I want to see that combo from the two of you. I think that that would be lovely. No yeah i mean rachel. Can you tell them to put on a button down shirt or something look presentable? Okay, you’re presentable all right just to show up to work like it matters, okay! Well, look i dressed for the occasion i’m rachel nichols welcome to the jump. Everyone i am joined by in the studio for the first time in more than a year, our senior writer host of the lopos podcast zach lowe, who was wearing not just a button down perk but an actual jacket, and then the aforementioned former nba champ richard jefferson. In his hoodie thank you rachel there you go and the two best friends whoever could be had kendrick and richard back together again, we will be talking trey young gentlemen, james harden and so much more later on in the show, but first as a franchise, the clippers Have a history of letting go of the rope? This is not my opinion or some bias. It is just actual history. This is a team that multiple times has been in position to do more and instead has done less and while, in the seven years since steve ballmer bought the franchise, he has made significant strides in changing the team’s culture. There have still been some staggering disappointments c bubble: comma, the but here’s the thing. If we are going to keep bringing up a team’s past history, when they are repeating it, we ought to give them credit when they overcome it, and that is exactly what la did in this series against dallas several times.
The clippers could have simply let go. Certainly, after going down o2 in their own building, or even more so when they fell behind by 19 points in game three, but instead they dug in and fought and then fought some more and by the time they got to yesterday’s game. Seven. They not only were the more confident and talented team they played like it, even as it became obvious early that luca doncic was once again going to go nuclear. I mean the man kept doing things like this as easygoing as if it were just out for a sunday stroll here. He had 19 points in the first quarter alone and frankly was a menace, even when he wasn’t scoring. Did you see this look at the camera? Yeah, that is not the face of a person who thinks he is losing a basketball game, and indeed, even though dallas entered the second half down eight points, the mavericks kept coming until they turned that deficit into a five point. Third quarter lead and again. This is when the clippers could have just let go. They could have tightened up the way they did last season. Remember it wasn’t just that they lost a denver after being up 3 1 in that series is that they did it in games where they had previously held double digit leads, but again this time things went differently instead of folding la did the opposite. Going on a 24 4 run that included showing off a little bit of everything that makes this roster so tantalizing.
There was kawhi leonard with authority, gentlemen, just nasty, and then, if you fast forward to the clip’s very next possession, there was marcus morris hitting one of his seven. Yes, seven three pointers on the night, yeah steve you dance like no one is watching. You have earned it friend. The clippers did not relinquish the lead after that, and while there were a few tense moments in the fourth quarter, when luca began heating up again and the lead shrunk to seven la did, just they didn’t just not let go the clippers tightened, their grip until finally, They were the only ones left standing on the court afterward. I talked to kauai about what it all meant. What does it say about this team? The way you were able to fight back and win to advance to the next round. I mean we just fought hard. We never gave up uh, we know what type of team we were. You know we all watched film, we wanted to get better and we did it on the defensive end and you know we came back and dallas won those two games, and you know it was a season from there. Kawhi also spoke about how much he respected luca. After this series, and indeed the 22 year old, was just brilliant, even in defeat finishing game, seven with 46 points, as his coach rick carlisle proclaimed him one of the top five players in the world how dallas can best build around luca.
That is a conversation that will now extend over the next couple months, but for the clippers well, any off season. Talk will have to wait since they are on to a second round date with the top seeded jazz. They will be tested plenty in that series and if they falter all the old questions will come. Rushing back. After all, all the money and the draft picks and the trade assets spent on this la roster were not spent to just continually get to the second round. But at least for now the clippers given every opportunity to let go held on and held together instead, so richard, how much faith do you have in the clippers after they persevered in game? Seven i’d like to hear the answer from both of you and your hoodie. I i honestly i i have a tremendous amount of faith in anybody that doesn’t think that i look outstanding. I’M. Sorry that’s on you, that’s your personal lack of taste and, if anybody’s, allowing kendrick perkins to give you advice on taste. That should let you know anything now back to what i was saying. I have a tremendous amount of faith in them. Why? Because it gave me reason to believe you go down 0 2 and you every once it can say it’s over look at what happened last year, and so there was a little bit of faith in them this year. But now you have to give reason you have to give people reason to believe and they have done that they were down.
What were they down? They were down 20 points in game three multiple times, so it was like they had multiple opportunities, but i’ll tell you what i’ve played for a guy named t lu and when things are not going well, he is a person that you want to be coaching. You so hopefully it doesn’t keep going badly and they don’t have to fight out of it, but he is a guy that you want to inside in the trenches yep. Well, the best thing to me that happened for the clippers and why i got confidence in them. Is for the simple fact that they chose by losing the last two games of the regular season that they wanted? The dallas mavericks, okay and the dallas mavericks gave them everything and more that they possibly could handle. They had to face adversity, but guess what kawhi leonard came in in game six and in game seven and said hold on. I hear you guys talking about luca. I hear you guys talking about trae, young and yokish, but look let’s not forget. I am a two time defensive player of the year. I am a two time: mvp, a finals mvp, and so what kawhi did was that he dominated in great fashion averaging 30 points shooting 60 from the field 43 from three. So i got faith in kawhi because he’s been the lead on the court through his play and it’s trickling down to everyone else.
Marcus morris is knocking down shots so, along with uh reggie jackson, look paul. George didn’t play well shooting the ball, but he did the other things far as getting rebounds and making assists and ty lue adjustments were phenomenal. He was tested in this series we didn’t. When was the last time we seen the luca noir sighting. We seen it in game seven and he hit two big crucial shots. He was huge for them so right now, all the teams around the league – they haven’t, seen this kawhi leonard and this clippers team – and i think, going through this adversity in this series, with the dallas mavericks it’s, going to help them going into utah and that’s. Why? I think the clippers have the slight edge. First of all, the hoodie looks great and i think it always works. I don’t want to get sidetracked by too much honey talk enough. What he took, look perks right. We know what kawhi is right. We know kawhi is an mvp level player and he showed that he can still do both both sides of the ball. Some of the steals he had in game, seven were just downright rude. Just took the ball from tim hardaway, like thanks for participating i’m taking the ball i’m more impressed by paul george, like perks, said, not shooting well kept going to the basket kept getting to the line they kept winning in game six and seven. The minutes in the fourth quarter, when kawhi and luca were both on the bench and they won them because of paul george.
They found something in canard. They found something in terrence mann and i think some of the guys who couldn’t play against luca are going to be able to play against the jazz. I think pat beverly will get back in the rotation. I think zubots will be able to play more. I think they can go five out against gobert with morris at center and really test him. Now. I think utah is awesome and it’s going to be a real and deep and it was going to be a real test, but i think they can go deeper and that the one concern i do have is: how much did this take out of them? How much did this take out of kawhi and pg? Are they fatigued is utah going to be able to pounce on that, but i have a lot of faith in the clippers. They showed everybody, something no, that fatigue factor is an issue, especially because now, mike conley, by their previous, the clipper series going to seven games mike conley, got those extra days to rest. Remember game. One of the jazz’s series was supposed to start on sunday. If dallas had won that game on friday night game six, i think you’re absolutely right richard by the way for pointing out not only with the video. Yes, i appreciate it. I do like the hoodie um, but with pointing out the tai lu thing, because i really think that the degree to which his xno adjustments have changed series not only that your teams with him right right with this was phenomenal and he seeing him and rick go Back and forth with each other was really fun in this series too.
It was amazing, and so i had the opportunity i i did game three uh and what was so crazy about that is in the opportunity to talk to t lou. I was like t what type of adjustments are you gon na make, because we had to make adjustments from game one and two. When we were in that warrior series we were getting blown out to to the next series and he was like richard. We had to even go further back and simplify it even more so like to hear him talk about how he had to simplify his defensive rotations, who he was going to play and who he was not. It just showed me over the course of this series. Oh, i see what tilu is doing. I see now guys still have to hit shots, guys still have to play well, but all of a sudden that formula that they were trying to figure out kind of came to fruition. I think this next series is going to be fascinating. Utah such a deep team so interesting and dynamic and it’s going to be a good one. The west is so wide open, as is the entire league right now. I want to take a look at today’s magic moment brought to you by walt disney world because we do get to get back to luca. He scored or assisted on 77 points. Yesterday that broke an all time game, seven record previously set by walt clyde frazier in the 1970 finals.
That is extremely impressive, hear that knicks fans well still not enough to get the mavericks a win, though so mavericks fans have a lot to say today, and here is how the off season looks for dallas luca, do a rookie max extension worth 200 plus right 200, Plus 100 million dollars, which he strongly suggested he will sign today they are projected to have around 30 million in cap space if tim, hardaway, jr and josh richardson don’t return. But there is, of course, a strong contingent of fans who would like those players particularly dim hard away to return now after a disappointing, playoffs kristaps porzingis still has three years and 101 million dollars left on his contract. He spoke to the media earlier today: Music, the game’s, evolving and um, and you know the way we’re playing the way i was playing, for example, in new york, where you know a lot of post op. So barely any teams do those kind of things anymore. So my game also has to evolve and – and i have to find ways how i can be effective – i mean it’s interesting. First of all, i will make the point that rick carlisle said several times during this series. We are deciding to use kp, mostly for spacing. So he said, do not look at his numbers as the evaluation of how he does the series i’m. Sorry i’m, just repeating what the head of the mba coaches association and one of the longest tenured coaches in the league richard thinks.
His point was that they are not asking kristaps porzingis to do things that would show up in the stat sheet, so he was actually praising. Can you please show richard’s facebook our face is phenomenal, um that he was praising chris steps, porzingis for being a team player and not complaining about the way they were using them. Please explain, while you were smart, why you were smirking and that or if you would like zach to go for, i would love to hear from zach um. So the biggest issue that maps have is that the gap between your first and second best player can’t, be this big and you’re not going to win a championship and porzingis that’s great he’s spacing the floor. It’S helpful. They didn’t pay him all this money to be a floor spacer and what they paid him really to do was to hit a lot of open threes and to play great defense at the rim by the way what they really want their maximum ceiling is. He plays center because that’s how he gets pick and pop threes when he’s at the four they just switch. They put wings on him, he doesn’t get open. This is a they envisioned him as pick and pop threes protect the rim play center and they’re not ever going to get where they want to go as long as they have to play. Dwight powell, and all these other guys who are good players but that’s, not the fit and that’s, not the team they envision, it’s, not the porzingis, the individual it’s great he’s, not complaining, not complaining, is like the 51st most important nba skill, it’s, not it’s, not what You paid him all this money to do.
I i couldn’t agree anymore. Is that it’s amazing, when they tell you that this is what we’re asking him to do, because this is what we think he’s able to do? Okay, that is the real that’s. What you’re hearing behind that? Because if we post him up, if we play sinner he’s already proven like his durability, is in question, and that is a very physical aspect to the game. If we have you at center same with anthony davis right, if we have you at center and you keep getting broken down your knees and things keep going that’s, not a knock on him that’s, just what we feel like we can keep you on the court doing Right, and so my thing is this to your point: he can’t be your second best player. If you’re trying to fill the championship team – okay, you can’t and that’s, not enough! So what do you do? Do they let tim hardaway junior go, so they can have the room for someone else yeah with this mythical someone else even be, and let me tell everybody, as you guys can see, perks under neck right, which is a very rare point, is that people will go To dallas people will play with no one has gone to dallas, no, no i’m, just saying people people will play with luca they haven’t sound like field. You sound like james earl jones in field of dreams, hey listen! If you build it, they will come.
He is that guy. I just think that, like luca is one of those guys that people are going to quickly start to see he’s going to pass a lot he’s going to score a lot. I am going to get paid i’m going to live in dallas, where there is no state tax and i’m going to be just fine. I think they need to at least open up themselves for space to go pair up with him. Okay. Well, first of all, first of all, rachel zack and rj are up there straddling the fence and being scared right now to answer the damn question and the answer to the question is it’s time for a coaching change: don’t blame porzingis. This is a guy that averaged almost 30 last year in the bubble he wasn’t featured in the offense that paying them 30 million dollars a year. Put this guy in position to be successful.