A missed 3 won’t ‘phase’ Harrison Barnes; Kings show they are worth fighting for

The Athletic

SAN FRANCISCO — None of the reporters who surrounded Harrison Barnes at his locker Sunday afternoon even mentioned his tragic past with the Warriors, how he struggled so hard before losing his spot to Kevin Durant in the 2016 NBA Finals against Cleveland. After summer.

As a Kings veteran and I recently discussed at length, it was an unfortunate end to an otherwise wonderful relationship. He grew up as a professional with this Warriors group, winning a title with them in 2015 and before that was a key part of a historic 73-win season in 2015-16. All of them The Cavs fell. But his road back to this playoff stage — from the disappointing Dallas experience to all those disappointing years in Sacramento — was long, hard and humbling from there.

This is not the kind of detailed history that can be processed in the time it takes a player to shoot a 3-pointer with the game on the line. But an hour after it all ended, when the 30-year-old was asked if his missed 3 at the end of Game 4 was the kind of shot that might haunt him for a while, Barnes made it clear that history was as fresh in his mind as ever. .

“You know, after 2016 when you learn to put yourself together, I think one shot doesn’t necessarily confuse you,” Barnes said. “So for me, it’s about trusting the process. I mean, like I said, I got a good look — missed it. But at the end of the day, I think the way we’re playing, the way we’re in this series right now, we just have to keep doing it.

This first-round matchup has been a nice surprise so far, with the Warriors tying it 2-2 after a 126-125 win at the Chase Center. And while no one in that Kings locker room was going to say it, they’re going home Wednesday in Game 5 with all sorts of silver linings — for this series and the bigger picture at large.

Now is not the time for the Kings to think about what these playoffs mean for their future, the Dynasty Warriors are roaring like this and still have a chance to shock the basketball world. But the realization that they’re coming together for the organization’s first trip to the playoffs since 2006, and this revelation, is important when it comes to their long-term plan. Especially considering the remarkable progress this group has made in just one season.

De’Aaron Fox (38 points, nine rebounds, five assists) has never looked more deserving of being their franchise centerpiece. Domantas Sabonis (14 points, seven rebounds, eight assists) made incremental strides in his attempt to unravel this bewildering Warriors defense and continues to prove his worth as a key building block.

Rookie Keegan Murray hit five 3s in a 23-point outing that more than doubled his total scoring output from the first three games. Second-year guard Davion Mitchell continues to display the kind of defensive skills that are invaluable this time of year and should make him a worthy piece of their organizational puzzle going forward. The list, and reasons for Kings’ optimism in the here and now, goes on and on.

But none of that mattered when Fox found Barnes on that left wing. In that moment, when Draymond Green left Barnes alone so he could stop Fox in the lane and force a pass with 2.4 seconds left, it was as complete a revenge as you’ll ever see in pro sports. Until he made it.

Even without Personal history between Barnes and Greene, the backstory about how Green recruited Durant and later was not invited to Barnes’ wedding, had an element of basketball irreverence with the way Green chose to handle the play. And with a chance to put his old Warriors teammates down 3-1 and Steph Curry flying to contest, Barnes hit a back iron at the buzzer. What would have been poetic was, in turn, rather painful.

Greene later appeared to reference history in Anarchy, when he hugged Curry and shouted, “We’ve seen that movie!” The reality that Green would later have the final say didn’t make it any easier on Barnes. And true to form, Green wasn’t particularly skilled with his vocals.

“You have to make it,” Green said of the shot. “It is what it is. We know Fox can make shots. He won clutch player of the year (and had 12 points in the fourth). What I’m not going to (do) is (him) an iso with somebody. Giving in and just (being) watching it work and living with it. We’re not going to live with it. We know that. Somebody else is going to beat you. If he hits it, great shot. He doesn’t. You know, he Beat him or not, it’s fair to say that somebody else is going to beat you. He didn’t. It worked.”

Some other views on Barnes’ shots from the post-game scene…


“We had a shot at the end of the game to try to win, and that’s all we could have asked for. It was a great performance by HB. I would say take it 10 times out of 10. … I was under the basket, (and) I thought it was going to go in. It looked good.”

Mitchell (12 points on 5-of-8 shooting)

“It was a good look. Everyone wants him to shoot that ball. I mean, he just missed it. Everyone misses the shot. I mean, it was a good look.”

Mike Brown

“I think HB just went to set up the pick-and-roll. We just wanted to flatten the defense and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to shoot the ball with Fox. HB decided to set up a pick-and-roll with Fox to get the switch. Got the switch, and we got a wide-open 3. It was as much on us as it was anything else because we got a great look from one of our veterans; We just missed a shot.”

Curry (32 points, five rebounds, four assists and a plus-7 mark)

I think it’s just about being one step ahead. They knew (that) they were going to try to get me in the pick-and-roll based on where I was, and you just have to have a body in front of Fox. You know one down, they’re in the bonus and you can’t foul. They are probably going to get a shot at it. You want to make it as hard as possible.

“So (Fox) came off (the screen), (and I) was able to change directions to him. (Green) blocked the ball a little bit, and I thought Draymond was to my right and he was in the right position there. And just read that he picked up the ball, knowing that Draymond squared it up. I’m not doing anything at the time, so chase HB off the line. He got clean looks, but it was late in the contest that I tried to get up there and bother him as much as possible. miss it. “

And that he did. They are all now ranked in more ways than one, with the fun best-of-three.

(Top photo: Darren Yamashita / USA Today)

#missed #wont #phase #Harrison #Barnes #Kings #show #worth #fighting

The Athletic

How Draymond Green, Steph Curry and the Warriors Plotted Their Game 4 Victory

Boston Celtics big men Robert Williams III and Al Horford set the defensive tone in a Game 4 win over the Atlanta Hawks.  (Dale Zanin/USA TODAY Sports)

NBA Playoffs: With Sixers waiting, Celtics can’t afford to toy with Hawks anymore