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Live from the Rich Eisen Show studio in Los Angeles. Nick Nurse was introduced. Do you want James Harden back?
James Harden's a great player. Didn't answer the question. Tom Cruise, did you order the Code Red?
Did you order? You can't handle it. The Rich Eisen Show with guest host Kirk Morrison. Today's guests. Veteran NBA reporter Howard Beck. NHL analyst Pierre Maguire.
Sirius XM MLB Network radio analyst Scott Miller. And now, sitting in for Rich, it's Kirk Morrison. Welcome in.
Welcome in. Monday, June 5th here on the Rich Eisen Show. I am Kirk Morrison filling in for Rich.
Rich on vacation. Take a little time. And I'll keep the seat warm.
So hopefully I won't burn things down. I'll keep things going. As always, great to be with my guys. As always, Brockman is here. TJ is here. I'm excited to be here, as always, because I get a chance to talk about the weekend in sports and see what's upcoming. What are we missing?
So much to get to. But, number one, first things first. Kirk, I don't think Rich is on vacation. I think he has a graduation. Oh, wait. Graduation. Yeah, it's Cooper's graduation.
Oh, well, congratulations. Because he's back tomorrow, huh? Because he's back tomorrow. Well, he took a vacation day. Vacation day. A little PTO. A little PTO.
A little pay time off. He's the boss. He can do it. He gets a little day off. His name's on the cup. Very true.
Very true. So Rich will be back tomorrow. So I get to sit in for a little bit and hang out with you guys. And I think I'll start here. Because I want to say thank you. Thank you to Eric Spolstra. I want to say thank you to Jimmy Butler. Bam Adebayo. Pat Riley.
I want to thank the Miami Heat. Because if you would have asked me on Thursday, I would have said, wow. It's a wrap. Oh, man. Change your name to Saran because it's a wrap.
Oh, man. ABC ESPN. Get your softball baseball coverage ready because you may need it. TBD probably wasn't something that you needed.
It was going to be a series that looks like the Denver Nuggets would sweep the Miami Heat. But that's why we play the game, everybody. That's why you play. That's what makes basketball. That's what makes sports so great. Because you can't predict an outcome.
You can't. Last night, the Miami Heat took down the Nuggets. 111-108. Great game. But it was a great game because I think that we all said yes.
Thank you. We have a series. Because it was doubt in the back of our mind. After that game won between the Heat and the Nuggets, you're saying, oh, let me fill out my bingo card.
Start looking at this honeydew list I got to get done. I was nervous. Thank you, Miami Heat. You bought me at least an extra week. You bought me an extra week to be able to say, you know what? I've got appointment viewing ahead. I think the NBA, the finals gives me time to reflect. I get a chance to reflect. I reflect because you have to be your best forward. Four out of seven tries.
And you have to keep thinking about that. Remember, you got to win four out of seven. It is about the best team, the best coach.
It is about how do you make adjustments. It's a little bit different when we're talking about the NCAA tournament. Right, fellas? It's different when we talk about the NFL. Because you have to be your best that day. And look, we've seen guys get hot in a one-game scenario that they go out and play.
And you're like, wow. But then you look back at the NBA and it works. If this was a one-game series, Denver would win, move on. But this is not a one-game series.
It's about the best of seven. And all we saw was Eric Spoelstra in the Miami Heat. Go out and play an outstanding game. And it started from the beginning.
The one thing that I said, when it comes to the NBA, especially the finals, especially in a game two scenario after getting beat handily in game one. Just give me the first six minutes. Just give me the first six minutes. Mike Del Tufo, you'll like this one. Give me the first TV timeout.
Right? Give me the first TV. You know the temperature of a game by that first TV timeout. That first TV timeout, you know who showed up. I've been in those situations where you look into my eyes and eyes are like, man, I don't know if I got it today. Or you know if a guy is on.
Like you just got a sense, you feel it. Well, especially in the NBA, especially on the road, that first six to eight minutes, whatever that first TV timeout, you know what's going on. You know who's here to play. We saw that last night from the Miami Heat. They were ready to play. They came out on fire.
They came out as the aggressors. They were on the offense, not necessarily the defense. And yes, some may say Eric Spoelstra is a genius because he started Kevin Love. Kevin Love was in the starting lineup, which was a veteran presence.
But Kevin Love didn't have a great night in terms of shooting the basketball. But you brought a grown up into a situation to kind of get things started, right? Like Thanksgiving dinner. You can start it, but you need that that older veteran, right? You need that older gentleman, that older woman to come in and say, hell, this is how we get things started.
This is how you do it. And then you could take over young guys. Kevin Love was the was the patriarch last night because he went in just to stabilize Aaron Gordon. No, you're not about to have five dunks in a row and get this crowd going crazy, right? Everybody saluting.
No, no, no, no, no. Let's let's do something a little bit different. I watched that last night, and then I had to talk about my high school football coach. High school football coach always used to tell us, don't go around smelling yourself. I never knew that, you know, when you when they tell you this in high school and Pop Warner, I never really understood it in the beginning. But as I've gotten older as an adult, I actually start using it in my own life. Don't go around smelling yourself.
Because the term or the way that it's used, you never want to start smelling yourself or smelling the roses too early. A feeling a feeling as if you've accomplished something. That's what I saw from the Denver Nuggets last night. The Denver Nuggets had a great game one and said, oh, yeah, we kind of this false sense of security. We got this. We blow them out. You feel good. You start to smell the roses a little too early.
Start smelling yourself, smelling good. Oh, and you forget about the grit in the grind. And their head coach, Mike Malone, even said it after the game about how this team, his team, the Nuggets didn't seem like they came ready to play.
Here's Mike Malone. Let's talk about effort. I mean, this is NBA finals and we're talking about effort.
That's a huge concern of mine. We had guys out there that were just whether feeling sorry for themselves for not making shots or thinking they can just turn it on or off. This is not the preseason. It's not the regular season. It's not round.
This is the NBA finals. And that to me is really, really perplexing, disappointing. I understand that. I get that. And what he says is feeling sorry for yourself because you don't make the first couple shots. This is about will.
This is about want to. The Miami Heat and game number one. Let's look at the complementary players, so to speak, right? Because those guys didn't necessarily show up. And I understand why. Right? I don't make excuses, but I like to give reasons.
You don't make excuses, but I do give reasons. Miami Heat had an emotional game a week ago. Think about it. It was a week ago. They were in Boston. Sorry about this Brockman. I didn't want to bring it up, but it's when I thought I had healed. Yeah, just when you thought you had healed. I ripped that Band-Aid right off your brother.
I am sorry, but I got to keep the Band-Aid off for just a little bit. But it was just a week ago that the Miami Heat were in Boston in a game seven. A game seven scenario.
And yet they found a way to win. And right after, remember, it was reported the Miami Heat booked the flight to Denver after the game, regardless of what happens in game seven. I mean, everybody does that, by the way. Just being responsible in terms of logistics. If you're a scheduling planner, you probably want to do that just in case. Let's make sure we pack up the plane accordingly because we may have some other places to be. So they take the long flight, you know, from the New England area, from the Massachusetts area, all the way to Denver. You get there a couple days and guess what you got?
Media, availabilities. Do you really have a chance to understand what just happened and were you taken off? Game one was on Thursday. It looked like they were in a situation where not everybody was ready. Then you got to deal with the elevation, the altitude. Trust me, I know what altitude sickness is. I've had it before. It is not fun. But after game one, I fell victim and I got to stop falling victim like so many of us, so many of us in sports who analyze or look or fans.
We look at one game and says, oh, there it is. How about man? Joker, he's the best. Joker is going.
Oh, man. No one can stop Joker. Well, that still was true in game two. He still put up 41 points.
But it was the game plan, I think, of Eric Spolstra in the Miami. He said, you know what? It's not about stopping Joker.
It's not about stopping Nicola. He is going to get his great players, a two time MVP. He is going to get his points.
He's going to get his shots. But we can't let the other guys get comfortable. We can't let Michael Porter Jr. get comfortable. We can't let Aaron Gordon, like I mentioned earlier, have four or five dunks to start the game off. You can't do that. You can't let Kentavious Caldwell Pope get into a rhythm. You want to make him have to make some bonehead plays down the stretch foul and three point shooters. That's what you want. That's how the game is. And also the number two. Right? We all know Joker can't do it by himself.
He needs a sidekick. Well, Jamal Murray in game one gave him 26. Game two only gave him 18.
Made him work for it. That's what the adjustment was. But then it was also, too, it was the players who I talked about, fellas, that you have to talk about the undrafted. I mean, do we have a name yet for the Miami Heat undrafted players yet?
Like, that's the first thing you always see, the graphics of the Miami Heat players. Oh, seven undrafted players. Do they have a name yet? The undrafted seven? You know what I mean?
If there's people out there, help me out. What is the name of all these undrafted players? The Undesirables?
Oh, I like that. Right now they're the Magnificent Seven. The Magnificent Seven. I say that because in game one, they looked wide-eyed.
In game two, they had ice in their veins. South Beach Seven. South Beach Seven.
I like that. Duncan Robinson, three points first game, second game. You forgot to, you neglected to mention him at the beginning when you were thinking Miami Heat because Duncan Robinson was the man. Oh, he was balling last night. Duncan Robinson had his game going.
Right? I mean, he had the Pompeii going. He was definitely in his bag. Max Troos had as many points as I did in game one, which was zero.
So Max Troos was in his bag. He gave me 14 points last night. They haven't even got the game that Caleb Martin gave the Boston Celtics and gave seven. He's only had six points in the first two games.
I'm just saying. I'm just analyzing the game. You talk about Denver and you bring up Boston. Denver kind of looked like Boston last night.
A little shell-shocked. Kind of played really well in the first half. They had a big lead.
And then for whatever reason, Boston did it all season long. Just coasted in the third quarter. Just like, nah, we're good. We got this in the bag. We don't need it. And then all of a sudden, whoa, are we losing? We're down?
Well, start smelling yourself. What happened? And then all of a sudden the fourth quarter. I still think Miami has it missing. They're still shooting and they still haven't missed in the fourth quarter. They shot for over 50% for three. That was ridiculous. I was going to combine outrageous and ridiculous.
I need to make that a new word. It just feels like Denver just kind of looked like Boston last night. And then what's Boston doing right now?
They're at the crib. We know how this ends. This ends with Miami hoisting the Larry O'Bee in a week and a half. If Denver keeps playing like this. Michael Porter Jr., dude, you can't play.
If you're going to be standing around looking lost on defense. There's a still image going around of Michael Porter shooting a fadeaway jumper being double-teamed. And Murray and Jokic are standing under the basket all alone like, hey, bro, I'm open.
What is happening? Anthony Bryant on LeBron's bucket to pass Kareem, his all-time winning scorer. Thomas Bryant. You're not getting the ball. Yo, MPJ, you're not LeBron. Pass to the open guy. That's what happens. The way that you win game one, you get comfortable. We can start to do things.
You experiment. You have another one of my coaches. Man, all my coaches are giving me all my cliches.
So just so you guys know, I'm a walking cliche of the coaches I've been around. But one of my coaches, I remember a linebacker coach say, you're out there playing a little too loose. Playing a little too loose mean that you're not honing in. You're not focused in.
You're not seeing. You're kind of just out there playing. And if you start to just go out there and play, you miss the little things. You miss the fundamentals. You miss the open pass that was there because you just, I want to get my shot down because you've missed a couple shots. Now you miss a couple shots and you're looking around like, what do I do now?
What do I do now? Because Murray has had that happen, right? He's had some up and down quarters. Jamal Murray, I'm talking about.
But man, think about it. He makes that three at the end last night. By the way, you thought that was going in. Oh, I thought it was going in. Especially that last angle that you saw, like that last angle was like, it was right on target.
One inch further and that thing is wet. And even post game, he said that like, yeah, we're talking now about how we didn't play well and how this we didn't. He said, I've made that shot before. Shot in the air to tie it. If I make that shot and we win in overtime, are we having this discussion about it?
We had a lackadaisical quarter in the beginning of the first half, beginning of the second half. We have a different conversation had I made that shot. So let's just be honest.
But I still look at just both sides of it again. Eric Spolstra. And you know what? I got to give another clap too. One more clap for her. Thank you.
Because as we are older in our age, fellas, you really respect the older veterans. I know I do. So I talked about Kevin Love. But then there's always that time where you need an adult on the court just to keep you calm. I said, Kevin Love, but let's not think about the other KL.
Oh, look, I just thought about that right now. How about that? Kyle Lowry. We forgot about that. He hit some threes. He hit some threes.
He kept it calm. He made game winning plays. And you got guys that have winning championship experience that have won championships in this league, in the NBA. It's something to be said. I can tell you, I watch these postgame press conferences like it's the Bible, like I'm sitting here getting all the information because they're telling me the story. I learn more about the game through the comments of the players.
You know who won, you know who lost just by their temperament. And Jimmy Butler still hasn't had a Jimmy Butler type of game because he's doing so much. And I think when you get to Miami, it is going to be a fun game number three.
But that's just my initial analysis. My guy Howard Beck, I want to hear what he thinks, how he saw game two. Howard Beck, NBA writer coming up next here on The Rich Eisen Show.
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It's like saying you're not allowed to use a pencil to create a piece of art. Rolling Stone music now wherever you listen. Rockman just out of the blue. Where were you when you sent this tweet, Chris? Oh, I mean, was that on a Sunday? Was it a Sunday night?
I don't remember. I was probably just at home and you just said, you know, if the Eagles make the playoffs, I'll take a bite out of Mike Del Tufo's hat. You said, I will take a bite out of Mike Del Tufo's hat.
Yeah, Eagles have made the playoffs and you have avoided the inevitable for a week. That ends now. I just sliced up a one inch by one inch cut out of Mike Del Tufo's Callaway hat and I placed it like little Easter eggs into the half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Take a bite. Here we go. You go.
Rockman is taking a bite. Did you get a piece of the hat there? I think you did.
We chose the peanut butter to stand nearby. Nope. No, we don't. It's part of the hat sticking out. Oh, that is a that is an awful piece right there in that sandwich. No, you may not. As long as you eat it.
As long as you eat it. Keep going. Keep going. I didn't go through.
Man, this piece is like right up my tooth. Why did you even do this, Chris? You didn't have to. You took the McLovin because the Eagles stink. You took the McLovin bait. Oh my God.
That was Sunday. Radio audience, I can't even tell if that's a piece of glistening jelly or a piece of a glistening, a jellied glistened Del Tufo hat piece. Down it. Just I feel like I'm talking to Taylor eating her broccoli. Just eat it and we'll get off your case. Oh, he just went one bite. He finished it. This is not going to be good because that is peanut butter and it is jelly and it is Del Tufo hat.
And you just jammed literally three inches by three inch piece of sandwich. It was a proud day for my future son. Oh my God. Back here on the Rich Eisen Show. Kirk Watson here filling in for Rich. All set to go as my guy Howard Beck joins the program because I got to ask Howard Beck just how he saw game number two.
And I'll start there, Howard. How did you see game number two? Who gets the credit? Because in my group chat this morning, there's always the question of the day. Howard, the question of the day was did the Miami Heat win or did the Denver Nuggets lose? Which one was it, Howard? Oh, it's always a combination of both. I know it's a boring answer for radio. I apologize.
It's all good. You know, the Heat missed a ton of open shots in game one and when Michael Malone, you know, Michael Malone had to like reiterate last night after the loss that, hey, I wasn't messing around or just doing coach speak when I said I didn't think we played really well in game one when we won and that I was worried. And, you know, listen, it's always hard to know with coaches.
They do play these psychological games with the public, with the media, with their own teams. But the Heat had a bunch of open threes that they would normally make in game one and they missed a ton of them, whether that was fatigue coming off of a seven game series and a quick turnaround, whether that was elevation, whether that was just being out of sorts in general, whether that was Nuggets defense, whatever. They were open shots, right?
They weren't forced shots. So there was a reason to believe the Heat were going to shoot better in game two. And they did by a long shot. They made close to, you know, somewhere around 50 percent of their three.
So that's a big part of it. I thought Jimmy Butler was a little bit more assertive and that mattered. And, yeah, look, they did make some adjustments that led to the big theme of or one of the themes of last night in the postgame, which was Jokic became more of a scorer, less of a playmaker. And did that throw off something with the Nuggets? Maybe.
I mean, they still had a chance to tie it in that last possession, with Jamal Murray missing the three as time expired. But, you know, it's a little of everything. Yeah, I feel like it's a little of everything. But at the same time, it's you kind of know who I would say your standouts are, right? I'm looking at this series now and we know what Jokic is. We know what Jamal Murray is. We know about Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, those four, right?
Because you have to have, you know, the duos on each team. But who else is the, well, who's the most important third guy for both teams right now? Or the most important guy that's needed each and every game? I think with both of these teams, let me talk about the Heat first. With the Heat, it very much changes game to game because this is not a roster of a lot of, you know, big time star power. Even Jimmy Butler, like Jimmy Butler produces at a level in the postseason that he never does in the regular season, or at least not with that consistency. And Bam Adebayo is this kind of Swiss Army knife type player who does a lot of things as the anchor of their defense and he can make plays, he passes, shoots.
But they don't have the prototypical, like, here's our go-to scores night in, night out. So, you know, last night, you know, Gabe Vincent, the undrafted Gabe Vincent scores 23 points since it's a game high and makes eight to 12 shots and four threes. But the next time it might be Max Struce or, you know, could actually be Kayla Barton who actually, you know, who had a phenomenal conference finals, of course, and was in the running, you know, narrowly missed beating out Jimmy Butler for MVP of the conference finals. It's going to vary for the Heat from night to night as to who their top scorers are. Even after Jimmy, like, you expect it to be Jimmy's going to be one of their top two, but it's going to vary around that and there are going to be times that Jimmy could be their third leading scorer and they could still win a game potentially.
The Nuggets, it's really been kind of a sort of a big three. They're not a big three in the way of, like, you know, the old Heat team with LeBron on it. But Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray are the primary co-stars that you expect to produce next to Jokic. But we've seen, you know, Aaron Gordon can have an explosive game. You know, Caldwell Pope is a great three-point shooter. There are other guys who may come through, but I do think they are more geared toward they need Murray and Porter to produce. Of course, Porter had a pretty lousy game last night, actually at both ends of the court. And so that was an issue for Denver as well. He's the host of the Locked On NBA podcast, veteran NBA reporter Howard Beck joining the Rich Eisen Show.
You can also reach him on Twitter at Howard Beck. Last night, 15 points, though, combined by Kyle Lowry and Kevin Love. Two guys who have NBA championship finals experience, but yet you put them on the court.
They don't have these plays in which you go, wow. But when you think about what they've done, and I'm just saying game two, because we didn't see Kevin Love in game one, they seem to stabilize a young unit or the units that they're a part of that keeps them playing in the plus and never the minus. Yeah, although as it happens, Kevin Love was a plus-18 last night and Kyle Lowry was a minus-15, which is strange. Well, very much so because Kyle Lowry is a guy who on most nights, especially if you've won the game, and they did, Lowry, you'll look across the stat sheet and go, oh, he didn't really do much statistically, and then you'll look at the plus-minus, and it's usually some crazy off-the-charts plus. Lowry is going to get in there and gum up things for the opposing team, just in terms of his defensive instincts. He's going to take some charges. He's going to move the ball. He's going to find open guys.
He's just going to do a lot of little things at this stage of his career. He and Kevin Love both. They both had their years where they were primary weapons for their teams. Lowry, obviously, in Toronto, and Love primarily in Cleveland, and they're both past that point.
But yeah, they're both incredibly valuable. Kevin Love in this postseason, and let's not forget, Kevin Love was waived by the Cavaliers earlier this season, a decision that still puzzles a lot of people around the NBA. But Kevin Love, even in the time he was in last night, he didn't shoot all that great, but he made a couple early threes that helped, and those outlet passes, those full-court passes that he throws that are always on the money are huge. He grabbed 10 rebounds in 22 minutes, and I think the move to put him in the starting lineup, they just needed a little bit more size against the Nuggets front court.
That seemed to help them a little bit as well. This is the Miami Heat to a T. Whether it's Love and Lowry, who are guys who seem to have maybe outlived their usefulness elsewhere or late in their career, or whether it's Vincent and Struce and other guys, and Caleb Martin, who were castoffs by other teams, they find guys who just play a certain brand of ball, who are tough-minded, and they get the most out of them every time. Have the Miami Heat figured out how to handle the Joker?
Because we've seen it now, and this is the number, right? The 40-point double-double for Jokic, not a triple-double, but the 40-point double-double has all been losses by the Denver Nuggets in these playoffs. Is it now that Eric Spoelstra has figured it out? Allow Jokic to score or do that? But we can't let him get those assist numbers.
That's when they really hurt. Is this now the formula to beat the Nuggets? As we heard from Spoelstra postgame last night, he thinks that's a ridiculous premise.
I don't think it's a ridiculous premise. It may not have been the full story, but I don't think it's wrong to think that... You're never allowing Jokic to score, right? The guy who was 16 for 28 from the field, but 28 shots is the most he'd taken in any game this season, regular season or playoffs, and it's not his natural demeanor to be a go-to scorer. Jokic would prefer to set up his teammates. It's always been the way he's been built, and that Nuggets team has thrived with him not just posting triple-doubles.
It's not the triple-double that's the thing. It's the fact that one of those categories is the assists. When he is setting up his teammates and everybody's in rhythm, that's when the Nuggets are at their best, and this is not a team that's built on their defense. They were a mid-tier defensive team in the regular season, so they're not going to grind you out and win games that way. They're going to pick you apart at the offensive end, make you work your butt off, and Jokic is going to keep finding open teammates. When he's more of a scorer as he was last night, now I should note, he had 31 points through three quarters, I believe, and they had a lead going into the fourth, so it's not that Jokic being a go-to scorer was somehow a weight on them, but I do think, and this is a harder thing to kind of prove, right? This is more just basketball impressionism than anything, but I think it's important for role players to be in rhythm, and I think that when you get into a tight fourth quarter, guys are more comfortable if they've been involved the whole time, and so if you've been able to make the Nuggets a little bit more stagnant and have Jokic carry them, even if he's putting up big numbers on high efficiency, I do think it has an impact on the role guys, and I think that that can bleed into defense too. If you don't feel as involved and you're not in rhythm and you're not shooting as well, you sag a little bit, it's a hard thing to prove, like I say.
It's more psychological, but I think those things are real. No, I agree with you 100%, because the next guy I want to talk about is a guy named Gabe Vincent, because I was trying to put it all together, because we have so many of these undrafted players, and yet Gabe Vincent on this national stage, right, has, I wouldn't say he's come out of nowhere, Howard, because he's been playing in the NBA, but for some reason we've ignored him, and yet when you look at the impact that he's had on this Miami Heat team, especially right now with the ball in his hands, it's like, how has this gone on? How has he undrafted?
Where have we missed out on him? And yet I think that he's been the most important player for the Miami Heat outside of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. I mean, you can certainly make the case, and as to why he gets overlooked, undrafted, I mean, it happens in this league now and then, and listen, even some of the stars in this series, Nikolai Jokic was a second round pick, right? Jimmy Butler was a 30th pick the year that he was drafted. Bam was a little lower in the first round, he was not a top 5 or top 10 pick. I mean, you know, Jamal Murray I think was out, or maybe he was like 7th, but there's, the player development matters, the system you're in, the coaches you get, teams miss.
Like, you know, we're going to have the draft here in a few weeks, and it's going to go like every other draft, I guarantee you. We're going to over-hype a bunch of guys at the top, we're going to sleep on some other guys, you know, in the mid to late first round and the second round, and as with every year, there's going to be some guys who are picked lower who pop, it's still more art than science, teams still miss, and you get a Gabe Vincent who, he finds the right team and the heat, generally speaking, that's the team you want to land with. You know, hardworking, high IQ player who got overlooked, didn't go to the bigger schools, all that kind of stuff, Miami's where you want to land because they're going to, if you have a certain commitment to the game and conduct yourself as a professional and play your butt off, that's the place you're going to blossom.
He's the host on the Locked On NBA podcast, veteran NBA reporter Howard Beck joining the Rich Eisen Show, Kirk Morrison here filling in for Rich, just a couple more minutes with you, Howard, because now the series shifts, it goes from Denver to Miami, we get a couple of days in between. The one thing that I keep hearing, especially from my friends who are Heat fans is, this is who we are. We're not surprised of the position that the Heat are in because they haven't been great in game ones, they weren't great in the play-in, but yet they find a way that next game. But when you look at the Denver Nuggets, this is the first time, Howard, that we really feel like this is a bit of adversity for them.
How do you think Denver responds? It's like the first time of being uncomfortable in a series. It's actually one of the things I'm most curious about because, to your point, they really, it's not that they haven't been tested, and I'm not downplaying anything they've done in this postseason, but yeah, by virtue of being the top seed in the West, yeah, they've been kind of the front runners in each of their series, they've never really been pressed. They hadn't lost at home in the postseason, they hadn't lost at home, period, in a couple of months, and this is the first time, I think, that they are really kind of knocked a little off kilter and maybe have to deal with a little bit of, you know, they're just kind of checking themselves in terms of their confidence. They've lost home court advantage. They're fortunate that one of the first things Adam Silver did when he became commissioner 10 years ago was to change the series format in the finals from the 2-3-2 back to 2-2-1-1-1 because otherwise they'd be looking at a 1-1 split with three games in Miami. All the belief in the world that the Nuggets, of course, can win one of those two games, get home court back, and it'll be probably 2-2 going back to Denver for game five, that's my best guess expectation, but I am curious to see how they handle this bit of adversity because they really haven't had to cope with that in a while. And, you know, is there a counter move? If they're going to stick with Kevin Love in the starting lineup for the Heat, do the Nuggets have a move?
I don't think there's a lineup move to make, but maybe there are tactical adjustments. Like I said, the biggest thing that I'm excited about, Howard, was that Sunday night's game two now has given us intrigue and interest now that we have a series that's deadlock 1-1 and it can go any way possible. That's what I'm excited about, Howard. Appreciate the time, man. Thank you for having me. Appreciate it. That was Howard Beck, veteran NBA reporter, the host of the Locked On NBA podcast.
Follow him on Twitter, at Howard Beck. That's a great point, and I forget about that sometimes. Remember those old 2-3-2 formats of the NBA final? Oh yeah. Oh my God. That was just, that was bad.
That was bad. I didn't like the 2-3-2 because it felt like you said, you still won on the road if you're, you know, the team without the home court advantage. I get to go home and have three games in my home court. Also, different time in the NBA. Travel was a big issue because they were playing every other day. So you didn't want to play every other day and then just go back and forth between Chicago and Los Angeles or Boston and Los Angeles or New York and Houston.
I totally understand that. Now, we've got sometimes two, three days between games. So yeah, you can go 1-1-1 there at the end.
At the end. And it's not a huge deal. So, you know, different league. I totally understand that, but to Howard's point, can you imagine if three straight games in Miami right now? The Whiteout. Yep, Miami Heat Out. Whiteout, just TJ, just Miami in general.
Like, just the city is worth one game. I feel like. And if you're playing three in a row, suddenly, you know, Heat and Five might be a real thing. This is going to be interesting too. But for me, you know, I just want to see who's going to be in the stands too. You know, I like to look at who's going to be there because it's a big game in Miami.
It's the first time in a long time. Well, do you think everyone will be there by midway through the first quarter? You know, it's a big game, so maybe they'll show up for the first quarter.
Everybody's down in the VIP area. What's earlier? I mean, he's still starting at 8-30 Eastern. He'll start at 8 Eastern. Okay, I thought they moved the game.
I thought they moved this up a little. It'll be 8-30 Eastern. It'll probably be 8-30 Eastern. It kind of shocked me that it started at 8 Eastern yesterday. I was a little surprised at that.
I think Sunday, because the Sunday crowd will get everybody in, it'll be a little bit different. But I just like to see who always, who all comes to the game. Last night I saw a Terrell Davis sighting during the stand. Terrell Davis was not happy with the people he was sitting next to. Also, he tweeted out, he's like, I will be sitting somewhere else for game five.
He was heated last night. Those are some of the many observations that I had. But yesterday I had the opportunity, my mom is visiting, so I had a chance to sit down and we watched a basketball game together. And I have my mom's top five observations. I'm going to bring you my mom's top five observations of the NBA final.
Oh yeah, she's always into it. And it's always fun when someone who is not a quote-unquote analyst or just watching as you're at a bar or something like that. They look at and see things that you're like, how would you come up with that? Why are you paying attention to that? Yeah, like what are you paying attention to?
I'll give you that top five observations from my mom. I'm coming up next here on the Rich Eisen Show with Kirk Morrison. Fill it in for Rich. They do.
They detain you and get people on the phone and then they finally let you go to your modeling job. How many times does it happen? Once or twice. It just seems like it wouldn't happen. It happens, yeah.
Inside of you with Michael Rosenbaum, wherever you listen. The Lakers will be all right. I know you guys. I know. I know.
Especially you. I know y'all waiting for us to fall and get y'all are waiting, waiting, waiting, where have you been the last six years? I've been doing over there in the East without LeBron.
None. That's cool. I mean, we'll be all right. As long as y'all don't win and we win, I'm good. As long as the Celtics don't win. That's a successful season for a Laker fan.
They're not doing any winning either. Look, man. All right. We'll stay at the house with me then.
Chill out. You know what the best part about Godzilla King of the Monsters? What is it? We destroy Boston in the movie. We level it.
Just level it. I love it. It's so many references. So Laker fans dream Godzilla King of the Monsters.
Oh, my gosh. Dodger fans, too, because obviously the Celtics standing in the way. And the Rams.
The Patriots and Rams. Lakers, Lakers, a golden dragon. Delusional Laker fan is my favorite Laker fan.
Delusional Laker fan is my favorite. So what do you guys call the Celtics? I look, O'Shea, I'm here for your Boston. I'm here for. Oh, thank you.
Speaking of somebody who's from New York City and a diehard Yankee fan, I would take it in liquid form and inject it into my veins. But you really don't have much of a position right now to carp on a Celtic fan as a Laker fan. You just really are. You don't.
I mean, are they one of the championships? No, no, I know that. But you don't have like you're out of position under the boards right now. You're you're reaching in. You're going over the top. I'm I'm call I'm like kind of calling the foul right now. And I'm saying, look, that's like that's it.
Just you don't have much of a position. Listen, I am a Los Angelino. I'm a Los Angeles Laker. A non Laker fan will never see me sweat. I will die with the Golden Army. They will bury me at center court and I will not let a Bostonian get under my skin. Back here on the Rich Eisen Show, sitting at the Rich Eisen Show desk, furnished by Grainger with supplies and solutions for every industry. Grainger has the right product for you.
Call clickgrainger.com or just stop by. So sometimes when you watch the NBA finals, you always have these like observations. I know I always have observations. I'm always looking at more of the not just the game, but who's in the stands, the technical side of it, the crowd, the atmosphere.
I'm always trying to find something that maybe other people don't get a chance to notice. Everyone's always looking at the action on the court. And I'm looking at not only the action on the court, but I'm looking at how the bench is, you know, on both sides. Are they excited?
Are they sitting down like the coaches and stuff? You know, I always get excited when I see a run happen. Like yesterday, there was a big Nuggets run and Eric Spoelstra calls that time out and he's like walking like he's just so upset. But yet, you know, you call the time out because you're mad that your team is giving up points and you stop the run. But you got to be humble in the time out.
Like you got to keep calm knowing I know he wanted to pull his hair out. But last night or yesterday, I got a chance to watch the game with my mom. So, you know, she's in town, she was visiting.
So I said, you know what? Let's watch the game. So we're watching it and she has like all these observations and I'm like, how do you get that?
And this is how I always knew that people, when you come together, we all see certain things differently. We all watch the game differently. So I have top five observations yesterday from my mom while we're watching the game. I'm like, how do you get that?
So number one was yesterday. There was a sequence in the game in which Bam Adebayo takes about a, I would say about a 20-foot jump shot on the side. First thing she says is, why is he taking that shot? He too big to take that shot. I'm like, mom, you know, he's hit that shot before, right? That is actually part of his game. I promise you, two more trips down the floor, he's inside the paint and hits like a little, you know, eight-footer.
See, you see what happened? He listened to me, he heard me and he actually makes the shot. Like it's one of those things.
I'm like, ah, okay. But it was funny because she notices that, but yet it did look kind of uncomfortable. He's a little bit too far out for that jump shot.
Then he comes in a little bit closer, then he makes the shot. That was the one observation. Second observation she says, why is Jimmy Butler the only one wearing blue shoes?
There is no blue in that uniform. I'm like, well, you know, I told mama, hey, the NBA finals, very similar to the NBA All-Star weekend, right? NBA All-Star game, I should say. Everybody's bringing out the shoe game. Like this is where all the retailers or the sponsors, whether it's Nike, Adidas, Puma, whoever, like all the basketball shoe manufacturers, this is actually the time that you put the shoes out.
You have to have the finals edition, right? Think about some of the great shoes. I mean, you're a Jordan guy, TJ. I'm a Jordan guy.
I think we're all Jordan guys. But some of the more iconic Jordan pairs are his finals appearances, right? There's the flu game shoe, right?
There's the final game shot, you know, against the actual Utah Jazz where he hits it. You're like, man, a lot of his shoes are iconic because the biggest moments happen in the finals and that's why all these shoes. So I still don't have an answer for her why he had blue shoes on. I just thought, you know, he had blue shoes on.
So, yeah, that was my third observation or my second observation. My third observation or her observation, I should say, where's Deion Sanders at? Ain't he in Colorado too?
She said that? Where's Deion Sanders at? Ain't he in Colorado?
He in Colorado too. That's a good question. I was like, you know what? Honestly, mom, that is a really good question.
I never thought about that. He's actually in Boulder. Boulder's about, I think, what, 45 to an hour away from Denver. He is the head coach.
See, look, I'm telling you, these are questions that I never thought, but I was like, that is a good question. Where's Deion Sanders at? Because, hey, Deion's supposed to be there. Oh, she thought he should be at the game.
Yeah, because it's kind of like royalty, right? I mean, like, you bring out the who's who. He's the new head coach.
I said trust me. Peyton Manning was at game one. Peyton Manning was there. Sean Payton was there, right? We've seen Russell Wilson has been there. We've seen, we just talked about Terrell Davis. So I said, like, it makes sense.
I see where your mom came from. And at the end of the day, I was kind of pondering, like, why isn't Deion Sanders not there? He should be there, right? Danissel was there. Alex English was there.
Absolutely. Matt Lieber was there somewhere. That was number three. Yeah, so yeah, Bam Adebayo taking his shot. Jimmy Butler's blue shoes. Why isn't Deion there?
Oh, this is amazing. So, you know, I don't have any kind of allegiance to anyone, but I know that I sometimes after the game is over, I tend to turn to NBA TV because they give you the press conferences live, right? Instant reaction, right? And I know it's like the other networks, ESPNA, they have other things that they have to cover.
But if you want straight NBA, they're giving it to you. So I turned that one on. The first thing my mom sees is, wow, Charles Barkley really looking good with that weight he lost. I'm like, he is giving us an answer to that question. But yeah, all you see is he's like, yeah, he's looking good. Yeah, that suit he got on, it wouldn't fit him that way before. It got loose. I like this new Charles Barkley.
So that is, yeah, that's another observation. I think Chuck's lost 60 pounds. He looks great. I think he said something.
Yeah, he looks great. And, you know, him and Shaq has had this chemistry. I mean, they're on the postgame coverage over on NBA TV. So, you know, we're watching that and how just how funny it is. Both of those two going back and forth. Then you got the smooth Grant Hill in the middle, right? You know what I mean? Just keeping both those guys tame. So that was the fourth observation.
And then the last observation was one in which I really had to explain to her because she didn't really understand it. But this is where, and I won't even call it expertise, but my experience in television and let's see, the media relations departments of teams. So there was a little sequence that at the end of the game that happened last night in which once the game ended, remember Jamal Murray misses the shot. Game is over. If you notice the Miami Heat, it immediately leave the court.
Most importantly, Jimmy Butler. And then you have Mike Breen who's vamping. When I say vamping, he's kind of talking the stall because he's allowing Lisa Salters to grab the star of the game or the most recognizable player. So you got to chase somebody down. This is all the behind the scenes stuff that's going on that you don't see on television.
But my experience of understanding and having to do this as well before you know what's going on. So they ended up getting Bam out of bio. Remember Lisa Salters had the conversation with Bam after the game.
Great little interview about how they play this, this and that. And immediately after the interview, you saw Bam pointing and he got mad at somebody. And I don't know who it was. It was all over social media. People were like, oh, he's mad at a reporter for coming up to know. But the reporters are not allowed on the floor.
So I had to tell my mom, just understand this. After the game is over, the calling network or the broadcast network gets first dibs. That means that whoever's broadcasting the game, they get first dibs on the star player or the player who they want to rep.
They get. When Jimmy Butler left the court, mom, now hell breaks loose because they probably wanted Jimmy, but you can't get Jimmy. So it's like, who do we go with? Do we go with Bam?
Where's Gabe Vincent? Everybody left the court. So now you have a PR team and the public, you know, the public relations communications guys are like a mad dash trying to grab someone because we need someone. So they go out and get Bam out of bio. And so I think there was like a little, little conference, not confrontation, but Bam's like, look, I told you I'm going to do one interview.
That's it. And I'm going back in and he's, oh, my fat, my fault, my fault, my fault, Bam. We got to do one more. We got radio over here. We got to do this over here.
And so you have this little bit of chaos that I had to explain to my mom. He wasn't upset at the situation. He was just upset that sometimes as a player after a game, you want to go back into the locker room and be with your guys. You just had an emotional win. You're on the road in the NBA finals. You just won a game. Sometimes you don't have that in you to be like, okay, I'll do one interview, but then I want to go back and celebrate. And so you kind of had that and Jimmy Butler immediately leaving the game.
This is the stuff that I'm seeing and I'm trying to explain to my mom. She was like, wow, why was he so upset? So he's upset because he's only probably promised one interview and he had to do all three of them because he was, if you noticed, the only guy left on the court, his entire team.
I'm talking about triple zeros. They made a beeline and exit and Bam Adebayo was the only one left and he got caught in the media skirmish of the networks who actually get to do interviews on the court. So that was my mom's top five observations. It was really cool to do that. And so now I feel like she won't be here for game three, but we're going to have this little discussion after the game of what she saw and maybe I might have to tweet him out. So that sounds pretty good. We'll continue to do this as well on the Rich Eisen Show. I like this more coming up here on the Rich Eisen Show as you look at game three now approaching like it's a lot bigger now than it maybe once was. I was saying like this could be a situation in which we may get seven games, hopefully. Right.
I want to have a seven game series. I was texting my buddies because they're always asking me stuff. And like I said, our group check just goes all over the place. Now they're talking about AAU basketball now. No, because Gabe Vincent is from Northern California. He played for one of the outstanding AAU teams up there. And my buddy's like, look, he's an AAU coach.
He says, I don't take credit for coaching guy. He says AAU is this. All of a sudden you get two or three guys who play on your AAU team. He's like, Kirk, we don't have practices. We just grab three guys, go out there and go play. And then all the AAU coaches are like, yeah, you know, he plays for me. You know? Yeah, yeah. He plays for my AAU team.
No, he didn't. You got three guys together. Hey, go play.
And all of a sudden you take credit for the AAU. But as we were talking about that is just, you know, I told them, we don't want to sweep because if you get a sweep, the next thing you know, you're going to be watching something you may not want to watch, right? They're going to have a lot of, you know, race car racing or you're going to be watching more tennis or whatever. We need the NBA finals to keep on going because once the finals are over, now what are we going to be watching? Now summer is really here when the NBA finals are over.
That's what I've always said, because baseball is just not there for me just yet. And I'll tell you more that why coming up next here on the Rich Eisen Show. Conspiracy theories, paranormal UFOs, science teacher Andrew Greenwood stated that a child ran into his classroom and was hysterically screaming and talking about the flying saucer outside. Hundreds of children ran out of their classrooms to go outside and see this unidentified flying object that was just above the school. Just imagine a bunch of kids running out of school. Most of them probably just ran home. Theories of the third kind on YouTube or wherever you listen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-05 16:24:16 / 2023-06-05 16:46:19 / 22