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November 11, 2019
Instant Replay: Dion Waiters’s suspension, Gordon Hayward’s injury, and the success of the Raptors (03:00). The Main Event: James Dolan and the dreadful Knicks (22:00). Good Call/Bad Call: Giannis gets violent, Nick Nurse gets touchy, Carmelo still wants to ball, and the Clippers’ throwback jerseys (36:15). Host: John Gonzalez Guests: Haley O’Shaughnessy and Dan Devine
November 8, 2019
The load management conversation is at a fever pitch in the NBA after the Clippers were fined for not communicating Kawhi Leonard’s reason for sitting out. Is this a real problem for the league or is it confined to Leonard (2:00)? Plus, we run through Kemba Walker’s return to Charlotte, Gordon Hayward’s resurgence, the Wolves' precarious position, and more (19:33). Hosts: Chris Vernon and Kevin O’Connor
November 6, 2019
We examine four Western Conference teams who have had a noteworthy week: the Los Angeles Lakers trending up (1:09), the Portland Trail Blazers trending down (14:32), the Los Angeles Clippers trending up (23:06), and the Houston Rockets trending down (32:12). Plus: league narratives we love to see and hate to see (40:45). Host: Justin Verrier Guest: Jonathan Tjarks
November 5, 2019
We react to the breaking news that Hawks forward John Collins has been suspended 25 games for violating the league’s PED policy (2:45). Then, we discuss the Suns’ hot start, Devin Booker’s tear, and whether they can sustain a winning season in the West (10:38), before running down some news and notes of the last few days (40:32). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
November 4, 2019
Instant Replay: The tanking Warriors, Giannis-to-Raptors rumors, early overachievers, and the Blazers’ frontcourt void (4:00). The Main Event: The still-undefeated Philadelphia 76ers, with special guest Tyler Tynes (21:53). Good Call/Bad Call: Dwight Howard’s nickname for the Lakers, Mike Malone calls out his team, Kenny Atkinson’s unconventional communication, and 42-year-old Vince Carter (30:39). Host: John Gonzalez Guests: Haley O’Shaughnessy, Dan Devine, Tyler Tynes
November 1, 2019
Two-time MVP Stephen Curry broke his hand this week—will the mighty Warriors wave the white flag on this season after a slow start and the loss of their superstar (3:42)? Plus: We run through a list of guys who have had incredible starts and discuss whether they can sustain their torrid paces (40:15). Hosts: Chris Vernon and Kevin O’Connor
October 30, 2019
The Golden State Warriors’ bumpy start to the season highlights the steep cost of building a superteam (0:59). Then, with so many premature narratives shaping up from the first handful of games of the season, which ones are real and which ones are fake (10:04)? Hosts: Chris Ryan, Justin Verrier Guest: Jonathan Tjarks
October 29, 2019
We react to Jackie MacMullan’s story in ESPN about Kyrie Irving’s mood swings and the Nets’ organizational response to it (1:23). Then we share five early takeaways from this NBA season, including what look to be monster seasons for two young guards in Trae Young and Ja Morant (14:30). Hosts: Chris Vernon and Kevin O’Connor
October 28, 2019
With one week in the books for the 2019-20 regular season, we share our takeaways from the first handful of games (2:16). Plus: Los Angeles is the center of the basketball universe and the center of the NBA media universe; is this the new normal (23:16)? Host: John Gonzalez Guests: Dan Devine, Haley O’Shaughnessy, Bryan Curtis
October 25, 2019
The guys share their concerns about the Houston Rockets experiment (1:26) as well as the revamped Los Angeles Lakers (9:07). Then they overreact to opening week of the regular season (24:20). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
October 23, 2019
The Los Angeles Clippers impress on opening night with a statement victory over crosstown rivals Los Angeles Lakers: how the Lakers can address their shortcomings (0:59) and what more we can expect from the Kawhi Leonard–era Clippers (12:29). Then we preview some of the most anticipated matchups of this week (20:19). Host: Chris Ryan Guests: Justin Verrier, Jonathan Tjarks
October 22, 2019
We speed through the last pieces of preseason news—Zion’s knee, contract extensions, Michael Jordan's comments, and Klay Thompson's timeline (1:30)—before diving headfirst into the 2019-20 season with three bold predictions (41:42). Then, finally, we run down our predictions for the championship and the NBA regular-season awards (56:45). Hosts: Chris Vernon and Kevin O’Connor
October 21, 2019
The NBA-China story drags on, Zion Williamson’s injury delays his much-anticipated debut, and Buddy Hield reaches an extension with the Sacramento Kings (3:37). Then: Which teams will actually make the playoffs (18:06)? Host: John Gonzalez Guests: Dan Devine, Haley O’Shaughnessy
October 18, 2019
We’re shocked by Bradley Beal’s extension (1:00), confused by Buddy Hield’s public feud with the Kings (0:00), and dismayed by Zion’s knee injury, which could derail the beginning of his rookie season (5:00). Plus: We close the NBA preseason by each sharing the four stats that interested us most over the last month (42:30). Hosts: Chris Vernon and Kevin O’Connor
October 16, 2019
With the regular season right around the corner, we examine the rookies with the most outstanding preseason performances (1:09). Then, we discuss the career trajectory of Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Karl-Anthony Towns (35:41). Host: Justin Verrier Guest: Jonathan Tjarks
October 15, 2019
LeBron’s comments about Daryl Morey’s tweet were surprising and spurred a lot of backlash—what do we make of them (3:00)? Plus, we go over some lingering preseason headlines and then run down the list of rookie extension-eligible players and opine on whether their respective teams should offer to bring them back (18:36). Hosts: Chris Vernon and Kevin O’Connor
October 14, 2019
We review the stories coming out of this weekend: a minor Anthony Davis thumb injury, Kyrie Irving’s reaggravated facial fracture, the Kings’ Buddy Hield contract dilemma, and Zion Williamson’s impressive performances (2:51). Then we draft all 30 NBA teams in terms of watchability (12:16) before deciding whether an NBA news item is a good call or bad call (42:42). Host: John Gonzalez Guests: Haley O’Shaughnessy, Dan Devine, Micah Peters, Isaac Lee
October 11, 2019
With Daryl Morey’s tweet now almost a week in the rearview, we talk about the NBA preseason games being played in China and assess how this story line might continue to unfold (9:30). Then, we share some more takeaways from preseason thus far, including the Rockets looking like the best team in the NBA and Zion seemingly dominating the NBA like he’s dominated his past competition (21:28). Hosts: Chris Vernon and Kevin O’Connor
October 9, 2019
Let’s overreact to preseason basketball! Ben Simmons shoots (and makes) a 3-pointer (7:30), the Oklahoma City Thunder flashes double–Ewing Theory potential (13:07), and the baby Pelicans might grow up quicker than anyone expects (22:59). Host: Chris Ryan Guest: Justin Verrier
October 8, 2019
We discuss Adam Silver’s press conference from Tuesday morning following up on the NBA’s statement regarding Daryl Morey’s Hong Kong tweet (1:10). Then, we share our top five biggest takeaways of the early preseason, including Anthony Davis’s dominance and the new look Pelicans (31:51). Hosts: Chris Vernon and Kevin O’Connor
October 7, 2019
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey caused international ripples on Friday night after sending a since-deleted tweet in support of protesters in Hong Kong. Facing fierce backlash from the Chinese government and businesses, the NBA finds itself in a delicate balance between protecting business interests and freedom of expression. Read John Gonzalez’s reporting on this story here. Host: John Gonzalez Guests: Dan Devine, Haley O’Shaughnessy
October 2, 2019
As training camps kick off, Chris and Justin evaluate their perception of some noteworthy teams (1:51). Then Ringer staff writer Jordan Ritter Conn comes on to talk about his new podcast, ‘Sonic Boom: How Seattle Lost Its Team’ (35:43). Hosts: Chris Ryan, Justin Verrier Guest: Jordan Ritter Conn
October 1, 2019
Basketball is (almost) back! The guys discuss the most intriguing quotes from all 30 NBA teams’ media days, on topics such as the James Harden–Russell Westbrook dynamic in Houston, the return of Kristaps Porzingis, the hype around Zion Williamson, LeBron’s late-career trajectory, and much more. Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
September 26, 2019
We respond to a list of listener submissions about what they’d love to see for their team heading into the 2019-20 NBA season, including: Markelle Fultz getting solid NBA minutes, the Knicks looking competent, the Bulls becoming relevant again, and the Hawks playing at least a shred of defense. Hosts: Chris Ryan and Justin Verrier
September 24, 2019
The duo highlights a handful of selections from The Ringer’s 29 People and Things That Will Define the NBA in 2019-20 article (0:41), then adds a few of their own (30:14). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
September 19, 2019
We play a game of ‘Is This a Thing?’ with a slew of offseason story lines, including: James Harden’s comments about how the media chooses the MVP, the Orlando Magic’s locked-in roster, the outlook for Team USA in the 2020 Olympics, Isaiah Thomas’s injury, and Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram’s potential as a young duo. Hosts: Justin Verrier and Danny Chau
September 17, 2019
The guys discuss Spain’s victory over Argentina in the 2019 FIBA World Cup finals (0:45) before comparing their respective lists of “island” players (12:00). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
September 11, 2019
We gather for an emergency reaction to Team USA losing in international tournament play for the first time in 58 games. What comes next for USA basketball: Will they have to go young with Zion Williamson and Trae Young, or will veteran stars like LeBron James, James Harden, Anthony Davis, and more reenter the fold? Hosts: Justin Verrier and Dan Devine
September 10, 2019
NBA All-Star Nikola Jokic and Serbia were upset by a scrappy Argentina team at the FIBA World Cup (3:00). Plus: We go through the Kevin Durant Wall Street Journal article (8:57) and share the ideal Big 3 players for every Western Conference team (34:52). Hosts: Chris Vernon and Kevin O’Connor
September 5, 2019
We do a little game of "predict the headlines" ahead of the 2019 NBA season: When will Anthony Davis start to get unhappy in L.A.? When will Ben Simmons’s jump shot get called into question? When will we start to worry that Zion is out of shape? And more. Hosts: Chris Ryan and Justin Verrier
September 3, 2019
Team USA narrowly defeats Turkey in an unexpectedly competitive OT thriller, as FIBA World Cup action intensifies (0:48). Plus: With the 2019 Big 3 season coming to a close, the guys select a hypothetical Big 3 team for each Eastern Conference team (34:09). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
August 29, 2019
As the beginning of the FIBA World Cup approaches, we run down the most important NBA players competing in the tournament and speculate over what impact their participation might have on their 2019-20 NBA seasons. Hosts: Justin Verrier and Jonathan Tjarks
August 27, 2019
The Brooklyn Nets extends Caris LeVert for $52.5 million over three years (0:43), and the Los Angeles Lakers sign former All-Star (and former Laker) Dwight Howard (8:27). Plus: the first-ever 'Mismatch' mailbag (22:58)! Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
August 22, 2019
We open up the mailbag in the dog days of August and field questions about dark-horse MVP candidates, James Harden’s usage, the 2019 Sixers, future All-Stars about to make a breakout, and more. Hosts: Chris Ryan and Justin Verrier
August 20, 2019
De’Aaron Fox joins the long list of Team USA dropouts for the upcoming FIBA World Cup, so how does the current team stack up against other countries’ squads (0:45)? Plus: The 2019-20 rookie class cast some surprising votes for superlatives among their peers (22:11). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
August 16, 2019
We go over the news out of Las Vegas that DeMarcus Cousins has torn his ACL—what does this mean for the rest of his career, and what will it mean for the 2019-20 Lakers (1:50)? Then, we bounce around the rest of the NBA and talk about the sale of the Nets and Team USA news (20:46). Hosts: Chris Ryan and Justin Verrier
August 13, 2019
The NBA just officially announced the 2019-20 regular-season schedule. Which matchups are we most looking forward to? Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
August 8, 2019
We discuss Kevin Durant's first on-the-record interview since his Achilles tear. What is the NBA going to look like in 2020 without its potential best player (1:00)? Then we break down the present and the future of Team USA, including who should and will make it this year, and who we’re most excited to see in 2020 and beyond (31:11). Hosts: Justin Verrier and Dan Devine
August 6, 2019
The guys react to Draymond Green’s four-year contract extension with the Golden State Warriors (0:42), scheduling news for the 2019-20 season (16:24), and NBA.com’s All-Decade Teams for the 2010s (35:03). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
August 1, 2019
We break down CJ McCollum’s near-max extension, and what it means for the perennially good-but-not-great Blazers (1:00). Then, we briefly run through what it’s like for a coach and franchise to find out they lost their star free agent (25:10), before talking through some potential Carmelo landing spots (31:41). Hosts: Justin Verrier and Danny Chau
July 30, 2019
Jeremy Lin bemoans the likely end of his NBA career (1:59) which begs the question: Which fringe NBA players could be valuable additions for contending teams (14:38)? Plus: Evaluating early Vegas odds for 2019-20 win totals (37:16). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
July 25, 2019
We share our takeaways from the Los Angeles Clippers’ introduction of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George (2:04) before discussing Zion Williamson’s Jordan brand deal (17:25) and the future of free agency (23:50). Then, Zach Kram joins to explore the best young cores in the NBA according to the numbers (33:31). Host: Justin Verrier Guests: Danny Chau, Zach Kram
July 23, 2019
The guys discuss the noise coming out of the Washington Wizards (0:50), the Los Angeles Lakers’ new pairing of LeBron James and Anthony Davis (31:35), Tim Duncan joining the San Antonio Spurs coaching staff (50:26), and Zion Williamson's signing with Jordan brand (55:37). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
July 18, 2019
Chris Paul is reportedly “parked” in Oklahoma City. So how good will the Thunder be? (2:11) Plus: a way-too-early look at the FIBA World Cup (25:50) and a way-way-way-too-early index of 2020 championship contender tiers (39:19). Host: Justin Verrier Guests: Danny Chau, Jonathan Tjarks
July 16, 2019
With the 2019 NBA summer league in the books, the guys discuss the bright future of the champion Memphis Grizzlies as well as other Las Vegas standouts (1:08). Then, they debate the merits of the controversial Russell Westbrook trade (22:40) and the increase in player movement in the modern NBA (49:21). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
July 12, 2019
The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets just shook the league—again—by swapping Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul. We convene to discuss the ramifications for these two teams and the rest of the league. Hosts: Chris Ryan and Justin Verrier
July 11, 2019
With some distance from the initial shock value of the trade, we take a measured look at the unprecedented haul of picks that the Thunder received from the Clippers in exchange for Paul George (2:00). Then we try to find the ideal partner for Russell Westbrook at this stage of his career and consider which teams can make those partnerships happen (26:00). Finally, Tjarks shares his three biggest observations from NBA summer league in Las Vegas (47:30). Hosts: Justin Verrier and Jonathan Tjarks
July 9, 2019
Live from Las Vegas at NBA summer league, the guys discuss seven topics they're most interested in from the offseason so far. Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
July 7, 2019
Now that Kawhi and Paul George have joined forces, what is the market for Russell Westbrook (0:57)? Then we discuss Kawhi Leonard’s savvy moves as a behind-the-scenes general manager, and the Clippers’ potential next season (18:10). Plus, a check in on the Lakers’ new roster (34:20). Hosts: Chris Ryan, Kevin O'Connor, Jonathan Tjarks
July 6, 2019
Emergency pod! The Los Angeles Clippers win the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes and acquire Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Hosts: Chris Ryan, Kevin O’Connor
July 3, 2019
Does anyone actually know anything about Kawhi Leonard’s impending decision (0:40)? Plus: Now that we’ve had a few days to think about the new signings, were our initial reactions correct (15:21)? Hosts: Chris Ryan, Justin Verrier
July 2, 2019
Kawhi Leonard seems destined to wind up with the Los Angeles Lakers, but whatever he decides to do will drastically shift the NBA landscape (0:36). The top Eastern Conference contenders reload for another run (16:59) while a handful of teams make some questionable signings (42:44). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
July 1, 2019
Free agency is finally here! The Philadelphia 76ers sign-and-trade Jimmy Butler to the Miami Heat (1:24) and the New York Knicks strike out while the crosstown Brooklyn Nets sign two megastars (23:00). Plus: Where will Kawhi Leonard end up? Could the reloaded Utah Jazz be real contenders? What in the world are the Charlotte Hornets doing? And much, much more (39:26). Host: John Gonzalez Guests: Chris Ryan, Kevin O’Connor
June 30, 2019
The Ringer NBA crew gives instant reactions to the first wave of free-agency signings. Watch on The Ringer’s YouTube channel. Host: John Gonzalez Guest: Kevin O’Connor
June 28, 2019
Ahead of the start of free agency on Sunday, we go over some of the emerging suitors for the top free agents and speculate about the order of operations that could determine which guys pair up on teams. Will Kawhi Leonard end up in a Lakers jersey? Will Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant pair up in Brooklyn? Will the Knicks strike out? And more. Hosts: Kevin O’Connor and Jonathan Tjarks
June 26, 2019
The Houston Rockets are doing what they can to insert themselves into the sweepstakes for free agent Jimmy Butler—can the Sixers convince Butler to stay in Philadelphia? Plus, after a new Kevin Arnovitz report about league schedule changes, we re-enter into past discussions about whether the NBA needs to be proactive in changing their schedule format and adding a midseason or a play-in tournament. Hosts: Chris Ryan and Justin Verrier
June 25, 2019
The results from the NBA awards were largely unsurprising (0:50), but free agency may have some surprises in store (27:48). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
June 24, 2019
With the start of free agency right around the corner, everyone is wondering where some of the league’s biggest stars will end up (3:55). Plus: Draft additions make a handful of young teams (hint: one of the teams has Zion Williamson on it) instantly exciting to watch (34:06). Host: John Gonzalez Guests: Dan Devine, Danny Chau
June 21, 2019
We break down the teams with the biggest draft hauls from Thursday night: the Pelicans, Hawks, and Grizzlies—who all seem to have gotten the exact guys they wanted in Zion Williamson, DeAndre Hunter, and Ja Morant, respectively. Then, we speed through recapping the rest of the lottery picks, including the biggest surprise in Cam Johnson going 11th and the awkward fit between Darius Garland and Collin Sexton in Cleveland. Hosts: Kevin O’Connor, Danny Chau, Jonathan Tjarks
June 19, 2019
The Jazz are putting their chips in the center of the table, trading for an expensive, sure-handed star in Mike Conley—will it pay off in a wide-open Western Conference (1:00)? Plus, we break down all the reporting, theories, and future fallout in Houston after an explosive report of discord between James Harden and Chris Paul came out earlier this week. Should the Rockets do what they can to get rid of Chris Paul and his huge contract, or should they press the big red button and trade James Harden (22:37)? Hosts: Chris Ryan and Justin Verrier
June 18, 2019
Kawhi Leonard led the Toronto Raptors to the first championship in franchise history, but will he re-sign with them (1:46)? The Anthony Davis trade shifts the landscape of the offseason, including raising questions about the fate of the no. 4 pick in the upcoming draft (10:38). Plus: Verno’s annual list of draft picks who will not fail (34:41). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
June 17, 2019
The blockbuster Anthony Davis trade kicks off a sure-to-be-dramatic offseason (3:57) as the now-imminent NBA draft shifts into focus (46:56). Host: John Gonzalez Guests: Joe House, Jonathan Tjarks
June 16, 2019
The Lakers and Pelicans wasted no time in kicking off a game of offseason musical chairs in the NBA. What does Davis in L.A. this early in the offseason mean for the rest of 2019 free agency? Plus, does this make the Lakers title favorites, or do they have a lot more work to do? Hosts: Chris Ryan and Justin Verrier
June 14, 2019
In a thrilling Game 6 of the NBA Finals, the Toronto Raptors defeat the Golden State Warriors to win their first championship in franchise history. Host: John Gonzalez Guest: Kevin O’Connor
June 12, 2019
We briefly preview what the Warriors have to do to make up for the loss of Kevin Durant for the remainder of the Finals (more Boogie?) (1:30). Then, we run through each big-market team with cap space and wonder whether KD’s injury has dramatically affected their offseason plans (31:32). Hosts: Chris Ryan, Justin Verrier, and Jonathan Tjarks
June 12, 2019
Game 5 of the NBA Finals was headlined by Kevin Durant’s league-shaking Achilles injury and punctuated by an unusual number of bizarre moments (4:39). Plus: Teams around the league prepare for movement in the fast-approaching NBA draft (41:33), and the Memphis Grizzlies hire Taylor Jenkins as their new head coach (56:26). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
June 11, 2019
Kevin Durant suffers an Achilles injury in his first game back, but the Golden State Warriors manage to pull out a win against the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Host: John Gonzalez Guest: Chris Ryan
June 8, 2019
The Toronto Raptors push ahead to a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals after defeating the Golden State Warriors in dominant fashion. Host: John Gonzalez Guests: Dan Devine, Kevin O’Connor
June 6, 2019
We review Steph Curry’s hero ball Game 3 of the NBA Finals—an interesting reversal of some past Golden State games against LeBron (1:32). Then, we pivot to talking about the teams that have multiple first-round picks in the upcoming NBA draft, and what the best plan of action is to capitalize on those picks (16:53). Hosts: Danny Chau and Jonathan Tjarks
June 6, 2019
A well-rounded Game 3 performance by the Toronto Raptors wins them back home-court advantage from the shorthanded Golden State Warriors despite a transcendent performance from Stephen Curry. Host: John Gonzalez Guest: Dan Devine
June 5, 2019
We briefly survey the NBA Finals as it stands, tied 1-1 (2:00), before diving into swirling rumors about Kyrie Irving to the Nets or Lakers, Anthony Davis to anyone who will open their wallet, D’Angelo Russell to a mid-level franchise, and more (34:00). Hosts: Chris Ryan and Justin Verrier
June 4, 2019
The undermanned Golden State Warriors managed to take Game 2 from the Raptors in Toronto; as the series shifts to Oakland, will they be able to replicate that success (0:51)? Plus: With the draft approaching in two weeks’ time, which sleepers could rise above the fray (38:54)? Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
June 3, 2019
The Golden State Warriors win Game 2 of the Finals in impressive fashion, overcoming various injuries and ailments to their stars by locking up the Toronto Raptors with stellar defense. Host: John Gonzalez Guest: Dan Devine
May 31, 2019
We briefly go over Thursday night’s NBA Finals Game 1 and look forward to what adjustments the Warriors can make in the face of a 1-0 deficit (1:46). Then, we hand out awards to the draft prospects who most closely mirror the roles that Finals participants like Pascal Siakam and Andre Iguodala are filling for their teams (15:00). Hosts: Kevin O’Connor and Danny Chau
May 31, 2019
Pascal Siakam dominates Game 1 of the Finals, leading the Toronto Raptors to a solid victory over the Kevin Durant–less Golden State Warriors despite a poor shooting night from Kawhi Leonard. Host: John Gonzalez Guest: Dan Devine
May 29, 2019
We sit down ahead of the NBA Finals to go through some of the news that has broken between the end of the Eastern Conference Finals and now. First, do the Rockets need to hit the reset button on their core if they want to win the title (2:45)? Then, the deluge of Lakers turmoil seems to be never ending, but will it ultimately trickle off if they go star-hunting this offseason (22:00)? Finally, we share our observations on NBA free agency and rumblings about a midseason tournament that have us thinking about the ways that basketball is starting to mirror soccer (37:40). Hosts: Justin Verrier and Chris Ryan
May 28, 2019
The Toronto Raptors advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. How will they match up against the defending champs Golden State Warriors (0:44)? Plus: How will the outcome of this series affect free agency, if at all (40:18)? Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
May 27, 2019
With the NBA Finals still on hold, we convene our NBA draft experts to open up the mailbag and answer some of your pressing questions about the top prospects as we approach the 2019 NBA draft. From Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett to Ty Jerome and Matisse Thybulle, we break down our thoughts on top prospects and role players who might be available for late-round steals. Hosts: Kevin O’Connor, Jonathan Tjarks, Danny Chau
May 24, 2019
Kawhi Leonard had one of the best games of his career en route to a surprising Game 5 road win over one of the best teams in the NBA. Will Mike Budenholzer have to shorten his rotation in Game 6 to avoid getting eliminated (1:30)? Plus, we react to the All-NBA team announcements and the potential salary cap implications for some of the league’s biggest stars in Kemba Walker, Damian Lillard, and Klay Thompson (33:00). Hosts: Justin Verrier and Jonathan Tjarks
May 22, 2019
Despite Kawhi Leonard’s lingering quadricep injury, his stellar defense and the Toronto Raptors’ overall adjustments prove successful against the Milwaukee Bucks for the second game in a row as they tie the series (1:25). Plus: Rumors say Kevin Durant could sign with the Los Angeles Clippers in the offseason (23:41) while the New Orleans Pelicans navigate the happy dilemma of pairing Anthony Davis and Zion Williamson (31:33). Hosts: Kevin O’Connor, Danny Chau
May 21, 2019
The Golden State Warriors are headed to their fifth straight NBA Finals after sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers despite Kevin Durant out with an injury (0:48). Plus: belated reactions to the NBA draft lottery (43:09) and critical reactions to Magic Johnson’s recent comments on the Los Angeles Lakers (51:18). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
May 20, 2019
Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors take advantage of an off-night from Giannis Antetokounmpo to edge out a double-OT win against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 (3:12), while the Portland Trail Blazers fall behind 3-0 to the still-dominant Golden State Warriors (28:10). Plus: The Duffel Bag Boys weigh in on the NBA draft lottery order (38:34). Host: John Gonzalez Guests: Mark Titus, Tate Frazier
May 17, 2019
We give immediate reactions to the Warriors' hot third-quarter comeback against the Blazers, behind strong performances from Steph Curry on offense and Andre Iguodala on defense (1:00). Then, we briefly preview Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, where Toronto will look to make adjustments against the heavily favored Bucks (22:52). Hosts: John Gonzalez and Haley O’Shaughnessy
May 16, 2019
We recap a hard-nosed win for the Milwaukee Bucks over the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals—one that featured a solid performance from Giannis and an outstanding one from his supporting cast (2:08). Then we bounce around to some other news from the league, including Blazers players’ comments about Terry Stotts’s pick-and-roll defense, the Pelicans' chance to draft Zion Williamson, and the NBA coaching carousel (21:09). Hosts: Chris Ryan and Justin Verrier
May 15, 2019
Now that we know the order of the NBA draft, we go over which teams might be the best fit for the non-Zion top talent: R.J. Barrett, Ja Morant, Darius Garland, Cam Reddish, and more (1:05). Then, we recap Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, in which Steph Curry was dominant and the Warriors of old routed the Trail Blazers (43:34). Finally, we wonder whether Toronto has run into LeBron 2.0 in Giannis Antetokounmpo (47:45). Hosts: Danny Chau, Jonathan Tjarks
May 15, 2019
The New Orleans Pelicans win the 2019 NBA draft lottery, presumably landing superstar prospect Zion Williamson (5:26), while multiple teams find themselves in more or less fortunate draft positions than expected (16:20). Plus: Kevin O’Connor reports his takeaways from the lottery drawing in Chicago (39:07). Hosts: Chris Ryan, Justin Verrier Guests: Jason Concepcion, Kevin O’Connor
May 14, 2019
The shorthanded Portland Trail Blazers advance to the Western Conference finals in impressive fashion, but how far will they be able to push reigning champs Golden State Warriors (0:48)? With the Toronto Raptors now facing the well-rested Milwaukee Bucks, who will emerge from a massive Eastern Conference finals showdown (22:38)? Plus: Recent head coach hirings elicit a wide range of reactions, and many fan bases’ hopes hinge on the results of the NBA draft lottery (48:30). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
May 13, 2019
Kawhi Leonard’s buzzer-beating fadeaway lifts the Toronto Raptors over the Philadelphia 76ers to move on to the conference finals (3:12), while CJ McCollum’s big night helps the Portland Trail Blazers defeat the Denver Nuggets to secure their first conference finals berth in 19 years (32:29). Host: John Gonzalez Guest: Dan Devine
May 10, 2019
We give our immediate reactions to a statement game from Ben Simmons, who helped the Sixers force a Game 7 in Toronto on Sunday (0:50). Then, we eulogize the Celtics and wonder if the Bucks are flying under the radar as the best team in the league, before wondering how KD's injury will affect the Rockets-Warriors series (16:00). Finally, we recap a tumultuous week in Lakerland, as they lost out on their desired coach in Ty Lue, only to land on Lionel Hollins and Jason Kidd as potential backup options (33:00). Hosts: Chris Ryan and Justin Verrier
May 8, 2019
We go over what appears to be the worst possible timeline for the Sixers—backs against the wall in the present, uncertain of how to build their Frankenstein roster in the future (1:15). Then, we run down the larger takeaways from the other series: Boston’s been overwhelmed by Milwaukee, Paul Millsap has found his old form, and the Rockets’ swingmen have been critical (24:50). Finally, we finish with some draft talk about what lessons we can learn from these playoffs, including (for the hundredth time) that teams shouldn’t take inexperienced rim-running centers over skilled combo guards (44:10). Hosts: Danny Chau and Jonathan Tjarks
May 8, 2019
Two of our resident Philadelphia 76ers fans commiserate over the Sixers’ embarrassing loss to the Toronto Raptors in Game 5. Hosts: John Gonzalez, Michael Baumann
May 7, 2019
Giannis Antetokounmpo takes advantage of the imploding Boston Celtics to propel the Milwaukee Bucks to a 3-1 series lead (0:34) while the Houston Rockets hold off a late run from the Golden State Warriors to tie the series (25:04). Plus: The Portland Trail Blazers need to reactivate Dame Time to defeat the Denver Nuggets (42:19), and the Philadelphia 76ers need to address their inconsistent play to compete against Kawhi Leonard’s historically great playoff stretch for the Toronto Raptors (51:10). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
May 7, 2019
Bill Simmons is joined by Joe House to give immediate reactions to a gritty, frantic win for the Houston Rockets over the two-time reigning champion Golden State Warriors to even the series at 2-2 (1:10). Then, Simmons and House discuss the Milwaukee Bucks’ sound win over the Boston Celtics to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series, which featured a dominant, MVP-like performance from Giannis Antetokounmpo (21:10). Host: Bill Simmons Guest: Joe House
May 6, 2019
An impressive scoring outburst from Jamal Murray helps the Denver Nuggets edge out the Portland Trail Blazers (3:45) while yet another dominant performance from Kawhi Leonard lifts the Toronto Raptors over a struggling Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers (16:28). A bizarre end-of-game sequence of events, including a missed Stephen Curry dunk, ensures the Houston Rockets an overtime victory over the Golden State Warriors (30:28) while the Milwaukee Bucks take back home-court advantage from the Boston Celtics by revving up their offense (42:50). Host: John Gonzalez Guests: Tate Frazier, Danny Chau
May 3, 2019
We give our instant reactions to the Sixers’ convincing Game 3 win over the Raptors (1:30), before bouncing around to the other Round 2 series (21:00). Then, we go over some of the offseason news that has gotten swallowed by the playoff churn, including Monty Williams’s and Ty Lue’s impending coaching hires and Gersson Rosas’s new gig as GM of the Timberwolves (35:43). Hosts: Justin Verrier and Chris Ryan
May 1, 2019
We check in with each of the four playoff series, including what the Celtics need from Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, whether Brett Brown’s adjustments in the Sixers-Raptors series are here to stay, and whether Nikola Jokic has finally made the choice to be a dominant scorer for the rest of the playoffs (1:30). Then we give a quick preview of the big men in the upcoming NBA draft, theorizing about what roles they might fill and whether it’s worth using a high draft pick on any of them (43:23). Hosts: Kevin O’Connor, Jonathan Tjarks, Danny Chau
May 1, 2019
In Game 2 of the most anticipated playoff series thus far, the Golden State Warriors hold off a bloody-eyed James Harden and the Houston Rockets to defend home-court advantage with a 2-0 lead. Host: John Gonzalez Guest: Haley O’Shaughnessy
April 30, 2019
The Philadelphia 76ers defeat the juggernaut Toronto Raptors in Game 2, tempering concerns of a one-sided series (0:47), while Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets present a big-man problem for the Portland Trail Blazers (14:36). The Milwaukee Bucks need to address how to combat the Boston Celtics’ suffocating defense (28:38), while Warriors-Rockets remains derailed by officiating controversies (45:16). Hosts: Chris Vernon, Kevin O’Connor
April 29, 2019
The first game of the highly anticipated second-round matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets ended with a conspicuous lack of foul calls (4:04), while in the East, the Boston Celtics proved their formidability with a resounding win against the Milwaukee Bucks (16:02). Plus: the Philadelphia 76ers struggled to contain—let alone stop—Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors (24:50), and the San Antonio Spurs got knocked out of the first round in a bizarre sequence at the end of Game 7 versus the Denver Nuggets (37:33). Host: John Gonzalez Guests: Dan Devine, Shea Serrano
April 26, 2019
We wonder whether the Warriors can close the Clippers in Game 6 in L.A., or whether we’re starting to see signs that they’re unraveling (4:00). Then, we touch on the other Western Conference series that’s still going—Spurs vs. Nuggets—and what a potential loss could mean for Michael Malone, Nikola Jokic, and the rest of the Nuggets franchise (15:30). Finally, we close with—predictably—some Russell Westbrook talk and a preview of the upcoming round of the playoffs (28:00). Hosts: Justin Verrier, Chris Ryan
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