All Episodes

May 26, 2024 25 mins
Mark as Played

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Ah, that sounds so good man. Bumper Music is back on live versions
of every KFN show, starting withtoday's edition of Sunday Sermons the late great
Joe Simon with a classic R andB song, Drowning the Sea of Love.
You know right now that your wolvesare drowning a little bit. The

question is whether our next guest hasthe answer or could provide perhaps the life
preserver. Alan Horton is the radiovoice of the Minnesota Timberwolves, has joined
us a bunch of Sundays in arow. The big question, sir,
will you be joining me next Sundaywith the Timberwolves still actively involved in the

NBA playoffs. Yeah, that's atough question to answer. It doesn't look
so good right now, Dan,But I'm kind of I think like a
lot of Wolves, says, I'mkind of torn over these first first two
games. On one hand, theWolves have only lost these two games by
a grand total of four points.They've led for seventy seven percent of the
minutes, they've had leads down thestretch, and they've gotten, you know,

very uncharacteristic performances from their two bestplayers, Anthony Edwards and Karl Anthony
Towns. But then I balance thatagainst what I'm seeing from Dallas, which
is a much more dominant team.Even though the numbers don't really indicate that.
Four points would tell you that,you know, a mucket here and
a free throw here and a nonfoul here can make a big difference.
But Dallas to me, has lookedlike the more dominant team. Their stars

have played better, They've risen tothe occasion when they need to, and
so I feel like this series,even though it's been closed, hasn't been
that close because I just think Dallashas just really dialed in. They've got
They've got guys in their roles thatare consistent over these first two games,
and Luke and Kyrie seem to beyou know, buddy buddy and playing the

right way together. It's you know, if I don't have it going,
you you know, Kyrie gets ahot quarter, Luca gets a big second
half. You know, they're sharingthe responsibility well, and I just I
just feel like they've beenen the betterteam over the first two games. I
think that's a very fair set ofa well nuanced observations as well for the

folks who want to think that,well, God, look at what Kat
and Aunt have done, and Itweeted that out. You know the stats
twenty one for sixty nine in thetwo games where you say, well,
you get even average shooting from oneof the two, and you're probably at
least splitting the first two. Butyou've had on a really key thing here.

I never necessarily expected the Wolves twoso called stars to outplay or match
the point totals of Luca and Kyle. But the key difference, and you
kind of indicated it, is theytheir stars are playing with a comfort and
a serenity, and the Wolves stars, neither one of them is, especially

Anthony Edwards. He looks dazed alittle. To me. He looks a
little confused. He looks like Ithink he's lost a little bit of confidence
as well, even though he doesn'tsay that publicly, not a lot of
comfort when it comes to I thinkthe Wolve's two best players, how do
we what do you see and howdo we explain that? Yeah, I've

seen a lot of people put somenumbers together about since Aunt went down in
game six and he fell hard againstDenver, But I think the numbers,
you know, if you go backto game five, he did not play
well he shot just thirty three percentin Game five, So it's really you
know five, six and seven andnow one and two where he just has
it looked like himself. And thenumbers from the first from that point prior

to the beginning to start of thepostseason, I mean, he was averaging
thirty two points a game and thiswonderful shooting percent and fifty six percent forty
four percent from deep, and thosenumbers have just dropped off tremendously over the
last five games here, So itreally predates I think the fall in game
six, although you could certainly pointto that and use that as a as
a marker as well. Yeah,that the confidence seems to be gone.

And you know, one thing that'sjumped out these last two games is just
he's only had five turnovers, whichis not a huge number, but what
I added up was the points thatcame off of those turnovers. Dallas turned
those to thirteen points. I meanthat's over two points per per turnover there.
That's a huge number. And they'vebeen some crucial turnovers, which is
kind of told a little bit ofthe story that the Wolfs has done a

wonderful job taking care of the basketball. They're only averaging ten turnovers the game,
but Dallas is getting thirteen fourteen pointsoff of those. That's that's you
know, in a tight game,when it comes down to the wire,
that makes a difference over the longhaul. So, yeah, the Wolves
somehow need Aunt to get going.He's got to be He's proven himself in
this postseason that he's the leader ofthis team. He's got to set the

tone and somehow get I don't knowif he's banged up, I don't know,
if it's the energy legs, Idon't. You know, again,
he won't he won't let into anyof that. He's always got that confidence
going for him, which which hasproven to be, you know, something
he can always rely on and theteam can always rely on. But will
certainly need a turnaround from him startingtonight. In the case of kat he

also obviously in terms of the numbers, has has struggled. So how much
of that is he's just missing shots? How much of that do you think
is they need to do a betterjob of putting him in better places to
have a better chance to be moresuccessful offensively. Yeah, what I pulled
from Chris Finch talking postgame was,you know, the words calmed down.

It looks like, you know,Carl is pressing a little bit and trying
to make something happen. And aswe know Dan, that's not the best
that's that's not the best recipe forhim. Yeah, they think they need
to get him in better positions.And Carl also has to take it upon
himself to make the right play.If it's if it's not there, you
can't force it. If it's ayou know, a three pointer that comes

three or four or five feet beyondthe arc, that's not that's not the
strength of his game. And youcan't expect to try to make a play
to draw a whistle. That's justnot going to happen. And it has
felt I don't think I've put Timberwolvescolor glasses on in this sense. I
feel like the Wolves have not gottenthe benefit of the calls. It felt.
It has felt like a lot ofcalls have gone Dallas's way, or

non calls just haven't been called.And and that's kind of played out in
the challenges too. Dallas is fourto zero on challenges, the Wolves are
zero and one. That's that's fivepossessions that have that have not gone the
Wolves way. So that's that's kindof working against Minnesota as well. But
you know, we know Kat iscapable of it. His offensive touch is

just too good. But but thenumbers speak volumes. When when he doesn't
reach you know, thirty eight percentshooting in a game, the Wolves are
oh to eight in his postseason career. What he doesn't reach seventeen points,
I think the Wolves are now twoto eight in those games. In postseason
games. They need him to havea good, solid game. He's got
to find the right shots. Ithink the Wolves will put him in a

better position and hopefully, you know, for both these guys, I think
and the whole team, they realizeyou're already down oh two. You're facing
a monster whole nobody's ever come backin the Western in the conference finals from
losing the first two games at home, and the numbers are zero to ten
since nineteen seventy one, and soyou're facing an uphill battle even into going
into game three, which we knowyou can't go down oh three because nobody

in the history of the game hasgone pack from down three games to none.
You mentioned officiating. I want todrill down on one play in a
challenge, Oh I wasn't a challenge. It was a review. In particular,
I guess it was a Dallas challengeand that was a crucial play.
Is in the final minute of thegame where the ball, does the ball
go off of Jaden McDaniel's hands ornot, and it clearly did. But

in the postgame poor report, theofficials acknowledge that Kyrie committed a foul.
But as I understand the rules theway they're set up now, there's nothing
that the officials on the court cando in terms of, you know,
basically changing the play. You said, yeah it was off Jaden, but
he got fouled, which is obviouslya very different circumstance. So let us

explain to the listeners what you knowregarding what's included in challenges and what is
and is it's the kind of play, Given how important it was, it
might also lend credence to some momentumthat there could be some moderation, some
changes to that, you know,for next season. Yeah, it's tough.
I mean, this is the slipperyslope with instant replay is we want

to get everything right, but wealso don't want to have to spend you
know, twenty thirty minutes a game, looking at every single play to make
sure we get it right. Thisis one of the reasons why you know
the NBA for a couple of yearsthere in the final two minutes they would
review every ball out of balance tosee who was the break it down to
the micro second and see who who'swho, whose fingertip did a go off

of and when you now looking,and they got rid of that because it
took too much time. It brokethe flow of the game, and so
they got rid of that. Now, you can use your challenge in those
situations, but there's only limited numbersof that one. If you got your
two challenges left, you've got twoof them. But when they look at
a play, they're not allowed eventhough they can see clearly hoh, we
saw Kyrie foul Jayden pretty clear.But you can't open up that Pandora's box

to everything associated with that play.Clearly it was a foul, Clearly,
they admitted it. Clearly they missedit. That really hurt the Wolves,
and it's not something they can lookat had there. You know, you
can only challenge a call that ismade on the floor. You can't challenge
a non call. So when whenLuca hits Daniel Gafford in the fourth quarter
on a three quarter court pass andhe just he just tramples by Conley to

pull it down. There's no callto challenge, right, and that that
was another play that turned out tobe huge. And then Gafford not only
got away with that, but healso then flipped up just this amazing shot
that went in that obviously turned outto be pretty crucial in a in a
one possession game. So also clarifyfor me again, you know, I
think there was frustration in the thebuilding Friday night about the Wolves not using

a couple of challenges we all knowthey have, Like every team, I'm
assuming a system in place about thatthat that recommends to the coach. Yeah
this is worth it or this isn't. The coaching staff, I guess has
to have trust in those individuals.What what do as far as you know
it, what is set up forthe for the Wolves there? And what
has Finch he told you about hisprotocol in a situation like that? Yeah,

it's pretty much every team has thesame. They have someone on the
second row who is watching, They'vegot a direct feed. It's you know,
you can you can actually look downthere if you get there early enough
and see a cable coming out,and that's a direct feed that they plug
into. That's got that's got thefeed of the game, and they try
to get a replay as quickly aspossible and then make their determination and yell
at the coach a challenge, nochallenge. It's pretty much every team has

that same kind of setup. AndI mentioned this to Jim Peterson. The
last couple of games, there haveseemed to be a couple of plays is
I think there were two in particular, one one in Game two, and
then I think the other one waseither either in Game seven or Game one.
It's hard to keep them all straightnow, but that the Wolves probably

could have challenged, I think wasin Game one because it was a mid
court play, and decided not toand you know, it has to be
quick, and I thought there wasprobably a chance to challenge. I forget
who it was who goes up onthe shot, and it looked like Jayden
had actually gotten his hand on theball before a lot of contact. It
was either Luca or Kyrie, andthe Wolves decided not to challenge. And

you know, it's it's tough becausewe saw it in Game seven too,
right. They used one challenge thereand Scott Foster didn't overturn his own call.
And that's kind of that's one ofthe mind games you play with making
a decision whether or not to challengethe ball out of bounds is a really
good way of taking the officials outof the equation. They don't have a
problem, and actually that's probably determinedby secaucus, not the guys on the

floor. Who's it off last?That's a clear cut. But when you
talk about contact, yeap, isit marginal? Is it not marginal?
Now it's subjective, and now youknow what bias comes in officials are I
think most officials are probably reluctant,and maybe we would be two to overturn
their own call. I see enoughcontact there to warrant what I called on

the floor, and so that factorsin as well. Alan Horton, the
radio voice of the Wolves, chattingwith us from Dallas, Texas Game three
tonight, a pregame. I'm assumingwe'll start at six point thirty, opening
a tip just past seven o'clock inDallas, Texas. Edwards after the game,
among the things he said was they'rejust showing me crowds man sitting in

the gaps. But I'm turning downa lot of shots, like my mid
ranges and stuff. And I haveto tell you that's what I observe just
from fan seats on Friday. Asthere were two or three shots, I
fall. I put it under theclassification allan of you know, the old
football cliche of take what the defensegives you. I hate that he turns

down those shots if in fact theyare taking other things away. It's the
playoffs, man, I'm not gonnaworry about threes. I'm not going to
worry about what the charts say.I want the best shots. I want
shots that could go in. Didyou observe that as well, because I
thought he had some mid ranges thathe absolutely should have been taken. Yeah.
I think we talked about this acouple Sundays ago, Like when he

had it going in the first eightgames of the postseason, he was hunting
for those bats, finding those spacesand wherever the space is. You're right,
you have to take it, especiallywhen he carries the load that he
carries offensively. Yes, I thinkhe probably did turn down some shots.
You're right, and analytically, youlove the three. You love the shots
the rim, but guess what,the defenses are pretty good at this level

and they're cutting off those two shots. And if they're cutting those off,
you've got to find the spaces,whether it's you or someone else, to
pull up for those and get yourpoints on possessions. That's what matters,
getting some kind of result from apossession, and because these games are tight,
they're generally low scoring, so everypoint matters. And it was doing
a really good job of that atthe start of the of the postseason,

just finding whatever was available and takingadvantage of it. But it seems to
be, you know, it goesback to sort of whatever might be ailing
him is just not giving him thatconfidence and that that aggression to hunt those
shots. And you're right, you'vegot to you've got to find a way
to knock those down. After thegame Game two, Mike Conley I thought
had some interesting things to say,and I don't have the exact quote in

front of me, but one ofthem almost seem to deliver the message that,
look, we know they've got incredibleclosers, so part of our job,
part of our task is don't letthe game come down. The one
or two possessions. Now, hedidn't say it that directly, but he
said it indirectly, and I thoughtit was it was an absolutely it was

an absolutely fair point. I thinkthe best thing the will, no,
the best thing would be to blowout the Mavericks today. That may not
be realistic, but I almost dofeel like that the goal needs to be
if at all possible, even thoughit's the Conference Vinyls and it's supposed to
be tight, you know, beup eight with a minute to go,
right, don't let it if youcan, if you because there have been
stretches, as you know, wherethe Wolves have dominated on the scoreboard,

and given how how free and easytheir closers are, that's I mean,
obviously execution down the stretch. Sooneror later you're going to have to do
better, right because not you can't. You can't demand that a game be
an eight point game with a minuteto go. But I think that's also
part of what they what the Wolvesneed to do is they're overall dominance.

They need to try to take advantageof which I think exists if they can
carry it through so that they're notin the position where they're facing two you
know, killer closers who obviously seemto love the moment, and I think
they showed that they're capable of it, and you suit, because they led
by eighteen points late in the secondquarter, they had a sixteen point lead
in the third quarter. But Ithought the crucial part was the you know,

the Wolves were up by sixteen withnine minutes to go in the third
quarter in Game two, and thenover the next ten to thirty I mean
that's almost a full quarter, Dallasoutscores from thirty five to eighteen to just
erase all that good work that theWolves had done. And then it makes
it a close game down the stretch, and you know, there's no doubt
about it. The first two games, Wolves had a four point lead with
three fifteen left. Game two,they had a five point lead with a

minute six seconds left, and theycouldn't close either one of them out.
And that's that's that's that's obviously whereDallas has thrived. They've got shot makers
and playmakers and Don Chic and Irving, and it just seems like it's inevitable
that they'll score in those situations.Luca Boy, playoff Luca and playoff Kyrie

when they're when they're dialed in andagain, playing together, playing off one
another, playing with one another.It's at another level. You know,
the regular season, you only seethese guys for you know. I mean
we saw Kyrie once in four games. Luca played twice. They play thirty
five, thirty six minutes. It'sthere's nothing really on the line, but
boy, you get him in thissituation. This is when they're when they

thrive. And this is where Lucajust I mean, his ability to set
plays up. I talked to JadenMcDaniels about this. In guarding him,
he's just he's not the fastest,he doesn't jump the highest, but he's
got good size, he's got agreat handle. He sees the game at
another level. He calls for theright screens, that double drag that he
loves to run at the end ofgames, especially in Game two, they

got a ton of this, thatstaggered screen, which just creates confusion for
the Wolves. Defensively, you've gota big rolling usually it's Lively or Gafford,
and then you've got two guys ineither corner and it's it's pick your
poison. Anna, are you gonnago with a Rollmann? You're gonna go
with Luca. There's a lob tothe rim, there's gonna be a pass
to the corner. And I thinkthe Wolves have been, you know,
in two games, a little overlyconcerned about the corner three. You know,

when you don't have that man helpoff the corner to help with the
paint, it leads to lobs,it leads to dunks, it leads to
layups. I think at this pointthey've got to They've got to come off
those corners a little bit and forceDallas to knock down those threes. At
least there's a chance that Dallas willmiss those corner threes. I don't feel
like there's any chance they're missing thesealley dunks. No, and the looks
they get inside, and so theyhave to be able to solve that,

especially in lake game situations where Lucais just picking them apart. I don't
know if you had the number,but the alue dunk factor in both games,
but especially game two, was ridiculous. And again I have to believe
whatever the Wolves' original plan was,they need to moderate it, or maybe
they'll tell us, well, they'renot actually they're not executing what we're asking

them to do. But I don'tbelieve this is where they have to to
me find a way to moderate thingsenough. And I know it's to pick
the poison thing. And that's theproblem with Luca Kyrie too. But Luca
especially is such a brilliant passer.But the stuff at the rim has been
outrageous and it's demoralizing. Yeah right, I mean it's just I mean,

you just shug your shoulders, likeman, they just got a one hundred
percent probability of hitting that shot.So they have had twenty dunks in two
games, twelve of them. Ingame two. They outdunked the Wolves twelve
five in dunks overall, and mostof those are on the alube variety.
It's just been that's that's way toomuch of a discrepancy. I mean,

that's fourteen points the difference right there. They're getting high percented shots, hitting
the one hundred percent of the timeand you're only getting less than half that
amount. So it's it's become glaringlyevident. There's they've got to they did
it better. I mean, thedifference in points in the paint in game
one was twenty four. It wasbetter in game two, but it was
still you know, minus twelve.That's still not Wolves basketball. That's not

with their size and strength that theyshould be. And they've done a really
good job in the postseason walling offthe paint and protecting that shot. They've
got to get back to that,and I think I think it does stem
basically the corner guy has to comeoff that offensive player and just wall up
in the paint. They've got toshow them bodies and force, you know,
force PJ. Washington, Derek JonesJunior, and Josh Green to knock

down some threes. I don't thinkthere have to be twenty of them a
game, but at least you've gotto change things up a little bit to
try to increase your percentages of themmissing a shot. It's got to be
a lower percentage shot than the dunkman. That's that much we know.
Right from your perspective. On theEdwards the ill fated possession where he throws

the ball away after the Wolves getthe rebound, I think it was slowmoll
with thirty seconds to go and theWolves up to What did you see on
that play? What do you thinkEdwards saw did? Do you think he
just sort of got lost and Igot to get rid of the ball.
Did he expect somebody to his left? What did you see on that critical
sequence? Yeah, And it wassomething that Chris Finch talked about after the

game. I think that was thepossession where he said he should have called
the time out to get my company, get the game, get the ball
into the point guard hands to whereyou make a sure decision. And that's
one of the strengths obviously of MikeConley. We've seen that all season.
But Ant had the ball in hishands and I think he saw a lot
of what he's seen in these firsttwo games. Overall. It's just a

lot of lot, a lot ofDallas Maverick defenders hunting him and not giving
him a lane. I picture himin my mind on that play, dribbling
around, trying to find stuff andthen getting going a little too quick.
The shock clock is winding down.You try to make a quick pass out
to nas Reed and it's offline andright out of bounds. It's just super
costly turnover in that situation that youjust you can't have. And when you

do that against good teams, youget you get burned at the other end.
And that led to Lucas to Luca'sthree over Rudy. It was it
was a crucial turnover. And likeI said, Ant hasn't had a ton
of them in the first two games, but all of them have turned into
really big possessions for Dallas at theother end, last item, Mavericks,
what's the is atmosphere? Is itloud? Is it like most places?

What do you expect to How tougha place do you think, comparatively speaking,
is the Mavericks home arena at theplay in I think at this point
all of them are pretty much thesame. I mean it's just a lot
of people being loud. I meanTarget Center gets that way, Denver got
that way. I guess Phoenix didn'tget that way because I think they knew

that that was that was not goingtheir way in Games three and four in
Phoenix. But I think at thislevel, at the noise level is pretty
much the same. It's a bigarena, it's a cavernous place, kind
of like Staple Center, one ofthese big arenas that can hold almost twenty
thousand. It's a pretty big arena, so it's going to be loud in
there. Obviously, we've never playedin there in a postseason game. So

we'll find out tonight, but there'sno doubt it'll be loud, and it'll
be it'll be a tough place toplay. Appreciate you as always, man.
We'll hopefully chat next week as well. Dan sounds great. Appreciate you.
Thank you. Alan Horton, theradio voice of the Wolves, has
been kind enough to find time forus each and every Sunday sermons for the

better part of the last feels likealmost two months. The question is,
well, we can have them onwhether they're eliminated or not, but it's
obviously a little more attractive if they'restill in the mix. So this is
a rather critical stretch. If there'sgoing to be a Horton appearance on sermons
with an active Wolves team next Sunday, they are going to have to do

some very serious work. Don't thinkit's impossible, but it has to be
done, and it hasn't been doneto this point. Down two games to
nothing. By the way, thebratch on Brian Kfean text line is open
six four six eighty six. Ifyou have thoughts on the condition, the
delicate condition of your club, maybeyou think it's not that delicate, given

both games have been close both gamesbeen two or three possessions either way that
you say might have gone in favorof the Wolves. Let me know what
you think. How much fear andloathing you face this Memorial Day weekend as
well? Well, Well, mostof us, I think are working on
Monday for the same reason, becausewe want to bounce off off whatever happens

this evening. So there'll be plentyof Wolves coverage live and local today and
then obviously pretty much all day tomorrowas well. You can hit the listen
line if that works for you aswell. I do have some thoughts on
some things that we're sticking in mycraw regarding the Wolves losing Games one and

especially Game two. I think thereare some legitimate coaching questions to be asked
at this point. Again, thisis part of what happens when you reach
this stage. Every move or nonmove gets magnified. Sometimes they get blown
out of proportion. But the wholeworld's watching exactly what each of these teams

is doing, and so moves itduring the season might barely be scrutinized,
You're gonna have a lot more ofa spotlight on them, and that's to
me fair game. That's part ofwhat really teams want, but it's also
part of what teams probably should expectwhen it comes to first guessing, second
guessing, et cetera. So we'llget into some of those items, and,

as I said, some texts notto mention, perhaps an item or
two from the listen line back ina minute
Advertise With Us

Popular Podcasts

1. Start Here
2. Dateline NBC

2. Dateline NBC

Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

3. Amy and T.J. Podcast

3. Amy and T.J. Podcast

"Amy and T.J." is hosted by renowned television news anchors Amy Robach and T. J. Holmes. Hosts and executive producers Robach and Holmes are a formidable broadcasting team with decades of experience delivering headline news and captivating viewers nationwide. Now, the duo will get behind the microphone to explore meaningful conversations about current events, pop culture and everything in between. Nothing is off limits. “Amy & T.J.” is guaranteed to be informative, entertaining and above all, authentic. It marks the first time Robach and Holmes speak publicly since their own names became a part of the headlines. Follow @ajrobach, and @officialtjholmes on Instagram for updates.

Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.