Archive for the ‘ NBA Playoffs Blog ’ Category

serge ibaka

The following statement was issued today by Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti regarding the status of Serge Ibaka’s left calf injury:

“The abundance of blood and therefore swelling in Serge’s calf has reduced substantially and unexpectedly, allowing a level of movement and stability not thought possible after the initial diagnosis. Based on both imaging and physical exam, the considerable swelling in the calf indicated the likelihood of a certain degree of injury, and that established the original time frame for recovery.

At present, Serge has yet to complete a full basketball workout, but is walking and doing light basketball drills. With this new information, and in an effort to keep his status current, we are now listing him as day-to-day with the understanding that there is a possibility for him to play in this series.”

Danny Green making it rain in playoffs

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News blog reporting on San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green, who is nailing shots like crazy in the team’s Western Conference Finals series against the Oklahoma City Thunder:

Danny Green making it rain in playoffs

Light it!

Such is the simple yet empowering encouragement Tim Duncan offers streak shooter extraordinaire Danny Green to let it fly whenever he nears the 3-point line with a sliver of daylight.

“When I’m running down the floor, I hear Tim for some reason,” he said. “I always hear Tim yell ‘light it’ when he’s coming to set a screen and I kind of get excited a little bit. It gives me more confidence to take the shot because I already know he’s behind me and he’s ready for me to shoot it. So every time I look up, run the floor or dribble up the floor, I look for Tim and look for a screen or see how the defense is playing me and try to find the rim.”

Green had plenty of opportunities to light up the Thunder in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, turning in one of his classic “Icy Hot” shooing binges with 21 points on a postseason-high tying seven 3-pointers.

Enjoy these video highlights of the San Antonio Spurs, who have won multiple championships under the leadership of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili and are currently in the Western Conference Finals trying to do it again.

Now in 2014, Ginobili has taken a back seat to Duncan and Parker as well as young Kawhi Leonard, but he’s still a key part of the squad.

Here’s the video:

Wednesday in San Antonio, the Spurs easily beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-77 to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference Finals series. Here are video highlights of the game’s top plays:

2014 NBA Finals game schedule

Here is the 2014 NBA Finals game schedule. The Miami Heat beat the Indiana Pacers in six games of the Eastern Conference Finals to reach the Finals. And in the West, the San Antonio Spurs beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games. Here is the official 2014 NBA Finals game schedule. All games televised on ABC.

2014 NBA Finals Schedule: San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat

Game 1 – Thu June 5 Miami at San Antonio 9:00PM ET

Game 2 – Sun June 8 Miami at San Antonio 8:00PM ET

Game 3 – Tue June 10 San Antonio at Miami 9:00PM ET

Game 4 – Thu June 12 San Antonio at Miami 9:00PM ET

Game 5 * Sun June 15 Miami at San Antonio 8:00PM ET

Game 6 * Tue June 17 San Antonio at Miami 9:00PM ET

Game 7 * Fri June 20 Miami at San Antonio 9:00PM ET

*If necessary

Lance Stephenson fined by NBA for flopping

Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The incident occurred with 3:37 remaining in the third quarter of Indiana’s 87-83 loss to the Miami Heat on Tuesday, May 20, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

To view the play, click on this link.

Enjoy these video highlights of the best assists from the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs:

Enjoy these video highlights of the best dunks from the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs:


Paul George scored 24 points, David West had 19, and the Indiana Pacers protected their home court with a 107-96 victory over the Miami Heat on Sunday to take a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

Indiana led wire-to-wire and never even gave the Heat a chance to tie the score after starting the game with a 5-0 lead.

Game 2 is Tuesday in Indiana. The home team has won all five meetings this season.

Dwyane Wade scored 27 points and LeBron James had 25 for the two-time defending NBA champions, who lost for only the second time in 10 playoff games.

Indiana had a 30-point first quarter for the first time since Feb. 27, extended the lead to 19 in the third and Miami couldn’t get closer than nine the rest of the way.

For months, people wondered what happened to the Indiana team that dominated the first half of the NBA season.

On Sunday, those Pacers suddenly reappeared.

– Associated Press

The Heat committed 26 fouls compared to 15 for the Pacers. The worst of it, of course, was a flagrant by Mario Chalmers on Watson with 9:22 left in the game. Chalmers first hit Watson with a common foul as Watson drove the basket. The Heat’s starting point guard then pushed Watson into press row, which was located on the baseline.

Chalmers was assessed a flagrant foul for the unnecessary shove and Watson was awarded four foul shots. His free throws gave the Pacers a 15-point lead.

An 18-foot turnaround jumper by Lance Stephenson put the Pacers ahead by 13 points with 7:37 to play and Indiana led by double digits for the remainder of the game.

– Miami Herald

It didn’t take 30 minutes of basketball Sunday for all five Pacers starters to reach double figures in scoring, and each starter made an impact in his own way.

Hill knocked down shots early. West punished the Heat inside on mismatches, ignoring his trusted jump shot to bully his way into the post. Paul George picked off shots in the flow of the offense, and Lance Stephenson provided crucial buckets in a big second quarter in particular. Miami struggled all game with Hibbert, who was never dominant but always present, scoring and rebounding consistently.

Starters combined to score 94 of Indiana’s 107 points in Game 1.

– Indianapolis Star

Serge Ibaka injured, out for rest of playoffs

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka underwent an MRI today that confirmed he suffered a left calf injury during the third quarter of last night’s contest against the Los Angeles Clippers, the team announced. Ibaka is expected to miss the remainder of the 2014 postseason.

This is a huge blow to OKC. Ibaka provides toughness, defense, and on offense he is able to stretch the floor thanks to solid range on his jumpshot. The San Antonio Spurs, who will face the Thunder in the 2014 Western Conference Finals with Game 1 Monday night, caught a break here. Though they still face a very tough opponent who certainly can still win.

Ibaka is averaging 12.2 points on 69-of-112 (.616) shooting from the field, 7.3 rebounds and 2.23 blocks in 13 postseason games.  During the 2013-14 regular season, Ibaka notched career-highs with 15.1 points and 8.8 rebounds, while leading the league in total blocks for the fourth consecutive season with 219 blocked shots.

“We are obviously disappointed for Serge, as he is a tremendous competitor, and we know how badly he wants to be on the court with his teammates,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. “At this point it is important that our team directs its concentration and energy towards preparation and execution for our upcoming series.  As with all teams, our group has confronted different challenges. It is our collective experience that we will call on to ensure that we play to our capabilities.”

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on Clippers point guard Chris Paul:

Chris Paul shaken up by playoff elimination

Chris Paul was able to look around the room this time.

The blank stare that had come over his face after his nightmarish final seconds in Game 5 had been replaced by the angry glare that comes with an early vacation he has become all too familiar with in his nine seasons in the NBA.

As Paul faces a long offseason with more questions than he cares to answer about the team to which he has committed at least the next three years of his career, he will enter his 10th season in the league having never made it past the second round of the playoffs after the Los Angeles Clippers were eliminated by the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-98 in Thursday’s Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Paul took the loss particularly hard. He blamed himself for the team’s collapse in Game 5 after two crucial turnovers and a foul helped give the Thunder an improbable comeback victory. He also put the blame on his shoulders for the Clippers’ inability to hold a 16-point first-half lead in an elimination game at home.

He tried his best to hold back tears as he said goodbye to his teammates for the last time this season in the locker room. Paul has been around long enough to know he can’t take playing on teams this talented, and for a coach like Doc Rivers, for granted. This was his best shot at winning a title, or at least getting to his first conference final, and it ended at the same stop it had in the past.

Monday in Portland, the Trail Blazers were facing elimination, but stepped up and beat the Spurs 103-92. San Antonio still leads the series 3-1, but at least the Blazers stayed alive to fight another day. Damian Lillard shot 11-of-21 for 25 points and five assists in the win. Here are some Lillard video highlights:

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Heat vs Nets series, which Miami now leads 3-1:

Joe Johnson wasn’t impressed with LeBron James’ defense against him in the final minutes of the Nets’ 102-96 loss to the Heat in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal Monday night.

“I wasn’t necessarily trying to draw the foul on him,” said Johnson, although James had five fouls while defending him, “but I thought he was aggressive, so I was just trying to use his aggressiveness against him.

“[But] he flopped that last one.”

Johnson, who had 18 points but went just 5-for-15 from the floor — including 0-for-4 in the fourth quarter — twice found himself matched up against James inside the final two minutes. But after James successfully defended Johnson’s fallaway jumper with the score tied at 94 with 1:16 remaining, Johnson tried to make a step-back jumper as James banged into him and fell to the floor. Johnson missed the shot with 40.7 seconds remaining and the Nets trailing 97-94.

The Los Angeles Clippers were in trouble Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but outscored OKC 38-24 in the fourth quarter to win the game and tie the second round NBA playoff series 2-2. Here are some video highlights of the Clippers’ late-game comeback:

Sunday in Washington, the Indiana Pacers won a tight Game 4, beating the Wizards 95-92. In the win, Paul George shot 12-of-20, including 7-of-10 from three-point range to finish with 39 points, 12 rebounds, no assists, and two steals. Here are some George video highlights:

After being thoroughly outplayed for over 40 minutes, the Los Angeles Clippers fought back.

Leading the way was a player not known for coming up big in the clutch.

Darren Collison scored eight of his 18 points in the final 2:58, rallying the Clippers past the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-99 on Sunday to tie the Western Conference semifinal series 2-2…

Russell Westbrook, who scored 27 points, missed a 3-pointer and Serge Ibaka’s tip attempt was too late at the buzzer, allowing the Clippers to salvage a game they trailed until the final 1:23…

Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with 25 points, making 9 of 11 free throws. Jamal Crawford added 18 points. DeAndre Jordan had 14 rebounds, helping the Clippers win the boards, 45-43 — the first time in 11 playoff games the Thunder were outrebounded.

“We just willed this one. We found a way,” said Chris Paul, who had 23 points and 10 assists.

Kevin Durant scored 40 points, hitting 15 of 18 free throws, for the Thunder.

– Associated Press

Paul Pierce says Nets not scared of Heat

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Heat and Nets, who are facing each other in the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. The Heat currently lead the series 2-1, but the Nets stepped up yesterday to win Game 3 in Brooklyn yesterday.

The Nets made their stand last night against LeBron James, and Brooklyn showed up to stand with them.

When you are The King of your sport, you live for these occasions, when the opponent is reeling and desperate and you have the chance to go for the throat and choke the last vestiges of life out of it.

Once you become The King, every game becomes a Game of Thrones, every series a Series of Thrones.

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, remember, came to Brooklyn to threaten The Kingdom, and with a lot of luck and Mikhail Prokhorov maybe installing a Fountain of Youth somewhere inside Barclays Center, to dream the improbable dream of shocking the world and somehow wresting the crown from The King.

That dream stayed alive Saturday night when Brooklyn, a 104-90 winner, played with a toughness and an edge and a pride that reflects Mike Tyson’s borough and refused to let King James grab a 3-0 series lead and bury it.

“We’re not scared of them,” Pierce said.

Enjoy these video highlights of LeBron James helping the Miami Heat take a 2-0 series lead against the Brooklyn Nets in their second round NBA playoff series:

Spurs bench continues doing big things

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News reporting on the Spurs, who use their bench in a big way and usually get great results:

spurs

The bench was once again a massive advantage for the Spurs, who outscored Portland’s reserves 50-19 for the second straight game as they took a commanding 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

The backups also enjoyed edges of 12-4 on the boards and 8-1 in assists, providing a boost Portland simply had no answer for.

“Our bench has been very important for us all year,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “We would not have this home-court advantage right now if it had not been for the play of those guys. They have done a wonderful job all season long, and they are continuing to do it.”

They didn’t during most of their first-round series with Dallas. But even though it only ended on Sunday, that matchup seemed like a distant memory as the usual suspects all thrived.

Here’s CSNNW reporting on the Spurs and Trail Blazers second round NBA playoff series:

The San Antonio Spurs proved why they are a fascinating, well-oiled, attention to detail running machine. Their execution is clean and crisp. They run their sets and get into them with plenty of time to go through their options.

But what was blatantly noticeable during their 114-97 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers to go up 2-0 in the series is how they got their guys open shots and quality paths to the basket. It’s not rocket science. In order to free someone up, there has to be one of those body-to-body clashes that you seldom see anymore.

Damian Lillard explains exactly what that annoying contact is termed in the game of basketball. It’s a tactic the Spurs do often and so well.

“Their screens hurt. They actually set real screens,” Lillard told CSNNW.com. “They do a great job of setting and holding screens. It wears you down. Chasing Tony Parker is one thing. Getting hit every single time is another thing. It takes a toll on you.”

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