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5-2-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 1

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
May 2, 2023 5:38 am

5-2-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 1

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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May 2, 2023 5:38 am

James Harden goes off in 76ers Game 1 win over Boston | How long would you survive in a room playing just the ice cream man music? | Nikola Jokic powers the Nuggets to a 2-0 series lead over the Suns.

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Hola. Don't ask me how I have that kind of energy. It's fake right now.

It really is. I have to show off because I have three students in this in the control room with me. And if I totally flub and fail and screw up, they're going to think I'm a fraud. So I have to actually do a really good show for the first.

How long are you guys planning on staying? All right. So they're very excited. Jake, Mark and Nuri with me tonight. I want you guys in, you know, in about when I give you a signal, just say hello and yell so people know that I'm not making you up. OK, so let me set this scene real quick. I'm inside the studios. Actually, it's it's a control room that's used for producers and directors, for training producers and directors. So it's actually more like a TV control room. However, it's soundproof. So I'm not disturbing anyone.

And the audio is great here. Just finished teaching my last class. Oh, my goodness. My first run is adjunct professor. Let's hope they have me back to Syracuse University. But Newhouse, which is where I took classes, this is an actual building where I took classes when I was here, have allowed me to do my show third Monday in three weeks. And I've had different students come by. But this is the biggest group.

This is three of them all at once. So in order that you all know they're real and that they are not just figments of my imagination, you can yell. You can scream.

You can do whatever it is that you want to do. But tell them that you're here. Hello. Hello. Hello, Mom. OK, so see, they're real.

That was not made up there. They're here and and they are actually students that have decided that I'm legit. So I can't screw up while they're in here. If I make a mistake, don't tell anyone.

OK, it'll be our little secret suite. Man, another incredible night of first round and now second round hoops and hockey playoffs. We had our final first round game, which came from New Jersey. Just as a side note, I would have been at game seven between the Devils and the Rangers, if not for you guys. But it's OK.

I wouldn't trade that. No, definitely an exciting time to be here because these students are all getting ready to graduate. Those who are done would have a sophomore, senior and grad student. Yes.

OK. Sophomore, senior grad student. So it's good to be here, too. I wouldn't have traded it. But yes, watching the atmosphere inside the Prudential Center between Devils and Rangers, it was quite a scene for what was the third of three game sevens in the NHL, the Stanley Cup playoffs to wrap the first round. And then, of course, we had the start of Sixers and Celtics, which is where we will begin.

If we get six more games of that, I will be all right. This game was back and forth, back and forth. Each team had its opportunity to pull away, to potentially bury the other. Remember, no Joel Embiid. We kind of knew that was the case, though the Sixers weren't revealing a whole lot.

This game was tied at 87 to start the fourth quarter in a great back and forth. And before we say another word about this game, I'm pretty sure James Harden does this to me on purpose. He knows that I am the first to rip him any time there is an opportunity. For those of you who have not heard me, I do not love the way that James Harden handles his business. Not to mention his game seems like it's either three pointers or nothing. There's nothing else to James Harden's game. Now, I recognize he's won an MVP. I recognize that he has had some pretty incredible seasons to his credit. But again, I don't love how he handles his business. The whole forcing his way out of Houston, having to join Brooklyn, then having to leave Brooklyn.

Yeah, not a huge fan. But I will give credit where credit is due. And without Joel Embiid, the Sixers desperately needed this type of world-class performance from James Harden. So I'm going to give him credit as he matches his playoff career high. But also a flair for the dramatic because of his big shot. We'll call him Big Shot. We can't really call him Big Shot Bob because that's already taken. We'll just call him Big Shot James for the purposes of this particular game.

Because it was amazing to watch him take over and the wisdom and the experience that he brings. He doesn't have a ring, but he does have a lot of playoff basketball to his credit, which serves him well when he can actually hit the shots. I know I'm not supposed to be taking shots at James Harden, but there are times where it's excruciating to watch him play in the postseason because he chucks and ducks. And there are games, well-documented games, where he's played with the Rockets or with the Nets and the shots weren't dropping.

And it was painful to watch, but not the case in this game. So we will give James Harden his due. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence from the campus of Syracuse University. I just like to say that it sounds so cool.

I actually am not wearing any of my Syracuse gear, but I did snag a T-shirt from my month of doing classes. So, yeah, it's been really cool to be here. I'm going to miss it, I think. But I hope they do invite me back. That has nothing to do with playoff basketball, but I just wanted to get in there. So the Celtics and the Sixers, back to them. I do love this type of basketball where we know they're going to go toe-to-toe and where, for the most part, the referees, the officials, will let them play. I do love the fact that the game was not decided on the free throw line.

I hope that continues. But also, am I the only one who is noticing a dramatic increase in shots to the groin? It's happening in every single game. Tonight, it was Jason Tatum.

Why does it keep happening? Of the little thunders? Exactly. I don't think it's on purpose. I do not think that P.J. Tucker took a shot at Jason Tatum's little Celtics on purpose. I don't think that's the case, but why does it keep happening?

In every game, we're getting crotch shots. And again, mostly not intentional, unless you're Draymond Green. Mostly not intentional. Or who else was it? Jay, remind me, who else took the intentional shot? Oh, Joe L. Embiid, right? He took the intentional shot.

He did. Nick Claxton. Yes, that's right. The little Claxtons? Or the little Nicks? It's not a euphemism, Henry.

It's not a word. So that seems to be an overwhelming number of these moments in the playoffs so far. And we've just gotten into the second round.

We'll see if this trend continues. Also, it's not necessarily because of a shot, but once again, Chris Paul, groin injury. When he left the game between the Nuggets and the Suns, the Nuggets actually had a lot of work to do. The Suns were in control, and after he left with his injured groin, they were no longer in control.

I don't know how I feel about the groin being a major theme of these playoffs so far, but it is. So we're going to backpedal because I want you to hear James Harden and the Sixers in all of their glory. But mostly, this was a great start to the Sixers and the Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals. James with a dribble. Harden one-on-one. Nine seconds on the shot clock. Harden for three. Shot up.

It's good. Harden made a triple. The Sixers go up by two. Eight seconds to go.

Boston takes time. Sixers 117. Celtics 115. James Harden from out front. Nailed a three. His seventh three. He's got 45 points, and the crowd is gasping.

Tom McGinnis on Sixers radio. The crowd is gasping. I do think that that type of a shot, it's not necessarily a knockout blow, only because we're not in a Game 7 or really an elimination game. We're early, but man, it can feel like a gut punch. And so James Harden delivers the gut punch in Game number one. The Celtics did still have an opportunity to come back in this one, and so it wasn't over by any stretch of the imagination. But the anticipation, really, after James Harden hits that bucket, the crowd goes silent, and then they've got to build back up again, because they do have the opportunity to steal this one, despite the 45 points of James Harden.

Yeah, love this back and forth. Absolutely love it, and hope that they don't run out of gas before we get to, well, deeper in the series. Should I say Game 7?

Probably not, because you know me, I don't make predictions. But the Celtics and Sixers have already laid it out on a silver platter. Brogdon will trigger the inbound against Tobias Harris.

It's in his hands. Bounce entry. Marcus Smart turns, drives, scoops it wildly, no good. And a foul called on the Celtics.

And another brutal home court loss for the Celtics in the postseason is 4.6 seconds away. Sean Grandy, Cedric Maxwell, they can't really hear Max in the background other than a who? What?

I don't know what you're talking about. It reminded me, actually, of the Milwaukee Bucks in their last game against the Miami Heat when they did not get a shot off. They didn't take advantage of the last few seconds. They had to be able to at least get a quality shot at or quality look at the basket. In this case, the Celtics end up committing a foul, and it was kind of a wah wah wah finish. And so again, you can hear in the background there at TD Garden, just the shock, the quiet, the what just happened.

And then Max really expressing. Do you remember when you were in elementary school? Maybe it wasn't even elementary school.

Maybe it was in junior high or high school. And your English teacher taught you about either writing an essay, writing a paper, coming up with an outline, a theme for a project. And the idea was to use all the questions, use all your questions. Who, what, where, when, how, how, why, who, what, where, when, why, how, and how much. Were there seven? I think there are seven.

And Cedric Maxwell uses all of those. What's it? Who?

He definitely, well, we didn't go to the same school, but he definitely learned that same school of thought. So Granny and Max, before that, Tom's Sixers and Celtics radio. And this one went down to the wire, which was tremendous.

Again, I'll sign up for six more of these, not wanting to jump the gun, of course. But to see the back and forth between two veteran teams, you've got a Sixers team that continues to run into the second round ceiling. They have a hard time getting past the second round. That's been their MO in this recent iteration of the Sixers. And last year running into the Celtics. And so there's extra motivation, but they don't have Joel Embiid. The Celtics, meanwhile, went to the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago. We know about their turmoil in, well, not even really.

It was the off season, but right before they start training camp with changing their coach, they were among the best teams in the league all year. And this is a fantastic setup to what I hope will be an extended series. My wishful thinking, I hope it will be an extended series.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS Sports Radio. James Harden can't just, it can't just be about the game itself ever, really, because that's James Harden. He does carry a chip on his shoulder the size of Chicago or Boston or Philadelphia or any of the major cities. No, James Harden has to kind of rub it in when it comes to the doubters.

Oh, raising my hand. I'm one of those. The critics, oh, wait, that's me, too. I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a hater because I don't, I don't, I'm not that personal when it comes to athletes and the sports that I cover. But James Harden has a toad. And at least on this night, with his 45 points that power the Sixers, he is allowed to have as much of a toad as he wants.

I don't need to make a statement. Like, what happens internally, like with the 76ers organization, coaches, my teammates, what they expect me to do, you know, all throughout the course of the year was, you know, be a facilitator and get Joel to basketball and, you know, score when necessary. Joel wasn't here tonight, you know what I mean? So, and we knew that going into this series. And now it's like our opening floor, James, you're going to be aggressive. And tonight I was aggressive.

So it's not that I'm not capable of doing it. It just, this is my role for this team. He was awesome. Kept his cool, knew when to attack, knew when to give it up. I thought he had just great patience overall. I thought that he had just the perfect mindset tonight. He really did. I'm so happy for him because it just tells you what he can do on given nights.

And then he can be your point guard on given nights. It just speaks, you know, it's amazing. The guy's a hall of Famer and all you hear is the other stuff about him. Okay. Let's not get carried away. Is the guy a hall of Famer? That's probably another argument entirely.

One that I'm not currently prepared to argue. I do love that doc rivers always, always, always shows up and goes to bat for his guys. He's been calling Joel Embiid the MVP since about midway through the regular season. And now James Harden is a hall of Famer show of hands. Only you know whether or not you're raising hands, James Harden, a hall of Famer. The guy's a hall of Famer.

All right. Let's not get carried away. It's one game for heaven's sakes. However, it's exactly what the Sixers needed. And James Harden wasn't alone. This was an all hands on deck performance without Joel Embiid. They didn't have a ton of minutes off the bench.

Okay. So the only guy they have off the bench who plays more than 15 minutes is DeAnthony Melton. But Melton comes up with 17 points. He hits five triples. You want to talk about an injection, an infusion of energy, a spark off the bench that not that it necessarily needs to be from long range, but the ability to score, the ability to create the shots or just to be ready when your teammates find you is in terms of their bench.

It's not as deep. The Celtics have more guys off their bench that they'll rotate through and they'll try to use, they'll mix and match, Joe Mazzullo will mix and match. But to have a Melton come off the bench the way that he did, really the only guy off the bench who was able to provide significant minutes and pop meant that it took a little pressure off of James Harden. And the Celtics know it.

They watch this unfold in their own building. Harden had 45. Melton hit five threes. You know, those other guys stepped up and played big and, you know, knock down shots. I think those guys just got some easy ones, right? Some open threes early.

And, I mean, everybody, you know, guys in NBA are talented. You know, they see a couple go in and the basket just gets a little bit bigger. I think PJ's at the screen and I came off the screen and I was wondering if it would be two on the ball. Oh, no, no, that's my fault. Jay, that's my fault. You can stop that. I guess I put in the wrong number. This is what happens when Jay and I are not in the same place. I make mistakes.

No, we just get our wires crossed. That's my fault. I was looking for 14, not 4, Jay. So whenever you have 14, just feel free. I got to be better at play calling and getting us into our spacing quicker.

So it's from that. And then just, I think at times we were caught in between a two on one where we could have shot it and got a good look, but tried to get a great look. And sometimes you just in situations like that where they're scrambling, you just can't pass up good look. So it's a little bit on me and it's a little bit of just, you know, we got to have the freedom to just shoot the ball, knock down, open shots, James Harden, go ahead, step back, three pointer over Al Horford, just for good measure with under nine seconds to play. And even without Joel Embiid. And we had talked about this last series too, because of what we saw from Tyrese Maxey, what we saw from Tobias Harris, both those guys were in double figures. The Sixers were able to hit a bunch of threes, which obviously gives you an advantage.

Will it always be that way? That's my concern with being a team that shoots volume threes after the Celtics had their initial burst, you had doc rivers really rely on James Harden to be patient, to distribute, but to attack and also to take quality shots. And I don't give James Harden enough credit for having been there, done that around the NBA for years.

I know he doesn't have the hardware, team hardware, he has individual individual hardware. But the fact that he was able to fill this leadership role without Joel Embiid, he deserves a ton of credit in a hostile environment there in Boston, he did exactly what his team needed. And he was an extension of doc rivers on the floor. If you don't remember doc rivers was a point guard in his playing days as well. And so James not only was able to score, but he made sure that everybody around him stayed on the same page and played as a unit.

And that's what you need when you're on the road in that kind of a territory. So I mean, I don't know how much more positive I can say about James Harden. All right. I might have reached my quota for this show.

And it's only the first segment. The guy's a Hall of Famer. Okay, knock it off. We heard you once doc rivers.

You can find me on Twitter, a law radio also on our Facebook page and excited to be here one more time. I probably wouldn't be sitting upright, if not for the power of coffee. I'm looking at my three students with this big grin on my face because if you're going to work in this business, usually coffee is your friend. I didn't start drinking coffee till I was 30. So I did not drink it when I was in school.

I drank way too much soda when I was in school. Now it's coffee. Do you see this gigantic? Yeah, it might be a good nine inches or 10 inches tall. My coffee mug in here and it is. Yeah, they're probably a good 20 ounces of coffee. But I'll be sucking down over the course of the show. Yes, for the zillionth time since I started hosting overnights started hosting after hours.

I'm incredibly grateful for the power of coffee. All right, so find us on Twitter or on Facebook. Good start to Sixers and Celtics. We also had the Nuggets and the Suns and the Suns were they were cruising. They were looking as though they were going to even the series until Chris Paul leaves.

And I hope that this is not going to be the the factor that changes this entire series because that has happened way too many times in Chris Paul's career, especially when we get close to possibly moving into conference finals or an NBA finals. We are just getting started. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on. Your points are worth more than you think. This first class flight to Tokyo, you can book it in your credit card portal for 1.4 million points. Yowzers. With Point Me, you could redeem just 120,000 points for that same flight.

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That's point.me. This is Flea for This Little Light, the podcast about falling in love with music. I started a nonprofit music school about 20 years ago called the Silver Lake Conservatory of Music. The reason that I started doing this podcast was music education.

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Donate today at your local CSL plasma center and be rewarded for your generosity. Boston takes time. 6 is 117. Celtics 115. James Harden from out front. Nailed a 3. Here's 7-3.

He's got 45 points, and the crowd is gasping. I think PJ's had the screen, and I came off the screen, and I was wondering if they were going to put two on the ball. And so when I cross-grained, I pulled the ball back out.

It was just like, stay home. It's a one-on-one. So then I'm looking up, and I'm just, all right, this is what I work on every day. So to get the best available shot, no matter what it is, and raise up and shoot it.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. James Harden started hot and then finished with a flourish. 45 points matching a career high in the playoffs that goes back to 2015.

So when I tell you he has a lot of postseason experience, it may not have resulted in championships. In fact, more often than not, with the Rockets, they were running into the Warriors, especially with that run that the Warriors had to the five straight NBA Finals. But early on, Harden set a tone because he hit his first five shots, including a couple of triples. You also had Jalen Brown, who started out hot to trot.

And get this, this blew me away when I saw the number. The Celtics shot 74% in the first half. There was no defense in the first half. They only had a three-point lead, though, because the Sixers were hot on their heels, especially from deep. One player called it a dogfight.

I don't know, to me, a dogfight is more like what we're going to get with the Knicks and the Heat, because points will be harder to come by. This was, it was a free-for-all. It was a love fest with offense, exactly what the NBA loves. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio from Syracuse University. And as much as I was prepared to continue talking about basketball, during our commercial break, it's funny, I was, okay, so a little background. When you all hear commercials during a break, whether it's local commercials from your local affiliate or whether it's national commercials from the network, we in studio are hearing music.

And by, I'm using that term loosely because it's not anything pleasant. Music makes it seem as though it's very, almost like elevator music. No, this is obnoxious. And worse, it's the same exact music that we have had for every single commercial break, for every single show for the last 10-plus years.

It's, it's nightmarish now, actually. And so when I'm in studio in our New York City headquarters, I actually turned down the monitor because the music drives me nuts. If someone were to torture me or want to torture me and to give up all the information that I have stored in my brain, all you would have to do is play this music for about an hour and take me, just take all, I'll give you everything.

It's torture after a while because we've been listening to it for so long. So I was explaining to the students who are here, Jake, Mark, and Nury, that I turned down the audio because I can't listen to this music anymore. And Jake, you made the point that it's like the ice cream truck music. Yes, which Producer J, I feel like if you Google or go to YouTube for ice cream truck music, you will find it. The ice cream truck has a soundtrack and it's the same thing. It's a little bit creepy. It reminds you of some type of a, I don't know, a movie where there's a creeper after children, which is what it makes me think of. I do love ice cream.

No, that sounds more like a jewelry box or a music box. No, it's, see, I can't sing it, of course, because it wouldn't sound like what you get from the ice cream truck. You know that obnoxious ice cream truck that goes through your neighborhood and all the kids run after it, except today there was an ice cream truck on campus. And how many people would you estimate were standing in line?

Because, okay, first of all, the sky is a dark gray. I drove into a huge rainstorm coming into Syracuse because there was a storm over the lake. So I drive into the storm, it's pouring down rain, the wind is blowing enough that you have to keep both hands on the steering wheel because even Princess Leia, that's my car's name, Princess Leia was getting bandied about by the wind and it's cold. I think the temps were in the low 40s and yet there was a line of students standing outside waiting for the ice cream truck, including Mark, who is here in studio. How many people were standing in line for the ice cream truck? It was about 30 people.

30 people, he says, in line for the ice cream truck. There it is. Can you guys hear it?

That's it. And it gets in your head and it never stops. You hear it in your sleep. And so as I'm walking over to Newhouse, which is where I'm doing my show right now, I had a meeting before class. Walking over to Newhouse, I hear the noise. I look up, there's this ice cream truck, of course parked illegally, and this long line of students and the music just keeps going and going and going. And it's that same cycle, that same circuit of music.

Yep, that's it. And it never stops. How long do you think you could survive if you were put in a room by yourself, padded walls, maybe in a straight jacket, and the music from the ice cream truck was blaring at you? How long would you last before you just, I'll give you everything.

15 minutes. But you got ice cream. So you're willing to tough it out for ice cream. Hot fudge sundae. Oh, nice. That's amazing. Low 40s, raining, wind is blustery, and you had a hot fudge sundae.

Perfect. Along with 30 other people standing in line for the ice cream truck. So this is the benefit of being here on campus. There's an ice cream truck. Now, is this ice cream truck just for the campus? Or does it go because there's a hospital right down the block to food trucks?

What am I missing? Forget radio. I'm just going to move to Syracuse and be a full time professor. Maybe not even adjunct. I'll just be a full time professor because they have their own food trucks.

Not that we don't have those in New York City, but they don't set up at night, which is when we do our show. So that's kind of cool. But the music, the music is torture.

After a while, it would drive you straight batty. Yep, there it is again. You know, it's actually a brilliant marketing ploy, though, for every ice cream truck that enters your neighborhood. You know exactly what it is.

Children go running. Or producer Jay. I won't tell you the whole story, but one time Jay, what were we doing? Hanging out doing, I don't remember what we were doing. But Jay was visiting me in my neighborhood and the ice cream truck is driving around and Jay wants to go out and get ice cream. Of course.

Of course. It's a treat. It just always tastes better when you get it from the ice cream truck. It's for children, though. And you were chasing after the ice cream truck like the rest of the children in the neighborhood. The man had ice cream. I wanted it. I knew where to get it.

That was it. Even as I'm, yes, also communicating with a student here. Grad student, by the way, who needed this ice cream.

But see, you guys don't sleep. I remember the end of my grad classes. So I said we have grad, we have senior, we have sophomore. And it's the end of their semester. And are you guys done with finals yet? Or you still have finals? Still got finals, still got projects.

They're here, which means they're hardcore, but they weren't sleeping anyway. And so ice cream truck is nice during finals week. That's awesome. I missed it. But next time, soft serve. Mark is ruminating about soft serve.

Yes, he is. Yeah, that was beautiful. Which means any time we get to talk about ice cream over basketball.

Sorry, basketball. I love you. But ice cream, soft serve. Jay, did you find that on YouTube, the classic ice cream truck theme?

I did. How long do you think you'd be able to hold out if you were tortured in a padded room and all you heard was the ice cream truck music? Do I have access to ice cream as I want it? Or no, you're being tortured. You don't get ice cream while you're being tortured. I don't know. I'm not long.

Probably about 11 minutes. You've been sheltered, Jay. They're not going to give you the ice cream. They're just playing the music so that you not only are not getting ice cream, but you're being tortured by the music.

11 minutes, huh? Yeah, if I'm getting ice cream throughout, like when I want it, then I can just hang out there all day. Like, I'm winning that. Wait, what about torture would indicate that you're also getting the ice cream?

Without ice cream, no, that wouldn't last long. Sometimes I wonder what's happening in the brain of producer Jay. Why would you get the ice cream while you're being tortured? I mean, I don't know. I don't know what they're doing to me. Maybe they're nice captives.

Nope, they're not. They're playing ice cream truck music over and over again. Okay, so I promise we'll get back to basketball and we'll get back to hockey, but it all pales in comparison to ice cream.

On Twitter, After Hours CBS, if you too would sign up to be tortured with ice cream truck music, if there was ice cream that came along with it. And also on our Facebook page, we're happy to connect with you. First day of May, now in the books, which kind of blows me away.

But since April was completely chaotic and absolutely hectic, I'm okay with May being here. Hook shot. Dude, this guy's unbelievable. 82 to 79. Denver leads it by three. Murray behind the three-point line. It's a foul on eight and loose ball down to Jokic.

Goal-tending whistle against Phoenix. Count that bucket. Kevin Duran cheating. Nuggets lead it by five. Jokic has it, bottom part of the mid-court circle. Back over to Jamal Murray.

Bucket here, you win the game. Murray to the nail. Jokic got it.

And that ought to do it. Denver leads it by 10. Timeout, Phoenix.

1.34 to go. Nicole Jokic, 39. This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Jason Kosmicki loves his life and he loves his gig as the voice of the Denver Nuggets on their radio network. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio from the campus of Syracuse University where I was able to watch Nuggets and Suns and did so in the fourth quarter with my mouth agape, actually. What happened to the Suns? 14 points in the fourth quarter.

They were seemingly, command might be too strong, but they had possession of the momentum as they go into the fourth quarter. I felt like the Suns were doing exactly what they needed to do. Yes, Jokic was getting his points because he does. His rebounds because he does.

That's why he at least is in the conversation for winning a third straight MVP award. He finishes with 39, 16, and then five assists, couple of steals, a blocked shot, a partridge in a pear tree. You know what Jokic does.

He fills up a stat sheet. But what the Suns were doing well was limiting, they were, excuse me, limiting Jamal Murray. He had some open looks and couldn't knock them down initially. I think he was one for 10 going into the fourth quarter and hadn't hit a triple.

So they were able to limit what he was doing. And I liked the way that the Suns themselves were running. Now, this wasn't a high scoring affair. Neither team went over 100 points. That is unheard of in today's NBA to have neither team go over 100 points does not happen. But in the postseason, defense becomes more important.

I guess if you compare it to the regular season where defense is not very important, defense becomes a factor. And then, of course, you've got two teams that are going toe to toe. And with the superstars, they cancel each other out, right? So a lot of times it becomes about what the role players do. Once the what the bench will do.

And it becomes about the leadership in those times when the pressure is ratcheted up. The Suns have an advantage in that arena. If you look at these two teams on paper, they've got a Kevin Durant who's got multiple rings, who's been in a ton of playoff action.

They've got a Devin Booker who's seen some playoff action, but certainly the way that he is able to heat up is critical. Chris Paul, the distributor, one of the best point guards in the history of the NBA. But Chris Paul left the game actually left the arena immediately after the final buzzer didn't talk at all about the fact that he wasn't in the gym in the gym. Don't call them gyms anymore for the final four and a half minutes of the third quarter.

And then he's in the locker room because of a groin injury. Everything changed at that point. When they lost Chris Paul, everything changed.

And so now instead of being tied 1-1, you've got an 0-2 deficit. Granted the games are in Denver. I don't love the adage about the series doesn't start until someone loses or wins on the road because that's not true. The Nuggets are actually halfway to the Western Conference Finals. But it's not as though the damage is so bad the Suns can't recover. It's just it would have been nice to be able to steal one. But once they lost Chris Paul, the Suns were not the same team.

He may be an old dude, but you know our theory here on the show, old dudes rock. So Monty Williams losing his point guard when the Suns could ill afford to. We just stopped moving it. Yeah, in the first half and even in the third quarter, we run a pick and roll, kick it to the backside and we just played.

After Chris went down, it kind of went away a little bit. He moves the basketball around. He finds the open man again with a ton of playoff experience, even though he doesn't yet have the ring that he so desperately desires.

This guy turns 38 on Saturday. He plays with pace and I don't mean speed. I mean, he knows the pace.

He knows how to control the game with his pace. And it's a bummer because the injury issue has plagued him multiple times in the postseason. Remember the hamstring for the Western Conference Finals going back a few years ago when it was Paul with the Houston Rockets against the Golden State Warriors, the Rockets were one win away from finally exercising those demons against the Warriors, getting past the Warriors and into the NBA finals.

And instead, Paul gets hurt. Warriors win two in a row. Man, that was one of the most incredible comebacks of the Warriors last decade. But here's Chris Paul once again dealing with an injury. And despite Devin Booker, despite Kevin Durant, despite the guys on that Suns roster who who can score, who can rebound, even with the trade they made, the Brooklyn Nets, they still have guys who can do the deal, do the deed.

I got caught there. Do the deed, do the deal, whatevs. You know what I'm saying? So the the Suns need him because he, similar to what James Harden did for the Sixers in Game 1, he helps keep them together, keep them moving forward. And the wisdom, the experience that he has for all of his years, he may not be the fastest anymore. He doesn't have that same explosiveness, but the savvy and the craftiness of Chris Paul are invaluable.

It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Meanwhile, you have a Jokic that is crushing the stat sheet, as we talk about, Jamal Murray, who then finds his footing and finds his rhythm in the fourth quarter. Both teams didn't shoot well. It's a low-scoring game, 87-97. It was a tough game, rough game. But we won the game.

That's the most important thing. We found a way, especially in the fourth quarter, the difference was amazing. Even the shots that they made, it was contested.

So that's the recipe, how we need to play. We found a way that our rebound in the first half, they kicked our butts on the offensive last second half, much better job. We're 6-0 in the playoffs when we rebound our opponent.

And I have to give our guys a lot of credit, man. We've done a really good job taking away the three and the foul line. So to beat a team like that again in front of an unbelievable crowd, special performance by a lot of players, our guys understood if we were going to win this game, I challenged them after the third quarter. They just scored 31 points, and they shot 70% in the third.

So if you want to win this game, the fourth quarter defense has to be great. And it was better. But you can't overlook the fact that there was no Chris Paul. That's Mike Malone. And before that, you hear Jokic. He's playing to the crowd.

You can hear the crowd in the background. So then the Chris Paul injury will be significant moving forward, similar to the Joel Embiid for the Sixers. The injuries at this point in the season, because of the number of miles these guys have had on their bodies all year, think about when they started late October, early November, 82 regular season games, and then the older you get, Chris Paul knows it. Well, LeBron knows it.

Well, old dudes have wisdom and experience and perspective, and they've been there, done that. They've seen pretty much everything there is to see, but it takes longer to recover from injuries. No, Dylan Brooks, you cannot pile on Chris Paul as a groin injury. You can't pile on a man's groin injury. It's just that's wrong.

It's taking wrong to another level. Speaking of another level, Jamal Murray found that in the fourth quarter. But before that, man, these points were hard to come by for Jamal. So what changed? If I'm being honest, it was really nothing. I was just, I mean, if I go look at the film, most of my shots were open. You know, it was just, they just didn't drop the night. So 0 for 9 from 3, bro. I didn't even see that.

I did. Yeah. I mean, yeah, I just got to make a shot.

I mean, I think as simple as that. It wasn't really anything they did. We were just like, you know, especially in the first half or the first quarter was like 16 to 16. Second quarter was 30 to 30. Like guys were both teams were missing, and it was a rough, rough shooting night. I don't know who he was sitting next to.

Jay, do you know who was with him at the press conference? So it didn't sound like Jokic. I'm trying to think who else it would have been from, from the nuggets.

But yeah, that's funny. He's talking obviously to one of his teammates. 0 for 9 from 3, bro. It was bad, but he's right. He just couldn't hit shots. It's not as though there was nothing there for him. He finishes 0 for 9 from 3. He goes 3 of 15 from the floor. But the thing is, even when Jamal Murray stinks and every NBA player, every athlete is going to have a bad night, a bad scoring night, a bad shooting night, whatever it is, an off night. He still has double figures, 10 points, eight assists, a couple of rebounds in there, but you also have to guard him no matter what you have to guard him. You can't just leave him wide open because eventually Jamal Murray will hurt you. So yeah, the fact that the nuggets won with an awful night for Jamal Murray does not bode well for the Phoenix Suns, and I'm nervous about this Chris Paul injury and what it means for the rest of the series. Playoff basketball and ice cream trucks. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-02 06:09:27 / 2023-05-02 06:27:46 / 18

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