SportsCastr - Basketball & More - EP 28: Can the Boston Celtics Continue Their Progression? w/ Jared Weiss of The Athletic
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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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Description

Matt sits down with Jared Weiss of The Athletic to discuss Kemba Walker's injury and how it affects the Boston Celtics' season and the team's largest trade exception of all-time. They also analyze progression points for Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, glance over some Brad Stevens X's and O's, and even touch on a little bit of Brooklyn Nets basketball as a fun bonus.

Transcript

00:00:08
you're listening to basketball and bore a SportsCastr featured podcast with your host Matt Brooks.
00:00:14
Experts from across the globe sit down with Matt to talk all things MBA from news and rumors to gain breakdowns and ****ysis, tune into the live stream twice a week on SportsCastr and be part of the conversation.
00:00:27
But first buckle in for today's edition of basketball and more welcome everybody to basketball and more with your host, Matt Brooks.
00:00:36
This is, of course, a SportsCastr featured podcast broadcast.
00:00:40
Whatever you wanna call it, we're obviously at the tail end of media week, and I was lucky enough to catch up with Jared Weiss of the athletic this week.
00:00:48
To talk some Celtics is well, is a little bit of Nets, which was kind of fun from my end.
00:00:53
I just want to thank Jared again for his time.
00:00:54
I know we recorded this between a couple of his pressers.
00:00:57
So without further ado, let's let this interview play.
00:01:00
Thank you so much for doing this.
00:01:01
Um, you know, I just want to kind of catch up with you and get your thoughts a little bit on the Celtics, there's there's been quite a bit going on.
00:01:09
Obviously, um, trade exception.
00:01:11
Campus injury.
00:01:12
So, you know, I really just want to start here and ask you, um, you know what was the most interesting quote? Because I know you just wrote an article on That's a specifically really why I wanted to talk to you today, Um, about campus injury.
00:01:26
Was there any specific quotes that you've seen so far That that that that have sort of given you an indication of where things are going? Yeah, he I asked him, like when you're doing this ***ue strengthening thing that they keep talking about, Like, what is it that you're actually looking for? What actually tells you that you could play on? And he said that from his perspective, the big the biggest thing was being able to land without feeling any pain or thinking about pain.
00:01:56
Um, and you know, we know, especially the Celtics in Boston.
00:02:00
Really learned about this through Gordon Hayward, where? Gordon Hayward, When he came back that next season, even though he was healed, he played like a guy that was scared.
00:02:08
His ankle was gonna break pretty much every single night.
00:02:11
He only had, like, maybe two good games out of a 75 game season that entire year and it really shows how much these guys, they could lose so much of what makes them great, not because they're injured, it aren't capable of doing it.
00:02:24
But just because of the concern that if they push too hard and do the thing that they're really great at that, it might snap something.
00:02:31
And so it certainly sounds like that was something that was definitely affecting Kemba.
00:02:35
But you know, the funny thing with Kemba was that, like so he didn't play well in the playoffs, but he was kind of getting to most of his looks most of the playoffs.
00:02:45
And he just like there were.
00:02:47
There were, I think, two plays where he got fouled on what would have been a game winning attempt and that Toronto Siri's where I feel like if he drew those fouls and they won those games, that that would have changed perception a lot.
00:02:58
But I think the biggest thing with him was just that he was pulling up for three, just like crank.
00:03:03
He was clanking everything.
00:03:05
He just like couldn't hit that shot and so I don't know if there was like, maybe just it was a simple is that And he was short.
00:03:13
Mind you on every single one.
00:03:14
Everyone was catching front rim, and I wonder for him, it was just every time he would kind of hop into a shot, that he would be a little hesitant to really kind of load up off that shot because he's worried that his knee wasn't gonna be able to handle where he was feeling a little bit of tinge in that knee, and that's what was bothering him.
00:03:33
So it's very possible.
00:03:34
It's just kind of like something is a small but simultaneously huge is that and that once he kind of gets past that point, he's fine and he deals with soreness when it comes.
00:03:44
But in general, he's pretty fine.
00:03:46
Um, so it seems like that's kind of what the scenario is.
00:03:49
Three other side of that scenario is that it is the generator of knee issues and is he's falling apart and that would be much worse.
00:03:56
So e think that between that quote of him saying like that landing thing, that's a big thing for him and then him being asked plane plane.
00:04:06
Can you share what the diagnosis was? Was that osteoarthritis? What is it in him, Just like laughing and not answering the question at all.
00:04:13
I think those were the Those were the two big things because the team they keep saying he has knee soreness, but then they don't actually provide a diagnosis.
00:04:22
Knee soreness is not a medical diagnosis.
00:04:24
There has to be like a medical diagnosis attached to it, which, based on all the clues that we have, and as I wrote on the athletic, it seems pretty clear that he's dealing with in the arthritis, which is definitely not a surprise.
00:04:35
And it's something that's like a problem.
00:04:37
But it's not something that can necessarily is a career ruining thing.
00:04:41
Do you think? I mean, so if it's something like that, do you think it's thing where they're just managing his minutes a ton and being really, really careful with him, for sure, But it doesn't mean like he has to be on a 30 minute restriction necessary the rest of his career.
00:04:53
I think what they're doing is instead of doing it that way, they're just being really slow and really patient and building him up to start playing, so that once he starts playing, they can ease him into a minutes restriction over the course of a couple weeks.
00:05:06
And then he's good to go from there, which is basically what they try to do with the bubble.
00:05:10
Just they were on a little bit more of a truncated timeline when it was with the bubble.
00:05:14
Sure, because, you know, the the bubble was announced in a way where they, you know, they just I mean, it was kind of announced, and I don't know how long it was this.
00:05:21
Do you remember how long it was the stretch between when the bubble was announced and when the bubble actually started? I'm not sure.
00:05:27
But he he arrived to the facility in early June on gay. Then they were gone.
00:05:33
I think by the end of that month, if not a little maybe like during the first week of July, so he basically had, like, a month, the work at the facility after kind of basically like just doing light work at home in basic conditioning at home.
00:05:46
Eso that you know that's a pretty short timeframe to then be dealing with you know, having to take what was.
00:05:52
I mean, I think they could take kind of like a week off, essentially to be able to do the whole quarantine thing.
00:05:58
And then they're kind of doing training camp while he's trying to figure out what can you play? You know, just I think I think doing, dealing with all the moving around a lot and all that stuff and having to take basically a week off in the middle of that.
00:06:11
I think that's a lot different than what you're dealing with here, where he's back at the facility and he he's been kind of planning around this for several months now.
00:06:18
Um, they're saying so they're saying January right now, do you think, Do you get the feeling like he's really gonna be back January? I know you kind of hinted that that might not be the case in your article.
00:06:28
No eso.
00:06:30
They're not even saying January and something thing that I think people are missing.
00:06:33
They're saying an update is coming in the first week of January, but but there there has been absolutely nothing about an actual return date, and people are just really missing that.
00:06:41
So Which is it your fault? Every single person in the world that it's a simple is like there.
00:06:48
That's, you know, the first week of January is a month from when he just spoke.
00:06:51
So they're basically saying, And a month we'll have an update based on my conversation with Jeffs Osterman street clothes, which is what I wrote about that story.
00:06:58
It definitely seems like that would be pretty optimistic that he would be back by even, like the end of January.
00:07:04
Um, but, you know, maybe it goes really well, but, you know, they were there.
00:07:08
They've been talking so much about how they felt like they had to rush back a little bit with him.
00:07:14
So you know why? Why not take it, actually, a couple of weeks if you have to, it you need the like every like your entire franchises.
00:07:20
Future is kind of coming down, so whether or not this rehab process works, so don't don't blow this one.
00:07:25
Take much time as they need, right? It's funny.
00:07:28
It kind of reminds me like a lot of like you're in Brooklyn with Kyrie and his shoulder last year where it was just sort of like they would give timelines, but it wouldn't be like this is just gonna be when the update is And people would take that as, Oh, he's gonna be back at this time.
00:07:42
So I think that fogginess can kind of make it tough, I guess, to expect, um, you know, just really expect anything from a season.
00:07:50
Um, let's say it takes him you no longer than just like January, something like that.
00:07:55
What do you feel like is the biggest weakness of the Celtics this year? Ooh, Interesting.
00:08:00
Um, their biggest weakness is complimentary.
00:08:06
Playmaking.
00:08:07
Um, they lose, They lose Hayward who was there, you know, he's got glue that really held it together where he was a guy that could count on to run some clean offense when nothing else was working.
00:08:18
And then there without Kemba, who's the point guard.
00:08:20
So they are putting a ton of onus on Jason Tatum and Jalen Brown to continue to build off the play, making strides that they showed in the last few months of the season.
00:08:31
So those guys are not ready for that kind of role that they're gonna have to have early on, and the team's gonna rely on Jeff Teague.
00:08:38
Toby the point guard are the backup point guard, while Marcus Smart runs point.
00:08:42
I guess while they're waiting for camera to come back and you know, smart smarts, a pretty good point guard, he actually statistically was, I think, like number one or two and points per possession for pick and roll play making over the past few years coming into last season.
00:08:58
And then last season he was, I think, the top six or seven for pick and roll scoring eso like the dudes really good and pick and roll, which really surprises people just because they're used to the idea that he's a bad offensive player.
00:09:10
Um, he's ah, he moves it Well, yeah, like he moves it well, but he struggles to finish.
00:09:16
He struggles to shoot, but like, he could do everything in between really, really well on DSO I think that the offense general will be fine in the meantime, but they're losing just so much of the guy like the guys that they could count on to run all their sets there.
00:09:33
They're missing like their two best guys of that and that I really that's gonna be really, really hard for them on den.
00:09:39
Their depth isn't ready.
00:09:40
Like Romeo Langford.
00:09:41
He's hurt.
00:09:42
Erin, Nice Smith is.
00:09:44
I assume he's gonna be, like, able to shoot the ball in space, the floor.
00:09:47
But I'm not gonna count on him executing too many plays right out the gate.
00:09:51
So they just They just do not have much creative depth right now.
00:09:55
And that's what they're really hurting for, right? And that truncated off season is where this is like for certain teams or you're just coming in.
00:10:01
You're like, I wish we just had another month of this, I think both for players and media as well, Man, I could have used another five months off.
00:10:10
You know, I think this is a life.
00:10:12
We leave my friends.
00:10:14
Yeah, I know we talked a little bit, just a broadcast about this, but you know, it's been a fun week.
00:10:20
E get to cover the MBA for a living.
00:10:22
So many complaints.
00:10:23
I have.
00:10:24
Everyone's like, you know, it just shut up.
00:10:25
You know, it's it's hard work a lot, but what do you do? What you love you never working right? My girlfriend's.
00:10:30
I've gotten a lot of eye rolls this week, just like dude.
00:10:33
Come on.
00:10:34
Like you're fine, E.
00:10:35
I was smart. I got rid of the girlfriend.
00:10:37
She got rid of me and that that's what they life a lot easier.
00:10:40
Three. Agent E.
00:10:43
Um, So the other thing I want to ask you about is is if there is like, you're you're missing a little bit of creativity.
00:10:50
Do you think that's where they use that injury? Uh, excuse me.
00:10:53
The trade exception is there something kicked out? So I think, Well, what's been about the trade exception is that it's so ginormous that they don't have to, like, decide.
00:11:04
Do we use this now or do we use this later? Like they can? They can use part of it now, toe shore themselves up, and then they can still have plenty left over to make a long term move after that.
00:11:15
So, you know, I mean, if I'm them, I definitely would not use the trade exception just for the sake of trying to get through early season injuries.
00:11:24
It's like E.
00:11:26
I mean, no one's gonna be really looking to make deals anyway this early in the season, you know, for them it's gonna come down to the trade deadline.
00:11:33
And they also the flexibility that that that 20.
00:11:35
5 million doesn't expire until next offseason.
00:11:40
So they have the trade.
00:11:41
They have the draft and free agency period next offseason to use it.
00:11:44
So because that T.
00:11:46
P is basically their one chance toe reload the high end talent component of their roster before they just back to use the tax level middle of tax, taxpayer mid level for the foreseeable future.
00:12:00
Um, you know, they gotta be really prudent about how they use it.
00:12:03
But they you know, sources with the team have been pretty clear that they from one are absolutely going to be using it.
00:12:10
You know, a lot of TPS.
00:12:12
They end up not going anywhere and expiring and never get used.
00:12:16
They were very clear, like way paid second round picks.
00:12:19
We did all this stuff because we're going to be using that TPS.
00:12:21
So it's going to get used at some point.
00:12:22
But it's very possible that they use it once during the season to pick up like, you know, a guy making like $70 million and then they use it again during the off season to pick up another guy's making 20 million.
00:12:33
So you're in the camp, though, that they're going to space it out.
00:12:35
They're not just going to splurge on.
00:12:36
I don't know.
00:12:37
Somebody like LaMarcus Aldridge.
00:12:39
DEMAR DeRozan or something? No, Definitely not the Mark Rosen.
00:12:43
That doesn't really make sense for them.
00:12:44
LaMarcus Aldridge is I don't know if my pieces come out.
00:12:47
I have a piece on, like some of the big targets for them to go for.
00:12:49
LaMarcus would be really interesting.
00:12:51
Um, but the problem is like you can get, you can get players that could be a long term fit.
00:12:56
And LaMarcus is well, like 34 at this point.
00:12:58
Um, yeah, s so he was very unveil Ubell until last year.
00:13:05
That's not even a word, is it? But last year, about halfway through the year, he was like, Wait a second.
00:13:10
I get an extra point if I just step back one step and take the shot.
00:13:14
It's so frustrating because, like the dude, wait until he was over the hill, his team was, like, finally crumbled to be like, Oh, wait, I could shoot 42% from three on like moderate volume.
00:13:27
I think it was four attempts a game.
00:13:29
He shot 43% from from the from downtown over the last, like 30 games this season, showing like he could do that.
00:13:37
And, you know, that was something that the Celtics begged KG to do.
00:13:40
And K G never wanted to do it because K g k G refused to ever take a shot that he would ever thought had a chance of not going in.
00:13:46
Yeah, I guess the markets in the same way.
00:13:48
So LaMarcus is really, really interesting, But it just like, you know, like Eric Gordon's out there and Aaron Gordon is only making 18 million, and then it goes down to 16 million.
00:13:57
And while Gore does a lot of flaws is made flaws or as a primary creator and primary defender.
00:14:03
You put him on a team with Jalen Brown and Jason Tatum, and he doesn't have to do any of the stuff he's not good at.
00:14:09
You could just focus on the stuff he's really good at, and I think he would be incredible next to them.
00:14:13
So if I'm Danny Ainge, I'm doing whatever I can to make sure that I'm the team that trades for Aaron Gordon.
00:14:18
Do you think that he should be like for Aaron Gordon? You? What's your like? Is he the role for the Celtics? Do you think that's his ideal role, where he's one of many excellent defenders? Do you think that's bad for him? Yeah, he he needs to be a.
00:14:31
He needs to be a four in a place that already has really good on ball defenders and already has the defensive coordinator already has, like a defensive playmaker and coordinator on the floor.
00:14:43
Eso you put him in the defense where you have the Kate.
00:14:46
Um, so Brown is, is a great on ball defender who could defend one through four.
00:14:52
Tatum is a great help defender who could defend to through the more and then smart can defend every position and run the defense like a center.
00:14:59
So you could put you could put kind of whatever center you want behind them, and they're gonna have enough talent to be the best defense in the N B.
00:15:07
A.
00:15:08
And if you have Kemba Walker back healthy, you could get away with putting Gordon at the five with that team because Tatum is actually is turning into a pretty good RIM protector.
00:15:18
Believe they're not Jaylen.
00:15:20
Brown is a pretty good post defender on guys that aren't like Bruce Centers at this point.
00:15:24
So they could legitimately get away with going Micro Bala putting at the five.
00:15:28
So I think Gordon just kind of unlocks everything.
00:15:31
He's a just barely capable enough three point shooter that he's a threat to attack off the dribble on close outs.
00:15:37
And the dude is an absolute monster attacking close outs.
00:15:40
And he's got like, just enough passing vision that he's not a black hole in the offense.
00:15:44
So I think he would be a pretty optimal fit for this team.
00:15:47
Yeah, and he also hasn't played in like an offense where it makes sense for him.
00:15:51
Like in terms of of course, I think so.
00:15:54
It's always like, Well, I mean, you might as well at the very least see what you've gotten him.
00:16:00
Yeah, three amount of money.
00:16:03
He's getting his age.
00:16:05
I just I feel like any team that just has another good wing that will take the pressure off of them offensively has to take a swing at him and the Celtics.
00:16:13
They're just so perfectly positioned to do it.
00:16:15
You know, he has e mean from everything I've heard.
00:16:18
Like the The Magic wanted two first round picks for him, and nobody was willing to do it.
00:16:22
Yeah, I feel like the Celtics.
00:16:24
That's a no brainer to make that trade.
00:16:26
Yeah, sure, especially where they're picking.
00:16:29
It's what 20? Probably like 25th or higher, most likely doing.
00:16:33
They already have so many young guys on the roster right now. They can.
00:16:38
They can live without their first round pick for a couple of years.
00:16:41
I totally agree.
00:16:42
That's an interesting fit.
00:16:43
I haven't thought about that.
00:16:44
He's rumored a lot, too.
00:16:45
I mean, the Warriors, the Nets, all these different teams.
00:16:47
But that's a lot of that is just like to take on those primary assignment.
00:16:51
So I've never thought about him as somebody who is like he's part of Ah, guess a an army of, you know, strong defenders.
00:16:58
That's really, really interesting.
00:16:59
Um, for Tristan Thompson, I know he was.
00:17:03
He made his appearance today for the Celtics for media week, Correct? Yeah, it was great.
00:17:08
Yeah, He seems into shoes, man.
00:17:10
He sees it to be.
00:17:12
There s so funny because he's known is like the most lit party or in the MBA.
00:17:17
But he's like a really soft spoken guy, Like I was surprised how soft his voice is.
00:17:21
I don't remember it being like that, but his presser was great, like it's pretty apparent.
00:17:27
Everybody in Boston's gonna love him.
00:17:28
Yeah, I I The thing I was noticed.
00:17:30
This is just based on some of the things you tweeted.
00:17:32
I was just like the level that he's paid attention to the Celtics and paid attention to Tatum in particular, I thought was really interesting and like That's kind of I don't know if it's what they needed, but I think it's gonna be a big help, especially as they go further and further in the playoffs.
00:17:48
So I don't know if you agree with that.
00:17:50
Yeah, I mean, honestly, listening to what he was saying, it sounded like it sounded like he was reading off a script that PR road for him because he just said he just said every right thing you could possibly imagine to set up every narrative you could possibly want.
00:18:04
It was so perfect.
00:18:05
I e mean, he It wasn't like he was parenting something.
00:18:08
The dude is very, very smart, very well spoken.
00:18:11
And it was It was like like it was really interesting to listen Thio and what I like is he did a great job of really talking about LeBron.
00:18:20
But talking about LeBron and like, a lesson cliche, way and more in a way of like, this is how LeBron lead.
00:18:26
We really bought into it because we really respected him and he was willing Thio he he was willing toe take pushback.
00:18:33
He was willing to take criticism and let us hold them accountable.
00:18:37
And I really want to help empower Jayson Tatum to do the same thing where he's gonna be.
00:18:42
He's gonna be, you know, be willing to speak his mind, be willing to really hold everybody accountable a song as he is willing to do the willing to be the target of the same level of accountability from all of us.
00:18:53
Then we're gonna go to bat for him, and we're gonna embrace him, you know, taking 25 shots a game.
00:18:59
And that was something that I wrote about.
00:19:02
I think I remember.
00:19:03
I asked him about it or ask him? No, I asked him about it.
00:19:06
Um, the state about the other day about How does Gordon leaving does that? Gordon? Hey, we're leaving.
00:19:12
Does that make him feel like he needs to take a little bit more onus and responsibility to lead the team when he's the one that's taking a lot of the shots and getting the big looks in crunch time? So if he's gonna be, if the team is going to refer to him, does he feel like he has to take more of an active role in, you know, you know, supporting the rest of the team, which it's not like he that's a problem with him, but just more than you know.
00:19:36
He's kind of a quiet guy.
00:19:37
He's not really like a super vocal leader and stuff like that, which is normal for someone who has, you know, is pretty introverted and is only 22 years old, like it's a lot of pressure on someone who was going to say S o.
00:19:50
I really wrote about that in my story that I wrote after that presser about how you know, I've kind of chronicle this a lot over the last five or six months or so, or however long it's been since February.
00:20:02
But Tatum's ascension, the person that I really hurt more than anybody, was Hayward and I wrote about this back in March, and I really it all played out exactly as I kind of feared it would in the stories.
00:20:15
But, um, you know, Hayward was the one that had Thio, who had always sacrifice and had to make an even bigger sacrifice to make room for Tatum and Tatum.
00:20:25
I think has to kind of record, you know, he said.
00:20:27
I'm not going to be going around here saying This is my team and, you know, and all that kind of stuff.
00:20:32
But he kind of doesn't have to be like This is my team.
00:20:34
Everyone do what I say, but he has to kind of take a little bit of that.
00:20:37
Onus is well and be willing to do that.
00:20:39
And, as Thompson said, light a fire under the team's ass.
00:20:43
And that's you know LeBron did that and LeBron gets away with it because one he's one of the two best players of all time.
00:20:51
I don't wanna make people go insane. right now.
00:20:53
Um, and he, like Thompson said, was willing to take whatever he was willing to shout.
00:20:59
And I'm pretty sure Tatum is gonna fit that mold pretty fine.
00:21:02
Is he really matures into the player that he's going to be? Do the Celtics have that guy like that? The guy that Tristan Thompson is at least outwardly wanting to be right now? Did they have that guy last year? Um, well, I mean, they have Marcus smart as faras.
00:21:15
Like that personality type.
00:21:16
That's what you mean. Yeah.
00:21:18
I mean, like they got to do is willing to flip over tables in the locker room.
00:21:22
So, yeah, that's all that's always been, Marcus.
00:21:24
And the thing with Marcus is that no one ever doubts his credibility and his fight.
00:21:31
It's that he just also sometimes gets out of control.
00:21:34
It makes really costly plays, and we saw that throughout the playoffs where he would be having a game where he was, like, really taking over.
00:21:43
And then he would make a couple take a couple like wild shots and make a couple of reckless plays on defense, and it would.
00:21:49
It would hurt the team as much as he was helping the team, and he's gonna, you know, as he hits his prime.
00:21:54
Now it's like Marcus Smart Riel is like his big task now is to figure out, Can he turn until, like an All Star caliber player who is able to really focus on the stuff that he does well while still being able to do it at the level that he does and with the level of, like aggression and persistence that he has? If he could do that, then he turns into, like, you know, maybe an All Star caliber player, because there's something does do well, he does it at a level that nobody else really does it, but it just there's, you know, there's too many turnovers.
00:22:23
There's too many Miss Bricks on like contestant pull ups and stuff like that.
00:22:27
But he's also if you want someone to take a contested pull up three with, you know, with the defender d****d all over him with 10 seconds left in the game, he's actually probably their best option, like he's ever scared like he never He's never scared and they I think they need him.
00:22:43
Or of that, you know, at the talent level that actually could be impactful.
00:22:48
And that's what they're getting in.
00:22:49
Thompson, like Thompson, has that mentality.
00:22:51
He has the championship pedigree that nobody is going to really question his accountability and his capability.
00:22:56
And, like the dude can actually do a lot of the stuff that there are.
00:22:59
Other guys can't dio.
00:23:00
Yeah, like well, like rebounding.
00:23:02
And I think he's gonna be a huge like cat filler for them.
00:23:05
I really dio I want to switch gears a little bit.
00:23:08
So you're obviously do a ton of film stuff.
00:23:10
I take a ton of inspiration from your stuff.
00:23:12
So, um yeah, of course.
00:23:15
No, I I really do.
00:23:16
I mean, you're one of my one of my favorite story, a somebody who does a little bit of film myself.
00:23:21
Um, so I want to really ask you is like, you know, for Brown and Tatum.
00:23:26
What's one thing? You've obviously seen the film probably multiple times of pretty much every single game this this last year and years before that.
00:23:34
What's one thing you think each of those guys needs to work on the most? Oh, interesting.
00:23:40
Um Tatum.
00:23:42
For him, it's e think it's pretty obviously just his playmaking reads when he gets into the paint.
00:23:47
Um oh, actually, honestly, he's good enough of that stuff that I think the first thing for him that will get you have to get to later in the year is just being able to continue toe, utilize his like his normal.
00:24:01
His normal attacking patterns like his normal footwork moves all that kind of stuff under the heavy duress of playoff defense we just we saw in the Toronto Siris in the Miami Siri's when he started facing elite defense is he was really struggling to get to most of his moves.
00:24:16
And for all the progress that he made with physicality and being able to become a really good dribble drive player in the regular season last year, he wasn't strong enough to do that in the playoffs consistently.
00:24:28
Now his his fight in his tenacity was so great in a in a surprising level that he had.
00:24:37
I forget which game it was against Miami.
00:24:39
I think where he had that game where he had zero points in the first half and then had like 27 in the second half, you know, that's the kind of stuff that you see that and you're like, You know, what? As much as I might use hyperbole, described Jayson Tatum at times pretty sure it's accurate.
00:24:54
Pretty sure this guy, this guy has the potential to be the best wing in the MBA.
00:24:58
It's very clear because the guys the guy is an absolute warrior and his body is starting to catch up to it.
00:25:05
And so he needs to get bigger and stronger and that will pay huge dividends during the regular season.
00:25:10
Then, obviously, it will just allow his game toe hold up, even Mawr in the postseason so that he's no longer having these fourth quarters were shooting two for seven from the field because that was, I think, the biggest.
00:25:20
I mean, for all the issue.
00:25:21
They had so many other issues that if they fix those, then they obviously would have won these games.
00:25:26
But at the end of the day, a lot of the time it just came down toe, see them going to for seven in the fourth quarter and I'm losing by three points and you know, that's that's the literally.
00:25:37
The hardest thing of basketball is to score in the fourth quarter of the Eastern Conference finals or the finals.
00:25:42
If you do that, you're the best player in basketball.
00:25:43
So the standard is as high as it gets for him.
00:25:46
I think I think he's on track.
00:25:49
That will hit it, and he'll become a co high level player.
00:25:52
E mean, Well, no, it's a probable player.
00:25:54
But, you know, I think he definitely is on track right now to become the best you know that.
00:25:58
Become, like, what? Katie? Hopefully we'll be continue to be this year and what Hawaii is right now, right? Totally agree.
00:26:06
Yeah.
00:26:07
No, I mean his thing, like just like the two way impact.
00:26:09
I always feel like that's such a like It's a good It's a good sign in a lot of ways.
00:26:13
It just is like a sense of understanding, just the angles on the floor.
00:26:17
You know that that part of it, just the way he reads things off ball, is I don't know, indicative of of a basketball intelligence, if you will, Um, Same question for you with Brown.
00:26:25
What do you think? The next step for him? Sure.
00:26:27
You know, I think playmaking is probably more of a vital step for him this year than it is for for Tatum.
00:26:33
Because, you know Tatum, I mean, just for one Tatum.
00:26:36
He just keeps, like, checking out boxes at a rate that's kind of absurd.
00:26:39
While Jalen, it's Jalen Brown's growth feels almost slow in comparison when in reality, his growth is like right on the exact same track of like pretty much every other all MBA player that we've had over the last 20 years.
00:26:53
So you know, he's like on the exact same track that, like Paul George, was these other similar like the players.
00:26:59
But it feels like he's lagging behind.
00:27:00
Just because I would take him is doing.
00:27:02
But so for him, he he like he basically.
00:27:07
When he got to the league, he was able to drive and he was able to move in transition.
00:27:11
So we had to really learn how to be a great spot of players structural floor.
00:27:14
And he's really achieved that now where he's like, really, genuinely one of the best spot up shooters in the NBA right now on.
00:27:21
But when he got to the playoffs, he just really struggled with his dribble penetration and it wasn't quite the same as as Tatum or Tatum.
00:27:29
Just, like couldn't get to his usual spots.
00:27:30
Like with him.
00:27:31
It just Brown like, couldn't really ever find a rhythm to even break through the second layer.
00:27:36
That defense that keeps you out of the paint.
00:27:38
And so I think, for him, it's really understanding.
00:27:41
How can I break through the defense without getting a dribble handoff for attacking a close out? So can you start becoming a pick and roll play maker? Um, can you Can they start running different types of place where, besides just the usual dribble handoffs coming out of the corner? So I'm not really sure what that looks like.
00:27:59
But then the big question is, once he does that, can he actually like, use hang dribbles and use his body to shield the ball and actually kind of stop in the paint and get his head up and actually start making plays? Because for him, it's very much.
00:28:13
I attacked from this angle and I've got my shot and I've got my kick out opportunity and he doesn't really hey hasn't quite yet to like the five point reads.
00:28:22
The really good drivers do where if they're driving in from the top of the key, they've got the guys on, Um, they got the guys on each elbow, They got the guys in each corner and a lot of the times they have a guy in the dunker spot underneath the rim.
00:28:34
And so we saw Tatum start to make progress on that.
00:28:36
But Jay Linder is like a few flashes of it, but it was really doing it consistently.
00:28:41
So I think we're starting to see it.
00:28:43
And one thing I know he's really worked on is using his off hand to pass on.
00:28:47
He started to really flash that because he's always been a very right handed player.
00:28:52
Um and so I think that we're going to start seeing him try to use his left hand more so that he can play.
00:28:58
You can play make from both sides of the court because last season he really could only play make coming off with left elbow, where he could use his right hand to whip a pass if he needed Thio.
00:29:08
Um and so you know, teams just like would take that away for the most part and try to force him to go the other way.
00:29:13
So, you know, those are the kind of things that I think he's probably going to show a lot more of this year, and that's gonna make him a lot harder to stop and allow him toe do that kind of stuff that we see him doing transition were, is able to elevate above the rim and finish through contact in a way that very few players can.
00:29:29
It will be interesting because he's gonna have the opportunity to do that right away, just because of how things are with the roster.
00:29:35
And I know you put out something like bargain.
00:29:36
You put out an article on like on bargain bin options for them.
00:29:40
So that's kind of where the Celtics air at right now.
00:29:43
Um, do you do you think, like, for him, Do you think that's something you feel especially optimistic about, um, or you sort of on the lower end of that where you're like, you're not quite sure if that level of wiggle to his game is gonna come? I don't know if it will happen this year, but I do see it long term.
00:29:58
I just you gotta remember, like when Jalen Brown got to the MBA when he was going fast like coast to coast on fast breaks.
00:30:07
As a rookie, he was literally dribbling the ball off of his foot out about that was happening on like, a weekly basis.
00:30:14
He has come so far, and there's just I'm pretty confident his ability to continue to grow.
00:30:20
And I think he's gonna be one of these guys that continues to change his game up through like age 29 age 30 keeps adding one little thing like one little new element to his game every single year.
00:30:30
Um, is supposed a lot of these guys that are athletic marvels like he is and good shooters who a lot of these guys that kind of tap out at age 25 they just kind of argue they are at that point, he is going to be a very, you know, very slow burn like we were saying before when compared to the Tatum, Um, but I do think it's gonna get there.
00:30:48
I think this is gonna be the year where we see him use his left hand more, and maybe he's not quite yet like that five tool playmaker.
00:30:56
He's not quite the guy that uses, like different little, like hesitation dribbles and putting defenders in jail to be able to stop in the middle of the paint the way that Tatum has had a lot of success doing.
00:31:06
But I think that's the kind of stuff that probably will come from in your like your six.
00:31:11
Interesting.
00:31:12
Okay, So interesting.
00:31:13
I I Yeah, I I've wanted to talk to somebody who has watched him as much as you have, because I'm That's the part I'm really curious about.
00:31:19
Maybe more even than anything with Tatum.
00:31:21
Is that just what's going to come for Jalen Brown? When is he gonna if first if you feel like it's gonna happen but when that's gonna happen? So that's interesting to hear.
00:31:30
Um, I wanna leave.
00:31:31
I know you have to get going, but I want to leave you with three sort of more fun questions, I guess.
00:31:35
Although I hope all of these fun. Good.
00:31:39
Good. Um eh.
00:31:41
So I wanted to ask you Is, um what's your favorite Stevens play from last year? Oh, God.
00:31:48
You should have prepped me on this.
00:31:50
I e.
00:31:51
I have actually won that you wrote about quite a bit.
00:31:56
Was any of the stack sets? I know you did a Siris on that.
00:31:59
That was, like, right around the playoffs, right? Yeah, that was That was that was a pretty cool serious.
00:32:03
I enjoyed that quite a bit.
00:32:05
Yeah, it's too bad.
00:32:06
I never got to finish that either.
00:32:08
Plus, just too crazy.
00:32:09
Um, so I mean, the stack is just boring.
00:32:12
Tired of it.
00:32:14
I really like what I'll just just because it's the first hip hop to my head.
00:32:17
I'll go with 11, which is, um, it's a high staggered pick and roll, So okay, it's usually Campbell Walker.
00:32:25
We'll have the ball sometimes around the logo at half court, and there'll be one screen at like 30 ft and another screen behind that right.
00:32:34
It's kind of like the like, the top of the slot out of the three point line.
00:32:38
And what I What's really fun about that play? It's not really so much about what the Celtics do.
00:32:44
It's about what the defense does, because there s so it's two screens, Um, way out high, where the defense, if they're aggressive on the screen there super exposed and if they're not aggressive enough on the screen, it's an easy three point shot.
00:32:59
And so you see defense's throughout the league.
00:33:02
Respond to it in very different ways, and it's like it's just really interesting to see how they figured, how they figure it out.
00:33:09
And I'm surprisingly, Milwaukee in L.
00:33:12
A were the only two teams that I thought actually figure it out.
00:33:14
You know, the two best defense is in the MBA, so that wasn't too surprising.
00:33:18
But it za fun play.
00:33:21
It gives the opportunity for Kemba Walker to get downhill into his pull up game, which is really fun, because you could see him break out a lot of his big you know, crossover, pull up threes, all that kind of stuff.
00:33:31
So, you know, it could really showcase the best of what Campbell has to dio and it gets the other.
00:33:36
It gets the non Tatum non Brown guys of the offensive involved because it relies on the big and whoever is playing power for that day.
00:33:46
Toby the screeners.
00:33:47
And so they you know they're rolling to the hoop.
00:33:49
They're flaring out the pop three, you know, it really allows them to get involved.
00:33:53
And you get to see a little bit more variety than the usual stuff that they're doing with Tatum and Brown.
00:33:58
That's an interesting one.
00:33:59
I I feel like I can I can almost see it.
00:34:02
I can definitely see the play.
00:34:03
I'm sure they did against the Nets, so I could kind of see the play itself.
00:34:08
Um, second one man, this one, I really should have proved to you all.
00:34:11
I'm saying it all, Uh, do you have a favorite stat from last year? This is a very blogging, nerdy question, but do you have one that stuck out from last year or even any of the most recent seasons of the Celtics have had S o I.
00:34:25
I can't remember where finished up by the end, but and I mentioned it earlier Was Marcus Smart was, at least at one point in the year, was like six in the n B.
00:34:35
A and pull up three point percentage, which is just like the most improbable thing in embassy because he, when he entered the league, he was genuinely the worst pull up three point shooter in the entire MBA.
00:34:49
There are 452.
00:34:51
I guess players better than him at that shot like that lasted a long time.
00:34:57
He was atrocious for a long time, but he can't work.
00:34:59
You got it.
00:35:00
I can't tell you how many stories have done over the years.
00:35:02
I guess I would get this time of year where it's.
00:35:05
Here's how Marcus Smart spent the summer revamping his jump shot and over the last two years, it's like Come together where he's a league average shooter at high volume.
00:35:14
It's It's actually ridiculous.
00:35:15
And so the fact that he was the fact that, like you know, the fact that his pick and roll stat that he was ranking really high end went from his pick and roll play making is passing to his pick and roll.
00:35:28
Scoring like that was really crazy.
00:35:31
I thought I would never see that in a million years, so that was That was really hilarious.
00:35:34
Is he a better pull up shooter than catch, catch and shoot? Guy? Yes, God, that's that's so interesting to me when that happens, like some guys were just better off a little bit of movement of their well, stuff generated movement.
00:35:47
It's it's for him.
00:35:48
I mean, it would take an hour to go through all the minutia.
00:35:50
But for him, it's just that there's some guys that because of the way that they're shot, mechanics work where they dropped the ball like below their waist, and then they bring it up to their head and they jump out.
00:36:05
You know, they have, like, a big, strong jump on DSO Doing all that from a standstill and having it all sick up could be a little tricky, but doing it in the rhythm of hopping into your shot off of a dribble you have more control over it because one, because you're holding the ball in your dribbling.
00:36:23
You have a little bit more clarity on when you're gonna actually like, get the ball in your hand and go up and shoot it.
00:36:31
And when you're on the move, you have a better.
00:36:34
You have a better understanding of where the defender is, and you don't have a defender closing straight out to you.
00:36:39
You have a defender usually trailing you trying to catch up to you.
00:36:43
Um, although with him a lot of the time and defenders right in front of him, and he just hit some of the double cross over and then pulls up with that Marine his face, so I don't know.
00:36:51
But I think he's one of these guys that when his when he's distracted by all the action that happens in the pullup shot, it quiets his mind and allows him to not be overthinking the shot and not rush the shot and actually being rhythm and be comfortable.
00:37:06
And he's not thinking about that defender flying at him.
00:37:09
He's just think he's just not thinking at all. There's less.
00:37:12
Yeah, like it's a little more mindless.
00:37:13
Did you play it all? Um, I played for my town league.
00:37:18
A bunch of other white Jewish kids like me, right? Right.
00:37:21
I was just gonna ask You have a very good vision for a lot of this stuff, but I guess I was.
00:37:25
I was a terrible player.
00:37:27
They compared me to Brian Scalabrine of my local J. C. C.
00:37:30
I think that's a compliment.
00:37:31
Honestly, E.
00:37:33
I always thought I always saw myself is more of a Boris.
00:37:35
The all types, but But Scott Scale was the legend back in the day when I was in high school, I mean, I always had a great mind for the game.
00:37:43
I just My body did not agree with the idea of being a good basketball player.
00:37:47
Yeah, I don't know.
00:37:49
I still don't know what my comp is.
00:37:51
I'm like a, you know, taller white guy likes to shoot, isn't good at it.
00:37:55
Should probably post up more. Doesn't do that.
00:37:58
We gotta figure out what that is on.
00:38:00
I should be clear.
00:38:01
I'm I was I'm like Utah Jazz.
00:38:04
San Antonio Spurs, Boris T.
00:38:05
I'm not Phoenix son Forest.
00:38:07
Yeah, like I can control the game from the from the high post.
00:38:11
But don't ask me to actually run or jump or do anything like that.
00:38:14
That's valuable right there.
00:38:15
That's the championship recipe Last one.
00:38:18
If there's gonna be one quote that you're gonna take home from this media week and look, there's a lot of them.
00:38:23
A lot of times they don't mean anything, but has there been anything that stuck out to you that's gonna emphasize the Celtics season? Tristan Thompson's last words of his press conference conference today we're lay that would, and for a man that infamously has ah, *** tape out, that's ah, that's incredible.
00:38:41
That's just the best quote I've ever heard.
00:38:43
That's up there with Malik Beasley saying first team all day, It's been a great week.
00:38:51
At least he didn't say he was gonna point his guns that everybody, he's coming out guns blazing.
00:38:58
He's gonna make He's gonna defend his yard no matter what.
00:39:03
It all right, my friend. Well, this was fun.
00:39:07
Thank you for doing with this with me.
00:39:08
And I hope to connect at some point during the season.
00:39:11
Oh, for sure.
00:39:12
I have to do it.
00:39:13
I guess I thought we're gonna talk nets, e get to talk nets.
00:39:16
Dude, if you want to talk to seconds and nets, we can I'm here.
00:39:19
You know what? Actually, I could do another, you know, like, five minutes or so.
00:39:23
If you want a rocket, let's see what time is it? I could do 10.
00:39:29
Yeah, I could do.
00:39:30
Yeah, I only do 10 minutes on the note.
00:39:31
That's I want to go with you.
00:39:32
Uh, give me your favorite kyrie story.
00:39:37
Uh, wow.
00:39:41
Um oh, God.
00:39:44
There's so many good ones.
00:39:45
The best one is I I was friends.
00:39:52
I'm friends with a friends with a pretty renowned rapper who's with a major label.
00:39:57
And, um, Kyrie had Singer named Sid from the Internet.
00:40:03
If you're familiar, Taco from Odd Future.
00:40:07
And so they were guests of his at the game and I had told my friends whose like it a hard for this major label who's also who manages this rapper.
00:40:18
So like, Oh, hey there at the game.
00:40:19
Maybe I'll get to talk to them afterwards And he's like, Hey told me if you can get them on the new album, I will give you a I'll give you a deal at our set.
00:40:29
Uh, whatever records on DSO I'm like, Wow, okay, I want to get a side hustles a record executive.
00:40:35
So I'm gonna try to make this happen.
00:40:36
So I go to Kyrie who? Um no, I don't want to give too much away, but so Kyrie knew who my friend is.
00:40:45
Nose is a fan of it, and I told like I went up to Kyrie.
00:40:49
I'm like, Hey, man, you know, I would never ask for anything, but I think it's something you might be interested in, which is my friend wanted to get sit on his new album.
00:40:57
I know you're fans of both of theirs.
00:40:59
Do you think you could just pass it my number or even, like, just introduced me outside? Um, just so I could just talk to you real quick and see if she's interested.
00:41:08
That's I'm not asking for anything besides that.
00:41:10
And he was like, Oh, yeah, I got you no problem, man.
00:41:12
And so of course he disappears and I never see him.
00:41:16
And so I ask him a couple of times over the next month or two.
00:41:19
And every single time, he's like, Oh, for sure. I definitely got you.
00:41:22
Don't worry.
00:41:23
And like if you just said, like, not man I'm not gonna do it would have been totally fine.
00:41:27
Um, on.
00:41:28
Then we get Thio.
00:41:30
Um, it's like January of whatever year and Nike is throwing this massive event in Boston where, like hundreds of people are waiting outside.
00:41:42
The whole event is a launch.
00:41:43
The Kyrie four speaker and I, like talked to Kyra.
00:41:47
I'm like, Hey, like I'm going to see you at your event tonight, right? He's like, Oh, yeah, for sure.
00:41:51
It was the next day, I think.
00:41:53
And so the next day he misses practice because he's for undisclosed personal reasons on and then he doesn't show up to the Nike events and the people of Nike air freaking out because it's literally the launch for his signature shoe.
00:42:09
They they had take it over this with this, like old state like warehouse space and the middle of the city, and created what they call the sneaky the event where they built this, like, massive store inside of it.
00:42:22
It was just like top secret thing.
00:42:24
It was top secret, but everybody knew about it the kind of thing, because, like this huge, extra***ant thing that they built for him and he he ****ing no showed to his own Steiger launch, claiming that he was under the weather.
00:42:38
But then he was fine to go the next day, of course.
00:42:41
And I just I couldn't believe Kyrie did that just to me all just so we could avoid having toe tell me the truth that he was gonna look my friend up.
00:42:51
Get off! That's a power move.
00:42:52
Or just just bad, like a scary guy.
00:42:56
We're just not going to show up to some stuff.
00:42:58
It's simple as that.
00:42:59
Wow, There you go.
00:43:01
That's That's what we're looking for.
00:43:04
I got I got so much positive to say about that dude.
00:43:08
But there's a lot of there's a lot of negative two, and it's It's so frustrating because, ah, lot of the stuff he does, it's like it's not being rebellious for the sake of, like improving society, but more so being rebellious for the sake of being a teenager.
00:43:26
And it's it's really it's just it's really annoying sometimes.
00:43:29
Yeah, I get that.
00:43:30
Uh, yeah, he hasn't, you know, he just hasn't been, um, it hasn't been around that much here.
00:43:35
So you know, they I mean him.
00:43:37
And he was what? Healthy for 20 games.
00:43:40
You know, Durant was barely there at all.
00:43:42
So it kind of feels like this is the first year of really getting them here.
00:43:46
It's it's strange.
00:43:47
And there's, you know, this whole pandemic thing that's just completely taken over there their 1st and 2nd years, it's it's It's been a weird experience, so I don't know.
00:43:56
The fuel for them is kind of low, I think pretty much media wide in Brooklyn.
00:44:01
It's interesting right now.
00:44:02
Um, what do you think of the net? Um, I'm waiting.
00:44:10
I'm watching the market because I don't see the Nets is just, like, guaranteed absolute juggernaut the way that so many people seem to think.
00:44:18
Um, because for one, I'm just I don't trust Kyrie.
00:44:24
I've been through it.
00:44:25
I've seen it up close.
00:44:26
I've seen now that all works and as someone who thinks the power of being partnered with Durant is going to dramatically change everything and make so much of the past meaningless, I really do think that's the case.
00:44:41
I think Durant is gonna hold them accountable in a way that literally no one else in the face of the earth besides his family could dio.
00:44:48
But I mean those some of the ways that he goes about basketball, I just fundamentally disagree with it.
00:44:56
And sure, as Kyrie would say, Who am I to judge him on that? But, like, I mean, it's all like I came up with this stuff.
00:45:06
It's like I study all the greats, and it's pretty clear that a lot of the things that he does are the kind of things that the greats kind of recognized after they were done.
00:45:16
If they did it that way, that they kind of made a mistake.
00:45:18
Um, you know, there's there's this, There's too much We lionize Kobe for good reason.
00:45:24
Um, you know, after he was after he retired and obviously after he tragically passed.
00:45:30
But, like, remember when Kobe was playing, Kobe took so many horrible shots in crunch time that if he was a more willing playmaker, they would have won even more.
00:45:40
Which is it's incredible how successful Kobe Waas, with a lot of the basics that he made that were like obvious to everybody knows watching and Kyrie just he part of partly because he worships Kobe so much has a lot of those same characteristics, and you really see it play out in certain situations, like the tragedy known as theme Milwaukee.
00:46:01
Siri's from a couple of years ago, which was genuinely the worst syriza player has had it then be history.
00:46:08
I don't think there's ever been anything worse than that.
00:46:11
This was worse than LeBron in the 2010 finals or 11 finals 11 finals in his house.
00:46:17
It was, he went, he like, sabotage the team.
00:46:20
It was insane what he did.
00:46:23
You know, I initially defended that on and I thought.
00:46:29
I literally said, I think what Kyrie is doing is because he knows that you're honest, is gonna blow by them.
00:46:36
He would rather be the person getting blown by so that when a team has to go into rotation, they have somebody underneath that could actually stop him.
00:46:43
And I, like, genuinely thought that's what he was doing at first.
00:46:46
And then eventually it just kind of realize, just gotta realize No, he just got crazy.
00:46:50
He just wants to guardian honest, just because he thinks he just has to do everything to make sure they win, which is just like, if, you know, LeBron could do it because he's because LeBron is 6 10 £500 kind of just not big enough to do it is not good enough to do it.
00:47:05
And so, between that, between the fact that the dude his defense is so bad most of the time, like he just dies on screens all the time, he's one of those pointers on defense.
00:47:17
Where when a guy gets by him, he doesn't switch, he doesn't try to recover.
00:47:21
He just points and it's the worst and I noticed it.
00:47:27
I couldn't coach the dude.
00:47:28
I couldn't do it.
00:47:30
It's There's a reason why they have, like, four head coaches on that staff because it's gonna take that many people to coach him, and we know, I mean, that's why Jacque Vaughn, I think, is literally there to take is to deal with Kyrie because you know it will see.
00:47:47
You know Kyrie is now playing for the best point guard before him and Kyrie.
00:47:54
If he can adopt Steve Nash, his approach to the game, Kyrie could be the best player in the NBA.
00:48:00
Like straight up he's got, he is more athletic.
00:48:05
He has Mawr variance in the shooting capability.
00:48:08
He has, um, or explosive handle and more finishing capability than Steve had.
00:48:12
But Steve was.
00:48:13
The Steve Nash was likely in a messy, every single step that he took.
00:48:17
Every single dribble he took had tremendous purpose to it.
00:48:21
While Kyrie way so much energy on flashy stuff that doesn't really do much warm but doesn't even create that much separation.
00:48:30
He hit somebody with a triple crossover step back and they still almost blocked the shot.
00:48:35
He hits it because he's so freaking amazing, but like the dude put so much energy and focus into stuff that doesn't really matter in the MBA.
00:48:44
And if you could If Steve could break through, then there no one will win the title.
00:48:48
Stephen Breakthrough.
00:48:49
They have enough talent That will happen even if K G is basically playing like Chris offspring singles this year.
00:48:55
Right, Well, I think that's another another half of story.
00:48:58
Oh, yeah, I know.
00:48:59
I'm so curious about that.
00:49:01
And then you have revert to who, Laverne The one thing like he did his press today and look like guys, we're going to say, like the right things like this more than ever, they're going to say the right things during this week, but he gets it like he knows he's gonna He needs to figure out off ball stuff, the thing like for them.
00:49:15
It's so interesting because the pecking order you think in your head Yeah, it's gonna It's gonna be Durant Kyrie Levert.
00:49:21
But I I don't know like it's it's really hard for me to think of Kyrie taking, and I think part of it's just like an ego check in a lot of ways, like for him to be, you know, sort of, I guess Hone in on what Steve Nash does.
00:49:34
That's like, you know, that's him.
00:49:36
Like taking away a lot of like what's made him such a popular player is exactly what you just described.
00:49:42
You know, the crazy step, backs and stuff like that.
00:49:44
Like That's I just think that's a big, big ask.
00:49:48
But he's at the point of his career where I'm sure he's gotta be like, all right, I'm famous enough Now I have enough like my my brand is strong it For someone who doesn't seem like fame, he seems to really like fame.
00:50:00
But so, like this, he's got to be at this point, he's like, Alright, I've established myself enough at this point.
00:50:07
I got to go in and e ast Far as he's concerned, he carried the captain of the championship in 2016 and you're gonna hear a lot about that over the next few over the next year or a couple of years.
00:50:19
Um, way what? He was great, but that was LeBron obviously.
00:50:25
And it was amazing to hear the difference between the way Tristan Thompson talked about LeBron.
00:50:29
The way that we talked about LeBron after they left.
00:50:31
But, um you know, But I think I really learned from those mistakes.
00:50:34
And so I think at this point for Kyrie, for him, it's like, all right, I know that I'm the most skilled player in basketball, but what am I going to do with it? I think he must have that realization now, especially after his health has betrayed him so much over the past few years like he has.
00:50:52
So he has to learn how to be more efficient with his, with his decision making and all that stuff because, like his body doesn't want to do all the crazy stuff, he's able to do any more.
00:51:03
He's got to simplify things for his body, saying, Yeah, I I do wonder like weirdly, if that's like a you know, just like a surprise gift for him in a lot of ways, like just like I need to play more conservatively and conserve energy and I actually think that will really help the Nets like the problem is they have to guys like that who I think are going to be playing a little bit conservative out the gates and it's their two best players.
00:51:25
But I guess that's why you have all these other like creators around them, like a din witty or Laverty.
00:51:30
You know, that's what's great is like they already have a really good pick and roll point guard it.
00:51:35
Zack I re Kyrie who? It was really good as a shooting guard in Boston when he was off ball, he should embrace it even more.
00:51:44
He should be in the corner, getting pinned downs and curls into pull pull up.
00:51:47
Or you can attack and let Spencer handle the rock a bunch make his life easier and get smarter shots like Steph, Steph Curry recognized that Steph Curry could run high pick and roll all day long if you wanted to.
00:51:58
But he recognized that you can get better shots to be more efficient if he played like a shooting guard and they're able to interchange with that.
00:52:06
So this this team, I mean, they'd be better off if they had Mawr guys that are built to be spot up complimentary players.
00:52:14
But I mean, maybe in the long term and the short term it is better that they have cares, and they have been windy because those guys who have to carry a ton because I think we have to get to this point of conversation is what is KT? It'll look like and everything that I've heard from from talking to people that have seen him working out.
00:52:33
They all say it looks great.
00:52:35
He's only going 80% in those we always We know this.
00:52:38
It's always this way.
00:52:39
Um, so I think if I'm if I'm Steve and Mike, I'm devising a lot of system where I'm running, pick and pop with him and I'm allowing him to move without the ball as much as possible, so that instead of taking big strides and handling and going into crossovers and all that kind of stuff, that will put a lot of pressure on his ankle.
00:52:59
I want him like shuffling down the lane like he's a big man and just limiting the amount of sprinting he's trying to dio.
00:53:05
What other things did you want to see for him? Like especially on defense? That's the part.
00:53:10
I'm curious as well.
00:53:12
Yeah, I mean, I'm super on board with the micro ball movement and turning Cady into a four or five as much as possible.
00:53:21
I mean, that is gonna be the four.
00:53:23
Obviously, on this team.
00:53:25
Uh, actually, I mean, the main concern with this team is I don't see any good point of attack defenders, and they're starting lineup in their rotation.
00:53:34
Who's gonna Who who do you have, like, play against the best wing on the opposing team? On this? Foster is a Bruce Brown.
00:53:42
That was going to say it's Bruce Brown right now.
00:53:45
E chan.
00:53:46
It, uh, which I loved later Sham.
00:53:50
It was a great move. He was.
00:53:52
I thought he was missing last year.
00:53:54
Yeah.
00:53:55
Lander Sham.
00:53:56
It's going to shoot 50% from three of this year, and he's a good defender, and he needs a team that really believes in them.
00:54:00
So I think that's gonna be huge.
00:54:02
And that was some great business. Not by Sean Marks.
00:54:04
So, yeah, I mean, this this team, I just I'm sorry they lost Garrett Temple, right? Yeah.
00:54:11
Why? Why on earth would you let go of Garrett Temple when you have Kyrie and Katie taking over the team this year? Like he's You need him to help. More than ever.
00:54:20
Yeah, I think.
00:54:22
But I mean, like, what? God, He must.
00:54:24
I think he might have.
00:54:26
I believe he got the mini from Chicago.
00:54:29
You got five million? Yeah.
00:54:32
So I don't know if they're willing to do that again.
00:54:34
Although, I don't know.
00:54:35
I don't think they have used their mini Emily, so I don't know what what the movie is.
00:54:39
What the hell? Yeah, they dio Yeah, And then are the hard cap this? No, they didn't do anything that would hard cap them.
00:54:49
That wasn't a sign and trade for, so yeah.
00:54:52
Did they sign anybody with the B A? I don't think so.
00:54:56
No, they just They're what? They're one move.
00:54:58
Was Jeff Korean? Yeah.
00:55:00
So I don't think I think he was of that meant So they're not hard caps, which means they can use that.
00:55:05
Actually, if you use the tax Emily, then I think you are hard caps.
00:55:09
Eso eso.
00:55:11
Maybe they can't do it because the apron solo, I'm not sure, but either way, like they should have Joseph, I should have given him a 5% equity and the team just to keep him there like they needed him so badly.
00:55:24
But, you know, I don't expect centered, and we need to be there by the trade deadline.
00:55:28
So you know, whoever they get, I'm sure will be the perfect replacement.
00:55:32
Bradley Beal would be the perfect fit.
00:55:33
We'll see, right? I agree with you.
00:55:35
I think that's gonna be the move.
00:55:36
Allen's the other one where I'm looking at him. He was.
00:55:39
He was a little more cheery than I think he was in the bubble, the bubble like there's some weird quotes from him after the bubble.
00:55:44
Now he was a little bit more chair.
00:55:46
I think he's like warming up to the idea of it.
00:55:48
But there's like I mean, look like it's been the same problem for them this year.
00:55:52
This really through last year was just like Who's going to start at center for them, which is, you know, eyes? Is there any reasonable explanation for why, um, why Jared Allen shouldn't be starting over? DeAndre Jordan? Besides that, K D and Kyrie decided to the hampering the franchise with that insane deal.
00:56:13
I think you hit the nail on the head there, but I do.
00:56:17
I do think you know, he outplayed him a little bit in January and, like I guess the late December January stretch DeAndre Jordan did, Um, but I have to wonder, like if this is like a chicken or the egg situation where it's like because this week, he said he kind of saw it coming in terms of the demotion, um, to the reserve role.
00:56:40
So I do wonder if he kind of felt like that was gonna be at his heels.
00:56:43
And that's why Jared Allen's production slowed down a little bit.
00:56:46
Yeah, so that that part that part's a little.
00:56:50
It's a little funky for May.
00:56:52
It's just it's gonna be so frustrating if them using that much money on DeAndre, who turns out to be like, pretty much a stiff when they have a perfectly capable young version of him on a cheaper deal.
00:57:07
If that's what keeps them from getting over the top, it's gonna be so infuriating.
00:57:12
Yeah, I mean it, Z.
00:57:14
There's so many weird things, like if it works, it really works.
00:57:18
But there are so many ifs for this team, it's like every little possible opportunity for them to double down.
00:57:26
They've doubled down on it, so they've doubled down on staying small.
00:57:29
They've doubled down by having, you know, a rookie head coach, which I think Nash is gonna be good.
00:57:34
He seems to get it, but, you know, they still they brought that at.
00:57:38
You know, I guess that aspect into their, um you know, you have the whole we have a bunch of creators and this really works if Kyrie plays off ball and we used to rant that way, but who knows if that's gonna happen? And then, of course, there's, like the center rotation that were just never going to get any clarity on. It's interesting.
00:57:54
They have a lot of questions coming into preseason, and I don't think that many of them are answered.
00:57:59
I mean, at least I kept Joe Harris like that was that was that was vital.
00:58:04
It doesn't matter how much you pay him.
00:58:06
You had to keep him no matter what. Yeah.
00:58:08
Yeah, And I.
00:58:09
That was theology.
00:58:10
ISS move.
00:58:11
I wasn't too worried about that, but yeah, no, that was a great move.
00:58:14
And he's going to be crucial.
00:58:15
He just just it's That's the one part where you're like, That's a guy.
00:58:19
We know exactly what he's gonna be, what he's gonna bring night tonight like you can't be mad at that at all for this team.
00:58:24
So So what is their second unit retention look like, Do you think? Um, it's got to be.
00:58:29
I mean, you're gonna have din Witty right now.
00:58:30
I bet they go sham it.
00:58:32
And then I wonder if they are going to go either.
00:58:38
God, I don't know.
00:58:39
I'd be curious to see where Prince fits in because he has.
00:58:43
He's coming off. Not a great season.
00:58:45
But I do wonder if they're gonna play.
00:58:47
But the three this year, that just seems like a better spot.
00:58:50
Who knows about Jeff Green? There's a lot of Jeff Green discussion from Nash, so he might have a bigger role than I expected.
00:58:55
And then it's probably Jared Allen at the at the five.
00:58:58
So I assume Jeff Green's the backup four right now.
00:59:02
So Bruce Brown is not gonna be the rotation.
00:59:04
Most likely, that's what it seems like.
00:59:06
But, I mean, that could change.
00:59:08
It's weird because they also just gave Tyler Johnson a contract as well.
00:59:12
That's another guard they have in place.
00:59:14
They have a bunch of other guys on the roster as well.
00:59:16
That kind of play.
00:59:17
That same spot it's It's a weird team, then, uh, Camero as well, who I think should I'm still waiting for TLC that come through on that lottery talent I said he had before the draft.
00:59:28
You know, e I think that might be one of my big misses, you know? No, I don't think it's over yet.
00:59:33
But then again, if you're buying like, noisy bubble statue, which, you know, Damian Lillard kind of told us how noisy those could be.
00:59:41
Everything we're hearing is like pretty much every team.
00:59:44
The MBA thinks the bubble was meaningless.
00:59:46
It was good.
00:59:48
It was It was a lot of fun, but yeah, I mean, I mean, the nets are in great shape if they can keep all that together.
00:59:56
Um, you know, have Victorian princes like your eighth man.
00:59:59
That's really good.
01:00:00
Even if he's getting paid too much eso and then Bruce Brown is like your 11 3rd man or so like that's awesome.
01:00:07
He's He is great for the back of the back end of your active roster. That's pretty great.
01:00:12
Yeah, it is.
01:00:13
And it's like again, like really deep roster, just about how the pieces fit together.
01:00:16
But they have you know they have time to figure it out.
01:00:19
Um, it'll be funny.
01:00:21
I think they're going to be somebody that I bet their team just changes the ton throughout the season.
01:00:25
Like from a story like writing stories, it's It's fun because I do feel like there's gonna be a lot of changes just because how deep they are A and then b how many options they could go with it.
01:00:37
And I mean, I know you're talking about like Carris learn how to be an off ballplayer.
01:00:41
But I mean, I think at the end of the day, because of our concerns about, like how much Durant's gonna be ready and all that kind of stuff, you are going to need somebody to be like that secondary wing creator instead of K. D s.
01:00:54
So that does seem like it's actually he's gonna be pretty well needed.
01:00:57
But I mean, he he only needs to be like a 36% spot on three point shooter.
01:01:01
For him to be for them to be, you know, I guess, fulfill their potential as a great offense.
01:01:06
He's another guy similar.
01:01:07
That's why I asked about smart, like he's a guy where it's like the pullup numbers.
01:01:11
He's like a you know, 37 38% shooter.
01:01:14
He's low thirties.
01:01:15
I think he was 31 32 last year, which is just like, that's a pretty big discrepancy.
01:01:21
Yeah, I just find that so interesting with guys have that.
01:01:24
Yeah.
01:01:25
I mean, he's another one of those guys where he's like, isn't your pretty high leaper on his jump shot? Yeah, he is.
01:01:29
He doesn't follow through either.
01:01:31
It's like a really snappy release.
01:01:34
Yeah, so that, you know, those are the kind of guys that they're just so use of shooting off the move that, um, you know that they really they really thrive off of being able thio get all of their energy from their legs and none of it from their upper body.
01:01:48
And that's why they just shoot so much better.
01:01:50
Yep, yep.
01:01:51
Um, all right, I'm gonna get let you get going, But this was fun.
01:01:55
And again, let's connect at some point throughout the season.
01:01:57
Yeah, it's been great, man.
01:01:58
Talk to Yep.
01:01:59
Good luck this week.
01:02:43
Really?

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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
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EP 27: What's Next for the Toronto Raptors? w/ Katie Heindl
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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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