Getty Images

Three Things we learned Sunday: Warriors break out of “slump,” or just beat Knicks

2 Comments

A key thing to life going the way you want and hope is to be prepared. Know what you’re doing, be prepared for the moments you have to go off script. For example, if you’re going to steal a car, know how to drive a stick shift. (Not that we recommend stealing a car, don’t do it.) If you need to be prepared for today by knowing a little more about the NBA and what happened Sunday, we’ve got you covered.

1) In Madison Square Garden things were quiet. Too quiet? If you want to know what people are talking about around the NBA, it was the quiet of Madison Square Garden for the first half Sunday against the Warriors. Knicks game operations were turned off for the first half — no music played (even during timeouts), no sound clips, no dance teams or T-shirt giveaways. Nothing. Just the sounds of hoops. No “every body clap your hands” to be heard.

The reaction? Mixed. Draymond Green for one hated it (although if you watch the video he was being at least semi-facetious). Here is a sampling of the reaction to the move on Twitter.

Whether this comes back for other games or not, know the Knicks will still be the Knicks.

2) As for the game at Madison Square Garden, Stephen Curry makes some noise and out of shooting slump. Warriors win. If the Warriors are going to hold off the Spurs and maintain their No. 1 seed, they are going to need MVP level Stephen Curry to show up for the team’s final 20 games. Then put him in a lot of pick-and-rolls so he can do damage.

Cold-brewed Curry played in the quiet first half at MSG Sunday, scoring 12 points on 4-for-13 shooting. Then in the third quarter, he found his stroke, scoring 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting (3-of-4 from three), and with that the Warriors pulled away for a victory (ending a two-game losing streak that had been overblown). Curry finished with 31 points, Klay Thompson had 29, and while not exactly a dominant performance, after losing two in a row picking up a road win is all that mattered.

The Warriors now head to Atlanta for the second night of a road back-to-back that would have been tough even with Kevin Durant.

3) Sunday was “Day of the Game Winners”: Rudy Gobert, Glenn Robinson III, Tyler Ulis all knock them down. You want game winning shots? We got ’em.

Utah’s Rudy Gobert forced OT hitting a driving layup off a pick-and-roll with Gordon Hayward in regulation, then in OT he tapped in the game winner.

Paul Goerge had a monster game against the Hawks with 34 points, so not surprisingly when he drove the ball looking to force OT Sunday the Atlanta defense collapsed on him, so George whipped the pass to Aaron Brooks, who found Glenn Robinson III wide open in the corner and… splash.

Usually, it’s Boston’s “little man” Isaiah Thomas who comes up big in the fourth — and he certainly made some plays — but it was the Suns’ undersized point guard Tyler Ulis who knocked down the game winner in Phoenix.

Why does Kevin Durant respond on social media? “I’m qualified to talk about basketball”

Getty Images
1 Comment

Every NBA player gets ripped on social media, even the guys who are not on social media. Most of the time players just ignore it, the way they ignore fans yelling stuff courtside or distant family asking them for money.

Kevin Durant, however, gets into it sometimes, even with national media members (and even had a burner account). Which always becomes a thing.

Why? Why not just ignore it? From Durant himself at practice Friday, via NBC Sports Bay Area.

“Because I have social media,” Durant said Friday… “I mean, I’m a human being with a social media account. I could see if I ventured off into like politics, culinary arts or music and gave my input, but I’m sticking to something that I know. You know what I’m saying? This is all I know. I’m actually talking about stuff that I know. I’m qualified to talk about basketball.

“So when I respond to something, especially if it’s about me personally, of course I’m going to tell you if you wrong about it. When I’m on the training table getting treatment on my calf and I see a tweet that come by and I disagree — I don’t talk to people because I’m worried about what they say, it’s just that I’m interested. So if you talking about in-game or the NBA Finals, they’re the same to me, you know what I’m saying?”

Durant seems to have more time on hands to get into these spats while he is out injured. Which likely will last into the start of the NBA Finals.

Does this mean the Drake/Durant beef is inevitable?

LeBron likes Instagram of Kyrie Irving in Lakers jersey, Internet goes berserk

Getty Images
2 Comments

The Lakers landing Kyrie Irving in free agency this summer might be their best realistic option. It’s far, far from a lock — the Knicks, and yes Celtics, will make their pitch, too — but reuniting the pair that won a title in Cleveland is on the Lakers’ radar. (Insert your own, “you know who should coach this team” Tyronn Lue joke here.)

Fueling the speculation, LeBron James and Irving were seen hanging out together at a club in Los Angeles recently. Then Friday, this happened: Cuffthelegend posted this on Instagram and LeBron liked it.

View this post on Instagram

I like how this feels

A post shared by Savage Season 365 (@cuffsthelegend) on

(For the record, Cuffthelegend gets some stuff right, he’s not a guy who posts stuff out of nowhere.)

Of course, NBA Twitter and the web responded to this in its usual measured, thoughtful way. Some Lakers fans think the deal is done, others mock the idea altogether.

Two thoughts on Irving and the Lakers:

• Multiple reports say Irving is open to it. Irving also has a strong relationship with Kevin Durant, and Boston still plans to trade for Anthony Davis and then try to re-sign Irving (even if Boston fans are done with Kyrie). The only person who knows which way Irving is leaning right now is Irving, and there’s a good chance he changes his mind in the next five weeks anyway.

• If the Lakers are going to land a star free agent this summer, it will be because LeBron was an active recruiter. These elite players have options, and the Laker front office is not inspiring confidence of late, it will be on LeBron to win guys over.

 

Jeremy Lin: Milwaukee security guard asked for my pass to Raptors team bus

Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images
4 Comments

Jeremy Lin has discussed people not believing he plays in the NBA.

It apparently still happens.

Lin, whose Raptors are playing the Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals, via Bill Michaels Sports Talk Network:

After Game 2 in Milwaukee, I was trying to get to the team bus and one of the dudes in the Milwaukee arena just screams at me. He’s like, “Where do you think you’re going?!” And I’m like, “Uh, I’m trying to get to the team bus.” He’s like, “What?! Where’s your pass?” I was like, “I don’t have a pass. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have a pass.”

This happens in a lot of arenas, so I just kind of go with the flow.

It’s a fine line. Lin shouldn’t be profiled as a non-athlete because he’s Asian-American. Arena staffers should keep everyone safe by stopping unauthorized people.

PBT Podcast: What’s next for Boston, Philadelphia, Denver? (And some playoff talk)

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Will Kyrie Irving stay in Boston? If not, what is Plan B?

Is Jimmy Butler back in Philadelphia next season? If he is will Tobias Harris be back?

What are the next steps to turn Denver into a contender?

I get into all of those things with the wise Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (and Celtics Blog, and Real GM), we break down those three teams recently turned out of the playoffs. We also start off talking about teams actually in the playoffs, particularly Toronto’s comeback in the Eastern Conference Finals, and how those teams can take advantage against the Warriors with Kevin Durant out.

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.

We want your questions for future podcasts, and your comments, so please email us at PBTpodcast@gmail.com.