all right, How's everybody doing? Hope everybody's doing well on this Tuesday, getting back into the swing of things.
We got two more days of scrimmages before we get into actual real deal basketball, starting off with jazz pelicans on Thursday.
And then you have a nice Lakers Clippers game that I think just about everybody should be excited for.
And then Friday Friday is a good one.
The team that I'm gonna be talking about in these next, however many minutes.
The Milwaukee Bucks, um, and the Celtics, I believe or scare wearing off at six PM And then there's a nice little um nine game of Rockets Mavericks, which should be really fun.
I think those are my two non L A teams that I think could make it all the way to the finals.
But let's ah, let's talk a little bit about the Bucks.
Talk about Johannes, talk about him leaving, and then we'll kind of clothes off with wherever.
Wherever I think we're going with this, Um, yeah, let me let me just say this.
Pat Riley is up.
The stuff they are, it seems like they're willing to sell off picks and try to create a much room is humanly possible to bring in somebody of the honesty's caliber.
Of course, it's all or just in terms of what Johannes is gonna make a za player in his next contract.
Here's the deal, you honest.
It's his discretion whether he wants to go to Miami or stay in Milwaukee.
Um, I think there are pluses and minuses to both.
Miami, by all accounts, seems to be a team that's built for the future.
Um, you know, I'll say this, uh, I think there's a bona feed a or ah, bonified guy in bam.
I'm not sure what he looks like by, I guess, 2021.
Like, Is he still gonna be in that same type of shape? Uh, just in terms of like his peak, I don't know, but I think that there is enough of a young cast that it makes sense to build around Johannes who is what, 26 right now.
So, um, so I think the seeds of that makes sense.
Um, here's what I'll say about the books.
Um, the bucks are my favorite. Go to the finals.
I don't think they're gonna face much opposition in in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
They might get tough, you know, tested once or twice.
But I like that team a lot.
I believe in them.
I think that just not only in having Johannes, who was arguably one of the 43 best players in the world right now, Um, not only in having him, but you're also working with Chris Middleton, who, in my opinion, is a top 20 player right now.
You put those two guys on the floor together.
That's a pretty tough thing to deal with.
So what makes the book special? Let me let me some of that defensively.
That's where you know, And I know we talk about them and, like in terms off there, offensive production, the threes.
We think about all this stuff when you think of the bucks.
It's the honest surrounded by, however many shooters four shooters, including bigs, that can stretch out to the three.
And that's kind of the hallmark of what the Bucks dominance comes through.
It's their defense that really makes them special, though, Um, you know, not only they play a scheme that works really well.
It gives Brook Lopez all the freedom in the world's really do what he does best and play with verticality and move his feet well and and and just overall, be like a really threat around the rim.
You also have Johannes giving him a lot of, you know, not only just extra rim protection, but just confidence.
Like as Brook Lopez, your role is simplified because you have a guy like Johannes roaming and getting into passing lanes and blocking shots up the backboard.
There's a couple clips going around Twitter, the last a day or so, and I It was like it was of, um there was one that really stuck out to me and I'm not sure who threw this up.
But, um, there was one where he coerces R.
Barrett to toss up a floater so he kind of plays off him a little bit so that R.
Barrett thinks that he has a, ah, free floater, I guess, and you just smacks it off the backboard like Johannes is.
He's at that like peak y stage, where it's like that guy.
If you're within, you know, 10 feet of him, you're absolutely petrified of everything he does, and he makes you second guess everything.
So they have the honest under an akufo providing that incredible secondary.
You know, some people call it free safety defense.
Then you also have some amazing point of attack defenders.
You've had Eric Blood.
So yes, I know he's had his playoff mishaps in the past and has just appeared out of sorts.
He's still arguably one of the three best perimeter defenders in the league.
That makes would like a Marcus smart.
Um, you know, and maybe a couple other guys.
I guess you could argue. I don't know.
There's a bunch of guys you could put in that mix, but he's in that mix like he's one of those guys that he's gonna terrorize you to death.
If you're on opposing point guard is gonna guard you full court.
He's just gonna make life hell in, Ah, in the pick and roll.
If you're if you're a point guard, was looking to try to create the offense.
He's an amazing player.
They also Bretton brought West Matthews into the full, who has taken a lot of the defense of responsibilities off Middleton's plate, allowing Middleton to become a little bit more of an offensive fulcrum.
So what they do so they're built with this top end defense.
Guys coming up the bench.
I mean, it's not like their defensive scrubs.
George Hill is another great great great defender and has been for a while because of his length and his size of his position.
Um, you know, Dante De Vincenzo is like that somebody that I just I don't know if it's possible to not like the onside, even tench Enzo, just because of the insatiable glue guy hunger and enter an energy that he brings to the floor.
He's a total just a nab salute. Masterpiece.
Toe watching year to their development has been great.
Um, even guys that are way, way down the depth chart.
I don't mind like Sterling Brown.
I can definitely live with a little Sterling Brown. D. J.
Wilson, who doesn't even play anymore, was a bright spot for them last year.
Who knows you might get a game or two out of him, so they're basically built arguably probably, if not V, deepest team in the league.
I appreciate these thumbs up.
Um, if they're not the deepest team in the league there, one of the two, maybe three deepest teams league.
I think they're the deepest team in the league.
I mean, there's there's nothing that these guys can't throw out as said, They have two centers that protect the rim and shoot threes.
Both the Lopez brothers and and and again like that's they just have every single arc type of player that you want.
Free indie guys stretch centers.
Ah, they have an absolutely unstoppable, you know, Um, point forward.
They have a scoring wing in Chris Middleton.
I mean, that team is they're great.
They're a great team.
I I'll get a little bit into who I think might test them, but they're just they're really built for it.
I could see them winning.
I really like with where this Lakers roster is going in some ways.
And if the Clippers don't ever really quite get it together because we haven't really seen them play, you know, together one.
But be look, really, really in sync.
If the Clippers don't get together.
Yeah, like I can I can see this my this Milwaukee team winning everything to be completely honest to do so, um, here's the thing about them.
Um, let me let me at least a lot of actually, you know what? Before I get into you know why you honest would even consider leaving? Um, let me and yes, the bucks have look good in recent scrimmages.
Thank you. Brought sports.
They've been good all year.
They're killing teams by, like, 12 points.
I think their point differential this year is 12 points a game.
That's madness, man.
That's like some like, you know, 73 game are 73 win warriors stuff.
It's crazy, man.
They are unbelievable.
I like we might just be completely sleeping on a team that is going to absolutely eviscerated the MBA in this restart.
I mean, we might just be overthinking all of this, Um, and and that's just what a little bit of continuation conducive for a basketball team similar to how the Warriors came out in 2015 won the finals and actually got better in the next year.
So anyone, um, here's their big test.
Their big test is not gonna be in the West.
Those l A teams bring different things that they have to account for.
Um, you know, I think that Davis is a good definitely a good option.
Especially if you if you combine him with Dwight Howard.
I think that's the right combination of guys, too, you know, defend Johannes.
Maybe not lock him up, but at least give him a little bit of trouble.
Um, Middleton, I don't know who guards him to be completely honest with you.
Like, would that be a KCP match up? Would that be a you know, a I don't even know what would like.
J. R. Smith picked him up.
I get Danny Green, I guess, would be the guy.
Probably for that, since you want to match size for size, that that's the one that they need to worry about.
I guess at that point you're just sort of hoping that Middleton beats himself.
But, I mean, the Lakers have the right sort of park type of just pure size in the same way that the Sixers had for Johannes in that Christmas game that I have watched a couple times this year.
Um, they they have the right sort of arc type to do that.
Conversely, the Clippers, we've seen what Kuiken dio.
The one thing I would say about this Clippers team That makes them a little bit different in comparison to you know, that rafters team last year was that the Raptors had, like a Marc Gasol in a surge of Bach of protecting the rim.
Zu watch has been really a bright spot for them, not sure in just the size factor alone, like in terms of his stature.
I'm not sure if that's the secondary protection that somebody like Castle provides, but at the very least, you know, we you know, I think they have the right combination of guys to throw it.
They'd be more of like a wing combination of Paul, George and Kawai, and then the Lakers would throw size at him.
So they have the right sort of tests.
The team that I actually really think could give them a little bit of trouble outside of a Miami team, which I think is were a year or two away from them, really, really knowing what they can dio on Dhere.
Brad Sports again says, I think the Heat have the best shot to beat the Bucks.
Funny enough, I I can see that I worry a little bit about? What does the secondary scoring look like? I know Bam can score a little bit.
I think he's a year or two away from really having a strong, like, strong, strong, strong scoring portfolio.
So that would be the thing I would worry about with them.
Um, so And then just in terms of their other pieces, like their role guys air a little bit green for me? Yeah, I'd like a Tyler hero.
Um, Duncan Robinson, who I like.
You're just asking a lot of those guys in really their first playoff experience.
Teoh kind of carry the weight, and then it becomes like, Okay.
Is Goran Dragic your third option? Yes, he's been good this year.
What does that look like in a playoff setting? They just They're like one guy short right now, which is funny enough why we're talking about the heat and the honest, but, um, Toronto I, another team like I think that would be a depth for depth matchup.
I would just pick the Bucks because of talent alone.
I think they have probably the two best players in that Siri's.
If I'm being completely honest with you, like all respects due to see Aacm.
And I just I personally think Middleton was a little better this year.
Did not just me, but you don't.
Weirdly enough, you haven't even mentioned Boston.
Are you mentioned Boston at the very end? I kind of like that Boston team.
Um, and it's not so much because off the, you know, the, um the talent aspect of this, but it's because of how they play.
So what they bring to the table is something way different from any other team in the East.
They're not bringing post play, kind of like, you know, how the how the Sixers do or, you know, even like a mid range efficiency like that.
The heat do, I guess, although it's surrounded by shooters, um, you know, they bring a little bit of a different flavor, and that's this pullup shooting off the dribble.
Um, you have Camel Walker.
You have Jayson Tatum, who was just absolutely out of his mind in, um, you know, in the basically the final two months, I guess of the season.
And for me, if I'm just looking at how the bucks defend and how coach but is and he's somebody That doesn't really shake things up all that much.
And I know he's mentioning in interviews coming into this year that he wants to try to be able to be a little more flexible and make those changes.
But look, man, this guy was about to win 60 games for what, two games in a row? It's really hard for me to believe that he's just gonna change a system that's, you know, basically ac***ulated to 120 wins in the last.
Ah, in the last two years, he's going to just be like, Oh, yeah, we're just going to throw that out the window.
I think adjusting is really, really hard.
When you have a system that it has worked the way it has for themselves.
Here's my issue of what they were.
They obviously, they run a style of drop coverage.
They have Lopez hanging towards the rim.
And if you're gonna run high screens, kind of like the Celtics, I assume, are planning to do quite a bit with you know any culmination of some of their guys.
Um, if you're running high screens, you're either leaving the mid range open because that's the shot that they're gonna look for, which is definitely gonna play to somebody like Jason Tatum.
It's gonna play to somebody like Kemba Walker, who's gonna take that shot.
And it might even play to a guy like Jaylen Brown aura, Gordon Hayward.
Jalen Brown's really worked on that, like, you know, fade away free throw line shot.
That's one of in my eyes.
At least one of his biggest adjustments offensively this year has been a little bit of an in between game for him, But for them, they have this ability to get and and take the shots that the Bucks want them to take.
The Bucks want teams to take those mid range shots.
They want them to take the dribble toes on the line, three pointers.
Those pull up shots that are much harder for most teams, then didn't say like a regular catch and shoot three pointer.
Those of the shots that they want other teams to take.
And that's what the Celtics are already doing and and being a top three seed in their conference like you.
Look at the shots that Camba and Tatum are taking even a little bit of Gordon Hayward here and there.
They're taking these shots that are contested.
Um, it's coming.
They're dribbling around.
Screens were just running off them and catching and releasing, like the shots that they're taking and making and winning games with are the shots that the Bucks have this entire year given up.
So I think that just looking at it for in terms of a battle of schematics, you're looking at a potential and like the smallest, smallest possible hole in how the Bucks play, the Celtics have a window with that.
That's that's my biggest thing, cause I think the Bucks, what makes them so great is not so much.
The offense for the offense is great, but it slipped a little bit towards the end of the year of the defense didn't lose a step the entire year.
So if you can find a potential hole in that defense, you're looking at a potential option toe win four out of seven games, so that's my team that would that would give them a little bit of trouble.
You have Thais who can you know, he's a multi positional.
I think he's the right type of guide.
At least stay in the face of a brook.
Lopez, who hasn't shot the ball grade.
But just the threat of him being behind the arc is is something that I think gives them a lot of room to do what they like to do.
Um, and they're just a team that can switch one through five.
I mean, a Marcus smart is gonna be huge for them.
Jay, I think Tatum is has taken such a leaf this year.
And, you know, I I don't know that the one thing they're missing is, of course, that size that I think you do need for somebody like you, honest.
But you know, I mean, they have Ojul a sitting on the bench who might be able to give them a spark here in there.
I mean, I think that just in terms of if it's gonna be a shootout, Yeah, I think the bucks are excusing the Celtics have a real shot at giving the bucks a little bit of trouble.
Ultimately, I do think the bucks are gonna win, and I again like there might be a slight test here and there.
Maybe even against the heat, as you said, Brad.
But Ultimately, I do think they make the the Finals, and I think things will run accordingly.
And as you said, they're playing really well in the scrimmages. I know.
I say, I've said it quite a bit the last couple of days.
I try not to overreact to the scrimmages too much.
Um, there an interesting case where it just seems like they haven't lost a beat.
And I don't expect them to miss a beat, really? Until they're getting to the closer and closer to the final.
So that's where I met with the books.
Uh, let me explain why I would be not all the way shocked if you're honest left because I still would be surprised if he decided to move to somewhere like a Miami or a different team like that.
Um, but here's the thing about the books.
They are an older team.
A lot of guys that are 28 to 32.
Um, you're kind of banking on production from a 30 year old blood.
So I believe Lopez is what 31 32 is. He might even be older.
He might even be 33.
Um, you're looking at a bunch of guys that are even on the little bit of the older side of things.
And if this doesn't work with this team, it becomes a question of, well, what's next for them.
Who do they build around next? They build around a divan.
Shen's Oona, Sterling Brown and a D.
Like that team doesn't that's not the same caliber of guys or convey.
Retool on the fly and do what they've done and try to find these, like guys that have, I guess, fall into the edges of the n B A.
In the way that, like a Marvin Williams or ah or West Matthews has, or even Eric Bledsoe came there because he basically forced his way out of Phoenix.
Like, Can they create magic again with a bunch of, you know, misfit toys? In a lot of ways, I don't know.
I'm skeptical of that.
So here's where I would say that these rumors have a little bit of validity.
You look at what the heat are their team, As I said, probably not gonna hit their peak this year, maybe even next year, but one sector that once you start to see what you got a little bit in some of these guys, like is Tyler hero? What is he gonna be? Is he gonna be off the bench? Sparkplug A J R.
Smith kind of player.
Is there a little bit more to him than there than than what they've got? Is Dunkin Robinson a really, really interesting, Um, you know, taller JJ Red****.
Is he kind of Is that what he's gonna be? What is **** gonna do? What's? And he's the guy that really has the biggest leap.
What happens when bam starts making jump shots as he moved from a top 30 maybe 35 into that top 20? Is he one of the best? You know, forward centers in the league? They have a lot of options for growth.
I wouldn't be surprised if they're chasing multiple guys over the next couple of years, and it's why they're delaying this extension.
They can, of course, bring him back as a restricted free agent.
They, uh, you know, they hold is I mean, they hold the rights to match just about anything that is thrown their way.
So they're playing.
They're playing the long game a little bit there, seeing what production they could get from their current cast of guys.
And they're looking to give these guys that playoff experience to help them grow, um, and reach that next level.
So, yes, I do think they're a threat.
I'm still weirdly, I just And I think it's mostly because we have no idea what's gonna happen with the cap like it seems like something changes every single day.
At one point they're looking at getting a giant loan, and now they're changing the revenue sharing.
There was an article that came out by Brian Wynne horse this week that detailed a bunch of things like teams potentially selling off picks.
There's a lot that needs to get ironed out before we even think about any of this.
And I know that is the biggest copout ever.
But I weirdly, right now I need to see a the N BA finish out this season, so I know that they have that revenue coming in of finishing out these TV deals and be I need to figure out what's going on with next year before I can even speculate on this.
I'll leave it at this if they are able to figure out a date for next season.
Let's say the vaccine comes out in December.
Uhm, they get fans in.
Let's I mean, let's just say everything goes perfectly to plan the NBA's banking on this vaccine.
I would still probably lean toward him staying in Milwaukee, and I don't know if that's the right decision for him.
But I think that just based on the and I know we did this with Kevin during, I know we did.
But I think based on how comfortable he appears in playing within that offense and defense, um, how hard they've worked to surround him by the right guys.
Because even in like, OK, see, there were years where it was like, you know, like Durant could really use not having Derek Fisher on his last legs playing next to him like the Bucks don't have that.
They've done exactly what they need to do.
They surrounded by the right guys.
Yes, you could make a case about Malcolm Brogdon, but thus far they haven't missed Malcolm Brogdon that much.
So I think right now, because of the work that they've done to surrounded by the right players, I think Middleton really could be.
I mean, I think he can continue to grow.
It can become a little bit more of a presence around the rim.
Maybe that's the next thing you can add to his game.
He's a hard worker and he's somebody that I do think, Yeah, maybe there is another level for him.
I mean, we thought he was done growing before he signed this contract last summer.
He takes a giant leap.
He's like a again, as I said, Top 20 guy out of nowhere, Almost so for them, I would assume that he would probably stay in Milwaukee right now.
That's of course.
So much can change.
They could be knocked out early in this year's playoffs.
Um, they could, whatever they could.
Money could be short there.
There's a lot of things that could change, but right at this second in time, I don't think I don't personally think that Johannes under 10 kobo is going anywhere outside of Milwaukee.
I really don't, but that's where I think right now a lot can change.
As I said, I am excited to watch both of these teams.
I do hope we get a little bit of bucks heat match up, and, um, and I'm excited for some basketball to come back.
We got a nice little scrimmage tonight between the Celtics and Rockets, and then after that I mean, I think I'm taking I don't even know if they have scrimmages on Wednesday, but I'm taking that night off and then I'm getting ready cause we're going into its I mean, look, this bubble is amazing, man.
There's playoff level basketball every single night, every single night you look on Saturday there is, I think, a A Lakers Raptors game the next day.
I believe there's a great game like there's just great games, everyday playoff caliber, hopefully intense games, and, um, very excited for it, Man, I can't live very, very excited.
So with all that said, thank you all for watching.
I know I talked a lot of Celtics on this.
I am bringing a Celtics blogger.
He works for Celtics Blawg.
Coincidentally enough, his name's Adam Taylor.
I'm bringing him onto my second channel at Matt Brooks.
Go check that out here on SportsCastr Go follow me on Twitter at Matt Brooks, N B.
A um, cover the nets here in Brooklyn. Normally.
So yeah, but I'll be doing I'll be doing kind of easing into the General nb a stuff.
I can't help myself but watch other teams than the, uh, the lottery.
The lottery caliber nets.
Right now, there's just more interesting basketball on.
So, yeah, follow me on Twitter following me on my second channel.
And with all that said, thank you all for watching this and I'll see you guys next time.
I'll see you a whole bunch throughout this week, peace.