04 Oct Jon Cartu Declares: Comforts of NBA Bubble Not Lost on Lakers’ Danny Green | Sp…
By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Basketball Writer
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Game 3 of the NBA Finals would have been in Miami. There would have been 20,000 screaming fans in the arena, along with no shortage of other potential distractions in a city that ordinarily offers plenty of sun and fun.
These finals, of course, are at Walt Disney World.
That’s just fine with Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green.
The rules that keep players on the Disney campus — inside the so-called bubble, as most say — and very few opportunities for anything to take the focus off basketball are, in Green’s mind, beneficial. So, too, is the lack of travel, which in the case of this series between the Lakers and Miami Heat would have meant five-hour cross-country flights.
“It’s a little easier to be locked in and not worry about guys going out,” Green said Sunday before Game 3 of the title series. “We know where everybody’s going. We know what everybody’s doing. There’s not much to do here, which allows us to stay focused. … All in all, it’s easier to stay more focused and be less distracted.”
Road games in the finals tend to suit Green well anyway.
He is one of two players in NBA Finals history to make at least five 3-pointers in a road game without missing — he did it against Miami on June 9, 2013, two days before Mike Miller matched Green’s 5 for 5 on the road for Miami against San Antonio in Game 3 of that series.
Green entered Game 3 of the finals ranked fourth in title-series history in road 3-point shooting, among players with at least 30 tries from beyond the arc.
Only Ray Allen (32 for 68, .471), Mario Chalmers (16 for 34, .471) and Rashard Lewis (14 for 31, .452) are better than Green on 3s in road finals games with at least 30 total attempts; Green entered Game 3 shooting 22 for 49 (.449).
Every game that Lakers forward LeBron James plays now basically requires the updating of record books.
Sunday would be his 257th career postseason appearance, two shy of matching Derek Fisher for the most in NBA history. He entered Game 3 of the NBA Finals seven free-throw attempts shy of matching Shaquille O’Neal (2,317) for another postseason record.
His first assist in Game 3 would match John Stockton (1,839) for second-most in playoff history, behind only Magic Johnson (2,346). With three assists in Game 3, he’d join only Johnson (584) and Bob Cousy (400) with 400 assists in a finals career.
And by simply getting into Game 3, he matches Tom Heinsohn (52) for the fifth-most NBA Finals appearances behind Bill Russell (70), Sam Jones (64), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (56) and Jerry West (55).
The Heat have a chance to post one of the 10 most prolific 3-point seasons in NBA history, even after nine of their regular-season games were canceled because of the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Miami entered Sunday with 1,200 3-pointers this season, by far a team record. It’s the 13th-highest total by a team in any NBA season, with Cleveland (1,202 in 2017-18), Boston (1,214 in 2016-17) and Dallas (1,217 this season) keeping the Heat out of the top 10 in that department.
The record for 3s in a season was set by Houston last year, when the Rockets made 1,495.
Scott Foster, Tony Brothers and Pat Fraher were selected as the officials for Game 3. It’s the 20th NBA Finals game for Foster, the 10th for Brothers and the first for Fraher.
The NBA picks 12 referees for the finals, all getting one game out of the first four barring some sort of unusual change to the lineup. That means Zach Zarba, John Goble and Tony Brown are in line to get Game 4 on Tuesday. It’ll be the eighth finals game for Zarba, the fifth for Goble and the first for Brown.
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