Show Recap: February 25, 2019

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Opening Tip
Victor Oladipo can’t stop, won’t stop

Today’s Panel:

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First Half

Monologue: A tale of two franchises trying to rebuild

Oscars
There was a big upset last night. No, it’s not ‘Green book’ at the Oscars
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That was unfortunate. But thanks to social media, it was hardly the most viral moment of the evening
Samuel L Jackson (Oscars)
Also during the ceremony last night, actor Samuel L. Jackson shouted out the score of the Spurs/Knicks game to the several hundred million people watching
Were trying to tank
It was unclear whether he was yelling that as a way to justify why the Knicks had lost 18 in a row in the first place or whether he was trying to explain that no one should be congratulating him on the team finally getting this win
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Either way, it was something insane about the Knicks that a single win is so unusual, it requires interrupting a broadcast going out to more than 200 countries!
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For Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr., this was a bounce back game. Just this past Friday, Coach David Fizdale benched him for the entire 4th quarter and Smith said that on Saturday that they had “long heart to heart” about how Fiz wanted him to be playing
Wrong Basket Knicks
“Score on your own basket” probably wasn’t even part of that discussion that they had
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The Knicks certainly need Smith to continue to develop. He was the biggest name that came back their way  when they traded away Kristaps Porzingis, a move that itself won’t be able to judge until what happens in free agency this summer

Meanwhile for the Spurs…

Gregg Popovich
This is a franchise that took the complete opposite approach to rebuilding this past summer. They didn’t get back a top-5 player in return for Kawhi Leonard, but they did get a 4-time All-Star in DeMar DeRozan. And even with a recent bumpy patch, San Antonio has the NBA’s 6th best offense and a surprising spot in the West playoff chase
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A lot of this is due to the relentlessness of Gregg Popovich, who was unhappy with his team last night

If Pop had said what Spike Lee had said at the Oscars “We’re trying to tank,” that would have been the biggest upset of all


Will Pop’s harsh words improve Spurs defense?

“The offense is working, but they traded away their two best defensive players in Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard. I don’t know what they have and which players that can necessarily play all that much better. They can really only play better in team defense at this stage. But at some point, talent plays” – Shelburne

“They traded away their two best defenders. Dejounte Murray, who also has star defensive potential, gets hurt at the beginning of the season. Derrick White has been banged up. When White is out, it’s a drastic hit and it’s a personnel issue” – MacMahon

“They show more when they have those injuries” – Nichols

Knicks heading in right direction?

“They’re absolutely headed in the right direction: bottom of the standings and a hope at the No. 1 overall pick” – MacMahon

“They feel like they’re going in the right direction in the sense that this is a new regime. This is Scott Perry and David Fizdale doing this now. They’re choosing the young players they want to move forward with” – Shelburne

“They saw something in Dennis Smith Jr. But the biggest issue for him is getting in the kind of shape that he needs to be in to be a starting point guard in the NBA” – Shelburne


Replay
February 25, 2009 – Gerald Wallace (Charlotte Bobcats) finishing a nasty one-handed alley-oop vs the Kings!

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Make or Miss League Klay

Make Logo
Concentration; Did Kerr learn his laser focus from Draymond?

Miss Logo
Contact; Thomas Bryant just misses hitting ref by accident

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Make Logo
Emphasis; Would this have been the dunk of the year?

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Let’s…

Run it Back

Greatest Dunks Never!

3) 1998: T-Mac on Pippen
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2) 2010: Shannon Brown on Jason Richardson2umbcs.gif

1) 2016: LeBron on Draymond2umbhj.gif

Moving on…

Better trash talker: Ben Simmons or Jusuf Nurkic?

Then…

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“You cannot win a trash talk battle when you get blown out on your home court. It doesn’t work that way” – MacMahon

“Trash talk is won by the person who doesn’t have to resort to cursing. Because if all you have to do is curse, that’s not really trash talking. That’s just saying ‘Be quiet.’ Nurk actually has a dig” – Shelburne


Second Half

Kyrie: “I still don’t see anybody beating us in 7 games”

Via NBC Sports Boston:

Share Kyrie’s confidence in Celtics?

“I love that talk. I did laugh though when he said ‘Because I’m here.’ I do like the confidence and I agree with him” – MacMahon

“He’s still that guy. He can say that for ever more. You made the shot [in Game 7 of the 2016 Finals]. He does come from the Kobe Bryant school bravado of: ‘All eyes on me. Let me take this pressure on me.’ In his way, he’s saying: The pressure for us to win this year is on me. That’s his version of leadership” – Shelburne

“I do like Kyrie’s confidence. I don’t think every word that comes out of his mouth is some either support or dig on his younger teammates. Sometimes he’s just talking after a bad loss where they needed a little boost and his mind, he was giving them that” – Nichols

Fair for LeBron to question Lakers sense of urgency?

“You don’t get to say that yet. He just got back from injury. Their problems are on the defensive end” – Shelburne

“He’s distancing himself from his younger teammates who already may have some resentment about what ever he may feel about them in trades for Anthony Davis. That’s not going to help bring people together. What’s it going to do is light a fire under them. At this stage, there’s not a lot of trust that’s been established there and there’s certainly isn’t on the defensive end of the ball” – Shelburne

“Maybe it’s not as easy for everybody else on that roster just to the hit that activation switch” – MacMahon

“The fit is enough that they’re beating some good teams” – Nichols

LeBron: “We don’t have the privilege of looking past anybody”

“It sounds like there’s not really a ‘we’ here. There’s not really a bond here. They’re really missing Lonzo Ball, who’s turned into a great defensive player for them” – Shelburne

“LeBron, at this stage, is ‘Me’ and ‘They.’ Not ‘We'” – Shelburne

Draymond Green close to signing with Klutch Sports? (Via Chris Haynes/Yahoo! Sports)

“We’re starting to suspect that Klay Thompson is the guy who gets maxed and not Draymond. What does that mean? Draymond needs some leverage” – Shelburne

“This is going to be fascinating to watch and fascinating to think of the implications of Klutch Sports being involved here. LeBron and Draymond Green have a relationship” – Shelburne

“He’s much more likely to be LeBron’s teammate in Space Jam than with the Lakers” – MacMahon

“I don’t think he signs the extension this summer” – MacMahon


Replay
February 25, 1998 – Rod Strickland (Wizards) hits the halfcourt buzzer beating three vs the Rockets!

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More encouraged by Rockets or disappointed in Warriors?

“More encouraged by Rockets. This was a huge win and not just because of the competition but, Kenneth Faried starting at PF. Rebounding has been a huge problem for them. CP3 is playing the best basketball he’s played all season long. He looks fresh” – MacMahon

“More encouraged by Rockets because of so much of what their identity is. They were the team that could have beaten the Warriors in Game 7 if Chris Paul didn’t get hurt. You see him out there dominating the way he did and having the kind of game he did without James, that’s huge for them” – Shelburne

in the zone
Chris Paul Saturday night: 23 points, 17 assists

Are we done questioning CP3’s health now?

“4 of the last 5 games, he’s played more than 35 minutes. That cannot continue. He’s healthy right now. But it’s absolutely something you have to monitor” – MacMahon

“We’re never going to be done questioning his health. Over the course of the 5-year contract that he signed, that is going to be the major theme that will all look through because so much of his game is about the ability to get by people” – Shelburne

“The Rockets are much deeper now than they were when they got off to that horrific start at the beginning of the season” – MacMahon


RecommendsBucks top Warriors in ESPN power rankings


crunchtime

Rookie injured
Jaren Jackson Jr. out indefinitely (Right Quad), per Adrian Wojnarowski
The Grizzlies first round pick is top-8 protected

“This is the right move for them to kind of not put him out there where he could get re-injured” – Shelburne

One Last Dance
Coach Spo: “D-Wade will start playing starter’s minutes”

“This is the time to squeeze out what ever is left in Dwyane Wade’s body” – Shelburne

Ice in Veins
Should D’Angelo Russell win most improved player?
Dropping 40 points on his 23rd birthday on Saturday vs the Hornets

“I still like Siakam” – Shelburne

“Siakam is the clear leader right now” – MacMahon

Buy Bucks as best team right now?

“The Warriors are the best team in the NBA” – MacMahon

“Until you beat the best, then you’re not the best and the Warriors are still the best” – Nichols

Karl-Anthony Towns back tonight vs Kings after car accident

KAT

“He says there’s a 5 percent chance that he comes through it the way he does. That’s not necessarily based on some scientific thing. That is how scary that was, from what I’m told. That’s his impression. The fact that he’s out of concussion protocol and back, amazing” – Shelburne

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