If this is how Houston plans on taking down the defending champs, with the ball-pounding style so prevalent in Game 1 that it led to more than twice the isolation plays than the Rockets typically average (45, compared to 22) and more in one game than any team in the past five seasons, then Curry is just fine doing this defensive deed. “If I was the opposite coach and saw Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green, I’m most likely going to (go after) me – especially for a team that relies on iso situations like they do,” Curry told USA TODAY Sports after practice on Tuesday. “Cleveland has done it for years. My whole goal is that if you want to abandon (your) normal offense to try to pick on me and put me in mismatch situations or whatever it is, then over the course of 48 (minutes), I’m going to get enough stops to figure it out.”
August 16, 2018 | 7:53 pm EDT Update
Kemba Walker can’t avoid it. Whenever he sets foot in the five boroughs, the questions come from every direction. “I’ve been hearing it for years,” Walker said Thursday, after working with youngsters at the National Basketball Players Association summer camp. “Every time I come home, ‘When are you going to come home and play for the Knicks?’ I know it’s a special place, I was a Knicks fan growing up, always rooted for the home team. But I just can’t see myself in a Knicks jersey, only because I’ve only been in one jersey.”
What about Brooklyn? “It’s always kind of weird because the Knicks are here,” he said. “There are definitely die-hard fans, that’s one thing about people from Brooklyn, they’re very loyal, die-hard, believe in their team. I love playing there.”
“I just want to do something special in Charlotte,” Walker said. “I’ve been there eight years now, and we haven’t really been consistent as far as winning. I just want to try to establish that culture at some point. That’s what I want to do, I just want to make it a winning organization.”
Kevin Love was asked if he saw LeBron James’ move to the Lakers coming before it happened in an interview with ESPN. Love, who agreed on a four-year, $120 million contract extension with the Cavs, said he had a feeling the superstar was choosing between Cleveland and LA.
Kevin Love: “I had somewhat of an idea. I had, like everybody, weighed the options and had an idea of where he might go. I knew it was probably between Cleveland and Los Angeles. I think he’s always looking for a different challenge. He’s always wondering what’s next, and it feels like sometimes he’s playing chess and everybody else is playing checkers.
Drew Shiller: -Bill Simmons: “It felt like the last two years, every time Kevin Love got switched on to you, you had a flashback to Game 7 ’16 and you wanted to score on him. Is that fair? -Steph Curry: “Yes. That is very fair. I spent a whole year hearing about that one possession.”
August 16, 2018 | 7:13 pm EDT Update
After missing all of last season due to injury, Brandon Knight is back and looking forward to becoming a leader for the Suns young core. The 26-year-old point guard used the time off the court as a learning experience to help build his leadership skills. “When you can’t play, you can’t affect the game on the court,” Knight said. “I just found other ways to try to help my teammates be better. Whether that be telling tidbits I saw when I observed. I just tried to be a veteran presence on our team and just lead through that.”
Knight is just two years removed from his highest scoring average of his career (19.6 ppg) and is ready to get back on the court. “I’ve been excited since December, since I started running. I’m looking forward to it. I’m very excited about it,” Knight said.