SAN FRANCISCO – When the clock stopped, Stephen Curry took the basketball, shook his right fist and ran around the court.
He finally felt relieved after the Golden State Warriors accepted a number of challenges on Monday, including an unexpected change of coach. But after Draymond Green made a key block at the top of the key, Green roared excitedly towards the fans on the field. Curry followed suit. Then the two Warriors teammates pointed at each other.
The Warriors escaped with victory in the 4th game with the result 101-98 against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday to take a 3-1 lead. The Warriors may close the series in Game 5 on Wednesday in Memphis (9:30 ET, TNT).
We draw five conclusions from the unforgettable game 4.
1. Mike Brown had a familiar (though unexpected) role
The day began with Mike Brown carrying two coaching duties. Just like the past six years, he has taken on the role of Warriors head assistant coach. He too officially became coach of the Sacramento Kings, a role he will begin after completing a series of Warriors playoffs.
As the day progressed, Brown would learn that Golden State coach Steve Kerr was positive for COVID-19, and will have to take the reins for the fourth game on Monday night. Brown had no warning. Kerr was present at the morning shooting. Wearing a mask and speaking in a hoarse voice during his media availability, Kerr tested later in the day after feeling symptomatic. Brown then learned of his new assignment after arriving at the arena around 5:15 p.m., Pacific time, about 105 minutes before the announcement.
“In order for that kind of thing to happen to you, you have to change gear because I know what my responsibilities are as Mike Brown, the assistant coach, and that’s changing,” Brown said. “Now you have to manage everything, not necessarily manage certain things that are required of you before the game. So I had to change my hats quickly. ”
Brown felt prepared. He coached the Warriors to a play-off record of 11-0 in 2017, while Kerr dealt with complications after back surgery. As Kerr’s main assistant, Brown monitors the player’s minutes and carefully records preparations for the match. And he relied on the rest of the coaching staff of the Warriors, Green and Andrea Iguodala for additional coaching help.
“Obviously there are butterflies, because you’re entering the game again with a certain way of thinking and it’s a big game,” Brown said. “Every game we play at this point in the year is huge.”
Will Brown sit in the same chair for Game 5? It seems likely. To clear the protocols, the NBA requires players and coaches who test positive for COVID-19 to perform two consecutive negative tests performed at least 24 hours apart. This leaves Kerr very difficult to return.
As for his future coaching performance, Brown politely declined to speak in more detail out of respect for his current job at the Warriors.
After being part of two of the three Warriors in a string of NBA titles, Brown will be tasked with taking the Kings to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. After his three second coaching appearances with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2005-10 and 2013-14). and the Los Angeles Lakers (2011-12), Brown is eager to tackle his next challenge. He plans to incorporate his famous defense philosophies. He hopes to incorporate some of Warriors ’concepts of ball movement and collaboration. And he will try to connect with an organization that has had 11 different head coaches since his last playoff placement.
2. Golden State grinds it
The Warriors missed their first 15 attempts with 3 points on Monday night. They committed 11 trades in the first half. And although the Grizzlies had their own problems playing without striker Ja Moranta, their attacking shortcomings had more to do with their own sluggishness than with the Warriors ’defense.
“It’s basketball playoffs,” Brown said. “Sometimes it’s dirty. Sometimes it’s rude. “
But the Warriors are experienced and resilient.
In times of crisis, Curry looked normal. Despite shooting 10-of-25 from the field and 4-of-14 from the depths, Curry finished with 32 points, amplified by drowning 8-of-9 free throw attempts.
Curry equalized at 90 after hitting the jumper from the baseline with 3:25. He put the Warriors in a 94-93 lead with 45.7 seconds to go – their first lead of the evening – after taking a couple of free throws. He then made six more free throws in the final 25.9 seconds.
“He has this mindset that he’s the best scorer of all time and it only takes one good look at the edge or free throw line,” Brown said, “When that happens, the door opens.”
The Warriors ’victory went beyond Curry’s clutch kicks.
one more pic.twitter.com/xoppORfaJ9
– Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 10, 2022
Green blocked Jarn Jackson Jr.’s attempt. for 3 points on top of the key while the Warriors held a 98-95 lead with 19.5 seconds to go. Andrew Wiggins was the only Golden State player to shoot above 50% (17 points on a 7 out of 13 shot) and also grabbed 10 rebounds. Green, Wiggins, Otto Porter Jr. and Kevon Looney all provided hustle games.
All of that became enough for the Warriors to get through the bad shooting night of Klay Thompson (6-out-20, 0-out-7 out of depth) and Jordan Poole (4-out-12, 0-out-3 out of 3).
“If there’s a game with one or two possessions below, whether you’re down or up, you feel pretty confident,” Brown said. “It has a lot to do with the playoff experience these guys have, but their talent and IQ are unbeatable in my opinion.”
3. Grizzlies fight without Moranta
Memphis may have sensed it would be a tough night as soon as the lineup’s introduction began.
Top scorer Ja Morant was in street clothes, missing game 4 (and maybe still) due to right knee pain. Warriors fans showered Grizzlies keeper Dillon Brooks with a whistle as he was due to play for the first time after serving a one-game suspension in Game 3.
Initially, the Grizzlies used the same formula that secured a 20-5 record in the regular season without Moranta. Tyus Jones started in his place. Steven Adams took on his central role to minimize the Warriors ’colors. After Desmond Bane nailed 32-meter at the end of the third quarter, the Grizzlies nurtured a 69-62 lead and showed they could get out of San Francisco with a split.
But they could not withstand that effort in the fourth quarter. And then they missed Morant.
Brooks scored 12 points in a 5-of-12 shot after combining 3-of-16 in games 1 and 2. Jenkins still stayed with Brooks in times of crisis because of his eight assists.
“He forced the couple; trying to get his groove back, ”Jenkins said. “Obviously he was free for a few days. But when he played with the power under control, I liked his playing. “
The Grizzlies allowed the Warriors to shoot 10-of-17 from the field and 4-of-8 from depth in the final third. They made 10 personal mistakes. And the Warriors beat the Grizzlies 8-4.
“I feel that their pressure has somehow accelerated us. We allowed their pressure to dictate some blows to us, ”Jones said. “It starts with me being able to withstand that pressure, make sure our guys calm down, and whether it’s pulling us into action, dragging us into a set or I’m creating something myself or creating something for others, we just have to make sure we don’t let it that their physicality or their pressure somehow speeds us up. ”
4. Wiseman provides up-to-date information on its progress
During this series, Warriors center James Wiseman felt both at home and in foreign territory.
After starring in East High School and the University of Memphis, Wiseman joined the Warriors for the first two games in Memphis so he could be in the family circle and enjoy his mom’s homemade spaghetti. But like the entire season, Wiseman was left out due to a right knee injury.
“It’s always good to feel that energy and atmosphere while you’re at home. But it thrilled me a little bit because I wanted to play, ”said Wiseman. “I was angry because I wanted to play and I wanted to play this season. It is, as it is. That is life.”
Wiseman has played in just 39 games since being selected for 2nd place overall draft for 2020 and has yet to play an NBA game in his hometown. But in his first session with the media since the Warriors expelled him indefinitely in March, Wiseman was positive in both body language and words.
“It simply came to our notice then. It just depends on how you react, ”Wiseman said. “I can easily give up and say, I don’t want to do this. But it’s not in my DNA. I will continue to work and persevere. But I have faith and I have God on my side. ”
Wiseman also has various mentors on his side. One of them is Shaun Livingston, director of affairs with Warriors players and a former NBA player who himself missed 101 of 246 regular season games in his first three seasons after suffering a terrible leg injury.
Kerr also encouraged Wiseman to study Jackson Jr., who played 11 games with a torn meniscus last season to become an All-Defensive candidate.
“It’s useful for James to have that example in front of him,” Kerr said. “He is a hard worker and invests time. We are very confident that he will have a long and great career. “
It remains to be seen whether this will be the case with the Warriors. He will have to decide by Oct. 31 whether to pick up Wiseman’s $ 12.1 million option for the 2023-24 season. But in the meantime, Wiseman said he had studied a variety of great people – including Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid – as well as watching the Warriors prepare for the playoffs.
Does that mean Wiseman can fit into the NBA Summer League in July?
“If it’s progressing well, then of course,” Wiseman said. “It simply came to our notice then. It depends on the training staff. ”
5. Adreian Payne died near the house
It was a big win for the Warriors, but a painful day for Draymond Green. Green mourned the death of former Michigan teammate Adrian Payne, who is shot and killed in Orlando, Florida, early Monday morning.
“My emotions are kind of everywhere now,” Green said. “Somehow I lose that emotion from the game. I’m going to go home and just sit on my podcast and talk because I can stop it and cry if I need to cry. I don’t like to cry in front of people. “
Green then announced that he and his wife Hazel plan to donate $ 100,000 in honor of Payne and establish a foundation. He invited Spartan coach Tom Izz and various Spartan stars, including Jackson Jr., Magic Johnson, Miles Bridges and Matt Ishbia, to help pay tribute to Payne. Green suggested that the foundation could fund scholarships.
For the fourth game, Green wore shoes with the words “Long Live 5” and “RIP AP” in honor of Payne, who was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in 15th place in 2014.
“I’m going home and I’m going to talk about Adreian, and I’m going to talk a little bit about this game. But I can do it with my speed and in my space, ”Green said. “I’m sorry. I’m going to give you the biggest post-game press conference on Wednesday, but I just don’t have it in me tonight, I sincerely apologize.”
Before answering questions after the morning shooting, Kerr expressed his condolences to the Payne family, as well as empathy for Green and Jackson.
“It definitely shook us all,” Jackson said. “It’s super hard. I’ve already talked to a lot of alumni, and this morning I saw Dray. It’s hard for all of us. Life, man, is precious. ”
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