May 2019 Basketball Wiretap

Andre Iguodala Expected To Play In Game 2 After MRI On Calf Comes Back Clean

May 31, 2019 9:47 PM

An MRI on Andre Iguodala's left calf came back clean on Friday.

Iguodala, who sat out game 4 of the Western Conference finals, tweaked his calf late in game 1 of the NBA Finals. 

The Warriors will proceed with caution with what they're calling a "lower leg injury," but are confident that Iguodala will play in game 2. 

Nick Friedell/ESPN

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

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Kevin Durant Likely Would Be Out Several More Weeks If This Were Regular Season

May 31, 2019 12:47 PM

Kevin Durant would likely be weeks away from returning to action if this were the regular season, according to a source with the Golden State Warriors.

Durant's rehabilitation work has mostly been upper-body conditioning and some light lower-body work that's not weight bearing.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reported on Friday that Durant is likely to return for Game 3 or Game 4.

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Game 1 Of 2019 NBA Finals Draws 10.1 Overnight Rating, Down From 12.3 In 2018

May 31, 2019 10:08 AM

Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors drew a 10.1 overnight rating. Nationally televised games featuring the Toronto Raptors typically get a lower number since Canadian audiences are not included.

The rating is down from 12.3 last season featuring the Warriors against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The following ratings are for each Game 1 featuring the Warriors since 2015:

2018 — 12.3
2017 — 12.4
2016 — 13.1
2015 — 12.9

The Finals has drawn a double-digit rating for 53 straight games.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Kevin Durant Likely To Return For Either Game 3 Or Game 4

May 31, 2019 9:23 AM

Kevin Durant is expected to return from his calf injury at the some point midway through the 2019 Finals.

Durant could return as early as Game 3, but there's a stronger possibility that Game 4 is the most logical option.

The Golden State Warriors do not anticipate a scenario in which Durant will miss the entire Finals.

The Warriors will not practice on Friday, but Durant could join the team for their session on Saturday ahead of Game 2 on Sunday..

Chris Haynes/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Steve Kerr: Kevin Durant Is 'Long Shot' To Play In Game 2

May 31, 2019 1:20 AM

Steve Kerr doubted whether Kevin Durant would be healthy for game 2 of the NBA Finals, adding that Durant has yet to practice with the team.

“The next step would be to practice with the team. But we don’t know when that’s going to be. He’ll continue with the individual workouts," said Durant.

Durant flew with the Warriors to Toronto to participate in team activities. 

“It’s good to have Kevin here. Obviously he’s a huge part of our team and the guys are all pulling for him. It’s such a privilege to be here and play in the NBA Finals for all of these guys...More than anything, we want Kevin to be healthy, be back and enjoy at least part of the series. He’s pretty good. It wouldn’t hurt to have him back.”

NBA.com

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

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DeMarcus Cousins Active For Game 1

May 30, 2019 12:33 PM

DeMarcus Cousins will be active for Game 1 of The Finals at the Toronto Raptors.

Cousins suffered a torn quadriceps in the first round. Cousins made rapid progress in his rehab.

Cousins will be a free agent this offseason.

RealGM Staff Report

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

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Masai Ujiri: Dwane Casey And DeMar DeRozan Are Part Of Raptors' Playoff Journey

May 30, 2019 2:47 AM

Masai Ujiri gave Dwane Casey and DeMar DeRozan credit for their role in the Toronto Raptors' run to the NBA Finals.

Ujiri fired Casey after the Raptors lost to the Cavs in the playoffs for the 3rd straight year. He then traded DeRozan in July.

Ujiri said he knew the team had to make a change after last season.

"It's surreal, but when you put the team together and we all dream of a championship, we all think about that, and I think the change was hard at the time, but we knew the kind of player we were getting, and if we overcame and we dealt with all the issues that we felt we could come together," said Ujiri.

He then added that the two former Raptors are part of this season's journey.

"Give Dwane Casey credit. He prepared us for this, too. It's not something that started in one year ... I want to say Dwane Casey and DeMar DeRozan are part of this. They are part of our journey and how far this has come."

Lori Ewing/The Canadian Press

Tags: Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Steph Curry Is Betting Favorite To Win NBA Finals MVP

May 30, 2019 1:52 AM

Steph Curry is favored to win the NBA Finals MVP, which would be the first of his career.

Caesars Sportsbook opened Curry as a -150 favorite to win the MVP. Kawhi Leonard is the second favorite at +275.

Draymond Green and Klay Thompson each have 9-1 odds to win MVP.

Curry said that he'd rather focus on team accomplishments than individual awards.

"That's just nitpicking at the end of the day, if I really want to cause a hissy-fit about not winning the Finals MVP with all that we've experienced and all the highs that we've been to...I could go out and average 50, but without the contributions and the effort and the focus of everybody that steps foot on the floor, we're not putting banners up. Everybody can feel pride in all the individual accolades as well as the team."

Doug Kezirian/ESPN

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

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NBA Spoke To Raptors About Drake's Presence On Sideline

May 30, 2019 1:26 AM

The NBA discussed Drake's sideline antics with the Toronto Raptors during the Eastern Conference finals.

Drake drew Mike Budenholzer's ire after leaving his courtside seat in game 4 to massage Nick Nurse's shoulders.

"There's certainly no place for fans and, you know, whatever it is exactly that Drake is for the Toronto Raptors. You know, to be on the court, there's boundaries and lines for a reason, and like I said, the league is usually pretty good at being on top of stuff like that," said Budenholzer.

Downplaying his impact ahead of the NBA Finals, Steve Kerr cited his own fanbase when explaining how Drake fits into the league's place in pop culture.

"I kind of think it's fun and the NBA kind of embraces the pop culture dynamic of the league and the stars and the celebrities who are out there. And we got E-40 ready for them too, so we're in good shape."

Michele Steele/ESPN

Tags: Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Kyle Lowry Admits Thumb Injury Affecting Passing Ability

May 30, 2019 1:08 AM

Kyle Lowry said that his injured left thumb is having a negative effect on his passing ability.

Lowry injured his thumb in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the 76ers.

"It's about passing. I'm a big passer. You know, the flicking of the passing, the kind of -- the ball movement, handling the ball. During the game, honestly, I can't feel my thumb," said Lowry.

Lowry added that he's going to have to deal with the injury in the offseason.

"I'll have to take care of it after the season but I don't want to talk about it as much. I haven't complained about it, I won't complain about it, I don't care about it; I'm going to continue to do the things I need to do to make sure I can play at a high level. And that's it."

ESPN

Tags: Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Warriors 'Unequivocally Regard' Kawhi Leonard As Bigger Problem Than James Harden
Kawhi Leonard remains one of the NBA's best two-way players.

Marc Stein/New York Times

Warriors Hope Kevin Durant Can Progress To Individual Court Work In Next Few Days
Kevin Durant will need to move to individual court work and then practice fully with the team before returning to game action.

RealGM Staff Report

Adam Silver Again Floats Possibility Of NBA Tournament Despite Issues With Regular Season
The NBA regular season has lost its

Marc Stein/New York Times

Kevin Durant Will Travel With Warriors To Toronto For First Two Games Of Finals
It remains unclear when Kevin Durant will return from the calf injury he suffered in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

Chris Haynes/Yahoo! Sports

DeMarcus Cousins 'Healthy Enough' To Play In Game 1 Of Finals
DeMarcus Cousins scrimmaged after practice on Monday for the second time since the injury.

Marc J. Spears/The Undefeated

Raptors Optimistic Of OG Anunoby Return During NBA Finals
Anunoby has been out since April 12th after undergoing an appendectomy.

Ryan Wolstat/Toronto Sun

Charles Barkley Picks Raptors, Says He'd Have Kawhi Leonard Over Any Player In NBA
Game 1 of the NBA Finals begins on Thursday.

Marcus White/NBC Sports

Khris Middleton After Playoff Loss: 'Hopefully We Learn From This'
Middleton would be an unrestricted free agent this summer if he declines his player option.

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Kawhi Leonard To Teammates During Raptors' 26-3 Run: 'Enjoy The Moment'
The Raptors scored the last 10 points of the 3rd quarter.

Kevin Arnovitz/ESPN

Oddsmakers Make Warriors Heavy Favorites Against Raptors In Finals
The Raptors won both meetings with the Warriors this season.

David Purdum/ESPN

Bucks Reaching 2020 Finals Could 'Tip The Scales' On Giannis Antetokounmpo Signing Supermax
Antetokounmpo will be eligible to sign the supermax extension next summer.

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Kevin Durant Initially Feared Achilles Injury
Kevin Durant has yet to be cleared for on-court activities.

NBA.com

NBA To Cut Off Unauthorized Sportsbooks From Accessing Official Data Feed
MGM, FanDuel, and The Stars Group will continue to receive official data from the league.

David Purdum/ESPN

Warriors 'Hopeful' Of Kevin Durant Playing In Finals, 'Anticipate' DeMarcus Cousins Being Ready
Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins are unlikely to play in Game 1 of The Finals.

RealGM Staff Report

Draymond Green: Warriors Need Kevin Durant For Finals
The Warriors are cautiously optimistic that Durant will return for the finals.

Nick Friedell/ESPN

NBA Considering Moving Up Start Times For Playoff Games
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.

Craig Melvin/NBC

Steve Kerr: When You're Missing Kevin Durant, You Have To Replace Him With 3-4 Players
The Warriors shrunk their rotation against the Rockets and then expanded it in Game 6 and then against the Blazers.

Ethan Strauss/The Athletic

Game 2 Of Bucks-Raptors Scores Lowest Conference Finals Rating Since Spurs-Jazz In 2007
While Game 2 had an extremely low rating, Game 3 fared better than expected while competing against 'Game of Thrones'.

Paulsen/Sports Media Watch

Kawhi Leonard Expects To Play Despite Leg Injury
Kawhi Leonard favored both his left and later his right leg in Game 3.

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Andre Iguodala Questionable For Game 4, MRI Comes Back Clean
Alfonzo McKinnie will receive more minutes if Iguodala is out.

Nick Friedell/ESPN