Anyone seen Andrew Bogut lately? Where are you, Harrison Barnes? Hellooooo, Draymond Green, are you still with us?
In Game 3 of the NBA Finals, their biggest game of the season, the Warriors’ bigs came up small against the Cleveland Cavaliers again. Barnes, Bogut and Green combined for 11 points on 4 of 21 shooting, 16 rebounds and one blocked shot. David Lee was the only difference-maker — 11 points, plus-7, 13 minutes — which makes you wonder if coach Steve Kerr waited too long to call his number.
Sure, Matthew Dellavedova and LeBron James have gotten most of the headlines thus far, but Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson have played no small role in the series. The duo totaled 16 points, 18 rebounds and four blocked shots and controlled the middle like they had for much of the series.
If we heard it once, we heard it dozens of times in the last few months. If the Warriors had a weakness, then it was their lack of size and scorers in the paint area. We saw a glimpse of that against the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round. Like the Cavaliers, the Grizzlies had a 2-1 lead in the series before the Warriors’ depth and talent took over the rest of the way. The obvious difference is, the Grizzlies didn’t have the otherworldly James to lean on time and again.
The undermanned Cavaliers have no choice except to slow the tempo and turn the games into ugly Eastern Conference slugfests. If the Warriors don’t man up soon, they may have met their match finally.
THUNDER DOWN UNDER: 49ers rookie fullback Jarryd Hayne can’t lose in the NBA Finals. A fellow Australian was certain to hoist the big trophy, whether he be Dellavedova or Bogut, and the sport stood to prosper in his native country as well.
“Aw, it’s huge there,” Hayne told Balls. “Obviously, being in San Francisco, the Warriors are my team. We’re in chat group, so we’re definitely going back and forth like that. The blokes who watch the NBA are the ones who watch the NFL as well. It’s an American sport that’s very hot.”
“I’m with the Bay boys. Warriors in six.”
WHAT — NO DELLY DOG?: Dellymania hasn’t overtaken Northeast Ohio quite yet, but Dellyburgers are available at Quicken Loans Arena, where the Cavaliers play their home games.
The advertisement pictures Dellavedova with a goofy smile on the face, a basketball in his hands and the words “It’s one Dellova-burger.”
The $9.75 sandwich includes salami, capicola, provolone, roasted peppers, arugula and red wine vinaigrette. A floor burn is two bucks extra.
THE QUOTE: After Dellavedova scored on a runner in the the third quarter, ABC analyst Mark Jackson actually exclaimed, “He’s feeling himself!”
Uh, OK, if you say so, ex-coach.
REFS, YOU… Danny Crawford, Marc Davis and Derrick Stafford were assigned to Game 3, but the Three Amigos would have been better than the referees who blew call after call in the second game.
Even the NBA confirmed as much on Tuesday, not that we needed official confirmation to know it.
The league admitted that Andre Iguodala made contact with LeBron James’ arm during overtime, but that James had traveled prior to taking the shot. Neither infraction was whistled in accordance with this little-known NBA rule: One blown call deserves another.
Green should have been called for grabbing one of James’ shoulders in a jump ball situation with 45 seconds left in the game, the league reported.
Only seconds later, Green should have been flagged for making contact with Tristan Thompson’s arm on the opening tip of overtime.
What the league didn’t say was that Green also raked James across the right arm on his final drive to the basket in the fourth quarter, when he missed a potential game-winner from close range.
In other words, Green has reached star status, which he can use as leverage in contract negotiations this summer.
NO COMPARISON: The television ratings were on pace to be the highest since the 2010 NBA Finals. Game 2 reached more than 19 million viewers, while the series opener drew 17.8 million viewers. The 2010 Boston Celtics-Los Angeles Lakers series lasted seven games and featured five future Hall of Famers —Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O’Neal and Paul Pierce.
AND HE’S AMBULATORY, TOO: When Athletics switch pitcher Pat Venditte was promoted last week, the East Oregonian saw fit to print this headline: “Amphibious pitcher makes debut.”
The headline writer is either a creative person who’s in the wrong business
or a frustrated employee who wants to be in another business. Remember, it was Yogi Berra who said years ago, “He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.”
“I did (know about the headline), and I hope that guy’s not catching too much flak because I’m assuming he’s quoting Yogi Berra’s famous quote,” Venditte said. “But yeah, I saw how that kind of got out of hand.”
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