SportsCastr - Basketball & More - Ep 15: The Los Angeles Lakers Title Run w/ Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll
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Basketball & More

NetsDaily's Matt Brooks sits down with experts from far & wide to talk all things NBA

Matt Brooks@MattBrooks

"Basketball & More" is a SportsCastr Featured Podcast with NetsDaily's Matt Brooks. Experts from across the globe sit down with Matt to talk all things NBA, from news and rumors to game breakdowns and analysis. Catch Matt's live stream with his co-hosts twice a week on SportsCastr and be part of the conversation.

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Matt Brooks connects with Silver Screen & Roll's Harrison Faigen to talk about Harrison's favorite stories of this memorable Los Angeles Lakers season. They also preview the upcoming NBA Finals, touching on potential soft spots in the Miami Heat's storied zone, the Lakers' many counters for Miami scorers, the battle of the boards, and much more.

Follow Harrison on Twitter @hmfaigen

Can't forget our ELITE music credits: Daniel Hardee (@WeaponizedJoy)


Welcome back to basketball and more SportsCastrs.
Official broadcast.
Uh, this is your host, Matt Brooks.
I am joined by my guest, Harrison Pagan of the Silver Screen and Roll Blawg and podcast.
Sounds like you've been very busy today.
Thank you for taking time to sit down and talk with me.
How you feeling? You know, I'm like, I'm feeling the effects of a long playoff run, I think, you know, like people like to talk about, like, player injuries.
But I think one of the most under discussed storyline in sports with blogger injuries, you know, like I'm I'm fighting through carpal tunnel right now, are.
Actually I think it's technically radio Tunnel was what my doctor told me it was, which is apparently different.
Um, you know, like, I got back pain.
Like I've been writing too much.
My eyes hurt.
One of my headphones tour today, like, you know, I'm just, you know, we bloggers really go through it, and I think it's one of the under reported story lines in sports.
Yeah, I mean, that's you know, I wish we had a load management type of thing for us because it's just you know, it's it's tough out here.
I mean, it really is.
It's called making enough that you could eventually phone it in, like you got to get to the level where you're on, like, a debate show, and then you don't actually have to research any of your tapes.
You just say them really strong, just regurgitating things. Yeah.
Um, no.
Yeah, that's funny.
I I've started writing and my girlfriend's glasses, which is a sick look.
I mean, let me tell you right there, and it's because I don't have any reading glasses or anything.
Helps with the light.
So So there we go.
I'm going blind from this child.
That's pretty much all you need to know from this.
Um, I want to start light because I think that this is a finals of narratives.
Not really.
You know, maybe not the traditional narratives, but narratives on, um, or happy tone of things.
So the heat there, this, you know, underdog in every single Siri's or pretty much every single Siri's, um, they are a gritty team that shows up, they play for one another.
And then on the flip side, you have the Los Angeles Lakers who are kind of unlike any Lakers team that I can really remember and maybe the recent memory.
I mean, they have completely turned it around and, you know, you can say what you want about how how they got there.
I think they've gotten their pretty conventionally and at least for being in a big market, and it's just been a really interesting season for them.
So I want to start with what's your favorite story from this year? Just to celebrate them a little bit before we dive deep on them, you know, honestly, like, I'm glad you asked that because it was it actually was preseason, which I don't know if that's like an indictment of my writing ability, but like my favorite story that I wrote this year was actually before the season started.
Um, but it was about the Lakers defense and, like how I was talking to like a bunch of people and, like, you know, just observing training camp and looking at stuff and like trying to fit, looking back at Frank Vogel's past and, you know, like talking to people in all that stuff and putting it all together and trying to figure out how the Lakers were going to play defense, and I was looking back on it after the Western Conference finals.
And it's kind of remarkable how well it held up like a lot of the time.
This stuff, like it comes together.
It's preseason hype.
Like I was telling somebody on a podcast earlier today that, like Like I remember Jared Dudley was telling me that LeBron was really locked in on defense and training camp and really being up.
And I was like, Okay, all right, Yeah, like, I'll take your word for it.
And then, like lone behold, LeBron has done that.
The Lakers also like they formed a wall at the rim, just like Frank Vogel has wanted them to like.
They've they've done a really good job funneling guys towards their arms at the rim and not giving up like a ton of open threes and stuff like that as a result, and like they they've come together in.
You mentioned that this was a nontraditional Lakers team and I think it's like less in the way that they were built, which I think you were kind of referring to in terms of like Yeah.
I mean, they're built around two stars.
That's typically how the Lakers do things like Nets fans can now relate.
Um, but like they have like they got.
And they got two stars who really wanted to be there, LeBron through free agency.
80 through forcing a trade.
I think what's different is not just like the chemistry, but it's the way that chemistry is manifested itself in terms of turning them into, ah, juggernaut defensively like a genuinely, really strong defensive team.
And it's also just like how much they clearly like playing with and for each other has been kind of really refreshing to watch after, especially after a number of down years.
Like it's like walking into a basketball oasis to see this team, like actually making defensive rotations and staying on string and playing hard for all 48 minutes of a game and not making a bunch of mistake's because they're not a bunch of young guys.
So, like I think honestly, like just the coming together of that chemistry and defense is probably my favorite story line of the Lakers this season.
Just because it's like it's pure like it's fun.
It's been fun to watch.
And like I think, honestly, it's fun to watch.
I mean, probably not as much if you're a fan of, like, the generalized MBA, but for like somebody who follows the late figures like it's been really awesome, Yeah, I mean, I it's been I mean, I think I meant that more in in, like, a sense of they.
It's interesting how, like maybe on the outside, it's this isn't the perception, but it really feels like on the Lakers side of things, I have a lot of close friends.
They I mean, the love for some of these role players and deservedly so is like next level in a way that I think is unique for them.
Like just having guys that they seem to be, um, just just that are so crucial this I think that's a really interesting aspect for them.
Another question just sort of on the lighter side of things.
What was your favorite quote that you got this year or you heard this year? Ooh, that's putting me on the spot.
I'm trying to think now, um, honestly, im not like nothing like right now, like it's been a long week nothing is like it super coming to mind.
I mean, like Dion waiters and, like J.
Smith said, some like great stuff when they signed.
Um, like I'm trying to think of like a faras like best quote we got, it was probably this probably isn't it? But it's the first, like random weird one that's coming to mind is JaVale McGee and Alex Caruso talking about how I think Javale McGee said that he suggested that Alex Caruso should put on a headband because, like it helped him look fly and so that he can fly like the bald eagle he is, which was pretty incredible.
And this was the same night that JaVale had his video guy make a white Men can't jump highlight next video for Alex Caruso.
Kind of like getting a pretty big block.
I forget what team they were playing against that are pretty big Dunc.
Excuse me, but I forget which team they were playing against that night.
Like that's one of the ones that definitely comes to mind like but honestly, like this team has not said like a bunch of crazy stuff this year.
Um, like at least I like nothing is immediately coming to mind.
Yeah, it's funny how much they have, like, kind of just handled business this year like it's It's I mean, it's really two teams like that, which I think is one of the many refreshing parts about this finals.
But like, it's not, you know, we kinda the Clippers had the season that everybody thought the Lakers were gonna have.
Where you have moments of, like, Okay, who's the man here and who's just like it just fell into place.
And it seems like I mean, you detail that really well, like it just seems like they had a really clear game plan and everybody bought in from the beginning.
Um, and that part is just really interesting for me.
It's You just never know what those bright lights of of the of the Staples Center really does.
So I mean, I think that's an interesting part of it. I don't know if you agree with that.
No, I I definitely do.
And I think that, like that speaks to the way this team was assembled with like basically like like LeBron and a d.
Like either one or both reached out to almost every single guy on this roster in free agency to get to convince them to sign, like almost all of them are close off of the court for like either through having played together through the same agency through knowing each other, you know, in other ways, like I'm sure through, like basketball camps coming up and stuff like Like even Danny Green and J. R.
Smith, like two guys you would not think have, like obvious connections like those guys.
Both grew up on the New York basketball scene, and so they're really close, like a soon as Jr came in and like it's just a group of like, I'm I mean, I'm sure that it's like any job where even if you get along with all your coworkers, you have your closer friends and then you have, like, your work friends.
And so I'm sure that it's a little bit like that.
But for the most, like, there's no like beef in this locker room.
And there were so many different ways that that could have happened.
I think throughout the course of this year, like you know, you have like the like Alex Caruso like, you know, he could have felt like he deserved more minutes over.
Raised on.
Rondo appoints this year.
You know what I mean? Like he is genuinely from a basketball perspective.
It wouldn't have been just him being confident guy like he had genuinely outplayed Rondo for a lot of this year.
But instead, you know, like they remain close Ron, that he was Rondo with somebody whose brain he was picking as he was getting more minutes after Rondo got hurt toe start the bubble.
And in the playoffs, Rondo was giving him play, making tips and helping him break down film and stuff like that, like it's just a group full of a group of guys that I think has a lot of leadership at the top.
That's really kept everyone, like kept them in line.
Sounds negative, but it's just it's kept anyone like no one has straight and everyone has accepted their role and every like it really is that kind of mythical team where everybody does get along and kind of do exactly what they're supposed to do and not demand more that I think like it's really rare that that genuinely happens in sports.
You guys have a guy that was very much a big part of that in in Brooklyn last year with Jared Dudley, and it just seems, honestly, yeah, I mean, I think that he's part of it.
I think he's part like he doesn't play a lot, but I he's definitely part of it.
You see him in the ear of the young guys on the bench, like every time he did media this year, which wasn't a ton because he didn't play a lot like he was constantly talking up.
Everyone like, you know, like you think Alex Caruso was like a perennial All Star after he listened.
Jared Dudley talk about him or like that, you know? I mean, Anthony Davis is a future Hall of Famer, but you definitely know what after talking to Jared Dudley like and like Kyle Kuzma to, you think.
And he was headed that way.
Um, like, he's really stayed in Cosmosphere, like particularly and taking him under his wing.
But all of the young guys, Really? Yeah, that's I mean, that's interesting to hear it and it it feels like I'm talking to myself from a year ago with a lot of that because it is.
It was a lot of discussions about his value and what that type of stuff, How you exactly find that? I think that's a really rare thing for a team to just fine it.
It's kind of hard to search out veteran talent.
I think in a lot of ways, because again, like you can look for guys that are really great leaders.
But at the end of the day, it is a personality thing, like you just need guys that are gonna click with that.
And and some guys might not respond well to Thio.
I guess having a teammate that's going to get at you a little bit or, you know, just try to have serious discussions about basketball things when they're not necessarily playing.
So I mean again, just a credit to the Lakers.
And it sounds like it was a thrill to cover um, one last little I don't want to call it fluffy, but we're starting it nice and easy.
Um, what was the part of this season where you were like, Okay, there's something special here. There.
Is there a part where you were just like Okay, this is it.
Like this is gonna be something this year.
I mean, honestly, for me, I think it was pretty early.
It was obviously, they lost on opening night to the Clippers, but then they went on like a pretty decent winning streak at some point there.
And I don't remember exactly how many games it was because it was almost a year ago at this point because of how long this has gone.
Um, but like, it was right around then that I was like, Okay, they, like they were defending really hard, like it seemed to be stuff like it wasn't, you know, sometimes, like anyone who follows in, any MBA team has seen their team go on a winning streak because, like, they're just shooting lights out like and guys or whatever.
But this seemed to be sustainable where it was like they were locking guys down.
They were making good rotations on defense.
They were making good rotations in terms of like Frank Vogel's decisions and like, you know, if a guy didn't have it that night pulling another guy a little bit more like they were making good decisions from that perspective, like it was really pretty early when I started to think they were gonna be really good.
Now, like, I still don't think that I got to the point where I was, like, definitively.
Like, I think this team is gonna win a title until I saw them just completely stomp the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round, which, like, you know, it was after, you know, I mean, you remember most dangerous.
See the eight seed in NBA history, like all the talk about about the Blazers and how good they were and like, it's like they were genuine threat, like not to actually the Lakers.
They have, like, a really good offense and, like they should have been able Thio make more of a fight of it.
And they gave up midway through Game four, like, just totally laid over.
Like they just knew that they were beaten.
There was nothing they could do.
And then it was and that that was the point where I was like, Okay, the Lakers really just kicked the **** out of them like Like, what are they going to do like in the next round? Like, I'll be honest, I wanted to pick Lakers and five against the Rockets. I was too scared.
I picked Lakers and six on, like I should have picked Lakers and five and went with my gut like because they completely dismantled them to and basically had Houston ready to leave the bubble by Game four.
And, like I think the Nuggets didn't lay over.
But the Lakers didn't give them a choice in the matter.
And like so, this team is really good, like they played decent opponents.
I think we can argue about who's played the better schedule so far between them and the heat.
Like, I think I'd probably like thinking about it a little bit today.
The heat of probably played tougher teams on aggregate over the course of their playoff run, but like the Lakers, now people think that they played cupcakes because they beat everyone and five.
But the ****ysis going into all those Siris was Oh, these teams presents, um, interesting struggles, air some interesting ways to attack L.
A and oh, are they gonna be able to deal with the small ball of the Houston Rockets? And then they literally change their style of play and did small ball better than the Houston Rockets did immediately went big again, and we're able to adjust against Denver like this team can play almost any style.
And I feel like if they lose the finals, it's not gonna be that they lost it.
It's gonna be that Miami won it like Miami went and took it from them.
Like I don't think Lakers are going to beat themselves.
Yeah, it is funny, and I think it will be a really good temperature check on the whole, because it's like a perpetual question of Oh, what's the East in comparison with the West? Because I, you know, you say that that that the heat probably went through tougher teams.
I mean, yeah, I mean, I think most likely because of the the way that those teams play, it seems like defensive teams really thrive for the most part in the bubble.
Also, just like the Bucks were the number one seed in the entire league. Like they were good.
The heat destroyed them.
Yeah, they were good, like the heat.
I mean, I think capitalized on some flaws that they had but like, to be able to do that like that, takes talent and be able to like actually forced them into doing those things that they don't want to do. Sure.
And I mean, I think that this will be a really good measure of that, and I Yeah, I well, we'll get into predictions later, but I'm definitely a little bit more optimistic on the Lakers side of things.
We'll start with that.
So let's begin with the Lakers.
I think first stop.
This is gonna be a very defensive syriza's, and that's pretty much what we've seen the last, I guess. 12.
Let's see.
Second round in the Eastern Conference, the conference finals in the Eastern Conference and now the final has been a lot of just really defensive.
Siri's all about adjustments.
I think this will be more of the same.
I think Frank Vogel has been one of the Where can we go with this? Four best coaches.
Three best coaches.
Are we talking season long like like in the playoffs, right? Like through like so through the course of the playoffs.
I mean, like, I mean him and SPO are clearly in the top five like they have both been able to get their teams to play totally different styles on the fly, which I think, really, it was interesting.
Frank was asked yesterday about their kind of shared roots in the video room, and he was talking about like, one of the things that that gives you is while you're learning to break down tape at that level, one of the things that you also have to learn as you're transitioning into the coaching part of it because your first reps, or like sharing the scouting report like breaking down the film for the whole team.
You have to learn how to be able to make like guys better and teach them how to win without practice without actually getting them on the floor to do it.
And he says that given the limited practice time in the bubble, especially playing every other day like and like stuff like that, that really benefited the two of them.
And like I think they, they honestly are probably the top two coaches in the bubble.
Like as Faras, just acquitting themselves throughout, like in the way that things went like, I think in the N b.
I think Frank was easily a top five, if not top three coach this year in terms of like Lakers fans.
Get mad at him for the rotation.
Sometimes get mad.
Everything, Rondo Too much? Yeah, exactly.
Every no no fan base ever loves their coat.
You know, like veterans like this is every team, every team.
Well, it's also like it's the one job that you can convince yourself you could maybe do better.
Or at least you might have a better idea about, like, You can't convince yourself that you could go out there and score 20 points a night and an n b a game.
I mean, some fans dio, but like most fans do not.
But every fan is convinced that like they can, you know, like ab post talk critic, critique their coach and their rotations and all that stuff.
And like to some degree, you can like, you know, I have critiqued various rotations and things like that that Vogel's made this year.
I also know that he knows infinitely more about basketball than I will ever learn.
Um, and I think that he throughout this year, aside from a couple little quibbles that you'd have with playing Rondo too much like, you know, sometimes playing JaVale McGee a little bit too much like overall, they have made.
I think, like just about every adjustment.
You'd want them Thio, and it's a skill to be able to build a defense like this that also gets by in from LeBron James.
And some of that is Anthony Davis and various teammates pushing him as well.
But Frank deserves credit for the way that he has kind of allowed all of those guys ownership over everything, but also using that as a way to hold them accountable.
Because if you have ownership, But like if the Lakers have failed this year, it would have been seen as just a failure on the part of Frank Vogel.
It would have been seen as a failure on the part of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
And so if they're going to get, like, critique like that, you also got to give them a little bit of ownership to.
And I think the Lakers have done a good job both from the roster building perspective and from like a locker room perspective of kind of treating this like a partnership with their stars versus they like this is our team.
We tell you what to do, type of thing.
The thing that he really deserves credit for is staying with going big and you can even like.
I'm not even just talking about the playoffs, like doing that throughout the entire year.
Think about what this is following up.
We're following up what five years of small ball dominated basketball, where you know, you're like there's certain games where you can't even play certain centers whatsoever like it was like before this year.
I think the last whatever you wanna call nominal center was like Timofei Moskow or somebody like that who played in the Finals like And that was because of just a depleted Cleveland roster.
So I think he deserves a ton of credit for that, for going with this Twin Towers alignment.
Yes, he's got Anthony Davis.
Fine, Um, he's found a way to do that and stick with it and and realized, Hey, our best players are going to include these two centers depending upon the matchup.
I think he deserves a ton of credit for that for the era that he's following up.
No, I I agree with that 100% and I think that like it was entertaining this year.
Toe watch like you get, like, probably on a weekly basis, like a visiting reporter or somebody that wasn't there like every single game.
And things like that would ask Frank like So have you looked like Why not more a d at the five, like somebody would think like they were like, the first one that asked that And every single time, like he, you know, he did not, like, snapped at them or anything.
Or like, you know, you could see him maybe, like a little bit of a grimace.
But like, you know, he was very friendly with the media all year.
Um, like, you know, and he just smile and give the same answer about how we wanna make teams adjust to us and we don't want to adjust to them.
And like, I think that the balance that he struck the best during the bubble playoffs is yes, we're going to go into a Siri's and attempt to get you to adjust to us.
If that is not working.
He has been very quick about giving guys the hook and saying, We're going to do this thing that works better and his second answer has so far, almost always been right.
And that's one of I think, the best qualities like he seems to like, even before he knows that he has to go away from something he has an idea of.
What is the contingency adjustment that they're going? What is the adjustment that they're going to make to exploit what we're doing? And what do I do to counter that? Like thinking a couple moves ahead? And I think he's done a great job of that.
And, like the going big versus going small is just one example of it.
Yeah, and I mean, that's a great place to start with this because I think that rebounding is gonna be a huge part of the Siri's, just like every single other Siri's that that's gonna be a part of this.
The Lakers are the best offensive rebounding team in the playoffs.
The that I think the Heat are about 7th, 8th and defensive rebounding, so it's an advantage right away.
I think it's going to dictate a lot of Miami's rotations and it puts a lot of pressure on Jae Crowder, which is probably for the Lakers because its's just I mean, look, everybody gives the Lakers shooters crap for not necessarily being totally consistent on the other end of the floor, like Jae Crowder is going to be the guy that makes them play a little bit smaller.
And even then, I think they just take that throughout the entire Siri's Andi.
He's been up and down guy throughout his career, so you never know what's gonna happen with him, for sure.
And that's and he's been up and down game the game in this.
Yeah, it's like him, Danny Green like a lot of these guys like that, like they're streaky shooters.
It's just like it happens like they'll have one game where they go, like, you know, Danny Green.
Last game was two of four, and the next game he'll probably go for like, it's just that's how these guys are there, either on their off like for sure.
And I think that's gonna be kind of one of the main deciding factors of like okay, How early is spoken? A look at playing somebody like, you know, Kelly Olynyk with Bam or even like Meyers.
Leonard, who hasn't seen the floor since forever so I think that's like a big place for this to start is just what I think.
That's a big spot for them.
Do you think that even if Jae Crowder is coming out hot, Iguodala is making threes because you never know what's gonna happen from him? I mean, we saw that he's done that.
Yeah, he's a part of a champion.
It's like this whole playoffs has been that cliche over and over over.
But it matters, man.
I mean, eso I I don't know.
Do you think they would still stick with that? Even if those guys are knocking shots down, are they just gonna dare them to keep doing that? So I think it would also depend on how well they were doing offensively.
Like I think, if obviously, if they're just getting blown off the floor because those guys are hitting threes and then all of a sudden Lakers shooters aren't then I think you might see them go smaller just to get another shooter on the floor.
Like I think Markieff Morris might be a guy tow watch there for him getting more minutes, or like, even potentially, like if the zone is really just working against the Lakers, just trying to juice the shooting by putting him in the starting lineup like they did against Houston, because he's still a guy that can, like, play really tough defense, like rebounds really well for a guy that's his size a zoo, long as you're not asking him to box out Nicola Yokich or something like that, which they don't have on DSO like, I think he's a guy to watch for there.
But I also think like, you know, everybody has been especially on Lakers.
Twitter has almost been talking like it's foregone conclusion that Dwight's gonna keep starting like he did last year.
And like I think that is possible.
I think our sorry not last year last Siri's.
I think that is possible.
I think that there is a possibility that they go back to Javale McGee because one of the things that you know and it kind of goes to this coaching thing that we were just talking about a second ago is like Frank Vogel.
A lot of times this year, in the terms of like we wanna make teams beat us or make us like we wanna make teams just us.
Ah, lot of times that means in the playoffs, or at least it has is we're going to start with the way that we have played all year, and if you force us out of that, we will have a contingency for it.
But, like I would not be surprised to see them start to veil and like.
But either way, whether it's JaVale or Dwight like, they are probably going to look to really attack the offensive glass.
I think that's one of the ways to make Miami pay for playing zone.
Like you know, you can get those.
You could get those Kobe assists by just missing through reason.
Letting your bigs, like you know, like that are missing mid range shots and letting your bigs get those rebounds.
Dwight did a great job of that of making Denver really like punishing them in the paint for like when they went zone at various points on DSO.
Like I think that the Lakers will like I I think the rebounding spot on.
It's like a factor in this Siris in terms of how it's going to be one, because I do think that the Lakers are going to stay big to start.
I can't see them starting the Siri's small because I think that's also just like there's something psychological about conceding to your opponent right off the bat.
Like I think you almost have to go in and whether it's Dwight JaVale and say we're going to play the way that we did this year and if we're forced to adjust that great.
But for now, we're going to start like this.
So what advantage does each of JaVale and Dwight present? Because I'm I think we are on the opposite field of this right now.
I actually would go with Dwight.
I think one of the big things really towards especially that the tail end of that.
That Celtics heat Siris was just how so.
And I know that it's a little give or take with Dwight because Dwight, the foul trouble is a real thing.
But I think you know and again it's it's It's a thin line of like, Is he doing a little too much? Is he being a little too aggressive? But I'll tell you there, it's not that thin when when Dwight is on the bench yelling, Batman is coming for you Joker, while he's not even in the game or getting set to check in like that's when it total it goes over the line into being like probably a little overboard in terms of trying to play the mind games.
But like Sorry, you're going.
No, no, I I think that's perfect.
Like that's a great example of like If you get the right Dwight, he's like, kind of the guy I'd want out there on bam because I think I'd want a D to roam around and just do a D Things and guards guards 100% agree with you.
I think, like I think Dwight is the guy to start.
We're not on the opposite end of the day with this.
Like I agree with you that Dwight is the guy to go with.
I'm just not sure they will do it right off the bat.
Um, in terms of the differences between the two of them, I mean, it's stuff that you probably even noticed.
Watching the playoffs like from afar, is like Dwight is a lot more aggressive.
He's a lot sturdier.
He's a lot more mobile, so he brings those benefits.
I think the benefit of JaVale and maybe the only benefit at this point in the playoffs is he is a little bit more active at making himself available is a lot threat.
Dwight got better about that during the Nuggets.
Siri's but he's not.
He's not dunk contest.
Why it anymore? So, like that's not his first thought, you know, on possessions.
And so I thought JaVale in general does a little bit better of a job.
He really the Lakers really hunt him on those lobs in the starting lineup to especially like just him jumping in from the dunker spot when they send help toe LeBron or a D on a drive and trying to find him there. A.
D you know, well, like at least once in the Siri's will miss him.
Probably wild, like going towards the top of the backboard and just overstate even gavels reach, um, defensively.
I think the one benefit of him is he is a little bit longer.
So in terms of just like parking him almost like one of those like, you know, like the inflatable two men that they use that used car dealerships and like parking him at the rim and just letting his arms kind of wave like this, uh, like enforcing guys towards him.
I do think presents a little bit of a challenge, especially if you're trying to run Miami off of three point line and try and force them in towards the rim.
But that said, I think the White could do almost everything else better on even the things that you Bill does better.
He's not that much better at so I really do feel like, uh, Dwight is the better option in this Siri's and just in general.
But the Lakers mostly started to avail this year, like because it's a couple extra fouls he like.
He does have things that he does well and I also think it's a little bit of an ego thing, like I think he was their first.
Dwight was on a non guaranteed deal.
I think he has been very cognizant of deferring to JaVale and like saying like making it clear I am not here to steal your job in the finals is obviously a different animal.
But I would not be surprised to see them roll out with JaVale even if they end up making the adjustment fairly quickly.
I'm also thinking now, because the the Heat are a team that gets to the line Ah lot, which is going to take away some of those transition opportunities that may actually be better to go with JAVALE like, I mean, the Dwight thing seems like the move because he's playing well.
But I wouldn't be surprised if travel came in there and succeeded and just again used the inflatable tube arms and took away really some of those Jimmy Butler shots.
Who? I think that, you know, that's really what you have to worry about from him.
You're mostly gonna go under screens with him and and and and just make sure that you're not fouling him on jump shots, but especially shots at the rim and be just not letting him get there.
So I think that would be a major advantage for him, too.
Um, we talked a little bit about Caruso and Rondo and the the friendship between the two of them.
Um, they're also like a terror together, and I think that they yeah, and that that was something that really evolved and stood out to me, that was probably one of my big takeaways from, um, that last Siris was just those two guys together, really just wreaked havoc all over the floor.
Um, I think that's a huge thing in this Siri's.
I mean, look, you got Duncan Robinson, who has been, you know, you've got some good games and Tyler hero just shooting absolute fire.
Um, you know, I think those were the right types of guys.
I mean, game 61 of the big things.
That stuff, you know, kind of stood out to me was the way that that Stevens put Marcus Smart on on Tyler hero and said, This is your assignment.
I think you could get a lot of that from Caruso.
Um, who is I can do a great job in that type of a situation.
I also think the benefit of playing those two together.
I mean, so yeah, you referred to them as a terror.
You clearly watched the end of the end of game.
What was It was it was three.
They lost where Rondo basically started punching every nuggets ball handler and was, like, all right, or the refs gonna call it like on like, kind of fuel that run with their perimeter.
They're really aggressive perimeter defense.
You know, Playoff Rondo has kind of been like that.
And so they can like that.
That can be an asset for the Lakers.
He's still not the most reliable player for like, all of his minutes tonight, defensively.
But the benefit of playing those two together, I think, comes Mawr on the offensive end, where Caruso is a lot of things and a lot of them are good and a lot of them help you win.
One of them is not a lead ball handler and, like he is a lot better.
You know the reason that him and LeBron have, like this great plus minus and like this great, like net rating together like among NBA duos.
And you know there was this, you know, the Wall Street Journal profile on Caruso was the LeBron of playing with LeBron, which, like I thought was pretty, uh, number one like give that headline writer a raise because that was great.
Um, yeah, and number two, like Caruso, thrives when he has a guy to take the ball out of his hands, and he's able to kind of succeed on cuts.
And then on the other end, he kind of like covers over some of Rondo's weaknesses defensively, like he could take the tougher assignment.
He is a guy that, like you know, makes really good rotation.
So even if Rondo gets beat like he can kind of come down and pressure in the lane is there trying toe, you know, maybe make them pick the ball up or something like that, like and then recovered to his man.
If they make that pass like, you know, Caruso is a really good player all around, he's just not a great ball handler.
And so him and Rondo, I think, pair fairly well together.
Especially because Caruso's bigger for a point garden.
So he can kind of guard two guards, too.
Yeah, and Caruso is one of the and we're going to switch a little bit to the kind of the the Miami side of things in the zone that they're gonna be throwing out because that's been most of this discussion and certain things you can do.
I think Caruso, I mean, the Lakers, I believe, are leading in, uh, cut frequency like possessions that end with a cut eso That's gonna be one of the big things.
If you could just sort of have him flashed through the middle and and just try toe warp the zone a little bit, just do little things and do backdoor cuts hang out in the dunker spot or the three point line and cut down below.
That way, um, you know, the the heat are are not exactly susceptible to that type of stuff, But anything you could do the work that zone.
I think that's a really interesting thing they could do.
What type of other things would you want to see from the Lakers side of things to try Thio interrupt A little bit of of a zone of it doesn't have to be against the Miami Heat.
It could be other.
Yeah, they've done against other zones.
Yeah, so I think like, obviously the heat are probably the best zone team.
I mean, definitely remaining in the playoffs, because they're the only one, but like, uh, they Yeah, no, no, they they've been incredible.
You know? The Raptors air up there.
The Raptors, like, had had some great effectiveness with zone defense as well on kind of provided almost like a blueprint for Miami to end up beating Boston because they struggled so much with the Raptors own on DSO.
I think like the Heat obviously presents a unique problem.
I think the cuts that you mentioned are one way that the Lakers will attack it.
I think that the rebounding that we talked about earlier is another way, like, you know, Okay, so maybe you can't get the most open shot.
But like the like A bee has been really good for mid range.
Uh, this, like during the playoffs and generally during the regular.
He actually wasn't that great during the regular season.
He's kind of caught fire from during the playoffs and but like that shot, the calculus on it is a little bit different.
It's I think I mentioned the Kobe assist earlier, but that reason that term exists is because Kobe figured out like okay, even if I'm only shooting like 40% on these mid range shots like Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, we're gonna shoot like 70% on the offensive rebounds that they get like when they're able to finish that and it's almost just as good as the past like you, you have a chance to make it go in.
And then these guys, they're getting the ball potentially against scrambled, like, you know, Big Man, that just try to get the rebound and failed on DSO.
I think that's another way to potentially do it.
Um, you know, again, you mentioned the cuts.
I think another thing that the Lakers will do is like Anthony Davis has not been a great playmaker during during the course of I think his career or this year in terms of just like as a passer, like he's OK, but he's not great.
And but one of the things that the Lakers have done all year, even when it wasn't really working, was run things through him in the high post and like trying to get him to make place from there, and he doesn't always succeed at it.
But I do wonder if, over the course of this Siri's, he starts to figure out kind of where the help is coming from as they watch more films like where the defense is coming from, what rotations they're making, what passes are they trying to bait him into versus what passes air actually open.
And I do think that we could see them have some success with that just because he's so tall and can kind of see over defenders and be able to get those passes off.
And like I said and the Lakers have so many guys that air such willing and cutters like you know, you got you mentioned Caruso, you got like a C P is willing to do that.
LeBron has even had some successes.
A cutter this offseason when he's able to play off the ball are sorry this postseason, when he's able to play off the ball.
And so, like, I think that that is one of the ways that they will look to attack it is by getting a D in the middle of that zone and also by trying to get LeBron in the middle of their although how feasible that is, You know it remains to be seen.
Yeah, you gotta find somebody that can that can throw the perfect entry that could get him the ball.
Yeah, exactly, is an art that is not a lot of players could do as well in this league, which is funny.
Um, I also would say for for them.
I mean, Well, actually, let me ask you this because you've watched this team, you know, 80.
How many games with 64 e se 84? I don't even remember how many games in the regular season at this point.
And then I've watched them through 15 playoff games.
Yeah, so So you've watched them for a lot of games.
We'll just stick with that.
Oh, yeah.
What passes are Anthony Davis a little bit more comfortable making? That's a good question.
You know, I think like, honestly, those like, you know, obviously dribble handoffs like I think are like one of our one of them, because that is, the ball is a little bit more protected.
I think like passing to Cutter's is one of the ones that he's relatively more comfortable with, even if he's not great at it.
To me, it's the kick out past this that I've never felt super great about him on because I think that sometimes he like he throws them as a jump pass.
Sometimes he is prone to putting a little bit too much lift on the Balto, where, like the defender is able to recover and things like that because it's covering a longer dislike.
Those air, not easy passes to make, like LeBron, makes it look really easy and, like great point guards, make it look really easy.
But those were not easy passes, necessarily to always make it.
And so I think those are the ones where he's a little bit more prone to turnovers and then also, like, you know, as much as I say, like, you know, he's okay at finding cutters.
There are also times where he throws the ball right into the teeth of the defense because like the guy that was cutting his man had like, he didn't completely lose them, which is kind of on both, you know, a B and the guy that was cutting.
But at the same time, he's got no, not to throw that pass.
And so, like, I think that's probably where I stand on him, Right? Um, interesting.
That's thank you for I've been That's been like, a thing I've been.
I've been dying to kind of know because I'm trying to envision kind of how some of this stuff is gonna look.
I think, yeah, you nailed it like they're gonna be playing him right in the middle of that.
They're just gonna park him at the free throw line.
Getting the ball is so much taller than everybody.
Um, in a way, that kind of makes me feel like, you know, like somebody like KCP if they're doing all this dribble handoff stuff, somebody like KCP who could relocate and shoot off plays like that, Um, that makes him kind of very essential, even more so.
I don't feel super confident in him off of specifically that play like, I think to me, he's a little bit more of like, a spot up shooter and like, I've never like his handle is okay, But I've never felt like in love with it.
I think the guy that, like you know, like obviously LeBron has success it everything but the guy that he's a lot more comfortable working within that action to me is LeBron and again, like against the Zone, the heat are really gonna be able to come that up.
So I don't know how much that's gonna be available anyway, because obviously, like if you're sending a guy down there like his guys gonna follow him, towards a D and then all of a sudden, that's getting really crowded on DSO like And you know, you may have another guy even crashed down to create some problems.
So, like, I think, like the dribble handoff like I don't know, like how against the zone.
Like, I think that might be like a little bit tough, like I'm kinda gotta find.
Seems in the defense another way, at least, in my opinion, like, you know, the Lakers have not played against a ton of zone yet, although Denver did play it.
And I think like most of the time, honestly, they were beating it by like it wasn't through eighties passes.
It was through guys like pulling up and stuff like that in hitting their threes at a decent rate, like, you know, the staff that I've said on every podcast or radio appearance that I've done because I was proud of myself for discovering this.
I did not expect it to be good, but, uh, it's not like it's not like a crazy like I dove into synergy either.
It's just like, literally, the Lakers air undefeated right now, uh, in games when they shoot 30% or better from behind the three point line, which is in the playoffs, Uh, and so 12.
And so, like literally, they're three.
Losses have come when they shot worse than 30% which is kind of a nostalgic that when that really shows how high of a floor their defense gives them because like like, it gives them just a huge margin for error offensively, like even if they're not shooting great from three, they're still able to stop teams from scoring enough in general like again.
I think that Miami, the way that they kind of like like how much they move the ball and how much their guys relocate while they play is a different defensive challenge than the Lakers have faced so far.
We're they've done really well at shutting guys down that air like the primary teams like of the team's options, like Jamal Murray made some crazy shots during that Siri's.
But those air shocks that you're gonna be happy with him taking like he he just made them at an insane rate during that Siri's.
The Lakers did a really good job of kind of bottling up game, and C J and like forcing other guys to beat them.
They did the same thing against the Rockets with Harden Westbrook really just forcing Westbrook shoot threes, essentially to the point where he looked totally washed.
By the end of that, Siri's and um like I think like that is going to be the unique problem, the Heat present from, like a defensive perspective or from an offensive perspective.
Excuse me, I can't talk anymore.
I'm like, running out of, uh, I'm running out of words in the day that goes back to the load management, I guess.
But I think that is like kind of like the more of the challenge that the heat present for them in that way.
But it also like it speaks to like how they've been able to beat zones like when they have when other teams have played zones like they've been able to hit enough threes that their defense can kind of help them like hold up on the other end.
That's interesting that you mentioned like I I think for a lot of ways that I mean the heat.
I don't know where the scoring is gonna come from.
I do kind of.
I I think I have an idea for how they're going to defend the Lakers.
I looked this up.
LeBron James is shooting 28% on long twos, which comprised 11% of his shots, 33% on non corner threes, which isn't like terrible.
I mean, it's not good, but it's not terrible, Uh, good enough for the Lakers to win. Good enough clearly.
So I think that's what they're gonna be doing.
A lot is just stunting and trying to take away and really just trying to pack the paint in a lot of ways, Maybe there's a way to do that so that you have bam sort of at that free throw line.
The problem is, and this is the thing that the Lakers like them playing so big is if you're playing bam at the free throw line, well, who's in that dunker spot? Figuring out Dwight or JaVale is gonna be Duncan Robinson, who I mean, sure, like his Lakers pray like eso.
That's and it's just like every time I could think about different ways and I know the heat are I've done this with them pretty much every Siri's.
I think I picked the bucks and you know so and I've done this every Siri's and I thought about it.
But the more I watched them, the more familiar I get with them.
And even now I'm like, OK, I kind of know what they're doing.
Sposa genius.
He's way smarter than me, so he's gonna come up with.
I'm sure they have had these discussions, but that's the part that I keep coming back to where I'm just like I think I know what they're going to do on a baseline.
At least I would, I might.
I probably don't but in my head ideo.
But But I don't know it just the Lakers always have a countered. It's so funny.
It all just comes back to them, sticking with playing big.
I mean, it really is not the key.
I think you're exactly right in terms of how they're going to try and come up and defend.
LeBron is like just essentially surrendering threes.
The Nuggets had a lot of success with that during their again.
You know, a lot of success is graded on a curve because they lost in five games, but like their most successful strategy of defending LeBron was surrendering those threes.
And then, you know, I don't remember exactly how many he hit in game if you finally started to hit them.
And then all of a sudden, like, you know, I think he had, like, 14 points in the fourth quarter and just, like, completely destroyed them with his shot making once he got comfortable again, just like a ridiculous like horse display that like it almost reminded me of when he used to play against the Raptors and was just basically like screwing with them by the second half.
Like take it like shooting on Lee, left handed and like taking on Lee fade aways and stuff like like he just knew he had them beat Andi.
I think it was a similar thing in the fourth quarter against the Nuggets, but that said the prior to games in that Siri's he was not good, like he put up good numbers, but he was not good, like in terms of having an impact and because LeBron gets his numbers regardless.
But like you could tell after after watching him for two years now, closely and before that for his whole career, obviously, um like you can tell when he's just getting his numbers versus when they're actually like coming and like making his team better.
And, you know, in Game four, he was great defensively down the stretch, but look totally like scared of taking jumpers and did not look confident in it at all.
And I think that's the way.
If you're the Heat to try and slow them down, it's really try and get in his head and like, back off of him, like let him, like, surrender the Jumper.
So the point.
And if he misses a couple, he's going to start to think about it and try and force things getting into the lane, which, like if you're forcing things getting into the lane against the defender, that's already backed up and so you no longer have that first step on them like that.
All of a sudden becomes a lot harder.
You're finishing over arms and LeBron can do it.
It's just not as like as optimal strategy of a strategy for success.
Sure, and you have two guys that are gonna be in those those corners that are gonna they're gonna slide in for help.
I mean, the Heat have been really exceptional that so that's either a charge or a turnover.
Something like that. Turnovers.
Another one, I think, is a big point for this.
Um, the Lakers are first in playoff turnovers right now.
Miami is second in deflections on the other side of the ball.
Miami is kind of middle of the pack and turnovers per game, and the Lakers lead in deflections.
Um, I think that's gonna be a big key to this.
Um, just the and it's, you know, that's not like a hot take like, Oh, did you know that the Lakers air good in transition? I mean, that's not there are you know, people haven't recognized that by now.
I think they haven't been paying close enough.
I mean, this is what you come for here, you know, hard getting ****ysis like that.
But no, I mean I what things do you think of really kind of.
Why? First, let me start this.
Why are the Lakers kind of leading in that turnovers category? It's the length, and it's the activity.
It's not just length in terms of like, I think sometimes when we say length like it's a catch all that sometimes to mean wildly different things.
That the Lakers are not just long in terms of like starting, say, Anthony Davis and White or Anthony Davis and JaVale on like playing big in that respect, like the Lakers air long across their roster.
If you look at the starting line up that they've played with for most of the postseason, it's JaVale is really long.
A B is really long.
LeBron's really long for a small forward.
You got KCP and you've got, uh, Danny Green.
Sorry, I don't know why like that.
That says something about Danny Green, that he's the guy that I was like struggling toe name there.
But like Danny Green's big for a two guard like cases, he is big for a guy that is defending ones.
And so when you have that much links across your roster and Lakers don't really lose that when they go to the bench like Rondo has long arms and he's smart at playing passing lanes.
Caruso is really active and, like gets his arms up and has good like good wingspan.
Good activity makes really good rotations like you go up and down the roster and this.
Even Kyle Kuzma, who like it has not played great during the bubble Attn least during the playoffs, has not played great, has really long arms.
So especially when they're playing him on the wing and like, good activity, and he's become a smarter defender like so.
I think that the deflections are a testament to when you're getting arms up in a guy's face and then you're forcing them to make a cross court pass.
And you have a bunch of good guys that like playing those, like playing those passing lanes and getting out in transition.
That's how the Lakers fueled their attack, the Miami Heat Like from what I've seen, Andi, I think you've watched them more closely than I have during the playoffs.
But like they don't make a ton of sloppy passes, and so that is going to be genuinely like.
That is a point that could swing the Siri's.
If you're looking for X factors and things like that, like like the Lakers can't generate enough turnovers and can't run enough off of even makes and stuff like that, then maybe you start to see these games get a little closer and there's a little bit more variants and how this finishes out.
I mean, I think that and I also am interested.
Like if if you don't mind me picking your brain a little bit on this one of the Lakers are, why are the Lakers high in terms of offensive turnovers as well? I mean, I think it's just honestly, like not it's the stuff that you'd expect that's not always great decision making, like it's sometimes trying passes or trying to force passes that aren't there.
You know, I think that they have, like like they've committed a decent amount of offensive fouls, which, like also because they're big, though like they could get away with stuff.
But then sometimes that leads the offensive fouls that, then you know, a team turnover s.
So I think it's that kind of stuff, like, you know, LeBron.
There's a creativity tax that comes with making the passes that he makes and that is like you're going toe, turn the ball over sometimes because sometimes either ah, guy is not going to see the past coming or the defense is going to see the past coming and you didn't quite get it there in time or quickly enough or whatever.
So like, I think that it's it's just the stuff that you'd expected.
Sloppiness is it's and is that something that concerns you? Are you more concerned about the other side of the ball the way that I'm more concerned about them generating turnovers than I am about them committing turn? Because they've been, they've been They've committed decent amount of turnovers all year, to my recollection and like they're really good about they.
They're one of the best transition defensive teams in the league.
And, like Danny Green is like genuinely transition defense savant like like just the way that he like.
He makes the decision almost every time he somehow turns into, like, chase down LeBron at times.
Like when, like Danny Green never jumps at any other point in the game, other than to get a little bit of lift on his jump shot becomes like a shark.
You know, getting blood in the water any time somebody is dribbling in transition like has really good like, and the whole Lakers are really good about making sure that they get back on DSO like I'm not super worried about them turning the ball over because that's just going to happen the way they play.
I'm more worried about.
Like if I would rank the to, then generating enough turnovers to get the easy possessions and they drive on Okay, Um, that's interesting.
I You know, I that's a really interesting thing to hear.
Is there anything else that you think are gonna is really going to swing the Siri's before we go into, like, a couple of lighter things before we close this out? No, I mean, honestly, I think we've talked about most of it.
I mean, one of the things we kind of touched on it, like what version of LeBron the Lakers get like this is the most he's ever had.
Rest like going into a final.
Siri's like it's the fewest minutes he's never played in the playoffs like, but he didn't look amazing.
Last year was like he finished out strong.
But there were points of that series where he did not look great even though he was putting up numbers.
And so to me, it's like is there an extra level that he can still flip the switch and get to in the finals.
And can he especially get there with, like, the rest of legs and be able to make a difference that way? I also think like there's a lot of unanswered questions because these two teams still have so many stylistic differences that were almost gonna have to see Game one play out before we can figure out like, Okay, are these things that were kind of borderline on? Like, are they going to be like like, it feels like a nebulous question right now? Like, how does the Heat deal with Anthony Davis? And like, if their answer is not a good one and he's just going off, then like, the Lakers might win the series and five or something like that.
But if the Heat are able to figure something out with this zone or through whatever means, like putting them on him like whatever it may be and limit him a little bit and all of a sudden the Lakers, or maybe in a little bit of trouble, it's like a half court team and things like that.
So I think that it just remains to be seen how these two teams fully match up because even during the regular season.
Both of them were different teams.
The Heat hadn't fully embraced the small ball identity like it's just hard to completely predict.
Although I'm still, like, confident in the Lakers.
That being said, Yeah, I totally agree with that.
I don't even know who's going to guard Anthony Davis.
I think it will be.
I think it will be.
I would say they probably wanna put Crowder.
Yeah, I think Crowder on him, which feels like dangerously P J.
Tucker ish, like all over again, like, Oh, he has a low base and it's gonna and it's just like Okay, well, And then, like by the end of the Siri's, he looks like he's shooting over, trapped like traffic cones like and stuff like it did with P J.
Like so.
But the good part is, they have.
It's not just like P J or Bust.
It's like they have bam out of bio there.
I think they'll probably start with Bam near the rim just because, like again like you're not gonna have, he's so good there, too, like like a weak side help.
I mean, he's just its's a similar thing with Anthony Davis and like the argument for Do you put him on bam or do you want him? Is more like I think it's a similar question that both teams are facing, and it'll be interesting to see their answers to it because a the same thing, like he is much better as a rover than as an individual defender.
Like he's still really good at individual defense.
But he is like a Hall of Fame level, you know, help side defender and, like, rotation guy and whatever.
So like, I'm very curious to see what both teams answers are on that equation that, like they're both kind facing a similar problem, right? And they're kind of similar to each other, a little bit like in certain way, just the way that they're both ready.
Defensive minded.
They have these centers that are kind of the hub of everything or whatever.
They both played power forward.
Yeah, yeah, we'll call him Big Man.
All right, so I think that's kind of fun.
It's a definitely a different look than what we've got.
Uh, in previous seasons, let me I'm gonna cut back to the thing you said about LeBron a little bit I think one of the weird storylines that it's probably me just creating a conspiracy theory and and trying to create a narrative that is totally not gonna be a factor.
I am kind of curious to see if he's been not load managing in the playoffs, because that's ridiculous.
But I wonder if he's saving another level for the Finals like And who is gonna win finals? M v P.
I mean, it's just it's a thing that's really pressing for me.
So our SB nation picks are I don't think their lives yet.
But like I was asked to turn them in today, uh and like like they were just pulling us basically on who we thought was gonna win the Siri's how many games on then, like finals.
V P and I was finals M v p.
With one that I was like debating over the most and almost everyone I think when I was looking had picked LeBron.
But like, you know, some people have picked Jimmy Butler or ban the people that picked the heat, but like the one honestly, like, I ended up picking Anthony Davis because I think that there is a chance, especially because we've seen this narrative.
This award is so narrative base.
Yeah, that, like if Anthony Davis breaks out on the final stage, I think that you could see it go to him and get a lot of narrative momentum towards, especially for the two way impact that he has.
And like if he like, let's say the heats answer to him defensively is not satisfactory.
And he averages 30 plus points a game or something like that while defending at a high level.
I'm not necessarily predicting that, but if the Lakers win the Siri's, that might be one of the reasons on DSO.
Like if that happens, I think that you're gonna get a lot of people talking about Anthony Davis as the guy.
In that case, that is like the Finals M V p and kind of the hub of what the Lakers do.
Um, and so I think that there is a decent chance because I know it's like I know how the heat are going to defend LeBron like they're going to throw those waves of wings that they have at him, like I don't necessarily know how they're going to guard a D, which leads the higher variance and outcomes.
And so I think that that's why I picked him his finals.
M v p.
But to answer your question about LeBron, I think and I don't even know how I got there from here.
But like, uh, yeah, exactly like No, I feel like I apologize because I feel like I've been all over the place, this one and it's just like, you know, it's It's finals brain addled at this point and of the Siri's hasn't even started yet.
But like a Sfar as LeBron, I completely agree with you.
I don't think that it's Bs narrative.
I think that he has, at times, like, been load managing during these playoffs.
And like, especially in the first half of games, you'll see him really try to set a D up and have him do a lot of the heavy lifting offensively and finishing plays in the lane.
And you know everything like that or letting him score one on one.
Beat his guy as he kind of weights and rest and you know, when you combine that with the minute I do think if necessary, there is like a you know, like a god mode playoff LeBron's percent level that he could go to, um, But we will see if that's necessary or if he's actually able to access that.
But I agree with you that it's not.
I don't think it's Bs that question.
I think it's very riel.
I'll ask a second question.
Does he care if Anthony Davis wins? Or is this That is, um or interesting one.
I honestly the way that he has talked him up so much this year.
I do feel like one part of him would be like a proud older brother that like Oh, okay, like this is you coming out on the stage, way to go, like like I'm proud of you like we've been working towards this all year.
They said that you couldn't win a title like a team's best player. Here you go.
The on the other hand, this is a man.
Legacy was offended that he only got 16 votes for M V. P.
And a year when pretty much everyone knew that Yannis was gonna win it.
So I don't know what he expected to happen were like, Is there a certain amount of voters that should have thrown like more of a protest vote for LeBron like, just to make it look a little bit more even.
I'm not sure really what he wanted there.
Um, again, that being said, these guys were the most competitive people on the planet.
I'm not surprised that he was upset to not get more votes.
It's just like I don't know what the contingency thought Is there, like the next thought beyond being that is like, did you again, like, did you want these people toe like, set their vote on fire when they knew it wasn't gonna win and go against what they felt like? Even if you could think that maybe they were wrong in the end.
Um And so, like again, like with that, if he was offended by that, you know, maybe.
But is it the type of thing that I think would create a rift between them? Absolutely not.
And I think he would ever admit publicly.
Probably not.
I do think that being said he will probably want to go for this finals M v p.
Because, like, look like if he like, if he wins the fourth title.
But the narrative is 80 carried him.
He got the finals M v p.
Like you know, like the old heads.
They're gonna be able to say Jordan forever at that point.
And like, I think that LeBron is aware of that legacy discussion and he can claim that it doesn't matter.
But I think that really going off and also like, really sticking it to Pat Riley, who no matter what he says, I don't believe he helds like fond feelings towards at this point.
Um, like, I think you put all of it together and you have a recipe for him really going for that finals M v p.
But I don't necessarily think that he would be upset if you didn't win it.
If that makes sense, this is like they still win an A d gets it like I don't think that he's gonna be, like, super matter, at least not publicly.
This is my, like, big advantage, I think for Miami, and it's it's which tells you there isn't.
I mean, look, they're they're they're very Can you imagine, though, if he came out like post game and was like and he's like, I cannot believe this, You idiots got this wrong again like a d was clearly not the finals.
M v p it with me like I pay to see it.
I I would too.
I think it will probably play out Mawr like the What was that 2018 finals with Durant, where Steph, I think, had a first really good E first three games.
And then Durant played well in Game four? I might have.
I always get games.
They all kind of blend together for me I e a couple of years ago, like, I have no idea, but I'll no game sevens and that's it.
Like I don't know.
But, um, yes, of course, but that I know this kind of feels like one of those years where I like Sure, maybe that becomes an advantage.
And it feels like two guys, you know, duking it out for the same award.
But isn't that still kind of an advantage for the Lakers? Like Oh, no, Their two best players are playing hard like it will be like if one of them wins it versus the other like it's not gonna be a function of necessarily them gunning for it.
It's gonna be through them playing together and setting each other up because there's so complimentary, like it's a little different than the Durant Steph dynamic in that way and that both of those guys, if they wanted to kind of take over the game and get it on their own like LeBron and a d R.
So like complementary and symbiotic in that way for this team that if one of them is going off like it's basically because the defense is throwing everything at the other one, you know what I mean? So, like, if you're like if you're really hard showing against LeBron, then he's gonna pass the ball and get 80 rolling down the lane and, like, you know, like a four on five or whatever it was, depending on where the pick and roll took place, or for a lob, or just for uneasy dunk or layup against like a scrambling, rotating defense, like he's going to set him up that way.
But also like if the defense is really like going after a D on those possessions like LeBron's gonna pull up, LeBron is going to try and get into the lane himself like it's going to be through a function of them were working together like I don't think the either of them is going to go out and try and gun for it on their own.
It's just gonna be It's almost going to depend on how the Miami Heat play them and how effective that issue.
Uh, all right, well, that's that.
That's pretty conclusive with that.
But look as a as a fan of a team with two stars ripe for conflict like I don't like look like I'm not surprised that you that that's where your head went immediately.
It's like which one of these guys is going to try and, like, fight each other for the financial reference? Yeah, the Nets reference.
I'm not.
I didn't I didn't even look.
I feel like as a blogger, I'm not doing my job.
If I don't at least once make people want to throw their phone while they're listening to the podcast.
If I'm on another team, I grew, so I don't.
I grew up a fan of the of the Minnesota Timberwolves, which you can't even you can.
That's where you can really just say anything, say Joe, literally anything I mean, you could say they had a bad headline last week about Jack over always just like this.
I can't I can't do this anymore.
Can't stay out of their own way.
That s o that will.
That may offend the listeners viewers.
But, I mean, I'm Well, then they're gonna be mad at you for laughing and not pushing back harder on me like that's a bad it's This is a double win for me.
Yeah, I laugh at it every time.
I'm like, I shouldn't do that.
Don't laugh at it. Don't you like? Yes.
You just slandered and say this person's favorite to players e apologize Nets fans.
I'm mostly kidding.
Uh, Yep, You heard it from me to I, um Let's get into predictions.
Who do you have winning the serious.
How many games I am right now.
You know, it's funny.
I've been saying, like on every podcasts like, Oh, I haven't had enough time to fully dive in like I don't I'm not setting this in stone, but at this point, I think I've made it enough places that it's set in stone like I'm going Lakers and six.
I wish I was brave enough to say Lakers and five, I really do like them in this matchup, stylistically and like with, like just with like having the two best players in the Siri's.
But that said, I do think that there will be a night where they shoot poorly and they will lose.
I do think that there will be probably a game where the Heat defensive game plan otherwise have success, and they lose like I don't think that it's going to be.
They just completely dominate this Siri's.
I just have a hard time believing that in the finals, but we'll see if I'm wrong, like I could be wrong.
Um, I will be the Lakers homer and pick them in five.
I I think that this e I'm going to do it.
I haven't been really brave with any, you know, predictions.
I'm usually six or say, Look, you might if you picked against them in every round.
Up until now, Like with them meaning the heat like you might as well go down with the ship, You know what I mean? Either either you're finally gonna be right, that they were frauds or like Look Hey, I just didn't recognize it.
Yeah, I mean, and I think I had I gave the Nuggets a little bit.
I don't remember if I said six or seven, but I thought it was gonna be more competitive than it was.
It was competitive in spots, but, um, yeah, I mean, the Lakers have proved everything they need to to me.
Um, I just don't know where the scoring is gonna come from.
For Miami.
I just I don't know.
I mean, you know Goran Dragic.
I've been having a hard time with that too, you know, It's just kind of like the Goran Dragic thing was, it faded out pretty quickly in that last Siri's Tyler hero.
There's a lot of pressure on him.
I mentioned Tyler Hero Finals, M v P.
Like maybe, you know, maybe he goes off crazier.
Things have happened, especially this year, but, I mean, it's just like looking at all this stuff.
I think that the Lakers, they're gonna be really just diligent with a lot of this stuff.
Play the play that the heats best players the right way on offense go under screens.
There's just a lot of things that they could dio and just you could map them out on paper.
The Lakers, it's tough.
I mean, you gotta do, like, you know, the equations.
Yeah, it's crazy.
So, um, that's kind of where I'm at right now.
I wanna let you plug away anything you have coming out and and again, Thank you for coming on.
So, honestly, just like if if you want more Lakers coverage like silver screen and roll dot com, like, is where all of my work is published, I'm like, honestly, I think this might be one of the best weeks of content we have ever had, because certainly in my in my tenure running the site.
Uh, just like we had an excerpt from Jeff Pearlman earlier today from his new Shaq and Kobe book about, like, the story of the Kobe Air balls and the advice that shot gave him in the aftermath and just covering like that whole Siri is going inside like it.
I mean, his book is amazing, but the excerpt was really great.
Eso is proud to have that on there.
I have recruited a couple of like former editors of the site or like prominent voices and Lakers Twitter or Lakers media or Lakers blogosphere that have left, you know, the profession to come back and write about this one more time for us.
So that's been really fun to have up.
Yeah, exactly like Christian.
I mean, I was like my pitch to them was Basically, look, the Lakers were back like, you might as well be for one game like on DSO.
We also like I wrote a story about how this Lakers team has, like I feel like so often this year.
The Kobe Bryant storyline has become almost like a sports movie trope of like Oh, like they gotta win it for Kobe.
And like while they say that they want to win it for Kobe, I think that like to put that expectation on them.
It's a little bit unfair, and I also feel like fans of other teams have started to be like Okay, like this is a little much that, like Kobe, is getting asked about this often by the media, and I do think that sometimes it's people looking for a cheap and easy story and like like like just asked about Kobe and the mama jerseys.
Asked about Kobe whatever.
At the same time, I wanted to basically detail why this is a very real grieving point for this team and the different ways that they've dealt with it throughout the course of the year and how they could actually, I think pay tribute to Kobe and I don't want to spoil the ending.
But like I wrote about that for today, I was proud of.
I really try to put some time into it.
We have.
You know, my guy Christian wrote about like the Dwight Howard Redemption arc.
We have Sabrina Merchant coming tomorrow, writing about, like just this pre this Siri's and like all the different basketball questions that are going to go into it.
So you know, like just if you're interested mawr in the finals from, like how Lakers fans, how Lakers writers are viewing it and writing about it.
Silver screen and roll dot com.
We also have the silver screen and roll podcast.
So if you're not tired of my voice after an hour like I previewed the syriza little bit yesterday and we have plenty more to come. Amazing.
Well, I'm looking forward to it.
I know what I'm doing when I get off here? I try to read a little bit of something before I go to bed every night.
So I'll be checking some of those out.
Of course.
Yeah, man. And thank you so much for coming on.
I would love to get you on soon and enjoy this finals, my friend.
Take it in.
Yeah, I'm gonna try.
I'm trying to take it in its like, the last finals.
The Lakers, like the Lakers, were in, um, you know, they want and 2010.
But the last final that they were in, you know, like I was going through a tough time in my own personal life.
I was in college, major. I didn't really love.
I was going through the worst break up I've ever been through.
And like, it's like 10 years later, I'm married to the love of my life.
Like I'm covering this team is a full time job.
Like it's I'm just trying to enjoy it. It's overwhelming.
It's a lot of work, but I'm trying to enjoy this.
Yeah, that's that's the funny part about this is, as you get deeper and deeper in these playoff runs, it just gets it gets hectic, but, um, yeah, I mean, just those moments of it, and it's just exciting.
I'm excited for the team.
I'm excited for everybody involved.
Yeah, my friends.
You'll find out soon, you'll find out.
By next year, you'll be Justus, brain addled, as, uh, I was during this podcast at some point.
Yeah, well, I mean, I'm looking forward to them.
I'll be getting there sooner than later, my friend.
Thank you so much for coming on.
And, uh, enjoy one more time.
All right? Have your money.


Other Episodes back continue View All

EP 32: What the Heck is Going on with the Sacramento Kings? w/ Sanjesh Singh of The Kings Herald
EP 31: The High-Variance Phoenix Suns w/ Sam Cooper of The Timeline Podcast
EP 30: Are the Minnesota Timberwolves a Western Conference Sleeper? w/ Dane Moore
EP 29: Recapping Brooklyn Nets "Media Week" w/ Chris Milholen of NetsDaily
EP 28: Can the Boston Celtics Continue Their Progression? w/ Jared Weiss of The Athletic
EP 27: What's Next for the Toronto Raptors? w/ Katie Heindl
EP 26: A New Era of Golden State Warriors Basketball w/ Sam Esfandiari of Light Years Podcast
EP 25: What to Make of the Brooklyn Nets Offseason w/ Nolan Jensen of NetsDaily
EP 24: Recapping the 2020 NBA Draft w/ Corey Tulaba AKA Hardwood Herald
EP 23: The 2020 NBA Draft Class w/ Corey Tulaba AKA Hardwood Herald
EP 22: The New Era of Indiana Pacers Basketball w/ Caitlin Cooper of Indy Cornrows

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