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

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
May 1, 2023 5:54 am

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

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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May 1, 2023 5:54 am

The Seattle Kraken knock-off the defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche | Florida Panthers reporter George Richards joins the show | Jimmy Butler banged up, but Heat power past Knicks for Game 1 win.

JR Sport Brief
JR Sport Brief
JR Sport Brief
JR Sport Brief
Amy Lawrence Show
Amy Lawrence
Amy Lawrence Show
Amy Lawrence

Ah, hammock. Check. Arnold Palmer.

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45% off selected products at Rules and restrictions may apply. I'm JR of the JR sport show on CBS Sports Radio. I'm also the host of the new podcast Agents of Inclusion. We talk to a different Special Olympics athlete every week to learn how sports can bring us together. We're bringing both the disability and non-disability community to one community.

All one people, one family. It took me a little while, but I decided to claim autism as my superpower. When you hear the word autism, don't let that hinder you from doing whatever it is that you want to do. That's what Special Olympics tells you. You get involved in sports, but then you take it from the playing field out into real life. Family means to me community, acceptance, love, embracing a person just as they are. That's what Special Olympics did for me. It's all about family.

Subscribe to Agents of Inclusion on the free Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. I could already feel it. I could feel the potential, the infinite possibilities when I got home from church on Sunday. I was just confirming the schedule so I knew the timing of the various playoff games on Sunday and how to plan my cleaning and my class prep and all that jazz. I was also baking this weekend too because I promised my students that I would bring treats to our final class. So last trek to Syracuse coming up in a few hours actually.

In fact, I will be on campus in 12 hours from now. I've got to make that seven hour round trip one more time, but it's final project day and the students have had to record their very own radio show segment about sports. Had to be between 10 and 15 minutes and I gave them a lot of freedom, but they had to use the principles that we've learned about in the last three weeks. And so I'm anxious to hear what they come up with. Some of them have done radio in the past.

Others of them are brand new and I'm not even sure they want to do radio segments or radio as a full time gig. But this is the class that they're taking that's about the art of radio. So no better way to immerse yourself in it and figure it out than to practice. So that'll be fun on Monday afternoon or Monday evening. And so I was getting ready for class and I was baking for them so they have some treats and I was looking at the playoff schedule. And I remember thinking, oh, there is a lot of potential for spicy results for our Sunday night show. And lo and behold, if we didn't have history in every single game, seven takes different shapes.

It takes different forms. But sports never stop this time of the year. And so we get to be along for the ride.

It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Hope that you had a great weekend saying goodbye to April. So I also hope you're ready for May this week alone. We've got Cinco de Mayo. For those of you who celebrate, even though you're not Mexican, I do not understand. But Cinco de Mayo comes up on a Friday.

Oh, my goodness. I once made the mistake of going to a Mexican restaurant on Cinco de Mayo. It is the day was the dumbest move ever.

We promptly turned around and left, got to the parking lot and realized rut row. But before Cinco de Mayo, it's May the fourth for you Star Wars nerds like me. And then actually coming up this weekend on Sunday, I have my first half marathon of 2023, which means one more long training run. It's going to have to be on Monday because I could not get outside over the weekend.

It was pouring from start to finish. So my sports exploits, my half marathons are not nearly as exciting. There will not be video. There will be no highlights. Let's assume there will be no stunning upsets.

But I would know anyway because I'm nowhere near the leaders when they finish these races. But I am looking forward to it and praying for some good weather, cool weather, dry weather. That's all I'm asking. It's going to be a big week.

It's hard to believe that April is almost entirely in the rearview mirror now. We are asking you the most improbable, unbelievable upsets in sports history. They can be individual. They can be team. They can be college. They can be pro.

They could be Olympics, if you like. I better see some Miracle on Ice responses. So send them to our show Twitter after our CBS. In addition to that, you can also find us on Facebook after hours with Amy Lawrence and our phone number 855-212-4227.

That's 855-212-4CBS. Now ahead this hour, in fact, 15 minutes-ish from now, we'll dissect the Panthers rally in Game 7. But also their rally from 3-1 down to the Bruins in this series facing not just Game 5 but then Game 7. Also in Boston, a lion's den, if you will, of experienced, entitled Boston sports fans. And it's okay.

There's a reason why you're entitled. But we'll also look at their last year because this was the Panthers a year ago. The Panthers know exactly how the Bruins felt or are feeling right now but felt in that moment. A little bit different circumstances for the president's trophy winners last year because they were swept, unceremoniously booted by the Tampa Bay Lightning. However, they understand the weight and the expectations of being the best team in the regular season only to have that come apart in such a dramatic way in the playoffs. So the Panthers made a lot of changes in the wake of their exit in the postseason a year ago.

And look, look where they are now. So we're asking you unforgettable, improbable upsets, most unbelievable upsets in sports history, again on Twitter or on our Facebook page. And we will spend some time talking about the Panthers and Bruins in a few moments. The other hockey game that was taking place on Sunday was also a Game 7. And I don't know that this is as enormous an upset in terms of how these two teams got to the playoffs. But the Avalanche are the defending champions where the Seattle Kraken have got nothing on their playoff resume.

As in nothing except for a handful of wins in the last couple weeks. Seattle against the wall, Bjorkstrand looks in front, tips, scores! Brandon Tanav out in front, the puck toward the net, and Turbo deposits the first goal of the game. But race for the puck, here comes Bjorkstrand up the left side, walks in, scores! O-B-O my, Oliver Bjorkstrand from the left circle, he rings the doorbell and in. In the zone, De'Vaughn tapes, 30 seconds to go in the period, McKinnon, one-timer, he scores! The Mag attack is back, Jack!

It's his first point in a Game 7. You hear the voices of Everett Fitzhugh and Conor McGehee on Kraken and Avalanche Radio respectively. And man, what a different tone behind Conor, right? Because this is the Avalanche, again, they're protecting their home ice similar to the Bruins and their fans.

And the noise, the din that they created in the Garden. And so that's the crazy part is you have these two hockey powers, granted the Avalanche weren't the same this year. But you have these two hockey powers and they've got everything going for them. Except the other locker room doesn't care and has nothing to lose. So the Seattle Kraken going toe-to-toe with the defending Stanley Cup champion.

But there were some tense moments to be sure, had to get through it every last second in Denver. McKinnon still looks for options, looks up top, knocked away by Bjorgstrand. He'll chase it at the red line and dime to poke it away. Ten seconds left here in Game 7. This is Rodriguez in to the far side, Lekoden in behind the net.

Six seconds to go all the way back to the near side. McKinnon hit off the puck, thrown out in front, there's the horn! A team that defied the haters. They rolled their eyes at the naysayers and now they have defeated the defending Stanley Cup champions in seven games.

The next wave is crashing into the next round. The Seattle Kraken are heading to the Western Conference Semis. Wow, Everett Fitzhugh again on Kraken Radio as Seattle becomes the first, you want your history? The first expansion team to beat the reigning Stanley Cup champs in their inaugural playoff series. That comes from the NHL. It's never happened before that an expansion team has taken out the defending Stanley Cup champion in their first ever playoff series. And I know that expansion drafts are not the same as they were in the past. We're not talking about guys who've never tasted the playoffs.

This is not a group that is devoid of experience. But the stars shine so brightly on the Avalanche roster in Denver with that recent Stanley Cup banner hanging from the rafters. And so it's history and it's stunning. But I love it. I love it for Seattle sports fans who lost their basketball team years ago.

Would love to get a basketball team to return to the city. But for now, these Kraken will do. So what does this victory mean for the Kraken? Incredible.

It means a lot to the organization. I think when you look at like the regular season games, it was really tight. They played unbelievable. We played unbelievable against them. So I don't think anybody on our side thought like they're going to sweep us here in four games. So obviously we grew together throughout that series and we had lots to learn in certain games. But that was unbelievable performance by everybody. And it's not going to get easier from here on out. I think it's huge for us, for the team and our confidence as a group bouncing back from last year and then obviously for the city of Seattle. Yeah.

You feel the excitement there and how much they want to back us up. Oliver, I knew I was going to do that. I practice these names and then I turn on the microphone and it just doesn't come out the way that I practiced. We please cut that out of the podcast. Oliver Bjorkstrand. See, it's really not that hard.

Seems fairly easy for anyone else with a pair of goals and also the admission. But this is a big, fat, hairy deal. I'm paraphrasing. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio from Kraken Twitter. We love these kind of peak behind the curtain moments. Head coach Dave Haxtel addressing the Kraken in their locker room. What a gutty performance, boys.

Top to bottom. Unbelievable. Actually, it is believable because we've been doing it all year long, right? Doing it all year long because of the belief in the room right here. Ruby, hell of a game today, man.

Every single guy, every single guy, everybody in the room here, boys. What a hell of a job. That's one. Let's go get another one. Great game by everyone. This one's going to Groovy. Boys, this feels awesome.

The whole team. Let's keep it going. I want a nickname like Groovy. Such a great nickname.

All right. So Groovy was part of the Avs a year ago. Now they deal with the disappointment. Now, let's be fair. When you're coming off a Stanley Cup championship like the one they had last year, it doesn't sting quite the same way as if you have extended your playoff drought.

Clearly, winning two consecutive cups was the goal. But anybody who asked an avalanche player if the season was a failure is asking for trouble. Are you kidding me? That's so disrespectful.

Not that it's the media's job to respect the athletes, but if you want them to respect you, how about don't ask that stupid question? I refuse to play the answer. Someone ask Kale McCarr.

Unless producer Jay makes me. I don't even want to give credence to that question. Is it a failure? You've got a championship banner hanging in the Raptors from not Raptors.

The Raptors from not even a year ago. This was not a failure. However, it was disappointment because you always hope that you can follow it up with another. I felt like we built so much as a group this year, whether it was returning guys or new guys, everybody came in and showed what they could bring. And I feel like everybody got stronger as the year went on in terms of just their mentality and bringing it to the rink every day, obviously with all the obstacles that we faced.

So, yeah, it just sucks. We get to the playoffs and you want to win again, right? You know, maybe you don't have the same team, you know, but yeah, it's disappointing.

But I'm proud of every guy. You know, I think we battled all year. There was no quit in our team like we saw today, you know. There was no quit in our team like we saw today.

I love that. So for these, these Avalanche, it was a roller coaster ride, but they can't possibly hang their heads over what they accomplished. So for Grooby and the Kraken, again, like we talked about with the Sacramento Kings, this is an incredible building block. It's an incredible foundation for them. Regardless of what happens from this point, it's an incredible foundation for them. And it really is about building, really is about putting together a winning culture. It takes the right people. It takes the right perspective.

It obviously takes some success that gives you confidence, gives you a taste of what it feels like. It's history, which is my favorite part. So on Twitter, ALawRadio, we're seeing some of the Miracle on Ice responses. And is there a bigger upset in our U.S. sports history?

Maybe not. But there are plenty of others that we could point to. Most improbable, most unlikely, most unbelievable upsets in sports history. We've got a few in recent history that I'd love to see their responses, but I don't care when it comes from.

855-212-4227, straight ahead. We're going to talk about the Panthers and their Game 7 shocker in Boston. I can imagine most of the listeners on our Boston affiliate have tuned out by now. Don't want to hear it.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Right circle for Hagee. Shoots, he scores.

Carter for Hagee in the right circle. Able to sneak it inside the near post. The Florida Panthers victorious in overtime, 4-3 over the Boston Bruins. And they will move on to the second round. Back for the Boston Bruins after a record-breaking regular season in the National Hockey League. Their playoffs come to a close and a crashing halt here in the first round and seven weeks short of the only goal that mattered to them. Back behind the net. Matthew Kachuk gets there first and he's upended back behind the goal. Loose puck behind the net. Loose to the side of the net. Coming away is Kachuk with Bennett. Along the near boards, Bennett finds it to the circle for Hagee.

Shot top shelf, he scores. Carter for Hagee, top shelf. And the Panthers win it overtime. The Panthers stun the Bruins in Boston. And the Panthers are moving on to round two.

Carter for Hagee. The Panthers have won it overtime, 4-3 the final. The Panthers take Game 7 and they're moving on.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. A thrill of victory for the Florida Panthers on their radio network. And Doug Blagens and the agony of defeat. Judd Seurat on the Bruins radio network. Yes, a major stunner from Sunday in a trio of Game 7s. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio.

We're pleased to welcome George Richards to the show for the first time. Covers the Florida Panthers for Florida Hockey Now as well as 7 Sports Extra. And George, I got to ask you, initially, what's your reaction to seeing the way this final Game 7 and sudden death played out? Yeah, I mean, pretty unbelievable, especially when you factor in how this series started, right? I mean, the Panthers go 0-2 at home and they're down 3-1 in this series against, you know, the best regular season team the NHL has seen. And, you know, it looked like all was lost for Florida, but, I mean, this team just won't quit. And, you know, if you would have told anybody in hockey that Florida would win three straight games against Boston to win that series and knock them out, I don't think anybody would have believed it because, you know, that's fairy tales. That's, you know, something, you know, the most die-hard fan. Oh, we're going to do it.

No, you're not. You're not going to win three straight against Boston. And yet, here they are, the Florida Panthers moving on to play Toronto. And not just the three consecutive games, which is enormous, obviously, with a Game 7 in Boston, but they're still trailing with a minute to go in regulation. So, what about that rollercoaster ride from the end of regulation through that tie into overtime?

Not a real quick goal in overtime, but still, we know sudden death is just a rollercoaster ride anyway. When Boston took that 3-2 lead on the Pasternak goal, it didn't look like Florida, not only didn't they pack, but they didn't really seem to even care. I mean, they were not really pushing the puck up the ice.

It was like, you know, hey guys, you might want to pick up the pace here, have a Cuban coffee or something. And then in the final two minutes, they pulled Sergei Bobrovsky, they go on the attack, they get the tying goal from Brandon Montour. Yeah, I mean, it's hard to explain how this team just continues to do that, because you look at Game 5, Boston outplayed them for 40 minutes between the second and third. And the Panthers just somehow got a couple goals here and there and ended up winning in overtime. And then they are trailing twice at home in Game 6 and end up winning. They've just been finding ways to win, and that's something they did not do during the regular season until the final month of the regular season. This was a team that didn't have a winning streak until February. I mean, this team has really come a long way, and they certainly grew and matured as this series went along. I have to ask you about that quality of this team, having to fight and scratch and claw all the way through the end of the regular season just to make the Stanley Cup playoffs. How much does that build the type of intensity and sense of urgency that you need in a series like this?

Yeah, it may have. I mean, you know, we always talk about that. You see some teams in all sports, right? The teams that kind of just cruise into the playoffs and don't have a care in the world. Oh, we lost in Ottawa. Who cares?

Whatever. We had an 18-point lead against the teams that they cannot lose, and that's where the Florida Panthers were. They went on a six-game winning streak, a seven-game point streak to basically sneak into the playoffs. Pittsburgh won a couple games here or there.

Florida's probably not even in the playoffs. The Panthers need to thank Pittsburgh for tanking it there at the end. But they did find a way, and they did scrap and they did claw for the final seven games of the year to get into the playoffs. And yeah, they were in playoff mode now. It didn't look like it much in Game 1, but it did in Game 2. And even in Game 3 where Boston kind of took it to them a little bit, it was still a close game. Florida played tough throughout. George Richards is with us following what is an historic upset of the Panthers over the Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, culminating with an overtime goal in Boston in Game 7 on Sunday night.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. So George, what have you heard over the course of the series from the Panthers players themselves about how they've managed to stay alive and survive? I think they've just kept their eye on the prize, right? I mean, the one thing the Panthers didn't do was try to win three games in Game 5. I mean, they went to Boston to win the one game, and hey, we're going back to sunrise. Let's see what happens in sunrise. Hey, we won Game 6.

Now let's go to Boston. I think that they realized that while being down 3-1 in the series looks like a mountain, you can only take a step or two here or there and just move forward. And that's what they did. They stuck to their game plan. Again, they never panicked. I mean, there was never any panic in their game. Even tonight, like you brought up in the third period, down 3-2 with four minutes left, and they're just out there like, let's get the puck in deep.

Let's try and block some shots. It wasn't an all-out attack. It wasn't until two minutes left that they pulled Sergei Bobrovsky.

I've seen Paul Maurice pulling with seven minutes left in a game. So yeah, they just didn't show any panic at all. When you think about their arc, even going back to a year ago, they were the president's trophy winners, and they barely survived the opening round of the playoffs, only then to get swept, if I remember correctly, by the Tampa Bay Lightning. What stands out about this team? The whole series against Tampa kind of changed the trajectory of the franchise. They decided that they couldn't. Their style of play needed to tighten up, and that led to a new coach coming in, Paul Maurice.

New systems, a defensive-heavy system. It took these guys a while to really figure it out, and I think there was a lot of pressure on this team. They were nine points out of the playoffs on January 1st, and everybody's like, what happened?

These guys were the president's trophy champions. They lost a couple players. They had to change everything, and then they finally had started clicking in February, and they finally got their game on track. They were able to make up those points and make the playoffs, but now they seem like a tried-and-true veteran team.

They believe in the systems. They seem to believe in what Coach Paul Maurice is selling, and they're better for it because this team was a disaster in December and in parts of January. You know what it reminds me of a little bit, and the Bruins certainly had a piece in this, the St. Louis Blues. A couple of years ago, being dead last in the NHL in, what was it, January, put it in high gear just to get to the playoffs, and then for them to be able to win in Boston, obviously, as a Stanley Cup champion. Those types of stories only seem to happen in the NHL, but on a regular basis. And with a number-three goalie, too, right? Because Alex Lyon, that seven-game point streak with six wins, Florida had Alex Lyon in that. He's their number-three goalie. He should have been playing in Charlotte, North Carolina, for their AHL team, and he leads them to the playoffs. Just a lot of good storylines down here in South Florida with these Panthers, especially now. George Richards covering the Panthers for Florida hockey now, as well as 7 Sports Extra.

A bunch of other outlets. We're glad to have him with us in the wake of this Game 7 stunner in Boston. It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. Well, the Toronto Maple Leafs, while theirs isn't a huge surprise, necessarily, for the first time since 2004, they've actually won a playoff series.

What do you think, initially? How do these two teams match up, George? Yeah, I don't think the Panthers match up very well with Toronto at all. I thought they matched up better with Boston, believe it or not, because the Panthers just didn't seem scared of Boston. But they've only won one game against Toronto this year, and that was the Alex Lyon game that really started up the whole thing. That started the six-game winning streak for them that got them into the playoffs. It was a game that they hung on, that they were able to rally and win.

Funny story there. But they don't match up very well with Toronto. Florida's defense is one of their weaknesses. They were terrible on the penalty kill against Boston. I believe Boston ends with 11 power play goals in the series. Toronto's going to absolutely murder them on the power play if Florida keeps going to the box. So, yeah, Florida's absolutely got a chance in this. I mean, they've obviously shown something here in this series to beat Boston, but Toronto's a whole different animal for them. I was just looking over your Twitter a little while ago, and I saw you were following Florida players out to their cars. They were kind of with them as they were getting ready for this trip to Boston, and you noticed they weren't just packing for an overnight?

Yeah, no. Usually these guys just go for a one-game trip. They're bringing a couple shirts, and that's about it.

One suit. No, these guys were bringing out the big guns. They had the big roller bags out there. I was like, alright, I guess they're packing. And they should, because they're going straight to Toronto. They're going to be in Toronto until Friday.

Their one-day trip turned into a week. There might have been one rookie who didn't pack right, but the veterans knew to bring the stuff. Certainly, when you think about some of the classic fan bases in the NHL and the original six. I mean, Toronto fits that bill. Boston, too. That was what was so stunning to me was the change in volume at the end of regulation, to be sure. But in overtime, it went from being crazy atmosphere at the Garden to just dead silence.

It was so marked. So, as the Panthers head to Toronto, how equipped are they, because of what they've done so far, to be able to withstand against some of the hostility everywhere they go? Yeah, no. That's a great point, because, yeah, Boston is one of the toughest places to play. And here come the Florida Panthers, who won three of the four games in Boston.

They only won one of three at home, but they won three of four in Boston. They seem to enjoy the energy. As Paul Maurice said, sometimes it's easier to start on the road. You don't have to worry about, you know, you just roll out of bed, you go to the rink, then you come home, have dinner, and that's that.

You don't have to get your friends. Now, it's in Toronto, so a lot of them are going to have to get family member's tickets. So, they have to worry about that. But, you know, yeah, they should be able to handle the Toronto arena just fine. What's the fan base been like for the Panthers at home, considering that, again, there was disappointment last year, they barely made it in, and this was expected to be a relatively, well I say expected, many predicted it to be a relatively short series against the Bruins. Yeah, no, the crowds were great, I think, for games three and four.

They had over capacity. And, you know, game six, obviously, that was a short notice, and there were maybe 500 empty seats or something like that. No, it's been a great crowd for them. They haven't really had to compete with the Miami Heat yet. They will in this series, and that'll hurt, because, you know, the Miami Heat are obviously playing the New York Knicks in the second round, and they play in two different arenas, so they're going to have overlaps, and, you know, the first two Florida games are going to compete head to head with the Heat. So, you know, we'll see what happens there. I was going to ask you where the Panthers rank among the teams in South Florida in that region.

How much people pay attention to them? Yeah, no, they're moving up. I mean, it's, you know, the Dolphins, the Heat, the Hurricanes, and then everybody else kind of fighting for fourth. Yeah, so, yeah, the Panthers are right there, right, especially right now. South Florida loves a winner.

I mean, there's no doubt about it. Everybody loves a winner, everybody loves an event, and the Florida Panther games are becoming an event. You know, they've got some real star power in Matthew Tkachuk, Sergey Bobrovsky's huge name, Sasha Barkov. So, you know, they've got some players that the fans down here really relate to and really like. And, yeah, I mean, listen, when I first started covering this team, they went 12 years without making the playoffs, and they've had, you know, numerous number one overall picks and that kind of thing, and now they've really, truly built something. This is their fourth straight trip to the postseason, longest in franchise history. This is only the third time in 30 years they've been to the second round. So, there's been a lot of losing here with the Florida Panthers, and this team seems to be setting that right. This is their second straight trip to the conference semifinals.

So, they're doing something right now. Not only do fans love winners, but fans generally like to witness history, and that is what we just saw on Sunday night with the Panthers' overtime victory over the Bruins in Boston in Game 7. You can find George on Twitter at George Richards.

He is covering the Florida Panthers in this wild ride for Florida Hockey Now, as well as 7 Sports Extra. We're glad to have you with us. Thanks so much for helping us look at this, my gosh, stunning result in Boston. All right, thank you. Good morning.

Yes, it is that in a lot of places, including South Florida. So, the Panthers and the Heat, we're going to get to the Heat coming up because George mentions the Heat already with a 1-0 lead in the second round series, the Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Knicks, despite the fact that the Heat also are the lowest seed remaining in the Eastern Conference. So, you have the Panthers and you have the Heat. No pressure, right? These teams are not expected to do jack in the playoffs, but here they are, and why not us?

That should be the question. On Twitter, ALawRadio, on our Facebook page too, most improbable, stunning upsets in sports history, and then we'll get to your calls to 855-212-4227. It's After Hours, CBS Sports Radio.

You are listening to the After Hours Podcast. Jimmy, the drive, he got fouled on the right side of the serve, and now he's down holding his ankle. Just the entire thing looked awkward as Jimmy is rolled over on his stomach, banging his fist on the floor in pain. Larry Martin-Vincent on a bio bump, trying to close it out, up 97-93, and Gabe, just going for the contact, splashes down from 3. Bam moving up for a screen left, Lowry takes it, back to his right, gets it to Bam, Bam spins on Brunson, puts it up with the left, beautiful hook by Bam, Heat up 102-94, 320 to go. Lowry bounces off the K in the next logo, gets to the right baseline, fires one up, he gets nothing but net over the top of quickly.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Jason Jackson on Miami Heat Radio, and a 12 point deficit in the first half at Madison Square Garden, ain't no big thing for these Heat. We saw them rally from 15 points down, and then 16 points down as they were able to take out the top seed, the best record in the NBA in Milwaukee. They chipped away, they scratched their claw, this is what they do, and finally found their footing in a second half run in which they blow by the Knicks, 21 points to just 5. It wasn't the offense though, as much as the Heat have found their offensive groove after being one of the worst statistical offensive teams in the entire NBA, it was their defense. Tough, physical, hard nosed, they came out and made adjustments, it was their veteran experience, Kyle Lowry, remember him, the NBA champion from the Toronto Raptors?

He had 18 points off the bench, but it was really his savvy that stood out to me. It was the grit, it was the guts, even after Jimmy Butler got hobbled with that ankle, severely rolled ankle in the 4th quarter, he told Eric Spolstra, nope, I'm good, I'm not coming out of the game. And again, while they were able to put together a nice run, this really was about their defense, it was also about their rebounding, and those two elements of basketball, they travel. Regardless of what the crowd is doing, you can play defense and you can rebound, you have a chance even in hostile environments.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio, really was very physical in the second half, good to know that the guys mostly got out unscathed. Now no Julius Randle in this series to start, though he's touch and go for now, his presence could change it, but the Heat could not have played this more perfectly in the second half. The Knicks couldn't match up with their physicality, I know people hate that word, but it is in fact a word we hear a lot, and the Heat also bring a tenacity that's born through the fire of recent playoff runs. Just because the regular season didn't go the way we wanted to go, or other people wanted to go, doesn't mean that we weren't developing grit and tough habits and good things.

It wasn't just from the play in, but we were expecting this game to be like this, it's going to be a cage fight. We have great respect for the Knicks and how they play, how they operate, how they compete, and they jumped on us in the first quarter, because they do good things. They're very aggressive, but we were able to hang in there and understand it's a long game and we started to get a little bit more to our game in the second quarter.

In the second half, we were able to get a lot more defensive stops that took a little bit of pressure off our offense, and then we made some timely plays. I think we're just playing through what we are. I think we understand what we want to do every time we're down the floor offensively. I think we understand what we want to do defensively. I think there's not a confusion on this or that. We know where we want the ball to go, where we want the ball to be, and on the defensive side we know where and how we want to play, no matter what.

There's no confusion, everybody's just on the same page. Larry, he's got the leadership, he's got the experience, he's got the craftiness. 18 points for him off the bench, and here are the Heat grabbing that home court. It's after hours on CBS Sports Radio. Jalen Brunson, he doesn't care what the history is, it's his first year with the Knicks, but he's not looking very far to point fingers.

Today I was horrific, just very uncharacteristic by me, and this one's on me, and I've got to be better, and we'll go from there. Jalen Brunson wants to be the leader of this New York Knicks, and he certainly has taken the lead when it comes to being a driving force. We've seen him engineer late game runs for the Knicks as well against the Cavaliers and against that team with Cleveland that was so young and didn't have a ton of postseason experience.

His resume, it certainly can help, and I like his attitude. I don't think this game was entirely on him, but if you're looking at his performance from beyond the arc, he was 0 for 7. You know what, he wasn't the only one. His former college teammate Josh Hart, who does have his hands full defending Jimmy Butler most of the time, but Josh Hart was 0 for 4. As a team, the Knicks are 7 of 34 from beyond the arc. The only one who hit anything, actually the only Nick who hit more than one, was Obie Toppin. And he took 11 of them, so yeah, a few were bound to go in.

RJ Barrett, he's a guy who is also getting more and more comfortable in the playoffs. Sure, they made adjustments. I think they picked up the intensity a little bit, played hard, they made shots, and we did it. Ha!

It does come down to that very often, doesn't it? You look at the playoff schedule, there is potentially some hope for the Knicks to get Julius Randle back. The NBA, and I'm not saying it was on purpose, I don't know how they do it, it's about their TV schedule and their TV rights and which teams and which conferences can go on which networks. But Miami New York played the opener on Sunday, they will play Game 2 on Tuesday, then they don't play again until Saturday when they head to South Florida. So hopefully Randle can get back in the series, the Knicks will need him because the Heat are all kinds of physical and they forced the issue nose to nose. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-01 06:22:34 / 2023-05-01 06:38:02 / 15

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