Stephen Curry suffered no setbacks with injured ankle, says he’s ‘ready to go’ for Game 5

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The left ankle injury that Stephen Curry suffered late in Game 3 was a legitimate cause for concern for the Warriors. Despite Curry’s cold shooting in the last game and a half before it occurred, few believed that Golden State would be able to beat the Spurs without him.

Curry played in the Warriors’ overtime Game 4 victory, and played well. He finished with 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting (5-of-10 from three-point distance), to go along with six rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes of action.

The only question surrounding Curry’s health was whether or not there’d be any swelling in the ankle the next day, or whether the pain injection he took in order to play would have any lasting effects. Speaking to reporters at shootaround in advance of Game 5 on Tuesday, all signs from Curry seemed to be positive.

From Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News:

-CURRY: I feel good. Ready to go tonight. It feels a whole lot better than it did before Game 4, so that’s all I could ask for.

-Q: You said you just wanted it to feel like it did after Game 4. So it’s better than that?

-CURRY: I woke up yesterday, it wasn’t worse than it was before the game, which is a huge success. And then was able to capitalize on that with treatment the last day or so.

So mission accomplished, to be able to play Game 4 and not have any setbacks or kind of delay the healing process for tonight.

Curry went on to say that he wouldn’t play with a brace on the left ankle, and that he doesn’t expect it to require surgery in the offseason. He also said he didn’t plan on taking an injection for Game 5, despite having had to do so three times previously already in the postseason.

One more item of note, in case there was any doubt about just how great of a shooter Curry is: he wasn’t able to get any shots up between games 3 and 4 due to his ankle receiving constant treatment, and didn’t touch a basketball until layup lines minutes before tip-off. The result? Curry knocked down his first two shot attempts in the game’s first three minutes, both from well beyond the three-point arc.

Report: Clippers trading Wesley Johnson to Pelicans for Alexis Ajinca

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The Chris PaulBlake GriffinDeAndre Jordan era already ended in L.A.

Now, the Clippers are losing the very last player from their 2016-17 team (just two years ago!) – Wesley Johnson, who’s being shipped to the Pelicans for Alexis Ajinca.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Johnson ($6,134,520) has a slightly higher salary than Ajinca ($5,285,394) with both players in the final year of their contracts. As long the Clippers have to waive a player, they’d rather drop the cheaper one.

The Clippers actually had to shed two players before the regular-season roster deadline. They’re also releasing Jawun Evans, the No. 39 pick last year. The point guard just didn’t acclimate to the NBA quickly enough to beat out Sindarius Thornwell and Tyrone Wallace. Though waiving Evans was probably the right move now, I wouldn’t write him off entirely.

Ajinca, on the other hand, has no place in a shrinking NBA. The 7-foot-2 30-year-old can’t stay healthy and hasn’t been productive when on the court.

Johnson fell out of favor with Clippers coach Doc Rivers, but the Pelicans desperate for a small forward. Though Johnson wouldn’t be an exciting addition for most teams, he’s worth the low cost – the $849,126 difference between his and Ajinca’s salaries – to New Orleans, where he might actually be a significant addition.

PBT Podcast: MVP, Rookie of Year, other awards plus NBA playoffs, Finals predictions

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Will James Harden repeat as MVP or will someone else — LeBron James, Anthony Davis — grab the award away from him?

Luca Doncic and Deandre Ayton seem to be the favorites for Rookie of the Year, but could Trae Young or Jaren Jackson Jr. push their way into the conversation?

Who will win Coach of the Year? Is Jamal Murray a guy to watch for Most Improved Player?

Kurt Helin and Dan Feldman of NBC Sports discuss all the major awards plus get into playoff predictions in this latest PBT Podcast. Can Charlotte sneak into the final playoff slot in the East or is Detroit going to take that? Are the Spurs going to miss the playoffs in the West for the first time in 22 years? And are the Warriors a lock to win it all? (Hint: They are not.)

We want your questions for the podcast, and your comments, email us at PBTpodcast@gmail.com. As always, you can check out the podcast below, listen and subscribe via iTunes at ApplePodcasts.com/PBTonNBC, subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out the NBC Sports Podcast homepage and archive at Art19.

Report: Suns signing Jamal Crawford

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The Suns are desperate for a point guard.

How desperate?

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

I wouldn’t assume Phoenix plans to play Crawford at point guard. Perhaps, he’ll be an off guard. But the possibility is scary – whether the fear comes from playing Crawford out of position or the possibility he’d actually be the Suns’ top point guard.

It’s questionable whether the 38-year-old can help in either backcourt spot. He doesn’t attack the rim like he used to, and his defense has become even more porous.

Though he declined a $4,544,400 player option with the Timberwolves, there’s a reason he remained a free agent so long. He’ll likely settle for the minimum with Phoenix, one of the NBA’s bottom teams.

The Suns now have 14 players with guaranteed salaries on standard contracts, three with small or no guarantees (Richaun Holmes, Isaiah Canaan and Shaquille Harrison) plus Crawford. The regular-season standard-contract roster limit is 15. So, it’ll be interesting to see whom Phoenix drops in the next day. The Suns reportedly applied for a disabled-player exception for Darrell Arthur.

The Suns might try to spin this as adding veteran leadership. But they already have Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson and Tyson Chandler. How many veteran leaders do they need?

They need a starting-caliber point guard. Crawford isn’t it. At best, they realize that and have other plans for him.

Charles Barkley says he hasn’t worn underwear in a decade

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Charles Barkley can’t control everything, like whether the Magic hire him as general manager.

But he can control his underpants, as he explained on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.