Through two games the Spurs are shooting 51 percent overall against the Clippers and 46 percent from three. They have scored more than 25 points in six of the eight quarters. It feels like every shot they take is a wide open one. They have done pretty much whatever they wanted.
The Clippers have no answers, no defense for it. Blake Griffin, slowed some by a bad knee, just cannot come close to rotating as fast as the ball moves. The Spurs are making it look easy.
San Antonio remains undefeated in the playoffs, pulling away for a 105-88 win that has them up 2-0 in the series now headed to a very busy Staples Center in Los Angeles (Clippers, Lakers and the NHL’s Kings all have home playoff games this weekend, plus the Amgen Tour of California cycling race finishes outside Staples Sunday afternoon.)
San Antonio is playing fantastic, beautiful basketball, having now won 16 in a row dating back to the regular season. Tony Parker found his grove (on his 30th birthday) and had 22, Tim Duncan had his usual efficient 18 and, as we all expected, Boris Diaw added 16. It was that kind of night for the Spurs, where Diaw is hitting everything and Tiago Splitter was 4-6 shooting.
Chris Paul struggled again to find his mojo, in part still due to injury but more because the Spurs defensive game plan is working and not letting him get the looks he wants. Nor can he get going setting up teammates. Blake had 20 to lead the Clippers, who had just two other players in double figures. If Paul and Griffin are not playing like All-Stars the Clippers have no real chance.
Thing is, the Clipper offense wasn’t that bad — they shot 49 percent, hit 9-13 threes and scored 88 points.
But if they don’t find a way to slow the Spurs offense it’s all for naught. And I’m not sure they have the pieces or the maturity to make that happen right now.
The current social media marketing landscape is sort of a gross place to be. People will do anything for clicks, views, and the idea of “all PR being good PR” is taken to the extreme by many parties.
We live in a world where Kanye West, who made a couple of good albums a decade ago, says something patently crazy in advance of any new marketing campaign as a way to keep his name in the news (and in search engines) prior to the release of a shoe or a new song. It’s not very subtle.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry appears to have done much the same this week. Curry proposed that he didn’t believe that humans had landed on the moon, prompting widespread discussion of the kind of negative impact those comments can have. NASA wasn’t happy about it.
Both ESPN’s “PTI” and “The Jump” issued commentary on it that was out of the ordinary, and fans denounced Curry for setting a bad example and being “anti-science” and “anti-history”.
And now, just a couple of days later, Curry has a new shoe for you to buy from Under Armour. Imagine that!
Tuesday night Curry was at an event showing off the new shoes, and he even did a Q&A on Twitter. Perfect timing, don’t you think?
Steph, let me tell you buddy. This is not the way to sell a shoe. Well, it is one way to sell a shoe in 2018, but as the two-time NBA MVP and a three-time NBA champion, it’s definitely not the right look for a guy of your stature. This is gross, and inappropriate, and honestly damages the legacy of how people will write about you and view you in the future.
Say it was a bad joke and move on. It’s not worth it to look like you’d sell your soul just to huck some rip-off Kobe 10 All-Stars anyway.
The UA Curry 6 drops soon but I’m not telling you where.
We finally have a diagnosis for Philadelphia 76ers point guard Markelle Fultz. According to doctors, Fultz suffers from thoracic outlet syndrome, which has hampered his ability to shoot a basketball and be functional on an NBA floor.
There have been rumors that the Sixers want to move on from Fultz. Those rumors have been shot down, but a public denial is not a guarantee against a private admission.
Meanwhile the NBA sphere has started to churn about where Fultz could fit in and start over. An obvious landing spot would be the Phoenix Suns, who have needed a point guard for some time and come with less pressure than Philadelphia.
But according to at least one report from Arizona, the Suns aren’t interested in Fultz. Phoenix radio host John Gambadoro said as much on Twitter on Tuesday.
This doesn’t say much. Any information sourced to reporters at this juncture could just as easily be Phoenix driving down the cost of a Fultz trade as it is true information about them not having interest.
Still, the idea of Fultz in Phoenix does make some sense on paper, and if the Suns aren’t interested it adds another layer to the story about where the young point guard might eventually end up. The future doesn’t seem bright for Fultz and the Sixers, but for now we’ll just have to wait.
Will Kevin Durant stay with the Golden State Warriors after this summer?
That’s the question on the mind of everyone in the NBA and particularly the basketball fans in the Bay Area. Durant is rumored to desire a change of scenery, especially if he wins another championship at the end of this year with the Warriors.
If Durant does leave Oakland, what will his legacy be with Warriors fans? It’s hard to determine that right now, just as it would be difficult to know how the organization would deal with honoring Durant after he retires.
No matter what, Durant thinks the best players on this current roster will have their jerseys retired and have statues put up out front of the new arena in San Francisco.
“I know for a fact that we’ll all get out jerseys retired,” said Durant. “We’ll probably all get statues in front of the Chase Center. We’ll be Bay Area legends forever.”
There’s no indication from Durant’s comments that he is going to decide to stay with the Warriors, so take them with a grain of salt. I think the Durant is one of the most enigmatic stars to have graced league in the last 30 years, so any assumptions about what he wants is pure speculation.
But, if he leaves, do you really think Golden State would give him a statue?
Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert has been no stranger to NBA officials this season. The Frenchman has already been fined for his comments on what he believes is poor officiating, and he doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime soon.
After the Jazz lost a heartbreaker to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, 122-113, Gobert again decided to make it known how he felt about the folks in gray.
Specifically, Rudy Gobert said that if officials weren’t going to start protecting him against other players fouling him with disregard, he would have to take it into his own hands.
Via the Salt Lake Tribune:
“Tonight, someone grabbed my arm, pulled me down — that was a very dangerous play, and I got called for the foul. So if I gotta do justice myself, I’m gonna do justice myself. And it’s gonna get ugly,” Gobert said. “Hopefully I don’t have to do that. I just want to play basketball.”
That’s about as close as we’ll ever get to fighting words in the NBA, and Gobert was probably pretty heated after the loss when he said those things.
Still, officiating has been a question around the league this season, and it’s possible that Gobert has some legitimate complaints. Hopefully the coaching staff and front office in Utah is doing what they can to lobby the league so that Gobert doesn’t take it out on his fellow players. He’s already slapped a water bottle off the scorer’s table this year, and the Jazz can’t afford Gobert boiling over.