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UConn Wins Another Championship (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
April 4, 2023 7:26 pm

UConn Wins Another Championship (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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April 4, 2023 7:26 pm

UConn wins their 5th national championship l Mac Jones on the move? l Zach's top 5 NBA teams heading the playoffs


Live from the police show yet not overly ostentatious studios of CBS Sports Radio here in beautiful New York City sitting on top of the 10th floor of 345 Hudson Street.

Welcome on in to a Tuesday edition of the Zach Gelb show across all the great local CBS Sports Radio. I'm laughing right out of the gate because I'm watching as UConn is now back on campus and they are celebrating their national championship as it was a dominant performance last night all throughout the tournament. And what I just caught out of the corner of my eye is something I was advocating for somewhat last night that I didn't get that just happened at the parade but not the way that I wanted to see it intended for.

We all talked about this ridiculousness reaction from Angel Reese doing the you can't see me to Kaitlyn Clark and we'll play you some of the audio later of basically Kaitlyn Clark having no problem with it as she did an interview today. I think it was with outside the lines over at ESPN and last night I said wouldn't it be really funny if either UConn or San Diego State win whoever does end up winning and they do the you can't see me to try to make light and poke fun at just the over the top reaction from everyone yesterday and in the last 24 to 48 hours. I just showed Danny Hurley going up on stage and I go I can't believe he was the one to do it as he was waving the five fingers in front of his face.

But I'm sure he was not making fun or or taking a little jab at the reaction of everyone doing the you can't see me those five fingers and the you can't see me that he was doing it for the five national championships that UConn has now won. So we'll open up the show talking about UConn in just a second guest list for today. Ted Johnson former patriot he's going to stop by at 7 20 p.m. Eastern 420 p.m. Pacific patriots are in the news today because Mike Florio is reporting that Belichick this offseason has been shopping Mac Jones to multiple teams. Some of those teams may have included the Raiders Texans Buccaneers and commanders so we'll get Ted Johnson a three time Super Bowl champion with the Patriots reaction coming up an hour 20 from now at 8 20 p.m. Eastern 520 p.m. Pacific will put a bow on the college basketball season talk to former Clemson player Terrence Oglesby who does a great job with the field to 68 and then it is Masters Week. I am not here tomorrow. Usually we do our big Masters preview on Wednesday but I'm out because of the Jewish holiday tomorrow for Passover.

So we'll do our Masters preview today and we'll do so with one of our favorites from Gulf Digest Alex Myers coming up at 9 p.m. Eastern 6 p.m. Pacific try to tell you how to win some money or hope to win some money for this upcoming weekend in the Masters at Augusta a tradition unlike any other. But first up producing the extravaganza for the next four hours is no other than hot take Kiki. I don't know about that hot take Kiki already. So let's start it off. We made mention to it right out of the gate Yukon winning it all just the one where that you keep on going back to is dominant and they are a team that when you combine all six of their NCAA tournament victories they won by an average of 20 points. And you see Chris Benigni last night who put up a great tweet Yukon trailed for five twenty two throughout the entire tournament and for thirty five of that came tonight against San Diego State. And he also went on to say they trailed in the second half for fifty three seconds during the entirety of the NCAA tournament. So clearly this is one of the most dominant NCAA tournament runs in history. And you go back just in like recent memory when you look at teams that just blew right through the competition. Villanova in their programs third national championship second under Jay Wright. That is a team that comes to mind Baylor a few years ago under Scott Drew.

But it's more than just this tournament. This is Yukon getting back to the top of the mountain reclaiming their throne. And if anyone for a single second doubted that they were a blue blood this is just taking away any ammunition or any argument that people had in saying Yukon was not a blue blood because you look at Yukon and let me just throw one of the biggest brands in college basketball in Duke. They have the same amount of championships now Duke's first national championship was in nineteen ninety one Yukon their first national championship nineteen ninety nine and they both have a total of five in front of Duke Indiana and Yukon all with five are only three other programs. UNC with six Kentucky with eight and UCLA with eleven I know Indiana has lost their way but you look at those schools they are all blue bloods and you look at Kansas a blue blood behind them with four Villanova a new blue blood. They are someone with three championships.

So what happened last night was not only saying Yukon is back but it put the entire sport on notice and it said if you thought for a second that Yukon wasn't a blue blood you're just flat out wrong. Because when you look at what they've done how many players they have put in the NBA and how many championships they've won and you look at it they've done so with three different coaches we know Calhoun built that men's basketball program. And brought it to just a big time national spotlight of relevance and being in the biggies did help as well but you look at three championships with Calhoun one with Kevin Ali and then that was just a disaster end for Kevin Ali and then Danny Hurley comes back and you were wondering what the direction of the program was going to be. And Danny Hurley is a phenomenal coach I remember I think it was back in like 2013 or 2015 whenever Lavin got fired at St. John's I wanted either Danny Hurley or Bobby Hurley to be hired by St. John's he did a good job at URI and it was only a matter of time he was going to get a big job on the East Coast. He comes from basketball royalty we all know what his father has done in Jersey City 26 state championships we know what Bobby has done his brother 1991 1992 NCAA champion 92 MVP of the Final Four and Danny Hurley was looking to have his moment.

And we know his father is in the Hall of Fame. We know his brother is college basketball royalty. And what was so cool about last night when you separated from UConn being back and UConn now once again by all being accepted as a blue blood. When you have all your former players that are there where you have Ray Allen you have Charlie Villanueva Kemba Walker you just go down the line a Mecca Oka for all the UConn great players in the past in attendance last night to see the party to see the celebration to see planting the flag back in the court of UConn is back on top, and you go through all of that and what it meant for the program, but the person I felt the best for last night. And I know the Sanogo story is great clinging was sensational throughout this NCAA tournament Hawkins that three right when San Diego State you thought okay maybe we're going to get a game. When it was a five point game Hawkins makes that three and it felt like it was the dagger to put them back up by eight. But through all those memories, and what let's be real, wasn't the most entertaining championship game we've ever seen, because UConn has done what they've done the entire tournament, they're going to punch you in the mouth. You know the avalanche was going to be coming for UConn, it came early, and then they still found a way to go in by 17 points, even when it got close late at the end of the game.

You know where it gets down to five and then the Hawkins hits a three and then it just unraveled for San Diego State, but through all those things that we're talking about the tradition, the being called the blue blood, the players on this current team. It was impossible last night to not smile. When you see Danny Hurley on stage, getting the trophy from Jim Nantz.

I don't care who you're rooting for. I don't care if you hate UConn, you love UConn. When you see that moment of Danny Hurley on the stage, just looking like a fat kid in a candy store, as elated as elated could be, hat backwards, all that like he's awesome.

And you go, okay, that's his moment. And I'm sure for him, when you're in a basketball family like his, and your brother won two national titles as a player and a Final Four MVP. Your father demands excellence in every walk of life with what he did for Jersey City with St. Anthony's, not only on the court, but away from the court. Like I remember talking to Bob Hurley Sr. the day where St. Anthony's folded. And he talked about how long they kept that program together and the tireless work that he did behind the scenes, like it should have folded years before it actually did. But Bob Hurley was really the backbone and the pulse of that school.

But when you're on that stage and you see Danny get his moment last night, it just brings a smile to your face. Because not that anyone is going to play their, they may play their small violin when they hear this, but when you're in that family and you have someone as big as his father, someone as big as his brother, and you take over a program like UConn, who is a dominant program, won the three titles with Calhoun, and then you win one with Ali, but it ended ugly. They needed someone to bring UConn back. And Danny Hurley, with his Northeast ties, his fiery attitude, his no-nonsense approach, screaming on the sideline like a lunatic, he was the perfect guy to do so.

And a lot of these jobs, it's about fit. And when you look at UConn, and clearly when you look at the men's basketball program, you think of Jim Calhoun first. But when you look at that next coach, that next guy, to carry this program into the next decade or two decades even, because Danny Hurley is not an old man. You know, I would be surprised if he doesn't win another national title before he hangs it up at UConn, but to be 50 years old and to get that moment last night, it was just really neat and really special to see. So what is seen last night, even though it wasn't the most competitive, even though it wasn't the most entertaining game that we've ever seen, you look at a team like UConn, and even when they play these games that all were blowouts, 87-63 to Iona, 70-55 to St. Mary's, 88-65 against Arkansas, Gonzaga, 82-54, the Hurricanes, 72-59. Last night, beating the Aztecs of San Diego State 76-59, even though you may look at those and be like, wow, kind of boring games because they were just so lopsided, there's something impressive in that.

And it's something that's entertaining to me. Clearly when you win by those margins, it's impressive, but I've said this with all these great teams that have blown out the competition, even though as a neutral sports fan, you know, like that doesn't have a dog in the fight here, you want to see the better game. My jaw still hits the floor at how they were able to be that consistent on the biggest stage when it's single elimination night in and night out in order to get their six victories to cut down the nets for the fifth time in this rich tradition, in this illustrious run that UConn has had where they are a blue blood. If you look at it, they started off the year 14-0.

If they don't go through that stretch from the end of December until the end of January, they probably aren't here. And that was a group that fed off the adversity. And they were 14-0 and they're sitting there at 16-6 after losing to Xavier for the second time from December 31st to January 25th. And after that, they've only lost two games since. Creighton by three and Marquette in the Big East tournament by two.

Think about that. Since January 25th, they have lost two games and it was by a combined five points. That's unbelievable. And they are in the conference in the Big East where, remember in 2013, we had no clue what direction the Big East was going in. And everyone was like, oh, this stinks because I was someone where I grew up in March skipping school. My parents letting me skip school, take the train in to go to Madison Square Garden to watch the Big East tournament. And I get it.

I'm younger. So there's an era of Big East basketball, even that is clearly before me, that was so special. But that meant so much to me. And I always have a special place in my heart for Big East hoops. And to see this new Big East not only be a great league, but the preeminent league right now in college basketball.

It's awesome. We know what Villanova has meant winning their two national titles. I saw today in these way too early preseason top 25, Marquette is ranked number two by one writer that put it together. And we know Marquette just won the Big East this past year and unfortunately got eliminated in the second round up against Michigan State. But UConn being that heavy player with their tradition, getting back on top last night is just great for the Big East. And we say this all the time in college sports.

It's really dominated in the storylines by the coaches. And you look at this Big East for next year. I can't wait because you take a glance at the coaching and we all know the storyline with Ed Cooley leaving Providence, going to Georgetown, Kim English going over to Providence to try to replace Ed Cooley.

Those games are going to be battles. You got Shaka Smart at Marquette. McDermott's done a great job at Creighton. UConn, it's a title defense.

How many can they win with Danny Hurley? Will Shaheen Holloway and Kyle Neptune take big steps at Seton Hall and Villanova? Pitino back in the fold with the Johnnies. These storylines are great and it's a league that used to be known and dominated for their coaches. And even after losing Jay Wright, like you wonder, and obviously when I'm saying dominated by the coaches way before Jay Wright, but after losing Jay Wright, like you kind of look and say, who's going to be the face of the Big East, of this new Big East? And you're looking around, these coaches, they have built something special. And now when you usher in some new errors, you want to see how they're going to continue a tradition. And a guy like Kyle Neptune, you see what Danny Hurley did last night, you got to now believe even more that you could get your fine institution back on top. So once again, a salute, a tip of the cap to UConn national champions in one of the more dominant runs that you'll ever see with what they did in their last six games in the NCAA tournament.

We'll take a time out. When we return in five minutes on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio, we'll get into this Mike Florio report about Mac Jones being shopped around by the hoodie, Bill Belichick. You're listening to the Zach Gelb Show.

Zach Gelb Show, CBS Sports Radio. Our pal Mike Florio with some pretty big news. According to Florio, per a source with knowledge of the situation, the hoodie, the great Bill Belichick, has shopped Mac Jones to multiple teams during the 2023 offseason, the full list of potential destinations isn't known, but he did mention potential destinations were the Raiders, Texans, Buccaneers, and commanders. There's two ways that we could go with this. One, let's take it from a Patriot angle first, and then we'll circle back in on these four teams that we at least know of if they should have pulled the trigger on Mac Jones.

Here's my question. I don't understand what Bill Belichick's goal is moving forward. So a year ago, anyone that would talk to Bill Belichick would hear Bill Belichick rave about Mac Jones.

Think about that. Tom Brady was there for 20 years, and I know Brady at times got praised by Belichick, oh, there's no other quarterback that I'd rather have, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But there was a lot of times at the end where Brady was like, I should be getting a little bit more praise here.

I shouldn't be treated like everybody else. And after one year where Mac Jones played well, they got to the playoffs, they got embarrassed in the first round by the Buffalo Bills, but it was a successful season when you were able as a rookie to go to the postseason. But heading into year number two, even though Belichick was effusive in his praise with Mac Jones, I've said this, you know, Michael Holly, who is in the Boston media scene forever, he came up to me at the Super Bowl this year. And he said, I remember a year ago when it was being floated out there that Matt Patricia could be running the offense with Joe Judge that you were losing your mind screaming at the convention center in L.A. And he goes, you were absolutely right.

And I didn't think it was going to happen at the time. But I said, if it did happen, it would be a disaster because Joe Judge is not an offensive coordinator and neither is Matt Patricia. And to put your young quarterback in year number two, and usually there is regression in most cases when you have a big first year, the league catches up and you see a little bit of a sophomore slump, to basically fail your young quarterback before the season even started made no sense to me by surrounding him with those two bozos in Patricia and Judge. And oh yeah, by the way, you look around the league, Josh Allen, when did he take off? When the Bills landed Stefan Diggs. Jalen Hurts just went to a Super Bowl, back to back off seasons. He gets Devontae Smith and then also A.J.

Brown. To a tongue of Aloha, injuries prevented him from getting through an entire season because of the concussions. But he was playing really well and had the Dolphins as a force. And he has Tyreek Hill and the off season before, Jalen Waddle. And who do the Patriots have? Kendrick Bourne, who Matt Patricia didn't let on the field?

Devontae Parker? I know they just got Juju Smith-Shuster, but heading into the season last year, they were not setting Mac Jones up to succeed. So Mac Jones got agitated. Mac Jones, remember, had intense coaching year one with Belichick and Josh McDaniels. Say what you want about McDaniels, the head coach. He's a phenomenal offensive coordinator. And then also at Alabama, he was coached by the creme de la creme in college football in Nick Saban. So Mac Jones, who's someone that's had a chip on his shoulder, is someone that has got a lot farther and was a first round pick, top 15 pick better than anyone could have ever imagined. He's someone that wants tough coaching. And I think Mac Jones at times last year, even with all the respect he has for Bill Belichick, was looking around and saying, what type of offensive coaching I'm getting when it's Matt Patricia and Joe Judge? So I understand Mac Jones's frustration. And I saw the Tom Kern report.

This is from a few weeks ago. I heard him say it on WEI in Boston that maybe Bill is still a little bit annoyed at Mac because Mac went outside of the organization to try to get help on the offense because he knew the coaching there wasn't good. And there's even been speculation that that's why Brian Hoyer isn't back is because Hoyer objected to it as well.

So here's my thing. I used to say the goal in New England for 20 years was to win a Super Bowl or it's a failure. Now it's been for the last three years, just make the playoffs and expect to get eliminated in the first round, which I understand when you lose Brady, there's a huge adjustment period.

There is a big, there will be growing pains and there's going to be a big growing process. But this offseason, I've been okay with what the Patriots have done. You brought in Bill O'Brien. I'm fine with the Juju Smith-Schuster deal. You're bringing Mike Guseki, but they still need a number one wide receiver.

And we'll see what they do in the draft. I know there's been some reports of DeAndre Hopkins gets released that maybe they'll go get him or they're not willing to, they'll take on the whole contract, but they're not going to give a draft pick or anything like that. So who the heck knows what's going to go down, but for Bill Belichick to be shopping Mac Jones this offseason, okay, that's one thing.

But there's another thing that you let that story get out when you have not reached the deal. And is this just Bill trying to send a message to Mac Jones? If that's the case and it wouldn't put me past, put it past Bill, it's really petty because Bill, you messed up last year.

Bill, you didn't surround this young kid, couldn't have handled better, I guess, but for the most part, you didn't surround this young kid with the tools to succeed. So I just wonder this offseason, you know, forget long term, but just this offseason, what is Bill trying to accomplish? And if you tell me he wants to get rid of Mac Jones to bring in Lamar Jackson, understand. If you even want to tell me you want to get rid of Mac Jones and then usurp the Jets and get Aaron Rodgers, okay. Which I don't think that's going to happen because let's be real, Bill, even though he could probably go coach for another 10 years, I don't know how much longer he's going to coach.

He's not getting any younger. But I don't get what they're going to do if they get rid of Mac. And my gut tells me that Mac will be on the roster and Mac will be the Patriots starting quarterback come the fall. But it is telling and it does make me apprehensive when they were shopping the quarterback this offseason, when in your number one, he played well, and then in your number two, he was bad, but you didn't put him in a position to succeed. So Hickey, I'm wondering if you could give Belichick whatever he wants to do, which he has the power and even Robert Kraft, when he was talking about Lamar Jackson and the Meek Mill conversation, all that said it's a Bill Belichick decision at the end of the day. I wonder if you were able to shoot Belichick up a true serum, what he would want to do and what his answer would be on what he wanted to do with the quarterback this offseason.

I'd be fascinated, Hickey, what your speculation is or what you think that answer is. I mean, it seems to me that he's done with Mac Jones at park as he is done with any quarterback right now that's questioning his authority. OK, but what is your goal to address that for this upcoming year if they got rid of Mac? I don't know if Bill has a plan, and that's very concerning. He did not have a plan in 2020 when Tom Brady left and his plan was in late July.

Let's sign washed up. Cam Newton did not work, which I could not kill him for that. I was fine with the cam move at the time. I did not have a big problem with that.

OK, trial and error did not work. You get your quarterback, we think, in Mac Jones the next year he drops to 15. And now, like you said, through two years, the first year solid, didn't have to do too much, but he got to the playoffs. Second year, you put him in zero.

We've talked about this for a while. He had no chance to succeed. We basically weren't even going to grade him going into the 2022 year because of the weapons and especially because of the coaching. And now after that, surprisingly, not really, down year for Mac Jones, it's Bill Belichick giving up on Mac Jones seemingly because either he's upset the way he talked back because he didn't trust the coaching, which, again, if you're Mac Jones I don't fault Mac.

You know what the frustrating part is? Mac's right. Bill Belichick, for 20-some years, how the Patriots are great is because each and every year he treated like a one-off. Forget about what we did in the past. This is how can we do whatever it takes to win a Super Bowl this year. And so he would cut players, he would trade players with great lineages and history because he didn't think they could contribute to a championship that year. And if you're Mac Jones, you don't care about the six Super Bowls that Bill Belichick won in the past.

You are here now. You're trying to win now. And you see this guy put Matt Patricia and Joe Judge as your two trusted coaches to lead you to success. And you have questions about it, rightfully so. And now when you're asking valid questions and have realistic concerns, seemingly Bill Belichick got very annoyed by that. That to me is, again, Bill now doing something he hasn't done in 20 years, which is, hey, don't ask any questions.

Just do as I say because look at all the success I had in the past. So that's what I don't think Bill got really mad about. Instead of realizing we got to win now. What I think Bill, what really set Bill off, if this report is true, that he went outside the organization. That's the part that really set Bill off. I don't think it's asking questions, disagreeing inside the facility.

I think all those things are salvageable. But in Bill's mind, when you go outside the organization, I think that's a different ballgame. Now, the other part of this conversation is the teams mentioned as potential destinations were the Raiders, the Texans, the Bucs and the commanders. I don't think the Texans made a mistake in not training for Mac Jones.

First off, I don't know what the price would be for Mac Jones. He was the 15th overall pick two years ago. I don't even know if you're getting a first round pick. But then yet again, I didn't think the Colts would get that much back for Carson Wentz at the time. Which what was that deal? It was a two that could have turned into a one and two threes or what was it?

It was a swap of two? No, two third round picks and one could turn into a second round pick. Okay, which is still a king's ransom and considering the player for Carson Wentz and how much of a disaster he was. So I don't know what the Patriots would have got for Mac Jones. But just on the surface, I don't think the Texans should have done it because you're picking second overall. I believe they're going to take a quarterback.

I'm fine with that. The Buccaneers, depending on what the compensation was, I'd probably rather take a flyer on Mac Jones right now than Baker Mayfield. For the commanders, it once again shows you maybe after giving up some draft capital to get a quarterback last year. And then also drafting Sam Howell to maybe it just feels like they're going to do Sam Howell no matter what. And that's going to be their plan.

But you could have some pushback on the commanders. But really, if this report is true, the team that I'm shocked by this because the Texans, the Bucks and the commanders are not shocked. It's the Raiders because Josh McDaniels and Mac Jones have a phenomenal relationship. And if you're getting rid of Derek Carr for Jimmy G, that doesn't really move the needle.

Not that I'm telling you Mac Jones is going to be great, but you could at least sell me on a long term vision with Mac Jones where you're bringing Jimmy G. It's the same way that it is with Derek Carr where it kind of does feel like it's going to be year to year in some aspect. So if this report is true, and Florio is well respected, we love Florio when he comes on and he always gives us a bunch of pop too. So it's not me doubting Florio, but I just got to say if this is true, I'm surprised that especially with the relationship between McDaniels and Belichick. That if Belichick really wanted to get rid of Mac, that the Raiders didn't end up biting or not end up kind of just saying we'll find a way to work it out with the Patriots to get a deal done. Especially if these reports are true and the Raiders are intent to move up to number 3 and there's been reports that they are in talks with the Cardinals, which again if you're going to trade up to number 3, you're going to take a quarterback. So it's interesting that they're willing to take a chance on Will Leviss or Anthony Richardson and trade up to go from 7 to 3 and pass on a guy that McDaniels worked with.

And also a guy that made the playoffs with McDaniels and oh yeah by the way, had more college success than Anthony Richardson and Will Leviss when you look back at Mac Jones' time at Alabama because you know Bryce Young and CJ Stroud are going to be off the board. Alrighty, this is Zach Gelb's show on CBS Sports Radio, we'll take a timeout, we'll come on back and give you my top 5 teams in the NBA and also I'm looking at 3 teams in the Western Conference that are outside the top 5 that are going to be compelling to follow the rest of the way. You're listening to the Zach Gelb Show. Alrighty, Zach Gelb Show, CBS Sports Radio. I was thinking today who the top 5 teams are in the NBA and this is the list that I compiled, Ticky.

You tell me if you agree or disagree and how you would order things up. So in at number 5, I put the Sixers. The Sixers are having once again, Joel Embiid is having an MVP quality season. He's had it the last 2 years, he's having it this year once again.

I don't know if he's going to win the award, right now I would probably say that he is not. But my one big concern still with the Sixers is in crunch time and we've talked about this now for the better part of 3, 4, 5 years, who is going to step up outside of Embiid? Because Ben Simmons refused to do so. Harden last year, you know that he's not a finisher in the post season. We've seen it in series before, whether it's up against Atlanta, him turn the ball over in a big spot.

In Boston, turn the ball over in a big spot. As marvelous as Embiid is, you need a running mate to finish the games when you are a big man and you go through the wear and tear of the rest of the season. And I've said the same thing about the Nuggets.

As accomplished as great back to back MVP award winner Nicole Jokic is, he needed Jamal Murray back because a few years ago when they were winning, Jamal Murray was magnificent in finishing games and hitting the big shot. Not that Embiid or Jokic can't do it, but I trust a lot more big shot being hit by someone that's in the backcourt that is a guard. So I put the Sixers in at five. Four, I'm actually surprised by this, but I'm putting the Nuggets in at four. I think a lot of people would think with them being the number one seed in the Western Conference that they would be higher up on my list, but I put them in at four. And the team that I put in front of them is the Suns. I'm just going to trust, even with the lack of chemistry, and I know they've won five in a row, but even with not a lot of playing time together with KD with the injury and all that, this was a team two years ago that got to the NBA Finals without KD. You still got Chris Paul, you still got Devin Booker, somehow you still have DeAndre Ayton with how that ended last year in just horrible fashion up against the Mavs, you thought that relationship was over and now you had KD. I know it's dangerous, I know you haven't seen a lot of time of them together, but I just think that star power is going to be too much in the Western Conference.

I don't want to see that, I would actually prefer to see the Nuggets in the NBA Finals, but I do think the Suns are better than the Nuggets. And then in at two, it's the Celtics and one it's the Bucks. And I know what everyone's going to say, oh but just a little while ago, the Bucks got absolutely dominated and blown out by the Boston Celtics. I go back to last year, I thought the Bucks were better than the Celtics and they lose Chris Middleton. As long as Chris Middleton is able to manage through this, they give him time off and all that, I do think the Bucks are the best team in the NBA. So Hickey, that's my list, Sixers 5, Nuggets 4, Suns 3, Celtics 2, Bucks 1, what would your top five be?

So what, this is tough, what are you looking at? Are you saying just right now in the NBA, heading into the playoffs, teams you trust in the playoffs, how are you characterizing your top five? Heading into the playoffs the way that I view these teams and where I think they're going.

Heading into the playoffs and how you think that they will perform. Okay, I will then go, I have the top four, Bucks, Celtics, Suns, Nuggets, I will then put the Warriors in at five. Ooh, you'll put the Warriors in front of the Sixers. Yes, I will give them the benefit of the doubt, I do not trust the Sixers at all, plus their road is going to be very tough in terms of playing most likely the Celtics in round number two. And then if they get through that, the Bucks in the Easter conference finals, that's brutal. So I will go to the Warriors even though they can't win a road game to save their life, I will go to their championship experience and their health being there in an open West, I'll take a shot.

Isn't that wild? They are nine and 30 this year on the road, but I'm glad you bring up the Warriors because it comes to my next point. When you go through the Western Conference and you just look at currently five, six and seven, and there's a separation with five and six to seven because five and six has the same record and the Clippers and the Warriors a half game, the Clippers, Warriors and Lakers are a great question mark.

And the Lakers now are on a three game win streak, Anthony Davis has been playing well, LeBron is back, the Golden State Warriors, it's expected that we're going to see the turn of Wiggins this week. And we know what they're capable of, just last year they won a championship and we know what they've done in the past, they've won with KD, they've won without KD, two times without KD, you look at the Clippers, I don't know when Paul George is coming back. Russell Westbrook, I just don't think is a fit for the Clippers, Hickey, calm down, we don't need you cursing again.

And Kawhi Leonard, as great as he's been, I just don't know what to ever expect out of this Clippers team. Like, it's kind of weird to say it, but I have more confidence in Golden State, that's the obvious one, but even more so the Lakers than I do the Los Angeles Clippers. And I'm just curious because you look at the West, Denver and Phoenix right now would be probably the two most popular picks to see someone get out of the Western Conference.

The Grizzlies, that's a whole weird dynamic with how things played out this year, the Kings have been a great story, break the longest drought in sports and you make the playoffs and Mike Brown should be coach of the year. But if you're looking for three teams, everyone's going to have the Nuggets and the Suns. You may go Memphis, you may go Sacramento, but I think a lot of people would put one of their three teams, the third team, in the West once you have the Nuggets and the Suns selected as either the Clippers, Golden State or Los Angeles. And truly, Hickey, I have no clue what to expect out of those three teams, but if I had to rank them one through three, I'd have to go Golden State one, the Lakers two, and then the Clippers three. But those three teams and how open the Western Conference is this year, where it reminds you a lot of the NFC in football, where whoever you want to say the Nuggets and Suns are the Eagles and 49ers. We were all wondering who that third team is going to be. It's going to be just so compelling in the West, and this is an NBA season I haven't really been that excited for.

I think the regular season has been a bore. But who is going to be that third team that really does emerge, regardless of what the standings say now, the feeling is the Nuggets and the Suns are the two best teams in the West. And you just wonder who's that third team that's going to maybe throw a little upset or maybe go on a run and get to the Western Conference Finals and get to the NBA Finals and ruin the party or the presumed to be party for the Nuggets and the Suns. Now I would assume this team is going to caution and take care of Zion with his kid gloves, but Zion is supposed to get reassessed this week.

They are a half game out of that 5-6-7 mosh pit. You get Zion back and you get him for the playoffs? I think it's interesting. But I just don't know how long he's going to be able to last in the postseason. I would agree. I'd also counter with, I have the same questions about AD and even LeBron in that instance. I have no idea if the Warriors can win a playoff game and I have no idea if Kawhi can last as well, especially without Paul George. But I understand the concerns in the past with the health of LeBron and AD, but just getting over those injuries and with how they popped up, especially for LeBron, you would expect, can't say 100% certainty, they should be at least clear throughout the postseason.

I would think. I don't know how long of a run they're going to go, but to get over those injuries I think is important heading into the postseason. I would agree, but I can't give the Lakers a clean bill of health in the playoffs. Anthony Davis falls down and he gets hurt.

This is the guy who sneezes and he's out for three games. And LeBron, the miles on his body, it's taken a toll. You have more confidence in Zion coming back than LeBron, is that what you're saying?

No. I'm saying it adds to the intrigue of Zion returning if he's able to return. As much as I would love to say that, I just can't have any belief in the Pelicans, unfortunately. Because going into the season, that would be a different tune, but with just the way that this has played out and just getting Zion coming back and then you also have LeBron coming back, just for the Lakers, I think it puts them in a more advantageous spot than the Pelicans. Coming on back, Zach Elbs shows CBS Sports Radio News Brief next.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-04 20:17:24 / 2023-04-04 20:33:36 / 16

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