In this episode, Sam Vecenie chats with Cole Zwicker about the Eastern Conference semi-finals. First, the two chat about Celtics-Sixers and break down what's happening on the floor. Why are the Sixers struggling a bit, and why being able to play defense on the perimeter and in space is possibly the biggest market inefficiency in the NBA right now. Additionally, "The TJ McConnell Game," and how that could change things going forward. Then they go into the Celtics, how incredible Al Horford has been this series, and how awesome the Jayson Tatum jump has been in the playoffs so far.
Then, they go into Raptors-Cavs. How the Cavs role players started to fill in around the LeBron James, and how the Cavs look to be back on course for the NBA Finals. Then they go into the Raptors side of things, where they break down how Dwane Casey struggled a bit to come up with adjustments, how Serge Ibaka and DeMar DeRozan really struggled, and what the future should hold for this Raptors team. Should they continue to hold the ship together and keep this core? Or should they blow things up and look to move on from this era of Raptors hoops?
In this episode, Sam Vecenie chats with friend of the program Cole Zwicker, where they break down the end of the Stan Van Gundy tenure in Detroit. Does this spell the end of dual coach/GM positions? Where does he leave Detroit? How do they get out of the hole they've created?
Additionally, they chat about the Knicks hiring David Fizdale, the Suns hiring Igor Kokoskov, the Grizzlies hiring JB Bickerstaff, and the processes some other teams are undertaking to hire head coaches. Finally, they chat briefly about the NBA Draft Combine and the list that was released on Friday for the event.
This is a two part episode. First, Sam Vecenie chats with Fred Katz to break down what happened with the Oklahoma City Thunder this season. Why did they fail and end up falling in the first round of the playoffs? What happens now, what with Paul George being a free agent and Carmelo Anthony being...well, Melo.
Then, Sam chats with Cole Zwicker, where they break down what happened with Milwaukee, Indiana, and Washington. A brief moment of silence for Joe Prunty's NBA head coaching career, thoughts on who the Bucks should go after as their new coach, thoughts on how the Pacers actually have some flexibility now, and finally on how the Wizards are either going to have to make big changes, or stick with the status quo.
In this episode, Sam Vecenie chats with Cole Zwicker about the second round of the NBA Playoffs, diving deep on each of the series. First, they run through a post-mortem of the Boston-Milwaukee series where Milwaukee was an abject mess in terms of lineups and Boston saw Al Horford, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart really make key differences. Then they dive into the Xs and Os of Philadelphia-Boston in the second round, and start to wonder about just how Boston matches up with the Sixers.
Next, the two break down what happened in Game 7 on Saturday with the Cavaliers beating Indiana, and then move forward into chatting about Toronto-Cleveland. Can the Raptors finally beat Cleveland, and if they can't, can they ever? Why their depth of players could actually cause Cleveland some problems, too.
Then they move to the West, where each of the two Game 1s went according to plan there, with Golden State and Houston largely wrecking New Orleans and Utah, respectively. Why each of those things happen, and why neither of is particularly bullish on those series going a long way.
In this episode, Sam Vecenie chats with Cole Zwicker, where they breakdown all of the remaining playoff series, in this order: Thunder-Jazz, Cavs-Pacers, Wizards-Raptors, and Bucks-Celtics.
Then, the two of them do postmortems and offseason look-aheads for the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, and the Miami Heat.
In this episode, Sam Vecenie chats with Cole Zwicker about the weekend that was in the playoffs. They open with about 20 minutes on the Bucks pulling even with Boston following Joe Prunty stumbling backwards into the Thon Maker adjustment, which changed the complexion of the series.
Then, the two move on to Wizards-Raptors, Pacers-Cavaliers, and then Philadelphia taking a big lead over Miami. Are the 76ers now the favorite in the Eastern Conference?
Following the East, they chat about the West. First, they do a post-mortem on Portland, and the mess that Neil Olshey has created in terms of getting more out of this particular group of players. What are the Blazers' options going into the offseason? Then, they chat Jazz-Thunder and Rockets-Wolves, and how those two series are going. Finally, they briefly mentioned Warriors-Spurs, shout out to Manu.
In this episode, Sam Vecenie chats with friend of the program Cole Zwicker about all of the Game 2s in the First Round of the NBA Playoffs, breaking them down much in the same way they did Game 1. They went in this order: Pacers-Cavs, Philadelphia-Miami, Utah-OKC, Milwaukee-Boston, Pelicans-Blazers, Wizards-Raptors, Wolves-Rockets, Spurs-Warriors.
In this episode, Sam Vecenie chats with Cole Zwicker and talks goes in-depth on the first weekend of the NBA Playoffs, breaking down the first game of each series. Here's the order: Utah-OKC, Milwaukee-Boston, New Orleans-Blazers, Pacers-Cavs, Philly-Miami, Wizards-Raptors, Minnesota-Houston, Golden State-San Antonio.
Then, they chat about lessons teams can learn from the playoffs in terms of the NBA Draft. Should boards be altered based on the fact that big men are being played off the court regularly in these playoffs, given that five of most people's top-10 are true bigs? What can you learn about drafting wings from these playoffs? Is that now the premium NBA position?
Finally, Cole checks in from Nike Hoop Summit, where he got a chance to scout some of the best high school players in the country, including R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, Bol Bol, Quentin Grimes, and more.
In this episode, Sam Vecenie chats with Zach Harper of Fan Rag Sports and the Count the Dings podcast network to preview the 2018 NBA Playoffs. They run through each series, chatting about their overall thoughts on the series, the matchup within the series they're looking forward to, and the fake over/under they're most looking forward to tracking.
They chat in order of seeding and by conference, meaning the first series they talk about is Toronto-Washington, followed by Boston-Milwaukee, Miami-Philadelphia, then Cleveland-Indiana. Then they move to the West, where it's Houston-Minnesota, Golden State-San Antonio, Portland-New Orleans, Utah-OKC. Also at the top, they chat about movies and the LeBron series that Zach wrote over 30,000 words on at Fan Rag. Go check that out, and go check out Hurricane Heist.
This episode is sponsored by eHarmony, where you can use the promo code GAMETHEORY to get one month off of a three-month subscription to the dating service. every
This episode of the podcast is dedicated to handing out the NBA Awards and All-NBA teams. As is tradition, Dieter Kurtenbach joins the show and he and Sam Vecenie run through each of their teams.
We hand out and break down: MVP; 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Team All-NBA; Defensive Player of the Year; 1st and 2nd Team All-Defense; Rookie of the Year; 1st and 2nd Team All-Rookie; Sixth Man of the Year; Most Improved Player; Coach of the Year.
This episode is sponsored by eHarmony, where you can use the promo code GAMETHEORY to get one month off of a three-month subscription to the dating service.
In this episode, Cole Zwicker joins Sam for his weekly appearance on the podcast, where the two chat about the 2017 NBA Draft Class. In detail, they break down the entire class's performance in their rookie seasons, discussing whether or not each player exceeded expectations, lived up to them, or has work to do as a sophomore to get to the level they need. They particularly spend a lot of time on Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson, De'Aaron Fox, Dennis Smith, Lauri Markkanen, and Donovan Mitchell. Still, every player selected is mentioned, with every first round pick getting a few words.
This episode is sponsored by eHarmony, where you can use the promo code GAMETHEORY to get one month off of a three-month subscription to the dating service.
In this episode, Jared Weiss joins Sam Vecenie and chats about the Kyrie Irving injury. What exactly is Kyrie Irving's injury in detail? What procedure is he undergoing? How does this affect the Celtics moving forward this season? Do they have a legitimate chance to make the Eastern Conference finals, still? All that and more thoughts on the roster as a whole, including Marcus Morris, Terry Rozier, and more.
Also, they discuss the long-term ramifications of the Kyrie injury. Should the Celtics offer him a long-term extension now following this issue? Does this affect how the Celtics have to build their roster moving forward?
Also, at the start, they discuss Kyrie's personality and intellectual curiosity, asking the simple question: What is a drugged-up, coming-out-of-surgery Kyrie Irving like?
In this episode, Sam chats with Cole Zwicker about a variety of topics. First, they talk about the Kawhi Leonard report from ESPN, which noted that teams are going to be gathering their war chest to make big-time offers for Leonard this summer. They chat about the situation surrounding him, his contract situation, and the CBA's supermax failure. Then, they go into detail on why the Spurs are likely to offer him said supermax, how he'll need to make a decision on whether or not to accept it, and if he doesn't, potential trade possibilities. They break down Boston's, Philadelphia's, Los Angeles', Denver's, and more potential offers to San Antonio.
Then, they go into detail on the Final Four, and some of the players involved there, including the Michael Jordan of Delaware, Omari Spellman, Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Mo Wagner, Udoka Azubuike and more. Then, they discuss some of the recent decisions in the NBA Draft, including Jaren Jackson Jr., Shake Milton, Kevin Knox, and more.
Finally, they discuss Darius Bazley's decision to go to the G-League straight out of high school. Cole is interested, while Sam mostly thinks this is a bad decision and explains why.
In this episode, Sam Vecenie is joined by Michael Pina of Vice Sports about the mess that is the Eastern Conference. What do we think of the Cavaliers, and the problem that is the fact that they haven't played a ton together yet? Does their dysfunction make the Raptors the favorite? Should the Raptors be worried about the fact they get an inordinate production from their bench? Should they be worried about the Bucks in the first round if they get matched up against Giannis?
Then they move on to the Celtics. What do they think of the Marcus Morris resurgence? Is Terry Rozier the god or only for real? Also, how do the Celtics fare in the playoffs offensively without Kyrie Irving? Finally, how far can the Sixers go? Can Markelle Fultz help in the playoffs, and how big of a matchup problem for the rest of the Eastern Conference is Joel Embiid?
Finally, I ask Pina to give an opinion on how the Eastern Conference Playoffs end.
In this episode, Sam Vecenie chats with good friend of the program Cole Zwicker in a super-sized episode featuring a variety of topics. First, the two of them discuss Markelle Fultz's return to action with the 76ers, and what he looked like on Monday night against Denver in dropping a solid 10-point, eight-assist, four-rebound night versus only one turnover.
Then, they chat about the NBA injuries that could end up shaping the course of the regular season. What do they make of the Warriors being down a few key guys right now, including Stephen Curry for the start of the playoffs? What about the Celtics, who could be missing Kyrie Irving (and Marcus Smart) for that first round series, too? What would the Spurs look like with Kawhi if he was to return?
Finally, they go over some of the more interesting NBA Draft decisions that have been made, and some of the more interesting NBA Draft performances of the NCAA Tournament. Those include Zhaire Smith, Daniel Gafford, Kevin Knox, Jevon Carter, Robert Williams, Moe Wagner, Devonte Graham, Malik Newman, and many more in a rapid-fire session.
In this episode, I chat with Reags from over at Barstool about what we saw in the NCAA Tournament, and what we expect to see going forward. First though, we chat about gambling on the Tournament, and the mess that was the opening weekend from that perspective.
Then we chat about some of the funnier moments we saw from the weekend, some of the biggest news from this past weekend. Then we jump into some discussion on who the best players, best matchups, and best NBA Draft Prospects remaining in the NCAA Tournament. We chat about Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox, Marvin Bagley, Wendell Carter, Mikal Bridges, Robert Williams and more.
This podcast is sponsored by HIMS. Go to ForHims.com/gametheory to get a trial month for $5.
In this episode, I chat with friend of the program Cole Zwicker to break down all of the important action of the first round in the NCAA Tournament. First, we chat about what I saw out in San Diego (not much, other than Jon Elmore exploding into our minds and hearts). Then, we get into the big stories, including:
VIRGINIA BECOMES THE FIRST NO. 1 SEED TO LOSE
Arizona also cops a pretty bad ass-kicking to Buffalo
Michael Porter and Trae Young likely play their last college games
Kentucky beats a tough Davidson behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Kevin Knox
Mohamed Bamba continues to ride the roller coaster in his play
Collin Sexton carries Alabama late
Plus, a rapid-fire breakdown, including thoughts on Rob Gray, D'Marcus Simonds, Miles Bridges, Ohio State, Lonnie Walker's bad final two minutes, and more!
In this episode, Sam Vecenie is joined by Chris Stone from over at FanSided, where they break down -- in pain-staking detail -- every NBA prospect matchup in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and all of their potential favorite matchups that could happen later in the Tournament.
They start in the South, where Virginia, Kentucky, and Arizona are the standout teams to watch. Then, they move to the West, which seems to be the weakest NBA Draft region. Then, they chat about the East, where Villanova looks to be in for some fun, athletic matchups. Finally, they move to the midwest, where Michigan State-Duke awaits in the Sweet 16.
This episode is sponsored by RXBar. Go to RXBar.com/gametheory to get 25 percent off on the best nutrition bar money can buy.
In this episode, Sam chats with Cole Zwicker about the NBA MVP race, which is heating up quickly. They go in detail on James Harden, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, and discuss each of their cases for the top-five.
Then, they deep dive on some of the players Sam has gotten a chance to see on his trip to Las Vegas for conference tournament week. Some in-depth breakdowns on Killian Tillie, Rui Hachimura, Troy Brown, Allonzo Trier, and Aaron Holiday. Then, they go in detail on Cole's article scouting NBA defense, particularly as it refers to team defense and help defense, using some underrated prospects and the elite prospects as examples.
In this episode, Sam Vecenie chats with Jared Weiss from over at CelticsWire about the terrific Celtics-Rockets game on Saturday night. What makes the Rockets such a tough guard night-in, night-out, particularly when they close games? How does Clint Capela make such an impact even on a night where he doesn't score? What did we think of the Celtics' play last night? How does the Celtics' lack of bad players help them? Also, how great is it that Terry Rozier is actually good now?
Then, Trevor Lane from over at Lakers Nation joins the show, and they chat about the Lakers young core. They deep dive on Lonzo Ball, what he's done so far, and what there is to be even slightly concerned about. Then they chat about Brandon Ingram, who has been terrific over the last two months. What has he done that has helped him take the next step? How great has Julius Randle been? And then why has Kyle Kuzma hit a bit of a slump? Then, finally, putting it into context and whether or not we'd rather have their situation or Phoenix's?
In this episode, friend of the program Cole Zwicker joins the show to chat about a few NBA topics as well as a few Draft topics. First, they chat about the Philadelphia 76ers asset management over the last couple of years. Has Bryan Colangelo done anything to inspire 76ers fans with the way he's handled their roster since taking over for Sam Hinkie?
Then, they chat about the Wizards, winners of eight of their last 11 without John Wall in the lineup? Is there anything to take away from their ball movement heavy alignment? How good has Tomas Satoransky been since taking over as the starting point guard? What do they like about how this team has operated with Wall, and do how do they think he'll be integrated back into the fold?
Finally, they chat about the NBA Draft. What do they make of Collin Sexton's recent play? Is he still a no-doubt top-10 prospect? Then the majority of the time is spent talking about Arkansas big man Daniel Gafford. What makes Gafford a potential lottery pick despite being outside of the top-40 in his high school class? Then they bounce around a bit, and specifically chat about DeAndre Hunter and Zhaire Smith as long-term prospects at the end.
In this episode, Sam is joined by Cole Zwicker where they debate the merits of Trae Young as a draft prospect. For reference: Cole has Young as a top-three prospect, and Sam has him more in the No. 6-7 range. What are his best aspects as a prospect? What makes us hesitant about him as an NBA player? We dive as deep as possible into the stats, the scouting and the context surrounding him both in high school and in college.
At the top, we chat briefly about the Dallas Mavericks-misogyny story, then later in the show chat about Jaren Jackson and the ridiculous flashes he's shown in the recent month of play.
In this episode, Sam Vecenie is joined by Danny Leroux where they chat about everything they saw in All-Star Weekend and Basketball Without Borders. First, they break down what they saw on Rising Stars game night, where Jaylen Brown stole the show but Bogdan Bogdanovic came away with MVP. Then, they chat about All-Star Saturday, and the relative disappointing evening that was. Finally, they chat about the All-Star game itself, along with who/what stood out.
Then, they move forward into breaking down Basketball Without Borders, a tremendous event every season involving the best youth players that the rest of the world has to offer. They chat about players like Sekou Doumbouya, Luka Samanic, A.J. Lawson, Charles Bassey, Paul Eboua, N'Faly Dante, and much more.
In this episode, Sam chats with Zach Harper from Leverage the Chat and from Fan Rag Sports about a variety of topics. First, they hit on the Ben Simmons vs. Donovan Mitchell rookie of the year debate. Which one would they take and why does the other one suck?
Then, they chat about buyout candidates. They run through the list of names they're interested in, and chat briefly about some of the teams who do or do not have open spots, including the Cavaliers, Celtics, Warriors, Rockets, and more.
Finally, they finish on the NBA Draft, where Zach has done some interesting work this year breaking down prospects. Why does he like Jaren Jackson, what do they think about Marvin Bagley, and why is Deandre Ayton awesome? Finally, they finish on Trae Young, and try to figure out if he'll be a good professional.
This episode is sponsored by eHarmony. Go to eHarmony.com and use the code "Game Theory" for one month off on a three-month subscription.
In this episode, Sam is joined by friend of the program Dieter Kurtenbach to chat about what went down on NBA Trade Deadline day, an afternoon ruled by the Cleveland Cavaliers trading half of their roster.
How much better did Cleveland get? Did they establish themselves as the favorite of the Eastern Conference? Can they compete with Golden State? Does this make any tangible difference in their long-term outlook? Also, what do their trades mean for the Lakers, Jazz, and Kings -- the other teams involved in the moves?
What did we think of the other teams involved in the deadline action and the other trades that went down? Also, what did we think about Boston, Memphis, Golden State, Toronto and Houston -- among others -- sitting out the action for the most part? All that, a quick rant on the Georgios Papagiannis pick, and more in this super-sized edition of the podcast.