Mark Price is in a bit of a predicament. Sort of.
On the one hand, he played with Steve Kerr for three years in Cleveland, he played for Golden State in 1996-97 and he was a Warriors assistant in 2010-11. Based on that, you might think Price is rooting for the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
But then there’s the other hand. Price spent nine years with the Cavs, during which he was a four-time All-Star, a four-time All-NBA performer and a two-time 3-Point Shootout Champion.
Plus, the Cavs retired his jersey.
“When your jersey’s hanging in somebody’s rafters, I guess you kind of have to lean that direction,” Price said, chuckling on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney.
Truth be told, Price has been rooting for Cleveland all along, and he’s been impressed by how the team has responded to adversity throughout the playoffs.
“l think Cleveland’s found its identity and found a way they feel like they can be successful in winning this series – and that’s kind of going old-school, physical, East Coast basketball,” Price said. “They’re being very physical with Golden State. They’re making them work for every shot. They’re not allowing them to kind of play their free-flowing, just-come-down, come-off-screens, pull-up-and-shoot (style) where Steph and Klay Thompson are so good. Golden State, the onus is on them right now to make some adjustments and find a way to get some confidence going in the other direction.”
Price feels the Warriors have to find a way to speed up the tempo, but if the Cavs do win this series, it’ll be more about Cleveland succeeding than Golden State failing. It’s also not an indictment on the Warriors’ style of play.
“I mean, if you win 67 games, that’s phenomenal,” Price said. “I don’t think it’s necessarily the style of play, rather than the other team right at the moment has the best player in the world dominating the series. Golden State has just got to find a way to get their mojo back and play with the confidence they played with all season.”
The Cavs, as we all know, have faced much more adversity than the Warriors this year. Cleveland has battled through injuries in the regular season and the playoffs, not to mention a 19-20 start. The Warriors have been on a magical ride seemingly since opening night.
Has it been too easy for them?
“You never say easy because they went out and accomplished the work,” Price said. “But things went well for them all year long. It was like it was just every night it was just flowing for them. The playoffs always present its challenges. You have to make adjustments. Teams try to find a way to give themselves a chance to beat you, and I think they’ve found that . . . Cleveland (has) come up with a formula that, so far, is working.”