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Today's episode of the best podcast on the Ringer podcast network brought to you by Spotify, which has the best podcast listening experience imaginable, you can discover new podcasts with their charts. You can change your speeds. I am a one point two guy. Whatever you want to do, you should be listening to music there anywhere. And if you listen to music there, listen to a podcast too.

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Were also brought to you by Buffalo Wild Wings. Playoff basketball is here. It is time to celebrate the return with Buffalo Wild Wings, where the wings come in twenty four sizes and seasonings. When you watch at home, make sure you watch with a wing bundle. Basketball playoff basketball. Yeah, it's back. No better way to watch than with Buffalo Wild Wings. And if you want to follow our content, you go the ringer, dotcom, all the stuff that we are writing every day.

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Little previews, reactions, features everything as we dive into seven, eight weeks here, playoff basketball and then the Ringer NBA show is going to be going at least four times a week. Don't forget about Monday's Logan Murdoch and Raja Bell. That podcast is already excellent. We've got the mismatch on Tuesdays and Thursdays with KFC and Verno. And then group chat will be going at least once a week on Wednesdays. So you can listen to those. You can listen Ryan Rosillo, you can listen to our to see to CC Sabathia and Ryan Ryuko.

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They're hitting the basketball as well. I think Rukia might even be in some games. One more thing on playoff basketball. We are launching a new contest on Fandor. It's a daily fantasy contest. Every day there's playoff games, five dollars entry fee per contest. And if you win your day, you get a ticket to the leaderboard series during the NBA finals, where all the winners will compete for a share of fifty K cash ringer swag. And you could be deemed the sole survivor of the ultimate hoops ringer league.

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Learn more and enter at Fanjul dotcom slash hoops ringer. Age and location restrictions apply. I came up with this idea. I was super excited about it. I want to know who the ultimate hoops ringer is, so let's do it every day. I have to do is win one day and you advance to the finals. There you go. Coming up, we're Selenia, going to break down the twenty five most intriguing players in the NBA playoffs and a whole bunch more.

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First, our friends from Pearl Jam.

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All right, we're taping this Sunday at eight six p.m. Pacific Time, no basketball for the first time in a couple of weeks. Kind of a bummer. Actually, I feel like that misplayed this. I felt like that could add a couple playoff games tonight. Ryan Russell is here. We're going to I made a list of the 25 most intriguing players in the 2020 NBA playoffs, and instead of sharing it with you and including you.

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I'm just going to throw my list at you and you can agree with me, disagree. It's more fun that way. We just would have been arguing in a Google doc for four hours now. You could just get mad at me.

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I do have I have a small suit, though. No, I really have to stop you for a second to be like, hey, I came up with this thing that I researched the shit out of. Didn't tell you ahead of time. How is your sun didn't research it just like this. Made my list. I have a small scoop though. OK, so. I'm hearing that they're going to actually try to condense these playoffs a little bit in round two and round three because the players are starting to get a little restless and the bubble, at least some of them.

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So they have talked to the networks about the finals was supposed to be finals, the supposed start Wednesday, nine, 30, September 30th. Now they're going to do this thing with round two and round three, I guess, or they're trying to wear basically when a series ends, you try to play the next series in the next round as fast as you possibly can. As long as there's going to be no wait. There's going to be no one team waiting.

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Five days. There's twenty three days. They're just going to be plowing ahead. And they really apparently want to get the finals started by Wednesday, September twenty third. Another option is Friday, September twenty fifth or Sunday, September twenty seven. So this was I had been hearing rumors about as as much as we all love bubble basketball, maybe not as great to be going back to the same suite over and over and over again.

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What have you heard on this? Well, first of all, good scoop and you've done it, you've done a pretty good job. Well, I don't know. You've done a really good job on this, like when we talked about Orlando months before it happened and all the stuff that we had. So I trust on this one. I just there's part of me that wonders if LeBron just said Adam Silver, like, hey, Yourka, in early November is the best time to go.

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So I would like I would like to back this thing up. There's no, like, my whole thing through all of this.

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Not even basketball bill has been like. But there's there's parts of this sacrifice, you know, as Silver said, you know, we have to find a way to kind of like put this whole thing together. So I know the guys like I interviewed Steph Curry for four Tuesdays podcast. And, you know, it's it's for those of us that have lived in a hotel, I lived in a hotel for like three years at one point. It's an incredibly boring existence, even though, you know, I was getting paid like seven million dollars a year.

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I remember I was in the same hotel for one of the years as content for the finals was two, three, two in San Antonio for eight straight days in the same hotel room. And by and I pretty nice room I it was like a junior suite by the eighth day I was, you know, turning into somebody from The Exorcist for like I was just like losing my mind. So after a month I can't imagine. And I do think, like, you know, these guys are used to being in, you know, big houses with their people around and just having everything customized their way.

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And I'm sure it made me think because I hadn't really thought about it, I'd been so into the basketball I hadn't thought about the psychological stuff is actually going to be a huge factor with these playoffs. So now if they end up condensing these playoff series and really, really tightening it, I think that's going to affect who wins the championship. Because if you're looking at a team like the Clippers and it's like round two that we're starting round three, you know, 48 hours later.

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Thirty six hours later, whatever it is, there's some of the older teams I think are are going to be in trouble. All right.

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So are you to the point, though, where you are willing to accept like an outcome that you wouldn't normally think of? And that's that's kind of where I stop myself whenever I think about this. And the Celtics are kind of like this hot media pick because they were younger.

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And I'm thinking like, hey, they haven't really played together that much, although I absolutely love the way the Celtics went about the bubble.

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I don't I don't know, because you're still not getting on a plane. The fact that you're not on a plane for three months, even if it's condensed, like, I would think that that kind of balances itself out. So I don't know that I'm ready to start picking other teams that I wouldn't normally pick because of a different schedule.

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Here's what it does, though. So you get like the West part Westbrook strain quad type thing the way they had the pass before. You really did kind of ease into that round three and round three became every other day. First two rounds grueling, but, you know, they were still especially if you could finish your series early, so who knows? I mean, there might be a situation where, you know, you have, let's say, the heat win in round two and the bucks went around to beat the Bucks win in five games and the heat take seven games like there's going to be no way to start the next series, obviously.

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And I don't think they would do it so that if somebody one in seven games, somebody else won five games. The series just started the next day. But this is the first time I really thought about what a grind this is going to be, because it if let's say let's say it starts Friday at nine twenty five. Well, today's tomorrow's going to be August 18th. You're talking about four rounds in like seven weeks or less. That that's about as hard as we've seen since nineteen ninety nine.

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That was the last time we've seen a grind like that and teams got hurt. Can I share a hotel story with you that I know you're like, let's hear. So years and years ago, living in Southington, Connecticut, at ESPN, because I had a place in Boston, but I was at ESPN the whole time and Wade Boggs on my return flight to Hartford and I had him booked the next day for my show was a Sunday show. And I go up to Wade Boggs and I go, Hey.

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My name is Ryan. You know, obviously, you know, kids of the 80s, its it's box like, you know, for people that don't get it, like that's a big deal. Yeah.

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And I go, hey, I get you on the show tomorrow and he like looks at me stone-Cold and goes. I'm not on your show tomorrow. It's like, OK, I. No problem, dude. Not a big deal. And I knew I had it, but he was like, matter of fact about it. And then as I pull my car around the Hartford airport, I see him like on a phone with, like a white sheet of paper out.

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And I go up, you know, somebody messed up his travel. So I roll the window down. I go, hey, look me again, you know, where are you going? Can I offer you a ride? He goes, I'm going to the residents in and southern Connecticut. They go, Well, that's where I live. You'll get in the car, whatever, immediately throws a dip. And I go, What's up with Clemens?

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Did he ask out of that game? Like I couldn't I couldn't stop the game six. Right. And Wade is like, you know what, Ryan? I don't know. He's like to this day, I still don't know.

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And so we're across the street from this country bar. That's a big deal. I don't know how the audiences line dancing, but this place is a spot.

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And I was like, hey, look, I got to work in the morning, but I was like, I don't know if you care, but there's a really good country bar next door. And he looks at me. He was so nice about it. And he was wearing like flannels and jeans and cowboy boots. And he goes, am I dressed okay for it? I was like, wait, you're good. You're fine, you're weird. But yeah, he goes, I'd like to change.

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OK, no problem. He comes back in a different pair of jeans, cowboy boots and flannel. And I was like, OK, yeah, you look great, dude. And we went next door and it was really funny because we kind of like hit off to the side. And I thought he was like getting really bored with me because I was asking about hitting and listening to him talk. Hitting was insane.

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How great he was like, hey, look, when you're in the minors, all these different things, I was like, wow, this is amazing.

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And then once I was like, hey, do you want to go up to the front? And then everybody started harassing him. He was way happier. So that was my night with Wade Boggs. Really good time. And he kept asking. He's like, do you want to do shots? I have to work in the morning. He's like, OK, we're not going to do any shots tonight. Ryan, I was like, Thank you, Wade.

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What does this have to do with hotels in Orlando? Nothing. I thought you wanted good stories on this podcast. That was good. I read it, I researched it around to Wade's hotel suite or something, and it just.

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No, no, wait, wait. A non sequitur. Yeah, no, wait. Came by the next day was like this was a good time. Last night was like it's like it's all right. Can I ask you about the double elimination games. Bill, you can do whatever you want. I think we're we're established at this point. I think they have to do this going forward. I really enjoyed Portland, Memphis. I like the fact that Memphis had to beat them twice.

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And I think there's a way where you could shorten the season from 82 games to seventy six and you could have the double elimination for seven, 10, eight, nine. And you can make up some of the money that way with potentially eight extra playoff games, as little as four, something like that. But I just liked it and I think it does. You know, you look at a team like Portland, this does happen every year, there's always that one team.

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I know it's a fucking long season, but there's always that one team that it's like, oh, man, I like the way they're playing now. I wish they I wish they could make it. And I do think it opens the door for that team to have a better chance. Every year there's always one team. Subu, my case. All right. She's so fun to gamble on shaking my head like crazy. I'm not I'm not doing this.

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I'm not doing this. And I'm going to push back vehemently. Portland is so bad on defense, they couldn't stop the BS squad for the Nets, they couldn't stop Memphis without Jaren Jackson, which is a big deal. And I'm going to bring up different possession things that I tracked. I wrote down with a pen, not in pencil. And therefore, one situation where they have to play Gabriel like great story.

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And I'm just so sick of the announcers being like, you know, I could be out there like Ryan Rosillo. He he puts it all in. He cares every day he shows up, you know, the locker room loves him, like he can't fucking guard anybody. And I just I'm not buying into the Portland as much fun as it was. And I like that team. We all love little thing, but I'm just not going to buy into a team that can't stop anybody.

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And then all of a sudden they're going to they're going to shut down the Lakers forwards. I'm not doing this. And everybody I feel like is doing it. Very fair points, Vegas has made the Lakers minus for in that series, I was driving the bandwagon of watch out, Portland's going to give them a problem. I wish for the guy. I watched every Portland game because we had a huge bet on them to make the playoffs plus for it.

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It was wonderful.

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Those how much money you make on that eight, I made like 10 bucks. They were so bad defensively the last three games that by the end of that Memphis game, I was like, they have no chance of beating Lakers. Like Melo was like weirdly actually important to them offensively, which and he's basically, you know, he's on the tail, tail, tail end. He can hit spot up threes once you have a post up, whatever. But then they're bringing in his stats, brings in Hezonja every first half and then remembers that he sucks every time.

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It's like oh yeah that guy sucks. That's why he was playing Whiteside you know you going down the line. It's like they basically have five guys and one of them's McCollum was a broken bone in his back. So on paper I love the matchup with the two guards. I think the Lakers would have a lot of trouble, Damian, cetera, et cetera, but they just don't have the depth. It's not going to happen. And if Zach Collins was 100 percent, then you could be like, OK, well, there's that.

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But he's obviously not 100 percent. And and it's not going to happen. It would take dame, you know, you think about he had the 50 plus and the 60 plus back to back. Those are like on the dame scale, like a ten out of ten. For him to be able to do that in a game, he'd have to do that at least three times in a Laker series. It's not realistic.

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So, no, I think all of us love the Portland thing. This is done in Portland. Deal. I wish Jack were healthier. I was CJ was we're healthier. I also wish they had more forwards. And it was funny for a franchise that had all these forwards that you felt pretty good about that were like three and guys, now they don't have them. And I've been tracking Arizona like an ex-boyfriend. Right.

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He is just horrible. And I mean, he's really like if he makes the first three of the game for him, it's the worst thing that can happen to Portland because it's like, oh, man, I made one. This is going to go badly. But he had a play where he turned it over and then. Oh, no, no, no. Excuse me. He made a three. You're right. This is perfect. This is actually perfect.

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And then he had a good strip to good plays in a row. And it's like this is terrible. This is right for Portland. He made a three left side, took a three immediately to the shot clock. And I just I would love to be an NBA coach. You go.

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Hey, Mario, look. We get the year six, seven, six, eight, and your hair is terrific, but we just we're not looking for you to pull from three like 30 feet out with like 18 seconds left in the shot clock. That's not our offense. That's not how we build our thing. Like we have other guys that we like, we want to defer to a little bit.

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And he pulls up right side. And this isn't to be fair, it wasn't on him, but he didn't get back on defense. The other guard, as opposed to when the other guard shoots or however it's lined up.

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And I think Tolowa like ran down and then he goes to hit them and then he foul them. It was like, perfect. You're like, that was twelve seconds of awful, awful basketball. But seriously, man, I don't think they really have much like I can sit here and talk myself into the guard situation because the guard situation is a problem for the Lakers. They're going to search out. Kuzma they're going to find guards that are going to go at their perimeter.

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Guys with no Bradley, no Rondo.

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But the Lakers aren't going to be able to trap game either because I just don't think they have the type of team that would do that effectively. I also think he's a little overrated. I think it's like Oh my God, this guy's getting trapped and then really good players go, OK, cool, I'm getting trapped in there now. I'm going to pass it to CJ McCollum.

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Well or Nurkic. That was what they unlocked in the Brooklyn game. They finally figured out like Oh if you do this will just give Nurkic the ball at the foul line. It basically is a two on one every single time. Then when Memphis tried to trap them Nurkic just destroy them. And I think you know it's funny we talk about the guards but Nurkic looks so good in the bubble like he's going to be a semi problem too for the Lakers.

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I don't think they have good centers but they'll end up playing Davis. They're going to play five and that'll be how it plays out. But I don't know that I wish they had two more guys I'm going to push back and I really look me in the reveal. Dwight thing has been a success. To get 30 plus minutes out of that rotation, I would much rather have Nurkic against those two guys than Davis. Yes, but it's not. Like, as much as I like some of the Celtics that we're going to talk about, it's not a Celtics type problem for the Lakers with the five.

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I'm I'm just not solid on Jaballah, do I? Look, I think there's a big difference in regular season and playoffs for for certain positions. Those guys I just want to see it. I didn't I didn't think Dwight looked particularly good in the bubble. I didn't think the Lakers look that good in the bubble. And I think that's why one of the reasons why everybody was kind of so excited to see a dame type character just kind of take them on.

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But McCollom not being you know, he rallied in the Memphis game, but just in general, he looked like he was somewhere between 60 and 80 percent, depending on the game. That's not going to cut it now. And he was he was big because he's going to be the guy if they're going to send that trap and people going to try to do that. And I did feel like in the bubble, certain teams were just trapping like crazy.

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And it's definitely like a Lakers thing with Anthony Davis. But CJ's the guy in a way like, hey, this is great, I'm four on three. And then I drive and then I got Melo in the quarter. Hopefully not Gabriel, but, you know, Trent, he's definitely turned into somebody, but they're just so bad. That Brooklyn game, it was so much fun, all the actual rebounds. How about the offensive rebounds. But I must had like ten in the fourth quarter.

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Yeah. So I think that's where McGee and Howard could hurt them on those second chance, especially when you're playing Melo at stretch four, you're giving up so much and so many different places. I gave him a lot of credit for, you know, he made some big shots in the bubble, but that's not somebody who should be the fifth best guy in a playoff team. Like if he was the ninth guy, I could see it, but not the fifth guy.

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I want to take a break and then I want to go through this. Twenty five.

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Most intriguing, because I think we can cover a lot of hoops here, but we'll take a break. Let's take a break to talk about Thando Sportsbook, where they have an amazing NBA playoffs offer for all new customers, plus two thousand on any team in the playoffs to win the NBA title. Does it matter if the buck if it's the Bucs, Lakers or Nets plus two thousand on everyone? Download the fantasy sports, but got to get started. Be sure to sign up with promo code B.S. so they know you're listening to this podcast.

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Also, we have a new daily fantasy product that we're launching for the playoffs. It's called The New Ultimate Hoops Ringer. Fandor contest, every day there are playoff games, five dollars, an entry fee per contest, if you win a contest, if you win a day, you get a ticket to the leaderboard series during the NBA finals, where all the winners from all the playoff days will compete for a share of 50 cash and some rare swag and more importantly, most importantly, other than the cash to be deemed the sole survivor of the ultimate hoops ring or learn more and enter at Fandor dotcom slash hoops ringer.

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This is my idea. I want it to work. Age and location restrictions apply, and for the sports bug stuff, you must be 21 plus present in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, West Virginia, Indiana. New users only must wager on designated boost market max bonus. Two hundred dollars. See full terms at Sportsbook that fan dotcom gambling problem one 800 gambler Colorado winning hundred fifty to forty seven hundred. West Virginia eighteen hundred. Gamble Dannette, Indiana.

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Eight hundred nine with it. Back to the pot. All right.

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I made my list. You react ok. The twenty five most intriguing guys in the bubble. If I was doing this as a website com I'd go backwards. But for this commom I'm going to start at number one, OK?

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I think it's Yannis. I think he is the guy I'm the most intrigued by in the bubble, everything that has happened. Leading to this bubble playoffs that we have, and especially if they have to tighten the series a little bit. This should be a godsend for him. He he seems indestructible. He has the best team. I think he's the best player. All the pieces are here for like back to back MVP's, we've only had one back to back NVP that ended up never making a final loss of Steve Nash.

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Kareem won back to back in, I think, seventy six and seventy seven. Did it make the finals? But it's really hard for a back to back MVP not to make the finals. And I think his team is good. He's got a good coach. I think the bracket, you know, they're going to have Miami in round two. That's going to be it's going to be a hard one. I actually running off the Pacers. Yeah.

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Yeah. But just in general, I think it's lined up the best for him. And he's the one out of all these super duper stars that come in. He's the one where we talked about it before. It's like I love the guy for forty seven minutes, but there's that still that last piece of like. All right, last minute of a game when you go mano a mano like that's the piece we haven't totally seen with him yet. All of that's fair, by the way, I don't I don't think it's wrong to have this little part of it where you go.

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But I mean, at this point, he is the unquestioned best basketball player in the world, right? Yeah. I don't really feel like there's much pushback on that anymore. And we've we've rotated around, we've talked about it differently and all these different things. But, uh. There's part of this is kind of something we talked about last last playoff series or season where I was kind of proud of where I go. I really think there's a separation between regular season and off season that we've never really seen before.

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And.

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You know, everybody just goes, oh, build a wall, build a fifth wall. And I actually just like saying it to be a dick now because it's so it's not easy if he's full head of steam and he's going at you and he's about to pick up that dribble, you you can build a great wall. It doesn't matter. Like you're not going to do anything with him. And he still isn't the shooters. Harden is you know, we talked about on last week's pod, but yeah, I'm with you.

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I actually and I sent you a text on this, but you push back. He's the best player in the world, but I wonder what the NBA will be like post LeBron and having a foreign player be the unquestioned best player, because despite all of the LeBron content that we get out of it, I do think there's going to be a bit of a vacuum. You could feel the Yoni's versus Doka narrative already kind of brewing a little bit, and Luca, who are going to get to it a little bit, could make it a lot more fun by really going toe to toe with this Clippers team.

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But look, it's set up for them to rip through the east. And, you know, you look at some of the great players ever. And I think like the ninety one bulls are a good example of it. They just they rip through everybody that you're in the playoffs. They they lost two games and I think. I think one was over time and one was like a last second shot, if you were giving me all the scenarios of how this Yoni's Bucks thing would play out, there is a scenario where they just destroy everybody in the east and Giannis goes to another level.

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So they've been playing like thirty thirty one minutes a game. He's going have a full tank and they have a really good team. They're like unbelievable defensively. Like with the stuff they do protecting the rim, you basically just have to bomb threes against them and hope they go in. That's why I think Miami probably has. If you're going to say who has the best chance to upset them, it's got to be a team that has shooters like Miami, in my opinion.

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How do you feel about Jimmy Butler? Just going, hey, guys, I'm a huge dick. What's up? I think he's had a really fun, they have enjoyed it. What was going on? He was selling coffee for twenty dollars a cup. I don't always go that. All right. I'm going to keep going. Number two, it's got to be LeBron. Yeah. So. We'll see what happens, how many games they're going to have to play at that, Raja Bell said something interesting on my part on Thursday.

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He's talking about how he's you know, he's basically who he's been for however many years. He said the one thing is he can't totally get by people with his shoulders like he used to. And he's like he's seen tiny bits of atrophy, but nothing, nothing major. But it's just it's harder for him to create shots, especially against really good teams. And, you know, we're going to see in Portland around one, it's the perfect matchup for him.

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He's going to be going against Carmelo and Hezonja and Gary Trent, who's forger's smarter than him. And like they literally don't have anyone to guard him. No chance.

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That's my whole thing. Like what do you. So you going to switching to Melo right.

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You can't. So he's going to I think look awesome in the Portland series. Pupovac Oh LeBron Here we go. And then the next series is, you know, he's there playing the winner of OKC versus Houston, which is another series that he could potentially look pretty good in. Right. I think neither of those teams. But then we get to the Clippers and they just have dudes to throw at him and they've had pretty decent success against them. Like I think he's at his worst that's against them.

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So I think this will evolve as it goes along, is my point.

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I am so fired up for LeBron right now and off of what we just talked about with Giannis.

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There's this sounds like a horrible horrible television show where you go LeBron underrated but think of his draft class and how many of those guys are on their third, you know, condo association and this guy is doing what he's doing and it's still a pretty good bet. And then remember like I'll never like where we were at with the Lakers in LeBron and Anthony Davis in March before the season stopped.

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I remember being like in a hotel and we're going back and forth.

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We're just like, why are we going to bet against these guys? Why don't we? And now I've obviously pivoted to the Clippers again, because I can't help myself, but I can't wait to see what this LeBron thing is, because there is a despite all the attention, I think you would agree that there's part of it where you go. I don't know that we appreciate it enough that he's in this season since that drive class and he's doing what he's doing and he feels like a pretty good bet to do it again.

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The Lakers are, I think, a little bit worse than they were in March for a couple of different reasons. One is they've lost a couple guys. I was thinking about, though, this something we've talked about in the past, that LeBron, one of the best things about his career is that over and over again. Right, when you start to get content, you're happy with where you are and who you know, it's going to start to ebb a little bit.

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There was always that next carrot that came at him that got dangled in front of him that he had to, like, prove himself again. And I think that was really the difference between his career and his career over anything else was that there was always the next competitor for LeBron. There's always somebody that he had to go through. There's always the next thing. And you think about these playoffs, even Portland, I guarantee he's been reading all the damn stuff and people comparing them to Kobe and.

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Oh, my God. Damn. Oh, they might be LeBron. Like he's putting all that stuff in his crazy basketball brains, like, all right. Oh, you think I'm going to lose to fucking Mario Hezonja and Carmelo just wait the next round you know.

[00:28:50]

You figure Houston Houston OKC Houston's favorite. Let's say Houston makes it now he's got the head to head against Harden who he's never been in a playoff series against people like Harden. Is he, is he the best offensive player we've ever had. All that stuff. So now he's got that carrot and then the round after is the Clippers. He doesn't need motivation for that. And then the last round is probably my Milwaukie or it's like, well, Janis's, the two time MVP is the best player in the league.

[00:29:15]

So each round he's got the carrot. And I think that's important for him. OK, true or false?

[00:29:21]

This player was in LeBron drive class. Chris, the cave man came in. That's true, he was six. You're good at this, you should have a podcast because the allegedly Miami almost took him five. And antiquated instead. Yeah, there is a whole there's a there's a faction of the Clippers who feel like they almost got away. Sweeney went ninth, by the way, just to let you know that's look, LeBron in this draft class and you go through it and you're like Jarvis Hayes.

[00:29:55]

These guys felt like they've been retired for a decade.

[00:29:57]

And we'll have Carmelo there talking about him like his old man Melo, the same draft class.

[00:30:03]

Your neighborhood theory on Melo is incredible. And I didn't realize this, but Melo and LeBron have never played against each other in a playoff series. And so that made the rounds. But you've always had this really good point.

[00:30:13]

I have another thing I'm going to compliment you on later, and I want to back them up. I want to go back to back because I don't want people to get upset about it that I'm complimenting you.

[00:30:20]

But his neighbor, your neighborhood theory where LeBron, like Melo, doesn't look at him and go, oh, my God, it's LeBron James. Like he's thinking, I worked you in high school. The problem for Portland, if Melo starts going, I got this five minutes left, hold that mismatch, LeBron is going to be able to post. But there's a world in which they get killed that says next guy numbers where I'm going. Yeah. Number three on my on my list is Kawhi Leonard.

[00:30:53]

You know, it's I think it's set up for them, and if my life depended on it, that's the team I'd pick to win the title. There's a world in which he goes through Loukia and round one. Whoever wins Denver, Utah Lakers in round three and then Giannis around four and they win back to back titles And now we're just like Holy shit Kawhi Leonard look at this three three finals VPs on three teams beat LeBron in two different series like that.

[00:31:28]

You know I don't need to run through all the beats for you but wait a minute. Are they your guys now or did we pivot off the Lakers thing from March to now? You're picking the Clippers. I don't feel good about it. I didn't get it. I think gun to my head, I would take the Clippers. I am actually a little worried about them in this round one, though, and I know they've owned the Mavericks all year.

[00:31:50]

And it's a terrible, terrible matchup for Dallas for a variety of reasons. I just don't think the Clippers are the Clippers yet. I think it's going to take two or three weeks. Like Harrell's barely played like even scrimmage, much less played in games. Lou Williams just got to think up. There's a world in which the Mavs just go into that series and we're like, we're shooting forty five threes a game. I went to a Clipper game before the pandemic.

[00:32:16]

I took my son and it was actually a sucky game. We left early. They played Sacramento. And Sacramento was like, we have no chance tonight. We're just shooting threes. And it was like, Buddy, buddy took like eleven threes and, you know, Fox took a bunch of Bogdanovich took a bunch and they made a lot of threes and also the Clippers were down 20 points. I think that's what the Mavs are going to have to do because they're not going to be able to stop them defensively.

[00:32:39]

But they just basically have to go math and be like, hey, man, we got to go like twenty four, forty three. We got to go twenty two, four forty five and try to do that four times in seven days. There's part of me where, I don't know, I get so annoyed with the three point shot where I look at what Dallas does, I mean, look, it passes up layups to kick it out. Harden does the same thing and you go like you were wide open.

[00:33:08]

Is this what we're doing? And. It's it's a lot like the hockey thing where you go out, you know, if Fleury gets hot and you're like, why am I listening to you? And so the hockey.

[00:33:22]

Yeah. Yeah, right in your heels. Like you're on TV with a fucking suit. And you're telling me if the goalie gets hot like I already had that I had that before I turn the channel on. And so I don't like the default. Oh if if, if but what I like about the Clippers, if that's not working, they can if he uses in threes toast. If Milwaukee's not in threes kind of toast. If, if the Clippers are hitting threes they'll do something else to you.

[00:33:48]

And that's really important to me. And that's why I've I've seen for the Lakers. Yeah, exactly. Like the Anthony Davis LeBron thing. If I told you how many times I rewound that whenever they set up, then you would be like, this is why you're not married. And I go, because I can't stop rewinding all the LeBron Anthony Davis stuff. So, you know, I like that.

[00:34:10]

I'm into the what else can you do if the hot goalie isn't happening? I think the three thing Dallas would be the most logical pick to be like this is the only way we can win. We're going to actually shoot so many threes that it's going to be talking point on PTI the next day, like, oh, my God, this is where basketball is going. That Lakers or excuse me, that Rockets Mavs game where I think the Rockets took sixty one threes.

[00:34:35]

Yeah. But that was kind of at home going, am I having fun. I don't know. I don't know, I don't, I don't know if I like it either. And that's why I enjoyed that Saturday game when Nurkic should balance units for kind of doing though doing the one on one little bounce like twelve minutes.

[00:34:54]

Yeah I was there and I was like this is great. Look at these drop steps is all right so Kawhi we don't need to play that. How long has this top twenty five. We're going to do this to like Tuesday or.

[00:35:06]

Yeah. We're in a good pace right now. All right. Number four, I have dame. And he's way higher and he's going to lose in round one, but. There is a world where he starts turning haymakers in this series and from like a. Superstar mystique standpoint could actually go up another level if he does what he did the last eight games against LeBron in the Lakers and they're up to one in the series and he has like sixty two and fifty eight.

[00:35:37]

And the two is it's not inconceivable.

[00:35:40]

I also don't think he'd be afraid. And I got to say, I just loved I loved all the teammates like that stuff Melo said about him yesterday was unbelievable. He's like the best player I've ever played with. He's the best teammate I've ever had. He genuinely cares about all of us. He won't let us lose like I'm really invested in this as a not so Celltex subplot. I've enjoyed this about as much as I've enjoyed anything in a while.

[00:36:04]

So I kind of don't want him to go away. I really enjoyed watching him cook.

[00:36:09]

Does he have the highest Q rating of any NBA player right now?

[00:36:13]

But he he fits the Rosillo thing, though, where the some of the other players seem testy with him. Take shit you like that you like when that when the guy is weirdly like Pierce, I like when you're good and you talk shit, I don't like when you're not.

[00:36:29]

He's almost become I mean, it's overrated, underrated thing. But he's it's almost like he's so underrated that you go. Actually, no, he's he's kind of where he is. And the weird damn thing I was thinking about when I was watching the Memphis game yesterday where I go is he is he actually benefited from not having big time playoff failures. Is my heart with the Ohio State theory where Ohio State gets smoked by Florida and LSU and back to back national championship games and then all of a sudden Ohio State gets dumped on.

[00:36:56]

And if you're Buckeyes in which there are many vociferous ones, they're like, hey, so what are we supposed to lose the Big Ten and go eight and five? And everybody's like like us. We go under the radar. You know, that's the part where your Ohio State and we win the conference, we play the national championship. We lost Back-To-Back games.

[00:37:13]

Daim has avoided all of that. So he doesn't have I mean, hell, Russ and KD have dodged the massive twenty sixteen Golden State bullet. They never, ever have to answer to that. And yet the Golden State three, one thing is a forever deal. Right. And so Dame hasn't and this is all is a very pro dame guy, but Dame hasn't. Even if they go to the Western Conference finals, look what we get. What happened last year, it was actually like they got smoked, but he's avoided that.

[00:37:43]

Where we kind of turn on these guys, we turn on celebrities and we turn on NBA players. And he's avoided that for this much of his career.

[00:37:51]

Well, he lost to the Warriors, I think, three times. I had like the last year wasn't even close, like they didn't even know Nurkic Nurkic, you know, Collins and their swing guys were even worse last year there this year at least this year they have Trent and Zombie Melo.

[00:38:09]

Last year it was it was way worse. So I don't know who's the best players ever played with Aldridge you would say earlier in his career. Second best guys ever play. This is McCollum, third best guy he's ever played with his Nurkic I'm not.

[00:38:23]

Look this is not an anti dame. No I'm just telling you I know the rules are the rules and the rules are if he were to lose like for the shit that Harden puts up with which I am more than happy to remind everybody of all the time.

[00:38:36]

Dame avoids that and passes next on my list, he's number five, if Westbrooks out here for a week, this becomes the James Hardie and I got to do this by myself show and this match ups.

[00:38:50]

Weird, right? Because Schröder's shooter is going to play, but he's not 100 percent. I don't really have any idea who guards heart. Who do you think do you think are targeted for oxes, Dorte? Oh, well, Daudt, you guys you guys work some of the stuff Dort did against LeBron. We like to it. I don't care about foot speed. I care about what's inside of you. Yeah. If you decide I mean, LeBron is one thing, but Harden Harden.

[00:39:17]

So I would actually I would if I played in the NBA, I would start a harden hashtag would be like, we can't I'm trying to think what the proper hashtag would be like. I have it would it would be that I have no choice because all you can do is drive by contest. You can't go at him because he kicks his legs out, the whole thing. All right.

[00:39:37]

So I'm going to do but door Dawid is not afraid of anybody. And I would imagine he's the deal on top of a few minutes that you try to escape by with with a collection of other small forwards that probably none of us like. Adams can't really play in this series, doesn't seem like. It's a bad matchup for him. The wild card is SGA, who did not make my top twenty five, but. I sure if we're just doing the if we're for doing there's a world in which dot, dot, dot, there's a world in which S.J is awesome in this series.

[00:40:14]

And, you know, if we try to think like, all right, who your nominees for, we're coming out of the first round and it's big circle added some new name is one of the candidates is one of the nominees where it's like, oh, my God, this guy.

[00:40:26]

Wow, they got him. Plus all those picks. I mean, the hardcore basketball people know he's good, but there's this whole other universe of people like, whoa, this guy. And I think he's one of the possibilities. So anyway, with heart and you think you're going to win that series, by the way, are you picking them? It's the closest and betting odds now I I think the Westbrooke thing really threw me off because I was actually going to take Houston because I felt like OKC was the sexy sleeper underdog pick that everybody was on.

[00:40:58]

And meanwhile, I do think there's some you know, with Schreuder not being one hundred percent, I think that three guard thing, which would have been really great for them in this series, who knows? But the Westbrook thing, I don't know because sometimes people get these injuries, though. Yeah. It could be a couple of days and then the guy misses the whole first round and you got Austin Rivers out there for 40 minutes a game. So I almost feel like it's like a no pick.

[00:41:24]

I want to admit right now there's there's no series of more emotionally attached to that series rooting for OKC. Yeah. Between my Chris Paul love and my anti Houston thing, which we've been over. And I just told Houston, I go, look, you know, it's not my fault that I told you Chris Paul is going to be traded and he was. It's not my fault that I told you that your coaches get along with you ride receiver your quarterback, which he doesn't.

[00:41:45]

It's not my fault that I've told you all these things and the city's not dealt with it well over the years. And I'm just like I did a podcast where I think it's one of the least professional things I've ever done where I go. I know you guys think people are biased. I am telling you, I'm rooting against your team every fucking night.

[00:42:04]

Well, we were saying we didn't know how sustainable was for them to play small like they're playing and put the kind of onus that they're putting on their dudes to chase, to rebound, to block, to protect the rim. It really asking for superhuman efforts. And there are a couple of games, the bubble that they just didn't need when they couldn't be in fifth gear, where, man, they look bad because when those guys aren't in fifth gear, it's it's like this is not sustainable.

[00:42:31]

So, you know, the fact that Westbrook got hurt, like I'm not surprised somebody got hurt right now the the being hurt thing is fine, but I definitely don't know if it's a pivot because when it first happened right.

[00:42:44]

The beginning of February. No Capela were like wait a minute, is this about a real basketball thing. Because there were hundreds were off the charts and people that I would talk to with other teams would say, oh no, no, this is amazing. Like he's actually doing drills, doing the thing that we've always wanted to do, but nobody wants to do it. And I would worry about some of the switches, but I'm. Look, I don't know, I don't think I'm right yet, but I just don't think switches are as big of a deal as we make them out to be.

[00:43:12]

How many times have we seen the guy, the small guy, switch where the five is on'em from 30 feet out, and then he takes a fucking three and you go, what was the point of this? LeBron used to do it all the time in Miami, which I never quite understood. And it's like at least drive and force a decision like basketballs make the defender make a decision. And when you step back from 30 feet or not, really ask anybody to do anything.

[00:43:36]

And so Houston gets bailed out on that. The other thing with the big guy, which again, like this is repetitive, but it's important because that was what we thought their downfall would be, is the switches and everybody seeks out. Daniel House from the tip. Hey, let's go in house. Let's figure out our match up.

[00:43:52]

But it's more of the rebounding and they are the worst rebounding team in the NBA that's in the playoffs.

[00:43:57]

And we saw that against the Pacers held. The announcers thought that game was over and they were down 14 and they came all the way back to two and had a shot. And then guess what happens? One of the worst rebounding teams, the league and the Pacers, at least offensive rebounding. They couldn't box them out. They couldn't get it. So it's not it's not small versus big. It's not switches. It's rebounding. And it's a really tough thing to do when you can't rebound to win a championship.

[00:44:23]

Well, I wonder if if there's if OKC can figure out a way to play Adam successfully for twenty five minutes a game?

[00:44:31]

I don't think so. It might be a night tonight. Deal, right? Maybe. I mean, are you with me on that, though, like there's certain nights you go, hey, look at this guy, he's crushing them and they're they're actively seeking out this thing and depend on the energy. Yeah, right. They're setting up his screen lower so that he's an easier role and all the shit and Paul will figure all that stuff out. Maybe it plays itself out in a series.

[00:44:51]

And then I think there's nights, like you said, it's going to look like, hey, you got to get him out of there. You can't put him on the floor.

[00:44:56]

Well, it's funny that you have Chris Paul against James Harden, two guys that you wouldn't say there's a shitload of playoff heroics between them kind of staring at each other. But you have all the OKC, Houston, the Westbrook, Paul, like, there's I mean, right now everything is ready.

[00:45:12]

There is the best series by far. We got our guy Daughton there of all kinds of good stuff of getting Benidorm Jersey. All right. We're going to take a break.

[00:45:22]

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[00:46:31]

All right, top five, most intriguing, Janice, LeBron, Kawhi, Dame, Hard in number six, I got your guy, Jimmy Buckets. Here's why. I really like this Miami team, I really I was so impressed by them as the season went along, they maintained it in the bubble. I think they're really, really hard to play. They're the team I'm the most afraid of, either the Milwaukee for my Celltex. I hate the fact that they have so much shooting.

[00:46:58]

I don't know what happened to Duncan Robinson who are going to get to him a little bit. But Duncan Robinson has turned into just a fucking deadeye and they have all these different malleability with their lineups. But ultimately, you know, it's you get you need the straw that starts to drink. Butler in that Philly series last year was kind of the guy for Philly. You know, he was kind of the emotional center of it. So we know he can do it in a playoff series and he's done it before in other playoffs.

[00:47:24]

I think this team is built to compete as a dark horse for the title and the Clippers heat. This is the only bed I liked that I might have put a tiny bit on, but Clipper's heat for the finals was 40 to one as a finals match up as that's too high. I think there's a world in which the heat could absolutely make the finals. And I'm really impressed by them. I think they're really well coached. I think they know who they are.

[00:47:50]

I think they can do a bunch of different things depending on the opponent. And and I think Butler, you know, I had him the third team on the air, but he's one of the best 15 players in the league. So we'll see. Thoughts on Butler, really good pick, because he a little bit like my game theory has has avoided some of the criticism because I just don't think he lives. In that neighborhood, some of those other guys, and he's a level.

[00:48:21]

Yeah, right. And I mean, he thinks he's in that group. That's good. That's right. That's a positive. Right. But it's not.

[00:48:29]

It's not if I'm picking a team to win an NBA championship. So as much as I love Bam, as much as I love Duncan, I love the confidence and the malleable word, which I'm a huge fan just of that word. In general, it's perfect for them because other teams have depth and it's an issue sometimes with them. Depth is like a huge, huge part of where I like them. But, you know, they're second best players, Dragic.

[00:48:55]

And I would say I would say it's been. All right, well, look, I mean, we bam is different in a way where I'll even I'll give you bam bam, their second best player and Jimmy's the first. And Jimmy's not in the neighborhood of franchise altering players. So here's here's the case for them, because they finally just started playing so tough on defense. So they finally start a smaller and bam! The shooting and how good they are at shooting and they really are like there's some 20, 19 Toronto potential for them.

[00:49:31]

As an outside shooting team, and we saw it last year where it's like, wow, this doesn't make sense why they can't keep it up and it just kind of they kept it up. The Robinson thing is the big X factor for me, but we'll see with Butler. This is what he wanted. I think if you're just looking at career moves, him getting out of that Philly situation, starting a new team in Miami, basically him not realizing how good the rookie was going to be hero, him realizing, not realizing how good Robinson was going to be, maybe he knew that Bam was going to be Bam, but certainly not to the level.

[00:50:02]

It's just a good team. And you know that Iguodala Crowder trade was great. I'm not a gigantic Jae Crowder fan, but he's a nine man rotation guy. He certainly would be helping the Blazers and I was impressed by Iggy in the bubble. I actually was expecting him to be like Zombie Iggy, and he wasn't I thought he was at least moving like he wasn't washed up yet, which I think as long as he's not washed up, that's a nice guy to have in your team.

[00:50:28]

I don't know that I'm as bullish on Iggy as you are, but the Japa, I probably like Jae Crowder too much for certain seasons. And he had a nice Celtic year that year. Yeah, but that's what I liked about him. Although I really feel like if you're a tough guy, you don't like Jerry Smith, do that to you. That's how I feel. That's my Jerry Smith rule.

[00:50:49]

But the you know, I'm going to ask you because I think I have I have to list of players, one 45 left down, three corner. Do you think it goes in? And he's he's on the list of now. Yeah, I think he said no. I'm Jeff Green. Jeff Greene is first team No. And. So zone, yet no hazony is the Wilt Chamberlain of this category. He's not out there. That is a permanent no, you know what I mean.

[00:51:20]

There's so many guys, we're all go, that's not going to go in. You know, I swear I'm right about this so much. By the way, you know, it's the secret out Heyward.

[00:51:32]

A minute left outcasting to that, that's to say out loud, I don't think it's going in when when it really matters, I don't think it's going in. I just don't prove me wrong. Or did I beg you if you admitted it, you just ruined its trade value.

[00:51:48]

He's only got one year left. It's good to Shankarananda, our friend tweeted a stat about how 17 points a game. And 50 percent field goal, 40 percent, three, like only later legit had done it for the South. There's some stat like that number seven on my list. Most intriguing. You haven't really vehemently disagreed with anybody yet. I have Davis here. Glen, big baby. Well, I'll talk to Roger and I talked a little bit on the Thursday part about if there's a match up.

[00:52:23]

Where Davis is clearly the advantage for the Lakers. Would he assert himself in a real way, like, let's say, the Clippers, where they just can't guard him, but there's two minutes left. They're down to and LeBron is like, I got this. But meanwhile, the Clippers are like, thank God they're not going to Davis. What does that seesaw and where does Davis assert himself? Because you think, like against Portland, he should go nuts.

[00:52:48]

I mean, like, really, especially if they can survive playing Javal and Dwight. Thirty five minutes a game, Davis is going to go nuts and he'll dominate that series. Then the next series, potentially they could play Houston. We've already seen what it does to Houston. So it should be a wake up call. You're right. It should be a like I would be swearing at him every day. He would hate me by the end of this playoff game.

[00:53:11]

You should be going. He points a game, right? Yeah. I'd be like, you have to hurt people's feelings. You have to have parents not say their kid is on the rockets like you. You have to humiliate these people. And if you don't have that and that's the part. And I think that's what Roger was kind of hinting at, which I'll ask you to expand on, but. As much as I love that guy, the fourth quarter numbers against the Clippers is a real thing, is a weird number because the numbers are pretty bad.

[00:53:40]

But are you willing to accept that maybe there's just a year that he doesn't have? And I hate even saying that because I'm not even sure I admit it.

[00:53:49]

Roger wondered about it on Thursday. I don't. What do you say? That's I said the same thing. Does he have that extra piece that we would want from him?

[00:53:59]

Does that is there that killer side of him? Does he have it, he could be higher on this list. Yeah, he could number eight have Tatum. So Tatum, second half of the bubble just looked fantastic, Philly's an awesome matchup for him. They used to guard him with Simmons and Simmons is great defensively now he's not there. It looks like I was wondering if they're going to do this. And then there's a story today and I got bummed out because Brett Brown was like, we might start thighbone game one.

[00:54:29]

I was like, fuck, because eventually Tebow will be starting one of these games because he's their best chance of slowing down. Tatum, where is so big that I wouldn't figure this out?

[00:54:39]

We're sible on the Jersey order list for you. I have him over my honorable mention on this list, but Tatum should be able to rip the Sixers team apart if he's doing his thing. If he's driving the basket, doing the like, if he's got that in and out, then go. And if he's just doing that, I'm going to take 20 foot followers and quick threes and the stuff that my dad starts text me in the second quarter, the hell is he doing then?

[00:55:05]

Philly has a chance, but he should be the best player in the series unless Embiid just has this throwback crazy Embiid thing And Embiid is no Dinamo list. Yeah, fair Tatum to me is held to a different standard, because if he's going to play like Tatum from pre covid shut down. You know, look, I didn't like the Celtics last year. I felt like people were little too bullish on them, considering we haven't really seen them, the the beating thing scares the hell out of me because when you see in person and Tice's trying to deal with it, it's horrifying.

[00:55:44]

I still think Philly has a chance with Embiid.

[00:55:47]

Where do you see the Vegas line for it. Yeah it's not like there's something like minus four fifty. It seems way too high because there is a world in which Embiid goes. I'm going to dominate these guys for two weeks and the results are in trouble if he decides that I think people are just kind of down on. And him hitting, that is he's been so up and down, even if you watch a game, he's a different guy, one 1/2 to the next half.

[00:56:12]

I talked to a team that they played against him in the ball and I was like, what are you guys do here? They're like, Oh, he doesn't give a shit. Like we knew. We knew he didn't give a shit. So this is what we did. And it's exactly what happened. Like, he didn't care. And he has really bad habits defensively and he's been a little bit better not doing this. Why anybody ever goes serves up fake from 30 feet out is mind blowing.

[00:56:38]

But I, I have thought of what happens if some version of him is unlocked where they there's no weird substitution patterns. It's no. We're trying to figure it out because really the Sixers are about what is your closing four minutes look like, what do they look like and who's out there. Yeah, and it's like a best power forward except when it matters. Hey, Ben's doing this. OK well Horford so now you have a Horford situation where it's probably better because Embiid you know isn't going to have to deal.

[00:57:11]

And at this point like I just I want to see the Embiid that is mad at everybody for doubting him because I do believe it exists, it just doesn't happen that much.

[00:57:21]

And so even with Boston where I'm like I don't know man like the big that Steven out of scrimmage still scares the shit out of me. But then I start thinking about Boston against Toronto and I start talking myself into it a little bit. So that's where, you know, all the all the Tatum stuff, where you go, which version are we getting? Because if we get the guy that we saw before the season shut down or was interrupted, then we're talking about a completely different team.

[00:57:44]

And that's you know, this isn't hard. It's it's my whole Miami who who are the five best guys? Because one of those guys probably going to carry his team to this whole deal. And talking yourself into a team that doesn't happen to those guys is probably stupid with the Embiid thing.

[00:57:58]

If he decides to show up, every team would be in trouble. Not just the Celtics.

[00:58:02]

The Do you love him like I love him when he's right. I just just having been in the building a couple of times when he had it going for a quarter or half and he's just dominating and you're just praying that he just gets tired or he gets a foul or, you know, it's the same feeling used to get know in past 10 years ago. Yeah, yeah. Please. Or take take some twenty five footers. Joel, that's something you should take a whiz at time.

[00:58:31]

He every time he pulls up I'm like, good. And I know that I looked like post touches and it was like Oh no Embiid and Beasley's leg and post touches. I don't know what is as of today I would imagine. Probably top five. I'll look, I'll get it on it and so it'll be like this push back. You know you guys really it's like Embiid post up all the time you go. You realize ten years ago Al Jefferson had twice as many post touches as Joel Embiid has today.

[00:58:54]

That's that's wrong.

[00:58:56]

If I you can only pick one of these two options. Joel Embiid is awesome in this series and reaches all the potential for at least two weeks that we've always wanted for him. Or the Sixers completely roll over in this series. And Brett Baron is quietly fired a day later because they lost and four or five and they clearly quit on him, which is more realistic to you? I have a hard time buying into teams that have given me like 70 games of evidence that they're not figuring it out.

[00:59:30]

So I think that's far more realistic. I remember, though, is a fan part of it? I remember when the Yankees lost the Diamondbacks. I was actually bummed out because I was like, oh, now Steinbrenner is just going to go crazy. And I actually want the Yankees to win that World Series as much as I hated them because I was so worried about what Steinbrenner would do. And it's not the same thing with the Sixers, but it's it'd be I think if you're a Sixers fan, there's probably partya where you hope it flames out, because I just don't think that Brett Brown thing has worked and that's OK.

[01:00:02]

Like, it's all right. You know, after three or four years, you get a shot at it. A year ago, everybody thought he was out. And, you know, after a while, guys just tuning out, it's not a you know, it's not a question your manhood or and that kind of stuff. It's just time to move on. One thing with Philly and why Simmons was such a weird X factor against the Celtics, because he just loves going against Tatum.

[01:00:24]

The tape, the guys that give the Celtics the most trouble are. You know, the Donovan Mitchell, those Dame Lillard, all those the little guys who can score great shots, move off screens, that's really what the Celtics are vulnerable because they basically have Kemba and Wannamaker and whoever, they can't defend those guys and defend those guys for a couple of years. Philly just doesn't have anybody like that and they have a lot of size. But the scouts have shown over and over again, they like to they like to play teams with size because, you know, offensively they can kind of do whatever they want and then defensively they can patch stuff together.

[01:01:01]

So I think Simmons is a good matchup. Again, this is all off of Simmons and I probably feel a little differently about it. But you really think post. You think the Celtics like playing big teams, because I think that's their downfall. No, I'm talking teams like awkward teams like this team like the they're going to play and beat Horford and Harris. Probably as a front line in crunch time, and I think the Celtics will match up with that.

[01:01:28]

Because they'll just they'll have Tatum and Jaylen and they'll just they'll run, they'll move the ball and they're not going to be able to get burned on the low block by any of those guys. Is Horford going to be posting up Jaylen Brown like it's not happening. What is supposed to be anybody anyway. He doesn't have anybody and and then Harris is the inferior version of Jaylen and Tatum.

[01:01:47]

So I was and beads got to kick ass. I'm going to save it for later when you get. Do you have a Toronto player in the top twenty five? So I'll say I did a little bit later. All right. So I'm done.

[01:01:57]

I'm done on this number 10 Lucka. We talked about him a bunch last week. We don't have to talk about him. I mean, it would be legendary if he just beat this Clipper City by himself. And, you know, the fact that there's. It's it's not really the Clippers yet. They're not running at full capacity and who knows, like maybe they're playing tomorrow night, maybe he could put up forty eight in game one or look at the club.

[01:02:22]

You know, there's. I wouldn't put this way, I wouldn't be, like, completely flabbergasted if the Mavs were like two two after four games, something like that, but. I just find it hard to believe they could beat them four times out of seven with that, so they swept them out. But it wasn't even a sweep, though. I mean, they, like, demolish them. Two questions for. Is he an only child?

[01:02:46]

Where do you buy Zeins word? Paul George is my number 11. Playoff p, you you litigated that one last week. Yeah, like if they win the first round, it's like, wait, there's another round, we're going to play somebody else. I'm back to Eastern Finals.

[01:03:09]

And then he did. He did. It's not fair. As I say that out loud. I know I'm not being fair. He's terrific player. I and whatever, man.

[01:03:17]

I mean, look, if the Clippers win this whole thing, it'll turn into a oh, yo, you guys down to Paul George like, well, you know, it's really it's a pretty good roster.

[01:03:28]

And I voted I voted for him for a VP like two years ago. I voted for him like third. First. Oh, you know, I think I had him like third or fourth team pre league thing.

[01:03:38]

I know this is one of those OKC years, maybe even last year, the OKC year he started it last year he was it was last year and after like a weird start where I just was like, I'm done with this guy.

[01:03:50]

And I have this odd habit of as soon as I count you out, then you have like the best run of your life.

[01:03:58]

You're like, wait a minute, what she's dating who? And George after, like, a weird, bumpy start, had an incredible, incredible run. But I don't know.

[01:04:09]

I don't know. Yeah, he's he's kind of. Well, look, he's the most talented Jeff Greene I've ever seen. Oh, that's insulting to tell you. This round one is the perfect match up for him. Perfect. Who's guarding Paul George in Dallas? Nobody, I mean. They've they've definitely run some guys out there, Michael. I mean, they've they've tried some things. I think it's going to be that Rick is sampled some things where I wonder if that's what he's doing.

[01:04:40]

But I know it's they can't defend anybody, man. I mean, look, Luca, it's a great thing when it's right. It's awesome. They're five out there, Houston, with big guys. They can't defend anybody. Houston's a much better defensive team than their.

[01:04:54]

I got Mitchell at 13. I moved him up because of this weird Mike Conley. Nobody has any idea how long he's going to be out of the bubble. But his wife and kid, he left and now you have no Bogdanovic and you have no Mike Conley. You basically have Mitchell and Joe Ingles deciding everything offensively for Utah. Before the Mike Conley. Before he left, I was actually thinking Utah was undervalued in the series. Denver I think was a two to one favorite before the conflict.

[01:05:22]

They now they're higher and. I just feel like this is neither team could win, but now without Connely, from a depth standpoint, you would just have to add this incredible Mitchell game and he has it in him.

[01:05:36]

I mean, he had a bubble game like a week ago where it's, you know, and he's feeling it.

[01:05:41]

Are you talking the overtime, the double overtime game that was done in that game where you're like, wait? Yeah. Is he a top 10? Like, I just like doing that where I'm at home and I go, hey, it's your top 10 player. Like, am I wrong for even saying that?

[01:05:53]

But then on a given night he looks at one. Yeah, but then I think we always kind of check it with, OK, but what are you doing. I'm just I don't know.

[01:06:03]

I mean, he would have to. For them to be Denver, I think he would have to basically do what he did to OKC a couple of years ago and a better version of it 14 at Kemba.

[01:06:14]

And does the positivity from the Celltex camp about Kemba is much appreciated? I don't trust it. I still have not. Has it been better, though, than we thought when we were doing this Kemba topic a couple of weeks ago? A little bit better. I'll be interested to see how it goes when they're asking him for 32 minutes a night every other day for five straight weeks. I'm going to be a little more nervous about that. But you know, if he if he can get back to very close to where he was in October, November, December, that's you got to increase the ceiling of the Celtics team.

[01:06:49]

That's it. What do you what do you actually I mean, I don't know I don't know if Brad Wannamaker is 25th here, but what do you actually think is possible? The Celtics. Go ahead. The floor is yours. I think they're two guys short to tickets. It's a seven man team. And one of those seven is cancer. Well, then so then six is Kanter's unplayable in certain games, right? I think they could play him against Philly, I liked him against Toronto.

[01:07:22]

Now, Sitcom's missed two of the four games and maybe I'm doing way too much recency bias, which I wish people on the spot gets appreciated, how aware I am of my own flaws as a human, but. I like them against Toronto. I like that they can put a big guy in Lowry and Kemba VanVleet has been a terrific story but they they can do some things defensively where I'm probably if if it ends up Toronto and Boston, I think I'm going to pick Boston, which sounds crazy because I have much respect for Toronto, but I like them against them and maybe I'm putting way too much on something I saw last week.

[01:07:58]

I want to see what Kemba looks like over these next two weeks, but I think from making the final standpoint. I think it'd be really hard to do it unless Campbell is 85, 90 percent and unless there's some bench dude has got to show up there over and over again, they're put in these second units in there. And you're just looking at the at the guys that are out there like, oh, my God. Now, they could they could get around that by, I think, reconfiguring Heyward's minutes and.

[01:08:28]

You know, I just I don't know why they trust Wannamaker to the degree they trust them, and I know there's a couple of positive advance metrics that I just know how he makes me feel. I don't trust them in a playoff series if if he's playing twenty to twenty five minutes off the bench for you in the Eastern Conference finals, I feel like that's a negative. That's not great. Kanter's, you said, can only play against certain teams, certain matchups.

[01:08:53]

So now you're really down to six guys, you're six and a half with cancer.

[01:08:57]

If it were a Houston Rockets Celtics NBA finals, I think Brad would tell canor. I know the games games are two weeks. Yeah, put them in street clothes, something like that. Can I ask you about Wannamaker, though, real real quick? Yeah. Wannamaker is is the absolute there's there's better versions.

[01:09:15]

Hassan Whiteside is actually the best example of this. But as soon as an announcer says something about. Hassan Whiteside I go, Oh, OK, you don't put any effort into prepping for this game at all or you've never watched this guy or you don't win, it's weird to say, hey, you don't know how to watch Wanamaker's a little Whiteside side for me where when the announcers start telling me how great Wanamaker's man I am with you, I'm like, I don't know.

[01:09:41]

I'd love to see those twenty minutes somewhere else. And I think that position is so deep and he's an incredible story, good maker. But I think the position is so deep that if you're the Celtics you should find a better twenty minutes.

[01:09:53]

I was just talking to somebody about this the other day. Every year you these teams find Treb, Cameron Payne, these guys that bounce around and they could just hammer and paint Cameron, paint these guys that can give you like the fifteen to twenty minutes out of nowhere that we're like in the league or playing in Spain or something. John Lucas, I would just never draft those guys after like pick twenty. I would never draft a point guard in the Celtics seem to do this over and over again like they did it.

[01:10:19]

They, they took that. They took Druids, Carsen, Edwards and Waters. It's like, why do we keep taking five, ten guys? Roll the dice with, like, try to figure out who this year's Gary Trent Junior is, Gary Trent Junior at thirty seventh. Anyway, I would have a rule. No, I'm with you on that. I would I would never take a point guard after top five.

[01:10:39]

Well, it may be a point guard, but I wouldn't take one sub six feet because it's a different deal. And I've said it a million times, but some teams have like a no short point guard rule because they're like in the playoffs, it it clogs everything up. Well, coming up, we're going to talk about two point guards in Iraq.

[01:10:58]

That's right after this. Let's take a break to talk about the Home Depot, where decorating your home is now easier than ever before. Start by heading a Home Depot to shop for everything, for every room, breast, houses, furniture, pieces, accents to fit any style. Explore bedding, bath linens, kitchenware, small appliances out the right prices where you're going for a brand new look, a seasonal refresh or simply a few finishing touches. Guess who has all the pieces you need?

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[01:12:13]

All right, I have Kemba and Kemba fourteen fifteen and CP three sixteen put them together. I love how much they love each other. I've really enjoyed watching them all year. I think it's a professional basketball team and SGA, as we discussed earlier, is the ceiling for them. If good things can happen, if not only can they beat Houston, but even get a little frisky in a Laker series. It's S.J second year guy. We've seen this happen before where somebody kind of they get a taste and they make make a little mini leap as the things get along and they start putting together.

[01:12:50]

And as I said earlier, I think he's one of the nominees for who's going to be kind of the quote unquote, breakout star of round one around to whatever. And then the CP3 thing, you know, only made one conference finals was basically cast aside. Nobody wanted to trade for him. We were talking about this on this podcast. Remember, we're like, wow, the CP three, nobody, even 40 million. Everybody was kind of like, oh, no, he's gone.

[01:13:15]

He's gone. And I, I shared with people.

[01:13:17]

I go, I think the only team is like, there's a Miami thing. I think he wants to go to Milwaukee.

[01:13:23]

But when you're absorbing 40 million, even if you love Chris, which you should, because I think he can play with anybody, there's nobody I want to I'm telling you right now, top of the list, who ring rankings, who do you want to win a title? Chris Paul is number one for me. Really want people. Oh, I want people to appreciate. Demand stats, stats have fucked up so much stuff now, man, and I shouldn't be this emotional about it, but like we talk ourselves into some of these guys, like, do you not understand winning moments?

[01:13:52]

Do you not understand the things we're like? All these little things matter. And yes, Chris is annoying. And yes, the playoff system sucks.

[01:13:59]

I just want people to appreciate the things that he does. Like it's not a mistake that that Oklahoma City is way better than people thought. It's not a mistake. It's because of that dude.

[01:14:08]

And I want to win a ring so bad it's so that everybody can do the well, you know, I always liked him or whatever, and all these people would dump on Chris Paul just to have I want them to have to admit how great of a basketball player is.

[01:14:22]

And I'm worried that his career is going to end. Really, like that guy never got out of the second round, like, what the hell was his problem?

[01:14:28]

Because normally I would hold that against every other player. But with him I won't. If they can get by Houston, they would put the Lakers in round two. And I kind of like the matchup for them. I'm not saying they would beat them. No, no. It was it was a good matchup. No, Paul, Paul was like AKAs. All right. Hey by the way, Bill Kuzma he a problem? I just think that meme is like there should be a mandatory level of production where you're allowed to be called the problem or he's different, like when he was on the Orlando Magic.

[01:15:05]

There will be no koosman conversations. Zero zero, he'd be Fornier with better hair, but. He look, there's Chris Paul was like, come here, come get some of this, and he smoked them, if Schruder can get healthy in time for that round two and then that the door, who knows what we can get from Roberson the door a little Adams to throw to throw against whoever Davis is a problem but who basically gave us a problem for.

[01:15:31]

I mean honestly how many teams are like yeah we can handle that Davis guy like maybe three. I'd be really fun series. Plus you'd have the whole Chris LeBron. Do they do the interview together or do they do the thing where it's like we're not we're so close but we're not talking for the next two two weeks? This time it's personal. It's kind of like the intro to The Real World. Where do you go when people stop you and start acting real?

[01:15:57]

Number 17. Oviraptor. I'm going to say it's the outcome over, Larry. It's Nicholas, my favorite coach. Did you vote for coach of the Year? I sure as hell did. I wish I could do it twice. BELLISON Especially people that have votes. And I was like, I may call them and say, don't vote for anybody other than Nick Nurse. As you know, I am the all time Brad Stevens Kool-Aid drinker. Nicklaus's the best coach in the league.

[01:16:29]

I'm constantly impressed. He maximizes the potential of every guy and their top down offensively. They're the most interesting team. Every person who he's coached has gotten better than that has turned into a real guy. He's all first Team Schmidt, phase three. That's good. Put the what he's gotten out of Gasol and Ibaka. I feel like in other situations would be like on their way out of a nightmare.

[01:16:55]

I was out on those two guys, you know. I like Gasol. I just think. All right, so you got him round one, does it matter? They're going to win, but then ran to him versus Stevens and if he can, you know, Stevens, a couple of things.

[01:17:12]

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Go ahead. I'm going to turn my mike off. Go ahead. No, no more semiannually, no more, no more, no more, no more. No more, Brad. Did you watch TV in college in Texas, did you watch because I talked myself into a little semi I mean, he can't shoot, as Jalen would say, open for a reason. And the Wannamaker thing, it's Wannamaker.

[01:17:44]

You just have to pull them the moment, the first time he drives in the yards full speed and whips the ball against the bottom of the backboard, I bounce, I take him out. That's it. Done. I think he's your dad. Those guys, he's going to kill my dad, like the Wannamaker thing is like. But it's more frightening for my dad than covid. Number 70, I'm sorry. Number 18 for me is Duncan Robinson.

[01:18:08]

And I just want to say this about Duncan Robinson, white guy. He is a white guy, yeah. I think the I think the white stretch, three and a half ish guy, there's a stereotype for those guys that it's like, oh, they're just a shooter. If you actually watch Miami, like he initiates plays like they run, pick and rolls with him, he does stuff. This guy is not like Kyle Korver. This is he's turning into somebody who can actually initiate plays and get himself great shots.

[01:18:40]

He's a 50 percent, three point shooter since the All-Star break.

[01:18:45]

I just think I think he's kind of elite as a shooter now, and, you know, it's like, all right, remember one page, a stack of like one Uzi, like third MVP painted. Yeah, I think it was third, right. He was third. I'm not saying he could be as good as a stack of book someday, but I wouldn't be shocked by it because he's not just a shooter. Like, he can actually, like, create stuff for himself.

[01:19:12]

And I think he's really evolved and improved. And I think he's a huge X factor in these playoffs. That's my dad and ran for you, by the way, Vladimir Guerrero that year won the MVP most in baseball. So I obviously looking at Page, yeah, I was looking to see third, third or fourth, that guard at one, and then as soon as I pulled it up, I was like, oh, this isn't right.

[01:19:41]

And I just then I clicked on it because I couldn't help myself. It was it was Vlad Sheffield, man. He was third, Ortiz's fourth. So they split the SEC vote. And then to who? To this day, I've never seen anyone throw a baseball like Miguel Tejada in person. Like seeing it in person was the most amazing thing ever.

[01:19:58]

But we don't know about Paiser. No Backspacer, what really? You talk, I'm going to look it up, all right. Duncan is so much more than space the floor. So you're absolutely right. Duncan Robinson is it's not an acquired taste. It's it's a oh, OK. I love basketball. And I because he does everything right, I would imagine if there was an approval rating on players by coaches, I would think Duncan Robinson would finish in the top five because every cut, every movement, none of it's wasted.

[01:20:33]

He makes you guard the whole time.

[01:20:36]

And I think a lot of this league at times is guys being like, I want to deal with this and he's going to make you work the whole time.

[01:20:43]

So I couldn't be a bigger Duncan Robinson fan when you when you take biases and when you see these guys, like when he really first started playing well for them and you think like, oh, man, what a nice story. Yeah. Like he's going to be like Jed Bush for them or somebody like somebody who could make a couple of threes. And then you keep watching the heat and it's like, man, I didn't realize he could do that.

[01:21:06]

And then like Spoelstra is calling plays for him, you're like, what the fuck is going on?

[01:21:10]

Like, this is shifty, crafty. Pageau is fourth. Your top five in 04 was CGY Duncan, Jermaine O'Neal. Pages stack of big Kobe Bryant. So there you go. Peter Robinson is basically a 50 percent, three point shooter and has turned into a guy for me. I don't know about you. It's shocking when he misses the wide open shooting, it's like there's no fucking way he's going to miss any message like, oh my God, No.

[01:21:37]

20, I put Porter Junior here just because he's kind of the ceiling guy for the Nuggets. If who knows it's the fucking it's the bubble. Nobody really cared about the seeds. I don't think he has any idea what he's doing on defense. Well, it doesn't, but I don't care now. He's so good on offense now, now I'm kind of people. Yeah. You kind of keep him out there. And I don't there's not a lot of examples that we have over the last 30 years of.

[01:22:06]

Somebody just kind of playing their way into such a pivotal role this late into the season when they really hadn't played at all before, you know, you think like Richard even Richard Dumas with the sons played like 40 games for them where he put up minutes. So I think they need him. Because of the way he clicks with the kids and the athleticism and just kind of the heat check factor him, I don't trust anyone else offensively on that team.

[01:22:33]

Oh, you trust Yokich, right? Oh, by the way, I actually admitted Yokich. I had Yokich 12. I forgot to mention it. Sorry, sorry. Ninio gets 12 in case you're wondering where you are. That's good.

[01:22:46]

But just to clear this up, because I'm saving you here from the. What does it 72 or 72? I think it's 72 over. Yokich, you trust Yokich, right, you trust Yokich in a playoff game? Oh, yeah, yeah. So I don't have a disaster, right. Because after him, I don't even trust Jamal Murray. And it was they they were your team right there, a weird team with, you know, who they had available.

[01:23:12]

So it's not a criticism. It's just, you know, they're starting this playoff thing this week on who's who what's the deal here. And Porter, when he is right, looks like one of the best scores in the league. Like, that's how insane it is. And that's where you go. Hey, in the playoffs, we need somebody who's like almost, what is he, six, 10? And we can pull up off the dribble.

[01:23:34]

Like, I need those I need those possessions because there's a lot of possessions with Denver where I'm I feel that are a little predictable. I hate when teams don't know who they are heading into the playoffs, and that was my big hesitation with Denver and that is why I really wanted to pick Utah to beat them, because I just felt like I was like, at least Utah knows who they are and what they're doing. I think Denver probably has more talent, but they're still trying to figure out on the fly, like who their best five guys are, who's healthy and all this stuff.

[01:24:02]

But with Conley out, who knows that Syria to me, that series is a gambling stay away. Five to go. I got Pau Zink's at 21. I mean, he's in the bubble, had a couple monster stat games athletically, looks even a little more athletic than he was on the next right.

[01:24:22]

He has moments athletically where you're like, holy shit, yeah, like those of those first moments where is everybody knows I'm a huge business guy because I feel some ownership to it, where I watch him, the yeary pulled out of the draft and I remember texting chat for I was like, what is the deal with this guy? Like, why isn't he in the top 30? This is insane. This guy is good and we didn't know. And then he shows up the Knicks and he's balling.

[01:24:46]

And then because it's the Knicks, you know, everybody's story kind of dictates like how we feel about all these guys. But this is what I like. And I'll reference the Steph Curry interview where I was like, you guys are kind of Houston, but you're big. Like you play five out. Luke initiates everything. And he's like, yeah, we move around a little bit more. And then he's like, Honestly, Luka has these things where we cut off a Loukia, all that stuff that we were talking about a week ago where I think Presentist has moments where you're like, this is the perfect player to play with him, where I think e.V. even brought up last week, we were wondering like, oh, is this bad?

[01:25:19]

Because not enough is going through him.

[01:25:21]

Like whatever it ends up being, he's going to be his best version of himself as a Tier two superstar. He's never going to be a tier one. And that's great. And I think it looks better with his fingers or my favorite Donchak. My favorite is when he's kind of trailing the play and it's like an unconstructive and they're coming up and he's trailing the play like Brook Lopez would write, like he's just kind of behind it. They're setting up half court.

[01:25:46]

But then all of a sudden he's taking a twenty six footer from the top of the arc. And it's it seems like a pseudo set play by them, it's like a rope a dope every time or it's like, yeah, we're going to wait for poison gas and then you shooting from twenty six. But it feels like he makes that shot fifty percent of the time. And I look at, you know, the Clippers, especially if Harrell's not going to play, they're going to or they're going to have to ease Herrlein, they're going to play a lot of Zuba shots against pauses.

[01:26:12]

I think that's great for Dallas. Yeah, the zoo like zoo has been pretty good, so I know he has left and right, but I want him out there from Dallas. Yeah, no, I think that's kind of the point is that because he's been better, maybe he plays a little bit more. The transition thing is it's really good because running in transition. You have to be really committed to want to still defend in transition, and that's why I like Portland, because I saw some stuff against Memphis where I'm serious, like two specific plays in the second half where Whiteside stopped running as J.R. was even with them.

[01:26:48]

And then Whiteside stayed to follow Jonas as the trailer. And you're like, how about you just stay with with Josh because he's probably driving.

[01:26:59]

And then there was another play as much we love Lillard where Lillard was even with ya on a drive and he turned like he pointed to Whiteside. This wasn't even Whiteside's fault where he's like You got him and Lillard stopped and you're like What are you guys doing. So I. I love present this observation because I think there's so many buckets in the course of the game. They're waiting for you there. If you want to offense stay locked in trailer play and then everybody knows, like I've seen that over the course of a season where hey they know this guy now is trailing the play.

[01:27:34]

They're going to wait for him where other teams, you know, maybe the beginning of the year, they don't they don't understand each other enough. But Dallas does a I don't know if the numbers are of my head, obviously, but when you're ready to go offense of all time, all time, all regular season.

[01:27:48]

The thing I like about pausing, it's on that team. And you could go either way on it, whether he's the right number to use, want for. But all the shots that he gets are just great shots in that offense. The key, it's rarely like the contested post up or his off balance during the jump hook. It's all like twenty six footer, nobody in front of him or he's posting up five feet from the basket with somebody six inches shorter than him.

[01:28:14]

I just like I like how they've figured out how to use him. And it seemed up in the air before number twenty two for me. Kyle Lowry. So I was thinking about this with him, we've had so many conversations, we're going to keep talking about him, but. He's at a weird point like where Chauncey Billups was in 05 when the Pistons had won the title and then in 05. They're there to have a chance to beat the Spurs, Spurs are pretty banged up at that point.

[01:28:45]

Duncan's, you know, playing on one like. And there was this moment where it's like, man, if Billups is the best player in this game. His entire legacies, like he's going to probably make the Hall of Fame, like we'll be talking about him like for two straight years, this guy was the best player in the playoffs. Like, what do we do with that? Lowry is in a not dissimilar position this year where he has a really good team, I would say.

[01:29:11]

You know, the fourth or fifth best chance to win the title. That team knows who they are. He's the most important guy and he's the most important player they have. And if there's some world where they were all sat there in the finals and they're going toe to toe with whoever, and it's like, wow, Kyle Lowry, what do we do? Like, he's going to the AFAM. Is he if they win two straight titles, looking with the bar of the Hall of Fame is when you started this, I was Spencer Haywood.

[01:29:42]

Spencer Haywood played the Hall of Fame.

[01:29:45]

Yeah, but that should never be the argument. It shouldn't be if I had a radio show.

[01:29:49]

Listen, I go well, Paymer. I was going to be so positive about Lowry, and then you just you punched me right in the face with getting punched in the face, I'm just telling you how it's going to play out if they win the title.

[01:30:03]

You know what? You know what I love about Toronto, among other things, is that, like, can you imagine when we were younger going, oh, they have this?

[01:30:11]

You know, they have Lowri, but then they have this VanVleet guy who ran everything in college, you know, like, well those two guys can't play together, you know, that was kind of the rule and it was, it was pretty accepted up until a few years ago where now if they can try to change it, David was like I think this is going to be amazing.

[01:30:31]

You guys want a small let's think small in Rubio. I've got news for you guys. This worked with Frazier Monroe. It's going to work now.

[01:30:43]

Can we make the logo smaller? I just the fact that he and VanVleet are like interchangeable makes it really scary. So look I don't, I'm not going to be negative Lowry. I was, I almost was Hall of Fame.

[01:30:55]

I'm glad you fought it off. Yeah.

[01:30:57]

Hall of Fame seems a little like I don't know about that. But again everybody gets into the NBA Hall of Fame. You're going to be in it one day and I can't wait to introduce you.

[01:31:07]

Have Koosman at 23. Only because. It's intriguing, it's a good pick. Well, it's intriguing because if he sucks and they end up not making the finals or whatever, everybody, he'll be the fall guy. If what do you think you get for Koosman? I mean, you're not getting Caris Levert. You're not get guys like that, I don't know what you're getting. Josh Richardson. He's only got he's got one more year to small thing anyway, which is that that was pretty good off the top of your head, by the way, he's the third best player in that team.

[01:31:40]

And I would say he is the worst third best player. Of any on any contender. But that's by design, they traded everything for Davis, although the way Lonzo looked in the bubble, the Davis trade is looking better and better or vice versa. I mean, Lonzo looks like he's on his way to Greece. Well, there's no way there's no way he's this bad, first of all, and I was. I was the target of many, many pelican's guys about the gentry thing, but now there's only so much I can say.

[01:32:15]

But I would say, like I'm not. Look, it was awful, but I'm not ready to give up on Lonzo because it was pretty good for for like four months this year. So I'm not I'm not anti Lonzo other than the evidence after the bubble was like, hey, did you know that they voted to come back. Were you, did you not know the rest of the guys voted to come back.

[01:32:36]

And you know really the biggest thing with the pelicans to man and you know, digging around a little bit on this. I I'm making an announcement, all right, I want everyone this should be the breakout video stop freaking out about guys physiques on on photos, on social media. OK, I could look like two different people if I wanted to within the span of 30 seconds. And when Tzion in that picture post is like, man twenty five pounds of muscle impossible.

[01:33:04]

Tzion again 25 pounds of muscle in months. Baim Look at this guy and then you watch the games. You're like he looks out of shape. I love him, I love him. If I'm Zayn I'm like why am I the problem when I'm a dominant player. And but there's something you said years ago that I didn't like and then I had to kind of begrudgingly admit that you were right about it. Where? When you start your NBA life as a loser, it's a fucking problem and that's something you shouldn't you shouldn't accept.

[01:33:36]

There's nothing like a guy that never thinks he's going to lose. I'm serious. Like, I'm not trying to do softball stats, but when you never think you're going to lose a game, that's such an amazing like mentality to have. And you brought it up with the Sixers you like, I think this might be like a long term thing where your foundation is set with, hey, we're going to lose a million games. No one cares. No one's accountable, not a big deal.

[01:33:57]

And you don't have to play. That's a problem. And with Tzion, whoever gets that gig has to say to him, you could be maybe the best player in the league, but we need you to get in a little earlier. We need you to stay a little bit later. And yes, they baby due for good reason, but eventually you got to play. And that's the thing about the pelicans, that it scares me a little bit as much as I love watching that kid play basketball.

[01:34:22]

Coach Mike D'Antoni. That be the best, but Alonzo, pretty weird because. You know, normally you don't get to coach out without another year on the deal, so, I mean, I'm going to defer to you on this one. I think you know pretty well he's out, right? Who, D'Antoni? I would guess it depends on how they do. But I wouldn't say it's like round three, would I bet on him being there next year?

[01:34:52]

Yes, no, no, I bet on him not being there next year. But I don't know.

[01:34:56]

I selfishly kind of want to see what Harden would be like with another coach where in the first time out of game one more Harden goes. Actually, I. I just bring the ball up and shoot every single time, so we're going to have to deal here, maybe, though, maybe they'll just make him the coach taking a break.

[01:35:14]

Then we're finishing up one more break to talk about Buffalo Wild Wings playoff basketball. It's finally here. Catch all the postseason action with Buffalo Wild Wings. Maybe there's no fans in the crowd. That doesn't mean the real fans aren't at home cheering louder than ever from the edge of their seat. And they can get that sports bar feeling with wings from B dubs get bonus traditional wings in over twenty four of your favorite sauces and seasonings. Parmesan, garlic, honey, barbecue, mango, habanero.

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[01:36:08]

Knoff out with any other offer.

[01:36:11]

All right.

[01:36:12]

I have two more guys in my top twenty five. I'm going to recap it though for you Giannis LeBron Kawhi Dame Hard at Butler Davis Tatum Embiid Luka Paul George Yokich Mitchell Kemba SJ CP three Duncan Robinson Nick Westbrook Porter Junior posing as Lowry Kuzma number twenty four on my list playing his last last two weeks for the Brooklyn Nets Caris Levert. So he's I mean, yeah, he's still alive. I think is the first really talented guy, if you were healthier, he would have gone higher in the draft when he missed that shot against Portland.

[01:36:45]

I was not surprised. Oh, no. Who where does he where is he playing next year? Uh. I don't know, I don't have the cap space charts up in front of me, so. You're the Brooklyn GM, you have Durant. You've Chiri, you're stuck with Diondre, you're overpaying Joe to keep them. You still have Dinwiddie that you probably try to trade in this summer. And you have to either trade Dinwiddie or put him with LaVert for a two for one for somebody.

[01:37:23]

What are you trying to get back for. LaVert trying to get back a shooter who can space things for Durant. Kyrie who doesn't necessarily need the ball, correct. Yeah. I mean that was a big thing with Joe Harris and even Sean. Mark said hey he's he's the number one guy we have to worry about. Like Sean, like Joe Joerres is one of those guys where you go, how much you have to pay this dude. But yet everybody's trying to pay that guy everyone.

[01:37:44]

And the great thing about Joe is you can put it on the floor a little bit. And, you know, I'm not saying he's like, you know, you're running your stuff through him.

[01:37:52]

This this league's about scoring, so I wouldn't be in a hurry to get rid of Carus because I think he's so good off the dribble, he needs the ball too much so he can't play the ring.

[01:38:04]

Brooklyn's had a really weird.

[01:38:06]

Can you imagine this run of D'Angelo Russell massive Usagi Dinwiddie as soon as he gets out of there. I'm right they've had and then Carus they've had three guys that are pretty good. Yeah but but it's such an element of we like everything is them, it's, it's up to them. So like I think all of us like Caris Levert but if he's your best player you have a problem which is you know I can't wait to see where he goes.

[01:38:33]

Twenty fifth and last on my list. Eric Bledsoe just because he was the guy last year over Middleton. Well, I think Middleton's more of a fixed I know what I'm getting with him, I don't know what I'm getting from, but some of these playoffs have no idea. Is he going to stink like he did last year? He's going to be better. Is he healthy? I don't know. Can they win the title if they're not getting a in at least a B plus from Eric Bledsoe?

[01:39:01]

No, I don't I don't think they can. Like, they need some big Bledsoe games. That's how I feel. That's why I'm twenty fifth like Middleton's twenty. If you just you just write it down, but you ask yourself, OK, where are these twenty coming. Are they are they coming at the end of quarter one through the beginning of quarter four.

[01:39:20]

He does, he does that thing where he has six points but then he makes sunny scores, ten straight points and he's got sixteen. Yeah, it's one of those guys would say, man, where's Middleton? And then it's like Middleton. That's sixteen for him. It's like Jesus. He's like three straight threes. What happened?

[01:39:36]

My dad turned seventy five this week and he's still convinced he could get like twelve points in a game.

[01:39:42]

And he's not lying like he's not he's not being funny about it, I'll be like that. Come on. Here's the honorable mention, guys, that make twenty five TJ Warren. There's a puncher's puncher's chance that he goes toe to toe with Miami for two weeks. I personally think he just got hot in the bubble for a couple of weeks. I don't think that's I don't think it's sustainable. You have to learn, by the way, for the bubble.

[01:40:06]

Now, you had to be in the bubble.

[01:40:08]

I was mad. I checked. I was like, I've watched every game. But you call somebody to complain. I tried to find out what happened. I don't know. I was a consultant.

[01:40:20]

I could really I thought it was a joke.

[01:40:21]

When I read about it, I was like, wait, they actually had like a bubble of first and second team. Honorable mention. Most intriguing. Brett Brown could be our favorite. I mean, Brett Brown might not be the Sixers coach in like eight days. Eight points would be bad. Yeah, Gordon Hayward. For reasons we discussed earlier, Bam Adebayo. Rudy Gobert is a good one. Very good. Who with Conley out? Do you think he had the conversation with the coach yet?

[01:40:54]

Like, Hey man, if you need me to post that more, I've been really working on it. I've got it really working my. I only lose the ball half the time.

[01:41:03]

Russell Westbrook for obvious reasons for sure. Yeah, I'm sorry. Well, he's hurt. He also got hurt by not being on my list. Covington put on their fat, always just fascinated by how the rockets use him. And then and then Tibo had to put them on. If was just so people understand that are listening below for whatever reason was zero, prompting and wanting to make any sense would be a Tuesday morning in Texas and I go in.

[01:41:33]

I love with these diable. And what happened to. He dies, not untrue. You know, it's not untrue. All right, round one gambling stuff, Buck's Magic Raptor's that's the odds are too high. But the other six underdogs, Sixers plus three, 30. Pacers plus 250, Blazers plus three fifty Mavs plus four thirty jazz, plus two thirty, OKC plus one thirty. I'm not letting you pick. OKC is the best underdog bet if you had to go those other five Sixers, Pacers, Blazers, Mavs jazz make the case for probably Sixers Sixers because I just, I can't get out of my head watching it on the baseline upclose going.

[01:42:15]

This is horrifying with Embiid and you know the Simmons thing may actually I'd rather them have Ben Simmons. If they had Ben Simmons I would pick him. First of all straight up I would pick them to win. But there's still a part of me that can't get over that whole thing. OKC is not a fair pick. The Blazers number is wrong.

[01:42:34]

It's just yeah it's, it's too late. It's too, it's too momentum ish, which means, you know, whatever do whatever you want to on the other side.

[01:42:43]

So I would go with Philly. There's a parlay right now, if you if you do, the Lakers parlayed with the Clippers, parlayed with the Miami Heat, all three to win their series. It's basically even money. Is that what you're doing? I'm looking at it for some reason, I'm scared of the maps and I can't explain it, I've watched as I watched the Clippers kill them this year.

[01:43:07]

Something worries me about the Clippers heading into this round one. I don't like that they're not their full team yet. And I think the Mavs got a lot of good bubble time in and they kind of know who they are and they're going to just fire up threes. And look, I'm not saying I'm not saying watch out. The Mavs are going to win this series. But when I think about parlays like that and you just kind of had that gut feeling of which team kind of scares me, I'm not scared of the Pacers and I'm not scared of the Blazers, but I'm like a wee bit scared of the Mavs.

[01:43:37]

I don't like betting against somebody who's awesome, like Loukia. Like, it sucks when you have a bet and there's somebody in the other team and they're just killing you. So I think that the in terms of just odds that are screwed up, I think that Sixers line is just too high. I don't understand it. The Celtics being minus for 20 when there's no home court advantage makes no sense to me. It'd be one thing if was like game sevens in Boston, but it's not it's everyone's playing in the same location every time.

[01:44:06]

And the times of the games are weird, too, you know, like they're playing three thirty Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week. I'm just prepared for weird shit.

[01:44:15]

I was I was a. weird shit for a while because I was like, why are you going to just assume that the lesser teams are going to be better? Because the circumstances are different, like no one's traveling. So no one should be tired.

[01:44:26]

Although, yeah, the the end of the year injury assessment with so many of these guys, it's so annoying, like, oh, hey, by the way.

[01:44:36]

Grine.

[01:44:37]

You know, like, all right, cool, like, you know, because I don't know and I'm not dismissing it, but I don't know because guys can be hurt, but it's like, are you so hurt that you were a different guy or did you like if you got 30 a game and you're telling me your knee was a little twitchy?

[01:44:53]

I don't I don't know what to do with that. Like, I'm supposed to give you more credit. Am I supposed to say that you were supposed to win the series and this stuff happens all the time with these guys. So.

[01:45:02]

So you think Hazony is hurt? He's he's he hasn't been right since.

[01:45:10]

That's the other part.

[01:45:10]

When I go through the season series, you go, OK, this team beat this team three to four times like I was the last time they played a year ago, January 30th.

[01:45:18]

So. So what am I supposed to do with that?

[01:45:21]

Yeah, it's tough when they start going backwards with stuff that happened earlier in the year and it's eight, nine months away when some of the teams are different with different guys are playing, you know, like the Blazers are a good example, where how do you use any stats or the Blazers when Nurkic wasn't on there and he's their third most still bad on defense even with him. But like it was a great example because you know they played a bunch of these games without their backcourt and Gary Harris going to miss the first game.

[01:45:47]

And then sometimes when I watch him I will. Barton's going to miss the first game too. So you go, you know.

[01:45:53]

Wait a minute. What's going on here, but sometimes when I watch Gary Harris on offense, maybe that's not a bad thing. Maybe that's more shots. Reporter. He was terrible this year. And I remember we must have talked about this last summer. We're talking about Chris Paul Destination's and I thought Denver was the was the team and they had enough salaries to put in. And I just felt like, you know, you think about him as the instant leader on this team.

[01:46:22]

And maybe the Yokich thing is a tiny bit weird. I don't know.

[01:46:25]

But I think it's weird. I think it's weird to put Paul with the obituary on Steve, but I'd rather have.

[01:46:31]

Like, if they're giving Chris Paul away and it's I could figure it out for Gary Harris and a couple more pieces, I'm just doing it, figuring out later. Do you think Chris Paul is on OKC a year from now? He's got one more year, right, at over 40 million. Yeah. And we don't know what's happened with the cap, everything that I've heard about him was they actually told him, hey, we're going to let you relax.

[01:46:59]

You know, don't go to crazy 44 million next year. 44 40. He's forty 44 million next year.

[01:47:07]

Jesus, I really you know, look, I put my Chris Paul hoodie on, but Billy Donovan, like, from what I was told, was kind of like, hey, you know, we're going to we're going to make sure you're OK. We're going to you know, we want to bring you along slowly. We want to spare you the grind of all this stuff. And Paul was like, no, no, I'm going like, fuck this.

[01:47:31]

Let's go. And they were like, oh, my God. And. No, I, I, I just think there's something about having a point guard where you trust his instincts so much that they may not want to get rid of him.

[01:47:47]

You know, and remember, he took less money to get out of L.A. in the first place, to go to Houston and then harden and want to play with them anymore.

[01:47:55]

And I don't think Paul loved playing with Harden. Obviously, he's not there anymore. But I like that's the most fun series.

[01:48:03]

I mean, at the moment on round one subplots. You know that Embiid. What's he going to do, I think is one of the big questions, OK, Seavers, Houston is just such a good series and I have no idea how it's going to play out. And I'm probably going to try to avoid betting on it because there's just too many weird factors going dame versus the Lakers will be really fun. And then that Denver, Utah one, I just think that's like throwing shit against the wall.

[01:48:34]

Anyone who's like, here's my hardcore pity, the Denver, Utah. I think you're crazy. I don't know what's going to happen in that series.

[01:48:40]

It would be pretty disappointing if Denver lost that series.

[01:48:44]

It would be. But I can't say I trust them. Do you? I have trust issues in general, Bill. Yeah, I know that's fair, that I don't team I would be most disappointed in and round one if they had a stink bomb is, I think, Miami just because I really bought into them over the last couple of weeks and even like your earlier that I really do think that that team's dangerous. What a Philly.

[01:49:08]

Boston where you're going to be. If Philly beats Boston, it will be because. Kambah. Was completely compromised. That's why that's why they will lose that series if it happens. It would be because Kemba is playing on one leg or he wringers, is there some sort of thing? I think if, if he's relatively healthy, even if Embiid is putting up like thirty eight and fifteen every game, I still don't think, I still think Boston is just a better team.

[01:49:41]

Yeah, I trust I trust them more. I just they certainly have better coach. Yes. Well, I'm looking forward to it, so you have when's your next part? You got Mike Vick this week, Seth Curry this week. Looks like Todd McShay as well, who did his first round mock draft that he hates doing more than anything. It's the most read deal. So we have a really good week. I want to leave you with this stat, though, because as we were doing this part, I was watching the Yankees and Red Sox, which would have years and years ago dictated my entire day, my entire day would have revolved around first pitch Yankee Sox, Sunday night baseball.

[01:50:18]

From 1999 to 2001, Pedro Martinez, who is the best pitcher to ever throw a baseball in the history of the sport. No argument here. He really is I actually think Pedros underrated. I want to do a full blown shirts off Pedro podcast's to be like you, like you don't people don't understand how insane you are. I need like 10 minutes just to refresh in my head some of the numbers, but I'd be ready. I could be ready to go in 10 minutes.

[01:50:45]

His era differential, one of those years where he's like two runs lower than the guy who's second. And, you know, look, there's going to be an asshole. Listen to this. Just say out loud in front of your kids, hey, I'm an asshole. I resisted Rasselas Pedro, you know, proclamation because Pedro, I wouldn't mind if he was on currency. That's how I feel about Pedro Martinez.

[01:51:05]

So anyway, Friday Stadium, one hitter, 17 case against the baseball team of the last 30 years. Chile Davis guest fastball got out in front, turned on a changeup. The only hit and I was bartending that night with a Yankees fan who was the owner. And one of my favorite part, I think it was Yankee hat giveaway day. And there were people in the bleachers losing their minds after every strikeout. Pedro was just. There's no one.

[01:51:32]

There's no one. I know that. All right.

[01:51:34]

Here we go. Like, all right, stop talking about that. No, because I sidetracked. You know, I just I want to I want to write Pedro a letter cursive. Not typed. In those three years, he gave up one hundred and twenty two earned runs, the Red Sox going into tonight's game against the Yankees, have given up one hundred and twenty four earned runs. Wow.

[01:51:58]

That's in like 18 games. Oh, my God. Pedro gave up less runs in three years, and, yes, I understand he's not pitching every single day, but I like that the Red Sox owners at least finally admitted that they fully intended to take a shit.

[01:52:17]

This is. It's so bad, it's so bad, it's like the video game that's not allowed to use the players names and I really I really love baseball so much and. For the first couple of weeks, I was like, all right, socks are on it for. And I go, why am I why am I doing this to myself and I still throw it on the second TV? It's a second TV assignment at this point.

[01:52:44]

So I would be watching more of Devers wasn't a corpse. I don't know what happened to him this year, but. Yeah, but here's my favorite remaining Red Sox player.

[01:52:52]

But you throw over Bogarts. Yeah, I just I like to watch it. Devers hit until this year, but the pitching staff was so with such an affront. Such an affront to the fan base, to the people who, you know, until they decided we couldn't have games, but people are going to play a full season ticket, hardcore prices for the ride, whatever.

[01:53:16]

And this kind of shit, it's like and then they're like, well, you know, we got some bad luck with saying it's like, yeah, it's bad luck because you gave the guy a giant extension and he couldn't get through a season thick. You had bad luck with it. He Iran it bad luck he had covid sales. That bad luck sale is bad management. Yes, sales not prepping, and I look, I trust me, I've heard it where you go, hey, this wasn't the plan, OK?

[01:53:42]

But what was the plan? It's the worst rotation of our lifetime for the third highest payroll, I think, in the league. And guess what they're going to do? They're going to get so mad ownership. And if you if you put it into two categories, like these owners are going to come in, they're going to say Fenway make it a historical monument, they're going to win four titles, and that's how your 20 years are going to go.

[01:53:59]

All of us would have signed up for that. So let's be fair to them. I want to sign up for the one title, you know, back then.

[01:54:05]

Are you kidding? I just wanted one. That's all I wanted was one. And then ironically, once they got one, I was I was a little bit more over it because I was doing it every single day.

[01:54:12]

But I. I just you know, what's going to happen there, they're going to spend so much money on some B minus guy to really see what that they are. They are they did it before they did something with Lacky. Just the red stuff should be a team that's like buying the Mookie Betts type look of Mookie. Didn't want to stay, didn't want to stay. OK, fine. The whole deal. But watching Mookie every night here in L.A. smash the hell out of the baseball and then watching a guy from my intermural B league pitch is been a no one cares about us, but it's not been fun.

[01:54:50]

It's a little taste for what it's like when things don't go well for your sports team. I would say the Boston Fed, Boston could just definitely do. We definitely do. One last thing before we go. Last week, we talked about Luca's passing and harden, and we had, I thought, a pretty intelligent nine minute conversation about the whole thing. One tiny excerpt was pulled out of it. Was put on Twitter, made it seem like I said James Harden only got cheap assists, even though we said over and over again that he was one of the best passers in the league, super creative, all that stuff.

[01:55:24]

And, you know, yet again, it's one of those things where. I don't know if this is just where we are with sports media in twenty twenty, where people take the tiny excerpt to take it out of context, they don't put the time in to listen the whole segment, but then to hear it regurgitated. I don't know what's happening because I'm not on Twitter. But then I think some some blogger wrote a news thing about it.

[01:55:48]

And then what really happens once somebody does something like, what is this? Yeah, it's like this is a thing that people people thought this is blah, blah, blah. And I was like, all right, well, so here's the thing. We're going to shoot the shit. Sometimes we go for two hours and if people pull the stuff out of context and they don't want to listen to the whole thing, then that's on them. I think Luke is the best passer in the league.

[01:56:13]

I've lots of evidence for this, including the fact that he's averaging almost nine assists. The game is twenty one is incredibly creative. And the way his teammates react to him, which is the whole point of what we're talking about, like this is something hard. And it took him eight, nine, ten years to get to a similar point. Loukas Louka came into the league almost fully formed of that thing. And if we can have an intelligent conversation about that, then that really shakes my faith into it to where we're going with sports coverage.

[01:56:43]

And then to have, you know, at least one announcer I won't name because I like just read the headline of it and then regurgitate it. Like I said, Harden only gets cheap assists because that's how the shit works. It's like, all right. Well, you know, I just hope that most people actually heard it, know that this is the wrong way for shit to go down. I'm just glad when we were prepping for this part and you said I think Joe Harris is the number one scorer in the league, I was like, let's not do that.

[01:57:11]

I mean, look, this fucking unbelievable. How is this a compliment?

[01:57:22]

We complimented Harden the whole time. I don't I have nothing to add to it. I was so mad when I heard the announcer say what she said. So but whatever.

[01:57:30]

There you go. Anything else? Anything else you want to hit? Went to a USC guy's house last night to watch UFC fight, that was interesting. You know, if I'm not I don't know if I'm allowed to say where I was. Cormier could have been in better shape. Yeah, but you could say that about Cormie every single time he looked, especially Gertha, steep, steep, looked tight. I started back the I just sort of like in my own head, I was like, huh, 230.

[01:58:03]

Still look pretty good. All right. We'll be back next Sunday, the last game on Sunday. Nuggets, jazz. That goes until eight thirty, we probably will go a little earlier on Sunday, but we have a lot to talk about. All right, thanks to Spotify, thanks to Fandor. Don't forget about the ultimate hoops ringer contest. You can join you could do it any day. You're feeling it with daily fantasy. Join if you win the day you advance to the finals.

[01:58:31]

Big prize at stake thanks to Home Depot at the Home Depot. Decorating your home is now easier than ever before. They are for free delivery and select items. Forty five dollars or more. And now for a limited time, you get 10 percent off the stores you love when you use code. Bill Simmons 10 at checkout, valid on select items only online, but exactly what you're looking for and more at Home Depot dot com slash decor. OK, that's said.

[01:58:54]

Two more podcasts here coming up this week. And then rewash rebels. We have to come in, including I'm so excited for the NBA playoffs starting this week. I had to do an awesome movie. They're doing Caddyshack. That's coming Monday night. Forty year anniversary, long overdue. Stay tuned for that, Ghostface.