“Re-signing Andre was a top priority for us this offseason,” said President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Stan Van Gundy. “The offensive and defensive numbers speak for themselves, but more importantly, his commitment to the organization has allowed us to put together a young group of players that will grow together and continue to move the franchise forward.”
June 12, 2021 | 8:31 am EDT Update
Sergio Scariolo is a strong candidate for Virtus Bologna head coaching job, as reported by Il Corriere dello Sport and confirmed to Sportando. Sasha Djordjevic’s departure from Virtus Bologna was almost certain when Serie A playoffs started, also considering the elimination in EuroCup semifinals against Unics Kazan and the missed chance to play in EuroLeague next season.
In the locker room after the Nets’ 86-83 loss, there were lots of “atta boys” and “pick your head ups” and “we’ll live with that shot” from teammates, but Irving had a little piece of extra advice. Be like dad. Dunk it. “Kyrie was like, ‘Hey, you gotta try and dunk it, get a foul or something,’” Brown said. “That’s definitely what I should have done. I had the lane and the angle too, so maybe if I did that I’d have gotten a foul call, gotten to the line. If I had taken my two steps toward the rim, I probably could’ve dunked the ball.”
The available replays call into question this very idea. Lopez is 7-feet tall, and he’d recovered quickly from where he was on the sideline to get in Brown’s way. Brown faded left as he shot the ball, and, “I shot it too hard, I was trying to get it up a little higher, but he was nowhere near the ball, looking at the pictures and the film. “I could’ve just really did a simple layup and made the shot,” he said. “I made it difficult for myself just thinking too much during the shot.”
Harris wasn’t the only one misfiring in the Nets’ 86-83 loss. Add in Landry Shamet (1-for-4) and Mike James (1-for-5), and three Nets who can make a defense pay for double-teaming Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were a combined 3-for-20 from the field, including 2-for-11 from 3-point range. If those supporting cast numbers are repeated Sunday in Game 4, the series soon could be tied. “If you look at it, only one or two buckets in the last three or four minutes that we needed to fall and they just didn’t,” coach Steve Nash said. “I thought plenty of opportunities. Now, would I want Kevin or Ky shooting every single ball? Of course, but that’s not always the way it works out. We can learn from it.”
Phoenix went on a 14-2 run to build a 20-point lead on the way to a 116-102 win Friday to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in this best-of-7 conference semifinal series. “We have our eyes on the prize,” All-Star guard Devin Booker said.
Durant is 25 of 45 in the 10- to 14-foot range in these playoffs. No other player has made more than 17 playoff jumpers in that zone. Durant is 17 of 32 from the 15- to 19-foot range. No other player has made more than 12 playoff jumpers in that zone. Who is that next player? Devin Booker. He’s not quite Durant, from a potency or accuracy standpoint. But he’s the closest thing the NBA has to Durant right now. Booker is 17 of 33 in that 10- to 14-foot range and 12 of 26 in that 15- to 19-foot range. Combine both zones and Durant has made 42, Booker has made 29 and Kawhi Leonard has made 24 in these playoffs. That’s one, two, three in the rankings. Decent company for Phoenix’s rising three-level scorer.
Paul’s stabilizing presence has been a huge reason why the Suns are a game away from ending Denver’s season. He has scored 30 points on 12-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-4 from 3-point range, with eight assists and no turnovers combined in the three fourth quarters in this series, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. “We just got to make it more difficult on him,” Nuggets guard Monte Morris said. “He’s a Hall of Fame point guard, top five easily, still playing in the NBA. … He’s getting everybody involved. CP is a tough cover for anybody, but we have to just stick to our game plan and try to execute it the best way we can.
The Lakers had the best regular-season defense in the NBA and still gave up 106.8 points per 100 possessions. This is the steroid era of offensive efficiency. Ratings have spiked the past half-decade. But Phoenix is defending at a playoff rate equivalent to the 2014 title Spurs. They have a 101.6 defensive rating during this six-game win streak and 103.9 rating in these playoffs.