David ‘Dubi’ Pick: Source: NBA veteran guard A.J. Price signed with Shanghai Sharks of China.
May 4, 2016 | 11:12 am EDT Update
However, there continue to be moments where it becomes more clear how much stronger Lue’s connection is with the Cavs’ core players. Game 1 had several examples. The most vivid were from James, who on multiple occasions made sure to explain how Lue’s actions were a factor in the victory: On the strategy of focusing the defense on Kyle Korver, who got just one shot, and allowing Dennis Schroder a playoff career-high 27 points, James said: “We had a game plan and we follow the game plan our coaching staff gives us.”
Handling James is prickly. Those who know him believe he likes to be held accountable by his coach, he doesn’t actually want to make all the decisions despite what the perception may be. But he will also challenge his coach to execute and will abandon the situation if he doesn’t like the sales pitch. So that brings back the “I scratched it” moment from last season’s playoffs, where James talked openly about overriding Blatt.
But this season of growth now faces its toughest test. The Blazers have to find a way to rebound from a demoralizing loss, fight through the potential addition of the game’s most electric player and overcome a 2-0 deficit against a team that lost just nine games all season. What gives them hope they can do what seems impossible? “We’ve answered the call all season long,” Lillard said. “We’ve been in bad positions time and time again and we’ve never shied away. We’ve never not answered the call. I don’t see why this time it would be any different. Obviously, Golden State is a different monster. But we know the same thing can happen, and that’s what we’re going in there thinking and believing. And we’re back on our home floor. We’ve got to go out there and play a game like tonight and go finish it.”
This mysterious revelation came during a routine discussion after a regular-season victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Thunder star was describing his game-winning block on the Clippers’ Chris Paul, and that’s when he confessed. “He’s 6 feet tall,” Durant said, “and I’m 6-11.” It was a rare example of Durant slipping up by mentioning his actual height. Since joining the league, Durant has gone with an extremely conservative height, one that Thunder teammate Steven Adams calls “bull—.”