Show Recap: March 5, 2019

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Opening Tip
D-Wade surprises Kevin Huerter (Hawks) with jersey swap

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“Dwyane Wade is having more fun than anybody” – Windhorst

Today’s Panel:

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First Half

Monologue: A tale of two L.A. teams

Lakers over under
At the start of this season, Las Vegas oddmakers set the over/under on the Lakers total number of wins
Clippers over under
The Clippers projection, however was lower

Those odds were as good a snapshot as any of where the two franchises seem to stand at that moment

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The Lakers had LeBron James, they had “Showtime” back in the building. They had what was assumed to be the first step in the path back to a championship
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Most Clippers conversations centered on the 2019 free agency class and whether they could eventually lure Kawhi Leonard to come save them

Things couldn’t be more different from last night:

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That’s pretty much it’s own snapshot of where these teams are now. The Clippers are still, technically, the more underman club, but they’re also the better one. They fight harder, work smarter and simply like each other more
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All of this speaks to how disconnected the Lakers are defensively and just how little communication seems to be going on in general

Funeral (Lakers).JPG
Meanwhile in the Lakers locker room, it was more like a funeral. They haven’t technically been eliminated from the playoffs yet, but they might as well be and it’s hard to underplay what a disaster this is for both LeBron and the franchise
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LeBron is a diminishing asset. That’s just by definition. The Lakers got him at a time in his life where as each year passes, he is going to be slightly less athletic, less healthy, less exceptional. That is just how aging works
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Everyone involved in this whole mess has their hands dirty and trying to parse blame misses just how ugly the entire snapshot has become
83 percent
Per ESPN’s Ben Fawkes, more than 83 percent of the money that had come in over the season was betting on the Lakers making the playoffs (Westgate Las Vegas superbook)
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It’s looking pretty good that the casino will get to keep that cash which they’ll need. After all, they got to pay out on the Clippers

What now for the Lakers?

Last night (Via Dave McMenamin/ESPN):

“That would take a lot of convincing from Luke [Walton] on up. Unless I’m hurt, I’m not sitting games. That conversation hasn’t occurred, but I’m sure it can happen soon” – LeBron James

Pierce on last week’s show:

“I thought their path to the playoffs was pretty slim a week ago. I hate seeing LeBron like this. At this age, you need more help. Give him a minutes restriction. Lessen the wear and tear on him as they move forward because it’s about this year as we see currently, it’s about the next three years you have LeBron” – Pierce

“This is going to get really ugly” – Windhorst

“LeBron is going to have to play. He is going to be under pressure by the league to play” – Windhorst

“It’s a little bit insane that it is March 5 and the Lakers are already done and were not talking about the Lakers in the lottery. But this is where we are. They can’t sit around and be sad” – Windhorst

Expect Lakers to fire Luke Walton after season?
Luke’s fate appears all but sealed. Expectation was that Luke would be fired by the end of the season, all around coaching circles, per Marc Stein/New York Times


Click here to read more about this story

“I don’t think so. Usually when you bring in a new GM, this happens all across the league. They want to set their own coaches and want to be a third foundation moving forward” – Pierce on whether Walton can save his job

“There’s a lot of people who can take blame for how this happened. The person who always pays first is the coach. That’s almost certainly what’s going to happen and we’ve actually known that for a while. Even if the Lakers had squeezed into 8th [place], he would probably be facing this” – Windhorst

“Who’s out there? Who are the candidates? Who’s going to be that match with LeBron? That’s a difficult decision to make” – Pierce

“LeBron has never played for an elite coach” – Windhorst


Replay
March 5, 1993 – Larry Johnson aka “Grandmama” (Hornets) dunking hard with his left hand on the Blazers!

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Make or Miss League Kawhi

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Riverdance; Anyone having more fun than the Nets?

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Footing; What happened to Luka here?

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Make Logo
Choreography; Another installment of NBA synchronization

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Free Throws; Ever seen a team unable to foul at the end of the game?

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Highlights; Favorite dunk last night?

Rashaun Holmes:
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De’Aaron Fox:
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Anthony Davis:
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Moving on…

Deandre Ayton starting to look like No. 1 pick?
Had 19 points and 12 rebounds last night in the win over the Bucks

“He’s been steady all year round. It’s just that the Suns have been so bad that we haven’t paid attention to him. I compare him to a young David Robinson. He has speed, he’s athletic, he’s that type of player” – Pierce

“I would have still took him at the No. 1 pick. You need a solid big man in this league” – Pierce

“You could tell he was having a learning curve [earlier in the season]” – Windhorst


Second Half

Cool with Clippers sacrificing pick for playoffs?
It’s lottery protected for this season and next season

“The Clippers are banking on free agency. They don’t care about a pick moving forward. Ballmer wants more basketball in the postseason. This team is way ahead of the learning curve” – Pierce

“Their particular set of circumstances, it makes sense for them to go for it” – Windhorst

Kyrie: “I just want to play basketball”

Via NBC Sports Celtics/Gary Washburn (Boston Globe):

Understand Kyrie’s frustration with media?

“Focus on Kyrie the basketball player, not worry about what he says because it’s getting very difficult” – Windhorst

“He’s the lead guy and everything is directed towards him. This is what he asked for” – Pierce

“If you think about going to the Knicks, what’s that going to be. That’s on steroids” – Pierce

Durant: “Celtics will be fine once playoffs start”

Agree with KD saying Celtics will be fine?

“I’m not sure Celtics can just turn it on” – Pierce

“If you can get an honest answer from the Warriors, they prefer not to see the Celtics” – Windhorst

“It’s not impossible for the Celtics to get their hands on Kevin Durant this offseason” – Windhorst


RecommendsNBA2K League draft on the NBA’s Twitch channel


D’Angelo Russell on Most Improved Player: “I’m gonna win that *****” (Via SNY TV)

“Siakam” – Pierce pick for MIP

“Montrezl Harrell needs to be in there. He’s been really good for the Clippers. He’s the heart and soul that’s driving this Clippers team to the playoffs” – Pierce

“Paul George is a legitimate candidate for MVP, defensive player of the year and most improved player. I don’t know if he’s going to win any of them, but that just says what kind of season he’s having” – Windhorst

“I would put Derrick Rose in the conversation” – Windhorst

“D’Angelo has a good case” – Windhorst

Mavericks tanking too hard?

Tank Wars (2019)

“I’m paying more attention to what they do. They are low key tanking. This year, for this team, getting in the top-4 would be massive” – Windhorst

“They’re not a very good team once they let go of all these assets” – Pierce


Replay
March 5, 2008 – Rajon Rondo throwing it down hard with the one hand on the Pistons!

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crunchtime

4th quarter minutes
Anthony Davis plays final 0.9 second in 4th quarter

AD playing in 4th quarter

“It shows you that Alvin Gentry wants to win” – Windhorst

No easy buckets
D-Wade passes MJ for most blocks by a guard
Now has 1,052 blocks all-time, including playoffs

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“One of the greatest shot blockers of all-time, not just guard” – Windhorst

Global Games
NBA will play preseason games in Japan (Hasn’t played in Japan since 2003)
Raptors and Rockets will be participating

Zion Update
Zion Williamson out vs Wake Forest (4th straight missed game)

“This is a business decision. Rest up, heal and get ready for that big shoe deal, and get ready for the draft” – Pierce

Expect Raptors to snap Rockets 5-game win streak tonight?

“Not against the Raptors at home, especially if Kawhi plays. This team is primed for a deep playoff run and they could possibly end up in the Finals” – Pierce

“Rockets are playing great, but the Raptors are going to win this one” – Windhorst

League Pass
Thunder at Timberwolves

Are Thunder meeting or exceeding expectations this season?

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“Meeting expectations. They are the only team in the West outside the Golden State Warriors that feature not two all-stars, but two superstars. Guys who are MVP candidates” – Pierce

“Westbrook is not having a good year offensively” – Windhorst


Buzzer Logo
Are Fultz & Magic on the same page?
Magic coach Steve Clifford doesn’t expect Fultz to join the team on the court this season

Fultz’ response:

“I don’t know what he’s talking about. I need more context” – Windhorst

“I’m pulling for this kid to come back strong and prove to people that he can play in this league” – Pierce

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