Good morning, everybody on SportsCastr.
Hope everybody's doing well.
Um, obviously, we had a very decisive Game four yesterday between the Heat and the Lakers.
Um, yeah, I yesterday was it was kind of a tough one.
I actually went back, and I rewatched game three, um, that morning and then, you know, kind of was I somehow talked myself into it.
I was like, Look, like I think that the heat could do little things they can.
They can run Bamut the four.
They can play too.
They could do all this stuff and and kind of go, you know, basically punch for punch with the Lakers, and and And you could just kind of tell within the first couple of minutes that their energy wasn't really where, I mean, maybe that's not true, but, you know, there were certain points in the first half where you were, like, Okay, it was really the Lakers energy. That was a lot different.
Before you really get deep into that, let me just say I think in terms of like, where this finals was a couple of days ago, when we were really hitting that like that game to where we are now.
I'm considerably more satisfied with this Siri's than I thought I would be.
Yes, I know there are more games, but if they're not getting Goran Dragic back, um, I I don't really see any way that this becomes a Siri's that goes longer than five, which is fitting that every single Laker Siri's goes exactly five games.
Um, but yeah, I mean, I think in terms of some of the adjustments in this game that I wasn't quite sure about, I actually didn't think this was supposed best game.
Um, I was looking at some of the like minutes and where guys played and look, I get it.
Like Bannon, Maada Bio was obviously a better player than than Kelly Olynyk, and he's certainly a better player than Meyers Leonard.
But not having Meyers Leonard out there at all, and not having Kelly Olynyk play more than I believe it was 12 minutes was something I'm not necessarily sure I agreed with.
I think that putting Kelly Olynyk out there was like kind of night like a nice little breath of fresh air in terms of like the weird stuff you could do you saw yesterday.
They actually got a transition play by him, just basically doing weird Kelly Olynyk things where you're not sure if he's going to dribble the ball out of bounds.
You're kind of confused.
He's even handling the ball in transition, and it actually turns into a layup at the cup.
So, yeah, I mean, I think that that would have been my big change, and it's weird.
This just didn't really feel like this.
Andi and I think he's got a very bright future.
But that's the tricky part about going against somebody as talented as Anthony Davis, who I'm going to get into.
Kind of like who? I think the Finals M V P should, because that's kind of what this series is turning into.
It a lot of ways kind of similar to 2018 with Curry and Durant, where it was like after Game three were kind of like a really halfway through Game three.
All we want to talk about was, Who's the d m v p in this Siri's, um, this Siris for bam? Just kind of I don't know.
It's he's going against a guy that basically does everything that he does but consider maybe not considerably, but certainly better.
I mean, especially on the shooting side of things and even just just being larger being a larger person.
Um, those are the things that I thought were a real advantage for him.
So for look is great as bam looked in those those really to Siri's before that against the Bucks and especially the Celtics, where he just looked like he was, you know, 7 ft seven out there, Um, this Siri's you kind of saw, like how difficult it is to go against somebody as talented as Anthony Davis.
So I wasn't sure about that move.
And, you know, I think that what I would have tried to do if I was, you know, spo and trying to get a do over on this game.
And really, there's not much you can do when the Lakers are, you know, really were as locked in as they were defensively, But I think I would have tried e don't know, just doing something a little bit different with size.
Um, Crowder was abysmal in this game, and I saw I was reading an article before this him and I believe Kendrick Nunn went a combined four for 18 from the field.
I just, you know, I get it.
Jae Crowder was great for them, especially against the Bucks, but and and I understand what he does defensively, you know, he's just a big body.
You can kind of keep him out there.
But I don't know man against this team, and I get the Dwight.
Howard was not really.
He just hasn't played in this Siri's.
I really think I would have sized up against these guys and just tried to, like, pack the paint with bigger bodies.
Now, maybe it doesn't matter if it's ah if it's a Kelly Olynyk versus at Jae Crowder because Jae Crowder's you know, you might not have the exact same stature, but he's just a bigger, more physical body that you don't want to deal with defensively.
But I think the five out options are really something that they should have done.
Now let's get into the finals P stuff because I think, look like we can talk about this game all you want, you can talk about how Jimmy Butler, I mean, it all kind of ties into the finals M v P thing for me because for what Jimmy Butler did out there in Game three and just putting together one of the most magnificent Finals performances I've ever watched.
I mean, talk about just an incredible showing.
Um, Anthony Davis gave every bit of that the very next game on defense, and we're not going to talk about that because defense is a tough thing to measure.
There are numbers you can't look at.
There's no triple double that you can that you can point to when you're saying, you know, you're explaining to somebody who maybe didn't catch this game where maybe it's 40 years in the future and you're trying to explain whatever this Siri's to your kid or something like that.
Um, you can't really do that with defense.
You can't say Hey, like, look it.
I don't know. Look at this.
This stat of how many feet back Anthony Davis was playing off of Jimmy Butler and how many shots he contested regardless.
But that's kind of what they did out there is that they put Anthony Davis on Jimmy Butler, and I think it was such a telling thing going forward, not just for this Siri's.
But for this league, like this is a really, really thing.
And I think that you know, you, you point to this game and you kind of if we have an era of Anthony Davis, for Anthony Davis is the best player in the league.
The next couple of years, I think you're gonna point to this game and say, Okay, this is exactly what So let's backtrack a bit before you make these big, sweeping statements.
Um, in this game, Jimmy Butler starts off hot, not necessarily getting to the line, but he's sitting a couple of jumpers.
I believe he made a shot off glass pretty early on.
It seems like he's carrying that rhythm a little bit, Um, and and he's and he's still finding guys.
He's doing what he's got to do.
He's a little more passive in this game, but understandably so.
It's it's You kind of just felt like it was gonna be one of these Jimmy Butler games, and we've seen it so many times in this playoffs where he kinda it's like he's a Yeah, I mean, he's a closer so and and e guess it's like somebody like What do you want to call like a game manager and football? I'm not a huge football fan, but somebody who, you know, controls the pace during the game.
Kind of lets things run his way.
Um, you know, makes a couple of plays here and there and then at the very end, and those last couple of minutes really ratcheted up and really starts trying to drive to the whole starts finding guys on drives and kicks.
So that's kind of what it felt like.
It was like, Okay, this is a Jimmy Butler game like, maybe we're actually playing to his his preferences, where he's got.
He knows he's got a rhythm, but he's really saving it for those laughs.
You know, a couple of minutes and the heat were close in this game, too, so it just sort of felt like that they were in this game and it was gonna, you know, potentially work out pretty well for Jimmy Butler.
That changes the second we reach the second half.
Frank Vogel pulls out the ultimate trump card, and I know that Mike Prada, who is amazing journalist, he actually talked about this in his most recent column.
Um, he basically brought out the CART.
Play Anthony Davis as the primary defender for Jimmy Butler.
This does two things.
You're putting the best defender, I think, in the league right now.
I mean, e think that you could make the case for Yannis is well, obviously, he just one defensive player of the year.
But we haven't really ever seen him deployed as this like blanket primary defender, because that's not what but does.
He likes to use him as an off ball guy, which I think I really disagree on.
I think it's it's a great way to mitigate what could and does make Yanis so great as a player.
Is that just freakish length and incredible, you know, north to South Quickness.
But yeah, I mean, I he basically you put the Anthony Davis on him.
You're putting the best defender in the league on him.
But not only that, you're putting somebody that has the ability to play What? How many feet off do you want to say 78 ft off him and still be tall enough to actually contest his shot? Should he go up for those midrange pull ups? So you're basically putting the perfect blanket for Jimmy Butler and its timing of every single time.
He got the ball at the top of the key or on one of those wings.
And it looks like, Hey, maybe Jimmy Butler can either, you know, sort of build up a head of steam and go to the rim, Um or or really like tryto take one of his his mid range shots that have been really fall in the last two games.
You just knew that the Anthony Davis was right.
They're able to stop both of those. I mean, shoot.
We saw it basically, when this game was over, when Jimmy Butler went full court in transition and it was finally one of these moments.
It's like, Oh, like, you know, I mean, look, I was I was screaming at my TV that the entirety of the second half because I wanted him to try to go to the basket and see what happens to see if you get you know, Davis and and valid trouble.
But you saw it in that last.
Really, What is it? Probably the last two or three plays of the game where Jimmy Butler goes full court plays into the body of Anthony Davis the way he does, and he gets a shot blocked because Anthony Davis's giant.
So, yeah, I mean, look, they run this This, I mean, basically Trump card out there, play Anthony Davis sauce off him.
And every single time Butler has the ball, it turns into a handoff, which then turns into a screen, which he tries to slip, which has worked in certain spots for Miami.
But in this game, it didn't because the Lakers knew exactly what they were gonna dio.
They knew that because they were taking away Jimmy Butler as the engine, then the Heat.
We're going to be in scramble mode, and that's what a lot of the second half really felt like.
It was just guys handing off to each other and and and kind of getting stuck in those corners.
I mean, they just felt like they were getting pressed up onto the sidelines, and it was just kind of a weird thing to watch.
I Some of the stats are pretty astounding.
I believe that was their lowest assistant game of the postseason.
Um, I think they're offensive efficiency and this is all courtesy of Dan Devine of the Ringer, who put together a really nice recap in this game, which you should definitely go read.
I'm gonna be shouting out a bunch of writers to this because I've been reading a lot this morning.
But Dan Devine also detailed that the Miami Heat, in terms of what their offensive production this year actually matched that of the Golden State Warriors, who we all know were not very good this year.
Um, it matched that of them in this regular season.
So they put together basically their worst offensive performance of the entire postseason, especially in terms of the ways and the trademarks that make them so great in terms of that, not just past happy, but, you know, holistic harmony that makes that Heat team run and the engine that makes them run.
And and the Lakers took that away.
Um, they sold out on the three point line.
They had Anthony Davis out there basically just erasing Jimmy Butler, and I thought it was the trademark performance of this Siri's and I get it.
You know, LeBron James, he's gonna have I think he's a number one in points assists and rebounds.
I believe that's true because I know Davis had a couple low rebound games.
So I believe that LeBron is leading in all the statistical categories, and for that reason, he's probably gonna win finals.
M v p on top of finals m v p kind of being a little bit even mawr of a narrative award than even just regular season M v p.
I would give it to Davis.
I thought this performance was it.
Like we're gonna look back at this Siri's and say, Hey, you know this game.
This Siris was never that close.
And, yeah, that Jimmy Butler game was a little bit of a fluke.
I know how basketball fans work and how basketball ****ysis works.
We're all gonna look at this.
We're going to see five games were going to say, Yeah, it wasn't a great finals or or maybe we won't say Not great.
But we will say, Oh, it wasn't that competitive.
The heat really in their league, Goran Dragic was hurt.
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
No, that's not at all what happened because the heat really felt like they were in this game for the first half and the Lakers basically used Anthony Davis at his fullest and it took them out of their game.
It completely did, and it and it really put them in such a low point of production that I don't know, I personally.
That's what I would be doing if I was voting for this finals.
I don't think it's particularly close for me in a lot of ways.
You know? I know that LeBron is the heart and soul of this Lakers team, and yes, I get it.
It's 31 right now.
Crazy things that happen.
But it really feels like I just I don't know what the heat could do at this point.
Um, but yeah, I mean, look like LeBron's heart and soul.
I'm sure he fired them up after that last loss.
It felt like it was gonna be one of those times where LeBron is gonna light his guys up and they're gonna come out.
And they're gonna be really one of their feistiest performances of the play offs in terms of what they did defensively.
I mean, that was an absolute masterpiece, honestly, on both sides of the floor, both these teams were locked in defensively.
It was maybe one of the best defensive games I've seen this year.
Um, but yeah, I mean, look like you could say all that stuff about LeBron.
It's a leadership thing, but I'm somebody, maybe to a fault.
I look it on court production.
The more I do basketball ****ysis the I don't want to say I mean this I feel like I can have a negative connotation sometimes.
But the less I look purely at numbers, and I just I just wanna look at what I've seen on the court and kind of make judgments from that.
So, yeah, I mean, I just I thought this was the turning point.
I thought that second half in this Siri's, you know, more than really any point that was the big turning point in this Siri's.
And that kind of solidified who was the better team, and and I and honestly like, yeah, LeBron hit a couple of deep threes and and didn't you know he involved? He found KCP on a couple of plays there, especially in those corners, especially in a transition.
But I don't know, I thought this was the hallmark a D performance tonight.
I think when you're looking back at his legacy up to this point, I would point to the second half and just be like, Yeah, this guy was he was dominant and he's just a dominant defender.
Um, so I I kind of touched on this.
I don't want to close on this.
I don't wanna preview this too much because I know me and my guy Adam are Brick.
We'll probably talk a little bit more about this tomorrow.
I think we're probably gonna move into a little bit more off a narrative based discussion with this.
Siri's perhaps talking a little bit about future outlook for both of these teams.
I'm assuming that's probably where this is going to go on a little bit less in terms of, uh, in game ****ysis and stuff like that.
So stay tuned for that on.
Let's see, that's tomorrow. Thursday.
We'll be talking about that a little bit more, but I just want to say this.
I think some people are looking at this Lakers team like it's maybe a one year window, maybe two.
I would say right now that they are easily the favorites to repeat next year.
Um, I think you can expect perhaps another slight improvement from Anthony Davis, especially offensively, who? He still has room to improve.
He can come, you know, become a little bit better with his left hand.
Hey has certain things around the basket, and it feels crazy because he's feels like one of the five best post players in the league.
He could actually still improve on that area.
The floor his jumper could continue to improve.
Um, there's little things that he could always passing out of.
Double teams can absolutely improve.
So I think that those things are possible areas of growth.
And there's a chance you're looking at the best player in the league next year.
I'm not really willing to coronate him that just yet, because I do need to see it for an extended period.
But he's in the conversation now.
This Lakers team is well, they can add a little bit more.
I mean, they've they've always felt one or two shooters short, um, much like everybody else in this league, or at least all the contenders.
They're gonna be fighting for mid level exception.
Guys, veteran minimum guys on the team that I cover.
You can see it in this description right here.
The Brooklyn Nets.
They're gonna be in that that mix.
The Clippers are gonna be in that mix.
I'm assuming the Milwaukee Bucks will probably be in that mix, basically hunting for bargain bin guys.
Well, the Lakers also have that luxury.
Like if they stumble upon a couple of shooters or maybe a two way guy that somebody didn't really e don't know like a guy that is either, You know, making a resurgent comeback like every Bradley did for them this last year, which now feels like 10 years ago, or even a guy that maybe takes another leap a little bit younger of a player.
They can make those moves, and I think that that's a huge luxury for them.
So I would expect them to be a pretty aggressive and I do think there's actually ways for them to improve while also maintaining their core, which is just a defense of identity.
And that all starts with the guy that I've talked about a lot in the studio.
So I I think that these guys, they're here to stay.
Um, this this finals, it feels very conclusive in this Lakers run.
It's a nice little you know, I guess, uh, feather in the hat of this strange season, especially for the Lakers side of things.
But hey, man, I don't think these guys were done.
I don't know if people are assuming that, but I would just like to reiterate that there's a chance there even better next year.
I mean, look at how the Raptors look this.
Last year, after that title run, they were even sharper in their defensive rotations.
They were even more comfortable playing, you know, flexing different stones of different styles of coverage from really quarter to quarter.
So I think there's certain ways for the Lakers to improve.
Um, and and I'm I'm honestly here for it, man.
These guys, they're fun to watch.
They just bring a sense of defensive intensity that I think is just an absolute delight and they're different.
They're really different.
They're a team of giants in the league that's gone increasingly small, and it will be really interesting to see how other teams respond to that, you know, for it seems like the Clippers do They actually want to try to size up a little bit.
Are they gonna be chasing guys that are, You know, Are they gonna be tryto don't know, pursue a guy like Serge Ibaka to play him at the four? Like, are they gonna have to do weird things to try to keep with this Lakers team? I don't know, but I think it's gonna be fascinating this summer, um, or winter, which I'm never gonna get used. Thio.
And I'm very excited for this offseason for ah, lot of reasons, but mostly just to prepare myself for another season where I have no idea who's gonna win.
Um, and I and I like that parody has been really nice.
It's made these playoffs really the most enjoyable playoffs since 2016.
Probably bubble and all, which I think is a real accomplishment.
And I expect more of that next year.
So that's all I got on this one today.
A little disjointed.
I know, but I have a lot of ideas that I'm kind of pulling together here, and I'm happy you guys tuned in.
As I said tomorrow I will be back with my guy Adam are bricked talking.
I'm assuming a little bit more.
What will be a little bit more? You know, looking at future outlooks, I think maybe previewing game five a little bit, though I don't know how much there is to preview and, uh, yeah, again.
Thank you guys for watching stay tuned on this channel.
I plan to do a couple of basketball on Moore's, which is my featured Vaud cast for SportsCastr.
Um, will be Well, I'm gonna be having a heat or Lakers.
Yes, on here, one of these next couple of days.
I'm still kind of ironing out who I'm bringing on and what exactly the outlook is gonna be.
But I'm probably gonna be a Lakers guy, considering they're they're up in this series.
So stay tuned for that.
Will flesh out some of these ideas, maybe do some finals M v p talk and maybe even do a future outlook for how they could improve this next season.
I think that would be a fun idea.
Anyhoo, I'll let you guys go.
Thank you all for watching and yeah, enjoy your Wednesday piece.