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Bill Reiter, CBS Sports HQ NBA Insider

JR Sports Brief / JR
The Truth Network Radio
May 23, 2024 7:43 pm

Bill Reiter, CBS Sports HQ NBA Insider

JR Sports Brief / JR

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May 23, 2024 7:43 pm

Bill Reiter joined the show to discuss whether the Mavericks or Timberwolves will win the WCF and why Jaylen Brown has to be the go-to guy in order for the Celtics to win the title. 


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What's standing out to you? Do you want the real answer or the sort of answer I'm supposed to give if my bosses are listening? I'll give you both. Nah, screw the bosses. Nah, screw the bosses.

Give me the real one. Yeah, yeah. I mean, bro, I'm ready for it. I'm the biggest fan of every team that wins a first game because I'm all about not having to do this much work. If I real talk, I'm lazy, but I will say this has been such a riveting postseason. I'm starting to change my ways.

I desperately wanted the Pacers to win Game 1 just so we could have a great series, and I am loving almost every moment of almost every one of these playoff games that we've had. I think it's been a really fun month. It has. We got some new faces. We have emerging faces. It's even fun to think about having Luka Doncic on Anthony Edwards in the finals. Bill Reiter is here with us. Let's talk about the game from last night before we move to the series that's going to get started Game 2 in about an hour. Anthony Edwards pretty honest about being tired. Nobody's too surprised at an emotional letdown coming off of a Game 7. They're going to punch and fight back, right?

I think they are. I love this guy because he is so straight and so candid. I think it's part of his charisma. But it was interesting, JR, because he looked tired. He looked exhausted even at the start of the game. I hope it's just an emotional letdown of winning that series against Denver and winning a couple in a row and going into Denver and getting it done because they're nothing without him.

He's going to have to be the guy. Tired. Not tired. Whatever's going on. Emotion exhausted. Physically banged up.

I don't want to sound callous. He's going to have to get through it if there's any chance the T-Wolves get through Dallas in this series. Without a shadow of a doubt, Bill Reiter is here with us. You can listen to him here on the Infinity Sports Network.

10 a.m. Eastern, 7 a.m. Pacific. The game that's going to get started in about an hour. The Celtics are so up and down. And we had Gary Washburn on this week as well. And I asked him specifically about who's leading this team. Marcus Smart is gone. Joe Mazzulla is like talking to a plank of wood.

Like when it comes to the going, it gets tough. Who's going to get to talking? Yeah, look, I'd love to know what Gary thinks because he's obviously covered that Celtics team forever and he's in it and he's such a talented dude. I think we've seen that for the Celtics, the leader at least at the end of games has to be Jalen Brown.

I don't even think it's a question. And J.R., we can dive into this as much or as little as you want. I don't want to disparage Jason Tatum. And he had a really interesting Rorschach test game. I think in Game 1 you could look at that game from Tatum and you could see what you want.

I think the truth is more nuanced. But he did fail to score Tatum in the final 9 minutes in a row at the end of regulation and the start of overtime. He has been literally historically bad in clutch time, what the NBA defines as clutch time over the last 3 years. And I think the ability for Joe Mazzulla to either go to Jalen Brown in those moments like we saw in that corner 3 or to draw a place for Brown and Tatum is the solution.

And so I think the answer to your question is the guy for me is Jalen Brown. I know that he can't dribble to his left and people want to talk about that. He's become a remarkable 2-way defender. He was the difference maker, I thought, not just for the Celtics, but in that game and maybe the series as a result. He has been, for lack of a better term, incredibly clutch over the course of this postseason. And the Celtics team, if you really get into the numbers, and I could geek out, but if your listeners will believe me, I hope I won't have to bore them with the details. As great as they've been historically net rating-wise, 3rd best of all time, they've been bad in games that are 3 points or closer, 5 minutes or less over the course of this year.

Horrifically bad this year. Jalen Brown has been the antidote the few times that things have gone well. So I think he's the guy.

I think he's the voice. I think he has at least JR at the end of games. Whenever, if ever, there is real pressure and teams really challenge these guys, and maybe it's not to the finals, I think it's Brown that's got to be the man. The CBS Sports NBA insider Bill Ryder is here with us. Who do you see in the finals, man? We only got a month left.

What do you see as the end result? Man, alright, so it's going to be Boston, right? It's the most boring answer on the face of the earth, but they're too good. I think the Pacers had a chance if they'd won that game. I'm going to go Timberwolves in 7.

I'm not going to be a captive of the moment. That's what was my initial prediction. Ant is going to have to be better. If Luka plays like that, then they're in deep trouble. But that T-Wolves defense is so extraordinary. Best in the NBA. And dude, I think just the ability to go into Denver, and you brought this up, maybe there's an emotional letdown, there probably was, but to beat Denver, to win 2 in a row, and then lose 3 in a row, and then somehow have the fortitude to win on your home court, then go to Denver in the altitude, there's a toughness and a grit in that Minnesota team.

I think they're deeper, I think they're better, and I think they're going to win that series. Wow. Hey, and it makes for some good viewing. Bill Ryder here with us, the Infinity Sports Network. Hey, Ryder than you meets the JR Sport Brief.

How about that, Bill? That's good stuff, baby. It's a crossover. I love it.

It's good stuff. Listen, man, speaking of crossovers, let's get away from the teams that are actively participating. Earlier today we learned that J.B. Bickerstaff has been given the boot. He's gone. Is this something that Donovan Mitchell wanted? If he wanted to stay and wanted to keep him, he'd still be there, right?

Yeah, you nailed it. Look, I've talked to some folks in the NBA, I've talked to some folks who are very familiar with what's going on in Cleveland, and certainly the Cavaliers, there's a lot of things. The Cavaliers front office believe, yes, that this is advantageous to try to keep Donovan Mitchell. They think, and I think it's Shoms, maybe it's Woah, it's hard to keep track, had reported that there's a belief in Cleveland that they can keep Donovan Mitchell, they can get him to sign an extension, not force his way out in the summer, and the belief, even a month ago, JR, was barring a miracle in the playoffs, which did not occur, Donovan was gone. He's going to LA, he's going to the Knicks, he's going somewhere. Their confidence has increased, and moving on from Bickerstaff is part of that. I'll say this, too, though, right?

Because it can be many things at once. I like Kobe Altman, he's the GM, he's an impressive guy, but there was a leak that came out this week that Dan Gilbert, who's the owner and who's not the greatest owner in the family, he's not going to win owner of the year awards, let's put it that way, that he wants to get more involved, and he wants to get more involved in the front office. That is an owner who's tough to manage, who's difficult to navigate if you're managing up, and it's clear talking to people there and just reading the tea leaves, he's not happy, fair or not fair, with how things went this year, and so I think Kobe Altman moving on from Bickerstaff is also a way to shift the blame, I think it's unfair, I think Bickerstaff did an amazing job, I don't think you can expect Cleveland to compete against Boston when there's no Jared Allen and Donovan Mitchell misses games at the end of that series, but life isn't fair, so yeah, I think it's about Donovan Mitchell, but I also think it's about that GM who I happen to like protecting himself and finding somebody to blame. Ouch, as long as Dan Gilbert doesn't write any more letters in crayon, I think we'll be okay.

Bill Ryder is here with us, Ryder than you, you can listen to him here on the Infinity Sports Network in the mornings. We know another coaching vacancy belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers, it's been said that this is almost, almost signed, sealed and delivered with J.J. Redick, is that accurate as far as you know? Things change really quickly in LeBron's world, but yes, having talked to people in the Lakers organization, my understanding, what I've been told, is that it's not a done deal, maybe it could go a different direction, but everybody believes that it's probably going to be J.J., and it's probably going to be J.J. because that's what LeBron wants, whatever LeBron or Rich Paul or Clutch Sports or Leakin' Deschamps, that this is what LeBron wants, and sort of like, maybe to a degree, less risk of it not happening, but sort of like with what we just talked about, J.R. and Cleveland, L.A. thinks LeBron's going to stay, but you just never know with LeBron, and they believe it increases the odds, so stick around, it is the guy that he wants, he doesn't have to say it, to say it is how I understand it, so I think it will be Redick, but you know, like, we'll see, LeBron can be unpredictable, and the Lakers, I'm told, really want to go through a process in case they change their minds, or they get, you know, wind of the notion that maybe LeBron's not as set on staying in L.A. as most of us think. Well, Bill, you think LeBron is going to stay, right? All things considered, he's going to stick around?

He's not going to move. So, okay, here's what I think, all right, so yes, I think he's, I think he's going to stay, and if I had to bet an uncomfortable amount of money, J.R., that I would maybe tell you about, but would maybe not tell my wife about, I had to do it, I would bet LeBron's going to be- Okay, Dan Campbell. Right, I would, I mean, I would, but LeBron wasn't supposed to go to Miami, and he did, and I covered that team, and when he went to, when he left Miami to Cleveland, I was doing TV, and I got mocked, I'm going to name drop here, by Donovan McNabb, and Andy Roddick, and all these guys in the green room, because I just thought maybe he'd go to Cleveland. People forgot that that was not expected, and when he left Cleveland that second time, L.A. wasn't the favorite. So, LeBron keeps his own counsel, LeBron is not afraid to tell the Miami Heat and Pat Riley, I want Shabazz Napier, bring him in, even though they don't want him, and then they bring him in, and he just deduces I'm out of here. I think he'll be in L.A., but J.R., he has surprised me and everybody else three times now, so I am not as certain as everybody else.

Okay, Bill Ryder, you're here with us, in the J.R. Sport B-Show, the Infinity Sports Network, as we start to wrap things up, I can't mention LeBron and not talk about his son. What the hell is the latest with him? You hear positive, you hear negative, he interviews good, he sucks when he plays, he's going on five on five, he's too small, what are you hearing?

Yeah, both. I was at the combine in Chicago last week, and I spent a lot of time, as everybody did, watching him play, I mean, talking to him in the sense, me and 50 of my closest friends shoving each other to talk to a 19-year-old in a scrum, talk to the young man. Yes, he's one of the most impressive people I've been around in terms of how he carries himself, he is an old soul, he's an impressive dude, I think he can handle, I don't say this lightly, J.R., he can handle the weight, I think, of being LeBron's son, but very few people you talk to who have actually scouted him think he's an NBA player, and I've talked to several, when they came through L.A. in fairness, when Bronny was at USC, who came through L.A., who saw him, who went to practice at USC and or called him at games, who said, go to college for two or three years, you know, a year or two more, maybe, now he's not going to make it, he's not good enough, now here's a comp for you, right, because I don't know, and he's only going to get drafted, and he will get drafted because he's LeBron's son, and because people are trying to factor in, what is the shot that Bronny makes, it's small but maybe, with, okay, what if we get LeBron, small but bigger.

GP2 is, I think, the cop, now GP2, Gary Payton's son, was undrafted like Bronny should be, they're basically the same height, they had almost the same vertical, GP2 was, I think, 38 and a half, and Bronny was 40 and a half, which is really good, yeah, the similar really long wingspan, 6'7 is what Bronny is, and I think GP2 is like 6'7 and a half, 6'8, GP2 was not a great shooter, especially when, in college, when guys were on him, he did okay, and sort of opened drills like Bronny just did, so that's the pattern, I think that's the cop, that's the career, and that's what Bronny talked about, defensively minded, be a glue guy, use your athleticism, the thing is, Gary Payton II got to grow into that, and Samantha Nimby, despite the fact that he's also the son of a Hall of Famer who carries his name, Bronny won't be able to do that, so yeah, maybe there's a path forward, JR, but it's not going to be easy, and it's not going to be the one the casual fan thinks when they see he gets drafted in the NBA draft in the second round. Your final question here for Bill Ryder, CBS NBA insider, we know the draft is coming up, it'll be here before we know it, after the finals, I know it's going to be a quick turnaround, let's not rush it, what the hell do you think is going to happen with the number one? Are the Hawks going to keep it? Who are they dumping? What's most likely to happen?

What do you think? Yeah, it's interesting because the Hawks are lucky, right, that they jumped all the way up, but it's the worst draft that you could possibly do this, because if you talk to, and I have ten different GMs about who the best talent in the draft is, you'll get at least four, maybe five different answers. I think they're going to move on from Trae Young, it's my understanding that that's in conversation in Atlanta, that they think that maybe, look, here's the real talk, I mean I've already reported this, guys in that locker room don't like Trae Young, they don't like him, they don't think he's a leader, it's toxic, and now they have the opportunity to, I think, have some cover and rebuild and move on from Trae Young. I think they'll move Trae, the name that I've heard, JR, is Alex Saar, another like tall French dude who's not Wimby, but maybe could be really good, but nothing would surprise me because it's one of those drafts where I'm told it's better to draft third, fourth, or fifth, because all these guys are the same, and it's better to just hope the right guy falls to you and not be blamed if it doesn't work out than draft one and get it wrong.

There's a star in there, nobody knows who he is. Yeah, it's wild, wild stuff with this upcoming draft. Well, listen, Bill, I appreciate the time, I know you're a busy man, where can people follow you here on the network and elsewhere? Alright, you can follow me on Twitter because I love puns on my name, I'm not calling it X, sports writer, sports R-E-I-T-E-R, check out Beyond the Arc podcast, sometimes on CBS Sports Network at 2 o'clock Eastern, JR, I love being on the show, I'm usually in my car, like I'm a human taxi driver for my wife and kids, listening to you do your thing, so pretty meta, pretty cool to be able to be on the show, I'm usually listening to, thanks for having me on, man. No problem, nice collaboration, a holiday special for everybody, writer than you meets the JR sport brief, hey, enjoy the weekend and all the best, okay, enjoy the ball. Thanks, buddy. The wait is over, that's right, season five of the Kardashians is here, just when you thought life couldn't get any faster, they're punching it into overdrive, Chris, Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie are back and continue to defy expectations in all their endeavors, so get ready to go behind the glitz and glamour of the most iconic family on television, the all new season of the Kardashians is now streaming on Hulu. Okay, picture this, it's Friday afternoon when a thought hits you, I can waste another weekend doing the same old whatever or I can conquer it, I can hop into my all new Hyundai Santa Fe and hit the road, any road, the steeper the better, because my all new Santa Fe is available with H-Trek all wheel drive, so I can hit the trail without a worry in the world, heck with three rows and best in class rear cargo space, I can pack the whole family in with all our gear, we've got available dual wireless charging for our phones, so we'll never lose touch with civilization and we won't lose touch with the primordial power of Mother Earth, so which is it, waste the weekend or do something a little more epic and conquer it in the all new Hyundai Santa Fe. Visit or call 562-314-4603 for more details, Hyundai, there's joy in every journey.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-23 21:05:20 / 2024-05-23 21:13:41 / 8

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