Draymond Green has back spasms but should be able to play Game 4. He’s getting treatment right now.

Rosalyn Gold-Onwude of CSN:

Draymond Green shared w/ me his back “is locked up at all times- pain w/ explosion, jumping & contact”. Hurt it Game 2, 3rd qtr after fall.

Green is shooting just 4-of-17 from the field over the last two games, both of which were Warriors losses. He’s also 1-of-5 from three-point distance over the same span, but more importantly, he’s not even looking for the ball behind the three-point line as he has all season long, which contributed to a critical late-game turnover as Stephen Curry threw the ball to where Green was supposed to be.

With the way the Cavaliers have tenaciously defended over these first three games, the Warriors need to find additional sources of offense. It’s why you saw much less Harrison Barnes in Game 3, and why David Lee finally found his way off of the end of the bench to score 11 points in just over 13 minutes.

But Green is there for his defense first, and since the Warriors can’t afford too much slippage on that end of the floor as they look for new ways to get the offense on track, if he’s healthy enough to go in Game 4, expect Green to play something resembling his normal allotment of minutes.

Kyrie Irving in good spirits following knee surgery: “I have no regrets”

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CLEVELAND — Kyrie Irving could tell right away that this injury was different. He bumped knees with Warriors guard Klay Thompson in overtime of Game 1 of the Finals, and it turned out much worse than the knee tendinitis he’d been dealing with throughout the postseason. The Cavs announced on Saturday that Irving had a fractured left kneecap. Recovery time: three to four months. His first trip to the Finals: over.

“I kind of knew,” Irving said on Wednesday, addressing media for the first time since undergoing knee surgery last week. “The way it felt, it was something I hadn’t felt before. Walking to the bench, I looked at our trainer, Steve, and I’m just like, ‘Man.’ I’m walking around and I was like, ‘This doesn’t feel right,’ and I had to walk off the court and that was it.”

Irving has been in good spirits since the injury, posting encouraging messages to his teammates on Instagram and tweeting from the hospital bed. Now he’s home, wearing a full-leg cast and walking on crutches. Even though his team is up 2-1 in the Finals, it’s tough for him to watch from the sidelines. But he’s making the best of it.

“It’s a tough situation to be in, especially at the Finals on the biggest stage,” he said. “Dealing with injuries throughout the playoffs is definitely tough, and it’s a test of your will. But for me to go out like that, fractured kneecap, out three to four months, it’s tough to process. But having the teammates that I have and the coaching staff and the organization I’m part of, it makes that process a lot easier, just being at home watching these guys play and texting all the guys and FaceTiming all the guys as much as possible.”

Irving insists that his previous knee troubles had nothing to do with the injury, and nor did his heavy minutes load in Game 1.

“I was not any more susceptible,” he said. “My knee in terms of the stability was great. Obviously there was a risk going out there and playing anyway, no matter what. But in terms of everything that was inside of my knee, stability-wise, everything was fine.”

In fact, Irving was excellent in Game 1 before the injury. After a frustrating playoffs, it looked like the week of rest between the Eastern Conference Finals and the Finals was paying off.

“That’s probably the thing that hurts the most is how great I felt going into that game, and then one freak moment, how it could all kind of end for three to four months. I mean, I wouldn’t do it any different. Like I said on my Instagram post or on Twitter, I don’t have any regrets for the decision I made. I trust our organization, and I trust our training staff to the full extent.”

Next up for Irving is a long recovery, which he hopes will follow a championship that he had a substantial role in winning, even if he wasn’t able to be there at the end.