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A whole lot to do. Last night, fun night. In the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs, we saw two games go to overtime, one game go to double overtime. Tonight, you got four games once again. My Rangers going to have puck drop coming up in about a few moments, as they're in New Jersey up against the Devils. You also have Lightning and Maple Leafs, as the Maple Leafs are trying to get out of the first round and win a playoff series for the first time since 2004.
You have Jets and Golden Knights, and you have the Kraken going up against the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche as well. And tonight in the association, Hawks and Celtics. I think the Celtics are easily going to win this series.
Maybe this goes five games at best. You have Knicks and Cavaliers. Knicks trying to get back to the Garden up 2-0 after their Game 1 victory. Clippers and Suns. Three games in the NBA tonight. Clippers and Suns.
That comes your way at 10 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Pacific, and there's a lot of pressure. We'll get into that later on in this hour on the Phoenix Suns. If you look at the state of that Western Conference, how it looks like it's them and the Nuggets, those are the two top dogs.
Yes, the Kings need to be taken seriously, especially with what they've done to the Golden State Warriors. You had the ridiculousness of Draymond Green last night as well. I know people are going to say, oh Zabones grabbed him first.
Sure, he did. He grabbed his ankle. You can't dispute that, but there was no need to intentionally stomp on Zabones if you are Draymond Green, and that is what happened. But for the Suns tonight, they got to get off to a good start, and we'll see if they could do that. If they could tie up this series at one apiece, then it's a whole new series. If it goes down to 0-2, I don't think this series is over. I do think the Golden State Warriors-Kings series is over because the Suns could come back from down 0-2, but it definitely makes it more difficult.
You look at the way the Lions are tonight. Last night, I looked at the gambling lines, and I said, oh, the Kings as a two-point dog. I like the Kings plus two points. The line that I actually love tonight, Hickey, I like the Suns laying seven and a half points tonight.
I do. I think the Suns are going to win. I think the Suns are going to win big. That is a huge number for a team that's down 0-1 in the series. I think it's Vegas once again, looking at that number, maybe people thinking, oh yeah, they'll plus the points with the Clippers, even though you think the Suns will win. It won't be by eight points with no Paul George, Russell Westbrook, even though he made a big threat down the stretch.
He's still 3-19 from the field. It really does feel like it's Kawhi and then everybody else on that team. And we all know how great Kawhi is and what he's done, winning two championships in this league, one with Toronto and then an MVP, two MVPs, but also one with the San Antonio Spurs up against the Miami Heat. When LeBron was on the Heat, I do think that this is a rough night for the Clippers tonight and the Suns.
That would be my one pick in the NBA. I like them laying seven and a half points. The Boston line of 10 points.
I wouldn't touch that. Knicks and Cavs. I do think the Cavs win tonight, Hickey, but I do think that's another close game. That wouldn't shock me if it's 101-99. I think that was the score of the first game, but that happens again.
If I had to place a wager on Knicks-Cavs, I'd like the Cavs to win, but I would take the Knicks plus the five and a half points. Alrighty, let's update you on some of the biggest stories in the world of sports with some audio. We call this segment The News Brief. Time for your daily news brief.
We get you caught up on the rumors, reports and reconnaissance from the day in sports. We talk about the stomp heard around the world. Draymond Green last night gets tangled up as a bonus. He gets his ankle grabbed on and Draymond Green then intentionally stomped on Zabones. Draymond gave his side of the story after the game on why he stepped on Zabones. My leg got grabbed second time in two nights.
Referees just watch it. I got to land my foot somewhere and I'm not the most flexible person, so it's not stretching that far. So you didn't really see where you were stepping?
I can only step so far and pulling my leg away, so it is what it is. Let's hear Draymond Green say the Kings have been holding on to his ankles all series long. It was Monk last game, right on the baseline under the rim, so either you're going to stop it. John Goble was looking at Monk hold my leg the last game and he just let it go and Zach clearly was watching my leg.
It held this game and let it go, so I guess ankle grabbing is okay. It's funny how Draymond Green is always the victim and he never takes any accountability. Remember last year when fans were chanting F Draymond Green at TD Garden and then his family was like, oh it's disgusting that language and Klay Thompson said the same thing. Draymond is the heel.
Draymond plays that role. You love him if he's on your team. You hate him if he's not on your team, but last night there's no disputing it. Zabones grabbed his ankle, but there is a way to break free from that and when you look at it and at first I didn't see it. I didn't think it was that egregious, but when you look at the multiple angles, it's very quickly you're able to realize that that was an intentional stomp last night.
I'll give credit to the guys that were doing the game last night on the national front because they called it out right away. They said, oh yeah, Zabones grabbed the ankle. I think before they went the first replay, but Draymond intentionally stomped on Zabones because Hickey, if you're trying to break away and you're as clumsy as Draymond Green says he is, you would kind of just fall or trip over Zabones, but instead he picks up his foot and he's not running away.
That's not a sprint. He's moving in slow-mo and he clearly stomps on him. So Draymond could say what he wants. I get he's not going to come on out and go, yeah, I intentionally did it because then maybe the Shamshirani report is different today. And I don't think Draymond should be suspended, but if he comes out and says, I intentionally stomped on something, then I think the league has no choice in that regard. So you're saying he would be in trouble if you said he used to bonus like a human trampoline, which is what exactly what he did.
He jumped, he got his money. That's what we'll give Draymond credit. I don't agree with the act. I don't, I'm not a Draymond Green fan at all. I hate him.
Every time though, he gets his money's worth. I hate you. Oh, he's polarizing. Either you love him or you hate him. But I wouldn't say I don't like Draymond Green. I think there's a difference in saying you love him if he's on your team and you hate him. If he's not on your team.
And I think that's like said in a different level in like a little bit of jest as well. Like you actually go to bed at night and you're like, I can't stand this guy. I hate this guy, Draymond Green.
That was your thought last night. I just, yeah, it's just classic Draymond Green. It's like, I mean, you hate people in sports. He is one of the, like, you don't, Draymond Green is not one of those people that you're, eh, I don't have a feeling towards either way. Again, you either love him or you don't like him. I'm more amused at the actions and the consistency of the actions. And it's like, it doesn't surprise me anymore, but it's always like, wow, just when you think you're getting through this series and not a lot of drama, something else pops up and it's always to the center of the tension is always Draymond Green.
And to which why give him credit, anytime he's in the center of attention or embroiled in a controversy, he gets his money's worth. There's no cheapies with Draymond Green. If you're going to stomp on Sabonis, it's going to be a full stomp.
Let me launch off him. Let me kick LeBron in the groin. He's so, so half-assed with Draymond, that's for sure.
Mark Spears, you saw this after the game. Warriors star Draymond Green asked for an x-ray. On his right ankle after the game two loss, uh, to the host Kings, uh, after feeling soreness, sources confirm to ESPN, sources add Green believes the injury came when King star DeMontez Sabonis grabbed his ankle before the stomp.
That's what I'm talking about. His commitment to the bits, by the way, his ankle hurts so much that he was still able to stomp on someone, right? Give me a break. Well, if you're Draymond, you need something, right?
Give me a break. I would have loved for them to actually give him an x-ray. Notice the word for the wording for Mark Spears. He asked for an x-ray and the warriors were like, shut up.
Probably like go away. That ankle looked pretty good when you're stomping on Sabonis's chest. Yeah, I said this earlier.
I'll say it again. The extra came back positive, full of crap at that ankle. Come on. Oh yeah. But my ankle, I have to get an x-ray. You're right. It is a great commitment to the bit, but what, what a bunch of load of crap that is. I need an x-ray. It's actually kind of funny.
It's very funny. Draymond Green should, should quit basketball. He's already won enough, made enough money. Like out of doubt, your contract's done at the end of the year and go join WWE. He'd be a great wrestler. WWE wrestler. He'd be a great heel.
He's used to being hated, being yelled at. He could get the fans going, entice them easily. He's a great wrestler. He could get the fans going, entice them easily. And he did a little Hulk Hogan last night with the earwave and all that. And then did you see the Walmart version of Hulk Hogan that was given in the middle fingers and the stands guy looked like a cheap version of Hulk Hogan. You know what I don't understand is why TV cameras continue to close up in his face.
Oh, cause it's great. But you see, it's always at the moment when he's cursing at fans. He said a word I will not say in the radio yesterday talking to King's fans. Yes.
Yeah. He, it happened like a few months ago. What about the language that the warriors were bitching about last year? He was in a fight with someone and they zoomed in on me. I think he dropped an F-bomb like they always zoom in on the worst times for Draymond. When he's saying stuff, he should not be saying. But if the fan goes to the game and is like, F Draymond, F Draymond, there's, there's nothing to be, it's all of a sudden, Oh, they're, they're, they're horrible people. But when Draymond is cursing at fans, it's no big deal, no big deal, no big deal, by the way, I'm getting distracted already with this Rangers, devil's game.
They don't need to play the sound that there's no goal, but I think the Rangers just took a penalty. It's tough to kind of concentrate when you're doing a show and then you are watching your team in the playoffs as well. Not easy. Hecky. No, it is not. That's why sometimes though, when you zoned out on this show, when your teams are playing well, thank you for you.
I don't have many teams that make deep platforms. So, and thank you for the audience. Not much distractions. Yeah. As a bonus says Draymond had no excuse to stomp on him. I love the competition. I love the playoffs. You know, the challenge I'm taking on the warriors. I got hit earlier in the game, in the draw there.
So when I fell, you know, I was kind of protecting myself and then obviously then say it happened. And I feel like there's no, there's no room for that in our game today. The bonus says he wasn't trying to grab Draymond's ankle.
Okay. No, it's the playoffs. You know, a lot of things happen, but at that point, you know, I get pushed, you know, I'm falling on the floor. I'm just trying to protect myself, you know, and then whatever happened, just like how I don't expect Draymond green to admit that he intentionally stomped on the bonus. I don't expect the bonus either to admit that he intentionally grabbed Draymond's ankle, but he absolutely did that. Like both actions were wrong, but the Draymond act was just egregious because even if someone's grabbing on your ankle, you don't stomp on them intentionally. And that's what Draymond green did. The iron Fox has been a stud says Draymond stomping on the bonus is inexcusable. Going against him and some guys in this league that it's going to get physical, obviously that shouldn't happen, but, um, at the end of the day, we're protecting our teammate.
Uh, and I mean, that is what it is at the end of the day. Let's hear from Mike Brown on the Draymond green stomp. I didn't see what he did afterwards, but, uh, for sure. So, you know, it's a flagrant too, for sure. And it'd be interesting to see what the, what the NBA does after they review it, but I didn't see the aftermath. And according to sham Sharani, uh, unlikely that Draymond green is, is going to be suspended. It also puts Mike Brown in a tough spot because he knows that warriors team as good as anybody. And I'm sure he likes Draymond, but you got to go to bat for your guys, but kind of expected what a coach is going to say, basically say nothing, not to give the other team ammunition in the series. I mean, look, now I did not, I don't know what play Draymond was talking about in game one with league monk.
Yeah. But you wonder maybe Mike Brown said, Hey, you want to get under Draymond like teapot boil in the wrong direction and hurt the wars more than help them fellas. I know the key just make, but bad scouting report by Mike Brown. Cause Mike Brown probably said, wear a helmet. When, when, when you grab his ankle, cause he may go punch you in the mouth, punch you in the face, punch you the chest. He didn't tell them to put a chest protector on though. When you expected a stomp prize, don't wear a cup. So they're protected for the groin kick. They weren't ready for the chest stomp come out in catcher's gear on, on a, for game three. Yeah. You have a helmet and you have a cup on.
Maybe you want to wear a chest protector too, as well. Is that Mike Piazza on the court? Oh no. Draymond always changing it up. Here's Clay Thompson saying the bonus made a dirty playing, grabbing Draymond's foot. What are you going to do when someone grabs your foot when you're running full speed? Like that's a dirty, I just fully grabs your foot and yanks on you. That's not cool, man. I'm not saying what Draymond did was right, but like, and just grab somebody's foot when they're taking off in a full sprint. That's not, that's not cool.
I don't do that. Like we are, I mean, that's crazy. Now, Hickey, I'm not an expert in a full sprint, but you're in shape.
I'm sure you've run quite a few forties with your illustrious football career that you've had. And it looked like Draymond Green last night was in a full sprint whatsoever. Well, no, cause he couldn't because his leg was taken. He's about to, but he couldn't run. Even when he was starting to get free, it didn't even look like he was trying to fully sprint anyway. That was, he was moving in slow-mo and the guy stomped on his chest. When you're using the same foot that was grabbed on a stop on someone, then yes, you're not trying to run at that point.
You're trying to get revenge. He knew what he was doing. Oh, without a doubt. Yeah. Without a doubt. He 100% knew what he was doing.
And there is a way to break free from that. And he elected to just take it to the next level. Here's the Mar Hamlin who today said he is returning to the NFL to eventually play once again. Over these last few months, I've been on a journey and I've seen, you know, some of the top professionals across the country and their answers to me were pretty much all the same.
They were the same. And this event was life-changing, but it's not the end of my story. So I'm here to announce that I plan on making a comeback to the NFL. We've been on the radio for some serious events. What we saw transpire in Cincinnati that night, that was extremely scary.
And we all fought the worst. And it was crazy how quickly DeMar Hamlin in the aftermath was able to wake up and then leave the hospital as well. And eventually like go back to the stadium for a game or talk to his teammates. And now that he's even able, and we've seen him get honored in a bunch of places as well in this off season so far, but the fact that he's even allowed to think about going back to the NFL one day, it's kind of crazy, Hickey, with what happened that night that we're at this point.
Without a doubt. And honestly, I thought that this process would take frankly years almost. We can talk about how violent the sport is, how, again, close to death he was, that it's shocking that he could be back as soon as this season. And not only that, we all assume the worst that night.
Like, you weren't human. If you didn't think there was a chance that he died on the field, he had to get resuscitated on the field. And for him to even be able to say that he's going to be able to play again, it's crazy. Here's Brandon Bean saying DeMar Hamlin is a full go moving forward. He is cleared, reserved, he's going to be able to move forward. He is cleared, resumed full activities just like anyone else who was coming back from an injury or whatever.
So he's fully cleared. He's here and he is of the mindset. He's in a great headspace to come back and make his return. It's just wonderful.
Absolutely wonderful. Now, he's allowed to do whatever he wants. And if he wants to play, I understand why you would want. I am a little bit surprised that he does want to go forward with this, because he talked about wanting to be an inspiration and you can still be an inspiration on the field. I thought maybe that he would just go be like a motivational speaker and be someone that writes a book and things like that.
He'd probably do all that. But there was a part of me, and I always know if you leave it in the player's hands, he's going to want to play once he gets cleared. But there was a part of me that is surprised that with what he went through, because mentally you probably have to overcome a lot.
And it seems like he's in a great place where you get back on the field and you're just not constantly thinking about that. So we'll see what happens, but clearly rooting and pulling for Tamar Hamlin. And finally, Scott Fitter of the Panthers GM says the Panthers are still considering all four quarterbacks with the number one pick.
No, again, that's part of that continuous process. We are consciously trying to keep all four in there so we can ask every question, look at it from every angle to make sure we're making the right decision. This is a big decision for the organization. We don't want to lock on to something early on just to decide that's our guy.
We want to keep this process open all the way through. That said, Scott, we saw yesterday that Bryce canceled his last visit. Has there been communication to him that he's the pick?
No, there has not. And that was a decision he made on his own. Do you believe that?
There's no way that I actually believe. I'm not talking about the Bryce Young part, because that I guess is up for debate. Maybe they haven't informed who they're picking yet, but I don't believe that they're still considering all four quarterbacks. I don't think they were really ever seriously considering all four quarterbacks. I don't believe Olevis is ever under serious consideration for the number one pick. I do think Anthony Richardson was a conversation, but the choice has been between CJ Stroud and Bryce Young. And it does feel like Bryce Young is going to be the number one overall pick. I would think at this point, whether they told the player or not, they know in that building, at least Scott Fitterer and David Tepper and Frank Reich, that trio, that trifecta on who they're going to pick. And I believe it to be Bryce Young.
Without a doubt, totally agree. And if we're both wrong somehow, that is a major red flag and a major scare. What do you mean? If you don't know at this point, you're saying they don't know if the Panthers don't know the Bryce Young part about and are sitting there saying, oh boy, like, yeah, we're split. You want him, do you want him months? Right. We're nine days away. Come on. Yeah.
By the way, during the DeMar Hamlin cuts and the serious nature of that, I didn't want to play the sounder of, oh, Zach's getting distracted by the Rangers game, but the Rangers did score. So there we go. How about that Hickey?
Take that Jersey. Oh, let's not get crazy yet. I don't need you doing any smack talking. Long way to go.
I didn't say anything. Rangers in seven. That's all I'm going to say.
Long way to go. I want you to pick them to lose. I don't need the Hickey hacks. We're on the same team here.
No hacks. We're on the same team. I don't need you getting overconfident. Like last year, when you said, uh, when they're up 2-0 get the, the, the canyon of heroes ready for the parade.
When they're up 2-0 in the conference finals, they didn't win another game since after that. I don't need that here. All right. Be negative. I need you to be negative. Usually when you're negative about something, positive things happen.
Just talking about you, not in life in general. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS sports radio. You're listening to the Zach Gelb show.
Zach Gelb shows CBS sports radio. So earlier on in the program, we compiled the list. We did a draft. I got five selections. Hickey got five selections and we knew that the first three each were going to be fairly easy. It was just going to be, what's the order that comes off the board in terms of quarterbacks that don't have a ring that are actively in the NFL that will hoist the Lombardi trophy first. My first three were borough Allen Herbert in the draft. I had the first pick Hickey then, and we're going back and forth, had Jalen Hurts, Trevor Lawrence, and Lamar Jackson as well.
And then the fourth and fifth spots, they were difficult. Uh, so let's go out to the phone lines. 8 5 5 2 1 2 4 CBS, 8 5 5 2 1 2 42 27. Ryan in California wants to jump into the conversation and give a name. Ryan, go ahead.
Jack Robby from Cali. I can't believe you guys would not have my boys, the Niners in there and Brock Purdy coming back with his performance in the top five. Come on. You guys are tripping. You put in that press.
No, that's not true. We didn't put Dak Prescott in. Okay. And also wait, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan. Wait a second.
Hickey took Trey Lance. It's not like he disregarded the 49ers. And I thought that was stupid.
You could have a job. He's out of here. Out of here. John Lynch says his job. It's pretty salute.
Sure. And we don't even know if he's going to be healthy. Wait, how are you hanging out with our guy? Romanowski who said that he's going to be the next Joe Montana for the next nine games, nine games. And I thought what Brock, how were all those nine games?
Yeah, I get that. But come on after nine games, you're ready to say he's going to go win a Superbowl. And then the pickup we got from Philly and our O line on our D line. So you're saying the team is wonderful. The team is wonderful. We all know that. But until they solidified their quarterback position, which I can't say they've solidified that yet. I don't think they win a Superbowl until we figure out who the guy is at quarterback.
And right now we don't know if Brock Purdy is going to be there game one. Gosh. Okay. And then second, I, you know, I let you get a second point after, after the way that you've conducted yourself and embarrass yourself in the first point.
You know what? I will go ahead. I'm in a benevolent move today.
The range is two nothing. So go ahead. Some more. Let's go. Okay.
So my boy Draymond that, oh, you can't say that. Come on, Ryan. See, Hickey, we got a little greedy right there. I was stupid. I was the bad captain of the ship and Ack is pointing at me, the radio veteran of the world. That's on you. That is on me. His first point is good little back and forth. I said, okay, the pigs in the blanket were fine.
They were really good. It's impossible to mess up a pig in a blanket. And the second appetizers came out and they may as well been marinated in mushrooms and I'm allergic to mushrooms. So that's what happened there. Take your punishment. Yeah, that's, that's a bad job out of me. Good job accountability. And that was the first time we've had a curse on this show since Hickey did so a few weeks ago when he dropped an F bomb talking about Russell Westbrook. Hickey, shame on you. Yeah. Wash your mouth out with soap.
We're in the same size today. You gave me a compliment, Ack. That doesn't mean you weren't wrong a couple of weeks ago. I'm not saying I was in the right. I didn't say curse on the air is the right thing to do. Ack, by the way, you're a radio you're a radio professional.
Yes, I'm also old. What do you think about radio hosts who burp on the air? Oh, you can't do that. Okay. That's, that's disgusting. Hickey burped on the air. All right. Again, Hickey?
That's a few weeks ago. He curses and burps. Did you hear the burp? Hickey, I thought you were brought up a well-mannered kid. It was one time it was an accident. It wasn't a purpose. I own the accident.
I just mentally blocked out and also physically turned the button off. With all these things you're owning, you could be a millionaire right now. Well, that's also true. If only I was owning actual real money instead of owning mistakes.
I don't know. The thing I would disagree with that on is, and I get the expression, but something that I think you make a lot of money off of. I think a lot of these are embarrassing.
It's a degenerate level if we're being fair. I think Hickey's looking like the guy that when you walk into the store is asking you for change at this point with all these infractions. The only thing he's going to be owning if he keeps us up is a pink slip. Yeah. I'll go suspension. I don't think you get those anymore.
I think it's all digital now. You get an email. You're fired. No pink slips anymore. You think you're getting an email if you get fired from this place? They would do bad by the book.
You'd be okay. Yeah. I think they call you into the office. Yes. I thought they just would not have my key card work and then all of a sudden give me a call for you while you're fired. Possibility. You may be like Jamal Adams.
Remember when he walked into the Jets facility and it just looked like the key card wasn't working? That could be you one day. You get to the front desk and you may have to do the little like subway trick when someone doesn't want to pay for the subway. You may have to jump over the barricade. Never a good feeling though when the email doesn't work and you're like you're relieved when you find out the company email's down. Well let's be real. The company email here is... Why can't I sign it? Am I fired? Should I be waiting for Spike to call? If that's the case so they can get fired every other day.
Let's be real. By the way, are you up to date on your training modules? My training?
Oh yeah. I just did one the other day. So I did one and I thought I was done with it. I thought you meant like workout. No no no no no.
No I can't keep coming. Yeah. It said I didn't do seven or eight of them so I got to bang those out tonight. There you go. And by the way, you've been working out lately these days? No. No? No.
I remember the famous story of the late great Regis Philbin. That's how act became close because you guys were working out the same gym? Well he was. I wasn't. You were. You were just there? Yeah. I was hanging out.
Okay. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. Folks, basically for the next two months, if it goes that long, the mood of this show will be dictated with the results of our hockey team and I am a Ranger fan. Hickey's a Ranger fan. Ack is a mega Rangers fan and this game is far from over but they're up to well so I think we're all having a good time right now. We're all laughing and exchanging jokes when Ack stops talking and Hickey looks like he just saw a ghost and just has a blank stare that's when then the program goes right off the rails.
There you go. Sometimes it goes off the rails when Hickey just belches on the radio or drops an f-bomb or that last caller drops a bald bleep. You're listening to the Zach Gelb show.
Zach Gelb shows CBS Sports Radio. So let me give you one more takeaway from last night in the association. We'll delve back into this Draymond Green stuff coming up later. I'm not done with the Draymond conversation but I just want to give one non-Draymond point from the NBA last night. By the way, the poll question, we'll give you some updates on that right now. Should the Warriors want Draymond Green back on their team? That actually does have an opt-out clause at the end of the year.
67.3% say no, 32.7% say yes. But Hickey, last night watching Hoops and there was only two games on last night, the atmosphere in Sacramento just from television was great. There was times where you could barely even hear Iron Eagle when you were listening to the game early on. I mean, you're watching the game early on.
Fox continues to be great. The Warriors are in serious trouble. I don't think they could come back and win this series with how great the Kings are on the road as well, having the second most road wins this season in the NBA. But when you look at that Nets, Sixers series, we all know the Sixers are going to win this series. The playoffs for the Sixers don't start until the second round when in all likelihood they'll be going up against the Boston Celtics. But when you look at the Sixers from last night, even in a win, it was not an encouraging effort because in game one, Harden was great, but it's also up against the Nets. In game two, though, up against the same team in the Nets. That's why even with the MVP of the league, people just don't believe in Philadelphia before you even get to Doc Rivers, who has won a championship, but he has blown a lot of leads in the playoffs.
Before you get into the questions about Doc, it's just the construction of this team. Yeah, Maxie was great last night, but you know Maxie isn't designed to be your second best player in the construction of this roster. He may be in the playoffs, your second best player, and he had a great performance in game two with 33 points, six to 13 from three, 13 to 23 from the field. But James Harden last night shows you why you can't even in a win trust the Sixers when you go up against big boy competition down the road and the Nets aren't that because you need Harden to be your finisher. You need Harden to be your closer. And he had eight points last night, three of 13 from the field, two of eight from three.
I get it. Everyone's entitled to a bad night, but in how much frequency we've seen, James Harden just not show up and deliver the goods in the postseason. When you look back at Houston and you really can't count what happened in Brooklyn because he had the hamstring injury and all that, but you've seen some of the shortcomings in his career. It's like, that's what you just expect.
You expect more. Like if I asked you the rest of the post season, when the competition gets better, do you see more game one Harden or game two Harden? I'm not saying it's gonna look that bad each and every night when it's only eight points. He's had some bad shooting nights, but at least he still gets like 17, 18 points. I would say though, it's more of the feeling like game two Harden than it is game one Harden. When game one Harden was great and game two Harden has been what it usually is in the postseason. Without a doubt, because even when with the Rockets, when he was scoring it and box score wise, wow, he's have 30 points.
Did nothing in the fourth. But he'd be five of 25 shooting from the field, be super inefficient. And like I said, some of those points have come when the game's already decided when it, when you need a basket, when you need a big game from James Harden, you have, there's no reason to believe he can come through and give you one, let alone three in a series to help elevate you past a team in this, in the Celtics in round two. Cause like I said, they're going to get past the Nets that are clearly better than you. You're going to need James Harden to be that a, you know, if Joel Embiid is a one, you got to need him to be that a one or one a player. No way that James Harden can be that way. It's at this point, if you're rooting for it to be different, I think you're just lying to yourself. Like if you, if you think it's going to be different, I think you're just lying to yourself at this point. Like I get it. Sixers fans, you got room for your team.
You got nothing else to do, but support your squad. But I do believe with how much of a push Sixers fans have made for the MVP this year for Joel Embiid, they kind of know that that's their championship this year. Cause even in an Eastern conference where you look around, there's only two teams that I think can get to the NBA finals. That's Milwaukee and Boston, but then the Sixers or that third team.
And if you have a third, if you're a third seed in any conference, you would usually think you have a shot to get to the finals. I just don't see how consistently the Sixers, even if they were to beat the Celtics, I don't think they would would then go beat, let's say Milwaukee, assuming Milwaukee gets through the heat and then gets through the winter of Cleveland and New York, because you're playing with fire when you're relying heavily in the post season in a big amount of minutes on James Harden. Now for a reaction tonight, and the games are just very early underway. When you look at Celtics and Hawks, there's about five minutes left in the first half. The Celtics who got off to a little bit of a slow start are now up 48-42 and the Knicks and Cavs are just underway about seven minutes to go here in the first quarter. Knicks are up 12-6. Knicks have a 1-0 series lead in this battle.
And I do think it's good. I think Cleveland wins tonight, but I do think it's another close grind it out type of game. But when you look at the Clippers and the Suns, it's clear. All eyes, all attention tonight are on the Suns and really, hecky, the start of the Suns tonight, because I don't know how you start off a postseason series when expectations are to get to the NBA Finals this year for the Suns. And you have such a talent advantage over the Clippers, especially with the Clippers not having Paul George.
I know they still have Kawhi Leonard and we know Russell Westbrook could still go 3 of 19 from the field to make an impact on the game. But when you look at the Suns, when you have Kevin Durant, you have Devin Booker, you have Chris Paul and you also have DeAndre Aiden, just for starters. I don't get how that team coming off, even though Durant wasn't there, the embarrassing postseason performance of a year ago up against the Mavs in round two. And the regular season really didn't mean much for them this year.
And then when you get Durant, Durant gets hurt, you don't really get to gel with Durant. It's inconceivable to me, hecky, how flat the Suns were in game one out of the gate, where let me remind you, you're at home. It's not like the intensity wasn't there, the environment wasn't there, it's a home game. And it's weird to me how flat the Suns were right out of the gate up against the Clippers in that game one. And I look tonight, obviously they got to win the game and you take it any way that the game plays out if you do win. But the Suns have a lot to show me early in this contest.
Usually, right, you could just say, I'll turn the last five minutes of a basketball game and then they'll tell you everything you need to know. But I want to see how motivated the Suns are tonight because not that I was, I don't want to say discouraged because then it makes you think that I actually believe that the Clippers could win the series. I think the Suns are winning the series even if they go down 0-2. Yeah, it makes you raise an eyebrow, but I still think they're capable of coming on back and winning the series. But I did not love their effort early on and I didn't like how flat they were early on up against the Clippers in game one at the Footprint Center.
For me, it's even more concerning how they finished the game. Not excusing you because you're right, but when you come out flat, we've seen plenty of teams come out flat. I mean, the Sixers just, we were talking about them last day. They were terrible in the first half. Doc Rivers lit a fire under their ass and then they eventually pulled away from the Nets. But that first quarter, Kevin Durant didn't score. They looked very flat lethargic. And then the third quarter, I believe it was a 15-0 run.
I think that's the number. They went on taking like a nine-point lead and you think, okay, here they come. The Suns are finally here, rough first half, but now at least they're clicking. And then as soon as that happened, the Clippers had an answer every time and the Suns could never again put a run together to put them away. Even when they got behind, could not get a playoff at the end to tie or take the lead. It's like you have Devin Booker, you have Kevin Durant and it's really by himself on offense. Kawhi Leonard doing all the scoring and you can't match that. That to me is more concerning with when you have, when you kind of got finally in rhythm, you still couldn't outscore really the only man that was scoring for the Clippers and Kawhi Leonard. And it's a fair point that you bring up because you look at how many times in the NBA do you watch a game and you see a team that is so much better than one team early on and it's like a 15-point deficit and eventually the other team gets a run to get it to five and then eventually ties it up, maybe takes a lead. Once that game was in doubt in terms of who was gonna win in the last few moments, I thought the Suns were gonna win. I did. I thought the Suns were gonna win. Okay, you survived the slow start. You got back in the game. Here we go. You're the more talented team.
I get it. Kawhi Leonard when he plays is a force in the postseason. He's a great finisher in the postseason. You saw him dominate up against the Heat when they had LeBron. You saw him basically in an era of dynamic duos or super teams. You saw him basically as the only great player on that team win a championship, the only superstar player on that team win a championship in Toronto. So even with all those things being said, you then lose the game not because the other team was like that much better on their offensive approach. It was because they got out hustled and that to me is what I didn't like as well because you look how flat they were and how they got hit in the in the mouth up against the Mavs at the end of that series and it was just embarrassing all year long.
It doesn't matter what you do. It all comes down to what you're gonna do in the postseason and you get a chance where you don't even play your best to still go win the game and you got Russell Westbrook who's going three of 19 from the field but getting rebounds, hustling even after he makes misses a three. They still find the way to get the ball back at the end of the game with the block and he makes sure he gets the ball. I believe it was off Booker at the end and really like Russ made those two free throws. Like even as great as Kawhi Leonard was, you look down the stretch it was you got out hustled by Russ and that is a fair point to my initial point where they were flat early then you think they're getting through this and they're about to go win the game and then uh-oh they were flat once again. Like I'm not concerned that the Suns don't win the series. I still think they're going to win the series but I gotta see a well-rounded effort tonight and I do think we'll get that well-rounded effort because you look at that spread you see like seven and a half points. The Suns are favorite. They probably shouldn't be a seven and a half point favorite but I think that's Vegas begging you to plus the points that are in the Clippers. I would lay it with the Suns. Kevin Ray the TV play-by-play man for the Suns gonna join us coming up in about 25 minutes from now. When we come on back you got one current Bills player providing some updates to give you maybe the thinking of what's going through the mind of DeAndre Hoppe.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-18 20:43:10 / 2023-04-18 21:01:45 / 19