Tag: Marc Gasol

Matthew Dellavedova, Derrick Rose

Matthew Dellavedova is the most improbable leading scorer of these playoffs


LeBron James – at a level rivaled in the last decade by only the pre-Heat version of himself – has carried the Cavaliers throughout these playoffs.

Cleveland seemingly needed him more than ever in Game 6 against the Bulls on Thursday. Not only was Kevin Love obviously still out, Kyrie Irving left the game with a knee injury.

But LeBron was just 2-for-9 and hadn’t made a 3-pointer or gotten to the free-throw line midway through the second quarter. Cleveland trailed by one.

Enter Matthew Dellavedova.

Dellavedova – an undrafted second-year player best known for leg-locking Taj Gibson – led Cleveland with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-6 on 3-pointers, in the 94-73 series-clinching win.

How improbable was it that Dellavedova would lead a team in scoring during an NBA playoff game?

He averaged just 4.8 points per game during the regular season, and even with this outburst, he’s still averaging just 6.0 points per game in the playoffs.

None of the other 134 players, counting ties, to lead a team in scoring this postseason (gold) scored fewer points per game in the regular season than Dellavedova (wine):


Or in the playoffs:


Player Games as team’s leading scorer Points per game (regular season) Points per game (playoffs)
James Harden (HOU) 9 27.4 26.3
Stephen Curry (GSW) 7 23.8 27.8
LeBron James (CLE) 7 25.3 26.5
Blake Griffin (LAC) 7 21.9 25.4
Jimmy Butler (CHI) 6 20.0 22.9
Bradley Beal (WAS) 6 15.3 22.8
Marc Gasol (MEM) 6 17.4 19.6
DeMarre Carroll (ATL) 5 12.6 16.4
Anthony Davis (NOP) 4 24.4 31.5
Monta Ellis (DAL) 4 18.9 26.0
Chris Paul (LAC) 4 19.1 21.7
Derrick Rose (CHI) 4 17.7 20.3
Kawhi Leonard (SAS) 3 16.5 20.3
Brook Lopez (BRK) 3 17.2 19.8
Tim Duncan (SAS) 3 13.9 17.9
Isaiah Thomas (BOS) 3 16.4 17.5
Jeff Teague (ATL) 3 15.9 14.8
LaMarcus Aldridge (POR) 2 23.4 21.8
Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) 2 17.3 21.2
Klay Thompson (GSW) 2 21.7 20.8
DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 2 20.1 20.3
Kyrie Irving (CLE) 2 21.7 19.8
Dwight Howard (HOU) 2 15.8 17.3
Khris Middleton (MIL) 2 13.4 15.8
Paul Millsap (ATL) 2 16.7 15.3
Mike Conley (MEM) 2 15.8 14.9
Damian Lillard (POR) 1 21.0 21.6
C.J. McCollum (POR) 1 6.8 17.0
Joe Johnson (BRK) 1 14.4 16.5
Al Horford (ATL) 1 15.2 15.8
Paul Pierce (WAS) 1 11.9 15.8
Zach Randolph (MEM) 1 16.1 15.7
J.J. Redick (LAC) 1 16.4 15.2
Pau Gasol (CHI) 1 18.5 14.4
Nicolas Batum (POR) 1 9.4 14.2
Marcin Gortat (WAS) 1 12.2 13.6
Courtney Lee (MEM) 1 10.1 13.4
DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 1 11.5 12.8
Lou Williams (TOR) 1 15.5 12.8
Jarrett Jack (BRK) 1 12.0 12.3
Kyle Lowry (TOR) 1 17.8 12.3
Jared Sullinger (BOS) 1 13.3 12.3
Michael Carter-Williams (MIL) 1 14.6 12.2
Kyle Korver (ATL) 1 12.1 12.1
Deron Williams (BRK) 1 13.0 11.8
Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 1 12.7 11.5
Amir Johnson (TOR) 1 9.3 11.5
Alan Anderson (BRK) 1 7.4 11.0
Mike Dunleavy (CHI) 1 9.4 10.9
Evan Turner (BOS) 1 9.5 10.5
Otto Porter (WAS) 1 6.0 10.3
Dennis Schroder (ATL) 1 10.0 10.2
Marco Belinelli (SAS) 1 9.2 9.3
O.J. Mayo (MIL) 1 11.4 9.0
Nene (WAS) 1 11.0 8.2
Ramon Sessions (WAS) 1 6.3 8.1
Beno Udrih (MEM) 1 7.7 8.0
Zaza Pachulia (MIL) 1 8.3 6.7
Matthew Dellavedova (CLE) 1 4.8 6.0

LeBron finished Game 6 with just 15 points on 7-of-23 shooting. He’d been 0-9 in the playoffs when scoring so little.

Of course, none of those previous nine games came with Dellavedova at his side.

PBT Extra: Grizzlies have no good answers for Warriors’ defense

Mike Conley, Andrew Bogut
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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.

Tony Allen out for Grizzlies-Warriors Game 5 tonight

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Warriors coach Steve Kerr effectively took Tony Allen out of Game 4 with a daring adjustment.

Now, a hamstring injury is taking Allen out of tonight’s Game 5.

Grizzlies sideline reporter Rob Fisher:

Allen came up big in Memphis’ Game 2 and Game 3 wins, but the Warriors effectively neutralized him in Game 4.

Golden State trusted Harrison Barnes to defend Zach Randolph, and “guarded” Allen with center Andrew Bogut. Bogut mostly sagged off Allen to patrol the paint, and Allen shot just 2-for-9, including 0-for-3 on 3-pointers, in 16 minutes.

Without Allen on the court to cover them, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had an easier time operating. Now, the Splash Brothers should get that advantage over a full game.

Larger roles for Jeff Green and Vince Carter could boost the Grizzlies’ offense, but I doubt it outweighs the defensive drop-off. Memphis probably can’t keep up with the Warriors if the game becomes a shootout.

Allen contributes greatly to the Grizzlies’ toughness and defense, traits key to upsetting the Warriors. Though Memphis still has Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, it’ll be an even steeper up-hill battle tonight.

Warriors answer critics with Game 4 win over Grizzlies


Draymond Green glued himself to Mike Conley’s hip as the Grizzlies point guard drove the lane, and Andrew Bogut stepped over to block Conley’s shot. Stephen Curry picked up the ball, attacked the basket 1-on-2 and drew a foul.

A Memphis fan reached for a high five, and Curry happily obliged.

After a two-game skid invited far too much criticism, the Warriors unapologetically remained themselves – staunch defensively, aggressive offensively and confident everywhere – in a 101-84 Game 4 win Monday in Memphis.

“We had a good mindset as a group coming into this game that, if we play like ourselves, we’ll be able to change the tide of the series,” said Curry, who – for the first time since winning the award – played like an MVP with 33 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Curry might have won over only a fan or two, but his Warriors at least quieted what had been a rocking Memphis crowd. Headed back to Golden State with the series tied 2-2 for Game 5 Wednesday, the Warriors aren’t done with the Grind House just yet.

But at least they showed they can handle the pressure.

In the previous couple games, Golden State hoisted many 3-pointers (result: misses), worked quickly before the defense set (result: rushed shots) and made risky passes (result: turnovers).

Tonight, Golden State hoisted many 3-pointers (result: efficient points and misses), worked quickly before the defense set (result: open shots and rushed shots) and made risky passes (result: easy looks and turnovers).

Against this strong Memphis defense, mixed results are more than fine. Golden State just couldn’t afford to let the Grizzlies mentally impact possessions that weren’t closely guarded, which seemed to happen far too often in Games 2 and 3.

On the other end, Warriors coach Steve Kerr made a crafty adjustment.

The Warriors stuck Bogut on Tony Allen, leaving their center to patrol the paint and daring Allen to shoot. Allen (2-of-9, including 0-of-3 on 3s) complied, and Harrison Barnes did well enough on Zach Randolph (12 points on 5-of-10 shooting with 11 rebounds, five offensive) to negate that potential Memphis advantage.

The Grizzlies, who led led for just 29 seconds, couldn’t find an edge elsewhere. Marc Gasol (19 points on 19 shots, 10 rebounds and six assists) labored, and Mike Conley (4-of-15) was too often out of control.

On the other hand, Green (16 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals, two blocks and seven turnovers) channeled his energetic aggressiveness a little more productively than he had.

Golden State had plenty of miscues, including 21 turnovers, but defended well enough to win whether or not its shots were falling. The Warriors are no one-trick pony, and they’re not soft.

Most importantly: They avoided their first three-game losing streak since since November 2013, setting up a de facto best-of-three series to reach the Western Conference finals.

“I want them to be satisfied with the effort, and I want them to be hungry to improve,” Kerr said. “And I want them to understand nothing’s happened yet.”

Report: Bucks could be in the mix for Brook Lopez if he opts out

Brook Lopez

Just a notch below the Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge tier of this summer’s free agents is Nets center Brook Lopez. Lopez bounced back from an injury-plagued 2013-14 season and played 72 games this year, reestablishing himself as one of the best offensive big men in the NBA. Lopez can opt out of the final year of his contract and test the market in July, and he should have no shortage of suitors, including the Bucks, who are coached by former Nets coach Jason Kidd.

From Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times:

If Brooklyn center Brook Lopez opts out of his contract, which is for $16.8 million, one of the teams he may consider, according to some NBA officials, is the Bucks. Lopez has a good relationship with Bucks coach Jason Kidd, who coached him in Brooklyn last season.

Lopez would be an interesting fit in Milwaukee. He’d give the Bucks a low-post scoring threat who could pair with Ersan Ilyasova or John Henson in the frontcourt. The Bucks will have plenty of cap space to accommodate the max deal that Lopez will surely command, but they also have to re-sign shooting guard Khris Middleton, a restricted free agent who will command max or near-max offers around the league. The Bucks will probably keep Middleton regardless; what they do with the rest of their cap space will be fascinating to watch as they make the transition from fringe playoff team to legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference.