The last time Golden State faced a 2-0 series deficit, Stephen Curry was finishing his freshman year at Davidson and coach Steve Kerr was still in broadcasting.
It’s been a while. It was 2007, to be precise.
But that’s where the Warriors are again now, having dropped the first two games to the Sacramento Kings. Also in a 2-0 hole: The Brooklyn Nets, who fell again to the Philadelphia 76ers. Philadelphia simply held serve at home, as did Sacramento, but the pressure is now quite high on both the Warriors and Nets.
Atlanta, Cleveland and Phoenix will look to avoid falling into 0-2 holes on Tuesday.
A trio of Game 2’s await on Tuesday, with Atlanta at Boston, New York at Cleveland and the Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix. The Celtics, Knicks and Clippers will be seeking 2-0 leads.
Game 2’s in the Los Angeles Lakers-Memphis, Miami-Milwaukee and Minnesota-Denver series are set for Wednesday.
Golden State’s Draymond Green was ejected for stomping on the chest of Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis in Game 2 on Monday night — with some of the Warriors saying Sabonis committed the actual dirty play by grabbing Green’s ankle.
Now the teams will wait to see if the NBA will weigh in, with fines or suspensions possible.
HOW TO WATCH
- Most games being played Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be shown nationally on TNT. The exceptions are Hawks-Celtics on Tuesday, Heat-Bucks on Wednesday and Suns-Clippers on Thursday; they’ll all be on NBA TV. There’s also local coverage for most games in Round 1.
- Some games return to ESPN and ABC this coming weekend.
- The NBA Finals will be broadcast on ABC beginning June 1.
WHO WINS THE AWARDS?
We started finding out those answers on Monday, the first of four days of award-handing-out from the league office this week.
- Monday: Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr. won defensive player of the year, with Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez finishing second and Cleveland’s Evan Mobley placing third.
- Tuesday: The inaugural winner of the new Clutch Player award — Miami’s Jimmy Butler, Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan or Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox — will be made known.
- Wednesday: Coach of the Year — Sacramento’s Mike Brown is the big favorite, with Oklahoma City’s Mark Daigneault and Boston’s Joe Mazzulla the other finalists — will be awarded.
- Thursday: Sixth Man of the Year will be revealed, with Boston’s Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee’s Bobby Portis Jr. and New York’s Immanuel Quickley the finalists.
INSIDE THE DPOY VOTE
Only five players — Jackson, Miami’s Bam Adebayo, Golden State’s Draymond Green, and Milwaukee teammates Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday — got defensive player of the year votes both last season and this season.
Adebayo has gotten at least one first-place vote in four consecutive seasons. That’s the longest active streak in the league.
Last year’s top three votegetters — in order, Marcus Smart, Mikal Bridges and Rudy Gobert — got 63% of the votes in 2022. They combined for zero votes this year.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Warriors and Kings combined for 18 turnovers in the first quarter Monday. The last time an NBA game had more in a first quarter was Nov. 15, 2010, when Memphis and Orlando combined for 20. That was about 16,000 first quarters ago.
“Steph is the greatest of the great. You’re not stopping him. You’re not going to slow him down. You just want to try your best to make him work.” — Kings coach Mike Brown, on the challenge of guarding Stephen Curry.