Back to SportsCastr news with your host, Matt Brooks.
I just shed a layer.
I was like, I'm gonna overheat by minute 20.
I usually get I get pretty hot in these things.
So, you know, talking for 30 minutes on my own.
I gotta I gotta make sure I load manage myself.
We're doing it. Really? We're doing it real time.
Um, some good topics today, just in terms of, like, what's on the docket for those of you.
By the way, if you're on SportsCastr and you are, you know you want to stream about the MBA, you don't necessarily know what to talk about.
SportsCastr news section.
It's It's sweet, man.
Like they have all these cool topics.
There was a quote about, you know, being in Brooklyn.
I covered the nets and there was a topic about Jared Allen, you know, working with Amar E. Stoudemire.
I hadn't even seen that quote.
So now I'm looking at this like, man, I should probably e should probably right about this or something like that.
So that's what I mean.
The news aggregation station on, SportsCastrs.
If you don't have something to talk about or you need an idea, go check that out.
So that's what I'm working off today.
You can obviously see here in the title.
We're talking a little bit about the Clippers.
I want to kind of break more into the Western Conference itself.
And we'll start out with the Clippers because it kinda.
For the second straight year, it's gonna come down to the Lakers and Clippers, I believe, which I know hot.
The two l A teams with two stars each are gonna be the teams that you want toe that you have to go through. Thio.
But yeah, I think the West is interesting this year, so we'll start off with the Clippers. What they did.
The Clippers, You know, they made this trade to bring in Luke Kennard, who I don't feel like people know how good he is.
Its really odd Like, I like Luke Kennard.
I think he's a really good player.
What I like about him is he's kind of a combination between Sham it and Lou Williams.
Now it'll be interesting to see if they move Lou Williams.
I know Andrew Greiff.
I believe who? That's who that was Off the l.
A Times put together an article, uh, kind of talking about the l A Clippers off season and indicated that the Clippers weren't quite done making moves.
So I do wonder if the move for them is to move off Lou Williams.
Ah, guy who you know, he represents a previous generation of clippers basketball.
It was only like, two years ago.
Um, that team that really gave the Warriors with Kevin Durant a bit of a fight in the first round.
It was him, you know, Mantra is Harold Gallow s G A.
I mean, if you look, three of those four players on that team are gone.
He's the last remaining guy, and I just I don't know.
I don't I worry a little bit that they're in a tricky position.
Where? I don't know if he fits that well, um, Luke Kennard obviously makes a little bit more sense.
He's a better off ballplayer.
He he hasn't really played much in the playoffs.
But you can't be much worse than what Lou Williams has given really any team in the playoffs so far in his career.
So I I think that's the remaining move.
But outside of bringing in Kennard, they also brought in Serge Ibaka, which is a move I really like.
What I like about that move is that it irons out there center rotation.
So you're kind of taking again.
You're kind of taking two players and combining them.
You're taking John Michael Green and you're taking you know, mantra is Harold.
This is a weird comparison, but you're combining them in Serge Ibaka and I know that's they're not the exact same.
Like, you know, Serge Ibaka obviously is in the athlete that Montrezl Harrell is.
Nor is he the ferocious player.
I think he's a little more finesse at this point in his career, but you're at least taking those two in terms of talent and combining them into one.
Andi, I think that that's a really nice get for them, but it also does for them, though, is sort of a It takes away, you know, by by combining two players in one, you don't run into the issue of like, Oh, wow, we need to play mantras, Harold his 15 minutes and John Michael Greene his, you know, 15 minutes.
I mean, really, you're playing Trez, Harold? More than that.
But that's probably what he should be playing when you're on a team with zoo Botch and J Michael Green.
I mean, you're just kind of simplifying that you're not having a many guys at the same position vying for minutes.
It just sort of evens things out, and it puts them in a better situation.
So I like what they did.
Um, you know, and I think that there is something to you know, you we always talk about this with teams.
Oh, this team's so deep. Oh, my God.
They're deep one, you know, basically three players per position that can work in your favor.
But there are situations where that actually really hurts you in that you have guys kind of competing against one another, and it almost becomes a mini competition within itself for those minutes versus hey, we're trying to win together, and I think the Clippers ran into that a lot.
And that's why you see so many guys coming out unhappy.
Um, you know, kind of unsure of their roles.
Ah, lot of that.
I think it's top down.
Um, I think that's part of having Kawai is your best player is he's not the most vocal person, so you'd better have a team where it's even more imperative that again like this isn't a LeBron team where he's like, you're gonna do this, you're going to this.
You're gonna do this.
Why is he's mild mannered? I mean, like, you can literally watch interviews, watch the thing that he did with Serge Ibaka.
The How hungry are you like? He's a very quiet, mild manner.
Dude, he's not gonna be the guy that saying, like, OK, Marcus Morris, I want you to just, you know, defend the post shoot threes, you know, occasionally, I want you to get run off the line and do like a little bit of like, you know, pump fake and go into a midrange shot like he's not gonna be the guy to do that.
So if you have a team that's got you know, 15 players deserve minutes.
Who's calling out the shots? I guess you could say Doc Rivers, but I do think it's gotta be a combined effort between the best player on the team and the coach, so that's kind of the situation that you're looking at now.
They have taken it to a different level.
They've again addition through subtraction.
They've brought in certain players that combined the best attributes of previous players, and they've shortened their rotation to degree where it makes sense.
And and now it's It's a team that I think it's pretty clear what everybody is gonna be doing from day one.
Um, you know Connor is gonna be your backup ball handler of sorts.
Serge Ibaka might be your starter.
I would assume that's probably gonna be there.
Starter for them.
Zoo box comes off the bench, gives you a little bit more e guess.
Like just rim protection and traditional big man stuff.
It's a nice team.
I really like what they did, and it just doesn't feel like such a cluster f.
You know what I mean? Like, it just doesn't It doesn't feel like there's gonna be a bunch of competing personalities.
Um, it also really helps by the way that you bring in Serge Ibaka.
That's a guy with a relationship with quiet, and that stuff really matters that stuff really really matters.
Um, you know, and you have all these rumors coming out from last year's team about Oh, you know Pat Beverley and Lou Williams and mantra is Harold.
They hate that the star players air missing games and load managing.
And I, which I get, by the way, because you're coming in there.
You're grinding day in and day out and your best players air just taking games off.
And then by the time the playoffs roll around, those guys going to get all the shots and the guys that have been there every single day trying to win games, trying to grind it out there, suddenly having to accept a roll reduction.
So I get it. I get where those guys were coming from.
Um, and I think that's why they needed to do a fresh start.
It just it felt like things got really out of hand.
It will be interesting to see what they do, because I think the Lou Williams move, I I think that's probably the remaining thing.
They have to dio, but their issue is is right now.
They just they don't have any point guards, so it's like What are you trading him for? You trading him for, I guess.
So is it like, are you getting Derrick Rose? Is that what you're doing? And then how does that work is that I I mean, I guess I would think about that.
But, like, is Lou Williams? I'm gonna get you, Derrick Rose.
I don't think so.
Right like that.
That doesn't really add up to me, so I don't know, they might be done.
That might be how their team is built.
But overall, I think they're gonna be a nice team.
I just hope they're on the same page.
And I think it will be a really fun test case for, you know, everybody that's been clamoring for Ty Lue myself included.
I was a big I was big on the Tyler to Brooklyn train.
I thought he was probably the best candidate they were looking at, but it would be a really good test.
He hasn't coached since What, like seven games in the in the Cavs season? From what was that two years ago? Um, you know, he hasn't coached in a couple of years, so it will be a good test case, there have been a He's got a lot of fans in the league.
Ah, lot of a lot of executives.
Ah, lot of you know, high end reporters.
They just There's a lot of people that believe in him, and I think it will be a good, good test case to see what he's made of.
Um, I wanted Thio try to go through and mock out my Western Conference standings.
I actually might do one of each.
So give me a sec.
What I'm thinking is, I want to try to go one through eight, and I think what I want to do with this is we'll start off number one.
I feel weird putting the Lakers and number one because I do wonder if they rest their players.
I just don't know who is gonna have a better regular season because as much as I wanna be like, Well, what if LeBron is resting? And what if he's not really playing in the first month? Well, the team that would have toe lap them would be the Clippers unless, like the sons or the Mavs take this big leap that we weren't expecting or even the Blazers like, could the Blazers be a one seed? It's not crazy.
I mean, that's a pretty well built team.
We'll get into them in a second, but for now to play it safe, I'm gonna say the Lakers their number one, uh, they just have a formula that seems to work in both the regular season in the postseason.
I'm assuming they're gonna be a defensive team again.
They've got a little bit more upside on offense.
Ah, lot of it's just like half court creativity now where you have, you know, Dennis Shrewder and and Montrose Harrow, who you can started giving the ball from.
If he's like 3 ft are closer to the basket, you dump it to him, he'll do little things.
But I would say right now I'm gonna probably have them at number one.
I would probably do clippers number two.
I think I have the Blazers at three.
I've been trying to figure out where I am with them.
Some people have them is like a 78 seed.
I just think Houston is gonna fall.
I think the Nuggets are really gonna fall.
We'll get into them in a second and it.
Then it becomes like, Are they better than the sons? And they better than the Mavericks.
So I'm gonna put them at three, and I feel pretty good about that.
I just like what they did.
They just make a lot of sense.
Like that's a really modern roster that fits together very congruent.
Lee. So you have Damon CJ.
That's your 12 your wing depth is nice now, like now you have Gary Trent Junior.
If you want to start him, then you have Rodney Hood than your third.
I guess Wing is, is Derrick Jones Jr.
Who is a solid player.
They overpaid for him, but he's a solid player.
Then it before you're gonna have Collins as backup and Covington and then your fives.
I mean, that's you already know what you're getting from Nurkic.
He was just a grinder, and then Harry Giles, who's a nice little flyer and then cancer is your third big.
Any time you have cancer is your third big.
You're probably doing pretty well in terms of team building.
I'm not saying that Cantor is great, but that's just usually a good sign.
Like any time Cantor's your backup big.
That's when you're like, Okay, we're in a little bit of trouble, but as your third big, it's not bad.
So I like what they did.
I I just I don't know.
I think that I've mentioned this a couple of times on these streams.
The jump from Mario Hezonja, too.
Robert Covington is like, laughably big like it is.
It's like the Clippers going from whatever team they had that that cool the cute seven seed team to get in kuai like That's the jump I think they're gonna make in the standings.
I think they're gonna jump from 8 to 3.
I really think it's that big of a deal, and that feels weird because you're like Okay, well, Robert Covington isn't a star, but he's a star in his role in a role that they so so.
Even though they didn't have a player of his ilk, they might have had one of the worst players in the entire league at the four position, playing major minutes for them.
So I I like what they did.
I think they're gonna take a big jump.
Then it becomes tricky because I think you get into the mix of Okay, So with rockets gonna have hardened and and Russ, if they're gonna have hardened and Russ, I almost think I had to put them in the four seed.
I believe in them or than the nuggets.
Which again, it just kind of comes down to harden.
You know what? I'm gonna go the nuggets that before I hate I hate what the Nuggets did, and I hate that they don't have any wings.
But I think that if Murray's leap was riel and if you have something Where God, I don't know, I feel this is this is coming down to the wire.
I'm gonna say the Nuggets before I I want to say they're going to slip all the way down to, like 78 I don't think they're going to slip that far.
I like them better than the sun's right now.
I like them better than the Mavericks, though I do think that there is at least a discussion to be had, and I think with Houston it's just there's so much up in the air that I'm gonna put them there again.
If Murray's leap Israel, which I think it was, and you have Yokich, who's a guy that, you know, Maybe he comes in.
I mean, first off, he hasn't had a huge offseason where he could come in and be incredibly out of shape.
Um, and I think that after their big run, I do expect them to really come into this year like on the same page.
And if they don't, by the way, if they come in unfocused or they're a team that isn't, they just they don't feel complete or they don't feel like they're prepared for the year.
That's a big indication of who those guys are like.
You just made the conference finals.
You better come back and have everything together, you know, and