And with that, we welcome you back to SportsCastr news, whereas always on out of Marburg talking all things, what else? N b a action and come to you from an undisclosed location as we continue to deal with elements out there in the weather on the East Coast.
But that's all right, because we're coming off the heels.
Another incredible performance.
Seems like the assumptions should be that there will be an incredible performance from Damian Lillard, not the other way around.
So a few games ago, obviously, late game quote struggles at the lawn there cost the Portland Trail Blazers against the L. A Clippers.
We all know the chatter that happened across social media between, uh, Patrick Beverley and as well pulled George.
But Daimler comes back around back to back enormous performances.
Capped off last night with a 61 point performance of the beat.
The Dallas Mavericks, also combined with the Grizzlies loss, will get into that in a second.
Also put the Portland Trail Blazers rate in the driver's seat in terms of the bubble in terms of the 8th 8th seed.
Now, not about the playing game.
They're now officially in that eighth position with the Grizzlies falling behind them and are only listen.
The big highlight from this was obviously that three bowl that he hit from incredibly deep, as he's one to do.
But more than that was that it took just an insane bounce up above the backboard there.
So your time, you know, 56 feet, maybe board above the backboard, and then you usually on bounces like that.
You don't see it come right back down and it ends up often ends up behind and over the backboard with a blow, the whistle on restart from under the basket.
Instead, this thing drops in like a little baby into a bassinet.
Splash down on that enormous three bowl.
They go on to win 18 for 18 at the charity stripe for Lillard in that contest as well.
I mean, he is putting on an absolute clinic right now and starting to create a real situation at the back end of this bubble, And that's obviously once it gonna look like now for the Portland Trail Blazers.
The upcoming schedule, the sons and the Spurs are rate there as well, and, ah, you know it's going to be interesting to see how this final game goes, because a lot can happen, so we'll get into that a little bit.
But, you know, one of the biggest teams, obviously, in the Portland Trail Blazers benefited from that break.
You get Nurkic back healthy.
You have Collins, Carmelo Anthony playing strong the game last night, though oddly enough, featured that an insane performance from Daimler That's not odd.
But in terms of C. J.
McCollum, that was a bit of a quiet night for him.
Struggled there from the field will get inside a couple of these numbers here as well.
So when you take a look at C.
McCollum 39 minutes of action, just eight points, four rebounds to assess so incredibly quiet night and one of the things that you can think about when we're looking at these Portland trailer, this is the importance of Carmelo Anthony.
Now, if you go back to last year, go back to the start of this MBA seasons long ago, as it was now, C.
McCollum started flat at the beginning of this season, and he picked it up.
He started around himself into form, certainly over the course of it.
But having Carmelo Anthony, who in this particular game gave you 26 points, eight rebounds, two assists over 35 minutes of action, incredibly important toe have that extra option there on this team because in years past we've talked about is you hang your hat on Dame Lillard.
You hang your hat on C. J.
McCollum and you live with those results because there's not going to be a ton of other offensive firepower around them and that there is true, right? We're talking about nervous getting healthy.
Listen, 29 minutes, nine rebounds, six point.
He's not there to be an offensive firepower, either.
But you know, if you don't have Carmelo Anthony in this particular game of 1 34 to 1 31 victory, you're losing this game without Carmelo Anthony as as insane as Dame Lillard, wasn't it? You need the second option that's going to be solid for you.
And if you think about C J.
McCollum and coming up a little bit small beak and say I'm not looking to over ****yze them or put too much too much on his name, as far as Dame said puts him respect on his name.
I'm not trying to take any respect off of, um, off of C.
But what I will say is, Listen in this season, right? 22 points, four rebounds, four assists per game.
So when you end up looking in at the game log and you see that he struggles overall in this contest of providing you with nearly what were the numbers here? One of five for deep, two of 14 from the flu? It's 14% friends.
It's not pretty now, over for the older for the other game inside this bubble way.
Folk guys, we go back in reverse alert.
Give you 16 29 13 2017 33.
The 13 is probably just a hair too low for you.
That came against Denver in the 1 25 1 15 victory back on the sixth of August.
So you know that games a little bit low for for my taste.
Now we've gotten I got to keep all the screens on it.
Otherwise I get I never know something I messages in our little our little slack channels.
So, by the way, all I got from the Slack channel is, I think I think something bad and one for me I didn't follow.
I didn't follow any other information there.
So my eyes, my social was on my own anyway, poisoning in the building. So we're good.
Listen, don't worry about don't worry about this guy and then back that back Brooks.
But I was just so I was just going in on.
Obviously, you could get your take on the insane on the insane bounce on that three ball from Game, I said, Like, you know, it's like the distance.
It was crazy, but not really for dame look like that's pretty standard for him.
It's another insane performance, but where I was just getting into was the idea of is not so Look past what he's doing.
But if you don't have Carmelo Anthony on this team because you lose that game last night because CJ McCollum this is about getting to us.
He started the season kind of flat, rounded himself into form.
He's been okay in the bubble that there's a little lower nights of 13 point performance back at the beginning of the month, but 30% from the field you know, he is not a true number two.
And having Carmelo is in credit is incredibly important for this roster.
You having success, right? Yeah.
I mean, they're kind of they're interesting because they have a bunch of guys like, I think, on paper, I wouldn't really think of this working like it's like Damon and Mellow and C J and Gary Trent now who, like, all kind of need their shots, but, like, they've really made it work.
I think part of that, like, you have to give that to Damian Lillard, who is playing 41 minutes but is obviously trying to involve Melo on those and I actually, you know what? Let me give the credits.
I think Melo is the one who may be more than anybody deserves credit for, you know, going from a guy that said he wouldn't come off the bench a couple of years ago to being like, Hey, I'll stand on the on the in the slot essentially and just catch and release three like he's been amazing.
And, um, yeah, I don't know where they would be without him.
In a lot of ways like he's been passable on defense.
I think that's the most you can really ask for.
So um, yeah, I mean, he's a He's a great story and it, like it continues to be a great story.
It's the story that never stops giving.
Yeah, and I mean, by the way, because that's when you bring him up in terms off.
Listen, he was never expecting to be a strong defensive player.
I don't know where I said this, but I do a make.
It was actually a friend of mine who, um, is a Syracuse alum.
So he has this ever long affinity, and and, uh, I was apologetic may turn around around with me, but in these games, right, 26 last night, 2021 had a quiet one there against Denver as cold as well.
But he's putting on the offensive performance that you need from them.
And before that, I need to.
My friend was, Listen, I think that the time, often a couple of things one made him realize I'm not at least looked at the same way that I was.
That's one thing, and to everyone said, she's been in the best shape of his career with the Blazers and Ukraine.
He looks great like he's the skinny Melo thing is like, really something.
But there are players.
Everybody's great in the MBA.
But there are some players that I think come into the league and just aren't naturally gifted and more talented even than other guys.
And they just live off of that.
And then you get towards the back into your your twenties and into your thirties and it starts to become well, guess what? There's guys that allow run.
You will outwork you now.
And if you're not at your physical, but you're not LeBron ing it, you may find yourself in a little bit tricky spot, and that's what I think happens.
Teoh Carmelo, where it was like a Why don't you take a year and realize that you're gonna have to dedicate yourself if you want to be on equality Boston And now he is, which is just phenomenal.
I'm happy to see Um, No, no, no, no, I was honestly, perfectly said, is pretty.
I'm dealing with others at the top of dealing with another power outage amid a bunker of my brother's ba*****t.
Um, now we look at it, though in the playoff picture here, they're officially in the eighth seed.
So now very control it.
Any team that's going to come after them is goingto have to take them on.
And when she had a three, Well, when two in a row anyway is not officially locked in that way, if I'm not mistaken when you look around the NBA's standings, what are your guess? Expectations.
But I don't think we ever thought I know I didn't.
At least until last night as this game was going on, I started to look at a couple of things I realized Oh, wait, You could get a Portland Phoenix matchup for the A C Ugo that.
So it was like I was gonna say, like, you could get also Spurs matchup, maybe, but the most desirable one that just from the teams that have made things the most exciting thing in the bubble, you feel like Port Phoenix earned their way into that place situation, right? Yeah.
I mean, Phoenix is like the story of the bubble.
So I think you want them to have that opportunity to continue this and like see what, like you know what, What they're gonna look like against another team that I think arguably like Portland was healthy all year there.
What a top seven top six seed like? I think they truly be in the mix like they're just a good team.
Like they they have the right guys.
And there's that Collins and Nurkic being out, I think, hurt them a lot.
Like I know White Side was decent this year, but I think it's also very easy in my basketball with Damian Lillard and look good at basketball is a big man.
So, yeah, I mean, I think that for them like they are, they are both of these teams.
I feel good about them making it to the playoffs.
Phoenix for just playing so well and just exceeding every single expectation and things clicking and Devin Booker rising.
I mean, aren't he's gonna be in people's top 20 by the end of this.
Like, I really think people are gonna be looking at this guy way differently.
And then for Phoenix are for Portland.
Like, you know, we know what J. Miller.
It is like he's a guy that could just throw up 60 multiple points in the season.
He's really like, I don't know if he just at certain points in like this is like the most high voltage score we've seen since.
Like, I mean, I guess Curry is a really good one.
But even like Kobe and people like that, I'm like this guy like, you know, you have other guys like a Durant who Yes, they can throw up 60 but they don't always there a little bit.
They're more likely to throw with 35 or 27 points per game like they're They're kind of more likely to do that, especially their careers of progress like David Lewiston.
Just throw up 60.
It's not big deal. It's crazy.
So either one of a kind of a change.
Yeah, the importance of good 12 Thank you.
So, uh, I mean, it's like, you know, this is he's one of those guys like you can handle the load and he can He doesn't get hurt and he can play as many minutes as you need him and he's machine.
So a couple things, I guess after that game, as we know, we keep it clean here on SportsCastr but put some respect on by mother loving name D.
Does he get overlooked? A little bit, I guess, does just a me a little get overlooked a little bit, maybe as a result, on their lack of success, I'll call it without without taking respect off his name.
But they haven't been as successful as you might think they should be, given that whatever your opinion is of C.
McCollum, the feeling is what we got to.
We have a number true Number one, and then we have how they perceive to be an elite borderline number one player with C.
I may disagree, but they haven't had the success.
So one does he get overlooked.
And then maybe it's the two is.
Is this finally a turning point for this team like they're not.
They're not a young team there.
They have a lot of veterans around there, but this is a launchpad for them.
Tohave, some sustained years of success and and move themselves up into the upper echelon of the Western Conference think this is a good year for them, like it's such a strange year in terms of like everybody who is playing what kind of has had their rhythm interrupted and, like the teams that I was wondering if they would get going a little bit have not really done that.
I'm looking at you, the Clippers.
Um I don't really know who's gonna win, and like, in a way, like I could just see just about anything.
If they beat the Lakers, you would be surprising.
But, like, what if I don't think I'd be like, you know, losing my absolute mind like it's actually a pretty interesting matchup, like they have the size to match up with Anthony Davis.
I don't know if they have the versatility to do it.
You be relying a lot on set Collins that I don't know how that would look, but, um, you know, I mean, they have on the other side of the floor, like they have these guys that can put up crazy points.
It does depend on McCullum's health, like they need to see him healthy.
And, ah, I don't know.
It's just there in the mix like this is a good year for them.
It's it's felt weird because it's felt like such a down year for them.
But this bubble gave some teams.
I mean, pretty much every team chances to get back into it.
So well, you said to it was a good point.
The idea of like this team really is probably a top five team in the West.
The injuries derailed them.
So in some ways, this this may be feels like the universe relighting just Andy involved.
Feels like realign if they should be a part of this if they were healthy throughout the season.
When we now look at the games that are gonna wrap up this bubble, Um, the Mavericks losing last night kind of takes the matter.
That and the concern of playing this eight this final game out for them.
So that could end up being, ah, benefit.
Because if I have this correct, you have the maverick against the sun, so sons haven't lost, and they're into even greater position to win that final game against the Mavericks Grizzlies that we're gonna get the bucks.
Johannes is headbutting people left and right.
I don't think they're gonna listen.
I don't think they're going to be concerned about, but we'll just all this aside for a second here.
I know that he did hit him in the head.
He didn't do it like it wasn't that it didn't happen.
I also don't like how much force can you legitimately generally generate from, like, happening special way? I know this is cool, but I was popping up about what do you do? What should you know? Ramifications.
Honest is any more serious than a horn? Found the game.
It's stupid, but I don't think it's any more egregious than, ah, hardship fed than homes shoving honest to the floor in the matchup against the Nets.
Yeah, I don't I don't think it's really like I don't know.
I didn't think it was that bad.
And I also felt like Walker flop twice in a row like he flopped on the initial rebound.
And then he kind of looks like he flopped on the head.
But, like, I think it more like caught him by surprise because it's like you're the M V p of the leader.
Soon, um, and you hear headbutting me Mo Wagner, the backup center for the Washington Wizards.
Like I was You sure? Like I don't know But, I mean, maybe it just, like, caught him off guard that he, you know, I got into the honest his head yacht has got, like, a little nasty side to know, Like if you know this.
But there has been a source of frustration for the bucks.
Overall, things have not been a smooth as they say.
What maybe would have liked you got whole Hey, honestly, feels like Why? Why am I not? I should be getting more respected bison players around this bubble, right? It has been interesting.
And I wonder how that impacts them as they finally get to the playoffs.
I mean, I don't I think they're just going through, like, the pains of, like, being on such a historically great pace and like having this rhythm and having the home fans, which I think is huge.
So I don't I'm not sure if I'm ready to, like, panic on them yet, but I do think it is like something to monitor.
Um I don't know.
Who would take their place. Exactly.
I mean, I guess the Raptors would be the favor.
I still kind of like that Celtics team.
I don't know why But, um that's this is going so far off it.
Ah, I mean, that's kind of what this inevitably turns into.
I mean, like for ya, honest.
Like it? It just seems like I don't know, Like I It's so funny how you can just sort of even though the bubble is kind of random and these guys haven't played in four years like they're all super competitive rhythm.
Even now it's like a whole new start to rid them.
And these guys actually feel it.
I'm definitely a believer and rhythm, I really do.
I think that that's why yeah, that's what you see.
Like Phoenix on this rock in the trail blade.
I'm the resident stuff.
It seems like if you got the Brooklyn next had just found this rhythm in the bubble and it's like it doesn't matter who we're playing, you're gonna have a concern around them.
Um, OK, so what? Phoenix will get the bucks.
I think that's you know, it's a non consequential game for the Bucks.
So if we chalk up a win for Phoenix, you're talking about the Spurs having to take on who they catch the last time out here.
The Spurs were going to run into the Jazz that game again.
Relative impact for the Jazz is low.
I ask you this, Would you rather the Brooklyn Nets go six into in the bubble and maybe create a scenario where as hot as this one has been for Portland, they find themselves? Actually, they until they don't fall out of this thing with the loss of the final game, would you rather see the Nets go six and two? Are you? Are you locked in that you want that? You want to be? The Grizzlies lose Phoenix and Portland when they get that playing game and you get kind of a mini playoff for both these teams, whoever ends up taking it.
Yeah, it's funny, like I'm like, I want the I don't know.
I want the sons to make it really badly.
I think like everybody else, like we've seen Portland so many times and like in a way that kind of makes me like, want them not to make it, but also want the last two teeth, like the two good teams playing for that spot like, is it really that fun? If we have Phoenix against Memphis, and I think the next potentially have the higher seed.
Ah, you in Memphis against San Antonio doesn't intrigue.
You know, I'm just like I want the best basketball possible, like we've never had these seeding games.
So I kind of want them to be really good and not like some just boring matchup.
That doesn't matter at all.
The other fun thing about it, to the couple thoughts that I had was on one.
You'll end up with two teams that are high on the offensive end.
So we've been talking about, well, matching up the Lakers first round the defense.
You know, the Clippers, even a second round match up or anything shakes out for any of these lower seeded teams, but you're going to get a free for all.
It's going to be an all out.
It's gonna be Booker at it.
You know it'll be fun to.
Actually, that would be great from seeing Booker.
How how, how hot can you get me getting like that to take on a challenge? Daimler, two guys may be searching for 40 plus kind of nights like that would be a really exciting one toe watches.
Well, the we were talking about before we got on here are calling the Copa Tierra.
I'll Coleman overlord very unflattering.
Nick was saying about how last night's game really got him dialed in on this in a different kind of way because of the There's something there is something I think to this, this isolation.
Inside this bubble, the lack of crowd like this feels like pickup game style basketball just in the center of the chip ***** is all about the in between, between player to player, there's nothing about the crowd getting you over hyped about something that you normally wouldn't, or about maybe getting settled down from the environment that you're in.
This this feels very different and unique to the normal n b A landscape.
Do you want to see some? Some style or form of this survive going into the future of the MBA because there's an intensity around these games for whether they count or not.
For some teams, that seems to be different than especially down the stretch of on NBC's.
Um, yeah, I don't know how they would replicate it like you, because you need the revenue so I think you need to have the home crowd's there.
Um, but I don't know.
I mean, I think part of it just the randomness of not playing in such a long time.
I think that also has a great deal to, And you're also not really gonna take a giant break.
So I think the only change you really could make would be he's playing games.
So you don't have, you know, these Whatever teams that are a couple of games out like, Oh, we're not gonna get this and see weaken like tank the last game or two.
And not like I think there is some something to that, like, even if you're not necessarily tanking out, right.
But, you know, you're probably not gonna make that last spot like, Are you really going to go that hard in the last two games? I don't know, like I think so.
If they're going to do anything, they're they should keep these things.
I think the fans could get really into that as well.
Um, especially if you could have both conferences involved, cause this year you sure didn't have that national. He did.
Look, I think the Hornets were pretty close last year from when I remember, um, in that race, if you want to call it that, I think the pistons were decently close as well.
So you know, if you could replicate where they meet it technically, So, um so, yeah, if you could replicate that, then I mean, totally try it.
Go ahead and do that.
So do not listen.
I've We're going to get real far field here, but I don't think thought about the great thing to do is like when you get to the playoffs.
And maybe this is an opportunity in terms of bubbling actions of fans.
Maybe isn't the necessity, but take all the teams that don't make the playoffs.
When you're talking about impacting lottery picks and where you're gonna land in it, have them play in the self.
In a sub lottery tournament, that helps the higher you see it out in that if you win a toward them like that, you actually increase your lottery odds as opposed to negatively impacting it so that be incentivizing those teeth.
I've often gotten pushback about it that, um, you know, big name stars aren't really going to be too concerned about, you know, over straining themselves in a non consequential kind of tournament like that where they could be hurting themselves physically for the benefit quote of the organization.
But that's always something that I have at least thought about.
How do you incentivize some of it? And that's how you get more revenue to either.
It was just from TV, and your absence of fans or something could be an option the last, unless you have a thought there.
But the last two thoughts I had were one.
We talked about it before, as as powerful as one Luca Don trudges down the stretch.
Man I missed missed a pivotal, feel free throw there, and it doesn't matter the overall to his overall Ginia.
But it's one of those things, man like, and you saw day miss a couple in the Clippers game as well that cost him down the stretch free throws count, man.
That was pretty crucial in that moment to go one of two with the line there, any of defensive Luca.
I know this is a no no, no.
I think it was a good moment.
I think we'll have a better sense of like where Luca is in the higher key.
Once these playoffs air done like I think that's kind of my take away. He's been awesome.
But I you know, we he's like, thrown into the top seven right now.
Like just with the Davis, LeBron, Kevin Durant, Curry Harden, Johannes Kwai Group like he's kind of thrown into that group already.
And now I'm kind of you kind of look at this.
You should game be in that group like, are we sure, Like I actually think like that game was fun because it was like, Who is better between Dame and Luca? I don't know, honestly like, but it's actually kind of a pretty good conversation like between those two.
I think part of it you want to take the younger guy.
I think you like when you look at somebody like Luca, part of it's like you project like you look at him, you're like, Oh yeah, this guy's gonna clearly be arguably the best player in the league.
Maybe it's up if top three if you want to be conservative, so I think part of that plays into that and you're like, OK, Well, you're comparing a what 22 year old to Dame, who's 28 29.
So you're going well.
It'll be honest Luca, like that's the future of the league.
So we can just bypass the guys that have another 567 healthy years ahead of them, right? Build a resident out.
All right, so I didn't even do that with the honest a little bit.
It's like, OK, like we have the honest ahead of curry heart and I guess we could say that, but like, I don't Are we sure we want to do that just yet? Like, I just like these rankings that we do with players.
And I hate when people are like, Oh, we shouldn't ranked players and why It's fun.
What do you want to do? Like that's how do you want to ****yze them? It's like a very weird killed.
I think that's such a weird such a strange hell to die on, like just like I don't ranked players like What do you do? Do you just like it's like very participation award? It's everybody, everything todo wrong, by the way.
Like that's what I thought about with the honest where it was like, You know how to say this year becomes crucial in some way, but it becomes very intriguing because he's 25 you think still very young.
Yeah, bunch of change option.
A lot of ways like that's where my mind starts to go are automatically think OK, 25.
You know, if you're not winning a championship this year, you wanna hang one on your belt over the next couple of seasons.
Because otherwise, things isn't a comparison.
Apples to apples but saying like, Well, what about Charles Barkley? Right, who's was an incredible talent, played at a high level and accomplished a lot but never won a championship.
And then that's where you talk about not ranking players.
Well, that's what happens.
You end up falling into the subcategory, and maybe that's where Dane Lillard is right now of being willing.
You're one of the truly elite players that's just outside of that upper echelon player of being either a veteran who's won championships or a young player that you feel like, Well, obviously you're going to get to some point, but let's get outta here on this.
A able to say, of course, dingus, having forgotten because he was in New York and then had an injury like she's probably one really one more really strong season away from me.
Happy to say, Where does he? How does he shuffle into the upper echelon of players still being very young and seemingly showcasing that? It's like, I don't know, It's calling.
You know, Robin Toluca's Batman? It feels like a very disrespectful later.
Freeport against the Daleks are not really fair.
I think they're one guard away like they're a guard, a score something away.
You could maybe even get a defensive guy.
I I actually, it's funny.
I was talking about this with two people yesterday.
I was like, It's funny that they're playing the Blazers because he puts CJ McCollum on that team and they're like, I think it's it's a good fit.
I mean, maybe you want to go the defensive way a little bit because you know, they already conscripts or so well on that pick and pop with, You know, Luca and forcing guess is like is there? But I do think like they having somebody next toe.
Luca is like ideal because I think, you know, forcing.
But even in the clutch, it's like, Are you? Give him the ball in the block.
He's probably gonna do like a fadeaway off glass like something like that.
And I just like, I think that you want a guy that can pressure the basket a little bit more so I don't know.
It's it's very It's very tricky to figure out.
But if I If I if I told you Victrola Depot could find his way to Dallas, that's a don't fit.
Yeah, I love that.
Wow, This is usually one of my favorite things that we do on these streams. Man way.
Get down to the nuts and bolts of some conversation I loved.
If I let the floated name and get a just get, ah, least reaction from map rows of that, we're only needs to do like we know you play offense.
We know that, but like your defense alone would change the entire dynamic of that team, especially come playoff time in the West.
And he could almost be like focus a little bit more, and I being the Drew holiday of that team versus like like Hey, you're gonna be the guy and like he's able to do it.
I don't think I mean, at least in the past.
He has. I don't know what he looks like.
You better, but I think it's gonna take him a little while to get his legs under him.
But I mean, clearly, that's the place to do.
All right, listen, we will way.
We'll leave this Portland Trail Blazers stream that we're doing a to that point with our Victor Oladipo to the Dallas Mavericks conversation.
As always, you can polish in a shout out to our Q three has been joining in on these broadcasts.
Yes, indeedy, survey the Mavs.
Look, see they do in the playoffs.
And ah, yeah, and that partly came through.
Gain came through.
It is that time you can find on that Brooks over on social media.
Matt Brooks, N B A.
He's doing this thing here as well, both on the SportsCastr News Channel as well as his personal.
Check out both of those.
Check out Keith McPherson.
Check out Simeon Russell, check out myself out of Marburg.
We're all having a good time here, man.
It's winding down.
So I'm sure will be coming back in and talking about all of the big shots and successes or narrow misses and failures as the Western Conference of rounds down.
Thank you so much for checking in with us.
We will catch up with you soon.