Basketball Wiretap

Warriors 'Hopeful' Of Kevin Durant Playing In Finals, 'Anticipate' DeMarcus Cousins Being Ready

May 23, 2019 2:48 PM

The Golden State Warriors don't expect Kevin Durant or DeMarcus Cousins to be available for the start of The Finals next week.

The Warriors are hopeful, however, of Durant returning at some point during The Finals. Durant has yet to be cleared to begin on-court activities but has made progress from strained right calf. Durant will be reevaluated on May 29th before The Finals begin on May 30th.

Cousins practiced with the Warriors for the first time since his torn left quad on Thursday. The Warriors anticipate Cousins returning at some point during The Finals.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Draymond Green: Warriors Need Kevin Durant For Finals

May 21, 2019 9:24 PM

Draymond Green addressed the topic of whether the Golden State Warriors were better without Kevin Durant, saying that Durant made the team unbeatable.

Durant injured his calf in game 5 of the conference semifinals.

"There's been so much talk about how, 'Oh, they're the Warriors. Before Kevin got there they were great.' Bulls---. We was damn good. I think we were a very good team who was tough to beat. I think when Kevin came here, he made us unbeatable. When DeMarcus [Cousins] came here, it made people scratch their head even more. And so we need those guys. The next series is going to be tough, and I hope and pray that we can get him back," said Green.

The Warriors are cautiously optimistic that Durant will return for the finals.

"I'm really proud of the guys for holding down the fort during this series, and hopefully his rehab continues to progress and we get him back, because we're going to need him. No doubt," added Steve Kerr.

Nick Friedell/ESPN

Tags: Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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NBA Considering Moving Up Start Times For Playoff Games

May 21, 2019 5:02 PM

Adam Silver floated the possibility of moving up the start time for playoff games in response to a question about the NBA's drop in ratings.

"Fifty percent of television households in this country are in the Eastern time zone," said Silver. "And so if your West Coast games start at 10:30 at night in the East, you’re invariably going to lose a lot of viewers around 11, 11:30. I mean, you can just chart it. You see how many television households turn off around 11:15, 11:30 at night, just because people have to get up for work in the morning.

"I mean, it is something we can address. We’re talking about it. I mean, it would obviously be less convenient to those fans on the West Coast if we played even earlier. I mean, just think about people getting to those arenas after work if you start a game at 6 p.m. local time in the West. It’s not the most convenient thing. It’s not as convenient for a television watcher on the West coast, either. But when you look at the league from a national standpoint, it may make sense to play a little bit earlier in the West. And that’s something we’re going to talk to our teams about this summer."

Craig Melvin/NBC

Tags: NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Steve Kerr: When You're Missing Kevin Durant, You Have To Replace Him With 3-4 Players

May 21, 2019 10:54 AM

The Golden State Warriors shrunk their rotation against the Houston Rockets and then expanded it in Game 6 after Kevin Durant was hurt in Game 5, and that continued against the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals.

“Well, we had to,” Kerr said of expanding the bench. “When you’re missing Kevin Durant, you can’t replace Kevin with one guy. You have to replace him with three or four night after night.”

The Warriors played a style against the Rockets that runs counter to the preferences of Kerr.

“I didn’t enjoy the Houston series, but I also felt like it was necessary to play that way to beat Houston,” Kerr said on Monday of shrinking his rotation and playing iso ball. “I hated playing everybody 40-plus minutes and not trusting the bench, but I think Houston forced us to do it. James Harden is a very unique player.”

Kerr added, “I love how that series ended. Game 6 was one of my favorite games that I’d ever coached because Kevin isn’t there and our bench comes up huge. Quinn (Cook) plays well, Jonas (Jerebko) plays well and Shaun Livingston has a big impact and (Kevon) Looney comes through.”

Ethan Strauss/The Athletic

Tags: Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ, NBA Playoffs

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Game 2 Of Bucks-Raptors Scores Lowest Conference Finals Rating Since Spurs-Jazz In 2007

May 20, 2019 6:25 PM

Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals was the NBA's smallest TV audience for that round of the playoffs in a dozen years.

The game drew 4.39 million viewers on TNT, down 48 percent from Cavaliers-Celtics last season, which aired after the NBA Draft Lottery. 

The most recent least-watched game in the Conference Finals was Jazz-Spurs Game 5 in 2007 at 3.97 million viewers.

Game 3 of Raptors-Bucks had a 4.5 overnight rating. It also aired 90 minutes earlier than usual to avoid competing against the entirety of HBO's Game of Thrones, which was watched by 18.4 million people including streaming.

Paulsen/Sports Media Watch

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Kawhi Leonard Expects To Play Despite Leg Injury

May 20, 2019 9:02 AM

Kawhi Leonard landed awkwardly on a layup in the first quarter, but still played a career-high 52 minutes in the Toronto Raptors' 118-112 double overtime win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Leonard came back down the court hopping on one leg with his left leg believed to be the troublesome area. But Leonard later grabbed at his right leg after he ran downcourt and had a dunk in the second overtime.

Leonard dismissed any reason to expect him to miss time in the series.

"I'm good," he said. "I'm just going to keep fighting. I'm going to be playing."

Leonard did admit all of the minutes caught up with him in the game.

"Definitely," Leonard said, when asked if it felt like he had logged that much time. "It's 52 minutes, and it's the playoffs, so you definitely feel it. When you play 30 minutes, you feel it still.

"Just got to not worry about it and get my treatment and move on to the next one."

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Andre Iguodala Questionable For Game 4, MRI Comes Back Clean

May 20, 2019 12:30 AM

An MRI on Andre Iguodala's left calf came back clean on Sunday. He is questionable for game 4 of the Western Conference finals against the Blazers.

Iguodala left the first quarter of game 3 with a calf injury. He later returned to the game, but was taken out again in the 3rd quarter.

Alfonzo McKinnie is expected to receive more minutes if Iguodala cannot play. 

Nick Friedell/ESPN

Tags: Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Andre Iguodala: Steph Curry, Draymond Green Are 'Brady And Gronk'

May 19, 2019 1:19 PM

Andre Iguodala compared the chemistry between Steph Curry and Draymond Green to Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski following the Golden State Warriors' game 3 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

“They’re Brady and Gronk. The black version," said Iguodala after the game.

Curry, who asked "who’s who?” when told of Iguodala's comment, said that he and Green free up space for each other on the court.

“We understand what each other does really well and what we don’t do well. He’s always got your back. He makes the whole team better. He does a lot of stuff that frees up space for me, and vice versa. He’s the full platter. You get a little bit of everything with him. And he knows he can be himself and we’re not going to get in the way of that," said Curry.

Green said that their bond is strengthened by their desire to win.

“We have a chemistry amongst us that’s unlike many we’ve seen, ever in history. We don’t come from similar backgrounds. We’re different in many ways. Where we are the same, though, is we both want to win, we both do whatever to win, we’re both extremely competitive and we’re unselfish. When you add all those things together, those are ingredients for success."

Marcus Thompson II/The Athletic

Tags: Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Andre Iguodala Will Have MRI On Injured Calf

May 19, 2019 12:45 PM

Andre Iguodala sat out the 4th quarter of the Golden State Warriors' 110-99 win over the Portland Trail Blazers in game 3 after injuring his calf.

Iguodala will have an MRI on Sunday.

Iguodala initially left the game in the 1st quarter but eventually returned.

"He was sore. Lower leg, just had some soreness. He's going to get an MRI tomorrow. We didn't want to risk anything and put him back in the game. So, when we took him out mid-third, trainer said that'll be it for him. We'll know more tomorrow," said Steve Kerr.

Nick Friedell/ESPN

Tags: Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Damian Lillard Playing With Separated Ribs, Suffered Injury In Game 2

May 19, 2019 3:04 AM

Damian Lillard played game 3 of the Western Conference finals with separated ribs, according to Shams Charania.

Lillard reportedly suffered the injury during a loose-ball scramble against Kevon Looney in game 2. 

The Blazers went down 3-0 in the series after losing game 3 by a score of 110-99. Lillard shot 5-of-18 from the field, scoring 19 points.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Nick Nurse: 'I Counted 15 Illegal Defenses' Against Brook Lopez In Game 2
Nurse said he was inspired by the Thunder's 2-0 comeback against the Spurs in the 2012 playoffs.

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Khris Middleton: Bucks 'Bench Mob' Can Compete With Other Teams' Starters
The Bucks bench outscored the Raptors bench 54-39 in game 2.

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Giannis Antetokounmpo Following Game 2: This Is A Special Group We Have Right Here
Brogdon said some teammates don't realize how good the Bucks are this season.

Michael Lee/The Athletic

Nick Nurse: Raptors 'Weren't Quite Physical Enough' In Game 2
Green added that the Raptors have to trust each other and limit the Bucks' runs.

Eric Koreen/The Athletic

Warriors Confident Kevin Durant Will Play Again This Season
Steve Kerr has walked back his description of Kevin Durant's right calf strain as being "a little more serious than we thought at the beginning."

Rusty Simmons/San Francisco Chronicle

Damian Lillard: There Was A Lot Of Contact By Andre Iguodala On Final Play
Damian Lillard thought there was a foul on the play while also giving credit to Andre Iguodala.

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Kevin Durant's Calf Strain More Serious Than Originally Believed
Kevin Durant is "not close" to coming back at this time.

Nick Friedell/ESPN

Giannis Antetokounmpo: East Is 'Definitely Open' Without LeBron James
Budenholzer added that Brogdon will probably come off the bench in game 2.

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins To Be Reevaluated In One Week
The Warriors are up 2-0 in the Western Conference finals against the Blazers.

Nick Friedell/ESPN

Kevin Durant 'Dying' To Return From Calf Strain
Kevin Durant hasn't resumed on-court activity from his calf strain and his return doesn't seem imminent.

Matt Schneidman/San Jose Mercury News

Kevin Durant Ruled Out Of Game 2 With Calf Strain
There have been reports that the Warriors will take a wait and see approach with Kevin Durant based on how their series against the Blazers progresses.

Chris Haynes/Yahoo! Sports

Rodney Hood Questionable For Game 1 With Bone Bruise In Knee
Hood shot 58% from the field against the Nuggets.

Joe Freeman/OregonLive

Kevin Durant Ruled Out Of Game 1, Unlikely To Play In Game 2
Kevin Durant will have his right calf reevaluated on Thursday.

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Kawhi Leonard On Last-Second Shot: 'I Just Knew That I Had To Shoot It High'
Leonard said that they had ran a similar play earlier in the playoffs against the Magic.

Eric Koreen/The Athletic

Nikola Jokic After Game 7: I Missed A Lot Of Shots
Malone added that Jokic finally felt the effects of playing in 14 playoff games.

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

CJ McCollum After Scoring 37 Points In Game 7: 'I Got It Out The Mud'
McCollum said he channeled LeBron James on a key chase down block in the 4th quarter.

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Rodney Hood 'In A Lot Of Pain' With Hyperextended Knee
Hood shot 60.4% in the Nuggets series.

Royce Young/ESPN

Brett Brown: Game 7's Are A 'Life Experience'
Brown said that game 7's come down to defense.

Kyle Neubeck/Philly Voice

Malcolm Brogdon May Not Start But Will Play 'A Little Bit More' In Upcoming Game 1
Brogdon scored 10 points in 17 minutes in his first game back from injury.

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Mike D'Antoni Following Game 6: 'This One's Going To Leave A Mark'
D'Antoni added that Capela will only get better moving forward.

Kelly Iko/The Athletic