Watch Al Horford’s two game-winning plays one more time – ProBasketballTalk

05/16/2018

15 Washington Wizards 16 Phoenix Suns (via Heat) 17 Milwaukee Bucks 18 San Antonio Spurs 19 Atlanta Hawks (via Timberwolves) 20 Minnesota Timberwolves (via Thunder) 21 Utah Jazz 22 Chicago Bulls (via Pelicans) 23 Indiana Pacers 24 Portland Trail Blazers 25 Los Angeles Lakers (via Cavaliers) 26 Philadelphia 76ers 27 Boston Celtics 28 Golden State Warriors 29 Brooklyn Nets 30 Atlanta Hawks (via Houston Rockets)

The Sacramento Kings moved up to the No. 2 slot from what was the seventh best lottery odds — the Kings had just a 6 percent chance of landing the second pick. They will be able to put someone out there to play with last year’s rookies D’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Both players were impotently assessed a technical foul, and Smith was given a Flagrant 1.

James was under the basket when he collided with Tatum, whose shoulder hit James squarely in the jaw. James was shown rubbing his chin, and then he went to the locker room.

The Suns tanked their way to the worst record in the NBA last season and it paid off Tuesday night as the team with the best odds — a 25 percent chance at the top — won the NBA Draft lottery. This will be the first time in the history of the Suns’ franchise they have the No. 1 pick.

Ty Lue didn't like the questions about Rodney Hood much pic.twitter.com/KXzkbwmof4

Here are the full Draft Lottery results, and the draft order: 

He returned a few minutes later and finished out the half with what the Cavaliers said was a strained neck.

That means the Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic, and Chicago Bulls all slid down a spot from their projected spots.

— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 16, 2018

Remaining Draft Order:

Meanwhile, the Celtics let James go nuts and still won. Now, Boston has a 2-0 series lead heading back to Ohio.

Deandre Ayton. Marvin Bagley III. Luka Doncic. Jaren Jackson Jr. Mohamed Bamba.

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 16, 2018

Yet no amount of bad blood could spoil Boston’s gameplan, even with James posting another impressive stat line. The Celtics defense poured it on, clamping down even harder in the fourth quarter and allowing just 17 points.

Celtics fans chant "F**k You JR" pic.twitter.com/okMAWsldpf

— Born Salty (@cjzero) May 16, 2018

 

And yet, it was the Celtics and their steady approach that turned the tide during the final two quarters.

For Boston it was another team effort, with Jaylen Brown leading the way with 23 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. Horford posted a double-double of 15 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists. All five Celtics starters scored in double figures.

Marcus Smart confronts JR Smith after JR pushes Al Horford in mid-air

"We have each other's backs," says Al Horford.

1 Phoenix Suns 2 Sacramento Kings 3 Atlanta Hawks 4 Memphis Grizzlies 5 Dallas Mavericks 6 Orlando Magic 7 Chicago Bulls 8 Cleveland Cavaliers (via Nets) 9 New York Knicks 10 Philadelphia 76ers 11 Charlotte Hornets 12 Los Angeles Clippers (via Pistons) 13 Los Angeles Clippers 14 Denver Nuggets

After Game 1 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, the question was whether the team-first strategy of the Celtics could withstand the LeBron onslaught.

After scoring just 15 points in Boston’s Game 1 blowout, James had 21 in the first quarter on Tuesday night. He finished the half with 25 points, six assists and four rebounds.

Now, we have our answer.

Marcus Smart confronts JR Smith after JR pushes Al Horford in mid-air

— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) May 16, 2018

BOSTON (AP) Cavaliers forward LeBron James left Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night and went to the Cleveland locker room in the second quarter after colliding with Boston’s Jayson Tatum under the basket.

Horford has been a rock all playoffs for Boston, and now he has them on the verge of the conference finals up 3-0 on the Sixers.

The Atlanta Hawks moved up one spot — they had the fourth best odds and will be picking third as they add to their rebuild efforts.

Just for fun, let’s review the definition of a Flagrant 2, via the NBA website.

At least Boston fans got a chant going to help assuage their feelings (NSFW):

— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) May 16, 2018

It worked like a charm.

Via Twitter:

LeBron was magnificent in the first half, scoring 25 points and accounting for 15 shots compared to 18 for the rest of Cleveland’s starters. Although a knock to the face put him back in the locker room with a neck strain for a few moments, it was clear that James was on a warpath from the start. The only problem was that Boston wasn’t giving way, and the Cavaliers took just a 55-48 lead into the half.

In Game 2 on Tuesday night, Boston showed they were the stronger team yet again by following a strict gameplan: switch on LeBron and do the best you can, then rotate out on Cleveland’s shooters to neutralize the rest of the Cavaliers roster. Brad Stevens even said as much during an interview during the broadcast, so it wasn’t a surprise when that appeared to be Boston’s approach.

Game 3 is in Cleveland on Saturday. LeBron will have some time to think about what the Cavaliers can do to get back in this series. Theres not much else The King can enact himself. He needs a better tactical approach by Ty Lue and execution from his supporting cast.

The big moves were below it.

A post shared by NBA (@nba) on May 5, 2018 at 5:13pm PDT

@al_horford makes BIG PLAYS on both ends in crunch time for the @celtics!

— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) May 16, 2018

Lebron James on Tatum collision: “It was a tough blow, obviously incidental. His shoulder hit me square in the jaw, so I just wanted to go back and make sure everything was fine. But it didn’t affect my game after that.”

The NBA prides itself on making sure players aren’t making dangerous plays toward each other, especially in the playoffs. The league made an entire rule about landing space after Zaza Pachulia injured Kawhi Leonard in the playoffs.

Things got a little heated late in the game as JR Smith underhandedly pushed Al Horford in the back while he was airborne, leading to a Flagrant 1 for Smith. Smart, who rushed to the aid of his teammate, earned a technical along with Smith for some pushing after the play.

(via @clippittv) pic.twitter.com/rSwioj47tU

The Celtics win as a team. Jayson Tatum had 24 points and looks nothing like a rookie again in Game 3. Terry Rozier continues his breakout postseason and dropped 18. Jaylen Brown and what’s left of his hamstring added 16.

That caused Marcus Smart to get in Smith’s face, with the two pushing until they were separated.

That refs allowed Smith to continue playing is embarrassing to the league. Smith’s foul was a textbook example of a Flagrant 2, and the double-tech after was a bit of an insult.

On Tuesday night, Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith was given a Flagrant 1 for pushing Boston Celtics big man Al Horford during an alley-oop attempt. Smith made no attempt to make a play on the ball, and Horford was sent careening under the basket near the stanchion.

(via @clippittv) pic.twitter.com/rSwioj47tU

He had the bucket that proved to be the game-winner in overtime on a brilliantly-designed play from Brad Stevens (which forced Joel Embiid to switch off him and left Horford isolated in the post with the smaller Robert Covington). Then Horford secured the win with the steal of the game.

It’s considered a top-heavy draft class in 2018 with potential franchise players at the top, and the Phoenix Suns will have their pick of all of them.

Now those Suns face an interesting choice: They just hired Igor Kokoskov, the long-time NBA assistant coach (most recently with Utah) as their head coach; he is also the Serbian national team coach and has an excellent relationship with and scouting report on Doncic. That said, Ayton is the guy on top of most team’s draft boards and he attended the University of Arizona just down the I 10.

Marcus Smart had his back tonight