to and with that welcome back once again to sportscast news.
Where, of course, I'm Adam are.
But that's kids McPherson, and we're talking all things N b A.
In spite of the NFL season, being in full swing and really starting to dominate where people's eyes were going yesterday was gained two.
Between the L A Lakers and the Denver Nuggets, the West Conference finals feels like everything was hanging in the balance for the Nuggets.
And listen, the set up for this is, of course, a little veteran known as Rajon Rondo, who, after joker gets down the lane late in this one, gets the layup over a D.
He came back in that time, turned around his 80 said in the post game, came over, said, That's all right.
He scored on you.
Now go get it back.
Those were That's the simple 13 word statement that Rondo made to a d.
You flip down the other end feels like maybe the Nuggets do the darn thing with Jamal Murray coming up with that huge block on Danny Green instead.
1 inbounds play big shot bucket for a D 20 lead for the Lakers What? Keith McPherson Were you thinking down the stretch of this one? I love it.
I mean, I was rooting for the Lakers all the way, but we're watching the Western Conference finals in the second half of September.
You can roll from watching the red zone all day.
You have this, like, Sunday night football game on.
And this at the same time, you got to choose which one you wanted toe.
Keep your eyes on.
Or if you have a picture in picture, you could do both.
I had two screens going, but late in this game, I really thought, Oh, the Nuggets look at the Nuggets.
They're gonna get this one.
They're gonna even the Siri's.
And this is the swing game for me.
I think the Lakers winning this game pretty much cemented him as going to the finals, going back to the finals.
I just think it's gonna be tough.
I know we've seen the Nuggets come back from 31 and 31 but I don't think they were down to Oh, I don't think they were down Thio, where they it might have been down too well but I don't think there.
I think they were down 21 I think they had 11 win within the first two games their first three games.
I don't think they have done that, but, yeah, because even and even when you think about it, like even those other Siri's now it's easy to look backwards and say, the Clippers.
Well, of course, you can come back on the Clippers down 31 because they did it.
But it's such a different thing of everyone's talked about this from that matchup standpoint, especially in this Siri's right.
When you have a D who could go down and guard Joker for stretches and then you get the soldiers bodies? Adam, you saw it in Game one. Joker gets in tow.
Yeah, you get in early foul trouble for Joker, and it's not about the quality of the play.
Even necessarily, they've had some impact games from Dwight Howard.
But just the fact that you can throw Dwight Howard at him, you could even just bring JaVale McGee and say, I just go bang bodies with him for five minutes.
That's what makes it so hard to see them really coming back in it.
So going down, 02 If they got that went, it s so there's so many moments in this game The blocked by Jamal Murray just before that big shot like in terms of of legacy building for Anthony Davis hasn't been in these big spots.
Hasn't had opportunities to be playing in the Western Conference files to go to the N B A Finals.
So massive shot from him knocks it down just prior on a couple possessions and knocked down 23 from nearly the same spot.
Big step forward for him.
For Jamal Murray, who exploded in the bubble for the Nuggets and has really said, Hey, guess what? We got two guys here in Denver.
It's me and the Joker.
Let's keep building from here when he gets that block.
That beautiful clean block on Danny Green in the corner.
Man, if not for the last 2.
1 seconds, you go.
That's about as big of a legacy move that you could make for Jamal Murray on the defensive end.
It's just fractional from it being everything about Jamal Murray and what he did down the stretch as opposed to being a day.
Yeah, Jamal Murray is a star man.
And, uh, I mean, I don't know who watches the MBA that doesn't fully know who he is now.
And yeah, like it's crazy how the game can swing like that from this being the moment to this being the moment and what's he like, 23? He's got a long time in this league.
He's got some more timeto, really assert himself, but right now it's it's a D In LeBron's time, it's the Lakers time and, you know, even looking at your kids like he's asserted himself.
I think through this bubble as one of the top players in the n b A of people weren't already giving him, you know, Top 10 player in the N B A.
I think he sneaked in through this like bubble performance.
I like the Nuggets team a lot, but I think the dream is is to get LeBron to the finals in this 2020 season and this historic year, LeBron LeBron get there and I don't know.
I think the story line between him and the Heat playing his former team is what everyone wants to see, so yeah, still gonna get that former coach match like a Spoelstra.
Then it's Spoelstra will be Spoelstra now, you know.
And finally, enough, man, like there's even, You know, LeBron's been famous for over the years, going to playoff mode, right, playoff LeBron when he shuts down social media.
And now it hasn't been the same way this year, and that's for a lot of different reasons, including what's been going on socially, Uh, you know, in this country.
But Jimmy Butler on the other side like that, that potential matchup, that's the same guy because the same kind of mentality.
And I like the idea of getting dudes that air just like, Hey, I'm all in on this.
This is a heart is hard spot to be in.
We're away from our families, all those things.
That's what I'm down. I'm down here for this.
I'm here for the hustle.
I'm here for the grind to try to get a championship locked up.
You know when you go back and look at that because the first thing I do is run to the stat lines there.
For the Nuggets to be able to almost win that game is impressive enough But when you go into their, I think their big, big problem for them this year and especially in this matchup is you get 30 from Joker.
Murray gives you 25.
They have impressive games.
In spite of what you saw, the big buys, you can throw a Joker.
He's still getting his, including backing down a D and getting that little flip there in the lane.
That gave them the one point lead prior to eighties last second winning shot.
But then, there's not a lot of other guys.
15 points from Porter Jr off the bench on 69 shooting.
And that's nice.
Nobody else in double digits, nobody else. Toe. Lean on.
And it just feels like if you're the Nuggets, your extra player away here because on on the flip side, 31 from Davis, 26 from LeBron, you get to 11 point performances from Danny Green Caldwell.
Pope had a big corner three in that final sequence, so it just feels like you don't have the ****nals and you were down.
By the way, the Nuggets are down 100 Todt to 92 at the three minute mark, So even the fact they're able to close back out that eight point gap.
You would have thought that that was a possibility, and you just you just need a second or third weapon, their option off of the ball.
So you could say, Hey, when they late in games, try to shut down our key weapons.
We have another guy, and maybe you also keep those two players healthier and fresher down the stretch of the game by having a third player that can really take over.
And maybe Porter Jr is that guy.
But you're just a year or two away from really feeling that, Yeah, he's young, too.
He's 22 years old.
He might not be fully ready to play that role yet, but I mean, the Nuggets, as currently constructed and with some changes, they're gonna be here for a while.
Uh, I really like what I've seen from from their team.
It's tough that, like, you know, they couldn't pull that off yesterday.
That's the swing game remembered as the game they were talking about.
A lot of people were throwing out on Mason Plumlee late, not switching.
They're calling for the switch on not actually chasing down a D and then your kids had to try and close on it.
It's just like little things like that changed the entire game.
You talked about Caldwell Pope making the shot.
It's crazy to see him making shots.
Rondo making shots.
Caruso had a shot at the top that he missed.
But these guys, we all heard Frank Vogel say, Hey, you got the jersey on.
Anybody can make big shots.
Anybody could be that guy.
These Lakers around LeBron and A D are given that confidence from LeBron a d and the coaching staff to be the guy to shoot it, to be the guy to take the shot.
Sometimes they make a huge moment in that game for me was when a d um, hit the three right after Rondo or Rondeau hit one right after him, and it's like, Oh, they're not backing down.
They had the lead for, like, a good amount of time, and they're doing what they gotta do to secure it.
Um, I don't know what else to really say about the Lakers.
You know, LeBron not being the guy.
Thio take the last shot doesn't bother me at all.
Now King can sit on the throne and have the next heir to the throne do what he did and a D more than hit that shot like splash That shot yelled Kobe after men and they were talking about if that was in the Staples Center, if they got to do that in front of their home crowd, it would have blown the place up.
That was LeBron James after the game, saying, the only thing I wish you could have done it in front of the home crowd because you would have felt that explosion of a home playoff game, the Western Conference finals, just to really let a d feel how big the moment.
Thankfully, they had their bounce and trainers left and right and the celebration after the shot there.
So the team still came together for that.
But, you know, But you mentioned that, too.
Look, I'm not gonna go too deep on it, but the idea, like LeBron James, has been this guy like he's a team guy.
He's the guy that makes the right basketball play.
He's the guy that also I don't think has ever had the sense of what I know.
I could be the greatest player on the court for stretches if I want to if I need Thio.
But also, when I got Kyrie Irving in Cleveland Yeah, he's gonna hit the big shot That helps us win a championship there when I have anti like, I know what Anthony Davis is.
Yeah, I'm gonna lean on.
Of course I'm gonna I'd be a fool not to be leaning on them.
And, you know, in those big spots you mentioned Rondo to like Rondo and nine assists in this game only took three shots, hit one big one.
That's all you need to do offensively anyway.
But now you're now you're seeing, I think, as as hard as it is during the year to look at some of these older veteran guys.
And, boy, you got some tired legs, lots of old legs out there.
But then when you get into these big spots, Rondo has so much playoff experience that that's what you try to insulate with LeBron.
And even with the Dwight Howard, who has a lot of experience that you're trying to insulate a DE with so that he gets built up around confidence.
And these other ancillary players also have confidence to pull the trigger because you're going to need it.
You're going to need to have the ability to kick that ball outside and have confidence someone's gonna get there now.
By the way, Danny Green getting blocked in that last sequence that's having confidence, and it doesn't work out right.
But I've always I'm always just a fan of building out and feeling like, Yeah, I need every component here, even if it's for a little one minute stretch, Even if it's a very small sequence, even if it's solely to do assisting like Rondo does, that's what it takes.
And and that's what it seemed like.
The Nuggets are gonna learn, right, and they're gonna find out who are some of these smaller players that don't have to have monster third star talent.
But you got to be able to do the little things right to help supplement Joker help supplement a guy like Jamal Murray.
So I mean, I was like, I love it.
I have no problem with him not taking the last shot.
LeBron Yeah, like this is what LeBron is he wants he wants the right basketball play to get made.
And that sequence that's the right basketball play.
I'm gonna stand over here and distract everybody and then give a D a chance to knock it down.
LeBron pulled off the heist last summer of getting a D here for a moment like that.
You spoke on Kyrie taking the shot That was a dagger to win the championship.
LeBron does a lot of work all the minutes that you see him on the court.
LeBron led the team in rebounds like LeBron is doing what he's got to do with LeBron.
We've watched him 100 times do the same type of stuff.
But I know people want to throw it on him as Oh, if you're the goat, take the last shot.
Jordan always took the last shot.
No, this is a different era is a different time, You know, LeBron knows.
Hey, I got someone like a d a d.
That shot was everything last night.
Yep. My last. The last little notes.
I think that I take away from it from the nuggets perspective.
Even though you're down the stretch, you have a chance to win the game.
If you want to go inside the numbers a little bit, you'd say Jamal Murray just has an off shooting night from the perimeter, only to a nine from deep.
The team collectively goes 8 to 24.
So 33% from beyond the arc.
Obviously, in today's MBA, you gotta let you get a couple of those more to go down.
And then the other big number for me was man 26 25 to 33 of the line for them.
You know, Lakers only got their 19 times, but guess what? Lakers put in 18 of those 19 free throw attempts even though the Nuggets did OK, 75 76%.
If you're going tohave that type of advantage of the line, you got to get 30 of them.
You gotta get 32 of them.
And you know, that seems super easy to sit here and say it.
But that's what it takes.
You need those extra buckets everywhere along the way because then down the stretch, maybe you have a two possession lead and you could have a little more pressure on the Lakers.
There you have to play nearly flawless.
And those two categories and specifically even three point shooting, you got to be closer to 40 than 30.
If you're the Nuggets and you wanna hang in these games, Yeah, I'll pick you back off of that because when you look at the box score, this was a very even game.
And when you have to look for something that jumps out like a disparity or you know something that was glaring difference.
That's it right there.
When you look at the 19 or 18 out of 19 and LeBron is always good for missing a foul shot, I will.
You know what I will give him? That he is not the Christmas guy Like you would think he'd be just like automatic at the line.
And he'll give you just a couple of really ugly ones to see.
Oh, yeah, I mean, when you look at their stars, right, yo, kids put up 30 a.
Murray put up 25.
LeBron put up 26.
So they're two big guys versus you know, the other teams.
It's even when you look at the scores for the quarters, right? If you just look at the second half, the Nuggets won both of those quarters, 28 to 20 to 25 to 23.
The differences in those little things like free throws, a couple buckets, a couple points, Um, and then a couple of bad decisions on defense.
And that game goes to the Lakers.
And now the Lakers air two games away from sending, uh, Kobe's team back to the finals, undefeated in the Mamba jerseys, yelling Kobe when you hit the last shot, telling the media.
Yeah, Kobe's with us. He's in our huddle.
Um, you know, LeBron saying that playing for the purple and gold and that legacy is very important to him and getting the team back to where it was when Kobe had them there.
It's It's an awesome story, and I mean, I hope it continues all the way through the finals.
I'd like to see the Lakers win it, but I'm big on the heat to I think, the Heat's teams very good, well composed team led by Pat Riley's olestra.
So it's gonna be fun. It's gonna be fun.
Regardless, they've been Yeah, the heat's been the surprising and really fun team.
Easy team to root for the Eastern Conference side of things.
But I think that that's where you end it on this idea of man.
You know, you may have grown up being a fan of Kobe Bryant.
You may have loved watching him play.
Maybe you hated him, depending on who your team was right in what he was, what he was doing to you on the court.
But there's a clear understanding here, away, even down to the younger players right now.
Kobe was close enough to the generation, right? Some of the young, 20 something years year olds in this league.
They idolize Kobe Bryant.
Anthony Davis, you know, probably loved watching him growing up.
You know, the that that Kobe and LeBron had a relationship.
So I think there's a really legitimate element there for the Lakers and for a lot of these players, just feeling like you wanted, you wanted to dedicate your game and your play toe what Kobe's legacy was on the court.
I think that that's it's a legitimate needle mover for the Lakers.
I really think that some of those role players know smaller guys there that little bit of extra hype around, man we are wearing a Lakers jersey were wearing the Mamba jersey.
Right now, we got to show up and show out and that maybe that little extra that pushes some of these smaller role guys into bigger and more prominent moves.
And then a guy like a D when you hit that bang big shot, you probably feel that extra swell of accomplishment because you're doing it for the same team that Kobe played for.
So I love that piece of it.
I hope that the same thing. I hope they go to the finals.
And in a lot of ways, man, I've never been a LeBron hater.
I think it's great. Tack, another one on his legacy.
Start to move the needle for Anthony Davis and his legacy.
This has been great to watch, and I love hearing players pay tribute to what is obviously a legend in the N B A and Kobe Bryant, 2020.
It's a 2020 movie.
It's a 2028 year.
Unfortunately, we lost Kobe in the beginning of this year and now that we're getting close to the end of the year, Everyone is thinking like, Hey, man, how nice would it be for the Lakers to do it? Uh, kind of tribute to Kobe Bryant and his legacy and his daughter as well.
They have the number two in the heart, on the jerseys that Kobe designed like they're they're 100% with the team, and it be great for that franchise if they could bring it home, even if they don't bring it home.
Just getting back to the Finals, I think, is accomplishment enough.
That's where we leave it. Friends.
Obviously, we hope for some more competitive games over the course of this Western Conference finals.
Hopefully, the Nuggets can can find a way to dig down deep and overcome that last second shot there by Anthony Davis.
Make things a little interesting.
Keep your eyes on it down.
Oh, to head into Game three.
As always, you can check back in with Keith McPherson and myself, both on the N B A and the NFL side of things.
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I can't believe that I'm still looking at that game like I don't even know how to talk about it because it didn't even feel like a win.
A 90% of the game was a los eso.
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Talk to you soon, man.