September 2020 Basketball Wiretap

LeBron James Calls Bubble 'The Most Challenging Thing I've Ever Done As Far As A Professional'

Sep 30, 2020 1:30 AM

LeBron James and Anthony Davis discussed the psychological impact of the bubble ahead of their game 1 NBA Finals matchup against the Miami Heat.

"It's probably been the most challenging thing I've ever done as far as a professional, as far as committing to something and actually making it through. But I knew when I was coming what we were coming here for.

"I would be lying if I sat up here and knew that everything inside the bubble, the toll that it would take on your mind and your body and everything else, because it's been extremely tough. But I'm here for one reason and one reason only, and that's to compete for a championship," said James.

Davis echoed James' claims about the mental strain of the bubble.

"I think this one is going to be a tough one. People said it's going to be the toughest championship in NBA history from a mental standpoint just because of the circumstances," said Davis.

James added that he holds no special meaning in playing against the Heat, with Davis ranking the possibility of James winning this title "probably second behind Cleveland."

James then complimented Pat Riley's impact on the NBA.

"He's won at every level. I saw the stat the other day that he's been part of a championship in four decades. This league is not the same without Riles. He's a great guy, great motivator, someone that just knows what it takes to win, and he's shown that over the course of -- what -- 40 years."

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tags: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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2020 NBA Finals Schedule Officially Released, Game 1 To Begin On Wednesday

Sep 27, 2020 11:13 PM

The NBA released the schedule for the 2020 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, listed below. 

All games will be broadcast on ABC.

Game 1: Wednesday, Sept. 30: Miami Heat at L.A. Lakers, 9 ET
Game 2: Friday, Oct. 2: Miami Heat at L.A. Lakers, 9 ET
Game 3: Sunday, Oct. 4: L.A. Lakers at Miami Heat, 7:30 ET
Game 4: Tuesday, Oct. 6: L.A. Lakers at Miami Heat, 9 ET
Game 5*: Friday, Oct. 9: Miami Heat at L.A. Lakers, 9 ET
Game 6*: Sunday, Oct. 11: L.A. Lakers at Miami Heat, 7:30 ET
Game 7*: Tuesday, Oct. 13: Miami Heat at L.A. Lakers, 9 ET

* = if necessary

NBA.com

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Jamal Murray Hobbled By Bruising In Foot & Knee, Says Nuggets Had A 'Good Run' In Bubble

Sep 27, 2020 12:49 PM

Jamal Murray said he was affected by a foot bruise and a bone bruise in his right knee, adding that he was unable to impact the game following the Denver Nuggets' series-ending loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in game 5.

"I have a big bruise on my foot. Just hurt me all game. I changed shoes, and that didn't help. Yeah, I have a bone bruise [as well]. I don't like to tell everybody what I got. I just like to play through it. I was in pain, but it's cool. I was out there. I was struggling a little bit today," said Murray.

Murray, who averaged 26.5 points and 6.6 assists in the playoffs, finished game 5 with 19 points and 8 assists.

Murray added that his injuries were a byproduct of the wear and tear of the bubble.

"Eighty-something days in the bubble and a lot of minutes. I didn't have the energy I needed to have for my teammates today. Without me moving as hard or cutting as hard or scoring as much, I can be so much better in so many different ways. I can't just try to get through the game. I have to try to help lead my team to win by any means," said Murray.

Nikola Jokic added perspective to the Nuggets' season, comparing how far the team had come since he first arrived in Denver.

"Since when I came here five years ago, we had 33 wins that season. And today we're in the Western Conference finals. So I think it's interesting to think about the huge improvement that we have, me as a player, as a group, as a whole organization. It was amazing improvement."

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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LeBron James Says Making NBA Finals Meaningless 'Unless I Get It Done'

Sep 27, 2020 12:35 PM

LeBron James reflected upon making the NBA Finals with the Los Angeles Lakers, saying that his efforts won't mean anything unless they win the title.

This will be James' 10th trip to the NBA Finals.

"Right now, it don't mean s--- unless I get it done. I got to get it done," said James after the Lakers' series-clinching game 5 win over the Nuggets.

James, who is the league's No. 1 all-time postseason scoring leader, finished with 38 points, 16 assists, and 10 rebounds in the game.

James could also potentially be the first player in NBA history to win a Finals MVP with three different franchises.

"I just want to travel my own journey, because it is my journey. I've appreciated everything that's happened along the way. I mean, throughout -- the ups, the downs, the ups on the court, the downs on the court, the wins and losses. But I've been able to, I guess as Frank Sinatra would say, 'I did it my way.'"

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tags: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Anthony Davis To Play In Game 5

Sep 26, 2020 8:00 PM

Frank Vogel confirmed that Anthony Davis will play in game 5 against the Denver Nuggets.

Davis was listed as questionable due to a left ankle sprain.

Davis suffered the injury in the second of the Lakers' game 4 win, but stayed in the game.

The Lakers lead the series 3-1.

Marc Stein/The New York Times

Tags: Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Jayson Tatum Says Celtics Had To 'Relax A Little Bit' During Game 5 Win

Sep 26, 2020 12:26 PM

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown said that the Boston Celtics were able to relax and play with less anxiety during their 121-108 win over the Miami Heat in game 5.

The Celtics are now down 3-2 in the series.

"Everybody was so anxious, eager to make a play, make something happen. We know what's at stake: We lose and go home.

"But at the same time, we've got to relax a little bit. Take a deep breath. We know how important every possession is, but we've still got to just relax a little bit and play the game, and that was kind of the message at halftime," said Tatum, who finished the game with 31 points and 10 rebounds.

The Celtics scored 41 points in the quarter, including going on a 20-3 run to turn a 60-51 deficit into a 71-63 lead.

Brown added that the Celtics were finally able to settle down in the third.

"What I remember from halftime is Kemba saying, 'We just need to settle down a little bit. We just had to dial in a little bit, and once we did, I felt like we were fine."

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Bam Adebayo On Game 5 Loss: 'Put That One On Me'

Sep 26, 2020 12:12 PM

Bam Adebayo blamed himself for the Miami Heat's 121-108 loss to the Boston Celtics in game 5.

"I played like s---. Bottom line. I put that game on me. It's not my teammates' fault, it's not my coaches' fault, it's me. ... I missed too many shots I should have made. Put that one on me," said Adebayo.

The Heat still lead the series 3-2.

Adebayo had 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists, though he said he wasn't active enough defensively.

"I wasn't being the defensive anchor that I should have been. I don't think I was communicating fast enough. I feel like I was a step behind today," said Adebayo.

The Heat's loss was the 18th time this season they blew a lead of over 10 points.

Adebayo denied that he was injured, though he was a sleeve over his left arm.

"He wasn't favoring it. We're not making any excuses. Boston outplayed us in the second half," said Erik Spoelstra.

Nick Friedell/ESPN

Tags: Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Bam Adebayo Aggravates Wrist Injury, Will Play In Game 5

Sep 24, 2020 8:34 AM

Bam Adebayo aggravated a wrist injury at the end of Game 4 in which he was in visible pain.

Sources tell Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press that Adebayo is fine and will play in Game 5 on Friday. Adebayo will receive treatment for the injury between now and Game 5.

Adebayo initially injured his wrist in Game 3.

Adebayo is averaging 17.9 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 36.5 minutes per game in the playoffs.

Tim Reynolds/Associated Press

Tags: Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Romeo Langford Out For Season After Wrist Surgery

Sep 23, 2020 1:13 AM

Romeo Langford underwent successful wrist surgery, the Boston Celtics announced.

Langford will miss the rest of the playoffs.

Langford tore ligaments in his wrist during the Celtics' final seeding game in August.

The guard played just 32 games this season due to other injuries. 

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: Romeo Langford, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Nikola Jokic Says Nuggets Miscommunicated On Defense During Final Play

Sep 21, 2020 1:23 AM

Nikola Jokic said that the Denver Nuggets miscommunicated on defense on Anthony Davis' game-winning three during their 105-103 game 2 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Mason Plumlee started the final possession guarding Davis, with Jerami Grant guarding LeBron James.

Plumlee and Grant both ended up on James, giving Davis space to receive and shoot the ball.

"Either going to be him or LeBron [James to take the last shot], so we kind of knew it. Just happened, a little bit of miscommunication. I think I had a really good contest, to be honest. I think I was right there. As soon as he shot the ball, he shot it really well. Like, I kind of felt it going in," said Jokic of Davis' shot.

The Nuggets are now down 2-0 in the series.

Jokic and Michael Malone said that the Nuggets needs to continue fighting in the series, though Malone found a positive in that the Lakers needed a last second shot to win the game.

"The only thing you can talk about tonight is we were in the game. They had to rely on a great shot by a great player to beat us at the buzzer. But as long as we're putting ourselves in position to win games, that's all you can ask for. One thing I know about our group, even though we are disappointed, frustrated, angry, we'll use that motivation to come out and try to take Game 3."

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Denver Nuggets, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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JaVale McGee To Start In Game 2 Against Nuggets

Chris Haynes/Yahoo! Sports

Bam Adebayo Says Heat 'Got To Start The Game How We Start The Fourth' After Game 3 Loss

Nick Friedell/ESPN

Gordon Hayward To Remain In Bubble For Remainder Of Playoffs

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Brad Stevens Credits Celtics' Aggression For Game 3 Win

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Gordon Hayward To Come Off Bench On Minutes Restriction, Javonte Green Also Available

Adrian Wojnarowski & Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Jamal Murray: Nuggets Have To 'Just Play Through' Foul Calls

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Gordon Hayward Making Progress Towards Game 3 Return

Jared Weiss/The Athletic

Marcus Smart Heard Yelling At Teammates Following Game 2 Loss

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Frank Vogel On Using Centers Versus Nuggets: 'I Would Expect Us To Return To Form'

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Kawhi Leonard Following Game 7 Loss: Clippers Must 'Get Smarter As A Team'

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Bam Adebayo Calls Overtime Block The 'No. 1' Play Of Career

Nick Friedell/ESPN

Several Clippers Asked Out Of Game In Fourth Quarter Due To Fatigue

Marc J. Spears/The Undefeated

Doc Rivers Says 'There's Nothing Secret Or Magical' About Winning Game 7s

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

NBA To Allow More Staff Members, Guests Into Bubble For Finals

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Protesters Block Two Charter Buses Outside Of Bubble Campus

ESPN

Rajon Rondo's Brother Ejected From Lakers-Rockets Game After Trash-Talking Russell Westbrook

Marc Spears/ESPN

Marcus Morris Blames Blown Leads On 'Not Finishing Or Playing Hard'

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

'Audible Shouting' In Rockets' Locker Room Following Game 4 Loss

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Jimmy Butler Ahead Of Celtics Series: 'We're In Control Of Our Destiny'

Nick Friedell/ESPN

Pascal Siakam Takes 'A Lot Of The Blame' Following Game 7 Loss

Andrew Lopez/ESPN

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