This is a two-part year-end episode. In the first 40 minutes of the episode, Rob Dauster and I talk about UCLA and Steve Alford being fired. It's a realistic assessment of what he accomplished, didn't accomplish, where the job sits in the hierarchy of college jobs, and who are the realistic candidates to replace Alford as the UCLA head coach?
Then, I spend an hour and 20 minutes with Cole Zwicker, where we jump around. First, a realistic assessment of where UCLA's prospects are from an NBA Draft perspective (hint: not good). Then, a discussion of the Patrick McCaw contract. Then, we discuss Dennis Smith Jr., and his role on the Dallas Mavericks. Why we're both a bit higher on Smith than most seem to be, and an interesting assessment of his trade value if the team decides to go that direction. Then, we have a theoretical discussion about big men in the NBA Draft. Finally, we talk about NBA Draft Risers for the last hour of the podcast. Who are the guys who have really helped themselves in the 2018 calendar year as it refers to the 2019 Draft? It includes Jarrett Culver, Ja Morant, Ty Jerome, Admiral Schofield, Grant Williams, Jaxson Hayes, and many more.
In this episode, Dieter Kurtenbach joins the show and we break down all angles of the Pelicans-Anthony Davis situation. Given that Davis is making public comments about it, LeBron and Giannis are publicly courting him, and the Pelicans have fallen to 15-20, the time is right to start looking at this seriously. What should the Pelicans do to try to keep him? What should they be looking for in a trade? Who matches up best with what the Pelicans need when this potentially comes to fruition in the summer?
Then, we move on and talk about the Warriors. Specifically, this is a two-star team right now that needs its other two stars to step up. Do we believe in Klay Thompson and Draymond Green right now?
Then, we move on to the Celtics and Sixers, and proceed to freak out a bit about both.
Finally, in the things we like section, Dieter talks about D.J. Wilson hours before the Bucks' sophomore went off for his first career double-double, and I talk about the unique path the Pacers have taken to building a team.
Making a triumphant return to the podcast, Cole Zwicker joins to chat about a few interesting player development and evaluation topics.
First, we chat about the Suns. The Suns had won four straight games at the time of this recording, and seemed tailor made for a long-form breakdown to start by Cole and I given the sheer number of young players on the roster.
Then, we move into The Rookie Class. How insane has Luka been? What do we think of Jaren Jackson, Wendell Carter, Trae Young, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Miles Bridges, Marvin Bagley, and more.
Then, we chat about the draft class. Where are we on the draft class? Is it as bad as everyone says? What do we think of Romeo Langford, Quentin Grimes, Cam Reddish and R.J. Barrett, and some of the elite players?
In this episode, I chat with Dieter Kurtenbach about the NBA and life and technology apparently.
In this episode of the podcast, Dieter Kurtenbach makes his triumphant return from his sojourn to South America.
In this episode, Michael Pina from over at Vice Sports joins the show to talk about a lot of different teams. First, we chat about the Raptors, the best team in the NBA currently. Kawhi's adjustment to Toronto, Lowry's adjustment to the DeMar trade and having Kawhi, and some of the other incredible players we've seen step up, including Pascal Siakam.
Then we chat about the Spurs, and their problems. What should the Spurs do? Why is their defense so bad? Why is their shot distribution so bad? Where do they go from here this season? Should they consider tacitly losing some games and moving off some spare pieces?
Then we talk Wolves. Why has the Wolves defense been so good since the Jimmy Butler trade? Should Robert Covington be the defensive player of the year in the league so far? What is happening with Karl Towns? Have I finally given up a bit on Andrew Wiggins?
Finally, we move to the Pacers. Despite the Victor Oladipo injury, the Pacers are holding steady and stable. Why? How good has Domantas Sabonis been? What's going on with Myles Turner? Finally, how depth has really helped them this season.
In this episode, Ricky O'Donnell joins the podcast to chat about Fred Hoiberg getting fired by the Chicago Bulls. What do we make of the Hoiberg era? How did the Bulls front office undercut the scheme? Do we have faith in the Bulls getting out of this long-term bad run with John Paxson and Gar Forman involved? Was this really their fault and not Hoiberg's?
Then, we move on to something positive and chat about the Raptors, who we're super excited about! How did the Spurs not get any of their good young players in the Kawhi trade?
Finally, we chat about Ricky's takes on the NBA Draft.
In this episode, Chris Stone of Sporting News joins the podcast and we chat about some NBA Draft matters. Ja Morant played one of this two most critical games of his season this week, and dropped 38/9/5. What does that mean for him? Is he a potential top-10 pick? We then chat about Darius Garland's injury, and whether or not it hurts him and his stock (it doesn't). We throw Coby White and Tre Jones into the mix as well and compare and contrast the group of top point guards.
Next, we talk about Romeo Langford and Quentin Grimes' early season performances. Both have been up and down. Where are scouts and evaluators on them?
Next, we chat about how Duke's offense has developed over the first seven games. How has RJ Barrett changed his approach? How has Zion Williamson's leap changed things for them?
Then we chat about Bol Bol, who I wrote about at The Athletic this week. Finally, we finish with some early season standouts who seem to have helped themselves, including Brandon Clarke, Alpha Diallo, Jaxson Hayes, and more.
In this episode, I chat with Dieter Kurtenbach about a variety of NBA topics.
In this episode, Tony Jones chats about the team he covers, the Utah Jazz. We break down some of the issues that currently exist on both sides of the floor, and why we think the defense is a bit more concerning than the offense right now. Then we move to some weird potential shake-up trades, including why we think the Jazz and Wizards line up really well for a big deal in January if things keep going this same way.
Then, we chat about some of the terrific rookies who have played this season, including Luka Doncic, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Next, we move to the Lakers, who are quickly figuring some things out. LeBron has been ridiculous, lineups with Lonzo have been working, and why Brandon Ingram's numbers seem a bit deceiving on the surface.
Finally, we chat about some college players. Why Tony is super high on Bol Bol, why Zion Williamson is the favorite to go No. 1, and some of the other guys who are exciting us so far.
In this episode, I chat with Dieter Kurtenbach about a variety of topics. First, we hit on Gordon Hayward moving out of the Celtics' starting lineup in favor of Aron Baynes. Then we talk about the Terry Rozier tweets.
Then, we move to Kemba Walker, who is a legit MVP candidate right now. Can the Hornets get him some help?
Then, we chat about the Warriors, and where they're going from here. Also, Dieter tells us about the time he wrote about Klay Thompson making 14 3s in a game was unimpressive, and about Klay's response.
Then, we spent a bunch of time on Markelle Fultz, and the weird situation surrounding his shoulder and its potential injury. Having said that, the Fultz situation and experiment probably needed to end for the team in its rotation.
Then, Dieter says why he likes the Clippers, and I explain why I love Luka Doncic beyond even having him at 25-1 to win Rookie of the Year. But more than that, I give my take on why I think the Trae-Luka trade made sense for both parties even with all of the information we have.
Finally, we chat about Thanksgiving and the Crimes of Grindelwald being a disappointment.
In this episode, Dave Dufour from over at Count The Dings joins the podcast to chat about Woj's report of the Wizards potentially listening to deals. How should they go about blowing this thing up? Should they move John Wall, Bradley Beal, or Otto Porter? How do they best move forward after that point?
Then, we talk the Kings. Why are the Kings like this? Why would they get rid of Dave Joerger in the midst of what has been a really fun season spurred by the growth of De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield? Why?
Finally, we bounce around some of the stuff Dave has seen and liked in the NBA. Why Kemba has been one of the four best players in the East so far. Why the Clippers have been so fun to watch. Also, a PSA for Cavs' fans to maybe just chill out about Collin Sexton.
In this episode, Chris Stone joins the podcast to give some thoughts on the NBA Draft through one week, as well as preview centers.
Here's the order:
Zion Williamson is an alien: 2:00-10:25
What is going on with Nassir Little?: 10:25-15:40
Kevin Porter Jr.'s start at USC: 15:40-23:05
Quentin Grimes/Romeo Langford: 23:05-29:20
Some thoughts on Kentucky: 29:20-34:15
Daniel Gafford: 35:30-39:15
Bol Bol: 44:20
The rest: Jalen McDaniels, Charles Bassey, Jalen Smith, Jontay Porter, Naz Reid, Killian Tillie, Goga Bitadze, Moses Brown, Sagaba Konate, Simi Shittu, Reggie Perry, Bruno Fernando, Kenny Wooten, Aric Holman, Udoka Azubuike, Dean Wade, Austin Wiley, Ethan Happ, Jericho Sims, Tacko Fall, Filip Petrusev
In this episode, Dieter Kurtenbach joins the episode and we chat about a bunch of different subjects:
In this episode, we break down the Jimmy Butler deal from ALL angles. In the first half of the episode, Derek Bodner joins to break down the Philadelphia 76ers side of the deal. In the second half, Jon Krawczynski breaks it down from the Minnesota side.
FULL DEAL: Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton for Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless and a second round pick.
In this episode, Dieter and I chat about basketball, including Duke and Kentucky, the Warriors and the West, the weird Terry Rozier thing, fake Wizards trades, and more. Here's the full rundown:
In this episode, Jared Weiss joins to chat about the Celtics and the Bucks at the top of the Eastern Conference. Why are we confident these two teams are two of the top four in the East? What could each of them do to improve their position down the road? Then, we chat about the Lakers. Magic Johnson had a conversation with Luke Walton about the team's success so far this year? What are we even doing here? Why is Magic even complaining about this? I mostly just rant about this whole thing being silly.
Then, Chris Stone joins and we chat about the potential forwards in the 2019 NBA Draft. That includes Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish, Sekou Doumbouya, De'Andre Hunter, Rui Hachimura, Louis King, Jaylen Hoard, PJ Washington, Dedric Lawson, Admiral Schofield, Darius Bazley, Isaiah Roby, Cam Johnson, Markis McDuffie, Oshae Brissett, Eric Paschall, and more.
In this episode, Dieter Kurtenbach joins and we chat about a variety of topics throughout what has already been a chaotic basketball season. First, we chat about Klay Thompson's eruption against the Bulls, and how it somehow might not even be a top-two Klay game ever.
Then, we spend 20 minutes and chat about the Markelle Fultz situation in Philadelphia. What should the 76ers do at this stage after their slow start, and with the Simmons-Fultz pairing that seems to not be working?
Then, we dive into two of the bigger disappointments to start the NBA season. First, we break down the Rockets, and how things seems to be going poorly there due to faulty transition offense and bad halfcourt defense. Then, we break down the Wizards, who seem to just be careening into a rebuild as this season starts in such a messy way.
Finally, we chat about the Kings! The Kings! I like the Kings! #TheKingsAreGood
In this episode, I chat with Joe Vardon of The Athletic about Ty Lue's firing. How did he break the story? What factors inside the organization played a role in his departure? Where do the Cavaliers go from here?
Then, I chat with Jared Dubin where we break down why the Houston Rockets' defense has been so bad to start the season. Then, we chat about Jimmy Butler trade rumors to Houston, and why the four first round picks don't really pass the smell test. Finally, we chat about Miami's culture of development and prospect identification, and I give some Johnathan Williams stories as the former Gonzaga big man breaks out for the Lakers.
In this episode, MGrads comes on and chats about a bunch of stuff in the basketball world, and explains himself. Specifically, we talk about the G-League contracts, some one-and-done stuff, Darius Bazley, what some one-and-done kids should do, trainers, and more.
In this episode, I chat with Dieter Kurtenbach from the San Jose Mercury News about some of the things that have surprised us early on in the NBA. Here are the topics we discuss:
Boston Celtics Offense
The Pelicans and League-Wide Pace
Denver Nuggets Defense
The Thunder are Rough
The Bulls are Awful but Zach LaVine is not
The Spurs, DeRozan, Aldridge, and offense
The Kings are Feisty
The Raptors are great now
In this episode, Tony Jones from The Athletic joins to discuss the great spitting controversy of 2018, and we lay out prediction about what the punishment should have been for Rajon Rondo, Brandon Ingram, and Chris Paul. We also discuss how this type of stuff will affect how we remember Rondo's career.
Then, we break down Utah vs. Golden State, which was the game of the young NBA season. How you know Golden State thinks Utah is a real team (they actually tried to win), how Stephen Curry is basically going god mode this season, and how the Jazz need to find a way to get more offensive creativity to reach that next level.
Then, Chris Stone joins the show to give a quick preseason breakdown on the 2019 NBA Draft's potential wings. Why it has potential to be this draft's position of strength. Names discussed:
RJ Barrett, Nassir Little, Romeo Langford, Keldon Johnson, Kevin Porter, Tyus Battle, Jarrett Culver, Kris Wilkes, Charles Matthews, Jarrey Foster, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Matisse Thybulle, Jalen Hudson, Kellan Grady, Zach Norvell, the Martin twins, John Petty, Fletcher Magee, TJ Gibbs, Herb Jones, Jordan Poole, Kerwin Roach, Lagerald Vick, Xavier Sneed, Josh Reaves, Desmond Bane
In this episode, Dave DuFour joins to chat about all of the NBA's opening few days. We run through something we saw from every team, what we're excited about, what we're watching, and what we are expecting going forward.
First though, we break down the Lakers-Blazers in-depth, then we break down Milwaukee's new offense, Houston's continued defensive questions, New Orleans' athleticism, Minnesota's weird game with San Antonio, and then we run through everything else that happened over the first three days.
In this episode, Dieter Kurtenbach joins Sam to break down Great British Bake Off, Hereditary, Haunting of Hill House...well, for the first seven minutes at least.
But if you want to skip forward to the basketball, the Celtics win over the 76ers takes up half the conversation due to the fascinating nature of the game. Jayson Tatum making the leap? Gordon Hayward's return? Kyrie's game, the bench, etc. Then, they chat about the 76ers, the Simmons game, their offensive gameplan, and particularly Markelle Fultz, and what the Sixers should do with him right now. Also, Joel Embiid and turnovers. Mostly, it's why I'm not melting down about Philadelphia.
Then they move on to the Warriors win over the Thunder, Stephen Curry's monster outing, the stars' play, and more. They also focus in on the center position, Damian Jones and Kevon Looney, and the Warriors bench.
Finally, they chat about the teams they're excited for this week. Dieter wants to watch Indiana, I want to watch Minnesota, and we're both excited for Utah and more. And then we finish on Venom. Because Venom is getting underrated.
In this episode, Tony Jones joins the podcast to chat about Jimmy Butler coming to practice, Joakim Noah being gone, and some NBA awards predictions.
First, Jimmy Butler came to practice (shout out MGRADS), and totally destroyed his teammates. Why is he still in Minnesota? Why are they seriously going to play him this season to start the year? What a bad idea.
Then, we chat about why stretching Noah now is a bad idea versus later, and some of the other cuts around the NBA. Finally, we chat about Mike Muscala's dad, why the 76ers did the right thing getting out in front of it, and why there's no place for that bullshit.
Finally, we give predictions on MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved Player, first time All-NBA player, Western/Eastern Conference Finalists, NBA Finalists, and NBA Champion.