The Golden State Warriors made sure not to let go of the rope on Thursday, tying the series with a victory in Game 2. This came after a lackluster performance in their second-round matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first game.
They did so skillfully as well, shooting brilliantly from the field and significantly restricting Anthony Davis’ capacity to attack them in the low post.
When he was forced to replace Kevon Looney with JaMychal Green due to illness on game day, Warriors coach Steve Kerr also discovered an efficient new combination.
Green responded to the switcheroo by scoring 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting and 3-of-6 from three-point range, despite having only played 23 minutes in total this postseason. And because of his presence, Draymond Green was able to offer Davis a disruptive new defensive look.
Looney could only play for 12 minutes but still recorded six points and eight rebounds.
However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst speculated that Looney wasn’t even sick before Game 3 between the two teams on Saturday, suggesting that Kerr had only turned to deception to confuse the Lakers.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst Insinuates That Warriors Faked Kevon Looney’s Illness
When discussing how LeBron James and his team are probably still feeling good about themselves in the series, Windhorst casually offered his wacky theory regarding the Looney situation during a Friday appearance on First Take.
“[The Lakers] saw the adjustments that the Warriors made,” Windhorst remarked. “They went smaller, Steve Kerr putting JaMychal Green in the starting lineup, coming up with an explanation to try to throw everybody off that Kevon Looney wasn’t playing, wasn’t feeling well, which I find dubious… Maybe it’s true, I don’t know.”
“Then, they go home for Games 3 and 4 trying to take control of this series.”
Following Game 2’s 127-100 victory for Golden State, Kerr stated that Looney “came down pretty ill” around two hours before tip-off, as reported by 95.7 The Game.
Steve Kerr said Kevon Looney “came down pretty ill” about two hours before tonight’s tip-off
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) May 5, 2023
Through nine games, Looney has averaged 7.1 points, a league-best 15.1 rebounds, and nearly four assists, making him one of the Warriors’ most important players this postseason. His 9.6 playoff net rating is the highest on the club.
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Draymond Green Says He & Steph Curry Advocated for JaMychal Green to Start in Looney’s Place
Green shared that he and Stephen Curry felt tremendous anxiety when they learned that Looney was ill. However, they also believed in Green’s capacity to assume a more significant position.
“You walk in the gym and you see Kevon Looney like, whoa. Me and Steph looked at each other like, whoa… ‘We need Loon!’ So, to find that out literally when we’re at the gym preparing for the game… it throws a wrench into things,” According to Green’s podcast.
“Coach asked me and Steph what we think as far as [who should start in Looney’s place]. We both like, ‘Yeah, J-Mike for sure… J-Mike gonna bring some toughness, he obviously can space the floor, he just played in last game, so he kind of got the feel of the series already. J-Mike for sure.’”
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