Dose: Finals Facts and Stats

Dose: Finals Facts and Stats
Tommy Beer looks back at LeBron James' incredible performance in the 2016 Finals and highlights some interesting numbers as we get ready for Game 1...
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has "expressed interest" in helping Ivica Zubac develop his post game.

Yes, this includes his famous skyhook that Zubac was already using during his rookie season. "He’s equipped to use it well," Abdul-Jabbar said of Zubac. "He has the length to begin with. If he can develop his shooting touch and agility, he’ll use it well." Abdul-Jabbar is expected to meet with Magic Johnson in the next couple weeks to discuss a potential role with the franchise, but this is just another reason to be excited about the 20-year-old's long-term potential. With a strong offseason, Zubac will likely be the favorite to start over Timofey Mozgov on opening night.
May 28 - 10:56 AM

Zaza Pachulia is on track to start Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

Pachulia has practiced for three days in a row and still has a few more days to get back to full strength. "It’s good that we have one week off," he said. "That way I can prepare myself mentally and physically for this team." Anthony Slater of The Mercury News expects the center to play his normal role of about 15-20 minutes, as the Warriors could use his size to help keep Tristan Thompson off the offensive glass.
May 28 - 10:33 AM

Isaiah Thomas said he's willing to pass up an extension this summer if it means the Celtics can bring in some help in free agency.

Thomas has one year left on his deal for just $6.2 million and will be an unrestricted free agent during the summer of 2018 if he doesn't sign an extension. "We need the best possible player that's gonna help us win, and I'm with that," Thomas said. "Anything Danny [Ainge] and this organization need me to do to help bring even more talent to this city, I'm all for that." Thomas has joked in the past that he wants the Celtics to "bring out the Brink's truck," but it sounds like he will wait another year to give Boston as much financial flexibility as possible.
Source: ESPN
May 28 - 10:07 AM

The Jazz denied a report of a first-round guarantee given to D.J. Wilson.

There is really only one answer for the Jazz here, so this doesn't mean too much. The original report from the Detroit News said they've heard the Jazz gave Wilson a first-round promise. The Jazz have the 30th pick from a salary dump with the Warriors a few years ago to go with their No. 24 pick. Wilson wasn't 100 percent sure earlier this year and may have wanted to come back for his senior year. He brings a little bit of everything with 1.1 treys made per game to go with his 83.3 percent from the line as a shooter, and he did block 1.5 shots per game in his third year at Michigan.
May 27 - 10:41 PM

Davis Bertans is expected to be "part of the future foundation" for the Spurs, according to beat writer Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News.

The rookie made a splash in the playoffs for the Spurs and looks like he'll be getting more minutes in 2017-18. While he didn't have a huge impact all year, Bertans ranked first in true shooting percentage among rookies with at least 30 games played in the regular season. If the Spurs lose some depth, Bertans could wind up getting more minutes at both forward spots.
May 27 - 7:54 PM

Zaza Pachulia (heel) went through all parts of the three practices on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

He is basically back to being healthy and is on track to start on Thursday. Coach Mike Brown said Zaza ran and did scrimmage over the past three days, and Zaza definitely appreciated the time off. "It’s good that we have one week off," Pachulia said. "That way I can prepare myself mentally and physically for this team." The Warriors may have saved up Andre Iguodala more in the early rounds, so he could take some of Zaza's minutes.
May 27 - 6:22 PM

Kevin Love said he doesn't think the Cavs are underdogs in the NBA Finals.

Of course, it's not like he's going to say the Cavs are underdogs to give a new version of the Chris Paul clip from the Utah series. Love said he thought the underdog angle could be used as motivation, though. Coach Tyronn Lue also said he's not worried about the Las Vegas odds and that the team shouldn't need any motivation from that. Love's defense has vastly improved lately and it'll be interesting to see how much he's used at center against the Warriors.
May 27 - 5:26 PM

The Warriors have practiced the past three days, they will take off on Sunday, and then practice on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

They aren't taking too much time off excluding the Sunday, so they should be up to speed on preparation for the Cavs on Thursday. As of Saturday, coach Steve Kerr is still not ready to coach, but he is getting closer to a return.
May 27 - 5:17 PM
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