D’Antoni wants to run it back….but do the Warriors?
#NoFilter with NBA photographer Cassy Athena
Monologue: Clippers are playing like they have everything to win
Steve Kerr had his own “I’m Kevin Durant….you know who I am” type of moment last night:
“A lot people are beginning to discover that Montrezl Harrell/Lou Williams pick-and-roll is one of the devastating ones in the league. despite neither of those guys really being all-stars or household names. That’s what they went to again and again and again down the stretch and the Warriors just didn’t have an answer” – Elhassan
“The Warriors overlooked them. That’s doing a disservice to the Clippers. The Warriors have respect for this group, the Clippers have earned everything they’ve gotten in the series and they play their butts off. So they deserve everything they’ve gotten to this point, but I just don’t think they have the talent to get two more games” – Friedell
A new edition of…
Most concerning aspect of Warriors Game 5 loss?
“I walked in the locker room and it felt like they had just lost a regular season game in the middle of January. It was the same kind of vibe ‘Will get them in Game 6.’ This one felt a lot like all the other games throughout the season and that’s the issue for the Warriors and has been all year: these are the habits that they’ve built” – Friedell
“They played really well offensively, but did not stop the Clippers. No defense at all” – Elhassan
How confident should Rockets feel right now?
Capela on the Warriors: “I want to face them. We’ve been working on it all year long”
“What Houston has done is showed that whatever they started the season with is not here anymore. Last year’s team was a defensively elite unit” – Elhassan
Should Jazz feel optimistic or pessimistic after this series?
“Pessimistic. They have all the look of a team that’s really fun to watch in the regular season, but a regular season team that can’t turn it on to some next level once the playoffs begin. With the roster that they have with Donovan Mitchell, I just don’t know where he’s going to get the kind of help that’s going to take them from one point to the next. That’s what you need in the playoffs. When you don’t have the kind of help and guys you trust around you, this is what you see sometimes” – Friedell
“Optimistic. We didn’t expect them to beat Houston. They were in those games a lot of times, but they missed a lot of open shots in this series. What they do have is a luxury and that luxury is called Derrick Favors. That’s someone who is an excellent defensive big, great rebounder and good finisher in the paint. You could trade that guy somewhere to get you some help on the perimeter. They need more than a 3-and-D guy. They need someone who is a creative offensive talent from the perimeter” – Elhassan
April 25, 1997 – Shawn Kemp (Sonics) throwing it down hard with the one hand vs the Suns!
It’s a Make or Miss League, Patrick Beverley!
Hesitations; How do you defend Lou Williams?
Had 33 points in Game 5
“You got to trap him and get The ball out of his hands and make somebody else be a creator. Do what they’re doing to Steph Curry [getting doubled team]” – Elhassan
“Stay on him, follow him anywhere he goes” – Friedell
Personal Space; Is CP3 the Adrián Beltré (baseball player) of the NBA?
Webbing; Can we talk about Mitchell’s rebounding for a minute?
Conclusions; Care that KD listed his Malibu house for sale?
Kings, NBA launch joint investigation into sexual assault charges against Luke Walton
Warriors more vulnerable than ever right now?
Lou Williams said the Warriors made the mistake of “looking ahead.” Klay Thompson acknowledged that after the game
“They’re more vulnerable than they’ve been in this 5 year stretch. They are emotionally exhausted. But I remind everyone this: This team all season has been at its best when their backs are against the wall” – Friedell
“I don’t think they’re more vulnerable than ever” – Elhassan
“The way they look here, they’ll look different in the next round and so forth” – Elhassan
Rockets traveling to Bay Area on Friday
Rockets will travel to the Bay Area on Friday to give themselves the best chance to be prepared for a potential Game 1 vs. Warriors on Sunday. Rockets intend no disrespect to Clippers, but they want to make sure they adjust to Pacific time and will practice Saturday at Oracle.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) April 25, 2019
“I like the move. You have to able to wake up and play when those games are that early. I have no issue with this. The Rockets, like everybody else [aside from the Clippers] expect the Warriors to close this series out [against the Clippers]” – Friedell
Beef between players and refs diminishing product?
NBA teams and referees are pushing toward a crisis point in these playoffs. Leaders who could stop it are making it worse: https://t.co/RnWmb9zMkq
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) April 24, 2019
“They are fitter, they’re held to higher standards, but are they better? I don’t know. As far as the acrimony, I don’t think it’s at a place where it’s diminishing a product or destroying or eroding public trust. It’s not that it’s bad right now, it’s that if we don’t do something about it now, will we be slowing the seeds for a forest of people complaining all the time non-stop” – Elhassan
“I don’t think fans care that much, frankly. I wish the optics were better because you see it more often where players and coaches are screaming all the time. The fans enjoy that back and forth” – Friedell
What are LeBron’s summer open runs like in person?
“It was wild. He showed up last minute and nobody knew about it and I just happened to be there. They kind of shut down all the cameras but LeBron knew me so he’s like ‘You can shoot’ and he ended up posting the pictures later [on IG], but he’s just a beast when you see him in person like that, just all freedom” – Athena
“They’re intense because guys don’t want to lose. Those are some of the most fun pick-up games you’ll ever watch in the summertime” – Elhassan
How was it capturing D-Wade’s final game-winner [vs Warriors]?
“It was so cool. I have never seen Dwyane play in
person. I was there and I was a little nervous and then right the buzzer, I got the perfect shot at the perfect angle. I ran on the court afterward” – Athena
Favorite moment from Stephen Curry’s underrated tour?
“The best part was just seeing how the kids reacted and seeing them have an opportunity to kind of do what he did. He was a 3-star player, now he’s giving back a chance to find the next player just like him. He’s really passionate about it” – Athena
Why is everyone wearing Cassy Athena shirts?
“It kind of started as a joke because I put my name on all my photos. Dwyane Wade was the first big player to wear it over the the summer and then it just snowballed from there. Every player wanted it” – Athena
April 25, 2001 – Chris Webber putting Suns players in the blender with the fake passes and then finally passing to a teammate for a three pointer!
You don’t say!
PG-13 on shoulder: “Will clean up what needs to be cleaned up”
Led the team in scoring in their series vs the Blazers
“He never passed the eye test. The whole time there in that series, he never looked right” – Friedell
Blake Griffin undergoes knee surgery
“It’s scope and it’s not that big of deal. But the cumulative: How many more knee surgeries is this guy going to have?” – Elhassan
Confident Nuggets will close series out in San Antonio?
“Not at all. Zero. If Denver is going to win this series, it’s going to be in Denver in Game 7. I do not have the confidence in that moment, in that spot that they can get it done” – Friedell
“I kind of feel like they have to get it done because if it goes to game 7, That’s uncharted territory for them more so than just being in the playoffs and that’s where Gregg Popovich shines” – Elhassan
Bucks reaching to find bulletin board material vs Celtics?
"I'm taking the Celtics to beat Milwaukee in the second round."
– Nick Friedell, ESPN pic.twitter.com/rlAkKim8V9
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 25, 2019
Westbrook answered questions from reporters, particularly from his “fave” Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman