Celtics cruising, Sixers stumbling, Carmelo resurrected, Paul George shining
What's up open floor globe this Bengal with the Washington Post and I am back with really really big news as you know Rob Rob Hodie He filled in Abeille for weeks as CO host. But he is onto His next job with the ringer and I have now officially reached reached Rob's replacement his name Michael Pena of espy nation. Michael First of all. Thank you so much for joining second of all. We kept this under wraps pretty well. Didn't it isn't this a great secret for the entire world here on this beautiful Tuesday podcast. I've already told everybody I know So it's not so much of a secret and I'm getting now. Thank you so much for the opportunity and I'm really excited to discuss. Analyze argue about the the NBA. With You ben well look when I first moved to Los Angeles. I don't know two thousand fifteen. I loved it beautiful sunshine. Everything's going great. I'm walking down the street and Santa. Monica connects thing I do. I turned the corner. There's a well-dressed millennial hipster just throwing tomato cans at me and it actually was you ed. You were so upset about some slander. Apparently that I had put out there about Isiah Thomas not being an MVP candidate that you confronted me in the street. I think we probably argued for what between thirty and forty minutes. And so what. We're going to try to do here. Going forward is to recapture that dynamic to crazy people on the quarter of Santa Monica screaming screaming about basketball topics. What he thinks? That sounds perfect. I really appreciate you Commending me sartorially. I saying that I was well-dressed best. I'm glad you remember my outfit. Hey Look I might be painting you as a crazy person but at least for awhile address crazy person. That's what really matters Hey Michael so for people who don't know. Oh you are currently based in Brooklyn New York and you do a lot of coverage out of there. You've also lived in Los Angeles previously. Am Boston as well. I believe so your range of experience. Spirit you're covering the NBA is pretty deep. And I'll be honest. You know the last month or two. It's been a lot of west coast bias on this podcast. Okay both Robin Robin I. R- the coastal lead us out here in California. I'm in this. La fishbowl where it's like every single night it's a different show for these superstars. So I think one of the most valuable valuable things you're going to bring to the table is going to be you know that that East Coast Easter Conference perspective. And I know you're gonNA stick up if possible for what what I like to call the triple a but I think the other thing that you're really great at is you cut against the grain. You don't go with the group think you're often able to find angles that You know maybe other writers Either ignore or just never think about so I encourage all the open floor listeners. Out there You know embrace Michael in that spirit he will poke prod. He might throw tomato kids but he will get you thinking about the NBA. And on that note I'd like to just dig right in because I know you fall the celtics carefully for a long time. They are huge story. Now they did come out and drop onto Sacramento. I think Ending their ten game winning streak here over the weekend but they're sitting on the top of the Eastern Conference. They got one of the very best offenses Atop Ted Defense. I'm sure you're already planning to Unveil Vale Statue for Brad Stevens in downtown Boston at some point so Michael. I need your help explaining exactly why the Celtics are as good as they are. And here's a question from John Kick Asaf. He emailed open floor. Male Edgy Mel Dot Com. Open floor MALE EDGY DOT com. He writes I was so through through thrilled to see my first Celtics game live this year. And what a difference a year makes last year. I just watched a miserable team. A parade of bad body language. Lose to the Hapless Phoenix Suns. At home this year it was surreal. Campbell won a fourth quarter shootout against Luke Dodge. Not only was cab making big shots. He never got down on Jason Tatum. Who is actually historically horrible from the floor in that game good leadership from Canada and they responded to adversity versity because it was a one game after losing Gordon Hayward to the hand injury? What's next for the Celtics? And what is their ceiling. So Michael This is a question I want to throw it to you. Ken Boston Win The east this year. Is that their ceiling. Or what. Do you view as Boston ceiling. Yeah that's a really really good question I think as you you touched upon their offense has been sizzling Kemba walkers fit has been pretty seamless so far are and we've seen growth from Jaylen Brown Jason. TATUM Despite tatum not finishing at the Rim he's averaging about twenty points per game and looking like the perennial all star that a lot of people thought he would be at after his rookie season I mean big picture. Just looking looking at the eastern conference would you like to refer to as AAA You know we've seen a Philadelphia. Seventy sixers team struggle a little bit out of the gate which his only natural I think given the change in their roster The Milwaukee Bucks look like a complete you know they look like a monster But besides that there has been no team that's really stepped out and been super impressive besides Boston and I mean it gets you throw the Toronto Raptors in the Miami Heat in that conversation but I think Boston has beyond their record. Played just a different style not a different style. But they've played with a lot more aggression. I think from a lot of their key players guys like Brown guys like tatum have expanded their roles. They're attacking the basket a lot more. They're getting to the free throw line a AH one big difference. Just I don't want to turn this into a Kyrie irving bashing session but one key on-court difference between Kemba and Kyrie is that you know Kemba but is he's more Maury ball friendly you know he avoid long twos fifty percents shots have been behind the three point. Line this season and he's he's drilling them. He's very eager to get those shots up off high screens off layers. That's something that kyrie would not really engage in as often and so so when you have someone who is attacking the Rim getting to the free throw line Kemba is It just kind of opened things up for everybody else and to say nothing. Nothing of how. Well Gordon Hayward was playing has been was playing before he broke his hand. A lot of things are just working right right now for the Celtics Alexa. Yeah they got good Good momentum out of the gate definitely a good vibe as the email are mentioned as you mentioned is it as simple for guys like Jalen Rowland Brown and Jason. TATUM does really just boil back to the the transition from Kyrie to Campbell. I mean I understand. That might be like a little bit low hanging fruit. And we've got this just one incredible Kyrie fabulousness Tariq and Tariq's already typing his email out. Because he's so frustrated at US going at Kyrie but I mean I don't know how we avoid it right like these guys played very well the postseason. When Kyrie was out a couple of years ago the chemistry everybody realized was kind of off or not right Last year there was warning signs to me in both Brown and TATUM's offensive approach because of the shot selection really wasn't desirable for either one of those guys. I know everyone. Everyone wants to blame Kobe. Bryant for tatum shots election. I mean come on okay. Let's let's not go overboard there. And then with Brown it just seemed like he was really kind of pigeonholed into a certain type of approach on offense that You know to me was looked like it had a pretty low ceiling for him as a player. Now you fast forward to this season and both those guys are back back in that you know rosier glow of. Hey wait a minute. They can actually do a lot on offense. They can't get to the basket TATUM I do think we'll finish better as the As the year goes on at least I hope so can't finish much worse But again the mentality is right and it translates to more team offense when everybody's kind of bought in there so does all this. Just boil down from the Kemba to Cairo. A transition is that we trace all these things back to at. I think that's a little unfair to carry. I think it is a factor on and off court. There are a lot of things that we can't we can't really measure with the change from someone who's a bit of a mercurial personality Who did not mesh with a few guys in that locker room who acted Who took his you know? He is championship experience and was at times reportedly talking down to the players on his own team. Younger guys who had as you said gone to the Eastern Conference finals the year before when he was hurt And then you bring in Cambe Emba who you know. He was thrilled. That Mark Jackson was calling his game on Friday night against the Golden State Warriors. Like he has a veteran Karen but he has not experienced anything close to ten game win streak that the team was just on before they lost in Sacramento. Like he's very excited to be there. He's very appreciative. The values this experience in a way that I don't think Kerry could and I think that everybody else on the team feeds off of that That being said Look Doc. TATUM was twenty years. Old Season Jalen Brown was in his third year coming off the bench most of the year Jalen Brown just got paid a massive live contract you know. I think it's a lot of natural growth for those two players particularly in particular and it's only right to expect them to bounce back from the they just had You know Gordon Hayward again his he was a year removed from a gruesome injury last season he and he just could not find rhythm he could not find aggression or any consistency whatsoever and then from the start. He's just moving so much better than he had all of last this season before he hurt himself playing incredible basketball star level basketball So I think that those are factors that need to be play here but you know the way Kyrie. He does play where he dribble dribble dribbles in you know a little bit of a I don't WANNA say selfish. But that's just kind kind of how he meanders around. And everyone the phrase we use his ball dominant. That's a nice way to say selfish. You say ball dominant and then everybody kind of just you know winks in is is in in agrees but look you over to Brooklyn's offense they're basically middle of the pack. You look at their record below average. Of course there's going to be. I think some philosophical all stuff to work out there in Brooklyn where you know their play one way last year and Kyrie place how Kyri wants to play and it doesn't really matter where you're dropping him he's GonNa play that same style and I completely believe they. They've earned the right to have little patience there but it hasn't been that smooth of a start and I do you think that you know when you're looking at their record their team offense. It's a real question is kyrie making his teammates. Better is he putting his most important in complimentary pieces in positions to succeed Based on the style of play that he prefers which he's very very good at but again is he going to be able to elevate everyone in that style to be kind of a championship team. I think that's still an open question. We've seen it now. Multiple different locations and the start of this season has confirmed a lot concerns. I think on both sides both from Boston's early success and Brooklyn's early struggles when we look at a Boston schedule. I think one the reason why I might be a little bit hesitant to Kinda crown. These guys as a team that can win the east. I mean there's some soft winds in here right. I mean you're looking at New York twice in Cleveland. Charlotte even Dallas to a certain degree. San Antonio hasn't played well Washington and the warriors which is you know now basically the softest winning the league which is kind of crazy to say. But it's true. I'm not sure they're as good as their record. And I think I'm not sure their offense as good as it seems right right now based on some of those opponents. I think it's GonNa come back to Earth just slightly but having said that there's still definitely better than I expected this season Is there a trade that that needs to happen right like are they a team that they can talk themselves after a strong start in the opening month or the first couple months of the season to actually be buyers this year. You know our they like one player away from really pushing a team like the Milwaukee Bucks. Because if I look at a playoff matchup between Milwaukee and Boston. That's not going well for Boston now. Might be four or five games and I realize I'm coming at it from the perspective but WHO's guarding him? Right and we saw what happened last year. I thought their personnel to handle Janas was better last year's playoffs that it would be currently And yet you know. They really struggled as that series unfolded folded to kind of keep their defensive game plan together and ultimately they got overwhelmed. So I don't know. Do you agree with me on that head to head match between Milwaukee and Boston and and do you think there's the trade out there that could swing this further in Boston's favor. Well we're we're like ten games into the season but I will say that the Celtics no longer have Kyrie having to switch on in a potential playoff series so that works in their favor So you're saying Kemp was not gonNA break the entire defensive if gay plan to try to put it on his own shoulders as a series unfolds. That doesn't seem like his. Mo from everything we know about him. Now no I mean I think Milwaukee Walkie is still A Better basketball team with the better player by a mile in Indiana's I think they'll Miss Brogden in the playoffs this year. They we don't really have as much play creation as they did in the past He brought a lot to the table for them But to answer your question about a trade. It's really difficult for the Celtics team. I think to not grow with what they have and they just don't have a lot a lot of sexy contracts that are able to be finagled into deals. You have a contract like Marcus. SMART's that you don't WanNA trade. Hey Marcus smart because of everything that he brings to the table for you But you know positionally what they need you know. They're getting killed on the glass so far as you said earlier You know their schedule has been pretty. Not Pretty easy as I think it's V easiest by ESPN's RPI rankings. What I would like to see potentially even though it will be very difficult to actually execute is a deal for someone like derrick favors someone like Tristan Thompson a big okay? Got An expiring contract. Who does not need the basketball who protects the RIM Who rebounds who takes up space on defense who's really smart on that end Who can can switch a tiny little bit That's the kind of player that they're missing. They had him last year. Darren Baynes and you know. Aaron Baynes has flourished into An. MVP CANDIDATE PHOENIX And that's just that's what they need. I think if they're going to grind through a seven game series against a team like Milwaukee A-team like Philadelphia to bang with someone like embiid or or Jaanus. I really wish we could get an espn like outside the lines. Crew to just hang out with Andrea Aden for like the last week and find out how he's really feeling about not only the drug suspension which is kind of tarnishing his name for all time but also just getting completely swagger jacked by air at Bates. I mean doesn't that force Phoenix into a pretty interesting situation once. He's back in office suspension. I'm in I don't see any way aid is going to be giving you more effective minutes than what Bates has been giving here over the last couple of weeks and so now you're in the situation station. Where like your franchise centers been displaced by a complete journeyman? WHO happens to fit better into the little things that Phoenix needs done? And they're rolling from a momentum and winning standpoint money Williams that one's going to be a real juggling act here coming up down the road. We'll see how that unfolds I like your idea on the defense of big acquisition front I also think that you know it is one natural reaction for someone like me when they lose Horford and Dan Baynes. I wrote them off basically instantly because I was like. That's just too much defensive. Talent going out the the window. They're not going to have the pieces to replace him. When you get to the postseason matchups sir? They're going to be exploitable. And Basically Sinar Celtics was sort of my personal opinion now. I think that filling that hole is actually easier than it might seem right. Like if you're if you're looking for sort of league average defensive players You've already put some names. Names out there of guys who are probably a little bit better than league average at that spot there should be guy so you can go out there and make a move and so I guess it comes down to Boston's a willingness to accelerate things again right or are they going to try to play it for the future. I I guess I'm curious. Where do you look at them in terms of the life cycle? Like if you're the Celtics Front Office And the KYRI experiment kind of blew up. You know you didn't get Anthony Davis. You didn't get key. Kevin Durant as part of some like superstar. Pairing you got passed over a little bit by those guys. But you've got a good core group here of young talent plus Cambo. Who's hungry as you describe like should their mindset and set be like contention or bus this year I mean? Are you kicking it forward to next year. Is there a reason to believe that they're going to be in a better position in the future. I I guess what I'm asking is. How much is win now? Versus how much natural building knowing that jalen contract Is already going to be on the books for next season. And then you're going to have to pay tatum an arm going forward to like. How much urgency should there be? Yeah I think. That's that's been an important question in Boston for. I guess you know since since Isaiah Thomas sent them into the playoffs. A few years back you know. Are you straddling. You're straddling these two different timelines. Which one do you WanNa go in the direction of and you know? They've had a lot of success in free agency. But they're not going to be. Capped players going forward with Jaylen Brown's extension kicking in with Jason. TATUM presumably getting amax extension next year. Kemba Walker maxed out. Gordon Hayward is getting paid a lot lot of money Next season assuming he ops into his contract and then you have to worry about. You know what's going on with him after that I think that it. It's it's it's a little tricky for this team to a for any team. I think right now to think about the future too much when the president is here for the taking. There's no obvious team at the top of the League I don't know if the Celtics you know. I think the Celtics would be wise to build around what they have with this core as best they can through the draft. And you know hope that someone like Carson Edwards POPs or grant Williams pops or Romeo Lankford is an actual player and I mean at the end of the day it is. This is all moot if Jason Tatum is not a perennial. all-star of Jalen Brown does not live up to his contract if Kemba Walker stagnates or or dips in production. You're in big trouble so I think you know a a a win now. Move wouldn't be the craziest thing in the world And that said it's again. It's really difficult for this team to to to be super aggressive. Given that the the contracts that they have on the roster supremely tradeable. No I hear you and I think maybe you saw from Hayward in the first month to say back off like the dump hayward idea like I know that was kind of floating out there for a while like if you could just get out of his contract everything else loosens up a little bit but Maybe thinking has changed their. I don't know how they were you by his start. I would be shocked if they moved him. And before the season began. I was pretty optimistic about him. Bouncing back In terms of his health I did did not expect him to look as good as he did just in terms of his comfort and just his fluid on the floor on both ends He looked like the guy who was ask as athletic in Utah when he was an all star three years ago or two years ago whenever that was that I did not expect to see and he's someone who can play a lot of different positions on both ends and so I don't think they're going to be looking to move him. Even though you might not be getting the most value you wanna Max deal or as much value as you thought you were going to get when you initially signed him. I just don't see them moving on from that contract and he compliments everybody on the roster really well well so you know you signed. Marcus might to his deal. That's a value contract. And you hope that you get production out of the youngsters and you kind of just go from there now. I think after this conversation first of all I learn a lot about the celtics second of all they all that information just confirmed that as of right now. They're cute cute story you know. It's my favorite little like thing to dismiss my my favorite dismissive terminology. But they need to make a move here at the deadline all right. Let's let's gas up and do this because you're making a good point. They can compete with pretty much. Everyone the East I think besides Milwaukee They've got you know a core group of the young guys who are going to be brighter in the future. No doubt but are also still pretty good right now if he were comes back I I do think that. He lifts their ceiling coming up pretty considerably if he continues to play like did to start the season and I'm not sure why he wouldn't you know he was player before he had. He's in his prime He looked healthy the He's a smart team based player. He's got a coach who understands. His strengths puts him in position to succeed and he's surrounded by like minded teammates. Were there doesn't really seem to be any clashes right now. So all of that points positively. I just think they've gotta make a move. I hope they do because I think it would make the eastern conference significantly McKinley more entertaining. And I'm kind of curious to see you know what prompts it is there. Is there something either. Another month continued strong play or maybe some wobbles on the defensive end or something else. I'm not considering that. That kind of Convinces them to go out there and You know be hunters because when I look at the trade landscape I think Boston should be at or near the top of that list. You know in terms of teams that are aggressively looking to upgrade and in China to make some noise right now I think it would be such a fascinating you know. It's almost like the Washington nationals. You know making the deep without Bryce Harper right like if you do that immediately after after Kyrie leaves like. Isn't that the ultimate validation for everything. Your Front Office and Coaching Staff has tried to pitch here for the last ten years. I mean the stuff that just makes me nauseous always referred to it as the green beer and and all that but I mean that would be a huge statement and I do think that that would lift him into a different category as a franchise here in in terms of being a destination for guys But maybe I'm getting too far ahead of myself. No I I totally get that line of thinking I feel like there are are a lot of teams that will be at the trade deadline. Either making a move to buy and get into the playoffs if you're in the western conference or maybe in the nine ten range in the east and a little bit delusional Or even a team that You know has their sights on a championship. We're going to have more teams uh-huh this year than at any point in the past five years at least probably longer than that. They believe that they can actually win. At all and so You know there are only so many if you talked to anyone around the League as I'm sure you have there's on they'll tell you that there's only so many win now players who are available at any trade trade deadline and so the Celtics are going to. I mean just because you want Tristan Thompson or you want. Derrick favors does not mean that you value them. The same way that the New Orleans Pelicans are the Cleveland Cavaliers. Do so it's really tricky to actually execute a trade that makes sense for you In the present and the future. And that's that's probably going to handle it. I can't handle another chapter of Oh Danny Ainge near misses. Oh my God we almost had justice winslow still talking about that would five years later. All right we are going to shift gears and talk about another team that figures prominently in the Eastern Conference at the top of the standings. But before we do do that we've got a quick message from US edition. Did you know that as many as seven out of ten adults wish they played a musical instrument unfortunately Italy many never do because they think it's either too late for them to start too expensive or they feel like they don't have the time. US edition is an online music education platform. That's rethinking the way people learn. Music is the fun easy and affordable way to learn Guitar Piano Bass Ukulele or even in singing. Just download the APP to your desktop tablet or phone and start playing US editions. award-winning technology actually listens to you. Play and gives real time feedback on on timing and accuracy. No need for cords or special equipment with musician. You'll learn to play your favorite songs faster than ever and fun doing it. 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Seventy sixers fan. I need answers after five and start. Philadelphia has slipped to just seven and five. They came into the league this season projected to be a tier of their own with the bucks as the only two contenders in the east. So far far we have not only fallen behind but teams like the Celtics the heat and the raptors have exceeded all expectations and are looking like much more genuine title contenders ban. My sixers to me. I see three major problems. One are three point. Game is week two. We seem to forget how to play good basketball in the fourth quarter or in the final moments of games three bad discipline we follow a lot and we are the league worst and turnovers per game at thirtieth so Michael. You could hear Luke's self-diagnosis it's like he's walking into the e R with his arm. You know falling off. And he's pretty sure he's got a broken arm but he needs you to confirm it. Are these the same issues. That you're seeing. What The Philadelphia Seventy sixers? So far and our fans like Luke and other media via analysts may be overreacting to some of the trouble that Philadelphia's had here in the first month of the season. I understand the need due to feel like the sky is falling For a team that had some splashy moves over the summer brings back Joel embiid and and Ben Simmons and those guys should be really hungry given the way that their season ended and they've been basically the same players that they were last year which is not very encouraging urging. I mean I'm I think this team needs time. I mean what you have here is a situation where the regular season exists for experimentation for chemistry building for guys to understand Dan each other's tendencies. It's a little awkward so far with With Joel embiid playing with Al Horford and Simmons and and the spacing and they're posting up a ton and driving lanes do not exist. And it's a really mucky offense that you know if you watch yesterday's game against the Sunday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. You're able to post up and dominate and have no problem but against the best of the best. That's going to be an issue so I mean the the issues that I've seen with this team so far have existed you know ever since they've risen to the level of respectability And right right now. You know they're trying to figure out how to replace all the good that Jj Gave you and all the good the Jimmy Butler gave you down the stretch last season in the end in the playoffs. And that's GonNa take some time and I don't know look like the fit is the fit and and you know we just talked about trades with the Celtics. I think that the sixers may be in need of a trade at some point down the line just given how things are mashed together. But there's a lot of talent here here the Defense Winn- embiid is on the floor With Horford is just I mean. It's a monster. No one can score on that team. Lot of talent on that end and offensively I. I think that there's a lot of growing to do. Yes so some of this stuff. It was predictable right. I mean when you're looking at taking out radic. Who is your major space creator? You're taking out Jimmy Butler. Who was your major late game scoring playmaker? And then you're placing Tobias Harris and I would say a different role in terms of probably shifting him down a little bit in the bigger lineups. You're bringing being a new piece in Josh Richardson. So he's got an adjustment You've got horford on offense needing to adjust to playing with a ball dominate kind of centerpiece type center in Embiid. Also Point Guard. Who just doesn't shoot at all from outside of basically you know like a six foot radius on the court? I mean those are a lot of adjustments assessments right so I definitely was expecting this to take a while for Philadelphia from an offensive standpoint to me. It's still been worse than I expected doesn't mean as broken forever her but it's not in a great spot and it's definitely not in a championship winning spot you know. And even if they're making you know moderate moderate gains real questions like is this team going to be able to control the pace of play dominate. Everything be consistent on the defensive end and just turn it into a rock fight because if not they're not going to be good enough to win the title so dad's probably you know raising some eyebrows for Philly when you when you have such a big summer and and you're dreaming title Title Title Title Right Leads Zero in on this Horford and embiid pairing because what exactly are you seeing between those two guys. That's that's working well versus. What's maybe not working right sort of on either side of the court because that was their big You know philosophical move right I was there zag back. They're saying we're going to go bigger than everyone. We're going to have to Yana. Stoppers in the middle We're going to control tempo. We're going to own the glass we're going to have you know some high Q.. Players out there. We're going to just do something that no one else is really doing in the league right now. And you've seen some other teams try to go back to play. Big I mean. La The Lakers are pretty big across her frontline with guys like Javale McGee. Anthony Davis Lebron James and Dwight Howard coming off the bench. I mean that's a pretty big frontline too so it's not like small ball continues to drive everything in twenty twenty But Philadelphia definitely stands out from the pack. And I think it's because of those two centerpiece big is so. What are you seeing that works? And what are you saying. That doesn't work. Well just looking at the numbers with how Horford has played when he's beside me. I mean look the the team has been okay. Okay particularly defensively as I already mentioned they've been really good with those two on the court and like it way worse than the worst version of the New York Knicks win both of Sit which has been an issue when embiid is out which has been frequent. And that's fine because it's the regular season and load management etc etc.. But when I look at Horford Horford I mean. He's coming from a situation where he had the ball in his hands a lot he had a lot of touches Around the elbow he had post touches. he would pick can pop a ton a pick and roll a little bit in ways that you know he can't do beside him bead So that's been a huge adjustment for him. His usage usage is twelve percent win beside Joel embiid and those minutes and that is I mean. That's just that's just not gonNA work long term. I don't think I think that I. I think that there might be a correlation. Can't prove this but there might be a correlation between the fact that he's shooting fourteen percent from the three point line and with not I have an an having such a low usage. He's basically if you're a twelve twelve percent usage or whatever forty percent usage like. You're just a lamp out there right like you're not participating you're just kind of your you know your P J Tucker on your furniture your furniture. Yes that is a much better comparison. So so that's been great for Al and like I said his role in Boston was just a lot larger and I guess more significant offensively than it has has been so far and you see him play a lot better when Joel embiid is not on the court beside him when he's at the five and he surrounded by shooters and Ben Simmons and and playing off all of that So that's what I've seen you know issues wise just offensively You know there was one play in a recent game. I believe it was against the Oklahoma City thunder where Horford and embiid both posted up at the exact same time on opposite blocks and called for the ball. And it's something I've never really seen seen before in an NBA game. It was very uncomfortable and I believe that the possession ended with a turnover so These things will hopefully hopefully on wrinkle themselves time and if not like they're just not GonNa win the championship. Yeah and I think is also important to note right now they don't have a top ten defense right so it may be working but it's not working as well as I thought it was when they got Horford. I just said okay. Pencil them in top two defence. Right maybe somebody else like Utah or somebody just plays insane defense and so they. They don't get that number one spot but like that's where they should sort of be settling especially when you've got got so much length athleticism across every single position And they haven't played you know fully to to stuff like that and so that's Concerning to me too and I guess it goes back to the consistency factor with them bead and then just kind of like the general questions about segments. Where some nights he looks absolutely ridiculous? An amazing and like you know future top ten player here and other nights you know. He's just driving. Everyone crazy with you. Know some of his shots election refusal to take certain shots and I guess on that point You know we did get a question here from Oliver he writes Brett Brown. Should Find Ben. Simmons a thousand dollars per game unless he misses at least one three pointer. Maybe that's an insignificant amount to an NBA player. But they gotta try something to get this guy to shoot more. He's a talented player but he will never reach. His full. Potential and his weakness can be greatly greatly exploited when it matters most so I actually just appreciate this idea from Oliver because my parents tried to use this on me when I was in middle school. You know it's like playing a on a better team with older guys and so I was deferring too much and they were like you know. Hey every time you take shot will give you a dollar. Doesn't matter if you make it so I like that. Ben Simmons Max. Level player is getting the same motivation motivational strategy from Oliver. But I do think that you know we're talking talking about philly spacing issues and guys being on the block and this sort of being like an Elton brand like late nineties experimented times. Does Simmons Simmons just compound everything though like how much of this is that his feet. I've defended him as much as I can. These last couple of years but I love you know first of all I appreciate shake greatness. I'm a wing CONNOISSEUR I love to see self-improvement guys like Pascal. SIAKA in Janas they appeal to my heart because of how much they work to make themselves as good as they they possibly can be and with Simmons. There's so much raw talent there. There's so much you know quote unquote god-given ability he was so NBA ready at an early age in high school. The steps that I anticipated that he would make from the first time I saw him when he was seventeen or eighteen to where he is right. Now whatever five years later have really left me wanting you know and it would really frustrate me if I was a sixers fan or if I was in their front office or if I was coaching staff because I mean clearly early they know his weaknesses right. It doesn't work if your point guards afraid to shoot all the time from anywhere outside of five feet you're going to have to address that to some degree agree and I'm sure they brought it up you know I'm sure it's a sensitive subject and they just haven't gotten anywhere at the end of the day. He's gotTA shoot. That's just like what it is uh-huh you know you see him in warm ups before They'll they'll show videos and clips of him pre-game shooting corner threes drilling eight nine in in a row. I mean the guys just needs to shoot the ball because what you have instead is the crux of his fit with embiid where embiid is shooting being more threes than ever before. And he's making them now which is like that's that's great At a career high rate but like at the end of the day. What you what you I need is like embiid is your best player? So everyone around Everyone around him needs to serve him and his game in some way and and instead what you have is Joel Serving Simmons because Simmons has this fatal flaw. And that's just it that that's not a recipe for success long term. And so you know well put put a finer point on it. Would you just trade Simmons. I mean and it doesn't have to be at the deadline. Maybe it's next summer. Like how much more leash do you give this pairing given what you've described as the tension. That's arising from Simmons fatal flaw. I think I think that if you lose in the if you don't make it to the conference finals obviously this year than there's going to be a major shake-up. I don't think that that would surprise. Anybody I've beyond Brett Brown no longer being the coach Heads will roll. and Ah I think I just don't think fundamentally that you can build I think that it's very difficult to build a championship winning team around around the Simmons In bead pairing and they they were very close last year. You know they they could have easily won that series against the Raptors in round two. Who and then who knows what happens after that you catch a couple breaks But you had Jimmy Butler you don't have Jimmy Butler anymore and I I just think that there are a lot of issues with with these two together spacing wise and right now. They're off their best offense happens. You know they get a stop which is their strength defense. They get a stop they push they find a mismatch on the other end. They post it and they work from there. And that's just not gonNA be a functional approach in the playoffs. It just isn't so I don't know what you Trade Simmons Four. I think you wait a little bit I would probably wait the rest of the season lest This continues on looking as clunky and as ugly as as it has I can't see them making a trade before this year's deadline I feel like that would be pretty drastic and I don't know what team out there. Value Simmons More than the sixers do so If they if they they struggle at the end of the year in the playoffs this season I do not see them. I do not see Simmons and embiid continuing on his teammates. Don't think that makes a Lotta Sense. Yeah I think there's a lot of teams that would value Simmons as highly or or even potentially more highly than the sixers as soon as this deadline just because I think if he teams best player and he's not in a situation where he's clashing with the player like embiid. I think a lot of things open up right like you could play spread lineups around him. Right if you can get like a you know. Basically four out around Simmons. And he's just attacking downhill constantly and you're playing at a super super high temple. You're basically Oh you know forging a team in his identity. That team could be really fun. It could be a lot better than half the teams in the Eastern Conference. Right now it would sell a lot of tickets. He would be a huge star he would sell jerseys people would talk about a shooting last right now. I think he's kind of in a certain way set up for failure. You know given the expectations in Philadelphia and given the fitting With embiid now does that mean. Philadelphia's should absolutely pull the plug as soon as possible. No I'm Kinda with you. I think they're going to. He's play out this season but I think whenever they decide to trade them they'd be able to get a lot for them and I think there would be a lot of organizations that don't have that franchise player who would Kinda Circle Simmons and and say man like we'd be in a lot better place you know both financially but also just like organization direction standpoint if we had him as the main guy like Imagining Simmons in the exact same scenario. That Jaanus is in. It's a little unfair to. It's a little unfair to him but you know aesthetically put him. I'm with someone like Brooke Lopez's a five who strictly shoots threes very well spaces the floor and then everybody else who you know has gravity and let them go downhill. Let Him Use his vision his passing ability which is transcendent which is great And that's kind of his situation that that's that's his best situation but you know embiid takes up a lot of space in the paint or at least he should on the block and having embiid space really mitigates his his greatest strength. I mean you said across screen for him on the block and throw it to him and let him go to work one on one without help. I mean he's unstoppable as any player player in basketball. So that's what they should be doing. Because that is the the apex of their offense and they can't really do it because Simmons is Simmons. He can't he can't shoot the basketball and he refuses to. Yeah I mean if I am like Minnesota New York Chicago Cleveland Charlotte basically any of those teams. Who knows what package you're GONNA put together to really get Philadelphia excited? But would you rather have your current roster and its five-year future going forward or would you rather have Simmons You know as a centerpiece that you're building around And you know he could work with the players towns really well to me because towns is just more of a natural spread five. He's doing more of that. He's out of the paint. Simmons would have more room to operate I think that one would actually work better than you. Know the the embiid pairing but even if you didn't have a high level center even if you had you know like we mentioned earlier like an Aron Baynes who's comfortable bill being out of the way and we'll set screens for you And you know won't cramp your best players want to do and will actually maybe make them better. Insurance situations is by doing the little things. I think he'd be better off. It'll be something to watch here like at some point. If you're simmons like doesn't get in your head like aren't aren't you feeling like you're getting blamed. Aren't you feeling like your fatal flaw which you have to know deep down as a flaw is going to make make you a scapegoat in Philadelphia. I would be if I were him. I'd be kind of sick of embiid kind of getting all the attention and sort of being that You Know Main Guy Yeah. I think that's a pretty common ego battle. I'm just saying from my perspective. I'm not saying he feels that right now. But there's just a lot of things that could potentially go Rogge for Philadelphia here if they don't get back to consistently winning games and to kind of putting their stamps on games and playing better defense sort of I guess realizing ultimate brands offseason vision. So we'll see how plays out by the deadline but certainly to me a team to watch as well Both in February and and going forward into next summer all right before we shift gears to take more questions from the open floor globe. We've got one more. Add to get through it is from health. 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Yeah this is the big time teed the contract look game changing move by the Blazers Tye from Adelaide rights. Now that Carmelo has signed with the Blazers. Can't we speculate. On how useful he is going to be. You will mellow provide a role player boost similar to what we've seen from. Dwight Howard on the Lakers or is all hope lost for the future hall of Famer. Great Question from Thai so Michael I ask You You know scale of one to ten. How big of a deal Carmelo's returned to the NBA? After more than a year away from basketball I put it at like a two maybe. Is that too harsh. I one point five or two seems about right I mean. I think it's really really important to keep a expectations in. Check your the reason why I say that. Only as he been away from basketball for a long time but he was pretty horrible at Houston and had I mean I think people tend to focus on the offensive fit stuff. How he's GonNa work offensively but like if you are the worst or one of the worst defensive players in the the entire league the offense fit stuff is really hard to even begin to broach right? Because you're putting him out there and to me in Houston. He looked like he was in quicksand. I thought he was giving decent effort. But the quickness wasn't there laterally. He doesn't really have a good position to cover. I guess he's a power forward. You can pig on him in terms terms of switches and pick and rolls. He's not going to be able to cover guards basically at all He's not a high impact. You know defensive rebounder in terms of being being able to give balls and traffic He's not a shop locker by any stretch of the imagination. He's not like a vertical threat. So I mean you can nitpick just like you know his hat collection or his personality or his ego and all that stuff and I think people tend to be drawn to those kinds of criticisms but I think the fundamental criticism. That's going no matter for Portland. WHO's got a pretty bad defense right now and has struggled out of the gate is that doesn't play any defense whatsoever? And if you put them out there alongside Hassan whiteside home Mike. Gosh that could get ugly really quick. Yeah that's That's not what Neil O'Shea was Thinking about when he put this team together I I mean does that Collins when he was on the floor before he got hurt their defense was pretty solid And in some lineups very effective you've Like the down the drop from from that to or even from you know Amino from the past few seasons and heartless and those guys down onto To Mellow who your. He's probably his. It's safe to calm the worst offender in basketball. I mean I feel like the the the the impact of something like that individually will not be as glaring in the regular season just when teams kind of coast from game to game nate. Nate without a particular You know teams will attack him for share particularly in crunch time. But you know we assume that he will not be on the floor and crunch time so that won't be an issue but it's more like in the playoffs when you know possession to possession you are a glaring Spot a glaring glaring spot on the other team that can be attacked. And I think that'll be the more painful part in you. Know we assume that offensively he will be The the guy who You know shined in the Olympics and only took spider threes space. The floor could get you a bucket late in the shot clock if necessary. This airy would post a little bit to draw too. I mean. That's a big assumption. I The Lord knows how he's going to play and whether or not his ego is in check. He said all the right things. But he's coming into a situation where You know this team needs a lot of help in a lot of different areas and He sees he's himself. I would assume as score and one of the better scores in the league And he's not even close to that so I think it'll be a really like I. Just don't i. Don't see him being on the Portland Trailblazers in April I. His non guaranteed contract is non guaranteed for a reason. And we'll we'll see how long it lasts. Yeah I mean it's it's Kinda cringe worthy. I think you're right. He would get attack more in the playoffs but he's going to have to make it to the playoffs for Australia. And I think that's kind of an open question and when I look at his offensive game well first of all the Dwight Howard comparison I think of falls flat for a little bit first of all. Dwight Howard has done like a one eighty on his mental stole a approach in terms of his willingness to be a role player and to be a good teammate. It's crazy to see. I like you know basically like rub my eyes every single single night i. I still don't believe it but he's consistently done it game. After game here to start the season it does feel like he's got a new chapter in his career and it's it's working out for him but it's not just a mental cypher. Dwight he's in ridiculously good shape and I don't know where that came from either and he is able to In a lot of situations either compete for tough rebounds in the pain chase loose balls like physically. He's moving really well better than he has. In recent years is certainly what he was injured and I think losing a lot of weight really did help them I think both of those aspects are critical to Dwight success here to start the season and I think with Carmelo Anthony. We actually have fewer questions about his makeup as mentality because the people in Houston said it was fine. Obviously it was an issue in Oklahoma City because He wanted to start and he he wanted to close games and they you know they agreed to allow him to start kind about their own detriment throughout that season and in the playoffs they finally at the very end of it didn't close games with mellow and he took it pretty You know personally As any competitor and and Future Hall of Famer would I think he's gotten over some of that stuff but it it just comes back to the body and the skill set for me offensively. He just misses a lot of shots and You know he takes tough shots and that's not really that helpful Portland. It does need a release valve offensively. I mean Lillard and mccollum have both been getting pressured. Allot mccollum hasn't started the season that well. I think he will play better. So that should actually really you know. Make life a little bit easier when he gets back to his normal standard So there is some need for someone like mellow to do to you. Know to provide I perimeter shooting. That Anthony Tolliver Mario his own. Those types of guys can't bring to the table But is it going to overwhelm and had kind of like compensate for his other weaknesses. Whether it's you know the limit playmaking ability and whether it's the the defensive You know issues kind of across the board. And whether it's just kind of his general mobility. I think that you know really remains to be seen. I think the blazers coming up here are going to play the Milwaukee Bucks this week. If Mellow is in the lineup I just encourage everyone. Pray for mellow okay. Jaanus is a different beast right now ed. I think that that could get ugly if they're getting matched up. I don't know I I hear what you're saying about people not being targeted and everything like that. But if I was Milwaukee it's like let's see if you underscore underscore one hundred tonight. Like how could that go. That could be a good headline for us. I feel like this analysis is insulting to Terry Stotts who will obviously not play Carmelo. Anthony Anthony at the same time as well. I'm just say it's hard to hide them. You can't hide them forever right leisure if he's if you're if you're bringing him in you have to give him minutes because they're getting nothing from that spot right and then once he's on the court to me it's just like this ominous countdown. It's like the shark movies where the piano. The music starts to play like that. That's how I feel would mellow is on the court because it's just like a countdown to win. People are going to explain him. That sounds rude. I'm sorry sorry but the truth. The countdown towards inevitable slaughter a little rude but but yeah. I mean the other thing that I'll just throw in here. That might be an obtuse point but Do you really want Carmelo Anthony taking shots from someone like Anthony Bernie simmonds like I. I just don't know at the end of the day. What the With the net positive effect is of having him on the floor. Let alone the There we're not covering the NFL and this. Is You know I take but you know. There are off-court distractions that happen in terms of just in general media coverage having to answer questions about him every day if you're cj off your dame or if your coach dots. Like I feel like that. That is a factor that we we can't really quantify I don't know how you feel about that as something. Why think Portland did try to telegraph that aspect of it ed by like really highlighting the non-guaranteed nature of his deal usually that's not how these kinds of News stories come out because it's kind of a slight to the player right and so usually. Oh you just say Oh yeah. We're signing him right I think the emphasis on that non-guaranteed part was sent a coded message to the rest of the League into the Blazers fans ads. It's like guys. Don't worry we are prepared to pull the plug if this does not work. We are going to balance Just have a little faith. Were that desperate and I. I think it's surprising how quickly Portland reached that position given. They were in the Western Conference finals last year. But then again I mean look at Golden State. They made the finals. And they're and even worse spot because of injuries so fortunes can change and I think ultimately like this Carmelo thing is going to be kind of a blip and we're going to you know we're going to move von and Portland their seasons not going to be determined by this move to me. A bigger factor is when to CJ mccollum get right and then are they able to find find anyone to take on whiteside at the trade deadline and then when does nourish comeback. I think those are the factors that are ultimately going to determine Portland success. And we'll see how that plays out out what's up open floor glow. This is Ben Golfer. I'm sure you have read all the gift giving lists. 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You his first game was in New Orleans at thirty three points. His second game was at hope. He had thirty seven points against the Atlanta Hawks. He basically could doc Mrs. Schott he was moving well after the game. Everyone wants to know the secret to his success is incredible scoring outbursts in limited minutes and Paul all George said frankly look. I've got new shoulders. I haven't felt this good in a long long time immediately. The take Hannon's You you know started coming Weiwei. We got Jomar from instagram. Who who wrote in to say if PG is fully healthy like this? He is the best player on the clippers. He's a a serious. MVP and defensive player of the year candidate you could say he has enough ability to be a more complete player than Kawhi offensively and they have the same defensive tenacity plus Paul George will probably stay healthier. What is your take? So I throw this to you Michael Clearly Paul George which kind of had a dream start after not playing basketball for six months. And the last time he was on the Court Damian Lillard was draining 35-footer in his eyeball and he had to call it a bad shot afterwards so this was a great way to turn the page start. Afresh Chapter For his time with the clippers. Are you buying Jomar selling. What is Paul? George ceiling relative tipped quiet letter. I think that is the best player in the world and has been for a while. So I'M NOT GONNA go there with I. Do I mean if Paul George Able to sustain a forty seven percent usage and an eighty percent true shooting percentage than like by all means and like bow down. He's better than Michael Jordan but Now I think I think Kawhi is I mean he's just proven it in the playoffs. It's time and time again. He's unstoppable in the mid range in ways. That even Paul George is not. I mean. It's really it's a kind of a tricky situation. When you compare superstars I mean Paul George finished third in? MVP last year he was tremendous. He does so many things complementary to his teammates. He moves off the ball so well he can score and so many different ways But I just. I don't agree with that at all. I think when he is at his best is the best that basketball has right now. So yeah that's where I stand on that but is that is that Hot take or is that Safe take what is your What is your read on that and I basically with you? I think why the conversation for best player to me. It's like Hawaii Lebron and Jaanus. I do think that Paul George has to kind of earn his way into it. But I think people overlook Georgia's regular season last year. Probably because it happened in Oklahoma City probably because you know there was real doubts about his Westbrook GonNa hold them back accurate. Are they going to hit a wall in the postseason yet again. Paul George was unconscious at times last season. He's in his prime. He does look healthier. He's he's moving well. Obviously he's got to get up to speed defensively. He said that Doc rivers has said that but his game is so flexible and eventually the clippers will finally elite put out a lineup. That has both Leonard and Paul George in it at the same time and I am really really interested to watch. How does this little like Alpha battle title unfold right? Because when Paul George was out injured to start the season the whole team was image. Right like he's running everything. He's taking every shot late. He's got the bonus hands He's playmaking lot you know. He's doing the. The point is stuff that we'd never really seen on such a level before and it's like the show. When is out and Paul George is back? It was amazing how quickly it became. Just the Paul George Show. He's bringing the ball up the court walking into off the dribble three pointers banging them. I'm left and right now scoring out. We'll get into the paint drawing fouls like looking like he could run his own team at a very high level like anywhere in the league. Right It's a unique combination of talents to premiere two wings on the same team. We haven't seen that in decades But you also have have two guys who are basically at their offense a piece in my mind right. They've discovered new layers to their games. They didn't have before and they're doing it in an environment where they have a lot of offensive talent around them. So they're in position to succeed. This should all point towards a devastating. An incredible offense where they're just add this effortless interplay and they're just taking turns like exciting and killing teams. I'm just curious. Do you think it's GonNa work out that way or are there possible hiccups between those two guys. I mean I think that there there could be hiccups cups at the start but generally speaking the way that both are so difficult to deal with off the ball in Kevin Arnovitz wrote this incredible piece before the season about how Los Angeles is coaches would draw actions for Kawhi and Paul George and I mean when you have have one when you have a you have the ball in his hands. You know. You're running Paul Georgia flares on the weak side. And you're running in a pick and roll with Lou Williams uh-huh or mantras herald or whoever's sitting a ball screen like I just don't know how you defend that So there's a lot of different actions and everyone on. This team is very smart everybody. He plays extremely hard I think at the end of the day if there's a reason why they're the favorite if there is any favorite to win the championship this season and in crunch time stopping Kawai alone is almost impossible and stopping him with Paul George already on the floor floor complimenting him Paul George knocking down threes attacking. Close outs you know. He can run his His own pick and rolls fine better even than potentially as a playmaker. So I think that you know the ceiling is very high offensively and then if you look at just defensively. It's really scary. I mean that's that's the the side of the floor that I'm personally most Looking forward to seeing with You know those two Pat Beverley. I mean it's just going to be a junkyard dog situation at like three of the five positions and the mantras Harrell's there as well and I. It's just GonNa be really fun to see. Yeah for sure I mean I think speak The other layer to kind of put on top of this. It's just that Paul George has such a bigger personality right like so much more charisma off the court so much more star power. I mean already. We're seeing in these post game. Press conferences where like you know Kurai as everyone knows it's like pulling teeth to get things out of and I think he's actually been pretty open and honest this year by his standards. But it's still tough. Paul George comes out. And there's that superstar moxie that swagger that we're accustomed to from top five top ten level players players. He captured in a room in a way that has dozen so again. You're looking for ways that this can go wrong. These two guys have presented themselves CBS as united front. You know they sit side by side in the locker room locker. Rooms of their lockers are adjacent. They've played up the hometown. Angle were both you know relatable. They're both on their third third teams. They both started in small markets. They were both kind of like ten to fifteen Your picks in the draft and they both improved a ton during their MBA career. They're kind of different employers than they were when they were Kinda pre draft prospects so they have a lot in common and it should work But I mean I mean. It's just so different now. I WanNa see it and that's kind of what I'm looking forward. It's one of the biggest stories. I'm looking forward to here over the next two or three weeks in the NBA. It's kind of that partnership. And how they feel each other out to start their tenure together and then how it blossoms and how quickly they can get to sort of that undefeatable level all that That you're describing all right. We got one last question to close it out. Michael Sam Rights. I just watched Luca dominate at Madison Square Garden. I love him just as much as everyone else seems to. But we love rookies earlier in their career before public opinion turns on them due to shortcomings. Ben Simmons who mentioned earlier was praised early on for many things that he does well and even his lack of shooting was swept under the rug people love Blake Griffin and then they said he had to develop an outside side shot which he ultimately did and some people get on him now for being too much of an outside player. If you've got those kinds of precedents with Ben Simmons and Blake Griffin getting criticism criticism after being in the NBA. A few years. Is there anything in Lucas game that you think he will need to eliminate or change so that he can stave off an inevitable backlash. So what do you think Michael. First of all I think the inevitable backlashes called the Neville backlash for a reason. I you unless he wins the championship this season or next season and carries the Dallas Mavericks on his back. I don't this is just what happens with everybody. It's just the way the society is and the way Phantom Works I mean Luke is I was at that game at MSG. He was phenomenal It's been phenomenal all season long. And I mean if I had to pick one particular part of his game that People will point to if he struggles in the playoffs. It would probably be just defense. Because he's as complete offensively is anyone. His Age has looked. Maybe I guess since Lebron James was twenty years in the NBA so Luca is advanced beyond his years and I it's it's really really. It sucks but people love to build someone up and then tear them down. That's just how this works at work. It went happened with with K.. Eddie with Anthony Davis with just about any really mega talented young star who did not win at the highest level On his first I contract. That's that's basically how it works So there will be backlash and I'm really glad he's GonNa get it got you know I mean that's basically that's the blueprint right. It's going to be picking on his defense and then I think picking on how dom and he is and like you know if he happens to not be shooting the three-pointer well and he's taking you know a lot of threes than people will say. Oh you know. His style. Play holds his teammates back. I mean I think those are going to be the knocks on Luca. I encourage everyone one. And this is something that you can actually control because you can't control this overall narrative asthma Michael's describing of the building people up tearing them down which you can't control as your own personal appreciation appreciation and enjoyment in a player. Don't worry about whatever what else is going to be saying about Luca. Two years from now. Just Watch Luke play basketball. This guy is absolutely phenomenal final. He's really fun to watch. And the same thing goes for trae young to me. I think we're in a situation and I wrote about this for my post up newsletter at the Washington Post and you can find a link to it on my twitter page there in round three right now. Round one was Luca versus trae. Who Do you want to pick in the draft and obviously that prompted a big time? Trait traits can be remembered forever round two was the rookie of the year race last year. When Luke Beats Out trae but a lot of people were pretty excited about trade coming on late and how well he was playing to me around three right now? It's the most improved player as I mean. I would put Pascal in that race to in a few other players but I think both Luca and trae how to be in this most improved player conversation. Already they're both top ten in points and assists. They're both running their teams completely trays doing it with one hand tied behind his back because a John Collins suspension suspension and because of all the injuries around him in Atlanta Luca is integrating a new sidekick and KRISTAPS Porzingis. WHO's maybe disappointed? Some people in in terms of you know The state of his game after so much time off not in a horrible way but just maybe leaving people a little bit wanting they've both just taken massive steps from year one onto your to if you go back and look at their numbers and everybody compared Luca to like. You Know Lebron James Next Lebron James during pre-draft hire poor man's Lebron James his age. Twenty numbers are better than Lebron's h twenty numbers. Trays numbers. Right now are better than any of steps numbers he got compared to until steps first I am VP season now. Obviously that's going to be influenced by PACE in space. You know the rising off and kind of style a player these last couple of years but no one would have believed that for either one of those guys even the people who are hyping Luca and trey would not have gone that far out on a limb and said look they're gonNa have better numbers than these guys in year. Two At age twenty. No one would have said that. So I think from that standpoint shutout all the negative noise don't worry so much about twitter. Trust Russian eyeballs. Trust your heart. Trust your gut enjoy watching these guys play. It's a massive story for the League that there's two playmakers who are linked by this trade. Who are you know rising so quickly and rising in tandem And you know there's GonNa be more rounds down the road you know. These guys aren't going to be done. Even if one of them wins most improved player. There's GonNa be a more awards. Bigger awards postseason showdowns to come in the future if they continue to keep growing like this And you love to see it. All Dr Michael. We have reached the end of your first open floor spot. Thank you so much for joining me guys. If you want to interact with the show please email us open floor male ed gmail.com ml.com open. FLOOR MALE EDGY DOT com. We're also on apple podcasts. You can find our page by searching for open floor. That's two words. Once you get there scroll down. It will say rate and review taft five stars. It's just that easy to help us. Spread the word and keep us engaged. I'm on Instagram at Ben Dog Oliver. And if you guys guys aren't following Michael on twitter or instagram Michael. Tell me where they can find you at twitter as at Michael v Pena P. I. N. A.. And I believe it's the same thing for instagram. Perfect well before next episode. We're going to confirm your instagram handle. We'll get you up here Get your clout chasing game on a higher higher level. We'll be ready to rock. Are Michael until later this week. I will talk to you. Thanks for having me Ben really appreciate it uh-huh.