Jazz's Snyder prophetic of Green's continued dominance

Jazz's Snyder prophetic of Green's continued dominance

OAKLAND -- Call it foreshadowing or maybe just a little bit of gamesmanship, but Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder raved about Warriors forward Draymond Green before Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Thursday evening. It’s doubtful that Green heard the comments. Or maybe he did.

In early December, Green received a text from his mother in pregame telling him that Snyder had made an off the cuff remark about his shooting before the Jazz and Warriors battled at Vivint Smart Home Arena.  

Green responded by hitting 4-of-6 from downtown while his Warriors pulled out a 106-99 victory.

Snyder carefully navigated his comments about Green in pregame on Thursday evening, heaping praise on the 27-year-old forward.

“As a coach, he’s the kind of player that you want to coach,” Snyder told a room full of reporters. “Part of the reason you want to coach him is because he has an edge. Not of that to me is ever personal. I admire him. You admire his competitiveness.”

Utah’s coach went as far as to compare Green to legendary point guard Magic Johnson because of his ability to do just about everything.

“His toughness and his tenacity and his ability is something that you respect and admire because he’s such a unique player,” Snyder added.

Green opened the series with a bang, roasting the Jazz for 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and a pair of blocks in Game 1. The versatility that Snyder raved about was on full display.

In Game 2, Green made sure to show Snyder his range one more time. He began the contest with a huge block on 7-foot-1 center Rudy Gobert and then drained a 3-ball on the other end. Green continued to bomb away, dropping in four straight triples in the opening frame before bricking a final attempt as the quarter came to a close.

When it was all said and done, Green hit 5-of-8 from long range on his way to 21 points. He added seven rebounds, six assists and picked up four steals as the Warriors took a 2-0 advantage in the series and 6-0 in the 2016-17 playoffs.

Scary Moment

With 7:24 remaining in the fourth, Green went down holding his left knee. The training staff helped him to the bench, but he returned to the court to a huge ovation minutes later and helped finish off the 115-104 victory.

Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr is no closer to resuming full-time duties than he was a week ago, or even a month ago.

Out since April 23, when he announced he was taking a leave of absence to address chronic pain in the wake of multiple back surgeries nearly two years ago, Kerr has been a constant presence the past two weeks but not on the bench during games.

“He’s doing everything but coaching, but at this point, he’s not able to coach,” general manager Bob Myers said Thursday after practice. “I wish could say that he was. I’m sure he wishes he could as well. But that’s where we are.

“If something changes and he feels better, I’ll sit here or, better -- he would sit here -- and tell you. But right now, I can’t say that he’s going to be coaching.”

Though Kerr did not address media Thursday, he indicated earlier this week that he would be comfortable going into the NBA Finals, which begin June 1, with acting head coach Mike Brown at the helm.

“We’re 12-0,” Kerr told NBCSportsBayArea.com. “I feel great about where the team is. I know we can play better. I think the challenge we’re about to face, one way or the other, is going to take us to another level.”

The Warriors under Kerr finished the regular season with a league-best 67-15 mark, earning the No. 1 overall seed for the playoffs. Kerr coached Games 1 and 2 of the first round against Portland before surrendering head coaching duties to Brown.

The Warriors are 10-0 since Brown took over, 27-1 over their last 28 games since March 11.

Still, they would like Kerr to regain health and join them in their quest for a second championship in three years.

“It’s hard for me; I’m kind of in this basketball mode,” Myers said. “But he’s a person and he’s not feeling well. And that’s what makes it hard. More than how it reflects on our team is how he’s feeling that makes it very difficult to have to sit here and say that the man that’s hugely responsible for us being in The Finals for three years in a row, in a moment that he should be treasuring, can’t do it.

“It’s painful. And I know it’s painful for him, more than anybody. And I wish and he wishes and I’m sure you guys do, too, that there was something that could get him there. But right now, we’re not at that point.”

LeBron: Chasing Jordan 'my personal goal to keep me motivated'

LeBron: Chasing Jordan 'my personal goal to keep me motivated'

BOSTON -- LeBron James says his chase of Michael Jordan's accomplishments is simply personal motivation. It's not about wanting to establish himself as the NBA's greatest player.

James spoke Thursday during the morning shootaround before the Cavaliers play the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

If the Cavaliers advance, James would be making a seventh consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.

He said his goal is not about passing Jordan in titles, points or MVP awards. James is 28 points shy of overtaking Jordan as the postseason's leading scorer. With 40 more points, James could also become the first player in NBA history to score 6,000 points in the playoffs.

But the Cavaliers superstar says his pursuit is about leaving a legacy to motivate the next generation of players.

"It's just my personal goal to keep me motivated, that's all," James said. "You guys are gonna have the conversations about who's the greatest of all time and things of that nature, it doesn't matter to me."

He also said he believes that the greatness conversation is discussed more often in the NBA than in other sports.

"It's never talked about (in the) NFL, who's the greatest quarterback. It's just like (Dan) Marino, (John) Elway, (Peyton) Manning, (Tom) Brady - all great quarterbacks. It should be the same for us," James said. "We go out and just try to be as great as we can be every night.

"The comparison of always trying to compare people, either living or still playing or not playing - I think it's great for barbershops."