Stephen Curry is a show unto himself.
Before the game, Curry was doing this during warmups.
Then at the end of the first quarter came this.
The man is worth the price of admission, even when the Warriors struggle (which they did in the second quarter of this game and the Spurs took a comfortable lead).
Ben Simmons keyed the 76ers’ historic offensive turnaround from Game 1 to Game 2 against the Nets. He pushed the pace, attacked and created good shots for himself and teammates.
Brooklyn forward Jared Dudley explained Simmons’ improvement.
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:
Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:
It’s coming from Jared Dudley. C’mon.
Simmons’ dismissive tone makes this bigger than merely his words do. There’s definitely animosity brewing between these teams.
But this “beef” will get only as large as Simmons makes it.
He is great in transition and average in the halfcourt. Dudley’s remark wasn’t an insult. It was a scouting report.
Keeping Simmons out of transition is far easier than done. That’s part of what makes Simmons a star. He frequently creates up-tempo opportunities.
Players can’t be defined by a list of strengths and weaknesses. How often those strengths and weaknesses affect the game is important.
Simmons often makes his strengths count.
There are still questions about just how often he can do that against the best defenses, especially deep into the playoffs. His poor shooting is a liability in the halfcourt.
For now, he’ll create plenty of fastbreaks against the Nets. Simmons is a good enough player to set the style against that defense. He’s better than Dudley, who’s just a role player.
But Dudley is also a smart player. And he’s spot-on here.
De'Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome just led Virginia to a national championship.
Now, they’re trying to parlay that title into success at the next level.
Hunter and Jerome declared for the 2019 NBA drat with the intent to stay in it, Virginia announced.
Hunter will probably be a top-10, maybe even top-five, pick.
At 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan and a strong base and impressive lateral mobility, the forward has excellent defensive versatility. He’s steady on and off the ball. I question whether he’ll lock up the better athletes he’ll more regularly face in the NBA, but his defensive floor is quite high.
He’s also a good 3-point shooter, though his slow release limits the number of attempts he can get up. Otherwise, Hunter lacks the explosiveness and ball-handling to become a traditional star.
Maybe he’ll be an excellent 3-and-D role player. In this weak-looking draft, that possibility is enough to make him coveted.
Jerome also lacks the burst to possess high upside, but that’s more understandable late in the first round, where he’s projected. The 6-foot-5 guard is a good outside shooter with a knack for getting open. He has plenty of distributing ability for a secondary playmaker but isn’t enough of a threat to create for himself to run an offense through him.
He’s limited defensively, but he has a decent knack for when to gamble when there’s good help – like Hunter – behind him.
Asked about elbowing Nets center Jarrett Allen in the face, Joel Embiid said, “I got him pretty good, and I’m sorry about it.” Sitting next to Embiid, Ben Simmons chortled. Then, Embiid laughed.
Embiid sounded sarcastic. I don’t know whether he meant to. But he sounded that way.
Were the 76ers actually laughing about the flagrant foul? Was Simmons laughing about Embiid’s monotone delivery? Did Embiid laugh just because Simmons did?
Whatever the reason, neither Caris LeVert nor Jared Dudley were pleased.
Ian Begley of ESPN:
Brian Lewis of the New York Post:
This does fit Embiid’s personality. He is a troll.
And Brooklyn should be mad about it. Allen took the brunt of a dangerous play, and the Nets should stick up for their teammate.
In 2019, that probably won’t translate to committing a hard foul on Embiid in Game 3. But this could motivate Brooklyn at a time teams should always be seeking an extra edge.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have hired Rich Cho vice president of basketball strategy and Glen Grunwald as a senior adviser within the franchise’s basketball operations department.
Cho is a former Charlotte Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers general manager. Grunwald was general manager of the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors.
Cho was general manager of Portland in 2010-11 and was Charlotte’s general manager from 2011-18. Before coming to Portland, Cho was an assistant general manager with the Seattle SuperSonics and continued in that role when the franchise became the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Grunwald worked with the Knicks from 2006-13, serving as executive vice president and general manager for the final two seasons of that stretch. He was Toronto’s general manager from 1997-2004.
Grunwald spent the 2018-19 season as president and CEO of Canada Basketball after a four-year stint director of athletics and recreation at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.