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Howard Beck Hour 1

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen
The Truth Network Radio
November 25, 2022 3:44 pm

Howard Beck Hour 1

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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November 25, 2022 3:44 pm

Dan Schwartzman in for Rich Eisen.

Howard Beck, SI NBA Writer joins Dan to talk about the state of the NBA and who's hot right now.

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The Rich Eisen Show
Rich Eisen
The Rich Eisen Show
Rich Eisen
The Rich Eisen Show
Rich Eisen
The Rich Eisen Show
Rich Eisen

This is the Rich Eisen Show.

Goats have home lives too. Live from the Rich Eisen Show Studio in Los Angeles. Rich Eisen. Hello Rich Eisen. Rich Eisen. Oh that's Susie Eisen's husband. The Rich Eisen Show.

And now, sitting in for Rich, here's Dan Schwartzman. From 45 yards. Good snap. The hold is down. The kick is on the way.

And it is good. Two seconds remain. And Buffalo takes the 28-25 lead. Redemption part two. Tyler Bass kicks the Bills to the three-point edge.

That is Kevin Kugler with the call on Westwood One Sports. What a Thanksgiving day of games it was in the NFL. I'm Dan Schwartzman. In for Rich Eisen on Black Friday. I have locked away the credit cards.

Took away my wife's Amazon card. And for the next three hours, we are going to have some fun. Art Martinez on the other side of the glass. And wow, what a way to start the Thanksgiving games. And I'll tell you what, I mean, for the most part, at some point in all three of the games yesterday, they were good.

And at some points, they weren't. But let's start off at the top of the game. We'll get to turkey.

We'll get to all the fun. How much you ate. You passed out on the couch.

Oh, I had to go back for seconds and thirds. Yeah, it's the usual conversation. Because really, I don't think I've ever met somebody, by the way, who doesn't like Thanksgiving.

Unless you have nowhere to go or nothing to eat. I mean, obviously. But I'm saying in the case of people who usually get together, the family tradition of watching football, everybody brings a dish or two, you have the huge turkey, whatever it might be. It's so much fun. It's great.

It's like the comfort food. And then you sit down and you have hours upon hours upon hours of NFL football. So a lot of takeaways for me watching yesterday, right? And I think the biggest one is this. I don't know who the Bills are.

I really don't. Like they're supposed to be coming into the season, the best team in football, right? Josh Allen's going to be the favorite to win MVP. The Buffalo Bills are finally going to get over that hump. They're going to win a Super Bowl, something they've never done in the franchise's history. And this is going to be the year.

Northwestern New York is going to finally have something to celebrate. And then I watch him and I, you know, I'm a Jet fan, so I watched him against the Jets a few weeks back here at the MetLife Stadium. And I'm like, okay, big upset, but the Jets are actually better than people think. Maybe not at quarterback, but they're much better in terms of defense and some aspects of the offense, skill positions. And it's like, that's not a terrible loss for the Bills. But then you watch games like this where it's 25-25 with literally seconds remaining and you're playing the Detroit Lions who, by the way, are not a good team. And it takes that Tyler Bass 45-yard field goal with two seconds remaining for the Bills to pull off a win. Now, it was a short week and everything was upended because of the snows in Buffalo that they had to actually play in Detroit five days ago.

But that may have been an advantage, right? Like you don't have to go anywhere. Like you stay there, you get comfortable, you just played at the same stadium, just different opponent, who's the Browns. And here you are again.

No crazy travel. So the takeaway for me is, who are the Bills? And here's what I think. They're not the best team in football. I'm not even sure they're the best team in the AFC, to be honest with you. Like they're good, don't get me wrong. They are good, but I don't think their Kansas City Chiefs good right now. And the Josh Allen MVP talk, and I like Josh Allen.

Met the guy a couple of times, really nice guy, literally as nice as you can imagine. I even told him once, I'll root for you for 14 games. This is before the season expanded to 17. I said I'll root for you for 14 games, but the two games against the Jets I hope you lose.

The other 14? Hey man, you're a good dude. I'll root for you. So, you know, for me it just comes down to, the fact is, he hasn't played great this year and he certainly didn't play great yesterday. Here's Allen after the game. Second half didn't play great football. I wouldn't say we played great football, but we found a way.

Guys were resilient. The ups and downs of an NFL game, that's a good team playing very well and playing good football right now. They're coached extremely well, so credit to them for having such a good game plan.

But again, guys just continuing to grind, guys going down, stepping up, just finding a way. That's courtesy of Westwood One Sports. No, they're not a good football team across the way. And I don't particularly think they're a well-coached team across the way. It's the Detroit Lions we're talking about here, right? We're not talking about the Kansas City Chiefs or the Baltimore Ravens or the Cincinnati Bengals or the Miami Dolphins. We're talking about the Detroit Lions. And I think the Bills helped make the Lions look better than they actually are, because they're not that good. So the whole issue is, the Buffalo Bills, to me, were overhyped coming into this season. It's as if people kind of feel bad for the franchise and they want to see them do well and they want to see them finally win a Super Bowl, right?

Like, why not? They had that four-year run with Marv Levy and they got to the Super Bowl every year and they just couldn't win it. Thanks Scott Norwood for missing a field goal and everything else that occurred in those four years. It's an incredible feat, by the way, to get to four straight Super Bowls. Practically impossible.

But then it's really hard to go 0-for-4 as well and they pulled that off. So I think there's some sympathetic figures out there when it comes to the Buffalo Bills and want to see them win a Super Bowl. I can understand that. Seems to be a likable team. Josh Allen, likable guy. Stefan Diggs has kind of grown out of the immaturity that led to him leaving Minnesota, right?

I wasn't crazy at the way he pulled that off. Von Miller has shaped up over these last few years, right? He's become kind of a leader. Sean McDermott's a coach you kind of root for, right? Not a bad guy.

He doesn't get in trouble. He's not a guy who seems to yell and scream at the players or act like a buffoon when it comes to the media, right? So there's a lot of likable factors when it comes to the Buffalo Bills. And maybe people just thought, alright, on paper they look really good. I'm not saying they're not a good team, obviously. They're 8-3. They're obviously a good team. But I'm just wondering, are they truly good enough to win a Super Bowl? Are they truly good enough to knock off the Kansas City Chiefs? Anything can happen. Ask the Chiefs how they won that playoff game against the Bills last year, right?

I mean, that was magical. And Buffalo certainly can get hot at the right time, but I just don't think they're any better than any of the other teams that you can say are playoff caliber right now in the AFC. That's all I'm saying. Could they win a Super Bowl?

Sure. They could win a Super Bowl. Ton of parity right now in the NFL. You don't have that one team that you just say, man, that's a guarantee. They're so good, they're going to win it all. You don't have that.

You don't have that. So I just, you know, I wasn't that impressed. Wasn't overly impressed watching them thinking to myself, yeah, that's a true winner. And by the way, the same thing holds true with the Dallas Cowboys. Now the Giants are an overachieving team. The Giants, Brian Dabel has done an incredible job coaching that team. He's a motivator. He obviously is not, you know, the moment's not too big for him finally getting that head coaching role in a place like New York. He's handled it well. The Giants don't make a ton of mistakes based on coaching, right?

They don't make mistakes as players. And we have Daniel Jones, a quarterback that's going to happen, but they're an overachieving team coming into yesterday's game at seven and three. And then they had a 13 to seven lead at halftime. And then something happened, right? Dak Prescott played poorly in the first half.

What do you have? Two interceptions in the first half. And then he woke up in the second half. So the story for me isn't the Giants. They're feel good, right? The Giants are still one to two off-seasons away from truly competing. They need an influx of talent. Like they have a ton of heart. They have more heart than maybe every other team in football.

They might. Because they could win 10 games and they have no business winning 10 games. They've had an easy schedule, sure.

But still, you got to win those games. So the Giants are a nice story, but I don't want to poo-poo the talent on the team because I don't think they have a ton of talent. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are supposed to be a team, maybe not hyped as much as the Buffalo Bills, but they're a team people talk about, right?

That's a team that people talk about potentially. Do they get over the hump? Is it just getting to the playoffs and being one and done?

Or can they actually make some noise? Are they as good as the Philadelphia Eagles? Are they as good as the Minnesota Vikings? There's not a ton of top-end teams right now in the NFC as a whole, right?

There's really not. The Rams have been a bitter disappointment. The Seahawks are really surprising people.

Cardinals are always Cardinal. 49ers are kind of up and down playing good football. The NFC South is horrendous. The NFC North is horrendous. And then you have the NFC East, which is clearly the best division in the NFC and potentially in all football. And the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles are going to battle it out because, again, I don't think the Giants are good enough to really be there by the end.

But I don't know if the Dallas Cowboys are, and for me the reason is consistency. Dak Prescott will put up good numbers. Dak Prescott has put up good numbers in his career already, right?

He's good. Dak's really good. And he's, you know, had some really impressive seasons in his NFL career, for crying out loud. He's thrown for almost 5,000 yards in a season. He's got two seasons of 30-plus touchdowns. Last year, 37 touchdowns, 10 interceptions. Statistically, you say to yourself, wow, what a year. This year hasn't been as great. He obviously was hurt to start the season.

He's kind of rounding into shape now. But the consistency factor is an issue, and when you can't play consistently good football, a lot of times it comes to bite you at the worst time, which is in the postseason. It's a good win by the Cowboys. It's a home win. It's a divisional win. They let the Giants hang around, and then they kind of just took over in the second half. But why can't they consistently play good football in the first half and the second half, because we didn't see that. Dak Prescott talking to media after the game. I'm as confident as I can be and have and always have been in this team.

As I told y'all earlier in the week, that doesn't matter who says anything about what they believe in. I know what this team is capable of, especially with this defense that we have. So we just got to continue to keep our heads down, take it one day at a time, one game at a time, and as I said, we control everything that's in front of us. Cliche, cliche, cliche. What a professional cliche artist there. Can we hear that one? Art Martinez, can we hear that one more time? Because I don't know if there's an original thought there. Play it again, play it again. This is great. I'm as confident as I can be and have and always have been in this team.

As I told y'all earlier in the week, that doesn't matter who says anything about what they believe in. I know what this team is capable of, especially with this defense that we have. So we just got to continue to keep our heads down, take it one day at a time, one game at a time, and as I said, we control everything that's in front of us. That's about five cliches right there. Five cliches and no original thought, huh? Well-trained quarterback there.

That's courtesy of Western One Sports. Hey Art, guess who he reminds me of? A guy that runs your team. Derek Carr and him sound exactly the same when they talk in terms of cliches and this and that. There's one difference. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback doesn't cry after press conferences.

Yes, he doesn't cry. That is true. But...

I'm ashamed. They are both cliche warriors. And they're both inconsistent, right? Kind of similar. Absolutely. I tell you, a lot of similarities there with Carr and with Dak Prescott.

I would take Prescott, but again, I just don't think there's a ton of consistency there with him. Then it was the final game, and that was actually really good. A 6-4 Patriots team at the 8-2 Vikings. Vikings coming off getting absolutely stumped. I mean, they got stumped by the Cowboys 40-3.

The question was, how are they going to react after that loss? They had won seven games in a row. Yeah, they had won seven games in a row. Was it seven?

Yeah, I can't count. But seven games in a row. Aren't they winning? Then they get stomped by the Cowboys, and guess what? They came out and they played well.

It was a back-and-forth, seesaw battle. They were down by three heading into the fourth quarter, and then they scored ten unanswered points. They pulled it off. The Patriots, you know, that AFC East is so tight that the Jets last week, when they played at New England, they went from with a win being in first place in the AFC East to with a loss being in last place. The Patriots were 6-4. Third place in the division with a win, they really give themselves a great opportunity. They stay one game behind the Bills.

Well, with the loss, they're now again in last place because they fall a half game behind the New York Jets. But the Patriots have themselves a quarterback problem. Don't give in, well, Mac Jones went 28-39 for 382 yards and two touchdowns.

Yes, statistically, if you didn't watch the game, Mac Jones seemed to play very well. But if you're a Patriots fan, I'm going to ask you this, and we're going to open up the phone lines, okay? And I know he's still a young quarterback, I get that. But when you watch Mac Jones play, do you get the feeling that he can keep the Patriots at a high level? Now, he's not Tom Brady, obviously.

No one is. But do you get the feeling that he can keep that team playing at a high level? Do you have the confidence in Mac Jones that he's a guy that could lead you not just to the playoffs, but potentially to a Super Bowl win? Because I don't get that feeling. I really don't.

I'm not impressed. And by the way, I'm a fraud Alabama fan. Lived down in North Alabama for a year and a half of my life when I was younger, watched a lot of Alabama football. In fact, the 2004 season, I went to every home and away game except for Hawaii.

My radio station was too cheap to send me to Hawaii, I do understand. But the fact is, you know, I liked Mac Jones, loved that he kind of sat there and earned the right to play at Alabama when he had the opportunity. He took advantage of it. And boy, did he take advantage of it, played great, made himself an NFL first round pick, goes to the Patriots, a really perfect situation. And I think Belichick is just a magician at masking deficiencies, playing to guy's strengths. So when you sit back now and you look at Mac Jones and we're what, about 20 some odd starts into his career, does he give you, does he instill the confidence in you that he can lead you to a Super Bowl and potentially win? Again, I don't see it.

Now things can happen from now till start 35, start 40 as guy's mature, right? I just felt he was considered more of a mature quarterback coming out of Alabama. And again, the numbers were good yesterday. It's just that when you break it down and you watch him play by play, I don't know. I just, I don't think he's that good.

Here's the measuring stick. If he's available on your fantasy league, on the bench or the waiver wire, he's not good. Well, that's a great point. I never thought of it that way because I stopped playing fantasy football. Most leagues, he's available on the waiver wire. And by the way, stack compiling is good in fantasy football, but it's not great in the NFL. So even if he's compiling some stats here and there and he's still on the waiver wire for your fantasy league, you're right Art, maybe he tells you something.

I'm going to open it up though. Are you as a Patriots fan or even an NFL fan watching, right? You watched the game yesterday. He did nothing at the end of that game, right? Couldn't bring him back. They blew a three-point lead in that final quarter. Do you think Matt Jones is any good in that he can win you a Super Bowl? 8-4-4, 2-0-4, Rich, that's 8-4-4, 2-0-4, 7-4-2-4.

I want to know. Maybe I'm not seeing something. Maybe I'm blinded because I'm a Jets fan. But I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I think Zach Wilson is going to win you a Super Bowl right now. And certainly I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Matt Jones is going to win you a Super Bowl. Both teams may be looking for quarterbacks very, very shortly. All right, we're going to take a little break from the NFL. I want to get into the NBA a little bit, all right? I mean, I just wonder, has this league been hurt? Do they feel that they've been somewhat hurt potentially by all the stuff going on off the court in that league more than what's happening on the court right now in that league? Howard Beck, senior NBA writer for Sports Illustrated, he's going to join us next to break that all down.

It is Black Friday here. Dan Schwartzman in for Rich Eisen. Always fun filling in for Rich. 8-4-4, 2-0-4. Rich, that's 8-4-4, 2-0-4, 7-4-2-4.

Back right here on the Rich Eisen Show. The World Tournament of Soccer happening in Qatar is finally here. And with all the weird kickoff times and all the other sports happening simultaneously, it can be kind of hard to keep up. So to make sure you're up to speed, be sure to listen to Qatar Kickaround for the daily wrap up of all the action from the tournament. From the group stage all the way to the final, Andy, Lars and Peter are here for you with recaps and opinions of what happened that day in Qatar.

Everything can be found at, the Cumulus Podcast channel on YouTube, or wherever you listen. Influencer, it's a word that gets tossed around a lot these days. There is a woman who went the distance, who broke ground as the first true influencer by living a remarkable life. Her name, Elizabeth Taylor. I'm Katy Perry. This is the story of the original influencer. This is Elizabeth the First.

Elizabeth the First, a podcast wherever you listen. Back on the Rich Eisen Show on a Black Friday, I'm Dan Schwartzman. In for Rich, a lot of NFL talk. We're going to talk a little World Cup as well because everybody becomes a soccer fan.

On days when Team USA is in action, they play the Brits, we beat them in 1776, and we beat them again today, especially after your Ron Beats Wales kind of opening the door for potentially with a win, we can possibly push ahead, and we got to get to the knockout stage, we definitely have to do that. The NBA season, quietly, I would say, rolling along, we're closing in on, what, about 20 games in per team, and so many question marks right now surrounding the league, because a lot of the talk, sadly, about the league has been off the court more than on the court. Our buddy, senior NBA writer for Sports Illustrated, Howard Beck, joining us. And Howard, first off, happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Did you overeat, and are you shopping like mad today on Black Friday?

Good morning, or good afternoon, Dan. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well. I managed to not overeat or anything else last night.

I was pretty disciplined, I got to say, patting myself on the back. And I'm not a big Black Friday guy, although I did order some shoes a couple days ago that arrived today. Does that now count as Black Friday? No, no, that's responsible shopping. No, that's good. Okay. It was a sale or something, and it was the new brand, and I was excited, and so I couldn't help myself.

That's my favorite word, sale. So, Howard, you have earned points, my friend. But let's get into what's happening in this league. I'm just dumbfounded, especially in the Western Conference, right? Had the years where the Golden State Warriors were clearly the dominant team there, the Lakers with LeBron James, you expect them to be good. But I'm looking at this right now and thinking to myself, is there a team that right now, you look at Howard and you say to yourself, yeah, you know what, you can kind of say they're the best team in the Western Conference. Is a team like that existing right now in that West? It does not.

It does not. And the thing is, we've been kind of moving into this place in the NBA over the last couple of years, kind of slowly, quietly moving toward, at least for the moment, a sort of parody where we went through that long stretch in the Super Team era, where you knew it was going to be Miami for those four years. You were pretty sure. And then when LeBron went to Cleveland, you were pretty sure there. And you mentioned the Warriors, and we were pretty sure there. And so we had a long stretch there of the NBA feeling a little bit predetermined at the outset of every season, where there just wasn't much suspense. It was like, barring injury, it's going to be Steph versus LeBron again for a while. And then since the crash of the Warriors in 2019, we've actually kind of year to year, and COVID has contributed to this uncertainty, but year to year for the last three years, we've started every season with a, well, I think it's this team in the East and this team in the West, but I'm not quite sure. And nothing's really gone according to prediction, I don't think. Like, nobody had the Celtics in the finals last year. For that matter, very few people other than the most ardent Warriors fans would have had them there because it was, it's hard to remember now, because we just think of them as having won a fourth championship, but the Warriors started the season with, Clay's still not back yet. We don't know what he'll look like when he'll get back.

Is Andrew Wiegand's really going to be a core piece? You know, is Draymond still got anything left? Can Steph play an MVP?

Like, we still had all those questions. And now, so here we are, the Warriors are defending champs, but because of their age at both extremes, right? Too old at one end, not too old, getting old at one end, too young at the other end, the back end of the rotation, so they're not the defending champ that you're looking at to be, you know, a shoe-in to come out of the West again, and the Suns were in the finals a year and a half ago, but, you know, they've been a little up and down, but they look good right now. The Clippers were supposed to be great, but because of injury, they're, you know, kind of just dragging along. So no, there is no team that's a clear favorite in the West, and I think that's a good thing on balance. It probably should be the Suns on some level, if you look at the point differential for the season is insane, but no, I truly, by record, no one has separated themselves from the pack, and that's made this kind of fun, to be honest.

You know, you mentioned Phoenix, you mentioned the point differential. A team that's right up there, by the way, is the New Orleans Pelicans. I'm a huge Willie Green fan. I worked in Philly for four and a half years, and if you think you know the nicest person in the world, you have yet to meet Willie Green.

That's how nice he is. What is it about that team? Because, look, they're playing in New Orleans. It's not exactly a basketball hotspot like New York or L.A., and everybody's concentrating on that team, but they're quietly playing really good basketball. They're 11-7, a half game behind Phoenix. Is it, do they have that much talent? Is that a well-coached team? Is that a team that you think can kind of sustain the fact that they're going to be somewhat in this?

No, listen, I think Willie Green has proven to be an excellent coach. That is, obviously, this is his first head coaching job, but he's in year two, I think, there now, and he's just got a really nice touch, and he spent a lot of years on benches as an assistant with some good teams, and so you knew there was potential there, but you never really know until a guy gets the top job how they're going to handle it. They, last season was really impressive for them, quietly really impressive, because last season, of course, no Zion the entire year. They make a dramatic in-season trade for C.J. McCollum and Larry Nance Jr., and that team then, you know, had a really solid post-All-Star break period of the season. They get into playing, they make the playoffs, they give the Suns all they can handle in a six-game first round, and that was the promise that you saw.

Reincorporating Zion, which they've now done, was the big question. Like, is Zion coming back from a year and a half out from injury? He's young, he's ball dominant, C.J. McCollum needs the ball, Brandon Ingram, who's an All-Star, needs the ball.

How are they going to finesse all that, and how are they going to integrate them all? Pretty darn good so far, and along the way, of course, they've had some really nice young players emerge too, and they've got some great defenders. The Pelicans just put together a really solid team. How far they can go in what feels like year one of a kind of a newish team, because, you know, as they say, Zion hadn't played in a while, McCollum just got there back in February, that, like, I'm still curious to see how they evolve, how they deal with some setbacks, as you'll always have over the course of the season, but they're legitimately good. Chatting with Howard Beck, senior NBA writer for Sports Illustrated here on the Rich Eisen show, Dan Schwartzman in for Rich on this Black Friday, let's turn our attention to the Eastern Conference, and the Brooklyn Nets have made a heck of a lot more noise off the court than on the court, but, that said, Kyrie Irving is back, Ben Simmons is seemingly kind of rounding a bit more into shape, they're only 9 and 10, but there's a lot of basketball left to play this year, Howard. Is Brooklyn a team that you think a month or two from now for talking, you're going to say, wow, you know, they kind of did what I thought they would do in these last month or two, they've played up to the potential of that roster, is that a team poised to make a run?

I'm sighing because it's just, the Nets are, first of all, they're exhausting, and because they're exhausting, I think they're probably exhausting to each other too. This is a team that on paper looks like a championship contender, the outline of a championship contender. You've got three guys who have been made a bunch of All-Star teams and all NBA teams, and you've got great shooters in Seth Curry and Joe Harris, and you've got some good veteran talents around in Morris and Patty Mills, and this is a team that, in the abstract, looks like it should be a contender, and I was one who, in the preseason, as we're all debating, which way is this going to go? Are they really going to be a contender, or are they going to implode because of all the volatility there?

And I went with, nope, I think they're a contender, and three weeks into the season I'm like, nope, I was absolutely wrong, this team's going to implode. They have started to find their legs recently, but listen, let me go with the positive first. Ben Simmons looks like himself again, and that's fantastic. Given all that he's been through physically, mentally, just all the drama, some of it's self-created, but some of it's just circumstance, seeing Ben Simmons look confident and actually happy out on the court is fantastic. And that could change how I feel about the Nets overall, because a couple weeks ago, part of my pessimism about the Nets' ability to turn this all around was that Ben Simmons looked like a shadow. Kyrie Irving has been not great since coming back from the suspension.

Maybe there's still a little bit of that hanging over him in terms of self-created stress and drama, but he's probably still dealing with some of that fallout. Kevin Durant just looks like Kevin Durant. He's the one commodity there, the one constant that I never worry about, except that he tore his Achilles a few years ago, which means he's very unlikely to go through a full season without a hamstring or a quad or something else bothering him. That's been the case every single year in Brooklyn. So at some point, they're going to probably lose Durant for a week or two. It's just part of it now, and Kyrie always misses a week or two due to injury.

That's his entire career. So throw in just the unpredictability of Kyrie Irving. I still don't know what to make of them. Absolutely everything is possible, but I find myself hesitant to buy in to this team as a top contender. Howard, do you kind of say the same thing about the Sixers? You look at that roster, you say to yourself, yeah, they got a ton of talent, right? Harden, Embiid, Maxey, there's a lot of good players there, and yet here they are, 9-9, tied with the New York Knicks, by the way, who are nowhere near in terms of talent what the Sixers are.

Is that another team where you kind of pull your hair out going, what are they? Yes, but part of that's injury too, right? They're just completely battered right now. Harden's out, Maxey's out, Embiid has missed time. Yeah, and when that team was whole, it seemed like they were still kind of struggling to find a rhythm with each other, right? Harden gets there in, what was it, January, February, and they had some great moments, and in the playoffs some not so great moments. It seems like they're still just trying to figure out the right balance there, and which version of James Harden you want, or what version of Harden is comfortable with, because Embiid is the center of the universe there, and should be. And then you've got Maxey emerging as an all-star type talented guard who also needs his moments, and so I think they can get there. I think, again, the talent is there, but yeah, there's reasons for skepticism, and now it's like, well, they've got to get healthy first, and by the time they get healthy, then they've still got to find the rhythm and the chemistry with each other, so that puts them in a bit of a hole.

All that said, look, the top of the East is clear anyway. It's Boston versus Milwaukee, and now, could Brooklyn break through based on talent alone? Maybe, could, you know, still very skeptical about their defense, could the Sixers break through on talent alone? Maybe, but I just don't know that there's any reasonable scenario, barring major injuries in Milwaukee or Boston, that those aren't the two top teams in the East for the duration.

Well, Howard, let me throw this out, a final question for you. You mentioned those teams in the East. The team you didn't mention is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Donovan Mitchell is coming. He's averaging, what, 30 points a game.

Darius Garland taking that next step, really elevating his game. There is young talent, guys like Evan Mobley there. What's your take on them? They're in third place. They've won four games in a row. Is that a team to kind of buy stock in right now? The Cavaliers are really interesting because last season was their first real breakthrough post-LeBron, right? They just have not had much, and then some injuries undermined them, but still, it was an eye-opening season with them. Darius Garland really breaking through, becoming an All-Star, and Jared Allen becoming an All-Star. You could see Evan Mobley growing up before our eyes and is going to be a perennial All-Star. Donovan Mitchell is the icing on the cake, and the only question I really had was, how well can Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland integrate their games with each other, because they're both ball-dominant guards and they're both undersized, so it leaves them a little vulnerable in the backcourt defensively, but they've got this great defensive line behind them.

So far, so good. They've had some moments where they've struggled a little bit, but overall, the Cavaliers, I feel like, are ahead of schedule. I think it was too much to say that, oh, add Donovan Mitchell to this young core and, boom, they're contenders.

It's a little too soon for that. They're still very young, and Mitchell just got there. But I think, watching what they've done so far this season, I do feel like they are ahead of schedule. Can they challenge the Bucs or Celtics in the postseason? I'm not ready to go there yet, but, man, they've got great talent, great balance, in terms of scoring options and defense and versatility in their rotation.

There's a lot to like. And if it's not this year that they're making a deep run, then by the next season, for sure. That's a team that is going to be around a while.

No, you're right. A lot of young talent on that team. The icing on the cake with Donovan Mitchell, you're right.

If it's not this year, the next few years could be very, very scary having to play the Cleveland Cavaliers in a postseason series. Howard Beck, senior NBA writer for Sports Illustrated. Howard, again, happy holidays. Always appreciate the time, my friend. You as well, Dan. Thanks for having me. Awesome stuff, Howard Beck. Always brings it.

Great knowledge there. He's right. Cavaliers, a lot of talent, but is it their time yet?

If it's not, it will be soon. The problem for the NBA for me, Art, is, you know, I'm a Jew here in New York, and the whole Kyrie Irving situation was obviously very ugly. The reaction, I think, by players in the league and the league itself, where they're tiptoeing around the issue of not being good. Yeah, tiptoeing. Yeah, very tiptoeing.

Tiptoeing. When it comes to other social justice issues, they are full-fledged warriors. When it came to Kyrie Irving, one of their own, and his comments, or not even his comment, but posting the link to that video, the controversial video, they tiptoe. And I think that has turned people off to the league because there is legit anger as to how they've handled that situation. It's not pretty, I'll tell you that for sure. Not at all.

I mean, kind of ridiculously bad. Alright, I want to get back to the NFL. College football as well. Rivalry Saturday coming up. The big matchup, number three versus two.

Michigan, Ohio State, that is next. Dan Schwartzman on Black Friday. In on the Rich Eisen Show, back after this.

Back on the Rich Eisen Show on Black Friday, Dan Schwartzman in for Rich. Rivalry Saturday in college football coming up tomorrow. Some letdowns, obviously, it's going to be that way. When Auburn stinks, the Iron Bowl is not remotely close to what it should be, right? And even for Alabama, it's somewhat of a down year. They've lost two games this year. That's kind of a rarity in the Nick Saban era, but Auburn's four and six are looking for a head coach. Calak Williams has done a nice job on an interim basis.

That game's not great. LSU Texas A&M, you thought at the start of this season that would be an awesome game. That hasn't been the case because Texas A&M is the biggest underachieving team in all of college football. What an absolute joke that situation is. It's like shame on Jimbo Fisher, right? Like, what happened there? I like Jimbo.

He's a heck of a recruiter. I mean, how many five stars can you bring into Texas A&M to then go four and seven? It makes absolutely no sense.

Really, no sense. What a disappointment that has been. Thankfully, Notre Dame has turned that corner from the start of the season when they did not get off to a good start to the season. Remember, Notre Dame, game one of the Marcus Freeman era, they lost to Ohio State.

Okay, fine. Then they lost to Marshall, right? That was a bad loss. And that was a home loss. And since then, they've only lost once, and that was against Stanford. And they're going to lose again on Saturday. And they're probably going to lose again on Saturday as they're facing USC.

USC is number six in the country. I love that fight song, by the way. It is a great fight song, right? You've got to put your two fingers in the air. Two fingers in the air.

Come on, come on. I remember when I was a kid and I was watching a USC game and you hear that fight song being played by the band. It's like, wow, that's cool.

That's aggressive. I like that. And by the way, it's good to have USC competitive, right? USC needs to reclaim its spot amongst the hierarchy of college football.

It's been too long. Too many just bad coaches in there. And now they're back, number six in the country. They can up their ranking with a win over 15th ranked Notre Dame.

With a win, USC is 11-1. Lincoln Riley has come in there and has earned the money. Look, I mean, Lincoln Riley is highly paid. What's he getting? Like $10 million a season? He's earned it. Yeah.

He's earned it. Have you seen his house, by the way, in LA art? And I don't mean like stalking him and driving by, but have you seen pictures of his house in LA? No, I have not.

No? It's like a $17 million house. You got to take a look, man. If you ever wonder why he left Norman, Oklahoma to go to LA, look at his house. Forget the salary.

Because he could have made that money elsewhere. Look at the house he's gotten. All right, you're Googling it as I speak. I am. I am Googling it. Exactly.

It is unbelievable. Talk about like palatial estate. Talk about like the next showpiece on million dollar listing Los Angeles.

All right? I mean, it is, it's nice. And he's got a lot of nice perks being in LA as well. He's got a private jet and all that. I mean, he's got, look, USC pulled out all the stops to make sure they got themselves a heck of a head coach. Look at what Oklahoma is without him.

Look at what USC is with him compared to what they've been really the last 10 years or so. Did you find it? Oh yeah. Oh my gosh. Right? Like ridiculous. And I know people out there listening are probably Googling him right now. Googling Lincoln Riley's house, Los Angeles.

It is utterly ridiculous. And you know how you know your old art? Let me tell you, when I look at that house, the first thought that comes to my mind after, wow, that's a really nice house is who the heck cleans it? Seventeen million dollars. Oh my gosh. Right? Who cleans that? You want like 15,000 square feet?

Yeah. Your landlord, the maid or the housekeeper would have to clean one room at a time. You know, the housekeeper would need to have lots of friends come by.

One room per day. Right? I mean, you have to have a staff coming. Like you have to have a cleaning service literally come in with like six people cleaning for like five hours. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Right?

That's the first thing that crosses my mind when I see a house like that is nice, but who cleans the damn thing? But I'll tell you what, man. It's so good because I'm a big college football fan. I always used to tell NFL player friends of mine, I would say, guys, Saturdays are better than Sundays.

Oh, you're crazy. How can you say Saturdays are better than Sundays? Well, I said it and they are. College football to me is better than pro football because the rivalries in college football are so much deeper than in pro football.

They really are. I mean, think about it. Think about some of the rivalries in professional football, right?

What? Giants, Eagles, Eagles, Cowboys, you know, Packers, Bears, Broncos, Chiefs. OK, whatever. They're decent rivalries. No one's like, I don't think of NFL rivalries as being like true hatred, right? I'm a jet fan. I hate the Patriots.

Sure. But I hate them because it's more jealousy than a real rivalry when one team is spanking the other team every single time they play. It's not much of a rivalry. But when you talk about true rivalries, college football is where you go.

I mean, that's real rivalries. And to have USC back as a national power really opens up a lot of doors. And Notre Dame USC is a classic rivalry. And Notre Dame being 0-2 to start the season, thank goodness they've turned it around and gone 8-1 since. Because when you get to rivalry weekend and you have a top 15th ranked Notre Dame team playing a top 6 ranked USC team, it's better for the sport.

It makes it must watch. You're not just a fan of USC or Notre Dame watching. You're now watching as a college football fan because there's actual implications in this game. So if USC pulls off this game, do they jump the loser of Ohio State Michigan? They're both 11-0. One's ranked third. That's Michigan. Ohio State, the home team's ranked two.

Game's at the horseshoe. And then the debate begins. I mean, what a fun debate, right? Does an 11-1 USC team deserve to be jumping a one loss 11-1 Michigan or 11-1 Ohio State? That's a legit debate. You've got to look at the body of work.

Ohio State Michigan, you can hear that game right here on Westwood One tomorrow. All right. Only the best. Absolutely.

But that's the thing though, Art. Are you going to penalize Michigan if they lose a close game at the horseshoe and say they deserve to fall more than one or two spots? Or if at all?

That's a good question. Or does Ohio State get penalized losing 24-23 to third ranked Michigan in a Big Ten rivalry, the Big Ten rivalry game? Do they deserve to get jumped by an 11-1 USC team that, you know, who's lost by, it's not a bad loss, they lost to a ranked Utah team at the time, right? It's not a bad loss.

Yeah, absolutely. Right? They beat a ranked UCLA team. But the problem is they played two ranked teams and, you know, it's a great debate. People buying into TCU, you know, if TCU wins their game, as the fourth ranked team, the final team in that possible playoff. They barely beat Baylor last week, right?

Right! And they're playing Iowa State, not exactly a team you sit there and go, yeah, that's a great game. I'm just saying, you know, when people talk about TCU, people don't give them enough credit. Remember, they had four games in a row against ranked opponents and they won all of them. They beat Oklahoma, Kansas, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State, and then they also beat Texas this year. But you're right, they beat Baylor by one point. But every team's going to have that type of game on their schedule, right? That close contest where you're like, eh, that kind of questions what they are. But they have beaten five teams that were top 25 teams when they played.

That's impressive. USC can't say that, right? USC doesn't have that. They've played two teams that were ranked when they played. So, you know, people want to disparage TCU because they're TCU. They're not the number one or even number two team in the state of Texas.

I get that. Texas is always going to be the biggest team. They're the Longhorns. Texas A&M's always going to get more pub because they're sexy, right? They recruit well. They got Jimbo Fisher, who's done a terrible job.

Sonny Dykes deserves a heck of a lot more credit, by the way, than him. But still, you get my drift. And then you look at a Michigan team, for instance, right? Michigan's ranked third. Michigan has played one team that was ranked in the top 25 when they played, and that was a convincing home win over Penn State.

Okay, great. Ohio State, how about them? They also, by the way, have played two teams ranked in the top 25 when they played, and that was Notre Dame, and that was Penn State. So TCU's resume is actually, if you want to really break it down, a bit more impressive because they've played and beaten more ranked opponents.

Here's my take. Whoever loses Ohio State and Michigan in a close game, if it's a blowout, all bets are off. If it's a close game, should not get jumped, by the way, by USC.

I just can't see it. I don't think it's fair. Like, you shouldn't get severely penalized for losing to a team that's also, by the way, ranked there. I wouldn't jump LSU with two losses over them. At most, what I would do is move, if TCU wins as they should, I would move TCU up. So if Michigan at three loses, flip-flop them in TCU. So Michigan becomes four, TCU becomes three. If Ohio State loses, Michigan goes up to number two or maybe even number one over Georgia. You can make that argument, right? Should Ohio State drop out of the top four? No. TCU, maybe they move up to three and Ohio State drops to four, but I just don't think, based on a close game there, either Ohio State or Michigan should be penalized and taken out of that top four.

Should not happen. Major League Baseball offseason rolls on. Aaron Judge doing the California tour.

Is he serious? And could he leave the New York Yankees? USA Today Major League Baseball columnist Bob Nightingale will join us next. I am Dan Schwartzman on Black Friday. Always fun filling in here on the Rich Eisen Show.

In our culture, everybody tells you how to save, but nobody teaches you how to spend it. Something you should know wherever you listen. We'll be right back. We'll be right back. We'll be right back. We'll be right back. We'll be right back. We'll be right back.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-26 18:23:11 / 2022-11-26 18:43:29 / 20

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