Home / Sports / NBA playoffs: The Warriors don’t need Steph Curry to be great. They have Kevin Durant.

NBA playoffs: The Warriors don’t need Steph Curry to be great. They have Kevin Durant.

The New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz horde Game 4s with a possibility to even a array opposite a Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. Follow along here for a latest research and explanation from The Post’s NBA contributor Tim Bontemps, and ask him questions in a comments section. Catch adult on yesterday’s games here.

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There has been copiousness of discuss over a past week about possibly Stephen Curry is going to be entirely healthy for this playoff run, like he clearly wasn’t dual years ago when Golden State mislaid in 7 games to Cleveland in a NBA Finals.

Here’s a thing, though: Those Warriors didn’t have Kevin Durant. These Warriors do.

So while Curry has been solid, yet unspectacular again in Game 4, Durant has been dominant. With 29 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists in 26 mins so far, Durant has been a disproportion builder in this array – usually as he has been from a impulse he arrived in a Bay Area as a giveaway representative dual years ago.

Coming into this series, a categorical stylistic disproportion between these dual teams was that a Pelicans had no one who could credibly ensure Durant. As Game 4 is proving, that stays a case.

Game 4 has seen a Warriors give a Pelicans their best shot – and a home group is still standing.

That’s an extremely considerable thing for a Pelicans to be means to say. The doubt now is if they can not usually sojourn standing, yet come out on top.

What once was an 18-point Golden State lead has been cut all a approach down to as tiny as 4 late in a initial half, and now stands during 58-51 during halftime in New Orleans.

It’s an extremely bizarre box score, though. Golden State is sharpened 52.1 percent; New Orleans is sharpened 38.1 percent. Golden State has an corner in quick mangle points (9-7) and have committed 3 turnovers that have turn 5 Pelicans points, compared to 8 Pelicans turnovers apropos 14 points for Golden State.

So how are a Pelicans in this game? They have left 18 for 19 from a tainted line. The Warriors, on a other hand, have left usually 4 for 5. Golden State has also missed a final 9 threes of a initial half – many of that were open looks that usually didn’t go down.

None of this is to hit a Pelicans, who fought behind superbly to give themselves a possibility in a second half. But it’s transparent New Orleans is going to have to purify some things adult if it wants to not usually be rival in this game, yet win it.

Ricky Rubio will sojourn out for Game 4 of Utah’s Western Conference semifinal array with Houston here in Salt Lake City.

Rubio, who harm his hamstring in Game 6 of Utah’s first-round feat over Oklahoma City, was seen doing some jogging and transformation drills after shootaround Friday morning before Game 3, yet didn’t demeanour all that tighten to being means to go full-speed. There was some confidence Rubio competence be means to play in Game 4 after he was upgraded to controversial Saturday, yet those hopes went divided when a Jazz announced about 4 hours before opening tip that he would not play.

Power brazen Derrick Favors, who sprained his ankle in Utah’s blowout detriment to Houston in Game 3, stays controversial for Game 4. If he can’t play, Jae Crowder would seem to be a many expected claimant to reinstate him in a Jazz’s starting lineup.

If we wish to know possibly a Warriors can be beaten, there is one stat value profitable courtesy to: a total three-point sharpened commission for Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.

When Golden State has during slightest one of Green and Iguodala rolling from three-point range, an already high-powered group is fundamentally unguardable. While Iguodala hasn’t taken a 3 in possibly of a final dual games, Green is now 7 for 13 after creation dual in a initial entertain Sunday.

With Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson on a court, defenses are going to force Green and Iguodala to fire by default. If during slightest one of them is holding advantage, it takes a Warriors from being a tough group to stop to one that simply can’t be stopped.

It’s extraordinary what happens when a group plays a best lineup to start a game, isn’t it?

Golden State has finished 6 of a initial 8 shots, including three-pointers from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, to take a 14-4 lead over New Orleans in a opening mins of Game 4.

Sometimes, this things isn’t complicated. Don’t play JaVale McGee, start your best lineup and good things will follow. The Warriors are experiencing that early in Game 4.

Rajon Rondo and Draymond Green have had countless incidents over a initial 3 games of a Golden State Warriors-New Orleans Pelicans series.

Warriors Coach Steve Kerr is excellent with Rondo portion his common purpose as a veteran irritant. What he’s not excellent with, though, is Rondo potentially spiteful Stephen Curry.

“I don’t see anything wrong with it, other than a tripping,” Steve Kerr told reporters after Saturday’s use of Rondo’s standard antics. “I’m all for removing underneath a guy’s skin, yet we can’t try to step on a guy’s feet or try to appropriate a man underneath his feet while he’s shooting. Those are dangerous plays.”

Kerr after pronounced a Warriors were going to warning a joining to a plays, yet that “it’s not going to do anything.”

This is what Rondo has finished for his whole career, going behind to his days as a student to Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen with a champion Boston Celtics a decade ago. One of a smartest players in a league, he’s also one of a wiliest competitors in a league, one who knows accurately how to get underneath a skin of each competition he’s facing.

He’s positively finished that to a Warriors so distant — and, in particular, Green, whom Rondo has finished a indicate of going after time and again so distant in this series. It has looked like Green competence remove his cold a few times and go over a edge, as he did in holding a appropriate during San Antonio Spurs brazen Davis Bertans in a initial turn and picking adult a extreme tainted point.

Remember: earning 4 such points formula in a suspension. Green and a Warriors know this all too good from dual years ago, when Green was dangling for Game 5 of a NBA Finals — a diversion that authorised a Cleveland Cavaliers to launch their quip from down 3 games to one in a array and win a championship.

But Green, to his credit, has avoided picking adult possibly a extreme indicate or a technical so distant in this series, notwithstanding innumerable run-ins with Rondo — including one, during halftime of Game 2, that led to Charles Barkley blurting out, on inhabitant television, that he wanted to punch Green in a face.

“I don’t consider there’s such thing as channel a line in basketball. You competing,” Green told reporters Saturday. “So when we competing, we gonna do what we gotta do to win. we never know when somebody contend someone is channel a line. we pronounced he’s perplexing to attract me. Yeah, he’s perplexing to attract me to get a technical foul.

“But during a finish of a day, that’s still him perplexing to win a basketball game. Y’all emanate these narratives of someone channel a line. There is no channel a line to win. You gonna do whatever we gotta do to win.

“I don’t trust in crossed lines. Y’all contend we crossed lines. we contend we did what we set out to do or we didn’t do what we set out to do.”

Regardless of how Game 4 turns out Sunday, Rondo will be in a center of all that happens. He’ll make certain of that.

The Warriors gave a Pelicans a chance to get into Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal array Friday night by starting JaVale McGee in place of Andre Iguodala.

Will Steve Kerr make a same mistake twice in Game 4 Sunday afternoon? He isn’t observant before a game, yet one would have to consider he won’t.

It is still baffling since Kerr went divided from starting tiny in Game 3, after it had so many success in a initial dual games of a series. His evidence after a diversion — one he steady again Saturday to reporters during a team’s use in New Orleans — is that a Warriors have so many centers that he was perplexing to buy some mins with McGee on a justice since a group had dual games in reduction than 48 hours.

Just my dual cents: I’d privately have avoided a additional 48 mins that will come with New Orleans confronting Golden State in Game 5 behind in Oakland — a smallest additional time this array will go after a Pelicans won Game 3.

The theory here is that Kerr will go with a tiny lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Iguodala to start Game 4. That will usually make it foreigner that he didn’t select to do so during a start of Game 3.


  • Golden State Warriors during New Orleans Pelicans (GSW leads 2-1), 3:30 p.m., ABC
  • Houston Rockets during Utah Jazz (HOU leads 2-1), 8 p.m., TNT

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Comment QA

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