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|All the chatter is that underdog Cleveland could be completely deflated from the way it flopped in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Determined and as motivated as ever might be more appropriate and fitting whenever LeBron James is in the mix.
”It’s one of the toughest losses I’ve had in my career Keke Coutee Color Rush Jersey ,” James acknowledged Saturday, ”because of everything that kind of went on with the game and the way we played. Obviously, we all know what happened in the game.”
There were miscues aplenty, most notably J.R. Smith’s offensive rebound in the final seconds of regulation that he dribbled back toward half-court in a tie game rather than shooting for a chance to win it – later insisting he knew the score, though that remains a huge mystery. The decision baffled a frustrated and stunned LeBron, who signaled at his teammate with arms pointed toward the basket.
”The game’s over. There’s nothing we can do about it,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. ”We’ve got to move on, move forward.”
James has done so all postseason with an edge, intensity and ability to all-out carry the Cavs – will them to win after win, if you wish.
Yes, with King James on the other side in this familiar June rivalry, Golden State knows much better than to fall into such a trap that the Cavs might be down and out, even if the defending champions have some momentum going into Game 2 on Sunday night back home at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors learned that lasting lesson two years ago, when James led the Cavaliers back from the brink – a daunting 3-1 series deficit – to capture a title in Game 7 on the Warriors’ home floor.
”I know it’s not the exact same team Darius Leonard Color Rush Jersey , but we had them down 3-1 a couple years ago. They might have been deflated, and they came back and won, so we’re expecting another great effort from them,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. ”We’ve been through this too many times. We beat Houston on the road in Game 1 and the narrative was, you know, series is over. It seems to always be that way. There is just overreaction after a game.”
Draymond Green didn’t sugarcoat it: Golden State got a little lucky to win Game 1 on a night James scored 51 points and the defending champions caught some big breaks.
The Warriors hope to be far better with a chance to take a 2-0 series lead before the series shifts to Northwest Ohio.
”Sometimes you need a little luck. It’s good to be lucky sometimes,” Green said. ”I’ll take it.”
Kevin Durant wants the Warriors to remove the luck factor going forward. He even nit-picked that offensive board that Smith secured as something he should have done.
”As you try to lock in on the details as much as possible, that luck factor – good luck, bad luck – you don’t have it creep in if you figure out the detail parts,” Durant said. ”To be good at those parts of the game, then you don’t let the luck creep in.”
Golden State gave up 19 offensive boards in all while getting only four.
The Warriors know James is going to score his share of points. They just want to make it harder for him to get good looks, something that is a top priority going into Sunday. James, in his eighth straight NBA Finals and ninth overall, shot 19 for 32 to go with eight assists and eight rebounds in the opener.
”We’ve got to make them work harder in general Andrei Svechnikov Jersey ,” Kerr said. ”I thought our defense was subpar the other night.”
James said he is taking antibiotics and using eye drops after getting poked in the eye by Green in the first half. The outer area of James’ eye was still red Saturday.
Klay Thompson expects to play though is listed as questionable with what he called a sprained left ankle while Andre Iguodala remained doubtful as he works back from a bone bruise in his left knee suffered in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against Houston and has cost him the last five games.
Cleveland’s J.R. Smith slid into Thompson’s left leg in the first quarter of the series opener Thursday night. Thompson was dealing with stiffness, swelling and more pain Saturday.
”It is a Finals game, and I’m going to do everything I possibly can to play,” Thompson said. ”It’s something you definitely don’t want to have in the NBA championship.”
Nor does James want blood in his eye to affect his vision or alter his view of the basket.
So, did he go off for 51 with only one good eye?
”No, I had some points before that already,” a good-natured James said, chuckling.
To help you with planning for the NBA Draft in Dallas on June 21 in New York, here are some of our coverage plans. Please direct questions to Oscar Dixon (odixon(at)ap.org). Plans subject to change. This digest will be updated. All times Eastern.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20
BKN–NBA DRAFT-BEST EVER PICKS
Ever wondered who the best picks of the NBA draft were at every draft slot? Wonder no more. From No. 1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to No. 30 Spencer Haywood, a look at the players whose footsteps will be followed by the new NBA players selected on Thursday night. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 1,000 words, photos by 4 a.m.
NEW YORK – Luka Doncic is already a pro, and he has already won championships. A day after capping his brilliant stay in Spain with another title Nate Solder Color Rush Jersey , the Slovenian guard heads the list of international players expected to be selected in the NBA draft and remains perhaps the most accomplished and intriguing player in Thursday’s festivities. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
– Other sidebars on merit
NEW YORK – A year ago Collin Sexton had just graduated from high school and was about to embark on his college career at Alabama. The talented point guard chose an unusual route to start his journey to the NBA but after only one year in the shadows of the pre-eminent college football program in the nation Sexton is only the second Crimson Tide freshman to declare for the NBA draft – and the first under the one-one-done rule. By Terrin Waack. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.
THURSDAY, JUNE 21
NEW YORK – The Phoenix Suns have the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, with big men Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III and Michael Porter Jr. among the top prospects along with Luka Doncic, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Trae Young. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Developing from 7 p.m. draft.
– BKN–NBA DRAFT-THINGS TO KNOW. By Brian Mahoney. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m.
– BKN–NBA DRAFT-THE LATEST, real-time updates on the NBA draft
– Individual stories from each NBA team.
FRIDAY, JUNE 22
BKN–NBA DRAFT-HUERTER’S NIGHT
CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. – The Associated Press spends the NBA draft with early entrant Kevin Huerter, as he waits for the phone to ring and the next step in his basketball life to be decided. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos Ronald Jones II Color Rush Jersey , video planned by 4 a.m.
BKN–NBA DRAFT-LEBRON FACTOR
CLEVELAND – LeBron James won’t be picking any players in this year’s NBA draft. Not directly anyway. With the three-time champion’s future still uncertain, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have the No. 8 overall pick, enter this year’s draft not certain if they’re taking a player as a complementary piece to James, to develop without him or perhaps trade to land another All-Star player. At this point, everything seems in play. By Tom Withers. SENT: 600 words, photos on June 19
BKN–NBA DRAFT-HAWKS-TRADE TALKS
ATLANTA – With four picks in the top 34, including No. 3 overall, the Atlanta Hawks are in position to move up or down in Thursday’s NBA draft. GM Travis Schlenk says he’s getting a lot of calls but says there is space on the rebuilding Hawks roster to carry four rookies next season. By Charles Odum. SENT: 550 words, file photos on June 19
BKN–NBA DRAFT-THE INTERVIEW
CHICAGO – When teams are deciding who to take in the NBA draft, the off-court interview still carries enormous weight. What happens on the floor obviously is of great importance as well, but the half-hour chats at the draft combine might be just as critical to teams that need to choose which players merit multi-million-dollar investments. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 800 words, photos on June 18.
BKN–NBA DRAFT-UNDRAFTED LIFE
There’s going to be dozens of players left out in the cold at next week’s NBA draft, players who will not hear their names called by the time the night is over. Udonis Haslem knows how they’ll feel. Undrafted in 2002 http://www.49ersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jonathan-cooper-jersey , Haslem – a Miami native who has spent his entire NBA career with his hometown Miami Heat – has been in the league longer than just about any other active player. Next season will be his 16th in the NBA. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 850 words, photos on June 14.
There are a slew of questions that need to be answered in the NBA this offseason. There’s the obvious one: What will LeBron James do? But there are plenty of others, including the future for Kawhi Leonard, the next moves for Chris Paul and Paul George, and whether the league has seen the last of Dwyane Wade. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 950 words, photos on June 9.
Trae Young’s numbers in his lone season of college were ridiculous. He led the nation in scoring and assists. He had NBA stars tweeting about his every move. But where he’s going to end up in the draft on Thursday night remains a bit of a mystery, for reasons that Young doesn’t fully understand. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 700 words, photos on June 19
Someone is going to gamble on Michael Porter Jr., and he insists it’ll pay off. There is an element of danger involved with every NBA draft pick, in that nothing is guaranteed. There isn’t a player that epitomi.