Phantom kick ball dooms W's in loss to Pacers

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Phantom kick ball dooms W's in loss to Pacers

BOX SCORE

Pacers 94, Warriors 91

Key play: With the score tied at 91-91, and the game clock winding down, Monta Ellis started to go one-on-one against George Hill. Ellis tried to cross Hill over but the ball hit Hills foot and came loose.Hill grabbed the loose ball and headed the other way for a layup. He got there, scored the bucket and got fouled by Stephen Curry with 1.8 seconds remaining. Hill knocked down the free throw for the games final margin.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson said afterward that the refs missed the call, feeling Hills kick was intentional, but that seemed impossible to tell even with replay.Said Jackson: We flattened it out and looked for him (Ellis) to make a play and he had it going. In that situation you have an option to call timeout or not I had the ball in my best scorers hands and I felt good about it.Said Pacers coach Frank Vogel on the games critical play: I thought he got his hand on it and stripped him on the crossover. I thought he had the right hand on it. I could be wrong.The Warriors did have one final chance to tie and Stephen Curry got a great look at a 3-point attempt. But it missed.

Curry returns: Point guard Stephen Curry returned to the Warriors lineup after missing eight games because of a sprained right ankle. Curry didnt seem to be favoring the ankle while playing, although he did get off to a slow start shooting the ball.He didnt make his first field goal until seven-and-a-half minutes remained in the second quarter -- and after missing his first four attempts. Jackson said before the game that Curry didnt have a minutes limit, but that Currys playing time would be determined by the flow of the game and how Curry looked out there.Unconventional strategy: Jackson took a little bit of a gamble on Wednesday night against the New Jersey Nets, when he allowed David Lee to continue playing with three fouls in the second quarter and with four fouls in the third quarter.Most coaches will take out a player with three fouls for the remainder of the first half and also will often remove a player after picking up foul No. 4 in the third quarter.I think its overrated, Jackson said of removing players with three fouls in the first half and with four fouls in the third quarter. It doesnt matter. I know what it takes to foul him out. Its important that I have trust in the guys to understand the situation and not pick up a cheap one. Im not going to compromise my teams chances of winning.Lee didnt pick up his fourth foul in the second quarter against the Nets, and Jackson removed him midway through the period. But only after Lee played about five minutes with that many fouls.Lee did pick up his fifth foul, however, in the third quarter after Jackson didnt remove him after No. 4."Its been successful for us," Jackson maintained. "...I just think its overrated. Whether Im right or wrong, that can be up for debate, but thats what I believe. There are some guys you cant do that with because theyre not disciplined enough to not pick up another foul. It takes some trust in the players."Biedrins block: With his block in the first half, Andris Biedrins tied former Warrior George Johnson for seventh place in franchise history with 507 career blocks.

Ty Lue: Celtics 'harder to defend' than Warriors

Ty Lue: Celtics 'harder to defend' than Warriors

The Warriors possess four 2017 All-Stars, three 2017 All-NBA team members and had the highest-scoring offense during the offense. They are 12-0 this postseason and have won those 12 games by an average of 16.3 points.

The Celtics lost All-NBA point guard Isaiah Thomas for the rest of the postseason and don't have another All-Star on the roster.

But for Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, it sounds like he has an easier time scheming to defend the Warriors.

"The stuff (the Celtics are) running, it's harder to defend than Golden State's (offense) for me, as far as the actions and all the running around and all the guys who are making all the plays, so it's a totally different thing. Like, they hit the post, Golden State runs splits and all that stuff but these guys are running all kinds of (stuff). And Brad's (Stevens) got them moving and cutting and playing with pace and everybody is a threat," Lue said Wednesday, according to Cleveland.com.

The Cavs rallied to beat the Celtics in Game 4 on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Despite the commanding series lead, Lue isn't looking ahead of a potential NBA Finals matchup with the Warriors.

"You can't. As much as you want to, it's not over," Lue told reporters.

The Cavs have a chance to wrap up the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday when they face the Celtics in Boston.

The NBA Finals begin June 1 in Oakland.

 

More Curry-Durant pick-and-roll? Mike Brown: 'I love Steve, but...'

More Curry-Durant pick-and-roll? Mike Brown: 'I love Steve, but...'

The Warriors led the NBA in offensive rating (113.2) during the regular season.

The Warriors are second in the league in offensive rating (115.8) in the playoffs.

Scoring is not an issue.

But will we see the Warriors run more pick-and-roll in the NBA Finals, specifically the Steph Curry-Kevin Durant combination?

"Steve (Kerr) isn't really into this much," interim head coach Mike Brown told ESPN's Zach Lowe. "He's more about spacing and movement -- and that's fantastic. I love Steve, and wherever I might go, I'm going to incorporate a lot of stuff he does.

"But in the playoffs, sometimes you have to attack a mismatch. When I need a bucket, that's what I'm going to do."

Mr. Kerr -- your response?

"Mike is right about me, but I also recognize the need to do it more as defenses get tougher," Kerr told ESPN. "It's about finding the right balance between isolating when we need to, and keeping the flow that makes us who we are."

During the regular season, the Warriors ranked last in pick-and-roll possessions per game -- both when the ball-handler ended the possession, or when the roll/pop man ended the possession.

Steph Curry averaged 6.1 pick-and-roll possessions per game -- 28th in the NBA.

That number is up to 7.5 per game in the playoffs.

“I think we’re still at our best when we’re simple about what we’re doing,” Curry recently told Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group. “Whether it’s pick-and-roll and you’ve got everybody spaced. You’ve got shooters where they need to be. You’ve got the dive man where he needs to be with space to put pressure on the rim. 

"You’ve got a ball-handler playmaker with it that can come off and shoot it, get a bucket. Sometimes it doesn’t need to be more complex than that. We’ve got the awareness that, that needs to happen.”