NBA News & Notes: Warriors' Bogut out for remainder of 2016 Finals

June 16, 2016

In the DSH's latest NBA News and Notes report, we take a look at the injury to Warriors' center Andrew Bogut:

Bogut to miss remainder of Finals

After losing Draymond Green to a one-game suspension in Game 5, the Golden State Warriors now will be without the services of another one of their bigs, as center Andrew Bogut will miss the remainder of the 2016 NBA Finals.

Bogut, who suffered a significant impaction injury to his left knee during Monday’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals, underwent an MRI yesterday in the Bay Area.  The MRI revealed bone bruises to the proximal tibia and distal femur.  Although Bogut's expected recovery time is a minimum of 6-8 weeks, the injury will not require surgery and he is expected to make a full recovery.

Bogut suffered the injury at the 10:30 mark of the 3rd Quarter of Game 5 at Oracle Arena.  He traveled with the team to Cleveland for Game 6.

The loss of Bogut will weaken the Warriors interior shotblocking, and will probably force coach Steve Kerr to give out more minutes to Anderson Varejao or Festus Ezeli.  He also could give extra minutes to his small lineup with Green playing at the 5.

Pistons continue front office changes

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations, Stan Van Gundy, announced today that Pat Garrity has been promoted to assistant general manager, Andrew Loomis to chief of staff, and Bob Beyer to associate head coach.

In addition, Otis Smith joins the Pistons’ staff as director of player development/assistant coach while assistant coach Brendan Malone will transition to a special assignment scout, residing in New York.  Quentin Richardson is leaving the organization for personal reasons.

“I’m proud to announce the restructuring of our basketball staff knowing that we have great people expanding their roles while maintaining continuity within our department,” said Van Gundy.  “Pat, Andrew and Bob are well deserving of new responsibilities and we welcome Otis to Detroit on a full-time basis.  Brendan is moving away from the bench and returning to his New York roots, but will continue to provide great basketball counsel and insight that has made him a great basketball mind for decades.  We thank Quentin for his hard work over the last two seasons and respect his desire to spend more time with his family in Orlando.”

Cleveland facing tough historical climb

Of the 32 teams that trailed 3-1 in The Finals entering this year, only two came back to force a Game 7: the 1951 Knicks (against the Rochester Royals) and the 1966 Lakers (against the Celtics).

The Cavaliers can add their name to that short list if they defeat the Warriors in Game 6. With two more victories, Cleveland would become the first team to rally from a 3-1 deficit to win The Finals.

Kyrie Irving shines with brilliant Game 5 effort

In Game 5, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving became the first player to shoot 70 percent or better in a 40-point Finals game since the Lakers’ Wilt Chamberlain in Game 6 of the 1970 Finals against the Knicks.

Irving also notched his third consecutive 30-point game, joining LeBron James (2015 against Golden State) and the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (2009 against Orlando) as the most recent players to accomplish the feat within one Finals series.

Warriors' numbers

With one more victory, Golden State’s Steve Kerr would join John Kundla as the only coaches to win titles in their first two seasons as NBA head coaches.  Stephen Curry would join LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Bill Russell as the only players to win both the regular-season MVP and a league title in consecutive seasons.  The Warriors would become the fifth team with at least five NBA titles, joining the Celtics (17), Lakers (16), Bulls (six) and Spurs (five).

The Warriors have made 276 three-pointers in the 2016 playoffs, an NBA record for a single postseason. The Cavaliers have hit 242, second most all time in a single postseason.

Talkin' Smack

  • Aaron Torres, “Take a historically great game from LeBron James, throw in an equally impressive showing from Kyrie Irving and we really were left with not only an ‘all-time classic’ performance, but one of those rare sports moments where you’ll almost certainly remember where you were, and who you were with, whenever Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals is mentioned going forward.”
  • Adam Woodard, USA Today: “[W]hen LeBron James and the Cavaliers return to the friendly confines of Quicken Loans Arena and take the floor for Game 6 of the NBA Finals Thursday night, it’ll be the biggest sporting event The Land’s ever seen.”
  • Scott Cacciola, New York Times: “Forget that no team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in The Finals. [LeBron] James likes being first, and helping the Cavaliers win three straight games to claim the first championship in franchise history would be his greatest stunt in an all-world career."
  • Rohan Nadkarni, “Ultimately, it took two epic performances for Cleveland to force a Game 6. Back on their home floor, the Cavaliers could need a couple more to force a Game 7. It’s going to be fun to watch them try.”

LeBron's numbers

LeBron James’ 41-point performance in Game 5 marked his NBA-record 174th career playoff game with at least 20 points, one more than Michael Jordan.  In Game 5, James became the fourth player to finish with at least 40 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists in a Finals game, joining Cliff Hagan (1961 St. Louis Hawks), Magic Johnson (1980 Lakers), and Shaquille O’Neal (2001 Lakers).

James has 129 playoff victories, tied with Shaquille O’Neal for the eighth most in NBA history. James needs two wins to tie Tony Parker for seventh place.

Sager working the Finals

Turner Sports sideline reporter Craig Sager will join ESPN’s NBA Finals broadcast team for Game 6, sharing sideline reporting duties with Doris Burke.

Sager will work a Finals broadcast for the first time in his distinguished career.

“[The Finals assignment] gets me going," said Sager.  "How can you not get excited about going to the NBA Finals!”

By Staff of and news services

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