During a Thursday interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich, Ainge fielded a question about whether his mentality has changed due to the Celtics’ recent success or the potential vulnerability of Eastern Conference opponents. “I’m certainly aware of of our competition all around the East,” Ainge replied. “It’s not from a lack of desire to want to do a trade, but as an organization we have priorities and a plan. … We’re not looking for Band-Aids and we’re not looking to give up future assets. We’re trying to build something that is a little bit more sustainable than we are to rent a player.”
May 27, 2018 | 5:27 pm EDT Update
Curry ended up running 1.44 miles on defense, a result of the Warriors continuing to switch on almost every pick-and-roll defensively, and the Rockets running through pick-and-rolls until they could get MVP front-runner James Harden matched onto Curry. According to Second Spectrum, that’s a quarter mile more than any other Warriors defender and the most he has run in any game all season. “You can get tired a little bit here and there during the game, but there’s no excuse for not appreciating the moment,” Curry said. “I looked over at [Rockets forward] Trevor Ariza in the middle of the fourth quarter and we just both said to each other, ‘This is fun; this is what you love about NBA basketball.’ If you can’t push through for 48 minutes in this type of environment, you don’t love the game.”
“I mean, if you asked us when we were in the Bahamas this summer, this team together [would have] a Game 7 to go to the Finals against the Warriors, we’ll take that,” said Harden, who finished with 32 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds in 40 minutes. There’s no pressure. It’s an opportunity, an opportunity that we’re all excited to be a part of. Game 7 at our house, that’s what we’ve worked the entire regular season for, to get the home-court advantage.”
Thompson simply wasn’t ready for any of that offseason talk to begin. “I don’t want to go home. Not tonight. I don’t want to go home,” he yelled out during the game in a show of emotion captured on the big screen at Oracle Arena. I just like competing,” he said. “If you go out there and play hard and with passion, you can live with the results. That’s what I’ve learned.”
Tony Jones: Hearing Kevin Huerter has returned home to talk to his parents. The NBA’s deadline for staying in or returning to school is this week. He has an interesting choice. He could be a lotto pick next season, or a mid-first this season.
May 27, 2018 | 4:13 pm EDT Update
The trophy was for the taking by the Rockets, but it will instead be flown to Houston, where they will compete with the Golden State Warriors in a deciding Game 7 on Monday night for the bigger prize of a trip to the NBA Finals. “If we are in this position, this is the best position to be in,” Rockets guard Eric Gordon told The Undefeated. “We’re definitely positive. We just have to play.”