Danny Green sets NBA Finals record for three-pointers made in a series (VIDEO)

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SAN ANTONIO — Coming into Game 5, Ray Allen held the all-time record for three-pointers made in an NBA Finals series with the 22 he hit back in 2008 on the way to a championship as a member of the Boston Celtics.

It was only fitting, then, that the shot made by Danny Green in the Spurs’ win over the Heat that gave him the record was so familiarly reminiscent of one that Allen has made so many times in the past.

It was a pull-up, forward-leaning launch in transition that did it, and his hot shooting — 25-of-38 from beyond the arc in the series — has been one of the keys in San Antonio being one win away from an NBA title.

Green didn’t even know the record was within reach.

“I had no idea,” he said. “After the game today I found out. Lucky enough, blessed enough to have the opportunity to be on the stage. My teammates have done a great job of finding me and getting me open, and as I said, luckily it seems everything is going right for me.”

One of his teammates seemed incredulous that Green, as hot as he’s been, continues to get open looks.

“I can’t believe he’s still open at this moment of this series,” Tony Parker said. “They are still trapping me and doubling Timmy, and Danny is wide open. He’s shooting the ball well. If you are going to leave Danny wide open, he’s going to make threes.”

Green, however, doesn’t necessarily believe he’s been as open as everyone seems to think.

“I don’t think many of my shots are that wide open,” he said. “Some of them, yeah, I’m surprised. Tony, Timmy and Manu are doing a great job of sucking in the defense. Us pushing the pace and being able to move the ball gives us open looks.”

The fact that Green broke the record while playing against Allen isn’t lost on him. And while he may not have been aware he had a shot at it heading into this one, now that he owns the record, he’s appreciative of the accomplishment.

“It’s an honor to play on the same floor as some of these guys,” Green said. “Growing up I used to [think about] playing against them all the time.  I didn’t know I would break a record of his. It’s amazing. Very surreal.”

Scottie Pippen on LeBron James, Michael Jordan: “It’s not a fair comparison”

AP
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The battle has, stupidly, raged on between supporters of Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Both sides seem to believe their preference is irrefutably the choice for the best player in NBA history.

And because they did not play in the same era, the question will never be answered. No doubt in 50 years they will write columns about Jordan vs. LeBron, just like their fathers, and their father’s fathers before them.

James has certainly seemed to take a bit of a leap in the eyes of the NBA community this season, likely because of his wonderful performance at age 33. He’s also single-handedly won two playoff series this year. It’s been incredible.

But LeBron rising above Jordan has also brought out some more reasonable takes. Former Chicago Bulls legend and Jordan running mate Scottie Pippen spoke up recently about the debate, giving a measured analysis that I think is pretty strong.

In short, Pippen basically said you can’t compare the two because of the eras, the style, and the fact they just don’t play the same position (if LeBron even has a position, that is).

Via Twitter:

That sounds right to me.

Cavaliers’ Kendrick Perkins not into “all that new stuff” like Chewbacca

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Chewbacca was at Game 3 in Cleveland Saturday. Sitting courtside.

Why? Because growing up on Kashyyyk he played a little hoop and admires LeBron James‘ skill? Because Drake gave him the tickets? Maybe. I mean, it’s not like that was just a clever little publicity stunt for a movie.

After the Cavaliers’ win, Kevin Love decided to make a little joke of it with noted humorist Kendrick Perkins, and it went over as well as expected (with Dave McMenamin of ESPN catching it).

That’s vintage Perkins.

Celtics’ Terry Rozier on Game 3: “We needed to get our butts whooped”

Associated Press
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Cleveland dominated Game 3 Saturday night. They played harder, to start. The Cavaliers’ defensive pressure on the ball was better, they were sharper rotating out to shooters and covering passing lanes. Cleveland’s role players stepped up and helped LeBron James.

Boston, meanwhile, wilted in the face of that pressure Saturday, something it has done a few times on the road these playoffs. The Celtics got away from the things that got them to the Eastern Conference Finals. Guard Terry Rozier put it more bluntly, via A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston:

“I feel like we needed this (loss) to get us back … to get us ready for Monday,” Rozier said.

Rozier later added, “We needed to get our butts whipped. Come back to reality and take care of business on Monday.”

Cleveland is a championship team — from LeBron James on down through the core guys, they all have rings. They have been down before, and heading home it was expected they would play with force. Cleveland’s back was against the wall and they responded.

From the Celtics’ perspective, they also got a little too fat and happy and were not ready for what the Cavaliers came with in Game 3.

Now the pressure is on Boston to push back, to get back to their level of execution and do it under pressure. Make the Cavaliers prove the improved defensive effort was not a one-off game. The Celtics must move the ball and play with some pace, then see if the Cavaliers can keep it together in the face of crisp play.

When this series heads back to Boston Wednesday, it will either see the Celtics in control up 3-1, or the series will be a best of three (with the Cavs still having to figure out if they can win on the road). At home, the Cavaliers are going to play with force again and have some depth. We’ll see if Game 3 was enough of a wakeup call for Boston.

PBT Extra: Can Rockets take Game 2 energy, execution on the road?

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Houston found its blueprint to beating Golden State in Game 2: Strong defensive pressure on the ball, quick switches and communication on defense, getting out in transition when possible, and starting sets earlier in the shot clock and attacking downhill with James Harden and Chris Paul.

Now can they do that on the road? Against a more focused and sharper Warriors’ team?

That will be the question in the next two games of the Western Conference Finals, and it’s what I discuss in this latest PBT Extra.