Good morning. Is the NBA season ending on Monday? We'll see! Let's basketball.
VIVA LA REVOLUCIÓN: Paul Flannery writes about the Warriors' place in the Positional Revolution (shout out to FreeDarko) and how they've done it with defensive versatility more than anything. Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green allow the Warriors to play the way they do and not only survive, but thrive when mismatched in terms of size. Flanns also gives you his top Finals MVP candidates heading into Game 5 and drops the best quotes of the week. Check it out.
(That Andre Iguodala master stroke defensive possession Flanns discusses at the top of the column? Have you watched it 50 times like me? Lord.)
SPEAKING OF GREEN ... Draymond Green has been assessed a Flagrant-1 for his "retaliatory swipe" at LeBron's nether regions in Game 4. Because Green already had three flagrant points in this postseason, the fourth forces a one-game suspension. So Green is OUT for Monday's Game 5.
I wrote that like a number of the best, fiercest defensive superstars before him, Draymond can't stop himself from crossing the line sometimes. But that full-throttle intensity is also what makes him great.
NBA rules state Green can't be in the arena while suspended. So the team's second- or third-best player won't be around at all for potentially a clinching game of the NBA Finals. What a weird season this has been.
KLAY STEPS INTO THE RING: Deciding what this series needs is more fanning of the flames, Klay Thompson said he guesses LeBron's feelings got hurt by all the trash talk, leading to his anger in the final minutes of Game 4. He also drops an "it's a man's league" line. Well done, broseph. Defending your own team's jabberjaws taunting by saying the NBA is a man's league, then accusing the opponent for getting caught in his feelings for responding in kind.
LeBron cracked up when that quote was shared with him, and said it's really hard to take the high road. So Ayesha Curry questioned LeBron's high-road comment and Marreese Speights tweeted a baby bottle emoji. My goodness Game 5 has high potential to be fun.
I really enjoyed Marc Spears on the whole issue of the unwritten rules of trash talk. And that leads me to ...
ZILLER'S SPECIAL COMMENT: Man, it's hilarious that THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS are harping on alleged disrespect. I'm not even talking exclusively about Draymond's physical antics (like getting suspended in the Finals because in the past two months he has body slammed someone, kicked someone between the legs and swung at someone's groin). I'm talking about the preening after shots, the premature celebrations when the ball's in the air, the trash talk, the trash talk to the crowd. The Warriors are one of the most disrespectful teams I've ever witnessed, when you put it all together. And they're this mad LeBron stepped over Draymond (which, yes, is disrespectful)? The medicine tastes bad, huh?
You're winning the Finals 3-1. You're on track to repeat as champs after having the BEST REGULAR SEASON EVER. And this is the hill you choose to fortify, the "LeBron is a baby, LeBron is caught in his feelings, LeBron's a girl" hill? Y'all should really leave the trash talk to Draymond. At least he's good at it.
And to hell with all unwritten rules in sports. You're not allowed to dish out trash talk without consequences just because trash talk has always been a part of the sport. It's not like LeBron punched Green or shoved Curry. He met disrespect with disrespect. You want to talk about getting caught in your feelings? Look within, brothers.
THANKS, KEVIN: As if things were not already weird enough in Cleveland, Kevin Love chimes in to agree with Green and the Warriors that stepping over someone (as LeBron did to Green, sparking the retaliatory swipe) is a sign of disrespect. You aren't helping yourself here, Kevin!
AND 1: Charles Barkley also agrees, and offers up the definitive quote on the matter: "When a man stands over you, you have a moral obligation to punch him in the balls."
The NBA: Where Nutshots Happen
OH NO! Steph Curry is really trying soooo hard to change our minds about his new shoes!
WITHOUT DRAY: Zach Lowe breaks down the Warriors' defense and what the team will have to do without Green.
CULTURE OF CLEVELAND: Really nice Alex Wong story about how LeBron has become the culture of Cleveland.
RUDE: Jordan used to hustle Pippen on Jumbotron races that had been prerecorded. I feel like Jordan should buy Pipp a car or something to get his gambling karma right.
STARTED AT THE BOTTOM, WE STILL HERE: Atlas Obscura digs into what it's like blogging about one of the worst teams ever. Via REDEF.
That's all for now. Happy Monday and see you next time.