“We all know what he can do outside of 20 feet, 30 to 35, 40 feet. The dude is special in that regard,” Smart told reporters, via Paolo Songco of Clutch Points. “The way that he’s able to affect the game, being able to run around and play off the ball and get himself open. It’s just tough on a defender because you can’t take a break. The instance that you think he’s not doing anything, the play’s over for him, and that’s when you get beaten, that’s when you get burnt. That’s when that mentality comes in that you gotta stay ready, you can’t give up. You gotta keep going.”
Game 5 of the Finals is Monday night at Golden State, with the series tied at 2-all. Forward Jaylen Brown added that the Celtics are remaining confident.
“You can take positives out of anything,” Brown said, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “Obviously, I think we can be in a better position than we’re in, but we’re not. It’s 2-2. Still, nothing to hang your head about. A lot of great basketball is still in front of us. We take our mistakes and learn from them and you apply it as best you can going forward. I still think we are in a great spot.
“I’m excited to see how we respond over the next couple of days. I mean, it’s exciting. It’s the biggest stage in the world. I’ll take our group, our guys, versus anybody. So I’m looking forward to it.”
Curry said a Warriors championship would be a real tribute to fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson, who is back in the Finals after suffering a torn ACL in the 2019 series vs. the Raptors. He suffered a torn ACL after that.
“To think it’s three years ago and all that we’ve been through, all that Klay has been through personally since that time, and to be back here, it adds a sense of gratitude of being back on this stage,” Curry said, via Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “That chapter will always be part of our journey, for sure. That’s something we’ll probably talk about for a very long time. Hopefully, we can get this job done and pay homage to that three-year journey actually leading to something truly special.”
While Thompson said the three years went by fast, there isn’t much time to reflect on how he and the Warriors got back to the Finals.
“Maybe for a second,” he said, via Andrews. “But when I step on that court, I want to win by any means necessary. I don’t care how ugly or pretty it is. Let’s just win and protect our home court. I’m not going to sing ‘Kumbaya’ or anything. I just want to frigging win.”
- The Warriors are optimistic that center and former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman will be able to play in summer league, per Shams Charania and Anthony Slater of the Athletic. Wiseman suffered a torn right meniscus last April and has missed the entire season.
- Incoming coach Mike Brown has already added two assistant coaches in Jay Triano (full post) and Luke Loucks, and per Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee, will retain assistant Doug Christie, who spent last season in the same role under Luke Walton and Alvin Gentry.
- The Kings have worked out Baylor forward Jeremy Sochan, per Anderson, and Memphis forward Josh Minott, via Andrew Slater of The Athletic. Also, in case you missed it, the Kings appear to be open to trading their No. 4 overall pick. Read more here.