Show Recap: May 15, 2019 (From Oracle Arena in Oakland)

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First Half

Monologue: Don’t make things easier for Steph

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If you make it easy on Steph Curry, he’s going to do some damage. This is not a revolutionary insight. And yet, it appears that what would seem to be a basic rule of thumb never quite made it into the Blazers game planning for the conference finals opener
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Portland decided the best way to defend the greatest shooter of all time in the pick-and-roll would be to…drop its bigs back? Between their injury issues and their particular personnel, the Blazers don’t have a tremendous amount of options here. Still, it seems Portland’s strategy for defending Steph could have been anything else

By the end of the night, Steph had 36 points in 35 minutes including nine three-pointers. The Oracle crowd loved it

Steph’s mom, Sonya loved it:

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The Currys eventually decided to wear specially made split jerseys. Overall, Dell’s Golden State apparel got a lot more of a workout than Sonya’s Blazers gear

After the game, Portland’s Terry Stotts was asked about his strategy on Steph:

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Clearly, Stotts was in no mood

But his players were more than happy to admit that they did have a problem starting with CJ McCollum:

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Enes Kanter:

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In Game 1, the Blazers came along and made it even easier. Rule of thumb: if you’re the opponent, don’t do that! The man can do enough damage as it is

How should we feel about Steph thriving without KD?

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“He won two MVPs before KD showed up. They still have six guys on their team from that run where it was just Steph and Klay moving around. All those guys know that system. It’s very easy for them to go back to into it because they’ve been apart of it for years” – Jefferson

Windhorst:

“They would have a much deeper bench if KD wasn’t on their team. They know they are unbeatable with KD” – Jefferson

Nichols & Jefferson:

Fatigue a huge factor for Blazers in Game 1?

“We could say fatigue, but it was experience. There was some inexperience from the coaching staff and the players. They will play better, but they weren’t ready [in Game 1]” – Jefferson

“I could feel the letdown being around their team” – Windhorst

“Dame has not been himself the last two games. Maybe it’s fatigue, maybe it’s the moment, maybe it’s that hamstring. If he doesn’t come back and be the Dame who carried them through the first round and was dominant several times against the Nuggets, all that stuff is not going to matter. They need that kind of firepower” – Windhorst


Replay
May 15, 2004 – Kobe Bryant going all the way for the nasty one-handed throwdown vs the Spurs!

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Make or Miss League Klay

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Klay more proud of dunks than 3s?

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Is Giannis still dunking on the Celtics?

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Pelicans: More than 2,000 season tickets sold Tuesday night

“1000% [The Smoothie King Center will be sold out next season]. Sellout from day one. He is the biggest draw that the NBA has seen in years, especially coming into the league. There hasn’t been many guys that have that type of draw in the US, around the league. He’s going to play road games that will be sold out everywhere” – Jefferson

“One of the comparisons to him is Blake Griffin. The excitement from college, him dunking on everybody, he’s a very similar player, if not more dynamic” – Jefferson

Moving on…

How excited should Zion be to join Pelicans?

“He does have some options. He has not signed with an agent or signed a shoe deal yet. He could threaten to go back to Duke. Is that the kind of person that Zion is? The people that I know who know him say no” – Windhorst

“Zion needs to go to New Orleans” – Jefferson

What does No. 1 pick mean for Anthony Davis?

“[Pelicans] are not changing their position [on trading AD]” – Windhorst

Nichols:

“The Knicks actually come out in really good position here. Generally, the value of the No. 3 pick is higher than the No. 4 pick. Anthony Davis has expressed an interest in playing for New York. And if the Knicks are able to land somebody in free agency, or two players in free agency, it only increases AD’s possible intention to play there and the Knicks interest in trading away their young players to win now” – Windhorst


Second Half

Trail Blazers have any reason for optimism?

“Yeah. They’ve always recovered. They have so much more that they can improve on: Dame didn’t shoot the ball well, they turned the ball over” – Jefferson

“At the end of the day, they really need Dame to be Dame” – Windhorst

“I do not think that the team that loses Game 1 is in the best position. The team that wins Game 1 is in the best position” – Nichols

Which team do you trust more: Raptors or Bucks?
FYI: Raptors are 3-14 all-time in Game 1s

Jefferson: Bucks
“It’s the way their team is. Giannis is their focal point. They have been the best team all season long”

Windhorst: Bucks


RecommendsWhat happened at the wildest NBA Lottery ever seen by Zach Lowe


Knicks fans reacting to the lottery:

Lottery prove tanking isn’t worth it anymore?

“It is true. I wouldn’t say it’s the end of tanking. Let’s be competitive, let’s try and win games. You just want to stop the tanking at the beginning of the season” – Jefferson

“Dallas was low-key tanking” – Windhorst

“The worst teams we’re not rewarded. That’s what they wanted to kind of steer away from. Be competitive” – Jefferson

Which team now has best package for AD trade?

“It depends on what the Pelicans focus is. If they want to go all young and build around Zion, the Knicks have the best package to offer. They can offer the No. 3 pick, they can offer a couple of young players who they have on their roster right: Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr., Mitchell Robinson, the two first-round picks that they got from the Dallas Mavericks” – Windhorst

“Pelicans are not interested in making a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. They are still out of position, even getting the No. 4 pick” – Windhorst

“Boston’s package lost steam because while we we’re all celebrating Memphis, that picked would have gone to Boston had it moved backward” – Windhorst

“It works for the Knicks and against the Celtics” – Windhorst

“The reality: He’s not going to extend right away. He can’t and he won’t. Any team that trades for him is going to have the uncertainty that he may still get to free agency” – Windhorst


Replay
May 15, 1996 – Shaq with the footwork, some fakes and finishing it hard with the one-handed jam vs the Hawks!

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crunchtime

The sooner the better
NBA moving up start of free agency, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps
Starts June 30 at 6pm ET

New Commish
WNBA names Cathy Engelbert commissioner

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Throw the flag?
Like idea of “Coach’s Challenge”? (Via Zach Lowe/ESPN)

“I like it, but I also want you to take something away: we can’t just keep adding to the game. We got more reviews, the two minute report. If you keep adding, you have too much” – Jefferson

Clip City, Chip City?
Jerry West agrees to remain with Clippers

“Nobody expected him to leave. Great momentum for the Clippers. Will see if it pays off” – Windhorst

Jump Ball Regular

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Windhorst: Over

Jefferson: Push (28 points exactly)

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Jefferson: Over

Windhorst: Over

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Jefferson: Bucks Cover

Windhorst: Raptors Money line

Bonus: What are you looking for beyond Kawhi and Giannis?

“The Bucks are kind of in the same zone as the Blazers. They are completely uncharted territory. The Raptors have experience. How do the Bucks handle this?” – Windhorst

Jefferson:

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Welcome to The Jump's fanpage, a daily program focused on the NBA. The fast-paced, 1 hour show originates from Los Angeles and features appearances by current and former players and a rotating cast of ESPN analysts, reporters and insiders providing commentary. Tune in weekdays from 3-4pm ET on ESPN with Rachel Nichols and company where they analyze each day's games and discuss the latest news from around the association.

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