All right. Welcome.
Hey, we're back.
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As I can remember, I've done the last few of these on my own.
Very happy to have Johnny back with us.
Uh, welcome, Johnny.
Good to be back.
We're here to talk Laker basketball.
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Let's talk this game.
No, now that we got the formalities out of the way because it was interesting.
I want to start by saying this.
And, Jenny, you and I have done this before in the past, has always kind of, you know, talking points and questions.
And so I come up with a question and, you know, a bounce it off of you today.
You know, this is a recap, so it's gonna be a little bit more conversational, So I got some point to share them with you before I just give my thoughts.
You know, you chime in at any point.
Um, so be a little different than you know than what we're used to. What we did before.
Um, but first thing I want to start with is down to Oh, Denver knew this was a must win game, so they played with urgency.
They had Teoh, right? No team.
And this is shocking, But no team in the 100 year history of the MBA think it's a 100 year. Maybe not.
They've been balling playing basketball, but NBA hasn't been around for 100 years.
But in the history of the n ba, no team has ever come back from a 31 deficit ever.
As a matter of fact, I didn't look this up because I was curious.
It's only happened five times in professional sports, four times in hockey and once in baseball.
It's never happened in any other sport.
It's only happened five times and baseball has been around for 100 years.
Eso it's incredibly rare.
It's never happened in the MBA, and the Nuggets knew it, so they knew they had to come out and play with urgency and the Lakers had to match that or just seem to take a win today and they didn't do it.
Alright? Nuggets came out on top 1 14.
So first thing I wanted to just kind of bounce off off of you.
A za bit of a talking point.
The Nuggets are a good team, right? Um, they beat the Clippers.
The Clippers gave up.
There's no denying that, but the Nuggets are professional basketball team.
They're third in the West, and you know, a lot of people had them rolling over, but they weren't going to do that.
And they came out with urgency and they took the game to the Lakers today.
They played with urgency and and the Lakers just couldn't match it in time.
They match in the fourth, but they could match in time.
So you know what were what were your impressions going into this game and the Nuggets? I mean this. This was a must win.
Last game was a heartbreaker, man.
11 is so different from from 20 I mean, the if you just look at the games, it could easily be Denver up to one right now.
That's not how things that's not how things work.
Because, you know Denver, this is a must win for Denver.
Uh, in the non bubble would be kind of crazy.
Like they would be going into a mile high to Denver toe to play this home game.
Um, and that would be the advantage.
But there's a must win.
Denver came out and played like it was a must win.
Lakers looked a little flat.
Had that run in the fourth.
They started playing that zone and the Nuggets just kind of shut down.
I think they're the Nuggets are so used to playing from behind when they had that big.
But they had that big lead.
They Yeah, they just got kind of stale out there.
You focus look like you didn't want the ball.
Um, but then, you know, they came through Murray a couple of big shots.
Um, Jeremy Grant? Yes.
Young hero for the Nuggets. Played great.
Um, a d I don't know what's up with a d.
Not having hit three rebounds.
I don't know what that was all about.
The Nuggets played well in a must win.
Um, Lakers need to respond next game I mean, if it's if the Nuggets come out and win and they're up to two and their heads, they're probably thinking we should be a 31 right now.
So next next game is gonna be big.
So let's talk a little bit about that, because that was really to me.
What the fourth quarter did for the Lakers.
Lakers lost the game.
But when they had an opportunity to do what the Clippers did against these Nuggets, and that is just give up, right, they didn't.
The Lakers came back, they made a game of it.
And what that did, is it put? You know, if you put a little doubt in the Nuggets minds, you know, because I can't help but think that and you brought it up, they think they should have won Game two.
And it was literally, you know, just if, uh, Murray blocks that shot by, I want to say Danny Green.
But I might be wrong, I don't know, but if you would have just controlled it instead, he fell out of bounds game over right? That's how close they came, right? So they know that they were in that game.
They Obviously, they won Game three.
So if they would have just dominated the Lakers in the fourth, they would have gone into the next game with a ton of confidence.
The Lakers, standing up playing hard, not giving up and making a game of it in the fourth gave gave the Nuggets, you know, a little bit of pause.
You know, they know they could beat the Lakers, but they also know if the Lakers, you know, put the pedal on the metal.
They're tough to be right.
And so I I thought that was, you know, a good effort by the Lakers and something we didn't see.
Unfortunately, from the Clippers when they had a chance, you brought up Yokich.
I want to talk about this guy because I, you know what's a lot.
I cannot for the life of me understand how he is so good.
Hey, slow, Hey, doesn't run.
He kind of he kind of more jobs.
Did you ever notice that he just kind of Jock's.
You know he can't jump.
His defense is, you know, spotty.
Yet the guy's amazing.
I mean, he's unbelievable.
He's an All Star.
I have a hard time understanding how he's so good.
Can you Can you shed some light on why this guys is good as he is? I mean, I think it's skill and basketball like you.
I mean, he's super skilled, great passer can shoot the ball.
I mean, he knows when to pass it.
Hey, can be a little passive at times, but I mean, for the most part, he's always making the right play.
He's he's big, so he's not fast.
He's not quick, but he's big.
Murray is nasty because because he can come and shoot.
He's just he's just really skilled and really smart.
And I mean, it's funny to watch him go against Dwight, who is just one of the most athletic way.
Yeah, one of the most athletic bigs we've ever seen without not a lot of touch around the rim, you know, No shot.
And, you know, you see Dwight, Dwight Dwight passes.
Elbow and yoga get in his head and yoga just is staying strong.
He's played well.
Yeah, he's played well.
It's funny. Your product.
The white, um, somebody on Twitter.
Twitter is kind of like a blessing and a curse, man, it's so freakin toxic on there.
But, you know, sometimes people say some funny stuff on there, so I do enjoy being there.
Sometimes God bless him.
Can can be a little delusional.
You know, you're a fan first. Appreciate that.
Um, but, you know, they made the point that Yokich, you know, does things doesn't get called for fouls where Dwight Howard does things and always gets called for fouls.
And I am I replied, You know, when I was like, their so different.
You know, yoga just tends to flop sometimes.
No denying that it, uh, Dwight Howard number flocks e think it was hot a flop, And to his credit, he doesn't flop.
But what he does do is he's high progressive, right? I mean, you will elbow you, he will punch you.
He will box out and you'll feel it.
Yokich doesn't do that.
So totally different players.
At this point in their careers, Yokich is going to get the benefit of the doubt.
Where Dwight isn't You mentioned it.
He's past his prime.
And I think that's got a you know, a big part of it.
Um, so yeah, Okay.
It is a bit of a mystery, but he can.
You still hear me? You still long? You lost your your video.
Okay, um but let's talk about, you know, the Nuggets.
What's interesting to me about the Nuggets is that they're really, really good team, right when they were beating up on the Clippers.
Yeah, I would tell you how they got the lead.
I couldn't tell you how they got so far ahead, because it's rarely one player Jamal Murray will oftentimes off.
And it's because he's shooting threes and he's really good.
You know, Yokich with triple double? Sometimes, but it's kind of under the radar.
They usually beat you with a lot of people, as opposed to a one outstanding performance in this game.
It was like that.
Um, you mentioned Jeremy Grant 26 points.
I mean, that alone right there, that kind of output they generally get 15 to from Porter Jr.
They only got nine from him today.
Um, this is probably about as good as the Nuggets can play, but What's scary about them is that they're really, really good team.
They don't rely on one person.
The Lakers, Johnny, You and I talked about the war, Aziz.
Good as they are, as great as they are, Um, you know, if a D is not available or LeBron is not available, that's kind of it for this team.
The Nuggets are like that.
They're a good team, and and that's a that's a little scary.
Last team to win the NBA championship, though with the Denver No, not Denver.
The Detroit Pistons.
That was the team without any Rule, All Stars.
But the Nuggets do have an all star in your kids, but they are a team and that it's fun to see.
It's different to see, but they just sneak up on you.
I had no idea they were up by 20 until you know there are by 20.
That's just that's just how they chip away at you know what I mean? Yeah, I mean, they have to have Yokich an all star.
Murray can play like an All Star on any given night and then just a team of solid role players, athletic guys who can shoot which is what you want.
I mean, we've talked about this before.
We always asked, Like, Who is the Lakers X factor? But, I mean, who really is the Lakers third best player? You never know.
You never know who is going to be way.
Haven't seen any any of Philly cheese out there and Swiss cheese out there.
You know what I mean? They're relying.
Relying on Caruso.
Kuzma I mean, Rondo's Rondo played great defense and you made some.
He made some plays, but, I mean, you just never know who the Lakers through.
Guys and the Nuggets have a bunch of guys that can step up on anything.
They just have more options who can step up and have a big game.
And then they have the their big too, as well.
Yeah, let's talk about that a little bit, cause I'm looking at the Lakers box score and A D and LeBron went off 27 30 respectfully, respectively.
And I've always been of the opinion.
When these two guys do that, they're unbeatable.
But I've also said they also need a third.
They need somebody just tipping 15 you know, like you said and They didn't have that today.
The closest was KCP, who had 12.
Uh, Kuzma had 11 but neither one of them were real force.
Right, Um and you know, e want I got brought this up a d no rebounds to three on behalf quarters. Roughly.
I think he got his first couple of boards Onley boards in the fourth, Um, a D is so good.
He's so talented.
Um, he's a unicorn, and yet you hate to you're nit pick.
But his post game, Which is where I think he needs to excel rebounding and post as opposed to, you know, he hit the 32 win Game two.
But that was just, you know, it's kind of a shot he had to take because it was 1.
If I remember right, I don't want him shooting threes, man. I want him in the post.
I want him getting rebounds on That's just not his game.
He's more of a mid range guy, but that being said, it's not gonna get it done.
Two rebounds over 43 minutes and you really got to me.
I think I could get to rebound in 43 minutes, man.
I dio I think I could get you rebounds.
I guarantee you do anything else, but I can pull down two boards.
That kind of shocking, isn't it? Yeah, it's interesting.
I'm looking at the statue to it.
Looks like they had to.
It's just looks like they, for some reason, weren't getting warning boards.
They were getting turnovers or the number making shots, so it could be like a little just a weird statistical anomaly type game.
Fergie, you know, because you expecting the boards.
I mean, he's been fighting with Yokich.
Uh, there's nobody really that can guard him on the Nuggets.
Nobody, really that could trade up in MBA anyways, you know.
So it has been a weird game, but yeah, I mean, you'd like to see him play a little more bully ball.
Who once in a while? Yeah, um, but for national game, and I don't think you know, he's changing that now.
Um, I kind of teased this a little bit.
I am a Caruso fan.
I love the story.
I love what he's done.
Um, he's fun to watch.
He's, you know, he's got that basketball like you that you brought up when you talk about Yokich.
Hey, makes plays that I just you know, I'm in shock sometimes, but today nothing, man.
Literally nothing over four Onley bucket he got from deep.
The only bucket you got was the lay up that they gave him at the end of the game.
Um, but Cruz is not about the points.
He's about the tough defense.
He's about the wow pass he's about, you know, the Yeah, the excitement, man.
And there was none of that from Caruso today on really from anybody on the Lakers.
But if anybody was gonna give that kind of wow, it was gonna be Caruso.
And, uh, you know, I'm not saying the Lakers lost because Caruso didn't show up.
He's not, You know, he's important to this team, but he's not that important to this team.
Um, but I was pretty shocked to see him, you know, provide literally nothing.
Yeah, I mean, Caruso kind of issue is, uh, he's growing on me.
A lot of his game has grown.
I mean, he plays the he does all the little things, but I mean, like I said, he is who he is.
He's not gonna go on, give you buckets.
He might give you one or two energy place.
He didn't really do that tonight.
But, I mean, like you said, the Lakers don't live and die on what Caruso does.
He is like a little park.
He's a little spark plug.
And he just was.
It wasn't there tonight, and you know what I mean? I think the bigger thing is like Is Danny Green? I mean, he's been Am I since the bubble started? He was He was a big piece in Toronto last year.
Should be he should be a big he should be.
The Lakers, third best player on this team, should be able to knock down threes and play tea.
And he's just been struggling.
So, like, I mean, Caruso kcp Rondo, they're all okay and all can kind of help you, but no, none of them are gonna break out.
And when you a game, Danny Green has that ability.
We've seen him do it in the finals before, and he's just been m I A and the bubble and it's and kind of all all throughout the season.
So he's the one who needs to step up for me no good point.
I add a conversation about him specifically.
And, you know, he signed a two year, $30 million contract that started this year.
So we got one year left.
I think he's gone.
I think he's trade bait.
I think him and, uh, Kuzma get shipped in the off season.
If they if they win the championship, I think everything is off table.
But yeah, I think yeah, he just And the bubble is different.
And I think the Lakers of you know, every you said it.
You know, everything is different.
The bubble. Think you said it.
Um, So maybe you take that into account, too.
But, yeah, I I see him.
He's got a friendly contract that expires next year.
I think he will probably be gone.
This might be his last years.
A Laker, but we could save that for another conversation.
For for the off season.
Um, I was looking at the box score, and what really stood stood out at me.
Was 14 minutes for for Dwight Howard.
You know, we were talking about how aggressive he was.
He had 14 minutes, one rebound, one block that block was amazing four fouls eso kind of his game.
But I'm shocked that he only got 14 minutes.
It's really good joke in game two, and I think he's the best option defending.
Um, you know, the Denver big, but he only got 14 minutes and he had two fouls left to give.
I'm kind of surprised, uh, that Vogel didn't play him a little more.
I mean, I'm just My thoughts would be once you're down a lot, you get him out of there and you get a d and get him or shooting to try to come back.
You know what? I know he's not gonna get you anything.
Anything on offense, you know? He's in their toe like you said, kind of kind of ruffle of yoga's.
He's got six vials to give and play the but if you're down and yoga just killing him like he did in the first just went off in the first, you know, just get him.
But I mean, the Lakers do play best when eighties at the five.
Just get your best line and get some shooting out there and try to make a comeback.
Yeah, that'd be my guess.
No, that's a good point.
That's a really good point.
We're not talking about the Dwight Howard told Who could get you 2025.
E think that those days are behind him? Alright, the last point I had on, but we've kind of hinted at this a little bit before.
I like the fact that the Lakers didn't give up.
They could've they should have.
They were down 20 in the fourth, the Clippers, you know, and I hate to keep bringing it up and run rubbing salt in the wound.
But the Clippers, when they had that opportunity against this team, um, they gave up, man, they were hitting the side of the board.
They were making bad passes.
They just gave up and it was pretty embarrassing.
And there, you know, I've been, you know, aware of the Clippers.
You know, before they were good, you know, they were laughing, stuck at one point, and the the jokes and the memes and the stuff that's coming out of now is Aziz.
Bad as it ever was when they were horribly bad franchise.
Um, and it's all because they gave up against the Nuggets the Lakers had an opportunity to do that.
They didn't e think they came within two or three.
I know they were really, really close when you know in Denver to the credit, you know, took the punch and and hit back and won the game.
But I do think that that fourth quarter run by the Lakers put a little doubt in Denver's brain, whereas if they wouldn't have come back and it would have been a 30 point victory, Denver would have come into Game four with ah, lot of confidence, another coming in with just a little less confidence.
What do you think? I think that is possible.
I think it's good for Denver, though, to play with the lead and kind of get punched in the face with the lead and have to be able to come back.
I think that's something they haven't really had and eso it could work for them.
I mean, I'm hoping that they just come out and play, you know that they put this game behind them and we just kind of we kind of have another good game because the last two have been competitive, but just in stages.
so really competitive.
Same thing with the last game.
Competitive fourth quarter.
So I want to see a full back and forth game without big leads and both teams competing because, I mean, they're not evenly matched, but the Nuggets can win any game.
You know what I mean? And there never out of it.
And they proved throughout the playoffs, they're never out of it.
So I mean, I expect the Lakers to come out a nice game.
Um, kind of with that fourth quarter energy, But this is a big win for the Nuggets.
A big, big bounce back win so that they need to just come in match.
The Lakers Energy 100% agree.
Credit words dio Nuggets win the game.
Tip your hat to him.
Game four is on Thursday the 24th, um, you had a prediction.
I'm gonna go with the Nuggets.
Really? I'm going with the Nuggets.
I think that I think this was a big win.
Um, and like I said, it's very they very easily could have been up to one.
Yeah, and and their fighters.
So I think it's I think it might be Nuggets and the Lakers when the next to get a little head of myself.
But I think the Nuggets bring it close.
The fighters, man there fighters.
Yeah, well, no denying that.
No denying that I the Lakers, looked like the better team to me, but yeah, I'll be honest.
I still know how the Nuggets beat the Clippers, so I just don't see how the negative as good as they are.
So I hate to bet against them, but I think the Lakers take aim for, uh, all right.
Well, this was a good game.
Fun game credit to the Nuggets.
We are peach basket.
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Always fun talking to you.
Always great to have you, Johnny.
And we'll talk again.
Good to be back, Jose. Always good to chop it up with you.
Hopefully we have a good serious Have some good stuff to talk about.