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Feb. 4, 2021

NBA Quarter-Season Check In

NBA Quarter-Season Check In

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On this episode of Missing the Point with the NBA at the quarter mark, we break down the season as it stands today.
First, we'll discuss our biggest surprises to this point in the season from the Philadelphia 76er's strong start on top of the Eastern Conference, to the Utah Jazz leading the Western Conference over teams like the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers. (3:45)
Next, we'll focus on the James Harden trade from the Houston Rockets, the impact he's made on the Brooklyn Nets, and how the combination of Harden and Kevin Durant is different from their days as teammates on the Oklahoma City Thunder. (10:28)
We'll then turn our attention to the Boston Celtics. Their up and down start of the season, and how the team has been affected by mass COVID infections. And we'll focus on some trade rumors that could help the seeds get past some injury woes. (32:12)

Hosts: Michael Marcangelo, Bob Kelly
Producer: Craig D'Alessandro

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Transcript
Craig D'Alessandro:

This episode of missing the point is being brought to you by box Oh crafts. Save 15% off your first holiday box at checkout with the promo code MTP. That's box o crafts.com. On this episode we're missing the point with the NBA and its quarter Mark we break down the season as it stands today. First we'll discuss our biggest surprises to this point in the season from the Philadelphia 76 are strong start on top of the Eastern Conference to the Utah Jazz leading the West over teams like the clippers and the Lakers. Next we'll focus on the James Harden trade from the Houston Rockets the impact he's made on the Brooklyn Nets and how the combination of harden and Durant is different from their days as teammates on the Oklahoma City Thunder, we'll then turn our attention to the Boston Celtics. They're up and down start to the season, and how the team has been affected by mass COVID infections. And we'll focus on some trade rumors that could help the seeds get past some injury woes. But first, some housekeeping. missing the point is a one hour podcast recapping the biggest stories in the world of sports with the New England flavor. The show notes and transcript of today's episode can be found in the description box below, as well as on our website. www dot MTP show.com. If you're new to the show, consider subscribing. It's the easiest way to see when we publish new episodes. We are on Apple podcast, Spotify, Google and wherever you get your podcasts if you're listening on Apple podcasts, make sure to rate the show and leave a review for a chance to win a free missing the point t shirt. Be sure to follow us on all of our social medias. All of our links will be in the show notes and check it out brand new website WWW dot MTP show.com that's MTP show.com. And now this is missing the point Episode 38. What it's all relative.

Michael Marcangelo:

Welcome everyone to missing the point. I am your host, Mark Angelo and it is Super Bowl week. It is all things football. So we are talking about the NBA, the Boston Celtics and everything not related to the big game this Sunday. To do that to gift you with this present. In February. I am joined by the real BK Bob Kelly. Today, like I said, we're talking about the Boston Celtics. It's basically the quarter review mark of the NBA season. So Bobby, welcome to the non football edition of missing the point how are you? Yeah,

Rob Kelly:

kind of the namesake really just fits for this episode doesn't it? Was Super Bowl week. Yeah. Super Bowl week. And here we are. We're gonna break down everything and NBA for you. I'm excited for it to I'm pumped.

Michael Marcangelo:

Yeah, it feels right. I mean, it feels like everything that should have been said about the game this coming Sunday has been said. And the thing that we have not talked about other kind of the quarter season rankings of the NBA of the Boston Celtics. What's been going on across the league. Before the season, we all picked our top eight seats, or actually we all picked our conference, you and I had the East rayshawn and Broadway Joe Malkin had the West. And if you kind of look at it now in 25% of the way through it, we weren't that far off.

Rob Kelly:

Now we're doing pretty great right now. I'd say I was looking at it earlier and I was kind of amazed at how we really we may not have had the spots exactly right but we really have the idea in like general rankings I was a conference down like within one or two spots pretty much we have the top three teams pretty much in each conference except for us with the heat but heater a fake bad team at this point. But yeah, no, I'm pretty impressed with our rankings right now. They're looking pretty good man.

Michael Marcangelo:

I think if you just look at the top three from the east as it stands right now it's it's one Philly to Brooklyn, three Milwaukee and I'll throw on the fourth because it's us. The fourth seat in the Boston Celtics. As far as our rankings went before the season when we had won the Bucs to the 70 sixers through the heat what you said they're kind of a fake bad team right now with the Jimmy Butler injury. And number four dead on or the Boston Celtics, we do have the Brooklyn Nets at fit in the five seed that was for me. You were you acquiesce did I appreciate that I think it will pay off in the end. The West, Utah is just they're doing so well. 16 and five and number one, the Clippers number two, the Lakers, number three in Denver, and number four at 12 and eight. And Joe and rayshawn you know pretty much had that they have a really good top for the Lakers at one clippers to jazz at three nuggets at four. So again, as it's currently constituted, we did pretty well before we jump into all the events that have happened over the past couple weeks. It's worth noting that historically in the NBA, it's always Christmas is the delineation point right like you know who the real teams are by Christmas. This year, Christmas was the third game of the season. So we won't really know who anybody is won't give it till. What do you think Presidents Day? Valentine's Day like that feels like the second week of February? Yeah, I

Rob Kelly:

feel like so, for those middle of the pack teams 100%, probably a couple more weeks. But right now, we're at the point of the season where, you know, the real contenders. I feel like we're at a point where like, 2530 games in every year, yes, there's teams that can compete for that championship. But realistically, there's about four to five teams every single year that have a legitimate shot to win that championship. And I feel like we are at the point right now where those teams are making themselves noticed. I wish I could put ourselves in that rank right now. We're way they're playing. I don't know if they are on that level at this point. But I mean, you have teams like the Lakers, the Clippers, the jazz, the Sixers, the nets in the Bucs. Those are the teams right now that are standing out that are like, okay, these are the people that we need to watch in the playoffs. Everyone else? I think you're right. We don't know if they're contenders and pretenders. Some of them could join that top tier. Some of them could miss the playoffs altogether. We don't really know yet.

Michael Marcangelo:

I mean, if you want to go back and listen to the NBA predictions show, you can find that in the show notes. What I will tell you is Philadelphia for me was a team that we talked about, I knew was going to be good in the regular season. Why Doc Rivers is a phenomenal regular season coach. He's if not the best, one of the best. But the question for them. And really with any dog groomers like team is what they're going to do in the playoffs. We all saw what happened last year with the Clippers, right? They literally had every person on that team that they needed to win a championship and couldn't they couldn't even get to they could even get to the championship. So I think the 7060s are doing exactly what I thought they would do. Starting with them. Bobby, what are your impressions so far of Philadelphia a quarter of the way through the season.

Rob Kelly:

I really like Philly. I like everything that Doc Rivers is doing over there. He's getting to Joelle and bead that we've been waiting to see for his entire career pretty much someone that puts in that maximum effort at both ends of the floor is utilized in a way that's that makes him almost unstoppable on the offensive end. I love what Doc Rivers is doing with this team. They took a team that had no identity last year and turned it into a team that has legitimate identity this year. They have some shooters on that team that can space around them beat and they man they're there. They're looking good right now I know you're right Doc Rivers always has that meltdown in the playoffs and I'm sure you know it's very possible could happen with this Yeah,

Michael Marcangelo:

I mean not always twice it didn't happen right?

Rob Kelly:

Right. twice and what

Michael Marcangelo:

I mean will say like, Oh, I don't fault him for 2010 that was not his work. Yeah, you're

Rob Kelly:

right 2010 kg going out I would definitely wasn't his fault. And then after that, I mean the Clippers the Clippers ones are bad though. That's the thing is like, I feel like it's not the Celtics ones I don't hold against them at all. The Clippers ones are all really bad man. Like, you look back to that the lob city era, the fact that they never got to the finals is a travesty. They had a great team those years.

Unknown:

DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul.

Rob Kelly:

Right. Those teams were really good. And they had some solid supporting pieces to I can't remember names off top my head. But I love Robert Crawford. Thank you. Yeah, Jamal, Crawford, Matt Barnes. They had some dudes out there and he could never get it done. And his biggest thing too is they always look like they're going to that's the thing is they have those spurts where you're like, they look great. But then when it comes down to crunch time, they fucking fold every time. So we'll see what happens with them. But I'm telling you, the way he's playing a bead right now. He is. It's everything we thought he would be when you talk about his potential. And Can he lay off the cheeseburgers? And can he actually put it in that? He's doing that? And it's showing?

Michael Marcangelo:

One thing I want to ask you while we're talking about the 76 years in the COVID era where we're home and away games don't really matter? Because they're no fans, right? That's what you that's what we're being led to think. Do you believe that? Do you believe that there is such a thing as home court advantage? The reason why I asked you, Philly is 10 and one at home and five and five away. Why do you think that is?

Rob Kelly:

I think it does. I mean, travel counts for something, especially right now. Being away from your comfort zone. And I think just the feeling of being at home having? I don't know, it's a really good question. I wish I was like having a feeling of being at home. But like what is that feeling of being a home now is like just having your own announcers over the PA like, I

Michael Marcangelo:

don't know. I mean, for me, when you look at it right there for one in the division, the 13 and four in the conference, they have a plus 4.2 point differential, and they're eight and two in their last 10. This smells to me, like one of those lob city teams that dog groomers was the coach of in LA for the clippers. So I know that I'm kind of pulling an audible here but basically What we've seen so far in the 76 years, I'm gonna ask you right now, are they a contender? Do you actually believe in them?

Rob Kelly:

Yeah, I do. I think they're gonna be there at the end. I think right now it is. It is the nets. It is the section isn't it as the box. Those are the top three in the east and I wouldn't be surprised to see any of them come out of the East. I think the Celtics are right behind them. I think they have some work to do. I think those are definitely the top three dogs and I wouldn't be shocked in the least bit to see any of those three come out at least.

Michael Marcangelo:

So you mentioned the Brooklyn Nets. I think this is the first time we have a chance to discuss this on missing the point that James Harden trade right back into back in January. It turned out to be a blockbuster 14 deal. The Nets received James Harden from the rockets. They also received the 2024 second round pick from the Cavaliers the Rockets get Victor oladipo from the Pacers Dante accent from the Cavs. And is it Madonna's carchex project from the neck? That's how you pronounce that.

Rob Kelly:

I don't even know him. So yeah, he was definitely

Michael Marcangelo:

pics of the rockets. Brooklyn's three unprotected, first round draft picks in 2022 2024 and 2026. Plus pick swaps in 2123 25 and 27. And also Milwaukee's 2022 first round pick via Cleveland. The pacers get Kerris Levert and 22 2023 second round pick from the rockets. Cavaliers get Jared Allen and tar Tarin prints. Really? The two main parts of this trade are obviously the draft picks to Houston. But ultimately, it's it's a rejuvenated James Harden to the nets. Talk about when you saw that trade would come over the wire. What were your thoughts? And so far How has it panned out?

Rob Kelly:

Holy shit to see seven two we had to confirm it with each other do you remember that we were like wait a second we were like is a four packs is a three is a two is alternating picks is that if this one doesn't this doesn't really know. It's legitimately seven first round picks. And that's something that like that. I don't even think MBA touquet would let you trade seven. I don't think there's a way you can figure out how to trade seven picks like that. unbeliev

Michael Marcangelo:

they would say that this trade is been rejected because it doesn't meet the standards of NBA touquet whatever it is, they would not allow it.

Rob Kelly:

It's unbelievable man and at first I have to say I thought the nets were out of their goddamn mind to give up that much for James Harden to me just seems like a crazy thing. Especially when like the leverage wasn't there for them to have to give up seven picks. That's the way I saw it is like who seven picks like that he wanted out anyways, I get the Sixers were making a move for him. And that was the other contender to get hardened was the sexuals which would have been really fun. By the way. Haven't haven't beaten harden together. That would have been cool. But seven fresh round picks man it's just unbelievable.

Michael Marcangelo:

This story would have rewritten itself if hard won to the Sixers right? You have harden who chokes in the playoffs coach by probably one of the biggest chokers in the playoff situation dog rivers and by the way, I love and respect him. It might not sound like that. Shout out to rayshawn Hilda wheel. I really do respect him. But it's just facts scoreboard. Unless you have three Hall of Fame players in their prime in the first season of a new deal. He could not win a championship. That's just it. But James Harden this year since coming to Brooklyn has been unbelievable. I think he's been everything that he was advertised to be right his season stats that read it as this 24 points a game six rebounds a game 11 assists per game 4.3 turnovers per game

Rob Kelly:

with harden if he turned the ball over four times a game and Houston harden. No fucking way. If you're going to ISO and you're gonna be turning the ball over and shit like that. No way. But if you're giving me 27 and 11 I think I can live with four turnovers you know, he's literally facilitating that offense. Now it's something that it's just a different James Harden man, I sat here, every podcast we had, and talk so much shit about this dude. And I did not want him on the Celtics. If this was the James Harden that we got, I would have supported now this is a different level basketball player that

Michael Marcangelo:

watching last couple weeks when you talk about that we all win because we were all talking about the type of person that he could be for the locker room. But none of us expected that to happen in the first month, or even in the first three months. It would always happen. It would always happen the next season. Like what if this trade happens, and then there's no playoffs? Or there's no Championship or the busted out in a second round? What James Harden Do you get in the following season? I also think I'm gonna open up to you Do you think James Harden is being shown in in a much more favorite Have a light because of the circus that Kyrie is put on over the last couple of weeks?

Rob Kelly:

I don't think so. I don't think you have to. He's doing it all himself. When you picture this trade happening, you picture the net being losers of this trade, because you're like you're giving up all this. And this is just going to be an absolute madhouse. But the only thing that we've talked about since this trade is basketball, we expected it to be everything else. But so far, it's just been about the game. Will that keep up? We don't know, we'll see. But if they keep this up, and he keeps up this level of play, is there going to be really hard to beat. But with this trade, I do want to point out that I think this is one of those trades, that is a very rare record current, that there was not a loser in this trade. Every evolves and got better, or their situation, at least got bet the Rockets for them to turn, James Harden, who was literally forcing himself out of town, and to seven first round picks. And Victor oladipo. Unbelievable. That is just unbelievable gym work. And not only that, like, but the team that they have now is actually pretty good. And they're a pretty frisky team. I think right now they're number one and defensive rating in the season, which is like a complete polar opposite of where they were with harden. So it was one of those trades where when you look back on it. I mean, when you look back on it at the end of this season, there's not going to be a winner or loser. It's just going to be all winners. I

Michael Marcangelo:

disagree. I think I mean, I was not going to disagree until you just added the caveat of the season. I think carousel averts with the massive they found in his kidney that eliminates the Pacers from this being a winning situation for them now in the future. He makes

Rob Kelly:

the winning situation for crystal Levert though.

Michael Marcangelo:

Yeah, if he makes a full recovery in the future. That's awesome and great. The fact that he had to undergo a physical and they found this on him and they were able to remove it. That's great. And I hope that he's, you know, healthy, it can come back. But the Pacers lose all the depot think that they're getting a really good diamond in the rough shooting guard. And Caris Levert. turns out he's probably gonna play for the rest of the season. I think long term. You're right, dude, like there, there's probably not going to be any losers in this trade because Brooklyn is in this mindset that they need to win championships now. Now, I'm going to ask you again, because we are kind of like 25% of the season. Based on what you've seen so far. Is this team enough to get past the best of the West? aka the Los Angeles Lakers.

Rob Kelly:

I think they've shot they're very non conventional basketball team where they're not someone who is gonna, you're gonna know what they're gonna do down the court every time they're not setting up shop. They're not running the same. 10 plays every gateway, they have three the best playmakers ever. So every single trip down the court is going to be something different. So I do think that they do have a shot. No, I don't think so. No, no. Well, I don't think anyone's gonna beat that Lakers team. Like we'll get to it. And then that Lakers team is on believable man.

Michael Marcangelo:

I mean, if you just if you just look at the stats, right? Just again, scoreboard. Brooklyn is scoring an average of 122 points a game, they're holding their opponents to 117, that shows me It's terrible defense, because you have three of the best offensive players in the league that are just, they have to all score 28 points or more for you to have a chance to win. The Lakers are holding their opponents to 104 points again, which in 2021, and the NBA, that's pretty that's pretty damn good. That's showing you that that's really good defense.

Rob Kelly:

And you know, with LeBron James is just he, he takes a good, that team would be pretty good without him. They would be a very solid basketball team without LeBron James. But then you add LeBron in there. And it's just like, he did you see last night he was walking off the court. And that was after the Hawks game where he got in that fight with the fan on the court and everything, but someone was filming. I'm coming off the court, and he was like, man, feel tired. But we don't we're not tired. We don't get tired. That's not what we do here. That's not what we do. And he just goes right in the locker room and I was just like, oh my god.

Michael Marcangelo:

Oh my god. It's almost like that return to Cleveland flipped the MJ switch in him. Like he wasn't a killer before that. He's a fucking killer now.

Rob Kelly:

Oh, he's a killer, bro. He's a killer. You can do it. He has when he has the ball. It's there's nothing you can fucking do. There's literally nothing you could do. You could play the best defense The history of the world you could be fucking run our test mix with Marcus smart with the hint Kamala Xuan it doesn't fucking well Bron James is scored on you, you know what I mean? It doesn't matter. He's unreal man. He really is,

Michael Marcangelo:

I think, because I didn't like the biggest knock on him. And again, I don't want to go too far off track is that early, early in his career, it was always like, he wasn't the guy. He didn't have that, that that mode, he didn't have the MJ mode, like he was gonna look you dead in the face and say, I'm going to score. No matter what you do. There is nothing that you can do to stop me and I'm going to win the game. But he came back, you've been, it's been different. And especially we went to LA like that first season that they had there was not good. And you could tell that it just ate him alive, that he could not bring that that team to prominence. And then the next season. They go on. They win the NBA championship. So I think no matter what, see, they are in the West. They're the team to beat. You do not want to play the Los Angeles Lakers, especially when they're holding people to under 105 points a game.

Rob Kelly:

They're better than they were last year. Right? They're much better today than they were last year. I mean, you take Rajon Rondo old agent point guard and replace him with Dennis router, who is a young, athletic when we played Atlanta in that playoff series where they beat us a few years ago. I despise this dude. And you know, a good basketball player when you're playing them, and you fucking hate him. If there's someone on the other team, and they just make your skin crawl. He's someone when he's on your team. You'll love him. And that's that.

Michael Marcangelo:

It's how I imagine everyone feels about Marcus smart. Next, so again, the quarter mark to the season surprises. So who's better than you thought they were gonna be Bobby, at this point.

Rob Kelly:

So to me, the biggest ones that stand out is Cleveland. I think Cleveland to me is the biggest shock of the NBA season so far. Right now they're in seventh or 10 or 11. Right around 500. But I didn't expect this team to snap 500 all year long. And not only that, we'll get to a little bit more later in detail, but Collin Sexton man he is. He's beating like big time players right now. I think he outscored who was it the other night he hit. So Collin Sexton though he he's a dude, dairy is dollar garlin is playing out of his mind, I think the calves are a team that to seed or three seed, whoever is at the top is gonna have some prop. I don't think they're gonna beat them. But it's gonna be one of those series where they're gonna sneak in a game. And like, keep a couple games close. I like that Cavs team and context is playing on unreal. For me. It's

Michael Marcangelo:

Charlotte. It's the Hornets. And it's all because of Gordon Hayward. I mean, he's averaging 23 points a game he's shooting 50% that's a super good percentage. So if he takes two shots, you can bank a one of them's gonna go in. Also do that Dante gram averaging 66 assists a game. That's huge. They're only there. 10 and 11. Not great. But we had them. If you look back, if you want to, again, go back and listen to the show that we did. And go back to our Instagram post. And listen the point, you can see that we had Charlotte at Oh boy, we have them it I think second to last right? Without the team is going to be trash. And right now they're clinging on to the eight spot in the standings. And when you really think about it, they're like they're scoring 100 110 points a game sorry, 109.6 points a game. And they're holding their opponents to 110.2. So the point differential isn't, is not too bad. They're right there. And in their last in the last three games, they're writing a three game win streak, five and five at home, five and six away. The scary thing if I were a Hornets fan, though, is that everything depends on Gordon Hayward at this point. And I think he's a great basketball player. I think he's the type of person you want but I do think it's not his fault that he's just injury prone. Am I wrong?

Rob Kelly:

No, you're not that's a it's a terrifying thought to have Gordon Hayward be not just your one. But like your only one. You know they don't have McHale bridges is great, but they don't have that guy who's who actually can pick up that slack for Gordon Hayward if he goes out. Hey, I agree. I also agree with you that they're the biggest surprise so far. I've watched a few of their games. And man, they're scrappy, impressive basketball team. They're good man. I liked the Hornets. I like the way they play. That's it. They play great basketball.

Michael Marcangelo:

rozier is balling out roses ball. I mean, just averaging about 19 points a game. The surprising thing for me is that lamella ball is he's getting 25 minutes to game. He's only averaging 12 points. I guess that's that. That's great. I thought he would have had a bigger impact, I think but I think for him, if again, if you're a Hornets fan, you look for him to really pick it up and The second half of the year, that's when he needs to establish himself in the team. But based on where you are right now, they're in it. They will be one of those bubble teams at the end of the season that is clean to the to an eight seed. And just like, just like you were talking about the Cavaliers, I'm not sure that they're a team that I really want to play. Yeah, no,

Rob Kelly:

actually, I think I would play one plays them less. I would want to play them less than I would want to play the Cavs because they Gordon Hayward's and established NBA, I don't want to call him a superstar. He's established NBA all star, so he actually can win you again by himself. Well, Melo ball. He's been much better than I thought he was gonna be, even though he's only averaging 12 points. You know, I've said this year, so many times so many times. There's so much more than points. Well, Noah ball was doing a lot on that basketball court right now. That's a throwback to our Payton Pritchard conversation.

Michael Marcangelo:

Oh, don't worry. We're gonna get into that in a couple minutes.

Rob Kelly:

But so what Melo to me, I think he's playing great. He's definitely the favorite. And the front runner for rookie of the year at this time. But yeah, I think they're a scary team. Especially because it got scary. Terry, man, a lot of people forget man. Terry was legit in that, in that in that playoff run, until that game seven, he was really good in that playoff run.

Michael Marcangelo:

Okay, so let's, uh, I don't want to do this. I really don't. But just I just want to play back to what you just said. He was legit. Until he counted.

Rob Kelly:

Yeah, yeah, I was at that game said he wasn't just bad. And I gave every time. But I'm just up until then. Up until that game. Yeah, whatever. You know what I'm saying?

Michael Marcangelo:

I do. That's why I fundamentally disagree with him. Now, a quarter of the way through the season. Is this a big enough sample size for us to really know who these teams are? Not just the contenders. But let's say like the bottom tier of the league are in each conference. Are we sure that Miami at 713 is really that bad? Because I'm not. I think for me, Jimmy Butler being injured. He is the pulse of that team. I mean, we saw what he did in the bubble. He, during quarantine, he bought every single member of that team a basketball hoop and told him to practice. He didn't bring his family down there. I'm sure he loves them. I don't know him. I'm sure he really loves them. He didn't want to see him. You don't want any distractions. He was there for one reason it was to get to an NBA championship, and ultimately, to win an NBA championship. So for me, he's the that's the one record where I look and I say seven and 13. I mean, that's not real.

Rob Kelly:

No, it's not I agree, dams, keeping them afloat right now. He's all that he's literally all they have right now. Because what Jimmy does, is when he's in there, he brings everyone up an entire level of play. You know what I mean? Like he, he's just a dog. He's a fighter. And he's exactly what I'm talking about when it's like, it's not always about points, because Jimmy isn't always going to put up 25 points. But his impact is felt just by the energy and the actual attitude of the team that he's on like that he teams that bubble last year, man, they Yeah, they were just like, when you looked at Jimmy Butler's face, and then you looked at everyone else's face on the court. They all had the same fucking face on like, they were there to fight. They were there to battle, and you were probably gonna leave that game with a bloody nose. I agree. Yeah, I think they're better than that. 713 record for sure.

Michael Marcangelo:

So for you, I'm just gonna pick I'm gonna pick a team on the Western Conference, because you are one of the two of the basketballs ours are missing the point. Let's talk about the Dallas Mavericks eight and 13. Is this really who they are?

Rob Kelly:

I don't know, man. I think so. I really do. Because I think kristaps is he's just I want to call him a Friday. It's not Friday. He's just he's too flawed. He's not what even close to what people thought he was gonna be. So right now that's what they're banking on is they're banking on porzingis coming back and being that guy and I just don't see it man for a big guy to be having foot issues while we're buying problems. Right, man, it's just it just screams he's out of the league in two years. Luca is literally all they have right now. Anywho Luca, I was I love Luca to death. But man, he's turned into a little bit of a crybaby lately, I haven't seen him drive to the basket without turning and looking for a foul in like, a week and a half. And it shows with how they're playing right now. I think Dave, what dropped? I want to say six out of seven, something like that. They're not doing great.

Michael Marcangelo:

They're two and eight out of their last 10. And they've lost six in a row.

Rob Kelly:

Yeah, so they're on a downward spiral. I wouldn't be surprised to see Cuban. You've seen him do it before where he gives up on a season and just start dishing out Those roller players, midseason. And I wouldn't be surprised to see him do that this year at all. I really don't think that they have a shot this year, it just seems like every time you watch them, it's just Luka and four dudes.

Michael Marcangelo:

But to that point, I mean, Luke is averaging 27 points a game, nine rebounds a game, nine assists a game, a steal a game. And they are where they are currently. I mean, I think the record is what they're eight and 13. But what this smells to me, again, I've said that once already at the show, this kind of smells like, like, like the Phoenix Suns of last year, right? Like when they get to the bubble, they go pretty much undefeated, just to miss the playoffs. So again, let's say pausing is does is able to figure out the foot injury, just again, a little bit at the end of the season, is that a team that can rattle off six in a row. And if they do, if you're the if, again, if you're the one seat, let's say again, currently, it's the jazz, do the jazz and the mat, do the guys want to play the Mavericks? Because I think Luca is enough to scare really all but three teams, I think it's the Sixers, the Lakers, and the nets that Luca doesn't scare.

Rob Kelly:

Ya know, I completely agree with that. Anytime you have someone like Luca, staring you on the other end of the basketball court, it's scary. You know what I mean? Unless you have someone else who's even scarier to stare at him right? The fuck back down? No, I completely agree. I would never want to see Luca, especially in a seven game series because right he can take that shit over. And just he can win that series by himself. I just don't i don't know this version of Luca can do it. Because I feel like he's just I just been watching them this past week. And they're like, I just, I'm not seeing like we were just saying with LeBron. He's not a dog yet. He's not a killer, man. He's not. And like, I love Luca. And I think he's going to be I think he has a chance to be one of the top five players in NBA history. I think he's that good. But I just don't think he has. He doesn't have that. That it yet. Like I he doesn't have that championship DNA like you guys like, call me out on? I don't think he's there yet.

Michael Marcangelo:

Like, that's not that's not something that we like to say. That's what you always say what

Rob Kelly:

I said,

Michael Marcangelo:

Yeah, which is the perfect segue to start talking about our Boston Celtics, who are currently sitting the four seat at 11 and eight, they they beat the Golden State Warriors last night, after losing to the Lakers earlier this week, just a quarter of the way through the season, I think you have to be disappointed. And I say that because of the talent that you know that you have on this team. In reality, they've been really affected by COVID-19, I get that they've actually been statistically the most affected team in the NBA. But they have looked so soft at times. And typically that happens at the end of the game, when they have a lead. Just remember, this is the same team that held the lead in the fourth quarter to the Miami Heat in that playoff series. And they did not win that series. They blew, at least for those leads. So Bobby quarter way through the season. Tell me a little bit about your thoughts about the Celtics.

Rob Kelly:

I don't want to say I'm disappointed because it's just the fact that they have been the most effective team by COVID by injuries out of every team, they've missed the most games, if you put all the games that people have missed on their team, they've missed the most. But raisons right, he kept saying that thing in the in the Hangout last night and like, I always want to be the positive to raisons negative with the Celtics, I always try and balance it out. But like he is right, man, they need to change. They need something because they just like last time we were last time I was on this panel with DK I was so hyped up about their energy in the way they're playing because it was a different level than the COVID stuff hit. And what do we say during the NFL season? It's success through resiliency. And right now they're not showing that they're not showing that same effort and same intensity that we would expect out of them. And even Brad Stevens is calling them out on it. You know what I mean? Almost every single night they asked Brad like what happened tonight? And he's like defense, defense. We weren't giving the energy we want to give we weren't doing this. We weren't doing that. If you ask Brad Stevens how the season is going right now? Horrible, horrible. He hates everything he's seeing out of this team, which to me is the scariest part about everything.

Michael Marcangelo:

I mean, which is interesting, because when you think about it, they're holding every they're holding their opposing teams to under 110 points a game, right. The problem is, is they're only average they're only averaging 111. So they're not blowing teams out. They should be an offensive powerhouse mixed with defensive tenacity, which is Marcus smart who suffered that calf sprain a couple games ago, which by the way, we were

Rob Kelly:

very bad. I was terrified.

Michael Marcangelo:

That happened. It was in Lakers game. I remember. You could see it pop. And I just thought man, I just hope it's not a long time. term injury. Turns out, it's gonna be a couple of weeks. But for me, as a fan, when you think about this team, they do all the right things for three quarters of the game, they get themselves in a position to be in the lead, and to win. And then in the final 12 minutes, more often than not, they try their hardest to squander it. So, for me, it's like, yeah, Bobby, you can have your championship DNA. I'm gonna call your Eastern Conference Championship DNA because they have never gone further than that. But you have to be able to close the game. Now. We've been talking a lot about killers on this game on the show. I do think that Jaylen Browns a killer. I think he's the last person that you want. If you're the opposing team to have the ball in his hands at the end of the game. You think it's Jayson Tatum? Why?

Rob Kelly:

I think I think they're both I think they both have the potential to be killers. If I'm being honest. I

Michael Marcangelo:

don't see your head. Who do you want to have the last shot and again, Jaylen brown and Jayson Tatum.

Rob Kelly:

I listen, I'm gonna surprise you here. Gentlemen. I think it's Jaylen, man. I jus think when because he would mak the right decision. I woul trust him more to make th decision because I know h doesn't. Jayson Tatum has great three point jump shot, bu it's too good at sometimes an he trusts it so much, man. An like when he gets into thos situations, he's just like okay, that's not there. What' my go to step back? Three? No man, listen. No, no, please Jaylen at least is like he. I feel genuine. His first move s always I want to go to the hol . I want to crash this rim rig t now. And that's what you need t the end of the game . Personally, I think the b g thing with Tatum though, I don t know if you saw this a coup e weeks ago, there was th s interview. greatest basketba l player, one of the greate t basketball players of all tim , Allen Iverson, they asked h m about Jayson Tatum. And e almost went speech was he w s just like, dog. Jayson Tatum s special. And when you have a g y like Allen Iverson telling y u that someone special, then the e guys are special? I don't kno . It's a tough question to answe , man. It really i

Michael Marcangelo:

I'm just gonna let you answer the dude. You weren't I know. I

Rob Kelly:

feel like it's Jaylen

Michael Marcangelo:

I think for me, like, who has more God given talent? It's Jayson, for sure But at the end of the game, yo want to trust someone to eithe make the right decision b shooting by taking a hig percentage shot or by b distributing the ball to someon else who will. In my heart o hearts, I think 10 times out o 10 with three seconds left. I Jayson Tatum has the ball, he' gonna shoot it doesn't matte where it hasn't yet. Doesn' matter where he is. It's goin to be that that Paul Pierce step back three, and he's aide by the three out of 10 time that he hits it at the end o the game, to say, Well, listen Oh, well. I mean, I had it. I goes in. I called it earlier It's hero ball, like the gam and they won earlier in th season where he did that tha shot that went in. In m opinion, that game is a bad whe we know we have good losses That's a bad one because it jus enables that to continue t happen. Like for me, I admitte last year last season. On th summer. I was wrong abou Marcus. Marcus smart is a reall big part of this team. He stil doesn't need to take 18 shots game. He just doesn't becaus he's gonna miss his first night I know. We all kno

Rob Kelly:

his reactions to when you call him out. It was just it's so Marcus like, you can't hate him for it because he's like, Listen, you guys can keep telling me not to shoot. Guess what? I'm gonna do shoot I'm gonna shoot you so like, I guess I guess you give and take with Marcus. I don't know. But yeah, no, I completely agree that I don't understand Tatum and that step back three at the ends of those games, man and I don't know why I do that because but the bread Brad letting him continue. Like, if I'm Brad Stevens, I pull him aside and I'm like, Listen, man, fucking stop. Why do you think that is our best chance to win the game. We're down. Even when we're down by two he does it and that's what drives me nuts. That's what drives me fucking crazy is when we're down by two. He doesn't step back three. And it's like if the ball was in Jacqueline's hand. That's not happening. It's not happening. I

Michael Marcangelo:

agree. Any chance that he just has a little PTSD for the Miami series where he was rejected on the dump? I mean, that's the last time that I can remember him driving to the hoop when the game was on the line. Ever since then it's handed his balls on the platter right there. Ever since then, it's just been hero ball wherever he is. I will say though, we talked a little bit about in the offseason, the short offseason that they need that they needed to step on to the next level. They kind of have offensively right? I mean, Tatum is averaging just under 27 points a game of 26.8 Browns averaging 26. But 26 and a half points, you have two players on your team that are averaging just about 27 points a game. And now kemba is back. Which leads me to my next question. Is kemba the guy like, can he be number three? Based on what you've seen so far?

Rob Kelly:

I don't think it's a big enough sample size yet. I don't think we know how good that knee is quite yet, because he'll have games is the same thing as in the playoffs last year. That's what I'm noticing so far, is like he'll have games where he looks like Canada. And he's hitting everything. And he looks fast. And he works electric. And he looks like that guy who is who we want to have the ball at the end of the games. Because remember, last year in the playoffs, that was who had the ball, 10 seconds left, it was in Canvas hand, he was taking a shot. He looks like that guy time to time. But then there's some times where he looks. He just looks slow. And it looks like he is just not there. And he's just not feeling it. So I think you got to give him more time to see which one is going to be the real camera. Is it going to be the up and down Canva? Or once that knee gets some more minutes on it get some more time? Is it gonna build up strength and he can continue to be that great camber good Kamba, at least that we saw at the beginning of the playoffs, and when he first started last year, I don't know. Yeah, I

Michael Marcangelo:

think for me, the interesting. The interesting part is like even on his bad shooting nights, he still cuts really well. So like, for me, the weird knee injury is just that it's very weird. And you'll never want your one of your start point guards to have a weird knee injury. But it doesn't seem to be impacting. Like that should not be the reason why his shots aren't going in. It's not why he shoots one of 11 because he's making all the right cuts. He still looks just as fast as he did before. Something's just not going in. But it needs to, for this team to be a real contender kemba needs to be the company that we traded for, or that we signed. Sorry, he needs to be that guy. Next question. I know that we can spend all day talking about the Celtics, are these early season struggles due to a lack of minutes together? Or is it because it was a short offseason? Like are you concerned about it? Talk to me about that.

Rob Kelly:

So I think it's I think it's a little bit of a mix of both. I think it is the lack of minutes together because sometimes they just don't look like they're on the same page. And they literally have I think they played what two games together as their full starting five so far this season. So I think like what like we were saying earlier, is there enough time? I think the Celtics are the prime candidate of like, no way. This is not the team that we're gonna see two months from now. You know what I mean? It's gonna be a completely different team. It's a completely different feel. I think there is a move coming. I think there is going to be a shake up. We'll see how big it is. But I'm not that concerned. I'm just more looking for them to show me something I need. We need a run. You know what I mean? Like now that we have our guys back. We have paid them back. We have Brownback, Preston is playing great. Robert Williams is playing great.

Michael Marcangelo:

Yes, Tristan, his offense is offensive. It's bad. It's so bad. And it's like for me. I mean, I get it that he's a stout defender. He's supposed to be right. But can you just hit 70% of your free throws?

Rob Kelly:

So it's like the opposite of Venus canter? You know what I mean? We literally just flipped in is cancer. Really good. Offensively terrible defense. Like,

Michael Marcangelo:

it's like Daniel Tice. That's exactly who has been, by the way. For me. He's my biggest surprise on this team so far this season. I think if you're a fan of the Celtics, you have to be really happy with the fact that he's averaging just about 10 points a game, and he's crashing the boards. his defense will never be great. Because he's not built that way.

Rob Kelly:

He can't he can't move like that,

Michael Marcangelo:

ya know, but for when he's out there for me so far. You kind of correct me if I'm wrong. It feels like every minute that he's on the court. offensively. He's productive.

Rob Kelly:

Yeah, no, you notice I completely agree with that. I was gonna say that actually. He you notice it. Robert Williams is on the court. You know, Robert Williams is on the court. And that's something that you can't say, but a lot of big man. I feel like some big men disappear sometimes. Our Tristan Thompson, but yeah, no, I completely agree. Robert Williams has been so much better than I thought he was gonna be coming into the season. It's like, we always thought like we needed a center. We needed a big man, but I never thought it would be him. And I'll give Danny credit. A Robert Williams was his guy coming out of that draft that year. I remember hearing about it for so long. And I was like, Oh, I hope that you don't get this guy. This guy is a clown. You draft them. You remember what happened. Robert Williams the first day they drafted him. He forgot his wallet or like he missed his plane or something like that. And missed his rookie introductory press conference.

Michael Marcangelo:

That feels right.

Rob Kelly:

Yeah, exactly. It did. And I was A guy sees the cloud but No, man. I don't know. That's alright. So that just led me to my next point. That's where I think Tristan is making the biggest impact, honestly, is I think it's on Robert Williams.

Michael Marcangelo:

I just want to point out that I asked you if you thought, Daniel Tyson's having a great season, and you said, Yes, I agree, and then only talked about Robert Williams. It's like, I'm not even here with you, Bobby. That's how that's how you just made me feel in that moment. But go ahead and talk to me. Talk to me about Tristan Tom's about about his impact offensively or just his mindset for Robert Williams.

Rob Kelly:

I think it actually goes to Daniel tight to see I was getting there. I was getting there. I was gonna connect it. Yeah, I was gonna connect it Right, exactly. So I wasn't gonna chant I went off on my own right. So no, I do like twice this year. And the thing with dice is like, he's impressive offensively. And that's been the thing. Like, he's actually been like, not he's been a shooter. He's hitting jump shots. And like, he's another guy. It's a big man right now. That is Robert Williams and Daniel Tice. Those are the two guys on this team, that when they're out there, you notice them out there. Yeah, and the only other person, the only other person besides Tatum and brown that you can say that so far in the Celtic season.

Unknown:

Is Payton Pritchard?

Rob Kelly:

He's the only listen, I know, I know. I know. I know. I'm not gonna get crazy with it. No, no,

Michael Marcangelo:

no, we have to because I want this to be documented and heard around the world. You told me that Payton Pritchard would be based off of his early season performances should have been in the top three for Rookie of the Year. That's that you said it. You thought he actually I'm gonna bank on it.

Rob Kelly:

I still I'll still go with it. I really do legitimately still think that, especially if he wasn't, he's hurt right now. If he comes back. He's the guy that if he's going to be the guy that steps up every single time if someone goes out, he's the guy that's going you notice him on the court. I just really love the way Payton Pritchard plays basketball. And I think at the end of this season, we're gonna be looking back on Payton Pritchard. He's going to be the surprise story of the Boston Celtics. He is going to be in the top three. I'm telling you, man, it's gonna happen. Because you will have so Marcus, they're not gonna ride him, especially after this calf injuries. They're gonna they're not gonna ride camber. And the guy who's gonna pick up that slack is Peyton pressure, because I'll tell you what, DK will roll over. Just hearing this. Jeff Teague isn't the guy. I'm sorry. He is one of the most frustrating. He's one of the most frustrating basketball players that I love to watch if that makes any sense whatsoever. So Jeff Teague is not to dude, Payton Pritchard. When he's out there, it's just a different flow to this team. Man, you can just feel it. And when we talk about that killer instinct. Oh, I know. Listen, I I think that he has the potential to have that. And I think he's one of these guys that when he's out there, Jaylen and Jayson, it ru s off on them and you won't s e that terrible Jason step ba k through you won't see the e things because I think it s gonna go through Payt n Pritchard. I think he's gonna e the Jason Williams he's gonna e the mic, baby. He's gonna be o e of these point guards who ju t has the ball every time down t e cour

Michael Marcangelo:

So we've gone from I'm not going to overreact to he will be in the top three of Rookie of the Year. Now. He's Mike Bibby

Rob Kelly:

you baited me into it?

Michael Marcangelo:

I mean, I will say, in the games he's played. He's shooting literally 49% from the field. He's a great shooter. I think he does give you the spark. And I think the thing that, you know, you always have always been talking about, you can't just based off a points. I think you're right. He has hustle. There's just something about when he's on the court. It's just different. That when he made that game winning layup, that was amazing. I mean, it's too bad. Marcus was still a bitching and moaning about the fact that he didn't get a call on his terrible fadeaway shot for from under the rim. Like he's not really that much of a team player. Sorry, but I think Payton Pritchard for me, if he does half of what you think he's gonna do, then the game just changed the Celtics. Like if he is half of Mike Bibby, now or half of top three Rookie of the Year. We could be a problem for four teams in the playoffs.

Rob Kelly:

So like that's what I try and take me and DK were talking about this last time it's like we try to take a constipated pictures. It's like it's really hard to sink a one because like, it's not like Mike babies, the first one that comes to mind But he's a better shooter than Mike Bibby. You know, statistically like he just has a career in college. He just shows that he's a better shooter. And then you think about someone like Jason Williams. He's not a greatest passer Jason Williams ever was, but he can shoot better. So it's like, Steve, let's not go there. I'm not gonna get that crazy. All right, I'm not comparing. We're not gonna compare him to the best

Michael Marcangelo:

of the best. One of the best. Okay, before we wrap up this little Celtics grab session. There's one thing that you wrote in the rundown, which I love, by the way, love it. That's what they call a big market tease. Trade rumors. JJ Reddick Do you think it'd be it's worth using half of the exception for JJ Reddick an aging shooter? Because I think for a team that needs offense, he's your guy. I mean, you sure he's getting older? I understand that. But he's still a sharpshooter. He is one of those guys that you want taking a three point shot at the end of the game. So Bobby, tell me why that's a bad idea.

Rob Kelly:

I don't know where he fits in the rotation is my thing is like Who who are you taking away minutes from? Are you taking them away from Marcus? Are you taking them away from Canva? God forbid, you're taken away from Payton Pritchard, Jeff T. You know what I mean? Like, I guess Jeff T, he could fit in those minutes. But like, I just don't know where he would fit in the rotation. And I just feel like there's so many better options that can make this team a real contender. I've been seeing a few trades out there. The one that intrigued me the most. I don't know how realistic it is. But Celtics Celtics receive Nicola vukovich and Aaron Gordon from magic for kemba, Walker Langford Tice Williams, and a fresh round pick. No, you put vucevic and Gordon, now on this on this thing. Oh,

Michael Marcangelo:

no, no, no. Okay, well, let's just operate in the realms of reality here. Okay. Let's just stay where we are. Because, Danny, as we know that he's trader Danny, but that's typically with draft picks. He doesn't usually make big splashes in the course of the season, but he will add a veteran presence he will add someone like I don't know, a JJ Reddick, Thomas, or JJ or a JJ Reddick who Yes, his career three point percentage is 40%. Just Just get him here. He averages less than one turnover per game. Bring him here, please. He's playing less than 20 minutes a game. So if you're telling me that you will not sub out. Jeff T's minutes for JJ Reddick who's averaging? I don't know. Let's see this year, he is averaging more than more than Jeff Teague is per game in terms of points. Same amount of minutes, do it. Like let's just do it because, again, at the end of the game, let's say that Tatum is covered. Well, you don't want to take that hero shot. Let's say the Jaylen find a wide open reading on the base you know, on the corner fo three. Are you not going to jum out of your seat when he hit that shot

Rob Kelly:

Not only would you jump out of your seat when he hits a shot, you'd probably jump out of your seat as soon as he caught it because you're like, JJ.

Michael Marcangelo:

JJ for three.

Rob Kelly:

One other trade. Oh boy, PJ Tucker, for Daniel Tice, Carson Edwards. And this year, Celtics first round pick. That's a deal that I think is realistic. We don't give up too much. And we get back someone who if Tatum, brown, we're having an off night he can pick up the slack on the scoring. The only thing that would scare me about PJ Tucker is if he's another Marcus Morris. That's all

Michael Marcangelo:

but yeah, but again, like assuming that aren't you? At that point in time? You are all in on Robert Williams? You really banking on him? Because I mean, Tucker again. Five points a game four rebounds a game. He's not. I don't think he's and I could be wrong. So please feel free to tell me. It doesn't feel like to me that he is a huge difference maker. I mean, you're gonna trade 5.8 points a game from Tice for 5.4 points a game for PJ Tucker.

Rob Kelly:

Well, he's not well, he's not being utilized like that in Houston. They have him at the five and he's not a five that you remember how they made that trade last year where he got traded to Houston and they're, they're playing like historically small ball, and he's only six. He's only six foot seven, six foot eight. And he plays at the five for them. So he's just 65655. So he's so underutilized in Houston. I think he needs to change the scenery. And I think coming here would be a big change for him. I like PJ I think he'd be good. A good guy to bring him so

Michael Marcangelo:

you're starting five would be Robert Williams. PJ Tucker, Jaylen Brown. Jayson Tatum and kemba Walker.

Rob Kelly:

Yeah, I'm down with that. I'm down with that for sure.

Michael Marcangelo:

I still, I still like tight. I mean, I could be wrong. Maybe this is just isn't it? Like maybe he's having like one of those Walton McCarty years, right. But like, I just I love Tice this year. I just feel like it's something different. He's, and again, for the reasons that you notice Robert Williams on the court for defense, you notice him on you notice Dino's eyes on the court for offense? Because he's always there?

Rob Kelly:

He's always there.

Michael Marcangelo:

Yeah, always there. One last thing. So there was an interesting question that was posed on the old Twitter machine recently. And I love this because it literally kind of validates the things I've been saying to you for the last year. So it said this, are we sure Tatum and brown are not just a flashier, more fun version of Antwan and Paul piers, good enough to contend, but never truly contenders. I'm not sure that I am not. I, first of all, I'm not sure that they won't contend. But based on what I've seen so far, they're they're just they are not contenders. You're right. I so I guess that that question. I'm not sure. I don't know, jury's still out. But for me, this season is the season to either prove it or dispel it. If you do not break through that wall or do something. You know, if you do not go to that next level, you guys have said like you and DK have said that Jayson an Jaylen are on the season, the . Yeah, for me. This is the 20 2 Boston Celtics like love th m love the wiggle so many go d memories. How many trophie

Rob Kelly:

Yeah, no, I couldn't even like so I scrolled past that tweet. And like, he told me I loved him. I loved Brad, we we've been talking about them for the last 45 minutes. I have a basketball Boehner over here. All right. But like, it made me raise my eyebrows because I scrolled past it. And I was like, like, I I read it. And I was like, Huh, that's funny. And then like, it made me sad instantly, cuz I was like ours, Hazel, because this is pretty much the same age that those two were right. They were both in their early 20s. They were both dynamic scores, but they couldn't get over the hump. I don't think that they had the potential, even close to the potential that these two have peers guess, Antwan?

Michael Marcangelo:

I think we thought he did early. Right. It just, it just turned out that he didn't but he was a really good role player and he was the guy that peers needed there for a while, I think to give him an edge because Antwan he wasn't killer when Pierce was missing free throws against Indiana in the playoffs. Antwan was the one that drove drove the dagger through your heart.

Rob Kelly:

Yeah, with that bank three, he loved those bank threes, bro. So the thing that I think it's a very reasonable comparison, I saw some of the comments on people were going crazy on this dude. And I was like, dude, I don't think he's that far off. I think that we have way more potential and I think that they will end up better than them. But like at this point in their careers, I think that the comparison is definitely out there to be made. The thing is though Tatum and Jaylen are both right now. Prett much considered top 10 player in the NBA. You know what mean? There are at least a worst, top 15 players in the NB both of them are on that list When Antwan appears we're a this level, I don't know if the would have been considered tha I'm pretty sure all top 1 players were in the West. But do think that the comparison i there, because they haven' gotten to that big game. When i comes down to that clutc moment. They have choked. And agree that if they don't show i this year, these comparisons ar going to start more and more an more. And it does drive m crazy. Because like it's like, don't know, can't be shipped to hard to win, man. It's a har thing to do

Michael Marcangelo:

But I just want you to get there. number one. Number two, the talent that we know that Jaylen and Jays n have, knowing again, knowing h w talented they are. The fact th t this question is asked and y u need to pause doesn't answ r itself. It has to and again, I think I think the differen e here is they're a lot younge . Okay, well, they're not real y right. But Tino w

Rob Kelly:

upside the upside is the big difference. It Dan is so much more upside to nose to average. And

Michael Marcangelo:

yeah, I also think that the team around them is better than what you saw from like the otoo or like even the early 2000s Celtics with Anton and Paul, I mean, you have Marcus you have kemba you have ties timelord before that you had al Horford you had Gordon Hayward. So like the pieces had been there to get you to that next level. Again, championships are hard to win. That's why only one team wins them every year. But just get there. Just get there. Because we know one of the things that are again, a Hollywood a wall a ratio, and you can and I were talking about today, is he said that if this is Boston, we expect you to win. I don't think that's true for the Celtics. Honestly, if I offend any Celtics fan, I'm really sorry. But if you expect to win, like it's really based on what I mean, it's because of Larry Bird. And because of Bill Russell, because from 86 on, it's just get there, just give us a reason to believe that you can win and then build on that. What we've been stuck at for so long, aside from the the two years of document, you know, 2008 and 2010, is, we believe we have the pieces, and then we get then we come up against a team that we know on paper, we're better than and then we lose. And it happens over and over again. So I think we need we don't expect them to win a championship. I don't I just expect them to get there.

Rob Kelly:

Yeah, I'm with you on that. I just. I don't again, I said it last year, I don't think it's I think if they show I don't think they need to get to the NBA Finals for this year to be considered not be considered a disappointment. If they get to the Eastern Conference Finals night, and they play the heat again and lose huge disappointment. If they played the nets, they play the Bucs. And they take that team to seven and they show that they can legitimately hang with the superstars of the league. And I will be 100% okay with that. If it's something like the heat, where it's a team that we're better than like you were saying, on paper, we are better we have leads the entire series, and we blow it. Yeah, I think that it's time to start raising some eyebrows. But at the same time. I still believe in Easter

Michael Marcangelo:

not to go down a rabbit hole here. But like let's say that they play the nets. Right. And they lose in six. And they only score 100 points once. Is that a failure? Because for me that's an abject failure.

Rob Kelly:

Yeah, it is. It is. It is yet it's about if you only score 100 points once against the net. Yeah, that's an abject failure.

Michael Marcangelo:

But if it was seven, and they score 115 a game they lose sure I'm with you.

Rob Kelly:

Like perception is reality. Yeah, no, it is

Michael Marcangelo:

like, here's what begins to three three men. Like right, like, say what you want about carry, see what you I mean, I'd be shocked. I'd be really surprised it's hard and shut up in the playoffs he is and he just never has. But if he does, then all bets are off. And I think that that team can go far.

Rob Kelly:

So dementing that so that that quote from harden would say to me the most. It's a great sign to me. It made me feel great about Tatum and brown. And it made me very scared of harden and Duran. So he was talking about when harden and Durant were together and OKC. They're asking him about it. And he's like, Listen, guys, we were kids, then we were kids when we were together, and Okay, see, we're men now. And like I completely understood, because like, if you think back to when we were 22 in college, right? We were kids, we were absolute kids. Right now we're men, we're 33 years old. Like, it's a whole different mindset. So I do think that once take them get to that catering ground get to that 2728 29 range. It's a whole different level that we're gonna see from them, because right now they're kids. They're not close to being done yet. I think this year could shut. Put a lot towards them becoming then

Michael Marcangelo:

it doesn't ruin your perception of them if they don't show up. That's what you just said not

Rob Kelly:

not data. No, no, I didn't say that.

Michael Marcangelo:

You said after your whole little regimen. But I still believe in them.

Rob Kelly:

I do believe in them. I do. Because Exactly. Like I just said, I still think they're kids, man. I do think they are really, really young. And I think when they get like I said, Dave, so much maturing to do that quote from harden just made me so pumped about their future. And it made me scared about the future. It was like a double whammy.

Michael Marcangelo:

I know you had a lot of other stuff that you wrote down. I think that I want to ask you a question that could bring us down a bit of a rabbit hole. So I'm gonna ask you this question. Do you think Jayson Tatum and Jaylen brown would be better suited to be coached by Doc Rivers or a veteran coach because of how young they are? Because Because what I'm thinking here is what I keep hearing from you. And I don't mean this in a combative way at all. Is there so is there so young, so wouldn't like wouldn't they be better suited or do you think they Wouldn't be better suited if they had a coach like phil jackson obviously the greatest of all time but Popovich Doc Rivers, even Spoelstra who's been through the wringer and his coach to a championship as opposed to learning on the fly with the guy who'd never coached in the NBA before his job with the Celtics.

Unknown:

You're gonna

Michael Marcangelo:

I'm doing it. Yeah.

Rob Kelly:

Yeah, I do. I love Brad Stevens. Me too. He's a great coach. I agree, man. And like, it's good to see it sometimes. Like I don't everyone should talk Brad Stevens, but you see it when he lets Tatum brown do their thing and like he's not. Yeah, I think it would be better off 100% Spoelstra, I think would be an awesome fit. I do think rivers would be a great fit with Tatum and brown. Man, I can't believe he just put that question out there. That's a great question, man.

Michael Marcangelo:

Yeah, I mean, it just popped into my head because I feel like the constant theme when talking about Tatum and brown is how young they are. And you want to surround them with veteran players too. Yeah, but wouldn't that how much more helpful would it be to be having a play drawn up by a guy who has coached in an NBA Finals? Who has won an NBA Finals? Who has brought teams with LeBron with kg with Tim Duncan for talking about Popovich to the upper echelon and winning like, how? Another question sorry, Bobby to do this, you know, I love it. How stunted Do you think those two growth are? Or is because Brad Stevens is our coach.

Rob Kelly:

Now, what are you doing me, man? So I but like, Listen, I don't want this to come across as like, no,

Michael Marcangelo:

no love you love you by Stevens mean it. But comparatively speaking, do you think that their growth is stunted by the fact that he is their coach? And not someone who's been there before?

Rob Kelly:

I feel like I'm on the fucking hotsy right now. Yeah, no, I do. I do. And it's funny that you asked that actually, because I was thinking about it during the Warriors game and run up that Lakers game is like, why isn't it ever a conversation like this? I love Brad I do. But like it's a conversation that no one ever even considers that it's his fault or like that, that he has some blame in it. And it's like, I just feel like you're right i think to guys like Tatum and brown. If we had someone like we said, Phil Jackson, you know the greatest of all time a Popovich dude, yet Yeah, I agree, man. I do. I think that it would bring him to a different level because I think Brad Stevens still has a lot of trying to prove himself to is the thing is like, he's trying to make himself known. He's trying to make himself one of the best coaches in the NBA. So I do think that having a Popovich someone that is established that knows they're the fucking guy. And when I tell you Tatum that this is what you're gonna do. That's what you're gonna fucking do. Yeah, no, I agree.

Michael Marcangelo:

Yeah, I mean, for what it's worth. I Oh, man. I really I love Brad Stevens. I think that he's, I think he's a breath of fresh air. But I don't think it's his fault. He doesn't know what he doesn't know. If we can't if we're not gonna hold Tatum and browns. Lack of playoff wins against them because of their age. We can't hold it against Brad Spoelstra did not become sponsor because he was coaching bam, he became Spoelstra because he had Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, he won championships with veterans, a young coach with veteran players. Oh, and Pat Riley. So I think for me like Doc Rivers had never been to the promised land either. You throw in kg round and pop hears all of a sudden he's there. So I think that in the NBA, coaching matters, especially when there's such It feels like a seesaw effect, right? Like when you have such a new coach and new players, it's hard to elevate yourself against a veteran coach with new players or a new coach with veteran players with all stars. So I think it's worth noting that I fundamentally believe that Brad Stevens is the right guy for the Boston Celtics. I also fundamentally believe that he has stunted the growth of Jayle brown and Jayson Tatum and the would be far better. They woul have progressed further bein coached by a guy like doc lik Popovich like Steve Kerr, lik Spoelstra

Rob Kelly:

What an alternate universe. That is what an alternate doc stays, right? Doc stays there, all that and he stays through all the draft picks. He stays through everything. And all of a sudden his doc coach and Tatum and brown. Yeah, that's crazy. It's crazy. Long. So I have a question for you actually. How long do you think it is? So if they lose this year, lose? What? If they lose in Eastern Conference Finals? They don't make it to the finals. Right back in the same spot again. Yeah. Brad Stevens on the hot seat next year.

Michael Marcangelo:

So I think that this is the year that you You need to either take the next step or come to the realization that you are what we've been saying that you are, you are, you are a team that is no longer young and up and coming. It's just you're mentally young, you cannot do the things that we need you to do in clutch time. And you keep blowing fourth quarter leads like, Listen, if they lose the Eastern Conference Finals series again, while leading every single game in the fourth quarter, I'd call for him to be fired. Because that's a fireable offense.

Rob Kelly:

Yeah, if you think about it, basketball is the only sport where if that happens, most of the time, it gets blamed on the players. If an NFL coach did what the Celtics did last year in Eastern Conference Finals, he be on the hot seat 100. Yeah,

Michael Marcangelo:

I think what, because in the NFL, like the coaches call every play, whereas in the NBA, they call the first play and they scheme it, you rely on the players on the court to understand exactly what situation they're in. So there's more onus on the players with which there should be. But like, again, if you know that, let's say you're in game four, right? You're up in the fourth quarter, and all of a sudden, you're squandering a lead. That's coaching, because now you've had time in between each of those games, and you've not made the right adjustments. So for me, yes, Bobby, I know. You want to ask me a tough question. If, if everything that happened last year happens again this year. Brad Stevens should be on the hot seat next year. If he does not get to the finals. He's out in my opinion. He's out.

Rob Kelly:

Yeah, I kind of so I was just thinking about I was like, man, so like, what would that relate to and see, like a great a good coach like this, when consistently and still lose their job. And the first thing that popped in my head is like, or is Mark Jackson, remember and Golden State. Mark Jackson was bringing that team up and coming young Steph Curry young Klay Thompson. They didn't think he could get him to that next level. Did they have great seasons? Yes. They got to the playoffs twice under Jackson, I think. Couldn't get to that next level. Steve carb comes in and brings him up. So Wow. I can't believe you did this to me. You put this in my head. But yeah, I don't disagree, man. I really don't. Yes. You asked that question. And same thing with the Brown and Tatum tweet is at least eyebrow raising. And I think

Michael Marcangelo:

that speaks a lot. We had so much more to get to. But we're gonna leave that for the next show. Bobby, do you have any final words you'd like to get across?

Rob Kelly:

No, just that listen, Celtics fans. So I two things. So yes, I do. Celtics fans don't think that us going off this last half hour means that the season's over. This is a dumpster fire, whatever. There's a lot of hope for this team, I do legitimately think that we do have a chance to possibly contend with the nets in the Eastern Conference Finals. I think they have a lot of things to improve on before we get to that level. But we're going to be okay, don't worry. The other thing I want to touch on is just I know we already talked about it. But the level of play that we're seeing from James Harden, I just want to throw out one more step. Since I have a quote here, the new James Harden. Since joining the nets, 24.2 points a game 7.7 rebounds and almost 12 assists. He has three triple doubles in eight games, and has a double double in seven out of eight. That's levels of dominance that we only see from LeBron James, you know what I mean? That's the level of basketball that he's playing at right now. And like, I know, that's a crazy thing to say, because he's not on lebrons level. No one ever will be. But like those are the numbers and the impact he's having on games right now. And that's why like, no matter when we talk about the nets, over and over again, there are going to be a tough team to beat. And as with the Nets Lakers in the finals next year, or this year, holy shit, that's going to be a fucking series.

Michael Marcangelo:

For me, just like you just said that Boston fans that have been listening for the half hour. hope is not lost. I agree. But it's time to do something. This is the season where you can no longer say Well, listen, they're still young. Wait till next year, they get another year under the No, this is it. We've now had this chord together for long enough to understand exactly what they are. So either you get to the finals, you lose in sevens of the nets, or big changes happen next year. That's it, like love You mean it? No disrespect. But we've all seen this story before. We don't want to keep watching it. These two players. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen brown are too good to continue to be eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals. So if that continues to happen, and if their play is still excellent and next level, then it's coaching. And we need to make a decision. So we'll see if that happens. Until then, for the real BK Bob Kelly, for Craig D'Alessandro the best producer, I am your host Michael Maher handle saying thank you so much for listening to missing the point and we'll talk to you next time.

Craig D'Alessandro:

Thanks for listening to this episode of missing the point. missing the point is a one hour podcast recapping the biggest stories in the world of sports with the New England flavour. The show notes and transcript from today's episode can be found in the description box below, as well as on our website. www dot MTP show.com. If you're new to the show, please consider subscribing. It's the easiest way to see when we publish new episodes. We are on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google and wherever you get your podcasts. Be sure to rate us and leave a review of any of our shows. We always appreciate your feedback. Let us know how we're doing and how we can sound better. Also, be sure to follow us on all of our social medias. All of our links will be in the show notes and check out our brand new website WWW dot MTV show.com that's MTP show.com. For all of us here missing the point. I'm Craig D'Alessandro. We'll talk to you next time.