Playoff Round 2 Check-in, Plus an Early Look at the Centers in the NBA Draft | The Corner 3


Welcome to the ring podcast network in the past month. We saw the return of some of TV's best shows. So he wanted to remind you about a recap Ables feed where our staff breaks down current episodes from your favorites like game of thrones killing eve and billions also make sure to check in each week to hear special one off recaps on shows like the bowl type, very Cavalieri, Cobra KAI and more. So as you keep up with your top shows tune into the recap Ables feed each week on apple Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Welcome to the NBA show. This the corner three my name's Kevin O'Connor at back Adrian you're studios in Los Angeles. It's ring associate editor, Danny Chow. I'm here. Still this calling from Dallas, Texas. It's finger staff either Jonathan sharks what's up guys. Messiah talk a second round of the playoffs. Hell, yeah. Made it it's been good so far recording this at twelve fourteen pm eastern standard time last night or this morning. A new podcast went into your feed from Jong. It's Alison halio Shaughnessy, which was an instant reaction to last night's warriors win over the rockets. So we're going to get started with Eastern Conference playoffs before heading over to the west. And then talking a little bit about the NBA draft at the end last night. The bucks beat the Celtics one twenty three to one zero two to tie the series one to one before the series of turns the boss on Friday for game three bucks. We're up three Midways with a third quarter up thirty seventy four to seventy one before unleashing a twenty nine to two run to win the game Jaanus had twenty nine points Middleton. Head Twenty-eight Bledsoe had twenty one and played excellent defense, which was one of the big reasons. Milwaukee had such a dominant performance charge on Monday and Tuesday. They talked about how they're not gonna make any changes to their scheme. But you wrote on the ringer dot com about how they should switch more. And that's exactly what they did. When usually they have their big man dropping in the paint. But instead they start mixing up their coverages with drops and hedges and peel back some Switzers, and that seemed to fluster the Celtics sharks it that was definitely a nice adjustment. My button holder s to say nothing and actually do it. That was good. I mean. Galaxy brain level adjustments to say, oh, we're not gonna do anything. We're not gonna cause his whole history in the past have been like a stick with his plan. No matter what. But now he realizes nice got Yonathan his team and the one a championship can messing around. What a jumped out to me in this. He only played brook Lopez twenty four minutes in those twenty four minutes Lopez's, minus twelve and he'll walk you one by twenty one points. Just shows you like this lower big man a series like this is just really hard to stay on the keep on the floor. We'll talk about that. So they made the change and it was affected. Why was it? So affective why I think they're just cutting off like driving lanes like if they're they're playing more mobile bigs. I mean, there was a couple of times Jaanus jumped out on Kyrie. It's like, oh, it's a whole different ballgame when you're like as opposed to like driving at brook Lopez with space, and then then instead, you got Janas to three point line like the floor is so different. Like, your defense is more versatile, you can rotate quicker and mean just more ways to move around. So I think it was. Crazy. So in this series when Lopez on the floor kyri is plus twenty one point nine and four nine minutes when Lopez off kyri is minus twenty nine twenty three minutes. Obviously, it's a very small sample size by think that's a real thing. Right there. Right. And when we're looking at this game, and we're looking at the adjustments that the bucks made, I think Kyrie obviously having you know, one of the worst games of his career as a Celtic of really stands out because you know, the the bucks really kind of teed in on him and threw a lot of bodies at him. A lot of longer bigger players forcing him left. It was pretty much everything went according to plan for for the bucks. Speaking of kyri, first of all he had horrible overall game poor defense inaccurate passes. And then scoring the ball. I thought he'd been a lot of settling. There's there's one player that comes to mind in the third quarter. When Milwaukee was middle of run where they did switch a screen, and Kyrie Irving had Ersan Ilyasova on him one on one, and you would think that is. Complete vantage for Boston. Normally it should be. And yet what he did was he drove into maybe twelve fifteen feet from the rim and took a fadeaway step back jumper with Ilyasova and brook Lopez on him when he could have easily kicked out to Erin Baynes or Gordon Hayward, and that could have swung the ball around for an open three pointer. I thought Milwaukee switching scheme may put more pressure on Boston Boston also do themselves any favors of the amount of settling that they did will sling it back to Aaron Baynes viable, asking me. Sway swing? Their in. Bays. Went on healthy. But swing one more to to Gordon Hayward could or needed series more drive and kick opportunities as well. You're seeing the value Horford when horford's animal horford's out bosses Hoy different team. I want to hunt admits he can play in this series like thirty five forty forty two minutes plan in the series. Yeah. Horford obviously is critical to a Boston does even if he's not necessarily getting a touch the spacing. He provides is critical. One of the things you mentioned in your article Charkes was using Janos more often at the five didn't really do that a whole lot more in game two compare to game one and game on the bucks. Janas? Played eighteen minutes with Lopez seventeen minutes without him. And then in game two was sixteen minutes with Lopez sixteen minutes without him with the eyes of the five of that had mixed results. I thought the switching overall was a positive, but there were a couple of times in the first half where with those switches they could post a larger player on a smaller player. I think for the most part, though, if you're. Looking towards game three Boston just needs to do something different than they've done all season. Like a walkie all season, they dropped their picking role coverages, and they abandoned that for the most part in game two by mixing it up. They went away from what they know. And with Boston all season long. They have shown a complete willingness to settle for mid-range jumpers. Instead of forcing it inside trying to get to the to the line trying to get layups or kicking out more from threes instead of taking mid-range jumpers because as many threes is Boston takes they can do more. They can still take more threes with that Irving shot that I mentioned earlier being a prime example. I think Danny heading into game three that's one of the things Boston will have to do in order to help themselves against Milwaukee's different scheme. Yeah. And I I've been thinking about the early minutes of the game where a mere Tich was was playing at the three and he kinda got roasted to start off killed. He got killed. And by the end of the game. We're looking at you know. Tich and Ilyasova both plus twenty one twenty two in the game. How much longer can they sustain that against? You know, the Celtics is, you know. Lineup of of. Multifaceted wings. I'm not sure isn't that the weird part. I thought Boston came out of the gates ready to attack meritous. They went at him every single possession. Got him at the foul. Trouble mmediately in no way. That's almost turned out to be a blessing for Milwaukee that merited dig at the foul trouble. Because anytime he was back Boston. And it seemed to continue attacking him sorta like they forgot about their game plan heading in right? The two guys I'm watching the series. I mean one Middleton we talked about earlier and like the way Middleton plays is kind of the way Boston's wing should be playing like Middleton attacks three point line. He's just waiting fifth drop spe foot off them as pulling up to pull up threes. And that's just so valuable especially against the team. When you have honest inside like Boston's wings really should be doing more of that. And of pulling eighteen feet pulling up for three and would open up so much of their offense. And the guy I think for Boston. I'm wa is Gordon Hayward. Should he be starting like it might be time to start playing big minutes because he's the guy can really attack some lays lesser. Milwaukee defenders when Marcus Morris Hayward had a horrible game though. I think with Hayward he's he was up towards the end of the season. He had some ups against Indiana in game one was fine. But in game two he looked back to being his passive timid selfs on drives he had he had one play that. I remember where Chris Webber on the call was like Gordon Hayward and pick an all always special and then earth on Ilyasova took charge or where it was like so clear. That's what was about the happen Ilyasova lead the NBA and charges taken the season. He has proven to be a solid positional defender within the bucks scheme, but Hayward did not seem prepared for that. I thought Hayward had a passive game. And it looked more like he did far too often the season, but to your point sharks. I think with Boston shot selection. Hayward in Tatum specifically or the two guys who do a lot of settling. When theoretically they are players that should be able to get to the bucket more their players that can pull up from three and said amid range and both those guys have been very inefficient. In those isolation's this year, which they're going to probably have a lot of moving forward in the series. If a walkie continues doing switching and with Tatum like you or someone prior to the draft didn't love him. I'm someone who did love him. But what we've seen the series against Milwaukee are the flaws that you were extremely worried about and rightfully so so far in the playoffs. Tatum shooting one of six on layups from isolation's three of nine for mid range in only oh of three from three. And it's not as much the one for six laps. And I'm worried about it's the shot distribution the lack of threes lack of ability to get to the basket that is concerning for him in the series. Yeah. I mean, I think for sure those two wings Hayward and Tatum, and what are small Justin and the walkie made in game one. They had a lot of Pat cannot an unclaimed Hayward Hayward's five or six inside him and the series and game two. They played more Middleton on 'em hebert's over four against Middleton. And I think if you start Hayward it's easier to find easier ups for him. Whereas if he's a second unit guy. Milwaukee can put their best defender on them. If you're starting Hayward instead of Morris, there's really nowhere to hide it like miratec or any whoever the bad defender from the walkie is. I think that's the watch too is does Malcolm Brogdon combat because he could be a huge huge. Plus from a walkie in this. If he comes back and game three brogden as somebody who would also better enable Milwaukee to play. However, they wanna play in terms of their lineup. So they wanna put you on the five I think brogden makes quite a bit easier for you to do that. Yeah. With the size with the secondary playmaking ability. I one thing that I'm I'm worried about is. Okay. What does this bucks team? Look like in game three when and if Chris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe don't have incredible games. And when the bucks don't end up, you know, setting a franchise record for threes. Made in the postseason like how much can affect you know, the game when his outside shooters aren't quite there is it just me or can Jaanus do even more if he needs to right? I mean, like Middleton Bledsoe were great and game two. But I think Janas there's still more to him that he can give in the series that he hasn't had to give especially if they have to run more pick and roll where they ran a little bit more than than in game one. But if you're using Janos either as the ball handler, or is a screener the things that he can do a roll, man. Either scoring the ball with power or fairness or being able to play make off the short roll. I think if the bucks need. More from us. They can get more for beyond us. Why think that's or having a brogden be used because if brogden is coming off that screen you got to worry about the pull up shot. Whereas if it's coming off the screen, then whatever. And I mean, I talk about my article Jaswant play three two minutes a game in the series right now like Janas should be playing forty forty five ever different to blowouts, but that's how he can give more right there like this meetings. You plan on the floor all the time just too valuable to ever be on the bench the game one or two change. Either thoughts about the series moving forward or or is this going to continue to be a series of adjustments. Where now we see Brad Stevens counterpunch in game three. I think so I think you'll see so they moved off Lopez. And I think now we'll see can they attack miratec Ilyasova. Can they find those new weak spots from a walkie? I think Bassey judgment for Boston going forward game three for Boston. Milwaukee will be on Friday night. I'll be at that base in Boston for the next couple of weeks or months looking forward to that one moving on. We got the Sixers raptors game three on Thursday nights, Terrell. Lonzo loss game two after Philadelphia, man. A number of different adjustments pudding. Joel Embiid on PASCAL Siachen. Ben Simmons on Kawhi Leonard. Danny your after his loss game too. Are you losing hope for them the series? Oh, no. I think the adjustments. They made are I think that your judgments that Philly made in game two were very sound. I think obviously you needed to have Simmons on Kauai quiz. Arguably what one of the two three hottest players in the postseason right now, you need a guy who has the length who has the F Azeem and the size to kind of make life difficult for him. I thought the the most intriguing. Like adjustment that the Sixers made was putting him beat on Siaka. It kind of reminded me of what the the entire MBA was trying to do with Janas during the regular season towards the end of it by putting a bigger athletic big man on Janas to kind of close a little bit of the gaps in and and squeeze out a little bit of the air in terms of what they were able to do out in space. But no, I think I think Nick nurse has some adjustments up his sleeve, and I think Charkes would very happily talk about them. Yeah. I feel like he does a really good job of adjusting quickly. He tried to few things in the star of the second half. They went away from late, but I like putting Siaka on Jimmy Butler giving even more size on Jimmy Jimmy's kind of their primary creator right now with Simmons being shut down a bit. And then you cut it is hide greed until bias. I think with them beat with Embiid on Siachen. You gotta move Siachen off the ball have cutting NBA went chase him around the floor at all. And I think back is very exploitable. The thing that I'm looking into series like Toronto's benches disappeared really neither one of these teams benches. Well, and it feels like whoever get good good stuff from their sixth seventh eighth mankind of a huge advantage going forward. I mean, even in game two Greg Monroe is the star off the bench Sixers until he's playing well, and he played for the three other team in the Eastern Conference final news conference right now you played for Toronto played for Milwaukee. How that's right. It's unbelievable. And he got hurt in that game. I haven't seen any word on his availability for game through it. It's kinda matters right now. It does matter which is saying a lot about both the benches for both of these teams in this with Toronto that was one of their strengths. Thanks before. They are team. The now has a week bench surgery. Baca the mid range shot was so great for him all season long at his failed him. Norman Powell is fine Jodie Meeks. It's very odd. How he gets that minute long stint at the end of the the first and third quarters. I do wonder if moving forward in the series, you mentioned the role of PASCAL Siaka him Nick nurse has still gone with that Ceac plus bench players unit for short stints during the game. I wonder if moving forward more than he already has he further ramps up the minutes for Danny green and Markelle soul to get a little bit closer to the forty minutes that Ceac I'm Kawai, and Kyle Lowry all playing could be too early for that we know with souls age in in green as well all of the miles on him. But I do wonder if moving forward with these week benches that something that just he's is has to do. I mean, it was also just a a rock. Fight in in games who neither team could hit their threes. I think I trust the raptors to hit their threes. A little bit more than the Sixers. But yeah, like when you're you're shooting twenty seven percent, and you know, Brett Brown was talking before game to you about how you know, the the rafters have been the hottest three point shooting team in the league, those probably jinxed right there. I it's it's something to to look at. I think that's something where regression might might favor the raptors. But I I don't know if you play Marcus more, do you see a way in which she can be, you know, an aggressor because I think with Tobias on him. He was what he averaged. He took like one shot with Tobias on them. Yeah. He took six shots. Total was one for six. Yeah. It was only the one shot with Tobias. I think but there are a couple of other times they posted him up. As a means for playmaking as well. It was interesting. They were they did try to attack that match up a little bit. But then it resulted in any production for Toronto. You know, what I wonder so vanfleet is one for four and like forty five minutes in this series. We might see some Jeremy Lin. Yeah. I mean, there's room for him to hide him on defense Philly, and he might give them some secondary playmaking shooting and they'd just relive or. So Malcolm Miller, Danny? Ooh, malcolm. Our our talking quarter three language. Has speaking of these injuries that we don't really have like any kind of information on do have any thoughts on on OG and his comeback because I think it was said Eastern Conference finals, right? Okay. There's like an emergency appendectomy. So it's like two or three week. I don't know arms. OG report yesterday. Yep. Not close to return. That's not good mimic mirrors long long ways away is what Nick nurse said yesterday, speaking through the athletic dot com, and that obviously would have given Toronto another versatile offender who can hit spot up threes for you at an average rate which OG is is a good player right now what it make a significant impact from the series. But having a guy with his defensive versatility, would I guess a team like this with Tobias Harris would Jimmy Butler could even put him on jayjay Radic at times to both. These benches are depleted, but so top heavy series. I do wonder what Toronto one of my concerns for them. Whether it gets Philly are moving forward and these currents finals. All season long. This offense has been so inconsistent. Danny wh what is the reason for their their ups and downs that you seen? I mean, it it's a lot of. It's just when you when you rely on Koa Leonard, and you're relying on a player who you know, doesn't have the elite playmaking inks instincts. You're fronting off of him. And it's it's a lot of him. It's a lot of Ceac him. And it's a lot of kind of Kyle Lowry doing their own thing for for stretches. I would say Larry's our best passer. I think one thing they could do is really try to attack us him to attack him beat and Rettig. And I think you'll see to all these series. I was gonna get deep in the second round. The benches are going to shorten the star is gonna play more minutes, and when she more hunting mismatches like if you've got a week defender out there attack them every single time. That's what's come to an all these series game three for Sixers. Raptors will be on Thursday night. I think one thing that might be a little overlooked in the series as the crowd Philly. That'll be nuts. Like it was. Toronto both to great home court advantages would not surprise me if that's heading back to two when it gets back to Toronto Philadelphia did figure out some good things. It's going to be interesting to see what type of counter adjustments neck nurse makes let's move on to the Western Conference. The warriors won one fifteen to one oh nine to go up to go on the Houston Rockets as I said at the top of the show, John solace and halio Shaughnessy had instant reaction show that should be in your feed that went up either late last night or early this morning Charkes this game to me felt sort of like a repeat of game. One minus all the complaining about the referees with Houston coming in with a good game play. They are fully prepared for Golden State. It's what they've built for. They just don't have enough juice. Yeah. I think the one changed really was Austin rivers coming back. He missed game one. And that you will like. Rivers rivers hive almost until I. Like, you really see the value of having more guys who can create offense against Golden State because Golden State is playing so many more faster wings against harden. He has less space to operate. He needs. Help rivers was big. I think going back into game three our guide. Daniel house has to step up. Daniel house. I'm laughing about the fact that a serious involving dream on green. Kevin Durant, Steph curry Klay Thompson, James harden. Chris Paul, we're like Austin rivers and Daniel house every discuss it's so great. I know you're right. It's like, you're wrong. I mean, it's like what more is there to be said about the key players in the series. It's the guys on the fringes who make a big difference. So like, you're right. It's just funny. Just gonna kick out of it with so many so many of these stars kind of getting dinged up though. Like, I mean, Katie Feleknas tailbone Steph like had a finger come like out of its socket fell off. Yeah. It basically fell off that was. I got fell out of it socket. Yeah. Dream on his fingernail sharpens. You know, once I mean, I don't know how I don't purport to know how many games this is gonna last. But like by the end of this everyone is going to be banged up. Awesome. Rivers might be playing forty five minutes in game seven for all. We know it must rate. You gotta have awesome rivers. And by the way, we have a ringer rockets fan at the ringer, Sean. You who I remember what Houston I got. Awesome rivers. We were talking about it. I remember I was saying to him. I swear you're gonna like us rivers. He's gotta be an important player of the bench and like Austin, rivers sucks. Sean you I remember after game one on rivers in a like, we gotta get Austin rivers back Houston needs Austin rivers because to your point charge since the circle back here. Having more shot creators on the floor is pivotal for Houston in this series against Golden State, especially when in the starting unit. Chris Paul has struggled the series. And James harden, the mid the floater has failed him. In the playoffs after it was a very effective shot for him over the full regular season. It has failed him in the postseason against both Utah and Golden State two teams trying to force him into that exact shot. And I think we can talk about Clint cappella to that's someone else for Houston, given them pretty much nothing. That's really hurt them. Come to Pella has had his up and downs Danny against Houston. But a lot of downs right now. Yeah. I mean, at this point the reason why clink clink appel was so important to the rockets, obviously is because dantonio really wanted to keep a center on the floor at all times. And yet he's had to go to PJ Tucker awful lot more than you know, what the game plan probably said in these past two games. He's just been an absolute zero in like what what do you do with cappella now charts? I know your answer. It's going small, correct. Because I'll circle back. So the region. Five more is because house giving them nothing right now when they go chucker at the five they're playing like rivers, Gordon paused. It's not small Balts tiny bowl like if you playing Tucker at the five you've got to have some wings and size around him to cover up some weaknesses. And prominent for Houston is Capella was bagging so warriors last year to there's not really an answer for him in this series. He can't shoot you can't criticize shot. He's not really a playmaker. There's just only so much. You can do his team is too small in this Atlantic. So to me, it's finding more wings who can give you a chance to play at a medium series because I just don't see cappella really making an impact enough to make golden say go bigger much drinking went play smaller either. Cappella frustrates me so much so much because the two twenty fourteen drafts he was so raw the hoop summit the year prior. He just got totally beat up and entering the draft. He looked like a total project, and he's gotten so much better over the years so much stronger his hands of God. Better. He's gotten so much more intelligent on the defensive end of the floor in terms of reading the game. But one of the things that hasn't changed. It seems like mostly against Golden State is it might 2014 NBA draft got I had one negative in there. That says, quote, he plays small in that he avoids contact and gets pushed around inside should be fine. When he gets both out while he's not fine after getting bulked up. He still gets pushed around against Golden State for a guy who is often they the biggest strongest player on the floor. He does play like it. And it's really frustrating. How he doesn't both on the boards, and finishing is he bigger and stronger than Katie though, like Haiti rotates over katie's kind of bigger than him. Yeah. He he's at least wider not necessarily longer. I mean, he he certainly the biggest on the rockets court on the rockets side of the hour doesn't always box out either. If it's incredibly frustrating watching him against the warriors. I'm thinking there's hope for our Daniel house. You know, there were. Turning to Houston. He plays a little bit better on at home. I mean, he plays a lot better. Yeah. It doesn't play at all on the road. And I think with you know, them going to Tucker the five more that's where health kind of has to be in the game. Like he's played. I think more than three fourths of his minutes with Tucker. And so you're basically pairing those because it's combining, you know, girth length size and athleticism, you know, to to mitigate the damage of not having, you know, someone extremely big in the front court. You know, it was interesting. What they try the second half of that game. They actually play hard on K D a little bit and like hardened it. Okay. When we didn't. We didn't get switched off the screen. The numbers say Katie is fourth publicans harden. And I kinda like that like hardens got size. He asked to play defense because they haven't not not not Ramanan guys who can and maybe him playing defense on somebody's bigger wings for Golden State is something else. Houston contri- going. Forward. Can we talk about Katie for a minute just about how extrordinary he's been last six games ever ever since? He said, do you know who I am? I'm Kevin Durant. He's gonna extraordinary and not just on the offensive end scored thirty eight points thirty three forty five fifty thirty five and then twenty nine last night. It's not just off nuts. But I thought last night's game. He was just absolutely stunning on the defensive end of the floor defending multiple positions, communicating energy rebound, rebounding heated, everything on the defensive end of the foreign goals saying what was part of an overall great effort by that team led by Katie and Draymond green. Yeah. They put them on air Gord the start of the first half. So Eric Gordon had a really big game game one. So they're like, oh, let's put Katie on them as it goes to seven foot guy who can defend all five positions. It's really incredible. We're at a point where Katie kind of insulates the team from itself like he he's just he can do everything on the court. And so he kind of becomes the white noise. Even though he's averaging thirty four points on fifty forty ninety splits. But him being able to do everything on the floor allows everyone else to be the specialists that they are like they are hyper specialists, but they are you know, they are specialists yet Katie being well is really kind of covered for staff not being himself. And that's the thing. I think going forward for Golden State to watch out for because obviously it Stephan Katy together to make them unstoppable and Sussman good in the playoffs. But he hasn't been kind of the offensive takeover guy. That'd be Justin seeing on April. Twenty six warriors final game against the clippers ass when curry turned his ankle and through two games against Houston. I thought he's been really competitive defensively. I thought he's been great on that under the floor. But his offense has not been there necessarily hit that one dunk last night which came on the nowhere. But he doesn't seem like he's trusting his ankle. And maybe that's partially. He's just taking a little bit easy for now as he gets himself fully back. But this is the third year in a row now that he's been hurting the postseason, and if you're imagining a world where we're Katie leaves. It's going to be interesting. To see what happens with Steph curry when he becomes the central focal point of a warriors offense without Katie more more similar to what James harden, and Chris Paul have to do with the Houston Rockets. I wonder how much he can handle that load whom four, but that's a conversation for another day. It's just something in the back of my mind watching these postseasons were Steph just continues to get hurt. Yeah. The other guy we gotta talk about his Klay Thompson. So the reason Chris Paul is not wellness series. Klay Thompson, it's totally shut him down and like claim in a such a monster because he got her to. But like, it doesn't seem to matter with Klay Thompson activity just a frigging machine. He's hurries injured. He's in a play forty minutes shoot three's deep your best player. He's just real. He's truly an incredible player. I think he is one of the guys is love watching a plane. He's awesome. Yeah. That's the conversation. Will if this series continues to go poorly for Houston. We'll be out. How is other choke job for Chris Paul? But I think Klay Thompson disorders a lot of credit for that and making life difficult for Chris Paul with his size, as you said charge just to be able to your your at something about paulie there earlier this season or last season about Paul's lack of size being one of his limiting factors in the postseason. I mean is limiting factor. I mean, he's he's a DJ Augustine. Chris paul. We we had a great article the went up and the ringer yesterday. Yeah. Shorts over on Jordan, Jordan, con on Chris Paul, and and Paul's will to win you know, the pros and cons of that. And you know, we see both sides. I think last night. I I hated that play when Draymond green had a Dunkin Paul pissed off. And almost try pushing dream on's legs as he hang from the rim little moments like that that doesn't help the perception of Houston never mind, the the leak the leaking of their internal report about the officiating. Last year's pussies enough are the referees though last last night, they fishing was great. I I don't wanna talk about officials. Do you? Do you have any thoughts on the referees? I I don't I think we've established on the corner. Three in in past episodes that we are firmly ambivalent. Is there anything else that comes to mind that Houston canoe the series? We're talking about what they can do on the fringes with Daniel house with Austin rivers being a playmaker. It seems to me that one of the things dantonio is trying to figure out is who's that eighth guy. It's very rare that he plays eleven guys. Like he did last night. Shumpert played five minutes. Or some of four threes and five minutes. It was incredible. He Farid played five minutes. House played five minutes. It seems like dantonio searching for that eighth guy. And he just doesn't seem to have him. And this sort of goes back to one of the things we talked about during the regular season with the unwillingness to go into lecturer tax sharks. In order to get that guy who could help swing who swing a series who could be that four or five or six point difference in a game. And the Houston doesn't seem to have that guy that Antoni can trust. Yeah. I mean, they're playing two guys. They bought out on minimum contracts and rivers and freed a guy that's not the G league in house like they're just working with a lot of scraps. It's hard when you're paying your best three players like a trillion dollars, and you're saying luxury tax just don't make room of us. Your roster not to go full big picture with them. But I think the series will still go deep, but it could go self quite quickly pending on what happens moving forward, but with their changes, this Oxy they've no cap flexibility. Chris Paul will be paid forty four million dollars in the final year was contract when he was steadily decline. Ding will the arrest of the NBA closing the gap with their shot distribution shooting more threes getting more lay ups with Houston, this this this could go bad quite quickly. I I don't think it will. Because you have James harden. But there's a road where it does. I just wonder if they move off Capella or or policy some point next year to is like you got harden. And you'd only on a piece of the moves either one of those guys, I think appellate could get something. Interesting in a trade. I want I want. I don't know the one thing with cappella, though, is the market was not strong for him in free agency. Which is why he got the deal that he did. I wonder if there wouldn't be a significant amount of interest in him with Chris Paul is. Well, I can't I see a lot of teams lining up around the corner for his services either. Maybe it seemed like the Lakers if they have nobody else they can turn to it's hard to find many traces there, Danny I I was just fiddling around with the trade machine. And I am extremely bad at this. But the first the first thought that came to mind was okay. Who's a bad contract for a guy who's pretty young who might be able to turn into like a weird, Dan Tony like four, and I was like Andrew Wiggins. Oh, wow. My goodness. That's interesting. Look, you do like Chris Paul and like Manet or something for Andrew Wiggins. And like a gourmet Jiang. Would you do that of Minnesota? I would. I mean, I know I wouldn't. But I I would love to see Andrew Wiggins have to adapt to Mike the Antonis offense, the king of the new king of the mid or or maybe the gesture of the mid range. Yeah. Don't give them the. The mid range gesture and injure Wiggins I would love to see him try to adapt to Mike the Antoni top. Who knows maybe it would help him. I do not see it making a significant difference for. But that that's that's a topic for another day of the series goes poorly for Houston. Are you feeling any less confident in Houston, and we may have heading into the series for the chances of bowing back in at least stealing one of these. Or do they need to win both going back home to Houston? I think they got gotta win both for sure. And I mean to me I feel like it's just it's just house. It's this weird talk about this guy this much, but he's the key for them if he plays well at home, they have a chance they doesn't. I don't see much of a series. I think Houston had a split. I picked goal and say heading into the playoffs. And then I switched to Houston after the first round which was probably silly in hindsight. Yeah. I I think they had a split. I think they had a split. It's it it. Looks more like a six game series to move forward. Moving onto the nuggets and blazers charts. He wrote about the mighty Nicola Yokich today on the ringer dot com. Yokich in game two and as part of this entire playoffs is just been out. Triumphantly men transcendent he had thirty seven points in game two against a game. One against Portland game tool. Beat tonight charge ski Phyllis and a little bit on what your article was about regarding Yokich. Why I think the main thing with Yokich so game one against the Spurs. He kind of came out and played the usual Yokich game. He made the extra pass he had fourteen rebounds, fourteen assists, but only took nine shots and Denver loss. And that's when I was like, wait a minute yoga. She's such a good passer. People forget he can score. A will basically what has been doing the last week and a half like yoga's seven foot two fifty. He can post up anyone he can shoot over. Anyway. So great handles passing when he wants to look for his shot. They're not many guys who can guard him and certainly not in the first one. It was always in Pertile and round to it's been Kanner and Leonard none of those guys that chance of guarding. Okay. It's need. He seems to realize it. He's averaging twenty seven points a game over the last seven games when fifty percent shooting, and he just went absolutely dominant. Offense a player. He's doing things we have never seen in the playoffs before. So here's a bunch of numbers. You can look at the one that like blew my mind. So right now in these playoffs Yokich is averaging more than four threes. A game more than eight assists a game and fewer than two turnovers a game nobody in Ambi history has ever gone before at any size any position. So you've got a center who's just shooting threes controlling the whole game on offense never turning it over and scoring almost thirty points game. Officially that's a special special player. It's been so much fun to watch. Yeah. And charge one of the like strong strong points in your piece was just that. Look, we're not comparing him to other centres, we're comparing comparing his impact on the game to James harden. And Steph curry like at this point that's where he is aligned because there aren't any big men in the game who has his skin. All set and has been able to actually leverage that over the league. Like he has. Well, he's a seven foot two hundred seventy five pound playmaker. Essentially, I mean, we're talking about he is one of the faces of positional as basketball. He look if you just stand up he looks like he's going to be a traditional plotting center. But he is not that one bit. He is somebody as you said we're comparing him until the James Harden's of the world the Steph Currys of the world with his overall impact. And and charge. You mentioned some of the playoff numbers you had a Staten and your article about how he's posting numbers that few have ever done before. I looked at it. Look this up this morning in terms of a purpose action basis, only LeBron James and Nikola Yokich have ever averaged over thirty points per one possessions with over ten assists and ten rebounds per one her possessions while while playing past the first round there's plays who've done that in a single around like Grant Hill, and and Russell Westbrook. But never has a player done this into the second round. And. Here's a lot of cushion to for those numbers to drop a little bit moving forward to his his his overall impact. I think all season long. He was a top ten player. He was a top five MVP candidate. And it's really no surprise that. A lot of these things have translated to the postseason for him. It's just encouraging that they have. But not that they have. But that they've gotten better too Charkes. And the thing about it is like the way he's playing it just makes life easier for so when that's unique player. So a kill them in game. One was that Murray Yokich pick and roll that murdered Portland. And the thing is like you can't switch that pick and roll. Because if you put a smaller guy in Yokich forget it it's over two points or three points. So all the sudden Murray's coming off that screen either. They're dropping back. He's eating space. They're doubling means dumping off to Yokich. Like, there's not an easy answer for that pick and roll. It's like the reverse of the heart and cappella pick and roll. So normally, it's like, okay. We can't switch a screen because we want to slow guy on harden but against Portland Denver. It's the opposite. We can't switch a scream because you can't put a small and Yokich and it just. Like, there's not many interest report on the series on defense. I like this is going to be a shootout with that pick and roll all season long with Murray or sometimes Gary Harris as the screener for Yokich, but usually Murray that two main combinations. The one of the most potent across the league. And I as you said sharks, you can't switch it. Because even if you do and yoga to the smaller guy on him. You probably have to double which is opening up at easy kickout opportunity for Yokich from the post or or the face up opportunity from the elbow area. Yokich is his ability to beat you every single way on the offense of and the floor is unlike so many players because you could use him everywhere. Use him as high pick and roll ball handler at seven feet tall use him as a low post presence. Use them running off screens even they use him off screens on gerbil handoffs. He's used all over the floor. And I think Michael Malone deserves a lot of credit for empowering him within his role and pushing the limits of how some other coaches might restrict the seven footer I think Yokich has constantly grown as a player. And we've seen a steady progress on him in the postseason and really in connection with Jamal Maury his teammate who also started off poorly again defending Derek Whyte who locked him up early in that nuggets Spurs series Jamal Mari has continually gotten better, I think with his shot creation and his playmaking. He's a guy who entering the NBA was somebody who was a scorer or shooter. But over time, Danny I think he's become somebody who can make players around him better as well. Like Yokich does. I I'm I'm not like a huge Hari fed me neither. But he's gotten better though. I think yeah. I mean, they're hiding them on D which helps that was a big adjustment that San Antonio series. They started putting Murray on like Bren Forbes, and I've kept that over into against Portland. They're hiding Murray on like, I think it's like heartless, and they're putting Creggan Harris on the two guards which and we should talk about to for. So we're gonna praise yoke. She got freaking murdered on defense to it wasn't they stopped pulling that was a frequent shootout. Deeming lillard. Yeah. You're right. Deeming the thirty nine points twelve twenty one before in Kanter as well. He was. Yeah. He was great. Kanter was great. And that's why when it comes to adjustments that Portland can make I sort of wonder if kanter's the guy that you just have to stick within the series because that Collins and Meyers Leonard cannot effect Yokich on the effect Yokich when he's on defense. Like Kanter Ken with his ability to roll to the Rams. I know we've talked about Collins a lot on this pod. But in this series is that something you tend to agree with charge or are you going to Leonard or call ins, see, I think either one of those guys can't guard Kanner? So at least those two guys shooting to me the guy for Portland has Rodney hood like I'm looking at this series for Portland, I'm saying they got probably scoring twenty points when twenty five points he had a big game one. I think like this is going to be a shootout immediate Harkness. They're water pistols like they can't score. And like if you're going to have to mom Murray out there, you gotta attack him on defense. And I think if I was Portland I'd probably start hood. I might just play. Dame, CJ Seth Korean hood together and say let's hold on. Yes. Because you I think one way to guard Denver is to double Yokich make those bad guys. Make Craig shoot jumpers sore. Doubling the pay anyways. Whatever lets you can feel more threes. My guys are your guys. Right. Because like when you look at the nuggets roster up and down up and down the roster. There are a bunch of guys who aren't necessarily consistent three-point shooters. I think their most consistent three point shooters, probably bleak Beasley but Gary hairs, Tori. Craig all the guys along the why marshalling? Yeah, we'll bar. They're just not very consistent, and they they showed signs of like being a bad three point shooting team towards the end of the regular season. So, you know, I think that sound and I think the best way to combat Yokich is just try to run him off the floor gun tired. Yeah. Keep them keeping keep attacking the much. She can in terms of Denver's inconsistent shooting one of their best shooters, but also one of their inconsistency shooters Jamal Murray. I do wonder if in game two tonight one of the adjustments. Roland could make is putting amino at pulling him from Paul Millsap and putting him onto Jamal Murray. Maybe some more length bothers Murray. Maybe you're better able to switch that pick and roll. If a meaner is starting on our Murray, maybe maybe a meeting with somebody you can trust on Yokich because of his size and length is that sunken that that you think is worth trying Charkes. I know you mentioned the go Rodney hood, but with me it was gonna play. So like base of the amount of opportunity that's going on the floor. Is that something that you think they should try? It's worth trying. And I think as we were talking about the big thing as like make these guys should like, Tori crag if this man can make like six threes tip your hat to them. I'm not sure that he can. Yeah. And I think putting the guy with with size and length on mammaries is something that's been an option and a good option for a lot of teams ever since college. You know, one of the things that I remember talking about the draft two thousand sixteen with charts. One of the key moments. We keyed in on. All the time. Over Jamal Murray who made you know, Murray's life a living. Hell so yeah. I that's always going to be an option for a guy who doesn't quite have. You know, a great for set doesn't really have the blow by ability if you can kind of shroud him, then I think that's that's a great option. We'll talk a little bit of NBA draft to close out this podcast with Nikola Yokich. He's one of the rare constructs that we haven't seen much in league history of seen a number of different centers. It we have the rim runner and Capello. We have the the offensive center and NS cantor who is who has limitations on defense. We have the playmaking center guy, like Mark soul. Louis have the two way center and Al Horford and the Pentagon what should the game demands. You have superstar was just not healthy. And Joel b but depending on what the game demands the traditional center is sort of, you know, pass it's fading away quickly the role of the center isn't quite as important as league and less. You're somebody like Yokich or unless you're somebody that reaches a star level. But there are a number of big men in this year's draft class. Obviously the Zion Williamson up top who we've talked about a lot in this podcast one of the centers that I really like in this draft class as gogo. But that here we go go go talk for from from Georgia. Six foot eleven with a seven foot to wingspan. And for what it's worth he is not nickel Yokich. He is not going to be a player like that. But I do think there's a lane for him long term as a player in this league who can be like nourish type or in the draft guide we have shades of comparison as shop locking MS cantor for him. I think with Patsy. Here's a very skilled offensive player who can pass the ball who can space before who's a good screener. Who's a smart player? And he in one thing that he does. It reminds me of watching Yokich when he was a prospect as well was he competes on defense. I think over he somebody that can be a player that it's going to give you a lot on the offensive end of the floor and somebody who's going to be able to at least hang around on the defensive end and charge. I know this past week. You've watched a lot of film on him as well do view the dot c with the current state of the league as a top ten pick. Like I do. I haven't ranked ninth or see somebody that you're looking more towards in the middle first-round late. I drown. I think he's really good. I saw you had was a top big in the draft on your whenever I do. My thing by them up. There too. So like watching go to me like he's like a weird blend of which and Norwich like, he's a very smooth offensive player has shot looks pretty good. He knows how to get to go on the floor and he has surprising ups like he blocked shots. He moves burying think based off it's like physical profile. I like him a lot as a player. I just I really wonder. I think he's going to be a really good player. I think maybe like ten years ago, you might have been top five pick. I just wonder like it's easy. Ultimately a platoon center in the play offs. And how valuable is that? I don't know. I don't see him and this kind of series. We're talking about today as more than a twenty five minute night player. How how you wanna draft the player like that? And the lottery, I don't know. That's that's that was exactly my concern. Like is he good enough at you know, being that kind of drop back defender that you're comfortable with him playing the game for thirty plus minutes. But but circling back I mean, the reason why why at least one of the reasons why he probably reminded you of of Yokich little bit is because he came from. The same school where he came from the same team mega Bassett, relax. You know, the the colorful pajama uniforms that go back like probably a decade. Now, a true like farmhouse for you know, international NBA talent of. Yeah. I'm kind of more interested in him defensively. And and seeing how he develops in the NBA because he's really really slow in space, but he moves really really well in tight quarters. And so like when you combine that with his shop shop blocking ability, there's definitely a lane for him to be a really good kind of like, you know, a classic drawback defender in the vein of brook Lopez. But you know, how important is that going forward? This year's draft class. I think it's partially. Just the nature of the class was a lot of guards the can't shoot a lot of wings that can't offend. I just think if you're taking that quote unquote, best player available. I think he presents. Good value for you in the middle. Of that lottery range. I have them ninth. Now would not surprise me. If he moved up at some point. Yeah. I think he he could start thirty five minutes tonight in the regular season for a good team. He's a really good player to me. He's probably the safest of all the centers in the straffed, right? Yeah. I'm actually surprised that he didn't declare last year help themselves out by non I suppose. Yeah, he's still really young. So one guy who does get compared to Yokich and will inevitably a heading into the draft is John Porter. I'm so sad about this. Porter. I know you're a huge fan of Puerto. He is somebody who unbelievable passer has just tremendous vision. He's not quite an all-time level passer. Like yoga CHU is Yokich Yokich is the most talented passer I've ever seen and he has a chance to be the greatest passer at the big man position ever. Paul Puerto is not that. But he's a great passer per his position who could also space to four from three is a solid positional defender defender as well porter, but he did tear both. He tore his ACL twice in the last two years with porter. He somebody that I think you had ranked lottery if I remember correctly charts last year, did you as well Danny for fringe fringe lotto, I branch with his injuries in the nature of this class with a lot of medal of certainty. Are you still viewing him as a first round draft prospect without us knowing the full extent of his medical or does that just not come down a long way on your board much like Harry Giles had experience with his amount of injuries in high school in college? I mean does any kind of have to have you ever remembered a guy tearing his ACL twice in two years? Like that doesn't happen. Yeah. And it was partially because he he basically rushed back onto the court to get you know, his reps in for for shooting and all that. And and it just his his knee wasn't trucks. Really sound at the time. It's really unfortunate. He tore his right ACL and a scrimmage in October last year, and then retort this March as Dante said he admitted that he that he rushed back to the courses. Unfortunately, I think Puerto has a chance to be a really good NBA player. Not sure he he's quite athletic enough to be and that's a great. Now, he's Torres need twice athletic to begin with. Yeah. I mean, I I am glad kind of here for this next wave of NBA stars being like doughy athletic big man, who are just Cussing cream Lee skilled guards. Like that would be really really funny to me. But yeah, it's it's it's a lot of uncertainty. I don't think I would take a risk with him in like the first twenty picks. But like, look if if a team really felt falls in love with his skill set. I can totally see him in the late late first round just wrap this up with a couple of other big men prospects, not everybody's doughy not not issues class. Not everybody's like, but that's your porter. There are a number of more traditional rim ruining centers, namely Jackson. Hayes from Texas. Who's the big name? I believe we've talked about him on this podcast before he fits more the Capello role sharks. Except you've seen him at Texas this year. He's extremely raw on both ends of the floor. Yeah. He's like not very strong. He doesn't have much game. I think he'll be a good. NBA player, but I'm little surprised at how much hype he's getting because I feel like Daniel gaffer as maybe not as good. But I don't think he's that much worse. So he can circulate first-round pick. So I feel like those kind of players are available on if I pick a rambling Sarah top ten more. And even besides the gaffer one guy that we don't have currently in the draft guide will what will be there in the update is Nimia keta from Utah state to me. I I like him more than gaffer. I think he's a better more reliable defensive player. A better rebounder, he's not quite as bouncy as gaffer who fits that that clinched Capello mold as you just said keta is more like a traditional type of center, but I think his defensive prowess bodes well for him in the NBA coming out as a freshman. He was he reminds me a little bit of a best case scenario, maybe a Stephen Adams or year GDP Pertile type I see that type of lane for Kedah. And in the late first round. I think that presents better value for you rather than some of the lottery hype the Jackson Hayes is getting and then the other guy is Bulbul. Which who knows right food. No, that's another guy. So he what played nine games and broke his foot shot fifty percent from three. I was about to say what what did he shoot from three shot fifty percent from three of he he is truly a unique prospects in his high center of gravity in his three point shooting ability in just the sheer size the sheer length that he has will create problems for other teams. But it's like does will his body. Hold up is is the biggest question and one last thing on on the drafts. Obviously a lot of time to talk about Zaire. But I think watching Draymond green in this postseason d'alene is there for I on long term. He's not there yet. But the lane is there for him to be an impactful defender, not at the all time level like Draymond. But a notch or two below that who can affect the game. Even if he's not scoring the ball, and that's partially. What makes them so enticing as a as a prospect of the future potential face league at six seven to eighty five pounds of his mobility, laterally and his. Verse his verticality to block shots and alter shots Zion Lampson has the physical ingredients. But he also brings the effort as well. The final the final hole for him to fill the intelligence on the defensive end of the floor and at eighteen years old this past season. It's no surprise. He made a lot of mistakes in rotations, but long-term charts. I think the lane is there for John for his calling card. Not just the be his offense and his dunking is everybody talks about in his playmaking, but for to be his defense. Well and the thing noticing watching these play offs Zion. It's like if you can pair them with a pick and roll guard, and he said the Draymond Steph thing like because if you've got like trae young Zion. You can't switch that screen and zion's gonna go crazy. I to me that is what do didn't have last year imagine Zion setting screen the guard coming around and could pull up thirty feet. All of a sudden zion's think free runs to the basket. I think that's gonna be a lane for him right away where the them the right team and the right system. He's going to be great. I'm almost immediately. I think I can't wait. Admit may fourteenth draft lottery. We'll be talking more about the draft McCoy weeks and months as well as the NBA playoffs. But it's all we have time for today. Guys. Thanks sharks. Thank standing. Absolutely. Thank you for listening to to be a show, please give us a five star rating, and I tunes and share the podcast your friends, be sure to check out the ringer dot com. As well. We have loads and loads of NBA content. We have Dan define a last night's Celtics bucks game and Charkes on the greatness of Nicole Yokich. We'll have group chat they'll be of your feed late Thursday night or early Friday morning for your commute. Thank you. For listening special shut off to Bobby Wagner for producing the podcasts. Thanks for listening.

Coming up next