Malcolm Brogdon said Tony Snell "doesn’t take a possession off.’’
"At the beginning of the season, Tony said he wanted to be a 3 and D guy," Brogdon said. "He wanted to shoot 3s really well and play defense really well, locking up people. And he’s taken that to heart. He’s playing at a high level defensively.’’ Snell has been an X-factor in the series against Toronto, averaging 12.3 points, 3.0 boards, 1.3 assists and 3.3 triples while shooting 51.4 percent from the field. He's also peaking at the perfect time, as he's set to hit the market as a restricted free agent this summer.
C.J. Miles will start over Monta Ellis again in Game 4 vs. the Cavaliers on Sunday.
Miles is generally more aggressive in the second unit, but his splits as a starter and reserve during the regular season are very similar. Miles can get hot in a hurry which makes him a DFS tournament play, but he's also no stranger to duds. In a start in Game 3, Miles scored nine points with two rebounds and one 3-pointer in 25 minutes.
Hawks owner Tony Ressler made it clear that re-signing Paul Millsap this offseason is a priority.
"We are going to make every effort imaginable to keep him," Ressler said. This isn't the first time we've heard this from the Hawks, but it will likely take a max deal to keep the 32-year-old All Star in Atlanta. The Hawks explored the idea of trading him around the turn of the new year to avoid losing him for nothing this summer, but pulled him off the market right before the trade deadline. The Hawks had to let Al Horford walk as a free agent last summer, so we'll see if they have better luck with Millsap.
Kevin Love said he won't have any extra motivation in Game 4 after getting benched in the fourth quarter of Game 3 along with Kyrie Irving.
"No, that's silly," Love said. "If anything, we look at it like that was great for that second unit and those guys stepping up for us. It will give them a lot of confidence, give us a lot of confidence in all sorts of positions and situations that they can help us win. If they can do that, then now we got to go out with the first unit, especially in the first half, and play better." Love was incredible in the first two games of the series against Indiana, so expect a bounce-back performance on Sunday as the Cavs attempt to sweep the Pacers.
Gerald Green said his job is to bring some energy and pace to the first unit.
"I was just trying to bring energy. I think that was most important," Green said after logging 20 minutes in the starting lineup in Game 3 vs. Chicago. "I feel like my energy was there early on in the game. So that’s what I’m going to try to do [in Sunday's Game 4]: just try to come out with a lot of energy and just try to play up-tempo basketball, try to just bring it on both ends." Green played through a mild ankle tweak and scored eight points with one rebound and two 3-pointers, and he's on the radar as a DFS play in tournaments because of his boom-or-bust appeal.
Festus Ezeli is hopeful that he will have a chance to suit up for the Blazers next season.
Ezeli never made an appearance for the Blazers this season and had cadaver ligament replacement surgery on his left knee back in March. He's been rehabbing his knee five times a week and is working on his range of motion, but he still has to monitor some swelling and is eating healthy to avoid putting on any extra weight. While it's unlikely that the Blazers will pick up their $7.73 million option on Ezeli for next season, hopefully he'll get another chance to play in 2017-18 if he can finally get his knee right.
Steve Kerr, who missed Game 3 vs. Portland with an undisclosed illness, isn't expected to coach any more games in the first round of the playoffs.
The Warriors have been pretty vague about Kerr's health, but according to Marcus Thompson of Mercury News, the head coach could barely walk earlier this week and was in "excruciating pain." The specific cause of the illness is not known, but the Warriors are trying to determine if the illness is related to the headaches and nausea he has battled for the past two seasons since his back surgery in 2015. Kerr was able to address his team on Saturday morning prior to Game 3, but it sounds like assistant Mike Brown will take over for a little while. We'll update Kerr's status when we know more, but the Warriors will take every precaution and he doesn't have a timetable to return to the sidelines.
Stephen Curry buried the Blazers during a 119-113 win in Game 3 on Saturday, scoring 34 points with four rebounds, eight assists, two steals, one block and five 3-pointers in 39 minutes.
A 19-1 run in this comeback victory propelled the Dubs to what is now a +47 margin of victory in this series. The Warriors now have a 3-0 lead and one of their biggest strengths in this win was an unusual one with only seven turnovers. Those seven turnovers match a playoff franchise record, and Curry only had one of them en route to his 21st 30-plus scoring game in his postseason career. With this win, the Warriors may opt to take it easier on Kevin Durant for at least one more game. They'll look to close this one out on Monday in Portland.