All right, welcome back once again to SportsCastr news, where I'm out of barbeque.
There's Keith McPherson and we're talking all things N b A.
We actually just had a discussion around the Lakers and Nuggets and that game number two, The big shot for a D.
But there's a lot of a lot of pieces to break down around this.
We'll start unfortunately on the negative side, man.
For for the Denver Nuggets coach Malone has this theory in his mind, and that last sequence about getting in a little bit bigger, a little bit more athleticism in Mason Plumlee, who only played nine minutes that point. So you pulled off Millsap.
You insert Plumlee and then miscommunication occurs, and he's not out there to at least use that length and use that athleticism against a D.
When you look at that, you know, cause I'm always a proponent of go with the hot hand and even defensively saying, Hey, no side has been on the floor 28 minutes.
He's locked into this game.
Right now, you're at least asking for potential mishap there.
Is that the way that you think about that coaching move in that moment.
Yeah, and that's the way basketball minds, air thinking.
I don't know if exactly the Lakers were thinking that.
But the way I guess universe lined up.
You got a guy out there that's pretty much cold.
You've got a guy that doesn't exactly know what to do and makes an error like that, and it cost you the game.
Mike Malone's got to be kicking himself still, because that's a one point game.
That's a game that they technically should have.
One could have one.
They just needed one stop and the one stop.
You need falls on the one guy that played the least time.
It's like, Man, when you go back and you look at the like final couple possessions you know, we talked yesterday about Murray's block.
We talked about, you know, these guys had it and then with one hole in the defense with one hole that they had was Plumlee not following a D calling for a switch, and that wasn't what he was supposed to do.
He wasn't locked in the game, though.
You kind of can't fault the guy in that winning time in that crunch time situation.
I don't know, maybe if you're not that locked in the game like you said of Paul Millsap, was, the ball will find you type of thing in baseball.
They always say that ball, the ball will find you, You know, if you're not 100% prepared.
If you're not 100% ready for the ball to find you, it will.
And it did on that last possession with 80 and Plumlee and you know, yoke.
It's trying to get over the last second to put a hand up in eighties face, and it's too late.
So there's a couple of things there, too.
It's like I just thought of in my mind, like a *** adala right now if you got Iguodala on the bench and he hasn't played a lot of minutes in the game.
But this dude has a ton off, you know, high level playoff experience.
I maybe think, Well, I can throw him in there, even though he hasn't had a big run in this game, because I know what he brings to the table in a particular possession on a one off.
So maybe a little bit different to about the player that you're bringing to the game.
The other piece of it is I know you're talking about length athleticism, but it's not like like Millsap isn't 4 ft tall, like, you know, he's a big enough player.
To be over there to at least have the hand in the face affect the shot, you know, and if it goes in, it goes in.
You live with that.
Obviously, a Plumlee gets over.
Even if the shot goes in and he's there defensively, it doesn't matter as much, but because you make the move, then you go.
I wonder if I wonder if you should have got another way with it.
Beyond that, though, and we highlighted this yesterday, too.
I started thinking about a couple of things because some guys came out giving LeBron Flack around, not being there for the big shot.
By the way, one of the best things about being one of the greatest players in the N.
Is that you get to be a distraction a lot of times and offer easier looks for teammates.
There was a two parter for May in the micro or in the macro.
I'll say first, this is legacy building for Anthony Davis.
Right? So when you look at the Lakers overall, you're talking about, we want to bring him back on a big contract.
He's going to be the star of this franchise over the next 5678 years.
So him having a big play like this in the mama jersey like we talked about yesterday, that's huge in and of itself.
The micro for me is that LeBron James is saying, Listen, this nugget Siri's I can probably sacrifice in game number two game winning shot opportunity.
I want to give it to a D because if he knocks it down, guess what? Now I know I can go to that.
Well, when it comes to the Finals, I can look for him in crunch time and he's gonna have that confidence in his mind.
So it's worth the risk reward of Anthony Davis hasn't hit a big shot, hasn't been in big spots.
Knock this thing down.
Even if you don't, you still walk away going.
Listen, buddy, next time you get that shot, I know you're gonna pull the trigger for me.
So I thought about it that way to of LeBron James is the consummate.
Do I need to impact this game from rebounding from scoring from assisting whatever it takes? I I gauge the game and I I build my game around it.
Listen, 18 knocks down this big shot.
Now I know this guy is ready in crunch time.
This guy's ready for winning, because if he misses, it may be LeBron does say, All right, I got to turn it on late in the game. That's okay.
I can still do that right now.
I don't know if I could do it next year.
I don't know if I could do it in the finals in a deep run.
I just wondered if if, um, I am I over praising LeBron in that sense, if I go and I say he's too heavy about it, No, I'm right there with you.
It's about matchups.
They found the right match up.
We just talked about Plumlee and Mike Malone in that situation.
It's about feeling out the game.
LeBron and the Lakers felt out the game and felt that a D was the guy to make the final shot in the 100% was cashed it and then I don't know if you saw the clip.
There's two things from Rondo.
They talked about what Rondo said to a D before that shot.
Basically, he said, You know, Yokich got one on you.
You go back and get him.
Rondo has been there.
They they also show the ball go in, swish and Rondo, just casually like walks off, literally like I've been here before.
I've seen it before.
I knew a D was gonna hit that shot, and I'm sure LeBron had confidence as well.
And when you're talking about legacy building, Rondo has a ring.
Rondo has been in the playoffs.
LeBron has three rings, has been in the playoffs.
D has not been this deep in the playoffs.
A D has not been in the crunch.
A D doesn't have these buzzer beater highlights.
And why not get him one? Like you said in Game two, where it's like way lose Game two, we're one and one.
We could come back on the Siri's.
No, that's a huge moment and a huge momentum swing for the Lakers and especially Anthony Davis.
You hit a shot like that.
People have been talking about that now for the last two days.
He's got to go into this game tonight.
He might kill tonight, just off of the confidence that like, Yo, I'm the man out here.
I'm on the I'm on the Lakers.
LeBron is as big as the world.
His superstar shines brighter than anyone in sports, but a D is the guy on that actual team.
And what I love about this Lakers team is we're seeing it's more of a team than people thought.
People thought it was. Just another cast.
The guys around.
LeBron, obviously a D is the best player LeBron has played with, but now you're seeing Frank Vogel.
You're seeing him give these guys confidence and tell guys like Caruso kcp shoot the ball.
You know guys like D G.
Shoot the ball, you've got it.
It's it's actually a better team than we I gave them credit for, and I love the way that they're sharing the ball.
They're letting guys shoot an A D is the guy to shoot the game winning shot, not LeBron.
Yeah and I think you mentioned Vogel there.
I thought of him as a head coach that's been elevated over his time now with the Lakers.
I wasn't sure if he was this figurehead.
If there was going to be the potential of will, Will LeBron say I'd rather have this guy beyond the bench for us? No.
Like he respects him, you know? And if you can if you can get the respect of LeBron and these guys that that really says something about where you are from a coaching standpoint and just what you're seeing on the floor because that means you're giving a little tip for a little insight or a little something to LeBron.
He's like, Great, you know, you get your giving me Mawr here.
You're not Just stand on the sidelines saying, Hey, what do you think in LeBron? So I mean that maybe that's a footnote here.
Three other piece you mentioned, too, is like when you go into this cast, I think coming to the season, you would have said, Well, javale McGee, you liked what you saw from him last year.
You're pretty high on him.
Ah, guy like Dwight Howard that has just been, you know, running around the league, picking up on different spots.
I think that his attitude in other spots has has been a detriment for him.
We know kind of.
His personality hasn't always clashed.
Well, this has been a great spot for him to, because guess what? If you're gonna come in and play with LeBron and A D and some of these guys and you have championship championship aspirations, there's no messing around.
There's no pouting about whether or not you get big minutes.
Or if your role is smaller reduced.
You just got to go out there and and fulfill the role that we expect of you.
So some of these guys are actually Mawr, talented in the smaller roles than they would be for teams that would need them to carry the load.
These guys are going to do that for you, but we could do it in small sample sizes for you, and that's how you build that championship kind of cast around your big names.
The expectations for Dwight Howard are pretty low, you know, and every other stop that he's made.
He was expected to be Superman, literally be the guy.
And, uh, when you figure out how to put these guys in their roles, which most of these guys are very good role players, they play their roles.
You're not asking him to come out there and give you 20 and 10.
You're asking the playing little spurts.
Be tough, you know, catch a couple lobs, play defense, take up the middle like he can do that.
And when you talk about the Lakers team, you know, I feel like people are not mentioning that they are missing Avery Bradley talking about role players when we're talking about guys that were, you know, put on this Lakers team, they're not.
They don't have Avery Bradley.
And then even when you look at the team like they brought in before this, they brought in Dion waiters and J.
R. Smith, and people kind of left.
Dion Waiters and J R.
Smith aren't doing anything for the team.
I think Dion waiters hasn't even been dressed so like this team is really like their starters.
And then a couple of guys like Cosmo off the bench, Dwight Howard off the bench.
I'm probably forgetting somebody.
But you know this Lakers team, when you look at it at the top, it's LeBron and aid, and that's really all they need to carry them in scoring and just carry them in the, you know, just like lead the team in knowing what to do and what situations and everybody else fills in and plays a role very well.
I'm you know, I'm almost sure that they beat the Nuggets unless the Nuggets put together something ridiculous.
But I, you know, getting ahead of myself.
I can't wait, wait to see how this team matches up with the Heat, who I think just have a complete team starters, bench, no matter who they have on the on the court.
Yeah, it's gonna be interesting that he's had, like, without getting ahead of ourselves.
But Miami just seems like they're on this kind of role, even in the games when maybe arguably, Boston could have won one of those first two games or both of them.
But Miami just somehow pulls it out.
So if that's the matchup, it'll be interesting how these role players for the Lakers match up with some of arguably younger guys, right with a little bit again.
Maura unknowns around some of those contributors in the playoffs for the Heat but could line up to be very interesting.
One of the last guys to is they have Danny Green is in in the starting lineup for the for the Lakers.
He's been a quote disappointment from a shooting perspective.
But you still get his defensive a***en, and that's and that's an easier pill to swallow.
When you have guys like a D and like LeBron the last thing, we'll take a look at here if we want to make the case that the Nuggets tape you were only one shot, one stop away from being 11 in this Siri's.
We talked about it yesterday.
When you look over the roster, the first name that jumps out to me, someone who needs to step up from a scoring perspective, take some of that weight off of Joe Kitchen off of Murray.
You know, Grant has had a nice playoff run for them.
He shot the ball well from the perimeter on Lee had won three point attempt.
Now a lot of this is dictated on what the Lakers are forcing you to dio and they're gonna run him pretty ragged on the defensive end.
Is there another name here? I mean, Porter Jr obviously gave you 15 had a decent game six and nine, nice percentage from the field.
But is there another guy here on this Nuggets roster that you think, whether he's already shown it like Grant? Hey, get some more perimeter looks? Maybe that helps us here.
Is there really anybody on the Nuggets roster you think can bubble up against the Lakers and make games three or more of a push here? Think it's gotta be Michael Porter, Jr.
I said on May be another stream or maybe was talking Nets.
I said Michael Porter Juniors comments after Game three in the last, Siri's ended up being a rally cry ended up being like Tim Tebow.
You will not see a team play harder.
Like Michael Porter Jr basically called out.
The coaches called out the team about getting guys involved, and I think it was a young way of saying, Hey, I'm here to I scored two.
I could be the third star Now, at age 22 I think he's got to be the guy.
It's unfortunate that, like, you know, he's a he's not ready yet.
And, uh, some games we see him ball out some games.
We don't really see that much from him, and, you know, it sucks that they got a kind of rely on Jamal Murray to put up 40 50 which he can't do every night because they're right there.
I like their team a lot there, right there, you know? But maybe it's Michael Porter Jr That's gotta be scoring instead of putting up 15 like he did last game.
Maybe he's gotta put up 25 TB.
Um, I think he is their third star.
I think he's just young and they haven't had enough time to figure it out is also, unfortunately, we're in this coronavirus year where the season got stopped and then they had to come back together in a bubble.
Um, but the Nuggets, I think, have exceeded expectations.
If they are able to win tonight, it is gonna have Thio, you know, be on other guys like a Jerry and Grant.
Gary Harris only had three points.
Paul Millsap only had six points, so like instead of, you know, saying Michael Porter off the bench has gotta have 25.
Maybe one of those guys can put up double digit.
Well, you know, it's funny.
Cause way mentioned Millsap there, but then you think back to, Well, here's the guy that you thought would maybe would have been on the floor.
In that closing sequence, you go to a Plumlee.
Now the question is, are the Denver Nuggets approaching it as we're going a little bit smaller and trying Thio B'more.
Effective offensively through spacing and some of our quickness.
But maybe it's Plumlee that you need to flip back into this rotation and say, You know, listen, if we're only going to use you for nine minutes, we'll run the risk early of you being bigger and more athletic, as they say, Get inside.
Make JaVale McGee or Dwight Howard or Anthony David.
Just make them work harder earlier in the games, especially down on the defensive end.
If you could do a little bit more of that, hopefully it pays dividends on the back end.
I I hate to frame it this way because it's not an exciting way to look at the game.
Denver You've got to get a couple of these bigs, whether it's a even just a Dwight Howard or JaVale.
McGee doesn't have to be a D, but you've got to get a couple of those guys into some foul trouble where they don't get to be on the floor for little stretches.
And then that's when Jamal Murray can try to take over, get into the basket.
Maybe it is Porter Jr It's hard to look at a guy who went six and nine and say do better, but it just means more volume.
Give him more shots, get him 15 shots in this game and really hang your hat on the on the guys that you feel like.
For better or worse, this is where you are right now.
Hang your hat on Joker.
Hang your hat on Murray.
Try to feed Porter Jr if you can.
And listen, get down to the stretch again.
If you get back in the same sequence again, where Jamal Murray gets to swat a green shot in the corner and you get down to 2.
1 and this Lakers toe win or Thio get up, be to one in the Siri's.
I think you you sign off for that right now for the Denver Nuggets, because you don't know by the way they had come back from a pretty big deficit in that game, too.
So this is still a team that has had to find a way to fight back from being down 10 15 points in these first two games.
Anything 20 maybe in game number one.
So there's also a world where the Lakers blow this thing out in game number three and you're sitting there down 15 in the closing minutes as well.
So that's how delicate I think it is for the Nuggets right now.
It's unfortunate when you've had a run like there's to then be saying And maybe listen, guys, and maybe it's gonna end with a real sour taste, as opposed to saying we took them to seven, right came up short.
We took him deep.
This could actually end up being a four game sweep, and ironically, the final note here is the MBA was working.
It looked like to balance out the Siri's, so they complete around the same time and you get to go to the finals There's a long delay for the Celtics and the Heat before they get back on the floor for a game number four.
If the Lakers sweep here now, you're gonna be talking about LeBron a d and that crew getting a nice, healthy rest before they host anybody coming out of the Eastern Conference.
I'd like to see it.
I'd like them to get rested.
I'd like to be a four game sweep if they lose tonight.
The Nuggets, if the Nuggets lose tonight, is most likely gonna be done at worst.
The gentleman sweet.
The Nuggets, I think, just got to get started sooner.
They got to get started faster, you know, have a lead.
Earlier, they didn't have a lead for most of the beginning of the game.
And Michael Porter Jr Not to say like, I wasn't gonna I wasn't trying to say that he didn't play well, you know, he definitely played well in his 20 minutes, the 15 points he had, But I think they need to lean on him or because so much of their offense runs through Yokich right when you're looking at the box score.
Yokich had nine assists.
Everybody else had like one assist except Murray Murray had four.
But then you got guys like Gary Harris with one assist.
Jeremy Grant with one assist.
Paul Millsap with one assist.
They gotta move the ball around and get more guys involved.
Maybe Michael Porter Jr is that earlier.
Maybe, like you said, with Mason Plumlee, he's on the court earlier instead of late in the crunch.
I know they got to change something up and figure it out, or they're gonna get swept.
And if they do get swept, like you said, the way that this is all formatted like there was no game on, I think like, now we're in In these years where there's not a game on every night, there's been no yeah, NBA game on.
I think like last Thursday.
I think last night, which, by the way, has been such a like a shock to my system because we've been doing so much MBA coverage throughout the bubble in the playoffs.
Now we're in the conference finals and I'm like, Oh, okay, I'll just two days before, But no, listen, you're right.
Porter Jr is, but he has been good, and there's that thing about defensively they worry about him getting exposed.
So you know, young Player, you're probably managing that right.
You don't wanna overexpose him and actually have him leave.
This playoff run may be feeling a little bit down about a certain areas game, but if he's the one who's motivating the team in the previous Siri's and guess what, go ahead and then feed that kid because it means that the team is responding to him.
Three Other thing you know, the last thing we'll say is, uh, the assist numbers there for Joker.
You need somebody else to step up.
By the way, Plumlee in just nine minutes, four assists.
So when he was in the game, he's drawing.
That means he's drawing attention and you're able to get some easier. Look.
So maybe that's the route that you go.
You got to just You guys just go for firepower early.
Give yourself a lead into your point.
Put a little pressure on the Lakers.
Hey, try to come from behind here because they're not a great three point shooting team.
So they're not gonna have that easy streaky run where you knocked down a couple of triples and you're right back in it.
They're gonna have to work a little bit harder to get there.
So I wouldn't mind just from a game standpoint.
Let's see the Nuggets get out to a lead and see how the Lakers respond.
Even if it's just to confirm Oh, yeah, they can do it.
They can lock in here and recover from a deficit.
That game goes off later this evening.
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Until then, I'm out of Margaret.
This is SportsCastr News MBA.
Thank you, Keith, for the Phil.
Hey, thanks for having me.