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After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 1

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
April 18, 2024 5:33 am

After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 1

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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April 18, 2024 5:33 am

Should we be afraid of a healthy 76ers squad this postseason? | Can the Heat survive without Jimmy Butler? | Coby White leads the way for the Bulls.

Amy Lawrence Show
Amy Lawrence
Amy Lawrence Show
Amy Lawrence

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With an awesome network and great savings, there's never been a better time to join T-Mobile. Visit your neighborhood store to make the switch today. What we're renaming the show, or you just skip that step and you write to me on social. Well, now that the name of the show has changed, one guy actually wrote to me on our Facebook page and said exactly that. Now that the name of the show has changed, oh, do you know something I don't know? There's probably a lot of things this man knows that I don't know, but it is not a new name for our show. Yeah, same show, same time, same host, same producer, same weird and wacky and wonderful approach to life and sports. It's just a different network brand.

That's it. And to that end, we are attempting to reboot, rebrand and rebuild our various social media platforms. You'll have to find the new photos and the new elements yourself because I'm not going to go through them. But just to say that producer Jay and I have spent quite a while trying to figure out how to redo the various elements on our social media platforms, only because a lot of them did have the former name of the network. And so we're trying to figure out how to get rid of one and still make them appealing.

And it's all right because they were due for a facelift anyway, and we're not quite there yet. So we were a work in progress on both our Twitter and our Facebook pages, but you can check them out. I'm on Twitter, A Law Radio, and then our Facebook page at Amy After Hours. Oh wait, that's our show Twitter. See what I mean? It's all a mess right now.

At A Law Radio is me on our show Twitter. It's at Amy After Hours. And then our Facebook page is the same address. It's a different photo. So it's just it's a little bit different, but don't get attached to that because we're not quite finished. It's a work in progress, if you will. So yeah, we're not quite done with the various adjustments and changes, but we'll get there. We'll get there at some point and we'll yeah, we'll figure it out. It'll look the way that we want it to.

And I hope the way that you want it to. But honestly, your opinion is secondary to our opinion. So you'll just have to deal. You get what you get and you don't get upset. It's totally fine.

It's totally fine. So find us however you want to find us YouTube channel as well. We actually do owe you a new YouTube video, probably in the next two weeks, because in exactly two weeks from right now. I will be in Hawaii, experiencing my first ever evening in our nation's 50th state.

I can't even really wrap my brain around it. You have no idea how long I have wanted to go and visit Hawaii. But I had always said, and this is long, long, long before I met Bob, long before we had our first date, long before we ever decided that we would spend the rest of our lives together. I've always said that I would wait until my honeymoon to go to Hawaii.

Now, I didn't know whether or not the future hubs would want to do it, but it was always my dream to go to Hawaii on my honeymoon. And so I decided to wait. Friends said to me, just go. My brother said, just go. Well, there's a lot of other places I want to visit. I'm going to save that one for the honeymoon. And I did.

And thankfully he is amenable to it. And this is kind of a cool thing. I don't know if I've shared this on the air.

Maybe I did or on a YouTube video. But early in our dating relationship, we decided that we would each make a list separately, an individual list of the top 10 places in this world that we most want to visit. And we had a couple of different ones in common. In fact, number nine was identical. That was kind of fun.

So on a phone call, we counted down from 10 to one and each of us took turns. Well, two of our top three were the same. They weren't in the same order, but two of our top three were the same. And one of those in our top three that we had on each of our lists was Hawaii. And so it seemed perfect. I didn't even have to convince him.

Neither one of us has ever been. And we're pretty excited about taking this trip exactly two weeks from today, which is May 1st. And that is crazy. And we'll barely be into the first round of the NBA playoffs. When I get back, we'll probably just be starting the second round of the playoffs. But that's what happens now. You got to settle in for a marathon because it's no longer a sprint.

It's after hours here on Infinity Sports Network and I am the same host, Amy Lawrence. So we know the 76ers maybe, likely, probably wouldn't be in the play-in tournament if Joel Embiid had been healthy all season long. The 6ers, I don't want to say they were lucky because that's not fair. The other guys were doing work. But they were treading water until the point at which Joel Embiid returned.

And he was determined that he would not miss the rest of this season. But they faded. They were treading water.

They were doing what they could. But without their MVP, and actually, even after he returned, they had to do some pretty in-depth work to get to the point where they were the 7 seed. They actually won 8 games in a row to wrap up the regular season. And so they were the 7 seed hosting the 8 seed, the Miami Heat, the defending Eastern Conference champions. That was your play-in game to tip off the East on Wednesday night. So they end up with the same exact record as the Indiana Pacers and the Orlando Magic.

Isn't that crazy? All three teams had identical records of 47 and 35. But because of the various tie breaks and head-to-heads and all that jazz, the 6ers faded to number 7. And that was with 8 wins in a row to wrap the regular season. And actually the Pacers did really well too.

They were keeping pace. They won 7 of their last 10. So that gave them what they needed to stay out of the play-in tournament. So here are the Sixers against the Heat, which is a tough matchup for them.

Let's be honest. The Heat are physical, and they grind on you, and they wear on you, and they wear you down, and they make you play hard all 40 minutes. That defense, it takes more than just a few buckets. It takes everything you've got out there.

It takes heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears. Because Jimmy Butler is a D-A-W-G dog. And remember, they like that. They're good with scrappy and ugly.

And by ugly, I just mean that's how they want to make these games look. Especially their opponent's offensive set and offensive system. And at the end of the third quarter, the game between the Sixers and the Heat, it was 71-68 or something along those lines. They were barely at 70 points.

Which is why it's pretty impressive that we got a fourth quarter worth paying attention to, so I hope you did not miss it. Down 14 points in the second half, the Sixers had to find their rhythm. Joel to the left side Batum, catch and shoot three for the lead, it's good. What a game by Batum. He is made now five threes in the game. Sixers 79, Miami 76. Batum fakes it, dribbles it, shoots a three, it's up, and good again.

He is going to be remembered for this one. Nico Batum, six threes, Sixers by four. 84-82, here's Maxey, quick drive, up and good. Burst into the lane, what a quick possession. Maxey on a dash, down the lane with a layup.

Darren Red going right to left. Hockes, has it knocked away by Lowry, it's loose. The Sixers steal the ball.

Lowry knocked it away at midcourt. And now the Sixers can take the lead and beat for three from out top, it's good. He nails a triple and the Sixers go up. 93-91, five in a row by Embiid.

His second three. What a fourth quarter for the 76ers. Not only did you see Nicholas Batum hitting three different shots from deep, and that by the way includes an air ball that didn't go in, but he continues to shoot. Right, so he comes off the bench for 20 points, six from beyond the arc, but half of those coming in the fourth quarter.

He was the man of the moment. And after a relatively quiet first three quarters, I would even say they were kind of nondescript. Not much stood out about Joel Embiid except that he wasn't getting the ball in the post a lot, the Heat were denying it, they were making life difficult for the reigning MVP. But he got hot and got involved in a different way in the fourth quarter and then everything was going through him. Now he hit a triple from the top of the key, as you hear with Tom McGinnis on the Sixers radio, with two and a half minutes to go.

Philadelphia takes the lead for the first time since the opening quarter, and it was on that Joel three. Did you all happen to see the crotch chop that he delivered? I don't think he was directing it at anyone, I just think he was pointing out that it was, I don't know, big onions or something along those lines. I mean I can't really put myself in the mind of Joel Embiid or any other male athlete that uses that particular gesture.

But I told Jay, Jay and I were on the phone talking about the social media, and I told Jay, oh my gosh rewind it, I'm pretty sure Joel just did a crotch chop. No, no, no, the little Sixers. But in this case he was saying they were big Sixers, not little Sixers, that was the whole point. So anyway, they take their first lead since the first quarter of the game, but man this was a battle down the stretch. And with a hobbled Jimmy Butler, maybe it's not. Just like if the Pelicans have Zion Williamson in the final three plus minutes of their game on Tuesday night, well then maybe they go on to win, and it's not the Lakers. But injuries are a part of the game, and Jimmy Butler was hobbled for sure after the opening quarter.

But even so, the Sixers didn't find this easy, they had to fight scratch claw against the heat. Maxi to the side, Batum with three, he shoots a two on Butler, Rimming no, rebound tipped by Embiid, he gets it back, shoots it and makes it, and they call a foul. Embiid with a rebound at ten feet away off the Batum miss. He never brings the ball down, he scores it and is fouled. Eight to shoot, Embiid with it, he's doubled to the right of the key, looking, searching, into Oubre, Oubre puts up and scores it on Butler, and a foul.

Joel Embiid with a high low pass, he's at the top of the arc, double covered, and Oubre gets a seal on Jimmy Butler and scores it with a foul. Yeah, pretty impressive some of the acrobatic moments for the Sixers. Not only did you have this sweet pass from Joel Embiid to Kelly Oubre underneath as he's slipping the defense, but then you've also got a rebound that turns into a tip in by Embiid, it couldn't have been more awkward for the seven plus footer and yet the ball was silky smooth through the net. But there were turnovers, and there were mistakes, which is why it wasn't easy. Once the Sixers got even, I felt like they gave the heat that same intensity, that same grind, that same sense of urgency, the same energy.

But for whatever reason it took them a while to get to that point. I've seen not only, I watched the game, but I've seen some of these moments re-aired, and it's pretty incredible. The Sixers were a lot more aggressive in the fourth quarter, and they didn't, while they did get a bunch of threes, they didn't settle for threes, which I think was critical. Because that made life a lot more difficult for the heat defense, especially with a Jimmy Butler that was not 100%.

And yeah, once the Sixers ratcheted up the intensity and the defense, it was a different ball game. 16 on the shot clock, 28 to go in the game, Hero for three at a time, it's blocked by Batum, Maxie knocks the ball, and he's fouled, Nick Batum has done it all, he blocked him, what a play, he's made 6-3, 7 field goals, and the defense right there, Tyler Hero rejected on the perimeter. So Nicholas Batum off the bench for 20 points, but also that big block on Tyler Hero, and why Hero? Because without Jimmy Butler being able to elevate and have that same lift, it was Hero who was doing the heavy work. And he did hit a triple with about a second left on the clock, which made this a one point game. But the Sixers, they finally were able to get everyone involved, work Joel Embiid into the offense, which sounds funny to say, but get him the basketball, and he was more assertive and he was more aggressive. I know he's still not in complete basketball shape, but it's a big deal for them to be able to battle through a game like this one that requires so much of them physically.

It's after hours with Amy Lawrence, so Joel finishes with 23 points, 15 boards, and 5 assists. I was proud of just the way we play, because in our times, it was tough, with all the attention that drawn, I felt like we just kept trusting each other over and over. After missed shots, our air ball, we had a couple of air balls, I did air ball, Tyler always did air ball, so we just didn't stop. We just kept trusting each other, and I think that's going to help us moving forward.

We didn't do a lot of the things that I talked about doing. The first half, I didn't think that we were moving, cutting, driving, etc. And then obviously we started especially driving the ball in the second half, just attacking the paint. Now did you guys see the, we'll call it strongly worded conversation, an airing of grievances between Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid. This is after the game ends, so there's the three pointer by Tyler Hero, it makes it a one point game, the ball gets inbounded, but kind of awkwardly, it's not a clean inbound. The buzzer sounds to end the game, so fourth quarter's over, game is done, Sixers escape with the one point win, crowd's going crazy, but beyond the baseline, Maxey and Embiid look like they're having a fight.

Not a fight with fists, but they're having an argument. If you go back and you watch it, because you can't really see the great camera angle from just the broadcast of the actual game, but you go back and you find it on YouTube or on social media, you watch it, and again it looks like they're getting into a fight. So Tyrese Maxey, who had 19 points success, what did Joel say to you? He was saying good game. He was just saying good game. I'm like dude, get out of the way, I'm trying to get the ball, but that's a testimony to both of our mentality. We were both trying to get the ball, just in case they failed, just because anything happened, and we were both running to it, and he dang near took the ball from me, I'm like listen, it's okay, we got it.

He said some other words too. Tyrese Maxey, Kelly Oubre, Nicholas Batum, of course Nick Nurse, they are all happy to have Joel Embiid back out there. And this sets the Sixers up for a game against the Knicks to start their series, New York the 2 seed, it's been a long time since we've been able to say something like that. But game one between Sixers and Knicks comes up on Saturday, if I remember correctly, it's the third game of a quadruple header. And so you're going to talk about some old school basketball here, now neither of these teams are the same, but it does invoke rivalry memories, at least for me, someone who's been watching the NBA since the late 80s. Nick Nurse looking ahead to that game against New York on Saturday. I think they're for real, I think they're really good, I think they're fast, I think they can shoot, I think they hit the glass, I think they guard you, I think they've earned that seed, they've played really well and beaten a lot of good teams, so we'll have our work to do here in the next couple of days to get ready for them.

I'm really interested in that series, although it's likely not to be done by the time I leave for Hawaii in two weeks. But Jaylen Brunson right now is playing some of the best basketball of his life, if not the best basketball, and he's one of the best point guards in the league. And so you've got Jaylen Brunson, you've got a Knicks team that finally has seemed to gel in a way that they look dangerous. And so I'm, well and as I say dangerous, of course they were 14 wins fewer than the Boston Celtics, but Celtics had 64 wins, best record in the NBA, and it's really, I'm not sure it's even possible to compare the rest of the East with the pace set by Boston. But for the Knicks to rise to that two seed and to finish with 50 wins, to have a leader like Jaylen Brunson, to have the success even without Julius Randle, guys like Dante DiVincenzo, who's been playing extremely well, to have guys like Josh Hart. You're talking about a bunch of role players except for Jaylen, but wasn't Jaylen a role player or at least took a back seat in Dallas? It wasn't until he got to New York and got at least one year under his belt that he really came into his own. But it's kind of funny because I'm not sure how many people could name the starting lineup for the New York Knicks right now.

But that's part of the deal. When they play defense, the way that Tom Thibodeau wants them to play defense, and then you have the production of Jaylen Brunson, it's really impressive. OGN and OBE, his acquisition, I know he went through some injuries too, but that's also been a major piece for the Knicks.

So Sixers and Knicks as the two versus the seven in the East. And we'll get to the latest on Jimmy Butler as least as much as we know it. He did play 40 minutes. As bad as he felt, he was on the court for 40 minutes. And his line is still a lot better than what you'll get from the majority of guys in your typical playoff game.

19 points, 5 assists, 5 steals for Jimmy Butler. But there is the fear that he has an MCL injury. So we'll let you hear from him and Eric Spolstra coming up. On Twitter, ALawRadio, also on our Facebook page is named exactly the same. Nothing has changed.

The name of the show has not changed. We're still tooling with the pictures. There is actually kind of a funny one that we're using as a prototype, as a test picture right now. Again, we're still working out the kinks, but it is kind of funny. I think you might like it.

I picked it myself and thought this will make people laugh, so check it out on our Facebook page. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on the Infinity Sports Network. You are listening to the After Hours Podcast. The buzzer goes off. The Sixers win.

They hang on. Miami makes it 3. The ball is inbounded by Kyle Lowry to Joelle.

Maxey there is 2. The ball went off the fingertips and out of bounds, but the buzzer sounded. The game is over.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. The game is over and the Miami Heat now fall back into another play-in game. These are the defending Eastern Conference champions and they use this formula, they use it well, but it does not work without Jimmy Butler. And he was not only off the court for large stretches there in the fourth quarter, but he was hobbled when he was on the court. And this goes back to a moment at the end of the first quarter against Philadelphia just a few hours ago.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence. He ends up going up for a layup and as he comes down, he gets fouled by Kelly Oubre. It kind of knocked him off balance is what it appeared to be.

And so as he is off balance and falling, he lands awkwardly on his right leg. Kind of looked like his foot folded or rolled over or he just didn't plant correctly. And it apparently put some pressure on his knee. So this is final play of the first quarter, but he ended up sticking it out for 40 minutes. It felt me feeling like I couldn't do too much, which sucks with the timing of the game and everything. But we had a little knee tweak and we'll see what these tests got tomorrow.

He's putting himself out there and I really appreciate him for that competitive spirit. It really stiffened up on him in the second half. He was able to still move a little bit in that second quarter after it, but then as the second half went on, it started to limit him a little bit more. Just the movement, but we'll see.

We have no idea right now. We'll see when we get back to Miami. I don't want to jinx it, but I hope that I'm fine. I hope I wake up tomorrow and I can still stick and move, but right now I can't say that that's the case.

So at this point, stiffened up, wasn't really able to do a whole lot. So he says, though, of course, Jimmy Butler at half strength is still far better and the leadership is still there despite his limitations. But they do fear an MCL injury, which will mean that Friday's second chance, second chance, last chance for these teams that play on Friday. They battle for the eight seed, one in the east, one in the west, and then we get into the full brackets and launch the official NBA playoffs. This is the NBA's version of Dayton in college basketball. We get then into the actual bracket on Saturday and Sunday. But if they don't have a Jimmy Butler, now they have to play another game on Friday just to get in, certainly would affect them if they actually do win and beat the Bulls coming up on Friday. We will do this the hard way.

That has to be the path right now. We're going to rest up, treat up, rally around each other up, get ready for Friday, and again, embrace these competitive games. It'll be competitive in front of our home fans and then we're going to bring a hell of a game on Friday night lights and do this the hard way.

That's just the way the deal is right now. But it becomes infinitely harder without Jimmy Butler, their leader, one of their best scorers, he's tough, he's physical, he's really brash and bold, and Miami gets its identity from Butler. And so we'll talk about the Chicago Bulls, but first I need to talk about Chicago, Johnny.

Just thinking about Chicago. You guys have to hear this funny story. I have a friend, an older gentleman and his wife, but I mostly keep in touch with my friend Marv, who loves to listen to the show and may actually hear me talking about him. So Marv and his wife Elaine, they have been friends of mine going back to the days of my previous network when they purchased, well, they won through a donation to the Jimmy V Foundation. They won an opportunity to attend a baseball game at Fenway Park with me.

So that was the auction item that was available. So they ended up winning this opportunity to go to Fenway. We became fast friends. We've stayed in touch. They were at the wedding four months ago.

In fact, four months ago today. And Marv, whenever we have the opportunity, we'll cross paths, we'll get together. So when I was in Arizona last spring, Marv drove to meet my uncle and my aunt and I for lunch.

It was really nice. Anyway, we keep in touch and he's intrigued by one Chicago Johnny. After hearing about our trip to the Mob Museum at the end of Super Bowl week, and this is producer Jay and I, we went, we met Chicago Johnny on the Friday morning of Super Bowl week. We got the world-class insider's tour of the Mob Museum. And there are photos of Chicago Johnny on our Facebook and Twitter pages, I know, but we really enjoyed the time. He may or may not be an actual mobster, but he certainly has incredible insight. He had gifts for us, all this kind of stuff.

He treated us like we were part of the family. So my friend Marv has been hearing about Chicago Johnny and sent me a text a couple days ago or last week. Hey, any chance that you can hook me up with Chicago Johnny? Because I'm going through Las Vegas on my way to, I'm not sure where else he's going, but it's along the way.

It's a stop along the way. And he would like to have the same Chicago Johnny Mob Museum tour that we went through. Now, I don't have Chicago Johnny's number.

I have a hat from Chicago Johnny. And of course I've got photos of the man, but I don't have his phone number. Partly because he calls here at least five times a week, sometimes twice in the same night. In fact, Jay has had more conversations with him than I have since we left Vegas, but I know he really wants us to come back to Vegas.

I think that's very kind. He's offered to give us the full body experience if we go back to Vegas over the summertime. Anyway, Chicago Johnny, if you are listening, my friend Marv would really like to experience the Mob Museum with you as his tour guide. Is it possible that you could call us here?

I know it's a new brand, a new name of the network, but it's the same phone number, 855-212-4227. If you wouldn't mind, my friend Marv, who's a former math professor, he's written books. In fact, he wrote a book with Dusty Baker about the mathematics and the science that go along with hitting. He would really like to meet you, if you wouldn't mind. How about that? I am the liaison between my friend Marv and my friend Chicago Johnny. What do you think, Jay?

Is it going to work? I think Johnny would be thrilled to do that. We'll find out whether or not Chicago Johnny does actually listen to every minute of the show as he claims to. But he's called before. In fact, he's not really a fan of Marco's.

Well, so I've been told. Oh, did you not tell Marco how Chicago Johnny got really upset at him last week? He didn't agree with something you were talking about. He calls me just to say hello. Yeah, he does. He listens and he calls and he expresses his opinion. He feels as though Jay is like a live suggestion box. And so he called up and I guess he was really angry about something that you said.

Wouldn't be the first time somebody was? No, it's good. I tell my students you want to get an emotional reaction out of the listeners.

Whatever it is, whether they love you or hate you, you want to get an emotional reaction. So you got one out of Chicago Johnny. Good to know. Whatever you stopped listening because of Marco, then what do I do? No, he's tuned in. Are you sure? Yeah. I've talked to him since. Oh, you have? Wait, he just calls you and hangs out? Oh yeah, we're buds. So why don't you have his number? Shouldn't you be able to help out more?

Right, right. Don't you have his number? Doesn't it pop up on the screen? I mean, I do have it. You didn't ask. I'm pretty sure I asked. Can, can we, you heard me say Jay doesn't have his number.

So you could have corrected me. So you have his number. Could you possibly, wait, does Chicago Johnny text or is this a landline? I have never texted with Chicago Johnny. I've never talked to him actually through the cell. I have his number.

I think when we were in Vegas, I got it on the way out. But he should be calling. I mean, he's listening.

I'm pretty sure. Okay, all right. Johnny, please, if you wouldn't mind giving my friend Marv just a tour, that's all. We're not asking for gifts. We're not asking for any of the mob secrets. He just needs to be able to sit in the chair and get electrocuted and then see the wall where the Valentine's Day massacre occurred. Just the same thing that you gave to Jay and I.

Speak Easy. And then Bob. The tour of the Speak Easy, which was really cool. We did not taste any of the moonshine though. That was something we didn't do because Johnny had to go. His driver was really upset about the fact that he was taking too long with the tour. So Johnny, please, if you don't mind calling so that we don't have to call you because apparently Jay's been hoarding your number and wasn't going to tell us that he had your number. That's a big number.

It's a big number. I didn't get the tour. Do I get gifts?

Absolutely. We could give you a Chicago Johnny hat if you like. Or actually a Mob Museum mug that was given to Bob as a gift if you would like that. Well, I don't want to take the gift from you. I want him to send it to me. Oh, you want it to come directly from Chicago Johnny? Well, there's a difference. I don't want to take something that you have in your home that he gave to you that was a gift for you.

I got what you're saying. I want my own gift. But I do like mugs. A Chicago Marco. Chicago Marco. Marco Chicago.

Anything mob related that I didn't get the tour to give me some sort of taste of the tour that I didn't get a chance to go out there and see it. Give me a little taste of what Chicago Johnny gave everybody else. Send it over to me. With a letter complaining about whatever I annoyed him with.

Whatever. Send it all to me. I want it all. Well, we maybe will see if he can send us something specific for you, Chicago Marco. But for now, what I just need is a phone call from Chicago Johnny. That's all I'm asking. If he wouldn't mind. Hopefully he's working.

I think my friend Marv has tickets for Saturday. So I'll have to go back and check his text. But how about that? I somehow have turned into the liaison. I'm Chicago Johnny's personal assistant. His crony. His crony.

Right? He's my crew. I'm not sure if that means something in mob language, but I'm part of the family. Well, that definitely means something. Yeah, too. I'm part of the family.

Alright, coming up. Even as we talk about the Bulls and the Hawks. There's a moment that I thought would really create some buzz in the world of sports, but it hasn't.

And I'm kind of surprised. And I'm not really sure why, though Marco and I have had debates about it. So maybe Marco's idea is correct.

But, well, I'll explain after Marco does his update, just so I don't take any more of his time. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence. You are listening to the After Hours Podcast.

The After Hours Podcast. No offense rebound. To Green with a right handed flush.

And this place is going absolutely crazy. Bulls on the 13-2 run. And Murray's shot rejected. Bulls on the 4 on 3. Kobe to the rim. Kobe with the finish. And with less than 90 seconds from 83rd.

Timeout Atlanta. 105-87 Bulls. What an explosion by the Bulls on a 15-2 run.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. The voice of Chuck Swirsky on Bulls Radio. This was a night that belonged to Kobe White. Gosh, I love these moments. Even though it's a team game and that's what matters the most is that Chicago gets a win. Gosh, this was a topsy turvy, seesaw affair in the first half. Really two completely different quarters. The Bulls outscored the Atlanta Hawks by 18 in the first quarter only to turn around and see the Hawks do almost the exact same thing to them in the second quarter.

But then finally stabilizing in the second half in large part due to Kobe White. So in the larger context of this play-in game and the sense of urgency and you win and you're able to schedule one more game. This is the 9-10 game which means you're not automatically into anything.

It's a little convoluted. But you've got to win this game and then win on Friday to get into the main NBA playoff bracket. So there is a sense of urgency and every moment can be impactful and if you don't win, you're done. And so that's where Kobe White comes in. Kobe has been sensational. Handling the ball.

Circle right. Kobe with a pull-up. 16-footer good. Kobe with 30.

He just had a sweet crossover. Had Murray jumping the wrong way when he came back to his right hand wide open. You are looking at a star in front of us in Kobe White. Kobe all the way to the cup.

Saw an open lane. Lays it in with the right hand and Kobe with 34. 13 of 18 from the field. 116.98 pulls and a blowout. Kobe lets it fly.

D3. Got it. Put him in the hole. Put him in the Hall of Fame. Timeout Atlanta. Kobe White has been unbelievable tonight. In 36 minutes, he has just over and over and over responded. Kobe with 37 on the night.

Timeout Hawks. I'm just grateful to be where I'm at. Like I said, that first playoff series I ever had in my career didn't go how I wanted it to go. And then last year, obviously, I played better in the play-in.

And then this year, I didn't come into the game saying I was going to put the team or whatever. But I just wanted to be aggressive and take what the defense gave me and just try to lead. Coming to the games, I just want to impact winning on both ends of the ball.

And that's what I focus on. And just tonight, I just was aggressive and things were going my way. We needed to get downhill and attack the paint. And I thought we did, from our last game against them, a much, much better job of that. And certainly, Kobe was a catalyst.

So was Ayo getting downhill as well. And then I thought, you know, they went middle of the second quarter. They started trapping DeMar to get the ball in his hands.

And I thought he was really good getting off of it and creating other driving opportunities for other guys. That is the voice of one Billy Donovan who made it clear he was not going back to Kentucky to take the job in the wake of John Calipari's departure. Instead, he's got the Bulls into a game on Friday against the Miami Heat. So that will be for the 8th seed in the East. You've got a doubleheader on Friday night. No games on Thursday. Doubleheader on Friday night in which we will get the final two playoff teams, like full, actual playoff teams. Again, this is the NBA's version of Dayton in March Madness. And then on to what is a full slate both Saturday and Sunday.

Don't expect there to be any real continuity because there's not. Coming up on Saturday, it's Orlando at Cleveland. So that's kind of fun. You've got some fresh blood. Even though we saw Cleveland in four consecutive NBA Finals, that goes back to when LeBron James was there and so it's been a total remake there for the Cavaliers. So Cleveland-Orlando is your first game. Then Phoenix and Minnesota.

Just odd, right? Not a whole lot of history between either of those two matchups or in either of those two matchups. Orlando, Cleveland, Phoenix, Minnesota.

Yeah, it's eclectic. Then you've got Philly and New York, which is a little more old school. We're talking about the type of Eastern Conference series that will give older fans, longer tenured fans, some pause. Because this used to be a rivalry.

Maybe it will be again. And then a remake of Los Angeles and Denver, which was the Western Conference Finals series a year ago in which the Lakers were swept. Now AD and LeBron, they were out of gas. Denver was on its way to a championship and lost very few games along the way to an NBA title. The first in franchise history. Will this be any different? And by the way, don't tell Darvin Ham that the Lakers should have lost their play in game to the Pelicans so they could avoid the Nuggets.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-18 06:28:53 / 2024-04-18 06:45:35 / 17

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