After a series (and post-hiatus) high in Game 4, a Saturday night Game 5 of the NBA Finals slipped back under the ten million mark. Saturday’s Bucks-Suns NBA Finals Game 5 averaged a 4.8 rating and 9.62 million viewers on ABC, flat in ratings and up a modest 7% viewership from Heat-Lakers last October, a potential title-clincher and the most-watched game in the “bubble” (4.8, 8.96M), and down a sharp 55% and 48% respectively from Warriors-Raptors in June 2019, another potential clincher in which Kevin Durant returned from injury only to tear his Achilles (10.6, 18.60M).
May 25, 2022 | 12:14 pm EDT Update
This is why, as I’ve already written, the Nets’ championship hopes hinge on an amicable solution with Kyrie Irving, whose personal decision not to get vaccinated and unpredictable injury history have left the Nets hesitant, and now, according to a source familiar with the Nets’ thought process, outright unwilling to give him a long-term extension.
In layman’s terms, if Irving leaves the Nets, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Durant becomes frustrated with the organization’s ability to put championship pieces around him. They failed to do so at the beginning of last season, with none of their top offseason acquisitions – James Johnson, DeAndre Bembry or Jevon Carter – finishing the year in Brooklyn.
Justin Kubatko: LeBron James earned All-NBA honors for the 18th time, three more selections than any other player. He’s the first player to be named to one of the All-NBA teams in his 19th season or later. James is the only player to earn at least four All-NBA selections for three franchises. pic.twitter.com/mkmieBfOyQ
May 25, 2022 | 11:21 am EDT Update
SI: Who’s the toughest cover in the league? Grant Williams: For guys like myself, the hardest people to guard are like Darius Garland. Small, shifty point guards. The longer, taller guys, and the physical guys I’m OK with. I do a good job on Darius and guys like that, but for me, it’s always been a small, small, small point guard that’s really shifty and quick.
SI: You have a long history with Bam. Does that help at all? Grant Williams: I feel like he’s gotten so much better since then. So as much as it could help, he’s improved so much that it’s one of those things, I can’t really go off my high school scouting report. As the years have gone on, it’s gotten more and more fun to play against him because of how much he’s improved, how much he continually wants to get better and improve his shot. I’m really just excited to play him throughout my career.
SI: Not to kick this off by asking a weird question, but how does your body feel right now? You’ve taken as much punishment in this playoff run as any player that I can remember since I started covering the league. Have you ever felt like you do right now, playing basketball? Grant Williams: Definitely not. But hey, this is what the playoffs and everything is about, right? It’s my role to deal with. It’s something you embrace, and I feel like it’s just even more fun because it’s something that I feel is unique and I don’t see many guys that can do the same things that I do.