PHI/TOR Game 2, POR/DEN Game 1; The Free Agent Shooting Guard Class
Got a lot to get to here. Tonight. A two game night villi taking care of Toronto to even that series at a game apiece. Huge win for Phillies seemed like after game one we could be headed to that five gamer that I think Danny and I bowl predicted. We still could be going in that direction. And then we gotta talk about Denver Portland and gift to some free agent rankings as well here. But I think where you have to start here is with the defensive adjustments that the Sixers made which I thought were very successful. Yeah. And one of them was something you posited on our game one recap which was kind of figuring out. Okay. How can you slow down? What Toronto is doing and the idea behind it was there are the similarities in terms of the lack of in-between game. I think is very near the mid rid the pull up mid range all that with PASCAL Siaka Magnon us, and what some teams have done including Philadelphia on Janas is put a center as this primary defender and using Joel Embiid in that matchup. One of the biggest benefits there was that. He was able to be so much more disruptive around the basket. Yeah. I thought that Toronto really struggled to finish around the room and Siaka in particular was forced into a really rough game nine of twenty five from the field. Only got to the foul line for two attempts twenty one points overall and yeah got up to twenty five shots. But he tried him beat a couple times early beat him with one spin move early on. But overall, he wasn't really trying and beat and beat was just laying back and saying, hey, I'm seven two you wanna go into me, generally Ciocci has had the length and athleticism advantage are most guys who guard him. He was able to get those great touch finishes off the glass moving to the room. And Embiid really denied that from him. M Siaka did hit two of seven from downtown. But it was a lot awkward shots from him going seven out of eighteen from two point range and a guy who who shoots Iran sixty percent in a lot of games. So that was huge just to slow down Siachen him. Self. And then to also be able to have more help available on some of the drives. Leonard was still thirteen at twenty four. But when Embiid was in the game, he wasn't doing as much. I thought his looks were a lot harder. It was still a dominant game with thirty five points. He's really the only raptor who played well ofensive Lii, and they tried to dare the raptors to get into the post of Marcus all they had some success doing that briefly in their run in the third quarter, forcing some double teams with the gazelle guarded by that usually Tobias Harris, but over August all was only one out of six in one of four from three. So it's not like he was just killing them in the post probably could go to that a little bit more when they made a concerted effort. It looked good well and not only that, but the concerted effort hell was a part of getting to my Sarasin foul trouble. He ended up finishing with four. But and so it didn't really affect the minutes. He played, but it could have an indifferent game that could have altered it. But I want to talk a little bit about Toronto what they did from to. And I mean, they were just devastating. I mean Kawai Siaka overall in game one fifteen to twenty five around the rim. So. Solid. You know, not not not particularly ridiculous in twenty five attempts is okay. Especially considering Toronto got to the line for thirty one free throw or sorry. Not thirty one free. Throws four fifteen free throws. That was important. I was going to get the wrong one, but twenty five restricted area nineteen float arrange, and then and they were only seven of nineteen there and then one of ten for mid range. So I'm not saying Joel Embiid is the reason they were one of ten from mid-range, but scaling out there shots not getting as much run the basket not getting as much as three throw line. That means you're going to have to get a larger part of your diet there and generally speaking, whether it was due to Embiid or not that wasn't sustainable in this game. Yeah. Meanwhile, Ben Simmons had the quite match up the whole time while we mentioned collided pretty well in this game at and whenever he got a switch, really feasted but Simmons forty four minutes only at six points, only took six shot attempts only had five assists. But I thought he was really important to just not let Leonard get anything easy. He competed. He got over screens. He wasn't going to get physically. Overpowered really the only wing guy who falls into that category with Leonard and then that freed up Jimmy Butler is well to do more offense ably he had thirty points, which is seventeen more than anyone else on the Sixers headed going from three point range with four out of ten got to the foul line few questionable ones. But he was just more much more active offensively got up twenty two shots, and he was able to relax a little bit more defensively hideout on either Lowry or green the a little bit more green usually was Rettig. But it wasn't as physically punishing a matchup for him. So he was able to be their offense of engine. I thought they did a nice job of attacking Markelle soul and pick and roll more often, especially when and we'll get to this. Why a director to make some rotational changes, especially when Embiid is out of the game. And so then you're basically it's pick and roll with Harris and Butler the whole time, and so Ishak is probably more mobile and better suited to defend in pick and roll, then Gazulas whereas. Console obviously is great in the post against him bead. So yeah. Thought the strategic changes worked they also just executed a lot better boxes and elbows really helping even one pass away off of Toronto. Shooters in Toronto finished a miserable. Ten out of twenty seven with some pretty good looks from guys like green Genucel that just didn't go down. I thought they also did a better job of making Leonard's looks tougher from three was three out of ten after four eight in the first game. But they really especially in that first quarter, which set the tone and trial in only at seventeen points. And remember both Siaka Ann Leonard had seventeen points in game one in the first quarter. I thought they really made it more difficult quite did find more space to operate as the game went on. But particularly at the beginning of the game. They're able to shrink the flora on Kauai and make his life more difficult. Speaking of shrinking I thought another important element of this game was Brett Brown, narrowing the rotation. They were running a seven seven but Moore of eight I guess man rotation James. NS the primary bench guy all their starters. Played thirty two plus minutes and leading score in the game for the Sixers James Ennis. Yeah. NS was two of six from three four of ten from the field. He played twenty four minutes. I thought he really did add add something and just also by not being a negative the way that a lot of their bench players are then the other primary spot was backup center that I thought Greg Monroe today. Really good job is surprisingly good job. During his minutes crashed the offensive glass was not as much of a liability defensively. But then he sprained his ankle. And they had to go to the tribe. Bon to try to Johnson. I thought Amir Johnson did better of those two. And then they had Joe Bolden playing spot power Ford minutes. Basically, just filling the gaps for when the other starters sat and no cork MAs. You know, none of the other kind of stuff. And I thought that I thought that worked a lot better for Philadelphia concentrating their minutes among their best players really did make a big difference. And also another thing when mentioned Philly twenty two assists on thirty made baskets and in the first. Half that was fourteen assist on sixteen made baskets some of that was you know, there wasn't as much. Joel Embiid isos. You only took one field goal attempt in the first half. But also, I thought they were moving the ball better. To those definitely the case your assist does look better with when you make shots and Philly shot at great eight out of fifteen in the first half for downtown. And then they proceeded to go to outed twenty in the second apple though, they did hit a one huge one with Butler that managed to keep him in front. When Embiid got double team in the post amls, totally op in some out hooked to pass all of the opposite wing for Butler three. And I think also just Butler being willing to be aggressive from downtown to get up ten three point attempts. And that wouldn't wouldn't shock me. If that was his season high three point attempts news averaging like three or four game. Maybe an they need that from. They just gotta get that spacing with Harris it having another rough night. And then Embiid twelve points to of seven six turnovers, he did actually succeeded in getting one decent. Look, actually. No, I'm sorry. I should say. To decent looks against Marcus Elliott that important up and under late off drive as Walney head. What one little flip shot a random, but gazelle still made his life premiums role in bead? In addition to the knee issues was a under the weather as he colorfully put it after the game or more colorfully put it I should say than saying under the weather. What else stuck out to you about this one? What you were right, which we've outlier he had nine. I think Uley had nine once and then he had eight a couple of times. So this was the season high of three point attempts for Jimmy Butler. Kyle Lowry was just he a lot of the shots. He was taking were fine within the course the offense. He was just missing them early. He was two of six from three but started out zero for four and then had two big three's that cut the margin late in when Toronto made this significantly more interesting. And then something else we didn't talk about was Philly one of the reasons even though they they shot a little bit better and Toronto just missed a ton of Tuesday's. Well, a reason this game was was a little bit. Closer was the huge disparity in turnovers. Nineteen to nine in favor of Toronto and half of the. Those were were still so wasn't a completely ridiculous number. But that is still I think that's important and something that I thought was was striking was leaking through the cleaning the glass single-game stats. Philadelphia had a point three six point per possession in transition in this game. So that's another another area where you would expect them to be better turnovers. Maybe not going to be better. But they should be better. In transition. Pseudo thing that needs to get a lot better is Toronto's bench. They weathered it. Because their starters were so incredible in game one. But I into be outscored in bench points twenty six to five after their bench. Did nothing in the first game balk at it. Okay stretch. But norm Powell really got roasted on defense. Isaka didn't really provide the spacing he'll about thirteen minutes in this game. Vanfleet was negative eighteen in eighteen minutes. And he really just continues to not be able to create any kind of offense in pick and rolls on the second unit when they got Leonard out of the game. He NCO comb just were not able to get it done. I do think now Toronto if it's gone. Going to be Embiid guarding Siaka. Okay. Now, put Siachen missed the ball handler and pick and roll put a shooter to screen in the back of Embiid and then pop out and now you've got something Siachen is capable of handling on those plays. And if it bead crowds to go under I think, you can still have Abobo guy set that screen on him caused problems. Even Siaka is not gonna pull up from the free throw line ease made one of those shots in the playoffs. But that's not really his game. And it's really as game to shoot three's author drool. But I think that's something that could work because imbued just isn't mobile like that. And then if you force help you can have a shooter probably Danny green would have to be that guy or even coli pop out give you the better match up. I did think that the Sixers overall in this game did a much better job on those small small pick and rolls involving Rettig guarding. The screener of though Toronto did start to get pretty good looks on that late em. You know, we could be talking about a much different game. Here of Toronto doesn't go ten out of thirty seven from three with some of their best shooters affiliate was ten out of thirty five. As wall. So it's not like they had a ton of luck the office of rebounds, actually, ended up even curiously enough. The Sixers did make it a lot easier by turning it over nineteen. Tonnes of what even kept this remotely close. In the first avenue is fifty one thirty eight at halftime in the Sixers turn it over twenty percent of their possessions. But I think is going to be a high turnover series for them with just how active Toronto is and some of the truncated spacing that they have. But then the other adjustment. I think that has to happen is just a little bit of a change for the raptors. Because as you often say, they need a theory of the second unit that's going to work, and maybe that is putting a soul in and just matching up his minutes with him bead. Then I'll I really like you Baca as a matchup offensively against Monroe as well because it Baucus pick and pop can really stress out at Monroe's lack of mobility. They did put Monroe on on the also it's unclear if Monroe's even be able to play in the next to him which amazingly for a guy who was on the last week of the season could end up being a blow for Philly if they have to go back to. Bon again or Amir Johnson. I I've affiliate will be Amir Johnson. But Amir Johnson it's going to be able to finish anything on a pick. It rolled away Monroe was or hit the offensive glass. He's just you hope he can be a stopgap defensively. But I think having a soul in there to second unit will just run a little bit better. If they're gonna put him beat on CRM with that second group now, you can get good soul in the posted. And maybe set up some shots for guys that way have those guys screen free other and just you'll have fewer dead possessions. Where you're the only guy who really can pass on that second group is then fleet who's really getting him in the offense. And he just can't finish at the ribbon. All or even really pull up for range. Very well. He just doesn't have the size of the explosion to get the separation and do that. So I think Kosovo really helped them on both ends if you matches minutes up with and beat out probably be my first look at Nick nurse. You know, this is one of those others like, yeah. You know, we won the last game. It's everything seemed to be working and y'all this. This kills me like coaches do not adjust when they win the game. And. Now you lost the game. Maybe because you didn't fix something that you could have fixed. You knew this as a problem, but we want we're not going to change. No, probably be proactive and fix the problem and said the point about the second unit offense, I think is really important your to the defense apart Kosovo doesn't much better job. Joel Embiid than search bucket that that isn't breaking news. But also remember that you're using a bucket center, then and you're you're losing a soul in certain lineups. When am beads on when embiid's off the floor will you should be able to score in those lineups. Anyway, like that do you should be able to have personnel. Make makes him. Hey, then and that gives van and van bleach to have a little bit more real estate all those things. So I think it's just it's a natural fit. And also because of Joel embiid's limitations due to injury since it sounds like I mean, the word that's been used. A lot is tendonitis. That's probably not gonna get meaningfully better during the series Kosova will probably play similar or more minutes than beat. So squaring their minutes to is. It isn't a problem. It isn't like you're creating some sort of gap. You're just allocating differently. Couple other note. Here. Go soul needs to just keep gutting from three point range. He's open. He can shoot over who whoever's guarding him there. Helping a lot at the rim. He just needs to make those shots and take those shots like they're kicking it out to him. He's open your only one out of four. He had one play where he was wide. Open pass it and said Danny green who got a shot blocked in the corner when he should coulda just taken. I know he wants to move the ball quickly and get the ball out of his hands. But he's worked very hard on that shot. I think he needs to be aggressive with it. Because the raptors offense does run if he doesn't take those shots in rhythm. I thought you were going to go from that into Danny Green's rough night. I me he was plus fourteen. And I thought defensively he really did did bring things to the table and his force basing matters. And also he's better than their bench guys because the bench guys do not play. Well, but one for eight one for six from three on the looks that you'd want to take in this game was close enough that after a scramble play coli. Leonard was a loose ball coiling or gets kicks it to any green has a three pointer that could have tied the game late and Danny green misses that shot to finish the. For six Danny green? Also, they haven't really gotten burned on this yet too much. But he's making a lot of dumb gambles. In the backboard, either going for offense of rebounds, or steals. He hasn't gotten any of them yet. It seems like every time Toronto's just so long that they've picked him up. But what jot I think they're going to get burned on a couple of those eventually for Philly. We didn't think they could win games in the series. Unless Embiid was one of the best players on the floor Mimi best player in the floor. Those not the case but Jimmy Butler did that instead with his thirty points. You know that probably is not going to happen. Again, annotate Toronto could do a better job on him particularly not following. But this is if it's going to fall apart for Toronto it's going to be on the offense event. You know, they have some streaky guys Lowery in green or good shooters. But no, we've seen green kind of wax and wane at times they have five guys in their starting lineup who can make three, but none of them who are just insanely reliable. So and they don't have a ton of playmakers especially a they're so dependent on CRM as a secondary score. And so if this is gonna work with Embiid garden. Him and he kinda gets taken out of things, and you can get more help from Embiid as well. You know, we might see Toronto starts to struggle to score in this series. So yet really it comes down to now, Nick nurses, time to adjust. They've gotta find a solution to get more production out of these bench units. And they've got to find a way to let Siachen get those rib attacks again now that he's being guarded by Embiid anything else you want to say on this one. No, I think that's pretty good cover of it has this game change how you feel about this series in over. Obviously, the the likelihood now is that it's going to go more than five. But is it changed your overall feeling on the dynamics of the series? Yeah. A little bit. I think that it was a reminder of something that we already knew which was that Toronto's offense is less consistent than their defense and finding something even if it's only for one game with the Embiid Siachen thing, and I think it could it could have some real legs to it that that makes me feel a little bit shakier about Toronto for me. It was it was the question of five or six I think six is is more like significantly. More likely now than it was before. But I mean, Philly just has taken business win at least one of their home games to get that split and Toronto. We're you're not only looking at this round. But the next round and the idea of them having some rough shooting nights is is something that gives gives me a little bit. Pas even if they make it through this for a potential series against whichever team makes it out of the other side. I didn't anticipate that the bench would struggle so much compared to Phillies, but it doesn't look like Mike Scott is gonna be returning anytime soon. He's still in it walking boot with that planner fasciitis may be he could make a return later in the series. I I'm worried about Greg Monroe a this ankle injury. Frankly, he couldn't continue that in usually you'll see guys can continue that it'll swell up them and their endanger maybe for the next game. A lot of times with these ankle issues. But if he since he couldn't continue tonight. That's definitely a concern. Is they got to go back to Bo bond or Amir Johnson. All of a sudden things are looking a lot worse. Maybe we'll see more. Ben Simmons at center lineups James Ennis will play even more than twenty four minutes. I still like Toronto in the series. Antic date easily have the best player in I Leonard. But Philly made it made it interesting that they know answers for Siaka game on and now they've found and that makes me feel much better. What makes me feel worse is Joel Embiid still having zero impact whatsoever an offense, but maybe this is going to devolve into somewhat of a defensive slugfest at and you imagine him beat will play a little better at home pumped up by the home crowd. I talk Denver Portland momentarily. But first I want to tell you about quip out. No that we look at ourselves as the most entertaining podcast, not a lot of quips between me and Danny. But that's because all the clips are taken by quip, which is the best electric toothbrush in my opinion. If you haven't used an electric toothbrush yet, you've probably got sweaty to got plaque on your tease, you could probably even feel it. The vibrations of your toothbrush up you dislodge plaque from your gums from your teeth, and you're not reliant just on muscle power. 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GT Q IP dot com slash cats faced off your that slash cat's face. You are L Plum. No that you came from us and get that first refill pack for free. So I used to the same question about Portland. Denver a one Twenty-one one thirteen Denver Nuggets victory in game one. They lead by five or more basic. The whole second half blazers got within two goes one on one ninety six and then Denver pulled away. Again. I pick Denver in seven. You had Portland in seven has this game changed your thinking on the series at all not a ton. Because this idea of how Denver could win was absolutely there. I mean, Nicoli Yokich was fantastic. They had a one twenty-seven offensive rating when he was on four. I mean, everybody's scored a lot of the time, but Yokich thirty seven nine and six on twenty one shooting possessions are sorry, no twenty four shooting possession, and he was dominant. They were lasers were able to get an his Kanner on the floor. I was shocked that he played as much as you. Did he played thirty three minutes, and despite really not being able to do much with his left arm, and they had no answers, and you can say, oh, you know, cantor defensible mutations though, the old camp stuff. But when you think about the other options that they have and Portland tried some of these later on in the game. Those don't make you feel much better. If better at all. Towards the end they tried 'cause the Murray Yokich pick and roll just completely destroyed the blazers in either direction as mostly one five sometimes they ran it that that five one as well. They also ran plays. Where Murray was screening for yoga Joff the ball that worked pretty well. They're just had absolutely no answers for that m part of it is because both Murray and Yokich are really good floater shooters, especially when they're wide open, which they were I think maybe a judgment that Denver could do is to put more length on Murray with amino Arcus, just you can bother him a little bit more from behind because you just can't get Kanter out on the floor. You got it. Just stop Murray the same way the Spurs kind of did with Derek Whyte at times just to get more length on and bothering him from behind Maria is not incredibly athlete. He's got a lower released points. You can father his shot a little bit that might be one thought that they could go for. But I mean, they just got completely carved up on that yoga's just going to the rim and finishing cancer can't really contest shots with his. Left hand. He's too slow. He he's not good at in space, and then the nuggets shotted extremely well. From three point range when they tried to bring more help in Yokich was three out of five as well. Cancer is not going to get out on the floor on him. If he decides to pop out to three after some of those the HBO's Murray was getting some pretty wide open looks. He was three out of sixty eight a great game with twenty three points on seventeen shooting possessions in eight assists. He was passing the ball over the gym looked pretty good. So it's like we thought at and then when Yokich got into the post they weren't able to stop in meet and get the line for twelve free throw attempts. It was just completely dominating performance. And we knew that Portland just wasn't going to have a much of a chance to stop him and cancer. What did have twenty six points on eleven of fourteen himself at some point Denver's gonna realize that he can't shoot a shot with his left handed and causing more problems around the rim. But he'll cantor had some good pick and roll finishing Dame. Lillard also had thirty nine points himself. And he was outstanding in forty three minutes by. Essentially, the whole second half. But I do think if you have to pick who has a better chance of slowing the other team down to some degree. I think Denver at least Fahd a few things that worked. Okay. Whereas the blazers just don't have any options at all. It was a brutal night for Alfred amino. He gun completely roasted by Paul Millsap in the first half Millsap dropped fifteen points. Sorry. Seventeen points six of eight from the field five of five from the line a lot of that at L free communities expense and then Millsap partially because he played so few minutes in the second half didn't have as big of a time. But then he had some real struggles. Offensively also committed some fouls in other players. It wasn't just on Millsap and one for five from the field three turnovers. No, assists and Portland. They don't always need to step up on a head L there threes or something else. But I thought both heartless and immu struggled immune far far more and that combined with CJ not having a great game. He he put hit some shots late. But that. Puts so much on Lillard shoulders and on the bench shoulders, and I thought the bench did they okay? Overall for Portland, but that overall mix is going to be really hard to sustain as brilliant as debut Lillard can be. Yeah. And Willard was four twelve from three. I thought they did a pretty decent job of not giving him wide open. Looks a lot of times bigger on. He was he was able to sneak the pick and roll he was civil a split. Some of those traps, they didn't have Yokich out on the floor as much defensively unless it was on the side where they could kind of travel against silent force me to give it up, but the allows them Zia will do attack ill and Yokich was not very effective as a rim protector on a lot of those plays Plumlee, they're able to he's in theory is more mobile, but you're still able to go around him big will destroy, you know, I'm not saying that Denver's defense was awesome. But just to get as much as they did out of Gary Harris McCollum really got off relate. I thought Harris just got beaten straight up by him a few times with quickness which probably shouldn't happen with Gary Harris of because he's got some pretty good quickness as a defender, but he started. To play a lot better. He did a really nice job at getting over some screens and helping to contest also blocked a Lillard three when they switched Harris on the Lillard late in the game. But I like the Harris McCullough metro think Harris actually can impact McCollum, whereas Lillard, it's more more pick and roll. And it's really more dependent on the big there with Lillard. A a lot of the time. Lillard also had got some pretty friendly whistles as did some the nuggets in the third quarter to but a lot of those falls on the drives work pretty questionable of that ended up putting the line for what upping thirteen free throw attempts. So that was impressive though to hold CJ to sixteen points on eighteen shooting possessions. Like, that's really what they need in this series. And then I thought at other really interesting number was only one three point attempt combined for me new and heartless amino heads some big shooting games against. Okay. See so Denver, at least and was Lillard taking twelve of their twenty nine three point eight times. I thought they did a better job than. Expected of taking away Portland's three pointers and Portland really failed to take advantage of the corner. Three at all, which is a shot that Denver gave up a lot in the regular season and Portland only took two corner threes in this game and throughout a lot of the game hadn't taken any. So that was good to not give up a those corner. Threes, portland. Also just needs to like actually catch passes better. You know, they had ten turnovers against a defense an eighteen in the first half in eighteen for the game Lillard had six zero. My recollection is that a few of those were pleased that it seems didn't catch. He also got stripped a couple of times Yokich had three steals. I think a couple of those came on Lillard at as he was trying to snake through on those pick and rolls. So you'll get did make some plays of the rim protection as mentioned, it was not great. But that's something where I don't think Denver is going to be as successful as forcing turnovers against this Portland team in the future. And it was the other great shooting game for Denver with a twelve twenty nine from downtown. We'll and twenty seven to thirty one from the free throw line. That's another. Another important one that was a difference of four attempts, but seven makes thought that was a big margin. I also thought that both teams with the exception of Damian Lillard who played guitar second half. Basically, the both coaches overused their benches, and it's this weird dynamic where both teams were doing well enough or they just kept their guys in. But I mean, we were going crazy on the NBA cast about Paul Millsap being out as long as he was when you pull me had some moments, but he's not a better player than Paul Millsap. And it's not like he's a better fit for the series or that there's some sort of specific matchup, but it was largely a similar story for Terry Stotts as well. I thought he leaned too much on Evan Turner in the first half. When Turner wasn't really bringing as much to the table Seth curry, you know, they're using him in some small lineup. So it's not just like that that Harvey second unit, but also like Portland to have these guys that are capable of heavy minutes. And they could do a lot more damage playing against these bench units for the for the nuggets. And so I thought. Especially in the first Portland didn't take sufficient advantage that just kind of seated a tie when they could have done more with the they did only play Lillard and McCollum seventeen minutes in the first half. But then the plan apparently was play Lillard the entire second half amino and heartless the thought was bring those guys in earlier, especially for Turner. But neither of those guys that are good game in apartments that have falling out in twenty two minutes. Although that was really the idea that they're going to switch this Murray Yokich pick and roll with Harkness in a menu. And then that one of those guys was gonna guard Yokich in the post that didn't work too. Well, in theory, if you're gonna do that you need to just double heart. They didn't do that. We'll we'll see if they go to that strategy more. But though as we sat in the NBA casts doubt was one of those strategies try because not because it seems like it's all that great. But just because everything else is it working in your desperate. And I just I mean the centers cancer buyers Leonard that Collins is that by the best of those guys tonight. But you know, he's gonna follow like crazy. Brought he can't play more than twenty minutes. I just don't see what their options. Are against Yokich. They can't stop Millsap. They can't stop the one five pick and roll. I mean, I I agree with you more really for Denver in both with Plumlee playing a lot with Morris playing fifteen minutes. Marie only playing thirty four minutes. Barton sixteen. He he was one of the few nuggets. Who is in the negative Morris was negative ten Beasley at least can shoot the ball. He is was twenty eight minutes. But yeah, I mean, I think more Murray more Harris more Millsap, Tori, Craig doesn't have as much of a purpose in this series to me he had four thousand nineteen minutes. I did think he made Lillard work some at the start of the third quarter in particular. But to me both of these teams like you're not going to stop the other team. And so in particularly at Portland's case. And I think we'll just see more this now with especially if immune Harkness can't play better. We're just I just play stuff Dory at the three. And we were just gonna outscore these guys that's really our only option you. I I think this series is just going to trend even more towards offense than it already. Did in this first game when the teams had one twenty three and one fifteen offense. Readings both of those one sixteen. I think led the league for with the warriors. And what's even more ridiculous than that? Both teams had the offensive ratings in the half court in this game one oh nine for Portland one thirteen for Denver incredible. And that that shows you really that. It's like we don't have a plan to stop these guys right because all right, your interest, dishing the matchups or screwed up. Maybe turned it over whatever. Like, okay this. You're not gonna stop these guys. But yeah, I mean that that's a great point that in the half court when you're just you're running your stuff, you just don't have a match up to stop the other team. And I mean, I think Denver in baby do just enough to disrupt Dame and CJ and get the ball out of their hands. But Yokich is just so versatile with where he can catch the ball and third Portland. Ultimately while they are a very good offensive team. The only do a few things that same C J in pick and roll that really are gonna worry you'll cancer. Posting up doesn't really work as well. And Yokich is good post vendors, we're not going to see that as much whereas Denver does a lot of things Portland. Can't stop any of them. So I I'm feeling pretty good. About the Denver in seven pick him. Yeah. I very easily even if Denver wins game too. I could very easily see Portland winning both of the games at home. They great home court there as well. So this is an over. But certainly early on here. It looks good for netter. But remember if Nicole Yokich and Mason, Plumlee, don't combine for eight steals, and Portland doesn't turn it over eighteen times. This is a very even game or both right there. Couple other things. I wanted to mention briefly a lot of Rodney hood on the second unit. I thought he he was their best bench player overall, seventeen points. Five ten from the field hit a couple of threes in the early going and was a more reliable creator. I thought he you know, he got two spots authencity and did a decent job. I liked him out there better than Evan Turner. Something else. I thought was amazing looking this up Portland had six steel. So of only half of Denver's turnovers were steals on those sixty miles Portland scored zero points that's bad at another quick note here to watching this Portland defense in this game. Just reminded me of how pathetic that offensive perform. Silence was from okay. See in the first round in this. It's just it's all like the fact that they couldn't take advantage of Kanter and pick and roll. And some of the size issues Portland has on the perimeter. It's it was not far better than not good is Hulu fitting, I suppose that we've already talked about Joel embiid's game and Damien Lord's game. Joel changed his nickname from the process to Joel Hulu has live sports impede, Damian Lillard gotta tattoo that says who has live sports, they want you to know that Hulu has live sports because who is paying them to tell you that. And I would like to know that who has live sports because they are paying me to tell you that as well. But they're not paying me to tell you that I really love their original programming as well. Penn. Fifteen for example, is fantastic. Great great comedy look ups on the reviews of that. If you're insured they have the full Seinfeld catalog as well. That's a maybe my favorite show of all time. I can never decide whether Seinfeld or some of my favorite show of all time. Simpson's does make for better t shirts on the NBA cast. But Seinfeld is just fantastic. So having that whole cat. Along avilable is amazing grace original programs watch on the go and on all your favorite devices. And of course, watched them live sports as well. It's only forty five bucks a month. And when you consider that if you just paying for Hulu without live sports and live TV without paying for their sixty live and on demand channels, it's eleven ninety nine. So you really only paying thirty two bucks a month for your TV. In addition to their original programming, quite steel live TV plan required. Restrictions apply for that forty five dollars a month deal. Learn more at Hulu dot com. So we took stock of the overall free agency position of some of these teams and went through the free agent point guards. Now, it's time to take a look at the shooting guards did that last week. If you want to go back and listen to set the scene for free agency and a reminder again the way we do this divided into superstar star rotation and fringe in both the unrestricted and restricted free agents. And there is one guy look at as a star. That is Klay Thompson. Will be twenty nine this Aussies Thompson stands out as a player who fits damn near everywhere because he can shoot he can defend both guard positions. And it seems overwhelmingly likely that he will stay with the Golden State Warriors as long as they make a competitive offer, I fully expect them to. But you could imagine just about everybody making a hard push for him in that early going at earliest getting the temperature. And if he's interested those offers will be on the table, and he worked so well as a complementary piece to two stars that are on that are on this market or the ones that are under roster soon you like he's already played with. Kevin Durant could do that again he'd fit beautifully with Kawhi Leonard. I think those two guys together would be really destructive. So I wonder if he's interested in something else, but I expect he'll be back could complicate that potentially is if he makes at all be a team likely the third team if he does at the guard position that would result in him being eligible for a designated player veteran contract as a free agent which. Would bump him up to a five year two hundred twenty one million dollar contract, especially if Kevin Durant were to stay that would be extremely pricey for the warriors in terms of repeater tax dollars. And it was starting at thirty eight million instead of thirty two point seven million this off season. The warriors have got to be crossing their fingers that he is an eligible for that. Because you could see them if they don't offer him that full contract, maybe alienating him and wanting him to look elsewhere. And clearly every team with mex- base would love to to have Klay Thompson as you mentioned just because of how well he fits probably whatever contract decides will end up being a bad contract by the end. But he provides enough value on the front end of that that it will look at especially because a lot of these teams that could sign him are contenders. Obviously the warriors as well. And you imagine that what his size and shooting ability ill age relatively well. Is he going to be guarding point guards at the end of that contract? And maybe not but is also quite durable as well. So clearly the Lakers will try to get him maybe Philly if there's. I every team is going to want to try and get you would think at the starter level of got four guys in there. Although, you know, some of these I don't know if any of these guys are going to be getting, you know, the four year seventy million dollar contract that some starters get in part due to age in part because they're not as good as they have been in the past or maybe just overall a have some flaws, but Danny green at thirty two four years ago. When the max was a lot lower. I delivered had at least one max offer at that point said returned to San Antonio on a four year forty million dollars actually opted into his player option last year after an injury hit year, but shot forty five percent from three and it is very versatile. He is a excellent starting shooting guard provides some of the things that Klay Thompson provides, but he's older and obviously nowhere near as personal of a jump shot dot even as good off the dribble is clay and you'll probably as as little older may not be quite as good defensively as Claes, but still a very very valuable players. Just a question of. How's he to age over the life of whatever contra? Act. He gets. But I think for some of these teams that are going to strike out, but still might be trying to compete a two year twenty million dollar deal for him. It's something I consider now again, he's a guy who is undervalued by the league compared to what we've thought of him. So something like that. Sorry, two years forty million twenty twenty million a year something like that. But I think he's in the same kind of class as JJ Rettig was a couple years ago in that 2017 off season. You know, he got that one year twenty three million dollar deal from the Sixers, so I could very easily, you know, see a and B fits in. Well, with basically what any team is trying to do. He could also really play the three four you as well. We don't have a lot of threes available either ending to add on him. What Danny green wants in destination will be really important Toronto Durga and start the off season. Not knowing exactly how competitive they're going to be and other teams might have a little bit more flexibility. But I think Danny green is lower on in the pecking order on a lot of these teams. So he might just end up waiting it out. Just to see what team makes the best combination offer. Money roll ceviche of cadets all that all of those things. And this is the first time he's not only negotiating with the Spurs. So that could be or not only negotiating, but you know, that's the primary focus. It certainly seemed like going back to his last negotiation. Red IX free agency is fascinating partially because Phillies circumstances so uncertain if they retain their guys, and thus are over the cap team and ownership is willing to foot this kind of a Bill, then they have a lot more flexibility in terms of what they can offer Rettig if they become a cap space team that flexibility goes away pretty quickly and Rettig. This is to be thirty five this summer, what he wants in a destination is going to be important in kinda like Danny green where he might have to wait it out a little bit unless he wants to make sure he strikes while the iron is hot. Because once the money vapid, it's gonna be gone and Ruddock thirty five this off season can't really play more than thirty minutes game especially in the regular season. But still a very good shooting guard gives your often something to do with those DA chose. There are a lot of. Teams that could desperately use someone like EMMY he might be too limited in the playoffs will see how he holds up the rest of the this playoff run. Also, really interesting in Philly is if they do bring back Butler, an Harris that they probably don't wanna go beyond one year Foretich, but they might just pay him a ton for this one year and the just hopefully comes back for less the year after maybe declines enough. But yeah, that'll be interesting for me as the lucrative one year deals will be there for him. Do they go for another year? And and what is he wanted me? I think he'd probably he has a home in Brooklyn probably wants to end up staying in Philly if at all possible, it would seem contagious caldwell-pope. Pope had a really down year. I thought he was good in his first year with the Lakers, then he came in the Campo with knee soreness, but ended up actually shooting at better towards the end of the year. I still think he can play solid defense. If you go down this list, there just aren't that many shooting guards who can hit a three and actually play solid defense. And so I know that by Lakers fans, like what the hell are you talking about he's in the starter category? Y. About him about some of these other guys. But I mean, what do we tell you what the rest of the list is? Right. It's there guys who are just so limited mostly defensively in this groups of being able to have some kind of to wait brush, maybe he doesn't hit the three that. Well, but over on his grades been good enough. He's not a guy who just gets left open, Jeremy lamb, I probably have him down in the rotation area. I know your little higher on him, though, lamb is a great argument about positional scarcity. I I don't think lamb is among the, you know, the best players if you were to do so thirty teams five starters that'd be one hundred and fifty slots, I'm not sure he's among the hundred and fifty best players. But there aren't that many of those hundred and fifty that are that are twos. And so he benefits from scares the I'm not sure I'd have I wouldn't pay him starter money. I don't know if he's if he's a starter on most on enough teams to justify that sort of thing, also lamb twenty-seven. I don't think that he has more blossoming to do. I think he could you know, little bit of refining could help I do like game overall. I think he'll be undervalued in this market. Like a lot of these guys might be because they're not particularly sexy. And the idea of, you know, oh, we have to have a shooting guard isn't isn't as much of a thing as the other spots. But then remember also the the shooting guard scarcity couples with this small forward that you could say, oh, you know, you could slide you could slide somebody down not really because there aren't enough guys. They're either. And so that creates more of a need for guys like, Jeremy lamb, and so I could imagine lamb, and then we get into the rotation guys west bath use among Shumpert guys like that. I think Garrett temple to me is a great example of this. Where the teams that get them will be very happy because I think they're going to be undervalued in the Mark. Yeah. It's also worth noting to just how much it kills your offense. If you have a shooting guard who like isn't a good three point shooter. I need just have to get shooting at that. If you don't you just have to have so much other positions to make up for Terrence Ross at age twenty eight average almost twenty game for the match even been like right at twenty. And but the problem is he's just so bad defensively. That was exposed a lot by Toronto. Whether he'll be back in Orlando will be an interesting question probably depends on future rich, while they really wanna run back this team that was the seventy this year, but doesn't appear to have a ton of upside west values at thirty two has slowed down a little bit on both ends that post-game didn't really work too. Well for him in Indiana. Still shoots the spot up three in the high thirties, but doesn't do much else on offense can't really finish at the rim anymore after that achilles. And defensively he might even be better guarding threes at this point than smaller guys. He I think he's a little bit too slow at this point the versatility to guard bigger players and be tough and strong is useful that I I kinda have him higher end rotation guy. Tyreek Evans fits into more of the microwave score one of the few guys in this group that you look at its own who can run pick and roll for you on the second unit. But it was a real struggle for him. This series struggled with head to get that knee drain a lot in one of the least efficiencies in of. His career in Indiana. So I don't expect a big deal. You know, he could be another kind of prove it type deal. Tele Johnson as a player option? He's gonna pick that up Iman Shumpert. It hasn't gone. Welcome in Houston. He's only in the rotation in this first game because rivers was ill didn't play all that. While the rockets struggled to stay healthy against somebody has to have his miniature really Manjeet he emerged and played the three a lot. It's those some ability to guard up he's tough of but a very inconsistent shooter. And not a great decision maker on offense ease a decent bench wing. But you're not feeling good about him starting for you at the two you mentioned temple Avery, Bradley. He's interesting on whether that non guarantees gonna get picked up or not Memphis looking like, they're moving into a new era in terms of trying to be a little more profitable. So maybe that nine guarantee for twelve and a half million gets turned down. It's only think about what is it one point five million guaranteed something like that. So he could be on the market. He had a much better time over about twenty games in Memphis before he got shut down. He was one of the worst players in the NBA. TA playing with the clippers. So a lot of that's going to be either beholder who who else sticks out to you here way, Nelson still a dynamic shooter. I I was just a weird year for him because early on it seemed like he was being maybe a little bit. I don't know. If felt like I started the year hurt, and yes that was really that was really. But then he got up to you know, a similar role in Miami. Overall, you know like in terms of minutes per game and shots a little bit less, but not not egregiously once he was healthy. And so what what kind of a role he gets offered members signed that deal with the pistons after he was bought out by the Phoenix Suns one and want to mention not because you because of he's going to opt out, but I think Alan crab might end up hitting the market as a stretch provision player because if Brooklyn really needs that money, they might be able to trade him, but they could just be sitting there thinking, why would we give up assets because another team is going to see Alan crap is a negative value contract. Give up assets when as soon as we clear the space. Fine. And it's not going to be that expensive for ownership to stretch that out over three years the subsequent payments, even if they're just getting out of Darren Williams aren't going to be that egregious. So I wouldn't be totally shocked if they do well in free agency, if Allen crab hits the market and could be nice value signing for somebody Reggie block played well with the pistons. But then it wasn't really able to play as well with the Lakers. But he's got some two way ability Rodney hood signed arm. Sorry signed that qualifying offer with Cleveland approved a trade to Portland ice game tonight. But he didn't play that. Well in the first round 'em. You know, he's looking like another kind of proven guy. No, maybe he gets like a two year eight million dollar contracts up in like that to be the score off the bench. But another guy who's limited much like Rossa by just as lack of physicality defensively, Gerald green seems like another kind of minimum guy, but he is in Houston's rotation at age thirty three and Justin holiday at a real struggle. Once he moved to to Memphis, the he might be closer to a fringe type of guy anyone else. Stick out for you in the south curry, another one. Who had a good year this year shoots. Forty four percent from three would work really well on a team that has a another note a tyreek Evans type on the second unit to handle the ball than he can spot up. And maybe do a little ball on the on the second. But anyone else other than that that sticks out to you in this group? Will you brought up Seth curry? I was gonna I was gonna bring them up. I wonder what Austin rivers wants and his exclaiming minutes. Does is he willing to take less money to play somewhere where he can see where he can get a larger role or on a better team? I still think he has something to bring to the table and playing with harden, I think has has unlocked stuff, but not every team needs. Exactly what. Austin rivers brings news traded for mercy Ingolstadt during last year. And then there is slew of like kind of like unlikely lottery ticket guys in that fringe category for on Korkmaz's. I think is probably the best example that like the guy can shoot and that is really important that he can that he could potentially hit the shots, but he's a defensive liability. And I wonder if if another team can can just give him a small amount of money. I don't think he's gonna get some sort of. Easy contracts. This isn't like the Zona situation to be. But I certainly think that he's worthy of giving, you know, giving a spot to at the start Azizan than if he sucks than you can cut it. Alec Burks had a disappointing time in in Cleveland. You kind of wondered when he could do more of a role didn't do much, but maybe someone a team that just lack shot creation on the second unit would give a chance to let's turn to the restricted guys out. Malcolm Brogdon, very interesting situation in Milwaukee, he met the starter criteria. But his qualifying offer is going to be pretty low his cap hold is going to be basically right out. The minimum unlikely though they're probably gonna operate his over the cap team. And seems like after Chris Middleton he'll be their next priority. And I imagine this is going to be a lengthy negotiation. I don't the Zilly see a with any free agent at you're probably better off betting that there's not an offer sheet. He the bucks attempted to extend him giving in that Josh Richardson deal for years about forty seven million that was not to his liking. So he's looking for more than that as the starter. At age twenty six this offseason Murray's a pretty old rookie when he came. This is finishing up his third year. I don't know if there's a team out there that has cap space that profiles as wanting to give him a fifteen million dollars year offer. So obviously it depends. How this book season ends up to. But that's going to be a really interesting one. I'm not sure what he's going to end up getting. But if I had to predict yet, Marcus smart is gonna be a real interesting analog in a worst market. He ended up getting four for fifty and broadens is like, well, hey, I'm I'm a starter. You know, so he's probably gonna be looking for something in like seventeen million a year range, and my guess is it settled somewhere in like thirteen to fourteen million something like that. I mean brogden was like a fifty forty ninety guy this year, although the volume from three is not amazing. Will you brought a brogden is an interesting negotiation. He certainly at the top of that list in terms of restriction guys the Alonzo tree our situation is wild because the Knicks ostensibly an their finances changed a lot after this happened. They gave tree are a richer. Deal than they had to because he was a two way player and the way they structured it is got three point four million for this season. And then they did a three point six million dollar team option. And so by that being a team option they can pay him that amount than it's easy. That's straightforward. And then he would be a restricted free agent after that. But if they decline that team option than he is a restricted free agent. And unlike if he was on a two way contract or something else where it was where he had been low cost. It would be a low cap hold basically if they decline if they declined that team option, they're probably not bringing him back because then they would need to renounce the arena neither announce it or he could just sign that lucrative qualifying offer. We really wanted to. Yeah. And hard to imagine that they give in that qualifying offer that could vaporize four million bucks to their cap space. I ain't it's probably more likely that they decline it. Maybe they have an idea in mind of where they're going to go. And then they bring him back, but his capitol is pretty big to right? That's capital is like four million. So it's it's tough Roddy. Mcgruder got claimed by the clippers and he will have a low capital two as well. Interesting prospect is twenty-seven shot at recently while from three over his career 35-percent good defender, a little skinny to guard the three, but as a guy who's going to cost anything against the cap while they are doing their free agent shenanigan shenanigans as a solid death peace, and maybe even a spot starter as at the two or three especially I mean, I guess it'll be shamed. And shave starting at the one in the two, but maybe mcgruder you're starting three next year if they don't hold onto Garrett temple or Patrick Beverley, it's thought to basically for this off season have been count for so little now a salary for next year, presumably, it would be more. But probably not that much more. You don't see maybe a team would come with an offer sheet on him. But it seems like the whole thing was kind of arranged for him to end up with the clippers wouldn't surprise me. If they reach an agreement quickly for him to return, and that the get a rotation player for that low capital is pretty good. But I don't expect him to get much in the way of. Offer sheets other rotation restrictive. Rich guys, this you mentioned treater age Twenty-three Wayne Selden at twenty four. I can't seem as a rotation guy was amazing for the bulls this year, David Awada, probably not someone who works that. Well on a good team. But on a bad team that just desperately needs who can defend on the wing it at twenty six and can handle the ball at least get to the rim and finish it. You know, he could be useful. And then really the only other two guys that I look at Patrick McCaw still only twenty three but just offensively to limited in by opinion to get much more than just a flyer type of offer. And Tyler Dorsey who is one of those second unit creator types. But it's just not good defensively. He had some moments in Memphis, though. And and maybe someone that a team would take a look at that needs some creation on the second unit. Just throw into the mix. There's who could maybe blossom, and I'm not sure that McCaw would surprise me if he even gets a qualifying offer, frankly. Yeah, I wonder how Toronto and Toronto feels about his place in the rotation and the. Certainty that the raptors are facing financially team quality of those sorts of things I think those generally work against McCaw because the possibility that he just signs that qualifying offer. And because if he signs that offer then you'll be unrestricted after it. So it's not like we've been get that benefit of like, hey, well, at least we get restricted at the end of this. So I think it's possible that they do that. They see something in him. But it's far from certain and then for go. Yeah. My off season preview of the clippers off season, which is just so fascinating. And I think it might be the longest one I've ever written. It was I think it's eighteen hundred words something in that range going through some of their scenarios and the possibility of waiting to know got Nari versus cap space, which is a going to be a term thing. If like the first couple of days of July. They get some really good news. And I think that I thought that was interesting thing I wanted to game out a little bit zoo botches negotiations all that sort of stuff. I would assume that San Antonio is will be out soon as well. I submitted it so that should be out as well. And we will be we're not doing the NBA cast until Thursday. But we will of course. Have a dunk done tomorrow on what will be an eventful night of games game twos. Art, we'll talk to you all tomorrow night till then.