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Ryan Hollins, Former NBA Player

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2024 4:42 pm

Ryan Hollins, Former NBA Player

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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May 10, 2024 4:42 pm

Former NBA Player and Rockets Analyst joins Zach Gelb

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We know we got a good team. We're not perfect. We played the right way more often than not, and we know we got to be better. But, you know, for, I guess, saying people that are spoiled for our success, you know, we don't pay attention to those things.

We just go out there and control what we can control. So that was Jason Tatum last night as the Celtics did drop Game 2, and they'll have this series over the weekend go back to Cleveland. Now joining us is Ryan Hollins. Ryan, appreciate the time as always. How you been, my man? I'm good, brother.

Well, thanks so much for coming on. So you heard that audio that we just played from Jason Tatum. How did you react to it? Because a lot of people have opinions about it today. I have a problem with it. You got to keep a little bit of that chip on your shoulder to say, hey, we got looked over. I thought we were better than that. And we got work to do.

I don't have any issue with this mindset. And in all reality, man, the Celtics were so good this year and they should be frustrated with losing to Cleveland. I don't think it's the end of things, but this is the challenge that we've had with Boston the whole season. They have moments where they look untouchable. You know, you almost want to hand them the NBA championship. And then they have moments where they don't shoot the ball well from three.

They struggle to create one on one. And Jason Tatum is great as he is. He can even look uninterested, you know, and be pedestrian at ball games. But when he and and brown and white, you know, play at a high level, man, it's almost untouchable.

And he's right. They do play off of a team game. They do, you know, driving kick offense. You know, the one on one drive leads to open shots. They leave themselves defensively. You know, they can really get out and switch screens and, you know, have versatility in their lineup.

So they didn't play the part. But we've seen that all season long. And let's see how they meet the challenge.

But it's really hard. And exactly. We've been saying this for a couple years now with Boston, right? When you want to jump on the bandwagon and say, like, they're going to be champs. We're in. We believe in them.

They do not come and play to standard and finish well. Yeah. That's why I don't get what he's so mad about. I know there's so many like press availabilities, like Brad Stevens did win executive of the year. I don't think he should have this season. I thought it should have gone to either Sam Presti or Leon Rose. Like Missoula shouldn't have been coach of the year. Tatum shouldn't have been MVP and everyone with the Celtics.

Ryan, you even said it at this point. I don't really care what they do in the regular season because it's about getting back to the NBA finals and hoisting that Larry O'Brien trophy. And I looked last night, last night doesn't change my opinion about them. They're still going to the NBA finals out of the Eastern conference, but I can't sit here and say that I'm all that confident that whoever comes out of the West, that they're going to find the way to beat them four times in a seven game series. It's up in the air.

And the reason I can, I can assume you have your hesitations that can correct me if I'm wrong. We all had Denver and right now, pound for pound. The Timberwolves are looking at like that team and the challenge that we have with the Timberwolves, correct me if you feel the same way or you don't, is that they struggle offensively. They don't fit all those pieces to the puzzle. They're not perfect pieces. Now they're darn near perfect defensively.

They can get after you. They got bodies of thoughts, your best player. They got bodies of thought, Nicole, the three times MVP, but they can struggle offensively and we've seen different Timberwolves teams, but like pound for pound, they're a lot more physical.

And you know, it's interesting. NBA had been a game of skill. When you look at golden state and the way that they've won, and they've had a lot of success, but lately it's been the teams that, that can just out, out physical you out match you look at Denver success.

If you see in Boston this year, they're just bigger all the way around. And we're just forcing this when he's healthy, they're a different team. And a lot is going to hinge on him being healthy.

Maybe they can afford to kind of let him sit out in the rest Denver Denver, just beat the crap out of LA, man. They're just bigger when they call a yellow pitch and Porter Jr. And Gordon, man, they were just much more physical. So it looks like that's where the team success is lying.

So I think there are more questions than answers. And I think there's still parity in the NBA. I don't think we can just crowd Boston. I don't think we can crown a clearly not the nuggets being down O2 in the Timberwolves. We still got to believe in who they are, but I think I'm loving the Timberwolves more than anybody right now.

Yeah, I'm with you. And I love what Anthony Edwards has been able to do and to win that game to without go bear and to still put on that defensive clinic was absolutely phenomenal and amazing to watch. Ryan Hollins is here with us. With all that being said, you had the game three tonight. Now going back to Minnesota, how much of a chance do you give Denver of coming back and maybe winning this series?

I give him a huge chance at the end of the day. World Champs aren't going to go away. Now the struggle is they don't have a chance without Jamal Murray. So with Jamal Murray, they're going to go back.

This thing is going to go seven games. There's no question, but without a man, this could be an easy, uh, for one, it's going to be down three, one going into this next game, um, at least at a minimum. Um, and here's the thing, the reason Jamal Murray is important in this series, Minnesota can do what they can match up with Nicola Yolko.

They can throw bodies at them. They're physical and they don't find the mismatches. Normally you get a mismatch with Aaron Gordon, Aaron Gordon's posted up your guards as the third option. The, you know, the third option of the offense, you don't get that against the nuggets.

So you need Jamal Murray to open the floor up for Nicola Yolko so that he can get hit open threes and he can make plays or Jamal Murray, who may have to be super and over aggressive down the stretch. But if that ankle is bad and he can't go, or excuse me, the calf is bad, he can't go and he just shows himself, man, this series is as good as over. Did you think it was a mistake by the NBA to not suspend Jamal Murray after he threw a towel at a ref and then threw the heating pad on the court while the game was going on? I think the NBA got this absolutely correct. And the reason I think they got it right is this is the first time we've seen something like this from Jamal Murray. Now I think that the second time he's going to be missing a handful of games, if he does it again, but I think right now it was frustration that set in, you don't want to look back.

And this is a key that we've said this before, and I've heard you on the show say, you don't want the referees to determine a game and you in the same breath, you don't want the NBA to determine a series. So allowing him to play, uh, I think he's been embarrassed enough. And if it happens again, he's going to miss a lot of time on top of the money. And I think the NBA got it right. And I think Jamal will be first to tell you that he made a really silly mistake. And you can say somebody wouldn't have gotten hurt, but all it takes is a wrong slipper step and somebody could have gotten hurt. So hopefully Jamal can grow and learn from this. And it's shown to be silly enough to not happen again.

Yeah. And I want to be clear here, Ryan Hollins. Um, I thought he should have been suspended for a game. I never during the playoffs advocate for players to be suspended. Cause like you said, I don't want to see that impact series, but when you do the money signed to the refs, you throw a towel at the officials and a heating pet on the court. That was just too much for me, but the NBA elected not to suspend them.

And they ended up finding him a hundred thousand dollars. Yeah, go ahead. Let me say this. Let me say this. Mike Malone ran in the face of an official, not wrong. Here's the thing.

Here's the thing. What I like about the league right now, there's a lot of emotions. The competitive level's high. We got great series. We're going to have a new champ crowned this year. And when I say new, I say new territory.

So I'm the color. Jokic wins a second NBA champion ship. He's going to be in these goat conversations. He's going to be spoken about in a completely different light. If it's Anthony Edwards, he's going to have a fast track to be in the face of the league. If it's Jason Tatum, this is the only thing that Jason Tatum hasn't done. So we're going to have a new champ that we can get behind. And this is so important, Zach.

I've heard you. You've been spitting about this on the show. Who's going to be the face of the league. Who's going to take the torch from the bronze.

So we're going to get that stuff this year in the right direction. It's not Steph Curry coming out and doing something to get, we're going to have a new base in which we can rally behind. Nicole Jokic won his third MVP the other night. I would have liked to have seen SGA or Jalen Brunson win the award. Who do you think should have been the MVP this year? My heart was with SGA, but my head and my logic was with Nicole Jokic.

Now here's the tough thing for Nicole Jokic in the league. Nicole could give a darn if he went to MVP or not. He's not going to be in tears.

He's not going to be thanking his mother on the platform. He's not going to be shouting out his high school coach and everything. He's going to get right back to playing basketball. It is tough, but statistically what he does is important to Denver. He's the center, the shot blocker, the point guard. There are moments where he leads the nuggets in every statistical category on top of them having an incredibly successful year.

So he deserved it by the numbers. Now the challenges with coming into play and where the Jokic haters are coming and believe me, believe you me, I've been one of them is that is it good for the game? What's the criteria of the MVP?

Where does it go? But if you've seen what he does and what he means to the team, there's no other player in the league that does what he does. It's unbelievable.

And it's just, it's the oddest thing. He's built like a sack of potatoes, but the guy goes out and falls and he just absolutely dominates. So he absolutely deserves the award, but I would have been excited because it would have been big for Shea and you could have got behind them. It would be, the excitement would have been there, but he wasn't the MVP over Jokic.

Wait, you've been a Nicole Jokic hater before. Did I catch that right? Of course I was team MBB. He got hurt. He had been available. Come on. That's the best ability is availability.

I was teaming me. Gotcha. Ryan Holland's here with us talking about availability. Luca Doncic is playing game one. That knee sprain clearly impacted him last night.

Not so much. When you look at thunder and Mavericks, is it the health of Luca's need that will ultimately determine this or is it something else? You know, it's funny, man, before we saw over in Houston, before we saw Dallas, it was a big game. It was actually the game that really knocked the rockets out of the plan because the rockets came on like wildfire.

Exactly. Everyone saw what my guys were doing and Luca was questionable into the game. His knee was sore.

We didn't know if Luke was going to play and Luca goes on to just drop off. No, I don't know if it was 50, maybe 47. That could have been 50. It was 47, like 10 minutes to go. He shoots a shot off the, off of the jumbotron that went in. I can't make it up. I'm sure everyone saw it. And to say what I'm saying is that he's, he's been sore for a long time.

Okay. I ain't worried about the knee. I expect him to play. And if he sits out, yeah, of course the Mavericks are toast. There's no question there, but I bring that up to say, I don't expect this dude to sit out. He's going to play through whatever it is. I don't think he's going to sit out, but it's just how effective can he still be? You know, he plays in slow motion. He's going to be a little sore.

Like, Hey, you know what I'm saying? Like you're not asking a guy, this guy moves in slow motion. Him and Jokic could play on a sword knee and drop a 50 ball because they don't even, they don't jump higher than actually a young fella has some balance. He's not Jokic, but these guys do not depend on, uh, their, their, their athleticism. They play just at their own pace at their own speed.

And they, they, they, they don't even jump in moments. I've seen Luca just shoot grandpa shots at the rim sometimes, you know, so he can still be, uh, very effective and, and to say no from the, on the other side, these are the things we're saying in the locker room, go check them the fence and we see how that knee feels. How does he feel pushing off going to his left?

So beat him, put him in place where you have to try that knee out and attack them and make him have to work. So that would be the game plan on the other end, wrap it up with Ryan Hollins, Pacers and Knicks, uh, OGN and OB out tonight, uh, Knicks are up to all in this series. Um, how much of a chance do you give the Pacers to take the two on their home court and send this back to MSG, uh, for a game five, all tied up at two a piece.

I think the patients get another one. That means Pascal is going to have a field day. He matches up excellent with Pascal. And OG has been playing career basketball, man. He has been tearing things up and he's been a real X factor for the next. Uh, if you got a chance to really watch New York this year, he was a piece that they missed that big defender who can hit a corner three and doesn't need the basketball in his hand. So I think Indy takes this one.

So you think they win tonight, but do they, they take both three and four or do you think the Knicks get one one? Oh no. Oh no. Hit, hit the Buffalo. Why don't we button, man? We need seven out of this one. Last thing I'll ask you next coach of the Lakers. I think it's going to be JJ Reddick.

How about you? Yeah, I think there's a strong chance. I think everybody's laughing and he, he, and I'm at the idea of JJ Reddick, uh, two words, and I'm sure you're fond of this name, Zach, Steve Kerr, the equipment, very successful, uh, stickler for the game, knows how to talk. I played with JJ. Uh, I think he would be an excellent candidate and that's the way that the league is trending towards. So hats off to JJ.

Uh, would not surprise me at all. And I think he's ready for a moment like this, man. Well, I'll give you two words, LeBron James, let's just be real, right? LeBron James wants JJ Reddick at the coach. He'll probably be the next coach. That's the way I think about it. Yeah.

And you know what they may do. They may match up JJ's contract with the bronze contract and the eight LeBron has played at a high enough level that he still definitely has that type of say, but I think JJ Reddick deserves his flowers too. So I think it can be much more than the LeBron move, but it doesn't hurt to have someone advocating for you.

That is one of the greatest, if not the greatest ever, we'll have that debate later. Zach, he is Ryan Hollins, Ryan. Have a great weekend. We appreciate it. Thanks so much.

Anytime brother. There you go. Ryan Hollins joining us on the Zach Gelb show on the infinity sports network.

We will take a break when we come on back. You got to hear this sound from the Luca Doncic press conference last night. I've never heard anything like this at a press conference. Just absolutely wild update time.

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