Show Recap: January 29, 2019

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Opening Tip
Sidestep > step-back?

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Today’s Panel:

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First Half

Monologue: Should league continue efforts to help small markets keep star players?

highway
The last 24 hours in the NBA have been bananas as Anthony Davis’ trade request has reverberated through every fanbase
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A lot of terrible trade scenarios have been suggested, a few super-interesting ones
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There have also been hours of speculation on the Celtics/Lakers rivalry playing out yet again
CBA.JPG
There has also been a whole echo discussion happening in the NBA’s front offices. How the collective bargaining agreement is once again failing in some of its designs to prevent player movement

There are a few more boring sentences than ‘I want to talk about the CBA’

Every time there is a new CBA, the owners side keeps trying to incentivize players to stay with teams longer and it keeps backfiring

Supermax.JPG
Like the supermax, which was created as a reaction to Kevin Durant bolting Oklahoma City for Golden State and leaving the Thunder with nothing
Locked.JPG
So in fine CBA tradition, they came up with yet another variation of the ‘Let’s just make it so a star player’s current team can offer him so much money more than anyone else there’s no way he’ll turn it down’ plan. And let’s do it a year before free agency so that he is locked up before any other team can get a shot at him

Many of the stars in line for a supermax have asked to be traded before it can even be offered:

-Paul George
-Kyrie Irving
-Kawhi Leonard
-Anthony Davis (18 months before his contract is even up)

The players who have stayed, those supermax contracts either already have or sure look like they could turn into huge anchors around the necks of the teams who have to pay them

Also, it’s not like the supermax is the only time this kind of CBA effort didn’t quite work. Like the ‘The Heatles’:

Money.JPG

Superstars.JPG
Bottom line: The NBA has free agency. This is a good thing because player movement keeps the league fresh and generates huge interest 12 months a year and players are human beings. At some point, they deserve the same right as the rest of society to get to decide where they want to work and live

There needs to be some system in place so every team gets at least an initial chance at elite players as they come into the league. The system that’s in place right now, where those teams in essence control the first 7-8 years of an elite player’s career, that’s enough

Contracts.JPG
If you want that player to sign away more of his life to your team, how about trying to be a franchise that’s worthy of that as opposed to just trying to come up with more and more spectacular bribes to keep them there. And also recognizing that sometimes players are going to want to change just because they want a change
Pelicans.JPG
The decisions made by Pelicans management from bad trades to bad contracts to skimping on medical resources have led to AD to wanting out. It seems like addressing all of that might be a better place to put our energy, instead of fretting over the CBA

Feel bad for small market teams?

“No. Why? If you look at a lot of these smaller market teams now, OKC, Milwaukee, Cleveland, you have to do a better job of drafting players, developing players and when you get this type of franchise-changing talent, you have to surround them with talent to keep him there” – T-Mac

“I don’t feel sorry for teams that mismanage the situation. If you run your team poorly, I don’t care what your market is. You’re going to have a poor team and you’re going to have stars that leave. You run it well, you give yourself a chance to retain the talent you do have and attract new talent” – Elhassan

“Big markets are not as sexy or glamorous as they used to be” – T-Mac


Replay
January 29, 1997 – Damon Stoudamire (Raptors) with the go-ahead shot to take the lead, then Jerry Stackhouse (Sixers) hitting a shot at the buzzer to win the game!!!

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Make or Miss League Kawhi

Miss Logo
Execution; Kyle Anderson, WYD?
After blowing a 25-point lead, the Grizzlies still had a chance to win the game with less than 20 seconds left vs the Nuggets

Make Logo
Unbridled Enthusiasm; Bench celebrations underrated part of Steph’s game?

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Miss Logo
Selfishness; Best Dime last night?

Kemba Walker:
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Kevin Durant:
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Theo Pinson (Nets):
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Marcus Smart:
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Make Logo
Acting; Did Beverley deserve flop warning?

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His response:

Miss Logo
Vulnerability; Time to go home if Shaun Livingston is hitting this shot?

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Let’s…

Run it Back

Most memorable behind backboard shots:

4) 2010: LeBron
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3) 2009: Kobe
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2) 1988: Jordan
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1) 1986: Bird
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Moving on…

When will Warriors lose again?
11 straight wins since January 3rd. Last loss was against the Rockets, on the overtime dagger shot by James Harden. Turned out to be a turning point

Warriors schedule.JPG

“Warriors will win 18 straight going into all-star break. Book it!” – T-Mac

“Saturday vs the Lakers when LeBron comes back and is joined by Anthony Davis!” – Elhassan


Second Half

Vince Carter shoots down Rachel’s #DraftVince Campaign!

T-Mac on the fan event in Toronto:

Trade Deadline Buyers/Sellers board is back!

Think Celtics will miss out on AD sweepstakes?

“The Celtics are the frontrunners to land Anthony Davis. The assets that they have makes more sense for both parties to even out a trade” – T-Mac

“If you’re Dell Demps (Pelicans GM), there’s no urgency for him to do the deal now knowing that the Celtics are out there and are interested” – Elhassan

More aggressive AD buyers before trade deadline?

“If you are the Lakers or one of these other teams that is vying for him now, this is the time to be aggressive” – Elhassan

“I don’t know if anyone is prepared to go ‘Full Brooklyn’ yet” – T-Mac

“Here’s why you shouldn’t go ‘Full Brooklyn’: Anthony Davis on the Pelicans are still losing” – T-Mac

Should Pelicans consider tanking now?

“If they don’t do a deal, you have to start exploring pawning off those other pieces” – Elhassan

“I couldn’t see shutting down for the whole season. I wouldn’t like that one bit” – T-Mac

Woj: “If Lakers land AD, Klay could also be in play” (Via SportsCenter)

“I want to keep this train running as long as I can” – Klay Thompson

Klay back in October:

Free Agents.JPG

Klay's max contract options.JPG

“In the perfect world, I can see it. If Klay leaves the Warriors, Lakers are the perfect option. I just don’t see it happening” – T-Mac

“Something is going to happen [in Golden State]. There’s a lot of ‘ifs’ to get to for him to get lured away” – Elhassan


Replay
January 29, 2007 – Vince Carter (New Jersey Nets) with the game winning three at the buzzer vs the Utah Jazz!!!

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Gallinari.JPGClippers forward, Danilo Gallinari joined the show!

Armani.JPG

Armani 2.JPG

Armani 3.JPG

Armani 4.JPG

“Soon. We’re taking it day-by-day, but it’s getting a lot better. Maybe a week” – Gallinari on his recent injury

How confident are you in Clippers playoff chances?

“I am. We’re going through some ups and downs now. It’s still a long season and anything can happen. We want to make the playoffs. We’re capable of doing that” – Gallinari

What were you thinking.JPG

What were you thinking 1.JPG

“I said to Leroy [Richardson; NBA Ref]: ‘You called the foul, but the worst thing is that tomorrow morning, I got to go to the dentist'” – Gallinari

What were you thinking 2.JPG

“In those moments, it happened twice in my life so hopefully it’s not going to happen again. I could have had Mike Tyson in front of me and I still would have. I was so mad because it was a dirty game. They we’re playing dirty. I just lost it” – Gallinari

What were you thinking 3.JPG

“This had been going on since the beginning of the season. They were celebrating every time I was shooting a three like that. I’m not a guy that celebrates that much but I got into it too” – Gallinari


RecommendsWhat top AD trade contenders can actually offer by ESPN’s front office insider, Bobby Marks (E+)


crunchtime

Comeback Szn
Nuggets 25-point comeback: Something, Nothing or Everything?!

“It was a nice comeback, but why the hell y’all down 25 against Memphis who’s throwing in the towel? That’s alarming to me” – T-Mac

“Something. This could be Marc Gasol’s last game” – Nichols

Benched?
Smart for Atkinson to bench D’Angelo Russell late?
Benched for most of the 4th quarter vs the Celtics

Coach Atkinson after the game:

It was rebounding in the zone, there were some rebounds he could’ve gotten. It was a teachable moment”

“To his credit, he was on the side cheering his guys on” – T-Mac

What does CP3’s return change for Harden?

James Harden per 36 minutes.JPG

“James is going to be James. He has to be James for these guys to win. Chris Paul really has to alleviate some of that pressure off of his shoulders. He’s not going be able to keep this pace up if they want to win a championship” – T-Mac

“He did this because Chris was out, not that’s the best way to play. It’s just the best way for us to win giving the talent we have available” – Elhassan

“He’s still going to average 30. Chris has to adjust to him. It’s not going to effect it at all” – T-Mac

League PassBucks at Pistons

Should Bucks grant Thon Maker’s trade request? (Via Adrian Wojnarowski)
Has requested a trade

“Yes, if it makes them better. Not just because he wants to get traded, at least for players of his caliber” – Elhassan

“Another team could use his talent. Trade Thon, can’t waste that talent on the bench. He reminds me of KG a little bit. Just a little raw around the edges” – T-Mac

“He’s buried [on the bench] because they got players ahead of him at his position who can help them win now” – Elhassan

Show Recap: January 28, 2019

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Opening Tip
Book’s shot worthy of A.I. comparison?

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Today’s Panel:

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First Half

Monologue: “AD trade could change the entire course of the NBA” – Nichols

All-Stars.JPG
So, not much going on in the NBA today. Right?

GUESS AGAIN!

Anthony Davis.JPG
Anthony Davis has asked for a trade!
Highway.JPG
Depending on what happens next, the entire course of the NBA could completely change. It might be an oversell, but it’s not. AD gets traded to a team that already has a top-5 player on it, that team is at least a threat to the title this season and disrupt the Golden State dynasty

OR

AD.JPG
Davis gets traded to a team that doesn’t have another elite player on it, but is a super attractive market like the Knicks, a team that could also still create a max slot, in addition this summer to attract a player like Kevin Durant

This has the potential to be a KD to Golden State, LeBron to Miami type of NBA shaking situation. The fact that it’s happening now, 10 days before the trade deadline as opposed to this summer when fans frankly expected it, that just makes it more def-con 5!

Why is this happening now you ask?

AD and Rich Paul.JPG
AD’s agent, Rich Paul confirmed to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that his client wants out of New Orleans

Rich Paul.JPG

Rich Paul 2.JPG

In the six and half years Davis has been with the Pelicans, they have one a total of one playoff series!

Nichols and AD from a conversation last year about the idea of spending his prime with a franchise that isn’t competiting:

Davis has watched this season, teams like Houston who saw things go off the rail early and made a bunch of tweaks and in fact that is not what New Orleans has done. They have stood pat and clearly that was enough for him

Danny Ainge.JPG
It’s the worst kept secret in the NBA that Boston has wanted AD for years. Danny Ainge has been stockpiling draft picks and assets and was certainly expected to offer a treasure trove to get him
Kyrie and AD.JPG
Because of a quirk in the CBA, the Celtics can’t trade for him right now, unless they also want to offer Kyrie Irving in the deal. Both Kyrie and AD are on a designated rookie extension contract and you’re not allow to trade for two players currently on such a deal
PG Fiz and Kawhi.JPG
Does a team like the Knicks take a flyer the way the Raptors did with Kawhi, the way the Thunder did with Paul George and actually make a big offer just gambling that AD will like the team so much he stays

Will the Pelicans make a deal at all?

Alvin Gentry.JPG
Coach Alvin Gentry was recently emphatic denying that the Pelicans would even consider an AD trade no matter what

Even for…

Beyonce.JPG
Beyonce!

Gayle Benson.JPG

Indeed, it seems Anthony Davis wants to leave. And the whole future of the NBA looks like it’s about to change


Right decision for AD to request a trade?

AD Ranks this season.JPG

“I do. It’s about time. This was something that was kind of looming for a number of weeks, probably even months. Why not request a trade right now where he’s at the peak of his career, not even the peak, he’s far from that. He’s that good right now. Why not go some where you can continue to flourish as a player and have opportunity to win a championship?” – Scott

“This young man is trying to direct his future” – Scott

“I was shocked. We should applaud him, first of all. He’s giving New Orleans a chance to get maximum return on him. That’s great that he did that” – Elhassan

Woj.JPGAdrian Wojnarowski joined the show!

Biggest challengers to Lakers for AD?

“Boston certainly is the team with the most assets, the biggest trade arsenal. They’ve been preparing to make a run at Anthony Davis for years now. But they’re limited in what they can do at the trade deadline” – Woj

“There’s not a team in the league that’s not going to call the Pelicans and register their interest. The market is going to be wide open because of the level of talent that Anthony Davis has and the fact he’s under contract through next season” – Woj


Replay
January 28, 2008 – JR Smith (Nuggets) with the nasty one-handed dunk vs the New Orleans Hornets!

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make or miss league ball

Make Logo
Reruns; Did Lance go full Lance last night?

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Miss Logo
Trepidation; Steven Adams’ eurostep: A redemption story

Last night:

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Last week:

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Make Logo
Discussions; PG’s best dunk since the birdman posterization?

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Moving on…

Who’s ahead in the MVP rankings: Giannis or PG-13?
PG-13 had 36 points, 13 rebounds in a win last night vs the Bucks

Giannis vs PG-13.JPG

“PG-13. He’s been the unsung hero of OKC this year. He’s playing MVP basketball right now. His game is phenomenal” – Scott

“Giannis. He’s been consistent with his numbers and he’s a bigger part of why his team wins than Paul George’s” – Elhassan


RecommendsMelo on next move: “I just want to be happy” by Ian Begley


Second Half

McMenamin.JPGESPN Lakers reporter, Dave McMenamin joined the show!

KD on Anthony Davis: “It’s definitely a topic of conversation”

Best offer Lakers can make for AD?

McMenamin on best offer the Lakers can make:
-Couple of first round picks
-Kyle Kuzma
-Brandon Ingram
-Lonzo Ball
-Josh Hart
Ivica Zubac

“This could be the next kind of stage in player empowerment when it comes to forcing a way into a new situation” – McMenamin

“The pot is going to have to be sweeten. They have some of the assets and picks to do that” – Scott

“There’s a reason to be extra aggressive right now because you know the most competitive offer isn’t on the table by virtue of the CBA. If you let this get past February 7th, you’re basically saying: ‘I’m waiting for Danny Ainge to mess this up somehow'” – Elhassan

“The picks are a big part of it. Two 1st round picks if I’m Dell Demps (Pelicans GM). That’s the minimum” – Elhassan


Replay
January 28, 1992 – David Robinson (Spurs) finishing the reverse alley-oop dunk vs the Chicago Bulls!

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Trae Young.JPG

John Collins.JPGTrae Young and John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks joined the show!

Expectations for rest of season with Hawks?

John Collins numbers.JPG

“For me and John as leaders: To bring that energy and effort every night” – Young

“The biggest difference for me is my strength. Just being stronger” Collins on the biggest difference from his rookie season to sophomore season

Pressures of being compared to Luka Doncic?

“Obviously I hear everything that goes on. You can’t miss it. Luka’s having a really good year so far. I just try to focus on myself and on my team. I’m really dedicated to working extremely hard everyday for my teammates. At the end of the day, it worked out for both teams. That’s how I look at it. I mean, Luka’s doing really well. I feel like I’m doing really well as well” – Young

“In my eyes, it’s not a question. It’s going to be me. But that’s just the competitive nature in my blood, and I think that’s the no-brainer with me” – Young when asked who would be seen as the better player in five to 10 years.

Influence of Vince Carter on rest of Hawks? (#DraftVince)
Just turned 42 years old

Via ESPN+’s ‘Year One’:

“Just having him around gives me extra level of confidence just knowing that if I need any help with anything, I can go to VC” – Collins

“It’s tough to get him to do something like that at this stage in his career. That’s something we all would love to see for sure” – Collins on Carter possibly being in the dunk contest this year

“He knows this is a young man’s game when it comes to the dunk contest. He’s had his time in the sun when it comes to the dunk contest” – Scott

John, interested in dunk contest?

“Definitely be really interested in participating in the dunk contest trying to showoff” – Collins

Interested in Rising Stars Challenge?

“For us to definitely be in a game like that together on the same stage would be huge” – Collins


crunchtime

Old friends
KD making trip to OKC for Nick Collison’s jersey retirement (Via Woj)

“That group was so special, that whole group from 2010 until I left there, it was special. It’s about time for us to let go of all that extra stuff” – Kevin Durant

Teen Spirit
Luka is the best rookie since ______________?

“Ben Simmons” – Scott

“Ben Simmons” – Elhassan

In the Zone.JPG
AD: 29.3ppg, 13.3rpg this season

Jrue Holiday on the AD trade news:

Jrue Holiday on AD: “He’s like a brother to us” | Should Pelicans keep AD anyway?

“Absolutely because you have enough time on it and because you have the best suitor is contractually prohibited from getting in on there. It makes sense to wait, at least until the Celtics can put forth their offer” – Elhassan

“Trade him. Trade AD to Los Angeles [Lakers]. Make that man happy” – Scott

Show Recap: January 25, 2019 (Don’t Get Fired On a Friday!)

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Opening Tip
Greatest free throw distraction ever?

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Today’s Panel:

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First Half

Monologue: Is the system for selecting All-Star starters working?

all-star weekend

globe
There is just something extremely cool about knowing that out of all the world’s population of nearly 8 billion, you have gathered in one place the two dozen humans who are the best at anything

The fact that it is this sport, this league, which cultivates and celebrates individual stars like maybe no other and putting them in environment where fans can see them team up together in just ways no one in which no one thought they could, outside of Oakland anyway. That is special

west starters

east starters

For Giannis Antetokounmpo, this is a guy who didn’t even start playing basketball until age 12. Living in a country where that sport is hardly major. He was considered a huge gamble when the Bucks drafted him 15th overall and here he is captaining an NBA All-Star game at age 24

For Kemba Walker, it’ll be cool to see him take the floor as a starter in Charlotte, a city he has been loyal to for so long

There was some quibbling over the final guard spot.

Like TNT’s, Reggie Miller jokingly putting Zion Williamson on the All-Star reserves roster

tnt
Credit: Turner Sports
wade and walker
The player that Walker edged out was Dwyane Wade, who got the fan vote and saw that neutralized by the players and media

That prompted J.E. Skeets of NBA TV’s ‘The Starters’ to tweet this:

wade
Wade is clearly no longer performing at an elite level, but it’s not called ‘All-NBA Weekend’ or ‘All-Analytics Weekend.’ It is called All-Star Weekend. The number of times a player is an All-Star is part of how fans judge guys through history and it’s a money thing for some players, who have bonuses for it in their contracts

What happens next?

all-stars
The coaches will get to fill out the reserves and they don’t have to consider position, which is really a move the NBA should make for the starters too. Basketball is played differently now
starters
It would be really nice if the 24 best players were picked overall instead of mandating 12 from the East and 12 from the West when they’ll be mixed up playground style for a draft anyway. That change might not happen
farm truck
If you think the owners of the teams in the East are going to consent to changing things so they get fewer All-Stars, you might want to start running so you can catch back up to that turn-up truck you just fell off of
lebron and giannis
It is hard to complain about anything when this new format is working out so well overall. Having the players draft their own teams is as fun as fans thought
all-star draft
That draft is going to be televised as nature intended

Giannis has already said he’d like to draft both Embiid and Russ, which considering the recent history between these two, sounds like a recipe for a locker room fight

Lakers recruits.JPG
It’ll be fascinating to see who LeBron picks first. Is he going pick to try to win the game or is he going to pick to recruit players who can fill the Lakers’ open max salary slot this offseason?

No matter what, it is going to be a lot of fun, the best of the best in a sport that deserves them


Who should LeBron take first in the All-Star draft?

NBA All-Star Starters 2019.JPG

“Try to look at a free agent for next season. Rekindle a relationship between him and Kyrie. I didn’t see anything wrong with their relationship. Kyrie fell out with the Cavs organization” – Pippen

“If you’re trying to win an all-star game and you’re talking about a game that’s scoring over 200 points, you got to give me James Harden” – Pippen

“Who he should pick is Steph. I want to see the two guys who have defined the NBA for the last 5-10 years, see contrast and styles two different ways of defining the NBA. I want to see them on the same team for the first time” – Lowe

“It won’t matter for recruiting” – Lowe

Boogie looking better than you expected?

Boogie.JPG

“He looks like I expected. He just has to work on his conditioning. It was about preparation for him. His basketball is impeccable” – Pippen

“Fans are going to appreciate how much more than a post up guy he is in this offense. The conditioning and the defense are going to have a long way to go. That’s to be expected coming off this injury. They don’t really need him to be like some killer defender or anything. What he is doing is fine” – Lowe

“The track record of recovering from Achilles suggest that next year would be the year when he starts to look great and like the old Boogie and that track record is up to go” – Lowe


Replay
January 25, 1998 – Michael Jordan with the crossover and into the lane with the nasty dunk vs the Jazz!

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Make or Miss League Harden

Miss Logo
Humility; Anything scarier than cocky Steph?

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Make Logo
Dizziness; Best spin move last night?

Brandon Ingram:

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Jahlil Okafor:

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DeMarcus Cousins:

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Miss Logo
Ambition; Time for a eurostep lesson from Russ?

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Make Logo
Emphasis; Two hands for safety

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Russ’ reaction:

Westbrook's face.JPG

Let’s…

Run it Back

Most disrespectful two-handed dunks!

3) 2010: JR Smith on Gary Neal2s6w49.gif

2) 1982: Nique on Bird
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1) 1999: Shaq on Chris Dudley2s6wcd.gif

Moving on…

Nikola Jokic suspended 1 game for coming off bench vs Jazz | Agree with 1 game suspension for Jokic?

“When you look at this as a whole and the league has a look at it, players are taught to protect each other. With this incident with Jokic, he basically felt like his leadership needed to go up” – Pippen

“The league has to really pull back on this. You can’t go that deep into these players’ pockets for incidents like that” – Pippen

“I’m almost sympathetic to the league on this because everything is with ‘Malice in the Palace’ in mind. Any escalation of anything, they’re paranoid about it. It’s worth for the league and the union sitting down and trying to find: Is there a way we can re-write this rule that eases it up for players?” – Lowe


Second Half

Who should be buyers on Knicks assets?
Tim Hardaway Jr./Courtney Lee available (Marc Stein/NY Times)

Enes Kanter on Knicks: “If you’re not gonna play me, get me out of here”

“My guess would be no one. The dream for the Knicks is a team with cap room this summer, but not traditionally a place that gets free agents” – Lowe

Lowe on possible destinations for Hardaway Jr:

Dallas (Maybe)
Cleveland with a 2nd round pick
Memphis

“I don’t think Tim Hardaway Jr. helps you get out of the lottery” – Lowe

“Hardaway would definitely help the Cavs give them some energy” – Pippen

“Hardaway Jr is a player who can contribute. And that contract is sort of what has made him seem overpriced ” – Nichols

Should free agents prefer Nets or Knicks?

“You’re still talking about two bad franchises. You need at least two superstars” – Pippen

“Luis Scola (former Nets player) told me if they ever get talent here, stars are going to look hard at this place. They have talent now. I’ve talked to agents in the last couple of weeks, including agents who represent marquee players who have told me: ‘Were starting to notice a little bit. They got something cooking over there.’ They’re getting some buzz” – Lowe


RecommendsWhat makes Jrue Holiday special by Zach Lowe


Can the step-back be stopped?

“It’s forcing teams to get really creative because they don’t know what to do against it. One team just said: ‘If he steps back, don’t step back with him. Just put your hands up'” – Lowe

“This summer, Harden’s whole work was the side step back. He says that’s unguardable ” – Nichols

Kyle Lowry on James Harden: “He’s gonna get his”
More confident in Harden’s offense or Raptors defense tonight?

Stepbacks.JPG

“Harden’s offense. One reason: he is playing at home, he’s going to get a lot of fouls and he’s invented the fact that he is going to score. It’s just in him” – Pippen

“I want to see my boy Pascal Siakam on him” – Lowe

Harden’s Over/Under of 42.5 points tonight: Too high or too low?
Westgate Las Vegas superbook; The highest Over/Under point total they have ever posted for an NBA player

“Too low. Until Chris Paul comes back, I’m going 47.5 every game” – Lowe

“Too high. 44-45. The guy is going to shoot 20 free throws” – Pippen


Replay
January 25, 2009 – Josh Smith with the nasty left handed throwdown dunk on Steve Nash vs the Suns!

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crunchtime

Quick Visit
Warriors visit former Pres. Barack Obama during trip to Washington DC

Draymond IG.JPG

“I was a little surprised that it got out. Steve Kerr did not looked thrilled when he was asked about it after the game last night” – Lowe

Big Deal?
Jimmy Butler sees specialist for wrist injury, doubtful Saturday vs Nuggets

“This is a pretty big deal. Jimmy Butler is a Warrior. He don’t normally miss games” – Pippen

The rookie and the vet
Doncic and Curry worked out together this summer?

“It’s teaching him some work habits. Just some little things to do during the season that can kind of keep you tight. You want to learn from the best” – Pippen

How can Celtics get to Warriors level?

Kyrie quote.JPG

“Once this All-Star game is over, the players will start to find their roles” – Pippen

“The Celtics have always played the Warriors well, dating to when Isaiah Thomas was there. They’re built the right way to play the Warriors” – Lowe

League PassHornets at Bucks

Kemba Walker on All-Star start: “I feel very deserving”

“Nobody carries the heavier load [for that team than him]” – Lowe

“I’m glad he’s finally emerged as an All-Star. He’s been having a great season” – Pippen


Buzzer Logo
What should Bill Russell’s nickname be?

Nichols tweet.JPG

Suggestions from fans:

The Block Father
Lord of the Rings

Show Recap: January 24, 2019

Jump Logo

Opening Tip
Who was most confused by this Rockets inbound?

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D’Antoni was furious!

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Panels:

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First Half

Monologue: Victor Oladipo out for season with ruptured quad tendon | Victor Oladipo’s injury underscores just how fickle the NBA is

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Ever heard the expression: “The best laid plans of mice and men”? John Steinbeck used it for the title of one his most famous books
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With a famous expression even before Steinbeck, coined by the Scottish poet Robert Burns. In the 1700s, Burns was farming with a plow and he ran over and ruined a nest that a mouse had constructed to survive the winter. All those plans crushed
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There are a lot of burns going on in a lot of different places around the NBA. GMs, scouts, players themselves all spend large portions of their lives trying to lay the ground work for an NBA title run. A process that involves years of careful planning, trades, signings and many white boards. You can’t win a ring with all of that. You have to spend that time

But here comes the plow…

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Pacers guard, Victor Oladipo will miss the rest of the season with a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee. This is the same injury that ended Hall of Famer, Charles Barkley’s career, who was 36 years old at the time. It is also the same injury that Tony Parker suffered as well. He worked his way back after 7 months, although it took at least a year to regain much of his athleticism
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Oladipo’s teammate, Tyreke Evans said it looked like Victor’s kneecap was pushed up into his leg and indeed, they would need a stretcher to take Oladipo off the court
Players praying for Victor.JPG
Players from around the league tweeted their prayers for Oladipo

Former Pacer, Paul George on Oladipo’s injury:

Pacers players.JPG
The Pacers did manage to win last night, despite not finishing with Oladipo. Indiana has played well this season when he’s been out. Still, over the long-term, it’s hard to see the Pacers keeping the 3 seed that they worked so hard to climb to. Work that didn’t start this past October, but goes back years: The emotional parting of PG-13, trade for Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, the surprise renaissance of last season

The blades of that plow are sharp. The best laid plans of Mice and Men, it’s time to start building a new nest


What happens now for Pacers after Oladipo injury?

“Even with him missing time, they still manage to be playing great basketball. Where they go from here, do you make a trade to bring somebody in like Mike Conley or you just ride it out?” – T-Mac

“He’ll be back. For this year, it’s tough for Indiana, unless they make a move. It’s hard to see them being above the 5th seed in the East and being able beat anybody in a playoff series without their best player” – Van Gundy

“Right now, they’ll be in a situation where they will consider everything” – Van Gundy on whether the Pacers will make a move before the trade deadline

“You have to strongly consider trying to make a splash this year because I don’t see Victor coming back healthy next year” – T-Mac

Any end in sight for Harden’s scoring surge?
On yesterday’s show, T-Mac set the over/under at 45 points

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60 point games.JPG

“As long as Chris Paul [and those other guys] is out because they don’t have another playmaker, he can continue to do this. What I’m impressed by is his ability to put up this many shots every single night. To sustain this throughout the season and into the playoffs, it’s going to be a problem. I don’t like the way this team is playing right now with everybody sitting around watching him” – T-Mac

“They are a very hard team to watch. But, I got to give Mike [D’Antoni] a lot of credit. With the other guys out, this is his best chance to win” – Van Gundy

“James Harden is not getting double teamed at all” – T-Mac

Should Blake Griffin be happier after a win?
Almost blew a lead against the Pelicans; Won by 4 points

Via Fox Sports Detroit:

“He’s been talking about this all year about them being too easily satisfied about their lack of focus. The best time to really lead and criticize is after a win because nobody is sensitive. He’s trying to make that point. Blake wants more” – Van Gundy

“Blake is playing great basketball and as a superstar player in this league, you want some time to rest. But it’s the 4th quarter and you look up, it’s a 2-3 possession ball game, you got to go back in. Guys don’t like that” – T-Mac

“Blake is trying to take on that leadership role, which he’s done a very good job of” – Van Gundy


Replay
January 24, 1998 – Nick Van Exel to Kobe Bryant who finishes the reverse alley-oop vs the Sonics in Seattle!

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Make or Miss League Rondo

Make Logo
Flair; Do we appreaciate Simmons’ passing enought?
Had 10 first-half assists last night in a win over the Spurs

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Miss Logo
Intentions; How frustrating is it to give up a banked corner 3?

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Make Logo
Execution; Like what you’re seeing from Celtics lately?

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Miss Logo
Rightys; Justin Anderson channeling his inner Josh Smith?

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Moving on…

Expect suspension for Jokic after Jazz-Nuggets brouhaha?

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“You should be able to suspend the whole team” – T-Mac

“They are in the immediate area of the bench” – MacMullan

“There should be a common sense agenda” – MacMullan

Paul Pierce on making the McDonald’s team:


Second Half

Official rosters for the 2019 Boys and Girls High School McDonald’s All-America Games

Boys East Team:

Cole Anthony: No. 2 on ESPNU Top 100 (undecided)
The son of former NBA player Greg Anthony

Players whose fathers played in the NBA.JPG

Boys West Team:

James Wiseman: No. 1 on ESPNU Top 100 (Committed to Memphis)

T-Mac on being selected to this game in 1997:

Some fun facts by Jackie MacMullan on McDonald’s All-American Game:

2007: James Harden outscored by Kostas Koufos

2010: Jared Sullinger was the Co-MVP of the game. Kyrie Irving was not

2006: Kevin Durant shared MVP honors with Chase Budinger

Girls East Team:

Jordan Horston: No. 2 on ESPNW Top 100 (Committed to Tennessee)

Girls West Team:

Haley Jones: No. 1 on ESPNW Top 100 (Committed to Stanford)

Jones’ future teammate:

Francesca Belibi (No. 23) committed to Stanford

Congratulations to all the kids and their families!


Replay
2001 McDonald’s All-America Game – TJ Ford with the nifty ball-handling!

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In honor of James Harden’s big night at MSG, here are some notable microwave MSG moments!

1995: MJ drops 55 in 5th game back from retirement

2009: Kobe drops 61 (Modern MSG opponent record)

2013: Steph Curry drops career-high 54 (11 threes made in the game)

2014: Melo drops 62 (Modern MSG record)

Last Night: Harden drops career-high 61

What changes for Harden when CP3 comes back?
CP3 could come back for the Rockets next game against the Raptors

Harden per 36 minutes.JPG

“Hopefully his workload. I don’t know if he wants it to change. The way he’s playing isn’t sustainable for a full season for the playoffs” – Lowe

“Just take a little bit more time off. Chill out and get healthy” – T-Mac to CP3

100% sure Lakers will make the playoffs?

Rajon Rondo not worried about their playoff chances:

“I’m with Rondo. They have LeBron. That’s it. It just depends how long he’s out” – Lowe

“It’s easy to me. They have LeBron James. He’s going to come back. If he missed another week or two, I still think they’re capable of making the playoffs. They’ll play way above .500 [basketball]” – T-Mac


RecommendsIs it too late for Cavs to trade Love? By Kevin Pelton (E+)


crunchtime

Bucket Buckets
Donovan Mitchell’s sophomore slump over?
Averaging 28ppg in the month of January

“The guy’s been ridiculous” – Lowe

“Getting back in the lab after struggling and watching some film. He’s found it” – T-Mac

Changing the game?
Kerr: “Draymond is changing the game”

“He’s picked his play up. He’s back to the old Draymond that initiated the offense, making the right plays for these guys” – T-Mac

“When they string two or three of those together where he’s rushing up the court, it’s so demoralizing” – Lowe

Where is JA?
JA Morant back in action tonight on ESPNU

Mock Draft.JPG

“Put him on ESPN” – T-Mac

“Get out of his way!” – Lowe

Who are your NBA All-Star Starters?
Lowe’s column on this topic

“I wanted to award Paul George who’s had an unbelievable season” – Lowe

“You have to reward Nikola Jokic. He’s been having a phenomenal season. He’s having an MVP type season” – T-Mac

Time for another edition of…

Suns arena deal passes in Phoenix
$230 million renovation was approved and will keep the Suns in Phoenix until at least 2037, with the option to extend to 2042

“Public money should not go to fund billionaire welfare” – Nichols

“This is organized theft. That’s all it is. I’ll tell you who’s not going to be happy…Greta!” – Lowe

“You passed the deal to get a new arena, now get some talent over there. Put a competitive team and enjoy some good basketball” – T-Mac

League Pass
Pelicans at Thunder

AD could return next week (Finger) | How does AD injury impact Pelicans entering trade deadline?

“It does not impact them at all. It’s a short-term absence. They’re all in to try to make the playoffs, to keep Anthony. They’re way behind right now” – Lowe

“They better make a splash [at the trade deadline]” – T-Mac

Will Pacers be buyers or sellers based on the Oladipo injury?

“I don’t think they’ll change much course. I don’t think they’ll go the other way. That’s not how they’re built” – Lowe

Show Recap: January 23, 2019

Jump Logo

Opening Tip
Did Luka really expect this shot to go in [at the end of the half last night]?

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Today’s Panels:

First Half Only:

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Zach Lowe (Second Half Only):

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First Half

Monologue: Russell Westbrook is reinventing himself…again

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Everyone (Mostly basketball fans) knows who Russell Westbrook is. The core Russ, who he is as a person and a player that has not changed. There have been plenty of tweaks from year-to-year
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This year, Westbrook has had to shift again. Knee surgery kept him out through training camp, then an ankle injury disrupted his November
westbrook's shooting slump from three
While Westbrook has had time to work his way back, at times he still looks unrecognizable. His shooting percentages are down, particularly from three
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The free throw line is it’s own ‘House of Horrors’ where he is shooting 66 percent from there

As he’s seen parts of his offensive game stutter…

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Another part of Russ’s game has shifted as well…his petty level!
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This season, Westbrook has been saltier than a concession stand pretzel!

Last night vs the Blazers:

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Lillard’s teammate, Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic, didn’t like what Russ was saying to Lillard and tried to get involved

After the game, Russ was asked about Nurk and Nurk responded:

There was also this in the game’s first half:

Russ was asked about this after the game:

I got hops.JPG
When things get personally rocky, they only play more selfishly. Westbrook has been shifting to what is actually best for the team
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Even if that means he also thinks he’s got to throw a little more salt than usual

Thunder need Westbrook to shoot better or less?
Click here to read more about Westbrook’s shooting struggles this season by Royce Young

“My advice is shoot better. If he shoots better, they become a better ball club. With him shooting the ball the way he is, it’s a little bit in his head, in psyche. He’s averaging a triple-double, and he’s not playing great basketball” – T-Mac

“He needs to shoot less. I want the ball in Paul George’s hands a little more. Westbrook plays harder than anybody. But sometimes he gets caught up in his own mind” – MacMullan

“He reminds of Harden in this: When the game gets on the line and the game gets tough, he feels he’s got to do it all himself at a thousand miles an hour and just like Harden, he becomes a volume shooter and that’s never good for OKC” – MacMullan

“Westbrook’s shooting struggles could cost Thunder a playoff series” – T-Mac

When the game is on the line and they need a basket, he goes back to being the emotional shooter that he’s been his entire career” – MacMullan

D-Rose on MVP season: “To be honest, I feel like I’m better” | Buy D-Rose is “better” than his MVP season?

Via Fox Sports North:

“He was, by far, head above everybody [when he came into the league]. But his skill set wasn’t there” – T-Mac

“He’s right. He is a better player now than he was when he won the MVP” – T-Mac

“He’s a more mature player. He’s a little bit about his own growth, mental psyche and what he can be on this team” – MacMullan

“He has reinvented himself as ‘Veteran of The Year.’ I would give it to him right now” – MacMullan
Player Efficiency rating this year: 19.6; Last year: 11.2


Replay
January 23, 2009 – Bulls big, Tyrus Thomas with the nasty one-handed dunk on Raptors big, Jermaine O’Neal!

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Make or Miss league

Make Logo
Finishes; Better bucket?

Dame:

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PG-13:

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Miss Logo
Finishes; Was PG-13 trying out for the dunk contest?

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Make Logo
Generations; Do you wish we had more years of Dirk & Luka together?

Miss Logo
Decisions; Think Taj Gibson was a fan of Dieng’s shot?

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As for his other teammates:

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“He’s a DWO. Didn’t work out. I saw him when they had [Kevin] Garnett in camp, we we’re all like ‘This kid has got some real talent. He’s going to be great.’ No, no. He should have taken the next step. He took the money, but he never took the next step. The owners and teammates are frustrated with him” – MacMullan on Dieng

Moving on…

Devin Booker, Gorgui Dieng ejected after altercation in Timberwolves-Suns game | Are you here for Booker & Dieng beef?

Dieng after the game on the incident (Via Fox Sports North):

“One of these days, when it comes to an altercation where two guys really want to go at each other and you got everybody just scrambling, let’em go. Let’s see what’s going to happen” – T-Mac

Speaking of NBA fights…Let’s

Run it Back

Rick Fox/Doug Christie fight back in 2002…during a preseason game!


RecommendsHow Jamal Murray was raised to be a star by Jackie MacMullan


Second Half

Will Pelicans regret giving up on Boogie-AD duo?

Because of Boogie leaving, RIP to The Jump’s show within a show:

“They should have made this work because the two of these guys reminded me of two big men like Tim Duncan and David Robinson playing with each other, such smart basketball players and was dominating inside, one dominating outside and was a problem for defenses night in and night out. It’s a shame that they couldn’t make this work” – T-Mac

“The New Orleans Pelicans did exactly what they should have done. As good as they might have been together, they we’re just the same or even a little bit better at times once Mirotic came aboard. And AD and Mirotic have accomplished in a different way, much of the same things and yet, it’s the same problem. They still don’t win enough. If you give Boogie all that money, you’re tapped out and you got those two guys” – MacMullan

“Indications seems, he’s [Davis] not going to want to sign up for 5 more years of this” – Nichols

“Boogie is in the perfect situation [with the Warriors]. He’s perfect for the team he’s on. To project that to how he would be with the Pelicans is a mistake” – MacMullan


ESPN Senior Writer and host of “The Lowe Post” podcast, Zach Lowe joined the show

Grizzlies making Conley, Gasol available, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski

The Buyers/Sellers board is back:

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Which teams should be buyers on Grizz assets?

“Mike Conley Jr. He has more trade value, more years on his contract, he’s younger and has been playing better. A lot of teams that can use him. The most obvious ones: Pelicans. Because they’ve never been really convince Jrue Holiday as a 1 or 2. I love the Pistons. They are looking to get off Reggie Jackson like yesterday. The problem is: I don’t know if the Grizzlies are going to be excited about that” – Lowe

“They haven’t identified a point guard in quite some time since Jameer Nelson” – T-Mac

“Hornets. Absolutely desperate to make the playoffs. Their contracts are even worse than Detroit’s contracts” – Lowe

“Dallas [for either Conley or Gasol]” – Lowe

Everything good between Dennis Smith Jr. & Mavs now?

“He rolled his eyes [when he saw the quote]. The trust is broken. He should feel some type of way. You were promised a certain thing and you’re not getting that because they went and drafted somebody that’s totally come in and just wiped you out and you’re forgotten now” – T-Mac

“I read those Rick Carlisle comments and I translate them as: ‘You should definitely trade for this guy. He’s really, really good. Please trade for him'” – Lowe

Kenneth Faried says Nets lied to him | Understand Kenneth Faried’s frustration with Nets?

T-Mac knows how Faried feels as he’s been there before:

“There’s a place for him in the NBA. If Dwight Powell [Mavericks] can be a backup center by rolling and dunking and playing hard, Faried should be able to be a backup center. He brings great energy and is a great offensive rebounder. I’m happy he’s playing again” – Lowe


Replay
January 23, 2010 – Deron Williams with the “Showtime” no-look pass to Carlos Boozer vs the Nets!

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crunchtime

Dirk Invite
Source: Dirk invited to All-Star 3-point contest (Via New York Times; Confirmed by ESPN’s Tim MacMahon)
Participated in 2006 in Houston in which he won it!

New York, New York
Expectations for Harden at MSG tonight?

Lowe: 42.5 points

T-Mac: 45 points

Nichols: 48 points

“Everyone in the organization is 100 percent behind Luke” – Jeanie Buss (Lakers Owner)
Via “The Lowe Post” podcast

“It was a strong endorsement. It wasn’t an all the way endorsement because she said it’s going to be Magic’s decision in the end. Everyone is sort of wondering when they come to a crossroads with any big decision. Is she going to defer to the basketball people every time and that’s it? And it seems to be the case” – Lowe

“He’s done a great job. He’s a really good coach. He should finish out this season” – T-Mac

LeBron enough for Lakers to land best 2019 free agent available?

Via “The Lowe Post” podcast:

“I heard that about Kobe Bryant too and that makes me laugh because if somebody doesn’t want to play with the best player playing in the NBA right now, then I don’t want them on the team” – Buss

“I don’t think so. I don’t see KD or Kawhi coming to the Lakers. The perfect fit: Klay Thompson. I don’t see none of them coming to the Lakers” – T-Mac

“The maybe: DeMarcus Cousins” – Lowe


League PassRaptors at Pacers

Expect Pacers to make a statement vs Kawhi-less Raptors?

“No. It’s not a statement game. You don’t have Kawhi. The Raptors are pretty good without Kawhi (11-2 w/o him). It’s regular season” – T-Mac

“I like that they do because they haven’t done anything in the playoffs. It tells me that they should care about this game” – Lowe

Show Recap: January 22, 2019

Jump Logo

Opening Tip
Do you blame the LA nightlife?

Steph after the game on the failed breakaway opportunity:

“I was going to try something really nice I’ve never tried before”

Today’s Panels:

First Half Only:

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Starting from the left: Rachel Nichols, ESPN NBA Insider (And host of “The Lowe Post” podcast) Zach Lowe and Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady

Hall of Famer Jackie MacMullan (Second Half Only):

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First Half

Monologue: The NBA is a better place when Embiid is feeling chippy

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Joel Embiid almost gave up on basketball…twice. The first came when he was just starting college. In his very first scrimmage, one of the seniors dunked on him so hard that as Embiid puts it “everything went in slow motion”
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All of his new Kansas teammates we’re watching, the women’s basketball team was in the gym watching
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After that embarrassment, Embiid walked straight into Jayhawks head coach, Bill Self’s office and said he had to quit and could not keep up. Self convinced him to stay at it
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Embiid’s brother had been killed in a car crash. He wanted to go back to his native Cameroon for good. But the Sixers convinced him to stay at it

To say that things have worked out is an understatement:

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Wilt Chamberlain is the only other player than Harden to score 30+ points in consecutive games
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James Harden finished the night with 37 points but the Sixers as a whole did a decent job defending him

It’s important to note that Embiid wasn’t dominant at everything yesterday. Here’s what ran on the jumbotron:

Embiid The Ice Cream Man.JPG
Despite not knowing certain ice cream flavors, Embiid came churning on the court finishing with 32 points, 14 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists and 3 blocks in less than 27 minutes (and only two ice cream flavors)

His performance led to Sixers Head Coach, Brett Brown to wonder why he isn’t more of an MVP candidate

Troll Embiid.JPG
In the post game locker room, Embiid didn’t seem too worried about not being in the MVP conversation. Instead, he just acknowledged he had “fun” trolling Harden just like over the weekend, he had “fun” trolling Russell Westbrook saying that “Russ was too in his feelings” as they nearly got physical with each other
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Embiid also had “fun” with Karl-Anthony Towns a few days before that

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Embiid with reporters.JPG
Last month, Embiid told a group of reporters that he was cutting down on the trash talk

Cupid Embiid.JPG
Clearly, he seems to have rethought the whole ‘Let’s stop being petty and chippy’ thing. Which is great for the rest of the fans

This is a sport that is better off with Joel Embiid having fun like that. Heck, it’s a better sport with Joel Embiid in it. Period.

Embiid eating ice cream.JPG
Fans are lucky that each time he has contemplated stepping away, he stayed instead. Now, he needs to know his ice cream flavors a lot better!

Why does Embiid upset so many other players?

“Not all players are built to handle trash talk” – T-Mac

“He is one of those guys that can talk trash and he backs it up and he’s going to continue. You want to try to get an edge on the guys that you’re playing against. He does a great job of that because it gets these guys riled up and they can’t play under those types of pressures” – T-Mac

“He tells the truth. That’s why people don’t like it. He wants you to come back at him. He thinks it’s fun” – Lowe

“He doesn’t care who he talks trash to” – T-Mac

“Absolutely” – T-Mac on whether Embiid is on the echelon of trash-talking

“Someday, someone is going to get him and it’s going to be someone that’s he gone at before and it’s going to be an explosion in the arena” – Lowe

Klay Thompson’s…

Microwave moments.JPG

Jan. 2015: NBA-record 37 points in a quarter!

Dec. 2016: Career-high 60 points (on 12 dribbles; via Second Spectrum)

Oct. 2018: NBA-Record 14 threes in a game

Last night: Made 10 consecutive threes to start game (Ties NBA record)

What scares you most about Warriors right now?

“Klay seems to have found his shot. When he finds his shot, you can forget about winning the game” – T-Mac

“When Draymond Green gets a rebound and roars up the court and those guys are all around him, that’s when you’re like ‘we’re totally helpless.’ That Draymond Green has been back for the last 2-3 weeks. He’s at DPOY level. That guy is the soul of the team” – Lowe

“Draymond looks like himself again” – Lowe

Steve Kerr-Jordan Bell heated exchange mean anything?

Kerr after the game:

“Emotions fly in a game. It’s no big deal” – T-Mac

“Let’s move on. The Warriors are fine” – Lowe


Replay
January 22, 2010 – Derrick Rose with the thunderous dunk on Goran Dragic!

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Make or Miss League Klay

Make Logo
Anniversaries; 13 years ago today: Kobe dropped 81
Jalen Rose was responsible for 18 of Kobe’s 81 points

Miss Logo
Hope; More terrifying?

Giannis hitting 3s:

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Giannis dunking:

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Make Logo
Replays; Is Russ even crankier this year?

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Miss Logo
Selfishness; Impressed with Kyrie’s passing lately?

Make Logo
Effort; Corey Brewer an underrated flopper?

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Moving on…

Where does Melo go from here?
Got traded to the Bulls, but will not play for them, Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski

“If it’s not the Lakers, I don’t know where it’s going to be” – Lowe

“Portland Trail Blazers. If you put a guy like him coming off their bench and providing offense, he can get you 16-20 points coming off of their bench. He can be a threat for them and some of that pressure off of these two guys [Damian Lillard & CJ McCollum]” – T-Mac

“His best fit would be with a developing team that maybe didn’t have to win right now or wasn’t even trying to win right now. People in the locker room like him. He can go out and take all the shots he wants” – Nichols


Second Half

The Jump’s Trade Deadline Buyer/Sellers board!

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Jump NBA Trade Deadline Board 2.JPG

Which teams should move into Buyers column?

“Pelicans. They’re desperate to keep Anthony Davis, which means they’re desperate to make the playoffs, to add talent” – Lowe

“Pelicans. They need to surround AD with some pieces. He’s too talented to be wasting his years away in New Orleans without being able to compete for a championship” – T-Mac

“Blazers. They just kind of keep hitting the road block in the playoffs. Maybe they’ll put their 1st round pick in play and get something extra on the wing” – Lowe

“Blazers. Melo can help these guys get to the next level. They need a bonafide pure scorer. He is that other guy” – T-Mac

Which teams should move into Sellers column?

“Grizzlies. They are almost unrecoverable territory now in this season. At some point, you need to at least have a conversation” – Lowe

“Grizzlies. Marc Gasol, they need to go ahead and wash their hands with him and get some value” – T-Mac

“Heat. They have too many guys. They can barely find minutes for Wayne Ellington. Dion Waiters is back. They’ll sniff around” – Lowe

“Heat. There’s too many guys at the same position” – T-Mac

“Magic. They have some valuable guys on their team that they can get some great asset pieces back. It’s just not working out” – T-Mac

“My favorite fake trade in the whole league is can we somehow get Nikola Vucevic onto the Lakers? They need more shooting and a better center. He checks both boxes. They really, really want to make the playoffs” – Lowe


RecommendsZach Lowe’s NBA-All Star Selections
Spoiler alert: LeBron is not a starter!


Hall of Famer, Jackie MacMullan joined the panel!

The Jump’s Trade Deadline Buyer/Sellers (Cont’d)

Celtics:

“They should be off the board. They want to stand pat. They’re banking that Gordon Hayward, by May, becomes either the version he once was or close enough to it. If they do that, that’s like making the best trade you could” – MacMullan who thinks the Celtics shouldn’t be buyers or sellers at the deadline

“I wouldn’t make a move if I we’re these guys. They are such a deep team. I like their chances. They picked it up over the last couple weeks and can only get better” – T-Mac

Celtics join the Warriors for teams that won’t be making a move at the trade deadline. Plus…this is T-Mac’s Finals matchup, with the Celtics winning it all!

“Danny Ainge has been lusting for AD longer than any other player” – MacMullan

Green: “They would love for us to break up” (Via Ohm Youngmisuk) | Would it be good or bad for league for Warriors to break up?

“This is great for the league. We need some parity” – T-Mac

“Why should you reward the New York Knicks for decades of ineptitude? I’m sorry. That’s not how this country works” – MacMullan who disagreed with T-Mac on KD possibly coming to New York next summer when he’ll be a free agent

“The greatest part about this dynasty is the way they did it: Through the draft, not with high lottery draft picks” – MacMullan

“I like this dynasty. I want it to continue, I love the way this team plays. This is basketball at it’s best. Keep them right where they are” – MacMullan

“This was the best thing that could have happened to us” – MacMullan on the Green-KD feud in LA and how it turned them around


Replay
January 22, 2005 – Allen Iverson with the no-look pass, behind his back, to Andre Iguodala who dunks it home vs the Magic!

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crunchtime

Fan banned
Sources: Mavs banned fan who heckled Beverley (Via Tim MacMahon/ESPN)

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Mavs superfan, Don Knobler

Young and gifted
Luka Doncic becomes 2nd teenager ever to record a triple-double (Markelle Fultz)

“He was mad because he didn’t shoot the ball well. 6-17 from the floor. That’s the kind of guy we want having triple doubles. He cares about his shooting percentage” – MacMullan

Luka Doncic fined $10k for “kicking” ball Saturday

Corey Brewer taking Pippen’s advice on guarding Harden too seriously?

Brewer on his strategy to guard Harden before the game:

Here’s what Pippen said on The Jump OT:

“Even if he’s in the parking lot, I’m finding him” – Scottie Pippen

“James is playing at a high level right now. You have to do that. You have to be a pest. Agitate him. Do everything you can to get under his skin” – T-Mac

“The best way to get James is up here [points to her head]. He beats himself. Nobody else beats him” – MacMullan

 

Show Recap: January 21, 2019 (Martin Luther King Day)

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Opening Tip
Does NFL need a 2-minute report for refs?

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Paul, feel bad rooting for Pats vs hometown Rams?

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Today’s Panel:

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First Half

Monologue: Tanking ain’t easy!

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MLK Day in the NBA means fans get some great basketball games featuring some of the most talented players in the league

And also the Bulls and Cavaliers playing each other…

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These are two teams that are at the very bottom of the NBA standings. The Bulls came in on a 10 game losing streak. As for the Cavs, they are putting up the worst defensive numbers the NBA has seen in 45 years
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Many we’re hoping that the Bulls and Cavs would make the playoffs this season. But guess what? Not gonna happen! So what are the Bulls and Cavs going to get at the end of all of this?
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If your team is truly terrible, you will be rewarded come June with a high draft pick
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The Sonics/Thunder drafted Kevin Durant and we’re playing in the NBA Finals 5 years later

The Cavs drafted LeBron James and we’re playing in the NBA Finals 4 years later

There are similar projections already resting on the very strong shoulders of this guy…

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Which ever NBA team drafts Duke freshmen, Zion Williamson, will be ticketed for an instant turnaround. The truth is, the LeBrons and KDs and perhaps Zion’s are the exceptions, not the rule. Most drafts do not feature a generational player
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Most teams who draft high do not end up in the Finals 4 years later. Many, many of the teams that has drafted high aren’t even making the playoffs 4 years later
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As much as you’ve heard about “The Process” and how well that worked out for Philadelphia, keep in mind that Sam Hinkie’s plan wasn’t just tank and draft high, it was tank historically, trade every asset that isn’t nailed down for as many picks as possible since drafting is such an inexact science you need a ridiculous number of at-bats just to get a shot at a competitive team at the end of all of it

FYI, even that doesn’t work for everyone!

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For example, the Suns have drafted in the top 5 for four of the past six years. A journey that Phoenix fans have named “The Timeline.” They are headed right back to the lottery this year yet again
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Rebuilding in the NBA is hard. It requires an incredibly complex combination of good scouting, savvy drafting, responsible ownership, strong coaching
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Just losing a lot and hoping to get a prize at the end of it, like a toy in a cereal box isn’t going to do it. For the sake of the Bulls and Cavs (and Suns) and fans everywhere, there needs to be some hard looks at what else, besides tanking, can help these franchises so that on the next MLK Day, no one is having the same conversation again

Who needs Zion more: Bulls or Cavs?

“Without Kevin Love, the Duke Blue Devils can beat the Cavs” – Pierce

“Duke’s top 3 players are already better than the 3 players right now on the Cavs. They have three players that can start on Cleveland” – Pierce

“The Cavs need everything. They need something so badly to make us want to go out to Cleveland again anytime in the next 10 years” – Lowe

Is tanking an effective method of rebuilding?

“You have to get lucky in a lot of these cases. Tanking doesn’t prove that it works. Philly missed out on a lot of those picks” – Pierce

“Every path of team building that you choose, is unlikely to get you to the Finals. To get to the Finals, you usually need a generational player” – Lowe

Where is PG-13 in MVP conversation?
31 points in 31 minutes vs the Knicks on MLK Day

“He’s definitely in there. Around the 5 range. Giannis, Harden, Steph and after that, it’s up in the air. He may be in that 4 spot and that has a lot to do with what Russ has been willing to sacrifice and it’s for the better of the team” – Pierce

“He’s in the conversation. That’s how good he’s been” – Lowe

He also added this:

“Giannis is an underrated defender. He is a better two-way player than PG” – Lowe

Westbrook-Embiid feud heats up over weekend | Want Westbrook and Embiid to squash beef?

Embiid and Westbrook after the game:

“This is just passion. This creates narrative. These two guys really play with that type of passion and it’s fun to watch because we don’t see it anymore” – Pierce

“It’s kind of cool when you have an Eastern Conference-Western Conference kind of rivalry. I want this to keep going” – Lowe


Replay
January 21, 1998 – Antoine Walker (Celtics) with the nasty one-handed dunk on KG (Timberwolves)!!!

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“Homie on homie crime” – Pierce


Make or Miss League Kawhi

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Cool Heads; Did Luka get his money’s worth for his first ejection?

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Takeovers; Where would the Timberwolves be without Derrick Rose?
Had 29 2nd half points, including the go-ahead bucket with 0.06 left, then played suffocating defense in a win over the Suns

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Balance; Is Buddy Hield the most improved player?
Hit the buzzer beater against the Pistons!

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“He should be in the All-Star conversation” – Lowe

“Luka is ahead of him” – Pierce

Make Logo
Denials; Should Marvin Williams have gone with the floater?

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Let’s…

Run it Back

Best blocked dunks of all-time:

3) 2012: Blake on D-Will
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2) 2013: LeBron on Splitter (Finals)2rpea3.gif

1) 1994: LaPhonso Ellis on Brian Davis2rpedm.gif

Moving on…

Grade for Boogie return to the court?

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After the game, Boogie said “It was one of the best days of my life”

“A++. I didn’t expect much out of him. He was dominating in his time out there. This is scary for the rest of the league. This is a weapon that they’ve never had” – Pierce

“A. The coaches we’re even happier with his effort on defense more than they were with the threes and the offense. That’s what they’ll watch most carefully. He adds a dimension that they’ve never had, And also, they’re bored. This makes them not bored” – Lowe


RecommendsMLK Day holds significant meaning for Grizzlies by Marc J. Spears (The Undefeated)


Second Half

 

Worried about Lakers digging too deep a hole due to injuries?
Lonzo Ball suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain (Expected to miss 4-6 weeks) against the Rockets on Saturday

“They need to scrap around .500 because the margin of error in the Western Conference is razor-razor thin. They’re just low on guys and a lot of it is going to be: How fast does LeBron come back? Without LeBron for much longer, they’re in real trouble” – Lowe

“I would rest LeBron as long as possible. It’s not about this year for the Lakers” – Pierce

“This is a 4-year plan for them. He’s getting older and you got to preserve as much LeBron as you can. He’s going to have to do everything to get them into the playoffs [when he comes back]” – Pierce

Kuzma on Lonzo injury: “I get more shots”

“In Lonzo’s case, he gives up the ball” – Pierce

“That was an elite veteran transition from honest answer to media speak” – Lowe

Marcus Smart fined $35k for actions Saturday vs Hawks | Marcus Smart giving Celtics the edge they need?

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“That’s who he is. He’s paying for it. The Celtics need that type of grit. He not only talks it, he walks it” – Pierce

“Players really respect him, other than the flopping. They respect how hard he plays, how tough he is” – Lowe

Pierce’s sit down with 2nd year forward, Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics!

Highlights from the interview:

“The most impressive thing would be just the technology. There’s a bunch of different things you can do in the app to make the shoe your kind of your own” – Tatum on the Nike Adapt BBs (laceless sneakers where you plug them in and charge them)

“By far the most talented team I’ve ever played on” – Tatum on Kyrie and Hayward’s return to the court this season

“We’re not where we want to be right now. We really want to get to the playoffs” – Tatum
Celtics are currently 29-18 (5th place in the East standings) as of Monday


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James Harden: 48 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists vs Lakers Saturday | Should more teams guard Rockets with hands behind back?

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Earlier this season, LeBron did the same thing:

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“Teams are like, ‘What do we do?'” – Pierce

“This guy has created problems for the league something we haven’t seen” – Pierce

“The stepback three is the thing they took to another level. There’s just nothing you can do about that” – Lowe

“James said to me: ‘I kind of like it that all these weird things people are throwing at me because it challenges me and I try to figure it out by the end of the game'” – Nichols

Credit: ESPN Stats & Information/Elias Sports Bureau

Does Kenneth Faried move the needle for Rockets?

“He fits the way Mike D’Antoni wants to play and they need bodies to ease the load and he can do that. He can screen-and-roll” – Lowe

“It doesn’t move the needle one bit. They need James Harden to keep playing like this” – Pierce


Replay
January 21, 2007 – White Chocolate with the sick circus shot vs the Mavericks!

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crunchtime

Mavs vs Bucks
Who is the more exciting international player: Luka or Giannis?

“Giannis. The way his game has evolved over the years, he’s exciting. He’s the best player in the Eastern Conference” – Pierce

“Giannis. He dunks like 8 times a game” – Lowe

More eye-popping?

Bobby Portis’ death stare:

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Zach LaVine’s alley-oop:

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Fans love Felton
Knicks fans chant for Raymond Felton, Thunder bench joins in!
Felton once played for the Knicks, which led to the chanting of his name

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Mavs mending fences?
Dennis Smith Jr. to rejoin Mavericks Tuesday (Per Tim MacMahon/Adrian Wojnarowski)

Expectations for Dennis Smith Jr. on-court amid trade rumors?

“This is like an unprecedented amount of attention for a player of Dennis Smith’s caliber. This is a straight up saga” – Lowe

“I got something to prove. I’m gonna go out here and play so hard, I’m gonna ball out, that it’s going to make it so hard for you to try to trade me” – Pierce on what Smith Jr’s mindset should be

“If I were the Mavs, I would not be that eager to cut bait on the Doncic-Dennis Smith thing” – Lowe

“I would build on it. You can’t give up on something like this so early” – Pierce on the Luka-Smith duo

Pelicans & AD not on same page about injury?
Expected to miss 1-2 weeks (Finger)

However, according to the Athletic (Shams Charania), Davis’ agent Rich Paul says they’ll “re-evaluate the injury in 3-to-4 days and decide whether he needs to see a hand specialist”

“The ominous thing there is the hand specialist” – Lowe

“This is normal. Guys want team opinions, and then they go out and get expert opinions. This is something that’s been going on for a while in the league. The same case with Kawhi last year. At the end of the day, the franchise, in some cases, tries to rush you back too quick” – Pierce


Buzzer Logo
Kerr: “We’ve been in LA for four days. Hope everyone drank lots of water”

“A lot to do in LA. A lot of people setting thirst traps. It’s just a good vibe” – Pierce