All right, everybody.
How's everybody doing? Hope everybody's doing okay.
And let me just say right off the bat.
Ah, wonderful night of hoops, like just absolutely lovely.
Lets you know the game.
The first game of the heat Celtics Siris was one for the books.
I think we got arguably one of the greatest playoff blocks ever.
I'm pretty willing to go there.
Um, you know, maybe a top three block that I've seen in my life.
I think it's up there with the Tayshaun Prince Block the LeBron block, of course, against the Warriors as well as the, you know, LeBron's block on on Tiago Splitter in the finals against the Spurs.
So, um, that game was ridiculous.
Ah, lot of high voltage scoring.
And yet, somehow it got out done by the Denver Nuggets, pulling off the 31 deficit.
Siri's win against the L A. Clippers.
Folks, you cannot make this stuff up.
I mean, the L A Clippers were my title favorite.
They were many people's title favorite.
Most people thought they were better than the Lakers.
Um, and it turns out we're not even gonna have that serious because the Denver Nuggets have basically done the impossible.
Um, they didn't have a single person really in their corner, except for a couple of, um, you know, super exceptional sports minds in this game, but yeah, man.
I mean, I don't even know where to start.
So let's contextualize this a little bit.
Um, Denver is now responsible for two of the best Siri's victories.
I think we've seen yet.
You have to put this Denver L.
A Clippers syriza's number one.
Then I would probably go rapture Celtics and then I would probably go.
They've been an absolute throw.
I'll get to the Clippers more in a second, but they're basically responsible for ****ing up this playoffs to a new level.
I mean, if you if let's say they had lost in round one, we're talking about not that interesting of a playoff so far.
I mean, I don't think that's too crazy to say, you know, maybe Utah would have challenged the Clippers a little bit, but I think that this Denver team was just way better suited.
They had Jeremy Grant really doing his thing against Kawai, and then you have this Jamal Murray Leap as well as Yokich, who just completely tor the Clippers apart.
So the Denver Nuggets should be everybody's darling.
They are the darling n b a team.
They're taking the leap real time, and they have made the 2020 playoffs worth watching.
Not just worth watching, but maybe an all timer.
I mean, you have a team coming back from two straight 31 deficits.
I can't even I can't even mentally put this together.
So let's talk about him.
Um, Nicola Yokich is making a case that he's a top six player right now.
I had him probably a little bit closer to the back end of the top 10.
I think I had him around 10th when I did my list way back.
That must have been in April.
I did a top list, which you could actually find on my other channel.
Matt Brooks, N b A.
Here on SportsCastr.
I did a top 25 best players.
I believe I had Yokich at number 10.
Nicola Yokich is firmly in the top six.
Let me tell you who's in it, k d LeBron I would have LeBron probably first so LeBron Katie Kuai Steph Curry.
I think I would put Anthony Davis to number five, and then I almost think you should put Nicole Yoke six.
Yes, that that is ahead of James Harden.
That's ahead of Lucca Don Church, like I think he's in there like I really do.
This guy has taken the leap.
He's clearly a good enough best player that you could build a winning team around, and I'm there, man like this.
Like think about a Siri's win that James Harden has had in his career.
That's more impressive than the one that Nicole Yoka just pulled off any credit to do to Jamal Murray to who I'm going to get into in just a moment.
Man like this is crazy.
He just tor up this defense that was supposed to be all worldly, and they have their problems.
And again, I'm going to get into that in a second.
The Clippers side of things.
But I want to first give the Nuggets there do, because all we've seen and all I've seen on Twitter is people talking about what the Clippers didn't do, what the Clippers flaws are, and it's actually Honestly, it's time to appreciate the Nuggets a little bit for what they're doing and appreciate this greatness real time.
So Nicole Yokich, you can't cover him with double teams because he's going to tear you apart that way if you don't have an elite center and mind you, we saw what it looks like when he goes against elite elite.
Elite Defensive center may be the best center in the gosh darn league for covering the cola Yokich in round one, and he and his and his team still prevailed against Rudy Gobert and the Jazz.
Um, you're seeing this guy rial time like how absolutely devastating is you could say what you want about the Clippers defense.
And, yes, they have some flaws.
They over rotate.
They don't seem to communicate well.
They have no real feel for each other because they haven't really played together that much.
You know what compounds that issue and those issues? Is Nicole Yokich making the Clippers see ghosts? Every single possession? He does a little head fake.
He does a ball fake and the Clippers fly one direction or fly the other one And this guy, he's picking him apart.
I mean this guy was the best player in that Siris for the final three games, I would say, in a serious featuring Paul, George and Kawhi Leonard, that should not be taken lightly.
This guy is unfree king, believable and, you know, credit again to Jamal Murray, who was the shotmaker here.
But I think the big reason that this Nuggets team Dida's well as they did came back the way they did is because Nicola Yokich is such a surgical, impressive, understated player.
He is not going to be the leading score.
Really, I don't know ever in his in his Nuggets tenure. He's not.
That's why you have a Jamal Murray.
But the reason of Jamal Murray is able to do what he does is because of the threat of Nicola Yoke. It's just passing.
Let's talk about Murray because he does deserve some credit.
Um, Jamal Murray is making a case that he should be.
I said, tentatively, top 30.
I'm really curious to see what happens next round.
They're gonna have a really good test for him in, uh, in an Alex Caruso Rondo, a bunch of just like smart, heady players and heavy defenders.
Um he's coming up for a big test, but here's what he's done well, he's gotten the basket pretty much at ease again.
Big test for him this next round, because it's a huge difference when you're going against, you know, zoo botch to Anthony Davis, but he's shown a real ability to get to the basket.
He is just a dope like I don't have another word for a dope pull up shooter and absolutely, unbelievably clutch, like clutching a way that you just can't teach that I'm looking at this guy like My God like, is this? Are we looking at one of the five clutches players in the league? And I know that's a really hard thing to, you know, to measure, but I just I don't know what else I need to see.
This guy hits every single, timely shot.
He had a huge three at the end of the game to really just not, you know, completely knocked the Clippers out that fall away shot.
I think it was over Kwai with about two minutes left.
I mean, he's doing this stuff routinely.
His numbers are ridiculous.
He's putting up, I believe, north of 24 points right now on splits of 50% from the field, 49.
1% from three and 91% from the line.
Like this guy is not missing and maybe he's not this good of a player, But he's certainly making me look at him like a little bit differently because again, this guy is young.
These leaps happen and they tend to happen.
Ah, lot of times in the playoffs.
It just seems to happen for certain guys.
They get into the playoffs, they get their rhythm and that's all you need.
They never looked back.
We saw that with Jason Tatum.
Um, and I know we had a little bit of a slower start that next season.
But now he's obviously like in the mix is like one of the 12 best players in the league right now, and there's really no arguing that.
I think in a lot of ways I would say he's even top 10.
Um, Jamal Murray might be doing that as well.
He's just a legit score.
He's fearless, and I don't know what you could really do to stop him right now.
I just don't know like this would have been the Siri's and he was.
He was totally stymied for the first three ish games.
I mean, I had to go look back at the numbers, but just remember just being like, Wow, they're really doing whatever they have to do to take him out of the action on Git was working for a while and, you know, they went away from that.
The Clippers didn't, um, I think they just felt comfortable with their guys defending Jamal Murray and Jamal Murray said, You cannot cover me with single coverage.
Um, it's just not gonna happen.
So credit to him and then credit to the Nuggets.
Just a a really wonderful, wonderful come back from Gary Harris, who's been everything you could want.
And more defensively, Jeremy Grant is like, you know, he was.
You look at some of the numbers for him this year.
He is shooting the heck out of the ball for most of this year, but defensively he never really quite fit in.
You just never like the numbers advanced numbers, at least in terms of like, you know, plus minus net rating.
It just never really so that they were a net positive with him on the floor.
And I think you could have actually made a case that Paul Millsap was their guy for this.
No, he's just taken over.
I mean, this is this is Jeremy Grant eating up those minutes at the four? He's their best wing defender by quite a distance.
I mean, he's, like, legit, good on debt and is continuing to do what he does offensively and space the floor a little bit and and crashed the glass eso He's been great and then even just some of the other guys, some of the role players that they have.
You know, it's weird to say this about Paul Millsap, a former All Star.
He's figured it out.
He looks really, really Rocky to start this playoffs off, and he's just kind of the stabilizing guy.
You saw it in Game five.
You're gonna get these moments where he'll drain a big three or hell, you know, get inside and do a little bit of work.
I think that's all you can ask for it.
Paul Millsap at this stage of his career, and he's fulfilling that.
So this Denver team is super likable.
They're up for a real test against the Lakers, who are really the polar opposite of the Clippers.
Defensively, they're so sharp with rotations they're so good at, you know, rotating and their chemistry is next level.
I mean, this team Say what you want about the talent that Lakers team might have the best chemistry in the entire league.
I think this Denver team is really giving him a run for their money.
And that's why I'm happy these teams were playing each other.
But that that that Lakers team is sharp.
Um, they they just surgically removed the Houston Rockets from the playoffs.
I mean, it was like it wasn't even close in those final games, and I know that the Rockets made a little mini run.
Like this Lakers team just didn't even want to hear it from from the Rockets and James Harden.
They just, you know, they took care of business.
Um, so I hope it took it serious.
I wanna pick the Nuggets.
And I think that they have the right guys to throw at LeBron sort of.
I think in the same way that they did.
I mean again, Jeremy granted a really nice job against Kwai.
LeBron is a big ask from him, and it's just like a bigger version of Kawai and a lot of ways and also has that passing gene that clearly matters a lot.
Still, just watching these two teams in the West make it to where they did with two guys that are arguably the best passers in the league.
So, yeah, I think it's a big ask and I don't know about the Davis thing.
I mean, this is just yet another round where I'm like, Yeah, I just I don't know who guards Anthony Davis.
And and you're gonna have to lean on Yokich and I don't know.
Do you throw Millsap at him and try Thio? Try to body him up a little bit? Is that really what you want to do? It Maybe hope that And Millsaps got very quick hands.
So maybe you just try toe, forced him out of his spots and try to dislodge the ball when he posts up.
I don't know, but I mean, when when Anthony Davis is hitting whatever 70% from mid range, I think it's around that he's in the sixties or seventies.
Uh, I don't know how you guard that.
That's always been the way to defend Anthony Davis has let him pop to that mid range shot and just sort of give that up.
If he's making it, I just There's not too much you could do.
So let's do a little clippers close this out.
Look, everybody is doing the Clippers thing.
I don't need to do too much I don't need.
I don't need to end their their dynasty with, uh, with negativity and point out all the things that they are doing well, because everybody else is doing that.
There's been no discussion about the Nuggets and what they do and how good they look.
It's mostly about the Clippers choking and for good reason.
I mean, this is a team that you know, on paper.
You're like this is pretty much exactly what you want to dio.
In terms of building a championship roster, you've got a bunch of rangy wings.
You've got an absolute stopper as your point of Attack Defender and Pat Beverley, and this is pretty much this is the blue print right here, like This looks like a modern team that could win the MBA finals, its's, you know, and even their center depth shirts a weakness.
But I like zoo botch.
Maybe he's not a championship center, but just on paper you're like Maybe that center position doesn't matter too much, and you can get what you need to do out of those guys.
Oh, by the way, they have a plethora of at least hypothetically go to scores.
Lou Williams, Paul George.
Quite Leonard, Marcus Morris, like all these guys that get their own shot.
So on paper, this is pretty much a team that is about as close as you could get, theoretically, to a championship team, even more so than the Lakers this year, Um, and it does.
It turns out it doesn't work out that way.
It doesn't because there's little things in basketball that matter that are never going to go away, and that is chemistry.
It's so unbelievably important, and I think that's what this comes down to, and we're we're lambasting.
You know, Doc Rivers were killing co I, which is interesting to see but deserved after that last game.
We're definitely killing Paul George or killing Lou Williams were killing Montrose. Harold.
Eventually you gotta look at this Clippers team and see that every single person is underperforming to what we expect for them.
So that tells you that there is no cohesiveness between all of them.
That's the only thing I could come thio.
And it seems like a Bs strawman argument of all chemistry rules, everything.
It's like a very old school line of thought in a lot of ways.
I mean, we've moved into the ****ytics numbers era of basketball, kind of similar to what we did with baseball narratives and tropes like that.
They're kind of getting phased out in a lot of ways.
Um, you know, there's another good one.
Defense wins championships.
We don't know if that's the truth anymore at all.
Um, chemistry is something that is legit, and I don't care what we get to with basketball.
We've seen certain organizations try to cir***vent, you know, whatever certain parts of team building that the Clippers, for example, um, and and dressed all their guys throughout the year and not really practice and try to keep these guys as fresh as humanly possible for the playoffs on Lee for them to look like, oh, surprise, a group of guys that have never really played together.
And when you have a group of guys that have never really played together underperforming that Onley builds upon the problems and the little things that you may not like in your workplace because that's what we have to think about this at the end of the day.
It's a workplace.
You're gonna goto work.
They're gonna be people.
Maybe you don't click with that well, and when you're in a situation where your team is underperforming, you're not coming together because and look, I don't want to give too much credence to what Paul George and Co.
I acknowledge that they did need a little bit more time.
But when you do have that situation where these guys have not gotten the reps, they need to all those little things that you may not like about another person, they're just they're on 10 fold.
You're gonna hear about it nonstop.
You're hearing about it right now through that Chris Haynes piece, uh, which sure seems like it's from the Montrezl Harrell camp who, by the way, is a free agent this summer.
Um, you're hearing all these little things about arguments that they have had, you know, in in their hotel lobby or or hallway or whatever that was in that story.
Um, you're hearing about all these little things that when you watch them on the court, you're like, Oh, that actually kind of makes sense.
This team looks like they hate each other like, and that's what happens.
That's why. So you cannot.
You really cannot skip steps.
You just can't do it.
The Houston Rockets try to do it with an ****ytics based team.
You're overlooking certain parts of team building, and I think that in a lot of ways, I think that because of what the Warriors did to the league and made teams just try toe, throw his many wings together and rest guys and keep guys as fresh as possible and shoot as many threes the league is readjusting.
It's going back to what we know.
The scale was up here, and now it's coming back down a little bit more.
Even so, yeah, I mean, e.
I think that's what this comes to.
I I don't know what else to point out, Um, I don't think it's and like, look, some of this stuff.
Harrell might not be a playoff player.
Lou Williams is definitely not a playoff player.
I'm pretty much there.
Paul George might have a little bit of an issue with the spotlight, but this stuff shouldn't be so severe to the point where every single person, you know, personnel player underperforms.
It just doesn't all the way. Add up.
It doesn't, you know, And I don't think that people overreacted so much to their core on paper that everybody was just completely off.
I really do think there's something to the idea that you do need to do things the right way, and you can not approach the season like it's a complete waste of time.
And that's how they approached it.
So I think they deserve it.
Um, I'm somebody I like team building a lot.
That's something I'm very interested in.
I've been I'll be doing that a lot for the team that I covered here in Brooklyn.
But I also understand that even though I may like putting teams together on paper and and trying to figure out who fits with who? There are just certain things in the n b A that are never really ever gonna change.
There's always gonna be teams, you know, drafting bus and and overvaluing certain things in the draft.
There's always gonna be teams that try to cheat their way around the grueling.
Let's be honest, grueling season itself, And I just don't think it's really gonna work that way.
Um, and I just think certain things they're gonna remain and and that makes me happy.
Um, I don't want a league that becomes a numbers based league.
I don't want a league.
That guy's just sit out for every other game.
I don't want that I don't And I think that this is really proved that to me.
Um, you know, and I understand the science and the numbers behind a lot of these decisions, but, uh, I know it just it's good toe have for at least for right now, a little confirmation on some of those things that were floating around as the league tries to get smarter and smarter and smarter, and you bring MAWR and more data people in and Mawr health professionals in which, by the way, I think is a good thing.
Don't take that as me saying that bringing in smart people is a bad thing for the league.
But it is good to know that there is a I guess there's a scale Thio bring back that, uh, that metaphor a little bit.
There's a scale. You could only do things so much.
So this was a bit of a rant.
Uh, I think that this Siri's there's just so many things to talk about with this, um, talking about the Nuggets really breaking out because I think this is a team really fighting themselves and hitting that next year.
Uh, looking at this Clippers team and saying, Hey, this is a fantastic lesson on team building and on execution and and and just, you know, we haven't even seen the full Clippers story yet Way really Haven't I mean, if this goes south again next year and they don't make the right type of changes, you're looking at a team with no pics till 2027 so their story is not done.
Um, and I haven't even mentioned the Raptors who co I left just to finish is Aziz faras.
They did uh, losing in a Game seven.
And and to be honest, the Raptors came a lot closer in their respective Siri's.
So that's all I got.
A fantastic Siri's.
The playoffs has turned around, man.
I was a little pessimistic after that first round.
You know, it was it was awesome.
Just one of those years where the first round wasn't excellent.
The second round started a little bit slow and and And were there.
I mean, we're here.
This this bubble has gone from to 100 guys.
They're finding their legs.
Everybody's just the chemistry.
Is there? All these teams that are remaining are just They're all likable.
Every single team remaining is likable.
It's great, man.
And, uh, I've just been so happy with this, um, just been really thrilled with this bubble.
Thrilled with this, eh? NBA playoffs.
I'm sad that it's gonna be done soon, and I wish they do it in a bubble every single year.
Man, this I don't know what it is if it's no home crowds or or no travel.
But for whatever reason, man, this is great.
Um, it's just been fantastic.
I love watching all the use that we have in the conference finals right now and all the different storylines and just all these new players to get into.
I hope I hope a lot of this remains and I hope the changing of the guard Israel, because I'm excited for this next generation of players.
Uh, just like Jamal Murray and Nicola yoga to tie this all together.
So there you go.
That's the end of this.
Thank you all for watching hope you guys enjoyed.
I will be back tomorrow.
I'm connecting with T.
McCoy, bride of Of Who Covers the Nuggets and and we're gonna be talking about them and just probably hashing out some of the ideas that I threw out there.
He knows this team much better than I dio has been watching them every single game of the season And just a really sharp, cool dude that I'm excited to connect with.
So that will be on my other channel.
Matt Brooks en Bahir on SportsCastr.
Go check that out and yeah, let's keep doing this.
Uh, let's keep it going.
Keep these playoffs. Great.
Thank you guys for watching piece