“There’s a very good chance, we’re each other’s best option come July,” Lindsey said. “But I’m not Nostradamus with a crystal ball and know how all of this is going to play out. But he’s obviously an excellent fit on the court and he has what we call a Jazz DNA.”
April 25, 2018 | 5:46 pm EDT Update
April 25, 2018 | 5:31 pm EDT Update
New Orleans is trying to prepare for both possible versions of the Warriors, including the one they beat at Oracle Arena on April 7. Curry was sidelined for that game, but Kevin Durant poured in 41 points, going 16/26 from the field. The Pelicans won 126-120 partly because their offense received 25 points or more from Jrue Holiday, Anthony Davis and Nikola Mirotic, a trio that has played at an elite level throughout an active nine-game winning streak. “A lot of it is personnel, knowing tendencies,” Holiday said of getting ready to face Golden State. “If Steph comes back, you have to be a lot more aggressive on him (in terms of preventing deep three-point shots). If not, with Andre (Iguodala) you have to be aggressive as well, just not in the same way (against a forward who does more attacking and slashing to the basket). The schemes will stay pretty much the same.
Now the Wolves trail Houston 3-1 in a best-of-seven, first-round playoff series with Game 5 set for tonight at 8:30 p.m. at Toyota Center. “Totally different environment, situation,” Wolves All-Star guard Jimmy Butler said after the team’s shootaround today. “We just have to go out and play basketball. Down 3-1, whatever you want to call it, our back against the walls, still if we do what we’re supposed to do – contest their shots, rebound and we score as well, we can win this game.”
Never will they need to heed that more than tonight, when they’re faced with the daunting prospect of beating a 65-victory Rockets team three times consecutively to advance to the second round. Only 11 teams in NBA teams have done that, most recently by Cleveland in the 2016 NBA Finals against Golden State. “That’s why you try to build that habit all year,” Thibodeau said. “Not to get ahead of yourself, not to get behind, but to concentrate exactly on what’s in front of you. You can’t allow other people to tell you what you think. It’s what you think and what you believe. That’s how you get through these type of things. You go play-by-play, quarter-by-quarter. Once you realize that, it makes things do-able.
Game 6 of the Celtics-Bucks series is the lone matchup on the Thursday night NBA schedule. “Game 6, I’ve got to come out and be more aggressive,” Antetokounmpo said. “It’s on me. I had open shots, but they weren’t my shots so I didn’t feel comfortable taking them. … I’ve got to be more aggressive, make more plays because definitely, my teammates need me.”