Sep 17, 2020
Former 2008 Celtics Champion Trashes Clippers Game 7 Loss
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Getty Images Bam Adebayo blocks a shot from Jayson Tatum at the end of overtime
Former Celtics champion Kendrick Perkins believes the Denver Nuggets just pulled off one of the greatest upsets in NBA history.
The Los Clippers surrendered their third consecutive loss in a stunning 104-89 lopsided Game 7, they blew a 3-1 lead and are now unexpectedly on their way home.Perkins, who was a guest on ESPN‘s “First Take” Thursday morning.
“They’re the biggest front-runners in NBA history,” Perkins said. “When everything is going well, you hear them hooping and hollering and pounding their chests at their children and wives that are in the stands and the virtual fans. But when things get close, oh man, you could smell it. Their heart stopped pumping kool-aid.”Perkins: ‘This Is One Of The Greatest Upsets In NBA History’
The heavily-favored Los Angeles went ice cold in the fourth quarter.
While the Nuggets were trying to keep the Clippers at bay and were on their way of sealing them off for good, the iceberg that was Doc Rivers’ offense was coming ahead full steam at the start of the final period. It took the Clippers over eight minutes to convert their a made field goal (0-of-13) in the final frame, they came up empty in 13 consecutive possessions, meanwhile, Denver poured it on and pushed its lead to beyond a 16-point advantage.
“I’m looking at this Clipper team, man!” Perkins added. “They couldn’t guard a senior citizen at recess in a nursing home. They were horrible on the defensive end. The Denver Nuggets flat out out-played them. They had the ultimate confidence. This is one of the greatest upsets in NBA history.”
Can’t expect the Clippers to garner much sympathy from the rest of the league. Los Angeles not only had two elite two-way superstars in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George at the wing positions it was the clear-cut favorite heading into their Western Conference semifinals best-of-7 series.Doc Rivers Responds To The Clippers Collapse
“It’s just disappointing, you know?” Rivers said. “I thought we had so many opportunities over the last three games to win. But you gotta give Denver credit. They kept playing, they kept executing, they kept playing together.”
Big Perk, Rivers’ former starting center, isn’t buying it.
“There’s no way around it,” Perkins added. “I don’t want to hear anything about chemistry problems. They do a lot of barking and no biting.”
Rivers spoke to the Clippers’ struggles throughout Game 7 and how a playoff matchup of that magnitude typically leads to surprises when you’re a team that hasn’t spent a whole lot of year with each other.
“Just see the difference in the two teams,” Rivers added. “That team’s (Nuggets) been together, we haven’t and you could see it as the games went on. They just knew each other so well. Offensively, we had great shots. I mean, great shots, all night. I still didn’t think we trusted, you know?
We did at the beginning of the game. We did coming out for the third quarter, we got a seven-point lead. But right when they put pressure on us. You know, honestly, I just through we didn’t come through.”
The Clippers shot 37.8% from the floor, including 9-of-35 from behind the 3-point arc.
“I’m the coach and I’ll take any blame for it but we didn’t meet our expectations, clearly,” Rivers said. “Because if we had, in my opinion, we’d still be playing.”
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Will Gordon Hayward play in Game 3 vs. Heat? Latest updates on Celtics forwards ankle injury
Will Gordon Hayward make his return Saturday night and help the Celtics avoid falling into a 3-0 hole against the Heat?
The Boston forward suffered a Grade 3 right ankle sprain on Aug. 17 in Game 1 of the Celtics’ first-round series vs. the 76ers and has been rehabbing ever since. He was estimated to be out four weeks following the diagnosis, so the speculation about him rejoining the rotation makes sense given the original timeline.
MORE: Celtics players address locker room drama
After disappointing losses in Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, the Celtics could really use Hayward’s skill set, even if he is only a small part of the rotation.
Here’s the latest news on Hayward ahead of Game 3:What is Gordon Hayward’s status?
UPDATE: Hayward is available for Game 3, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. He will come off the bench, and his minutes will be monitored.
Sources: Celtics‘ Gordon Hayward is available to play in Game 3 vs. Miami after missing a month with ankle spr ain. He will come off bench.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 19, 2020
ORIGINAL: On the 5:30 p.m. ET injury report, Hayward was listed as questionable, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports there is “significant optimism” Hayward will be available for Game 3.
Barring a setback in pregame warmups, there’s significant optimism within the Celtics that forward Gordon Hayward (right ankle sprain) will be active to play in Game 3 vs. Miami tonight, sources tell ESPN. After missing a month, Hayward offers a sizable boost for Boston’s bench.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 19, 2020
Hayward’s presence would be huge for a Boston offense that struggled with Miami’s zone defense in Game 2. The 30-year-old averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists during the regular season and played well in the team’s “seeding games,” including a 31-point showing against the Magic on Aug. 9, his second-highest scoring game of the season.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens could use Hayward as a hub in the middle of the zone given he is a strong midrange scorer and facilitator. Hayward would also give Stevens the option to play a super switchable lineup defensively — Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Hayward, for example — if he doesn’t want to have a traditional big like Daniel Theis on the floor.
If Hayward is ruled out of Game 3, expect heavy minutes from the starting five (Walker, Smart, Brown, Tatum and Theis). Boston knows this is essentially a must-win situation.Celtics vs. Heat Game 3 injury report
Every significant Celtics and Heat player should be ready to go Saturday. Miami forward Andre Iguodala is included on the injury report, but he is listed as probable for Game 3 after logging 22 total minutes in Games 1 and 2.
|Celtics||Javonte Green||Probable||Right knee; surgery|
|Celtics||Gordon Hayward||Questionable||Right ankle; sprain|
|Celtics||Romeo Langford||Out||Right adductor; strain|
|Heat||Andre Iguodala||Probable||Lower back; spasms|
|Heat||Chris Silva||Out||Left pubic bone; stress fracture|