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Matt Moore | NBA Writer for Action Network

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June 5, 2023 6:33 am

Matt Moore | NBA Writer for Action Network

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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June 5, 2023 6:33 am

NBA Writer, Matt Moore of the Action Network joins Amy live, from Denver to help recap Game 2 of the NBA Finals

Amy Lawrence Show
Amy Lawrence

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That's slash positive. Thanks so much for joining us as we morph a Monday from a Sunday. We're moving on, starting a new work week, and no holiday weekend relief for you. No, get your butts up and at them.

Let's go. We've got plenty to talk about always on the first show of the work week, and just happens that we had NBA Finals game number two a few hours ago, and the Miami Heat do what they do. This is their MO. They rally in the fourth quarter. They play better when they have no other choice, though they also left the door just cracked a little bit. Enough for the Denver Nuggets to get one last look. They're not going to call a timeout. Denver needs a three-pointer to tie the thing up. Seven seconds left to go for Jamal Murray. Murray has the bottom part of the mid-court circle.

Step back three. Missed it short, and there's the horn. Denver loses game two of the NBA Finals tonight to the Miami Heat, 1-11 to 1-0-8. Now let's talk about effort. I mean, this is NBA Finals, and we're talking about effort.

That's a huge concern of mine. You know, and you guys probably thought I was just making up some storyline after game one when I said we didn't play well. We didn't play well. We didn't play well, and tonight, you know, the starting lineup to start the game is 10-2 Miami.

Start the third quarter, they scored 11 points in two minutes and 10 seconds, and we just got, you know, we had guys out there that were just whether feeling sorry for themselves for not making shots or thinking they can just turn it on or off. This is not the preseason. It's not the regular season.

It's not round. This is the NBA Finals, and that to me is really, really perplexing, disappointing. Michael Malone is never shy about taking aim at lack of effort or his team being soft. We've heard it all year long. He's got high expectations for this team in the NBA Finals. Jason Kosmici with the call on Denver Nuggets radio.

We are headed to Denver now. We're pleased to welcome our friend Matt Moore who covers the league for the Action Network and was there at game number two. Matt, as you hear the comments from Mike Malone, what's your reaction?

Not really surprised. The players kind of owned up to it as well. You know, he said that he asked the players point blank why they lost that game and they all said to a man, effort, like they owned up to it. It's perplexing that you would have this problem in the NBA Finals and you have a chance to win two wins from a championship. I think honestly dominating the Suns towards the end of that series and then sweeping the Lakers, I think the Nuggets started to read their own press a little bit. I think they started to buy into the idea this is going to be easy and guess what? Nothing's ever easy against Eric Spaltz or Miami Heat.

I guess not. I'm not surprised that Malone let into his guys because that's one thing he just can't stand. He's willing to lose on missing a shot.

He's willing to lose on putting a good effort in and the other team just being better. Great players making great plays but can't stand it when professional athletes don't put in the requisite effort and the Nuggets simply didn't do that tonight especially on the defensive side of the floor. Why are the Miami Heat able to do this over and over again? Now seven double figure rallies for wins in these playoffs alone. I think it's look we tend to ascribe meaning to these things like it has to be like something about them like it's got to be like well they're just great like they just get you out of your game plan they just make you uncomfortable and like I'm just here to tell you like I'm watching these games I watch all these playoff games.

Yes. It's indescribable like sometimes there's just runs that happen in sports that kind of defy convention that you kind of defy explanation and we've seen it before like this is part of what's great about sports is that like miraculous stories happen and quite honestly that's a little of what's going on here. The Heat shot 49 from three and it wasn't their best shooting performance of the playoffs. They've shot better than 50 percent. They've shot better than 49 percent about six times in these playoffs. It's incredible for a team that quite honestly has never been great offensively. They were just last year but really their offense was always mediocre and that's how they won this game was with offense. They never know that's sort of a 124 offensive rating. That's excellent.

That's 78th percentile. They won this game with offense. Like everyone wants to go back to like well Heat culture. I'm like look Heat culture is about defense and grinding and like making things tough.

That's not this. Like they just find ways to make it happen and then I think it's a credit to bolster his coaching. Finding ways to win the margins about players being disciplined and understanding their roles. Playing mistake-free basketball. Not giving up easy points in terms of transition buckets and easy stuff at the rim. All that kind of sets you up to where if you do get this kind of shooting performances that they've gotten since game one versus Milwaukee you're going to have a chance to do something absolutely incredible and be the first 8 seed to win an NBA championship. I mean you make such a great point because during the regular season the Heat were among the bottom three in pretty much every offensive metric that you can use over the course of the 82 games and here they are shooting the lights out in stretches. Not always of course but in stretches shooting the lights out against where it doesn't matter what defense gets thrown at them when they're open it's one or two guys usually that take the opportunity and just heat up.

Yeah absolutely. I mean they do have quality shooters like Duncan Robinson was phenomenal tonight. He was just incredible. You know Max Struce did not go one of nine again from three point range. Not going to happen but what's interesting is the other Heat in game one outside of Struce and Duncan Robinson all shot 50% or better from three. Not collectively.

All of them. And so now you have two games and like all that happened in this one was Struce and Robinson shot better. So now you have the stretch where it's like well look they all shot better again without any regression. Struce and Robinson accelerate towards their normal shooting percentages while the rest of the Heat continue to shoot the lights out and that's how you wind up in this type of situation. Denver allowed them to get in rhythm. Don't want to take that away like Miami triggered the action and put enough pressure with Jimmy Butler and especially Bam Adebayo who's been incredible in the series to cause breakdowns by Denver.

Denver also just did like baffling things. They didn't understand how to execute a switch to save their lives tonight as if they were the Rockets. Like it was terrible defensively from really the the jump and the only reason this game was close is because of an outlier Denver offensive performance from the bench in the second quarter and if you're going to win the Nicole Jokic minutes by 11 points as the Heat did tonight you're going to have a really good chance to beat Denver and they're going to help to carry that forward as the series shift to Florida. Yeah it's crazy that he had 41 points and he was still a minus number not just a minus number but a minus double figures and so I'm wondering Matt if you're Eric Spoelstra and the Heat are you willing to give up that much if you can lock down most everybody else? Yeah so it went off on Ramona Shelburne of ESPN a great reporter after the game about how like you can't make Jokic just a score that's not the strategy that means like how he plays the game and all these types of things but the reality is this is that the Denver Nuggets are now one and four when Nicole Jokic scores over 39 points or more like the numbers are not good the numbers are just not good when he puts up huge scoring performances they're even bigger though when you dig deeper it's when he has low assist totals so if he has like a monster scoring and assist game guess what Denver's gonna win but if you if you can manage to hurt the other Nuggets with your defense if you can stay home and make things uncomfortable for them and quite honestly like the Nuggets didn't execute well they didn't get into the two-man game they didn't punish guys inside with the adjustment of Kevin Love MPJ was terrible tonight Cody Zeller yeah he was and missed some really good shots too KCP missed good looks and honestly had a pretty bad defensive night so like they got uncomfortable and these are the things that Miami does that rattle everyone or they just start to fall apart when they apply pressure after pressure after pressure and it's not even necessarily like I can't say that they're playing guys really tight and playing off in defense but there's just something about the way that Miami plays that gets guys not to execute and that cuts down on the assists both opportunities and you know shooting first percentage conversions on Jokic passes and that's that's the path is if Jokic is a one-dimensional scorer they can win they had a 110 offensive rating with Jokic on the floor tonight that is well below his normal averages both in the playoffs and regular season so they did the job defensively again it wasn't for that second quarter bench run this is a blowout but the other side of that is all of these bad things happened for Denver and they lost by three true Matt Moore is an NBA insider for Action Network joins us here after hours on CBS Sports Radio something that we've seen from the Nuggets not against the Heat even but it did happen tonight tonight is they do allow teams to come back in and make it interesting it happened twice in their sweep against the Lakers we've seen it I think what happened once against the Suns too why is that I think the teams have to get used to playing them and it kind of settles down and I think some of this quite honestly a lot of it's the bench unit is that usually the bench unit for Denver struggles and it happened again tonight even as good as they were in that first half you saw that starts the fourth quarter Duncan Robinson gets going when Jokic isn't on the floor and so like that opens the door and then you carry that momentum down the stretch I think Denver also goes in a little bit of prevent offense when they have a big lead they don't have the desire the Warriors used to like try and take a 25-point lead and turn into a 35-point lead and a 35-point lead into a 50-point lead the Nuggets are like no we're good with 12 12 is totally fine that's that's totally okay 12 is reasonable and so like they don't have that kind of desire to run the score up and that kind of influences things that does open the open up for teams to be able to make these runs but I don't know that was that that was this one this one was more Denver simply wasn't ready for the combination of factors of Miami's three-point shooting the zone defense some of the tactics they use some uncommon mistakes it was a concert of things that happened to cause Denver to lose this game but guess what that's what Miami has done all throughout the playoffs are you a big believer in home court advantage in the postseason or no I think it's team centric I think there's some teams that are really great at home and Denver has been one of them which is why I think this loss is especially worrisome for them but this is where they've been undefeated Miami has not been great at home they've been much much shakier at home in Miami so like Denver can get a win there but if Miami can win once in Denver please say they can't win multiple times in Denver and so that kind of opens it up um look it's better it's better for Miami to have home court than not have home court but in truth I think it's more matter of it's it's worse for Denver not to have it is a better way to put it Miami doesn't need home court they need Denver to not have it and now Denver doesn't I love what Jimmy Butler had to say after the game actually we can play it for you uh Kevin if you don't mind cut number 13 he was asked why the team is so resilient and why they continue to do what they do I just think nobody cares on our team we're not we're not worried about what anybody thinks um we're so focused in on what we do well and who we are as a group that at the end of the day that's what we fall back on maker missed shots we're gonna be who we are because we're not worried about anybody else that's how it's been all year long and that's not gonna change so that's what I think it is I think it's that I don't give a damn fact I feel like the Miami Heat actually have an advantage with their chemistry not every team can say that but when you truly have a team that doesn't give a damn it seems to be an advantage for the heat yeah I mean look they don't deal with the same kind of nonsense narrative nobody's trying to build a brand there right like this isn't the Brooklyn Nets with Kyrie and Kevin Durant trying to you know display their art or build a brand or whatever they don't deal with those kind of expectations not the Lakers where there's like constant kind of attention on them they were able to go completely under the radar that opens things up bunch of under active players and not getting that kind of attention only really gave Vincent his plan for contract that's also good too that sets up things in a really positive way one of the things that's been interesting that was in the kind of conversation about Kevin Love and what he's brought there's a lot of ways like heat chemistry was not great this year they didn't look like they were having fun didn't look like they like playing with each other but that changed when Love got there I think Love bringing a levity that kind of counterbalanced Jimmy's intensity and probably made some of the combination that's made it so successful for them and typically he plays what six to eight minutes per game after starting but tonight they needed him for 22 minutes yeah and he was good you know taking charges being physical inside um that's a lot of this is like Love only can defend really one way underneath and that's take charges but if you do that uh it does like muck up the lanes and that's causing problems for Denver that Denver's gonna have to try and adjust in game two Matt Moore is with us from Denver after game two it's after hours CBS Sports Radio if you don't mind just want to ask you about some of the coaching hires we've seen Nick Nurse in Philly, Emay Udonka in Houston, Monty Williams in Detroit which one of these fits do you like the best? I think you know I love Monty Williams in Detroit there's a lot of conversation about whether you know him not wanting that job and kind of having to be talked into it but Williams is going to set a tone he's going to get the players playing the right way and that's a really good pass and it's a really good hire I think for a number of reasons which is like from the start of this this is a black front office hiring a black coach at one of the highest figures in the league and that's good for the directory of the league that's been trying to correct a problem with hiring practices amongst black Americans and former players throughout its time so I think that's pretty significant um honestly I think Nick Nurse in Philly is a little weird um Joel Embiid has some comments about him Nurse is hit or miss sometimes with how he connects with players so his ability to kind of get people to buy in is going to be a big question mark here sometimes if you get them outside of the right context it could be pretty rough and him and Joel is going to be an interesting meeting of egos there in Philly those are the two that I think stand out the most. We heard Adam Silver address the Ja Morant situation vaguely of course doesn't want to take any of the thunder away from the NBA Finals whether it's intel that you've gathered or your gut what you think what could we be talking about here for Ja in terms of punishment? There's a pretty wide range that people are talking about because if you ask some people what's a significant suspension they're like 10 games and if you ask some people what's a significant suspension they're like 30 games and you're like whoa okay so like that's a wide disparity in there that's kind of what we're starting um I lean more towards under 20 I think 10 to 15 losing a quarter of the season um ish before you start getting into a heavy significant dose of this I think is probably where we're gonna land on this um and it should be noted like it's I think it's difficult to find a player to suspend a player that long without a fight in the stands a fight with another player and without breaking a law um I think that the absence of those three factors is going to make it difficult to get the MBPA to accept without appeal and arbitration and all those things a suspension that's that lengthy but there is kind of a feeling around the league that jaws cross the line that not a lot of people are willing to stand up for them and that's kind of the one of the questions is it doesn't seem like like there's a lot of people around the league and in amongst the players even that are like no we gotta stand by the guy based off of him making the same mistake twice. So Adam Silver will have his say and he did actually mention the NBA PA that they were on board with it so we'll wait until after the finals for that you can find Matt on twitter at HP basketball and he covers the NBA for action network also has locked on NBA locked on Nuggets podcast joining us from Denver always good to catch up with you thank you so much for a couple of minutes. Thanks Amy. So getting him to give us his insight after game number two I think is really valuable but now we've seen the strengths of each of these teams the Denver Nuggets as well as the Miami Heat and I think one thing Matt had to say that really stands out is the Nuggets don't need to smash your face into the ground or or trip you and steal your lunch money they don't have that type of a tenacity they don't have that type of a toad I guess would be the better way to say it they're okay with winning now Mike Malone is not okay with winning but the team itself they're not trying to embarrass you they're a nicer basketball team well that leaves the door open for the heat and plays right into their wheelhouse as in right into their wheelhouse all right you can find us on twitter after hours CBS a lot of you were predicting guessing that there would be a sweep in the NBA finals not so fast you know what happens when you doubt the Miami Heat also Tom Brady's still answering questions about whether or not he's returning to play football and if you notice that every time he does he reminds us he can still throw the football he just chooses not to oh well we thought we'd inject some Tom Brady into your Sunday night slash Monday morning to start off the work week it's good to have you with us thanks for hanging out it's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio T-Mobile's network can help keep you connected to all your favorite podcasts when you're out and about whether you're an early bird looking to dive into a daily news podcast or a night owl who wants to catch up on the latest reality TV drama T-Mobile will keep you connected on their strong and reliable network T-Mobile covers more highway miles with 5g than anyone so if you need great coverage especially when you're on the go check out T-Mobile find out more at c-y that's s-e-e-w-h-y 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 now that's more like it point me gets you six to twelve times the value for your points your credit card points are worth more than you think point me better flights fewer points get started get started today at point dot me that's point dot me the finals are here and the biggest assist is happening off the court bet ql has the best sportsbook deals bonus offers and exclusive access to risk-free bets giving you more bang for your basketball buck visit bet ql to unlock special offers and finish the season on a winning note whether you're riding with the joker in denver or playoff jimmy and miami bet ql's bonus offers can be the alley to your sports betting oop go to bet slash hoops to take advantage of these exclusive offers that's bet slash hoops
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-05 08:55:24 / 2023-06-05 09:04:02 / 9

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