Warriors must show 'appropriate fear' in Game 5, prove they can take a punch

Warriors must show 'appropriate fear' in Game 5, prove they can take a punch

OAKLAND -- Can the Golden State Warriors take a punch? That is the question of the night as the Cavaliers walk into Oracle Arena looking to stave off elimination once again and shift the momentum of the series back to Cleveland.

Everyone should know the history here. After leading 3-1 in the Finals a season ago, the Warriors stumbled down the stretch and lost to this same Cavs team in Game 7.

Golden State took a 3-0 lead in the series this season, but the Cavs put on a show of physicality and marksmanship on Friday evening, taking Game 4 and setting up an eerily similar situation Monday night in Oakland.

“For us as a team tonight, we’ve got to be more on edge, I hope we’re a little more nervous,” Steve Kerr said during his pregame media scrum. “We didn’t seem that nervous in Game 4. Nervous is good. Appropriate fear is the Gregg Popovich line. We need that.”

Maybe it was the fact that the Warriors had posted a perfect 15-0 record heading into Game 4. They had a swagger and the Cavs quickly took it away.

Cleveland hit the Warriors early and often, scoring an incredible 49 points in the first quarter on their way to a 86-68 lead at the intermission. The final tally was a 21-point drubbing and a glimmer of hope for the Cavs.

The Cavs set the tone for how the game was going to be played. After watching the Warriors run circles around them in the first three games of the series, it Cleveland’s strength that stood out. They pushed Golden State all over the court, which they will attempt to do again in Game 5.

“We didn’t deserve a lot of calls the other night,” Kerr said. “They were the aggressor. Every time, in my experience in the Finals, when you have one team that’s much more aggressive than the other, things tend to go their way. Cleveland earned everything.”

The Cavs opened a door just a crack and will try to push their way back into the series in front of the Warriors home crowd. Maybe it was the wake up call that the Warriors needed. They’ll have to show that they can take a huge shot to the jaw and bounce off the canvas. If not, this series could get interesting very quickly.

Report: Gordon Hayward 'unlikely to return' this season


Report: Gordon Hayward 'unlikely to return' this season

Despite the severity of Gordon Hayward's injury, there was a small bit of hope that he might be able to return this season.

It appears that won't happen.

Hayward underwent surgery Wednesday night and is "unlikely to return this season," his agent Mark Bartelstein told ESPN.

"We expect him to make a full recovery and return to his All-Star form," Bartelstein told ESPN.

The Celtics' prized offseason acquisition suffered the terrifying ankle injury just five minutes into his Boston debut on Tuesday night. He was diagnosed with a dislocated left ankle and broken tibia.

After playing in Cleveland on Tuesday, the Celtics returned to Boston for their home opener on Wednesday against the Bucks. Prior to the game, a 30-second video message from Hayward to the fans was played in the arena.

“What’s up, everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who’s had me in their thoughts and prayers,” Hayward said. “I’m going to be all right. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more than to be with my teammates and walk out on that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here, and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight.”

Steve Kerr: #FakeKlay 'perfect metaphor for our conditioning'

Steve Kerr: #FakeKlay 'perfect metaphor for our conditioning'

First, there was #ChinaKlay.

Now, there is #FakeKlay.

In case you missed it, a Klay Thompson lookalike was seated behind the Warriors bench during their season-opening loss to the Rockets on Tuesday. He had the full jersey, the facial hair and the cadence.

A day later, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was asked about #FakeKlay and he used it as an opportunity to state that he felt his players were out of shape.

"I thought it was a perfect metaphor for our conditioning as a team," Kerr told the media in Oakland. "I turned around and was like 'Klay, did you have a few extra burgers last night? What happened?' That was great. I love that guy."

So Kerr is definitely a fan of #FakeKlay. No word yet if the real Klay has met #FakeKlay. We'll let you know if they do cross paths.