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May 24, 2024 25 mins
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Yeah, it's time to Johnny aheadtalking about right now. Indeed, Johnny
Athletic back with us from the Iwas about to say the great Minnesota get

together. Woh god, we're almostthere. It's not that far off,
man, right around the corner.Think about that, yep. I don't
want to think about that, becausethen the leads are turning in the circle.
I wonder at State Fair this year, what the chances are that the
Wolves will be carrying around the trophyfrom spot to spot after winning the National

Basketball Association Crome bring their ass tothe State Fair with the trophy with the
Larry ob Wouldn't that be something thatwould be something that would be very interesting,
that's for sure. Yeah, Johnny, Who's who's sponsoring your fine segment?
RBC Wealth Management. So thanks tothe good folks there. We do
appreciate to the folks at RBC forsure, and we hope this last for
a while, this particular run.Okay, it's game two. I at

the start of the show guaranteed avictory. Oh, I do feel strongly
about it. I may regret it. Guarantees you know how much they're worth.
Sometimes it works out, sometimes itdoesn't. I was encouraged to take
that position by your guy, BrianScalabrini, who, by the way,
I think picked the Mavericks to winthe series. Okay, but he said

that he fully expects the best theWolves have to offer tonight and that he
thinks it's even likely to be adouble digit victory. Is that getting too
far ahead of it or what doesyour gut tell you we might see tonight
in game two? Well, Imean, you know, all season long,
every time that this team has tested, they respond well. I do

think that so far, both inthe Denver series and now caring for it
in this I think they need alittle desperation. I think they need the
wall, the the wall at theirbacks, and they have it there now.
So I do expect them to playmuch much better tonight than they did
in Game one. But I thinkDallas can play better as well, so
I would not feel confident in sayingdouble digit win anything like that. I

do believe that, yes, thatthey will play much better, and I
think that they can win. Andsince I picked them to win the series,
I do think they will win tonight. But with the element of Luca
and Kyrie, you just never knowif that is just going to be too
much to overcome. So they havea lot to change, they have a
lot to improve upon, and Ithink they will do it. But I

think this is going to be aclose, long series and there's going to
be a lot of back and forthin it. Much better means what where
specifically do you expect them to bemuch better? Where where do they need
to be much better? Yeah?I mean I think, first of all,
I think they will have a lotmore intensity defensively, especially on the
glass. You know, I dothink that they were shell shocked a little

bit by dallas Is activity by theMavericks athleticism there, and I think that
that shook them a little bit.They had to adjust. It's very different
from Denver, just title an entirelydifferent opponent, So I think they would
be better there. I also thinkthat offensively, you will see a more
engaged Anthony Edwards and I think youwill see maybe even a little more assertive

Karl Anthony Towns as well. Andso if you can get all of those
elements to come together, that thatshould really bode well for the home team.
Is there a formula by which theWolves can can rationally take Anthony Edwards
off guarding Kyrie, not for thewhole game, but for sections too.

Yeah, for want of a betterexpression, give them a little rest in
a series in which their two starsare not asked to constantly guard one of
the other team's best offensive players.Yeah, I mean it is a challenge
because you would say, well,hey, may maybe Mike Conley could could
survive for a couple of minutes onKyrie, but with his calf the way

that it isn't, I don't thinkthat's a real option. Then you would
say, well, how about NikiAlexander Walker and very ideal to have him
take a bunch of those minutes,but the way he's shooting right now has
been tough. So if you canget a bounce back shooting night from Nikil
which would allow you to play himmore than twenty four to twenty five minutes

and match him up with Kyrie,I think that would help a lot.
The other thing that I think thatthey can try to do is be a
little bit more strategic with the rotationsand substitutions to where if Anthony Edwards is
on the floor and in there's youknow, the stretch with just Kyrie,
then you move him off of himand give someone else the job. And

if you can kind of line upthings a little bit more that way,
maybe that's a way to do it. But it's you know, that's what
makes Dallas so good. They are. They're very a real challenge with that
backcourt to try and to vote enoughresources to even slow them down. So
in situations in which you have KyleAnderson and Jayden both on the floor,
can you consider sliding Jaden to Kyrieand having then slow moo spend some minutes

on Luca? You can, yep, I mean that would be one way
to kind of play with the rotationsand try that a little bit. You
got to be careful with the bigsthat you pair with with that with with
those two guys, because I mean, this is Jaden gonna hit six threes
a game. I don't, Idon't think so much. So so yeah,
you have to be careful offensively.But if you can line it up

so that is the case, andyou have Kyle checking Luca a little bit,
and then or you know the otherthing that maybe you look at a
little bit is you know, doyou just sort of decide that Kyrie is
the guy that you have to takeout and you put Jayden on him more
and then you put someone else onLuca and he scores forty, you know,

and you whether that storm kind ofthat They've done that with the Jokich
a few times in the Denver seriesand try and take away just the playmaking
from Luca. That might be anotheroption that they I thought that the Game
one was Conley's worst game of theplayoffs. Yes, so what do we
attribute that to just an off night? Because the shooting comes and goes with

Mike, we know that, butjust in terms of running the offense and
decision making, it was not atthat level? Am I not? Is
it a mistake not to give theMavericks some credit for that? Did they
take some stuff away? What dowe think happened to Conley? Yeah?
I mean I do think that,you know, Dallas is very good defensively,
and so I think they bothered hima little bit that way. But
I also think we all looked atAnthony Edwards and you said, boy,

that guy is exhausted. Yeah.I think there's a little bit of that
with Mike Conley as well. Youknow, he played a lot of minutes
in Game seven in Denver. Itwas certainly an emotional victory for him,
and he is limited by the calfAnd to what degree is he limited,
I'm not sure. I'm not sureif he's seventy percent or eighty percent of

whatever it is. But I thinkthat you saw a little bit harder movement
for a mobility for him was notquite the same, and that hindered his
ability to get good looks and cleanlooks in it. Also, I think
the most disappointing thing was that itseemed to play with his decision making a
little bit. There were some turnoverthere's, you know, kind of some

of the lob passes to Rudy werenot quite what they normally are as floater
was not locked in, and soit was just, all in all,
an uncharacteristically sloppy performance from him,and so they definitely need a sharper game
from him tonight. Can Wade,Do we need to get to the free
throw line, especially involving the bigtwo more than I think it was four

times between Anthony and Cat Yeah,I mean yeah, I think that will
be a product of what kind ofoffense they run tonight, because forty nine
to threes, you're just not goingto get many free throws you play in
that way, and so I knowChris Finch said that, Actually, you
know, I thought we could havetaken more. There were more in that
offense, But that is uncharacteristic ofthis Timberwolves offense. It's they were playing

out of character. Now they're hittinga bunch of them, But I do
think they weren't. Yes, Ido think it sapped some of the aggressiveness
from Anthony Edwards and from the groupin particular, just when they were falling
early as to the rate that theywere, And so I would expect that
the diet of threes will not bequite as lopsided tonight as it was in

game one, and with the emphasison getting to the rim, getting fouled
and getting to the line. Katwas he six for twenty six for twenty
okay, so what do we thinkabout the shots he got? Were they
good shots that he just missed?Or does the mix of kind of shots,
the variety of shots he's getting,does that have to change? Cause

I didn't go back and chart him, to be honest with you, what
do you know about that? Imean, I think he was two for
nine from three, so a lotof them were good looks. That didn't
go down, and then I thinkthat the six for twenty sort of ballooned
in the fourth quarter when everyone wasgetting desperate, and so they were higher
degree of difficulty shots in the fourthquarter than you would want him to be

taking a lot of the time.So you want him to be aggressive because
he's such a good shooter, butwhen it gets into the one legged falloways
and when it gets into kind offorcing things, he's not. That's not
his strength. Strength is not forcingthings. It's much better to get him
in the flow of the offense alittle bit more. And so I do

think that there will be adjustments madeand you might even see more post ups
against PJ. Washington and just like, hey, man, use your size,
use your strength, go to andsee what we can get out of
that. So you're vindicating Charles Barkley. Yes, I'm sick of those three
pointers. Now, Charles doesn't getit for what the team wants, yes,

and really demands that Cat does.But I think in this case it
would be helpful if they have certainadvantages because of the mobility of some of
their big men. Then I thinkwe talked about this before the season.
You got to a series you gotto make them pay a little bit.
On the other end, the Catbulk should be used against the lack of
bulk for the Mavericks to get thosekinds of shots, which are basically you

know, the old low post shots. Well, yeah, and then the
one thing that I loved from theWolves offense in game one was the four
or five pick and roll with Catand Rudy was effective, and so I
think you might see more of thatas well until the Mavericks figure that out,
because certainly Towns has great chemistry withRudy on the lob and if you
can get him kind of turning thatcorner and going downhill, he also has

a great floater in the middle ofthe lane there, and that can be
very good an efficient offense for theWolves. And if that isn't there,
if they try to step up andtake that away, Rudy's coming to the
rim for a nice, easy lobpass. And there are times where you
get nervous with some of the passesthat Cat makes, that's not one of
them. For me. I feelreally good when he is letting that thing

fly right towards Rudy. I thinkhe's maybe the best lobb thrower on the
team to him, and so Ithink that trying to find more of those
opportunities for easy offense that way wouldhelp the Wolves. You're connected with everybody,
and so when you talk to toDallas sources that you have reporters who've
covered this team all the time,have you gotten to the bottom of what?

To me is the most interesting thingabout the Mavericks that it looks like
Kyrie Irving is a different guy mentally. He's playing with the term I like
to use when guys just seem tobe almost Jedi nightlike is serenity. He's
just playing as if a lot ofthe he's shed a lot of the baggage.
Now Mitch Lawrence thinks it's all aruse. Ultimately, he's just trying.

He doesn't really want to stay there, but he finally has figured out
I can't keep screwing up the wayI have. Other people, though,
say, no, they've discovered electricitythere. What do you hear about that?
Yeah, I mean, like,certainly, I do think there is
a little bit of okay. I'vekind of like burned some bridges in Boston
and Brooklyn, and I don't havea whole lot of equity built up in

the league anymore, and so maybethere was just a little bit of self
reflection on that. But I dothink more what you hear people talk is
Nico Harrison, the Mavericks GM washired away from Nike to do the job
so unconventional higher but he had alot of really good relationships with a bunch

of players through Nike, and KyrieIrving is one of them. And I
think that that relationship and Nico Harrison'sability to appeal to Kyrie Irving's common sense
or what ever it was, certainlyat least helped Kyrie feel more comfortable than
he had been. You know,that we haven't had another pandemic with some

you know, imaccination issues that comeup or things is certainly probably helpful as
well. But I do think thathe just does seem much more at ease
with everything in Dallas than he didin Brooklyn. Maybe it's a media market
as well, maybe it's maybe it'sall of that, but the outside stuff

that has always been a thing withKyrie irvinger certainly has been for the last
five or six years, has subsidedand now he's just now he's just playing
basketball and that's a very good thingbecause when he does that, he's a
breathtaking player to watch. Guy Athleticis with us from the target center cage
location. We should be joined bylevel at about four point thirty. We
think Kevin Harlan is going to stopby as well, sometime around five o'clock.

And I'm still hoping against hope forTim Conley Athough. He's got a
lot of kids and he's got alot of responsibility. How that works out
the rest of the way. Soone of the things Guardian and I were
talking about early is that because thesegames are magnified, because people so many
people are watching them, you can'toveranalyze a result that ultimately was a four

or five point game and it wasthree, whatever the final was, and
so you can end up demanding thatpeople throughout the baby with the bathwater and
that. What the best coaches dois they don't overreact, but they also
tweak, maybe even extensively, ifthey feel like, I don't care what
the score was, I don't likethis in this. So how does Finchy

thread the needle there? Where doyou think they believe we're fine? And
where do you think he says no? No, no, but we do
have to do this, this andthis. Yeah. So I mean a
lot has been made over Finch's commentsyesterday about the hard film session, and
doubt did he say it as emphaticallyas it sounded when I read it he
did. Ok. Yeah, itwas very much a message sending thing.
It was you know, hey,the Western Conference finals have started. I

don't know if they got the memo, but they got it this afternoon,
and so there was very much asternness to the message that we don't often
see from Chris Finch, and Ithink it was less about that that implies
to me this, it's less aboutwe need to make major changes to what
we're doing and more about you needto start playing better, and we are

harder and harder. Yes, allof that, like energy, execution,
attention to detail. There's a lotof game plan mistakes that happened in Game
one that he was very upset with. And so I don't anticipate grand changes
to what they're doing tonight. Ithink that everything yesterday was built toward you.

Guys did not hold up your endof the bargain here, and if
you would have played even you know, eighty five percent of your of your
capability, get you to have wonthat game easily, and we'd be up
one nothing. We're now we're ina hole, and you better not let
that happen again tonight is essentially themessage. So I think that yet everything

is focused on play harder, playwith more intensity, and pay attention to
the details of the game. Andif things still go wrong in that case,
then maybe you look at making awhole lot of wholesale adjustments. But
until he sees them play, youknow, up to their capabilities, he
doesn't want to mess with the gameplan. To me, can you be

strategically speaking, more physical with KyrieIrving and or Luca. We're not a
goon team. I'm not saying badboys it up, but you have to
knock him around a little bit.As weird as that sound, you know,
it's an interesting point, but it'salso what you ask for. There
is like who would do that,right? Jaden McDaniels is not that kind

of a defender. Neither is NikilAlexander Walker. Ant can get physical with
you, but he's not going tobe that guy. You don't have.
You know this, Rodman, youdon't have PJ. Tucker. You don't
have you know, some of thereally you know, just fighter hydrant dudes
that are gonna they're gonna throw ashoulder into you and and send a message
that way. And so I thinkthat if you asked to do that,

that would be out of character forthe team and probably throw them a little
bit more off. Now, Ido think there are ways to bump and
to off the spots, yeah,and to kind of get there early,
you know, uh, beat themto their spots and don't give any ground
that that is that those there arethose opportunities to do better at But I

don't think the antidote is let's goJordan rules on it and anytime Luca's in
the restricted area were knocking down,first of all, he's like two hundred
and fifty pounds like that. That'syeah, he is. That's not an
easy task for sure. The newsthat the Pistons apparently are gonna hire yeah,
is it Langdon Trajan Langdon? Langdon? Does that take all the pressure
off on you know, any possibilitythat the Wolves might lose their president of

basketball operations are not so simple?Well? Yeah, I mean I think
it takes the most obvious threat awayfor sure. Now, I think that
let's say that they win this series, they go to the finals, or
even if they don't, but ifthey do, I mean, Tim Connelly's
resume goes even higher up the foodchain, and so then maybe a team

that is not thinking about making achange all of a sudden says, hey,
this guy is available, and hebuilt it last year's champ and he
built the team that got to thisyear's championship, and if they win whatever,
let's just change course and let's throweverything we have at him because he

is available right now. I thinkthat's a possibility of happening. There's not
an obvious threat there that way,but I would not rule it out.
So while the Detroit situation being resolvedas certainly, I think you'd take a
sigh of relief a little bit inthat, But I still think that given

all of the things that have happenedso well here, there's still the opportunity
lingering out there that we may notknow about that could come and upset the
apple cart. Do you believe thatultimately what happens with Conley depends in any
meaningful way on how this ownership squabbleis resolved. I mean, do you
think I don't know if he's gotsomebody he'd rather have, or whether you

think one thing has nothing to dowith the other, because it would seem
logically that it could if there's afeeling of well, this might create even
once we get to that other place. Maybe not the status quo is no
longer the status quo. Well,I mean, I guess we just look
at the facts this way. TimConley put the option in his contract for

this very reason of insurance if thingsfell apart, because Alex and Mark were
the ones who recruited him, whokind of said, hey, you're gonna
be our guy going forward. We'rewith you now. In the last two
years, he certainly has gotten tohave a good relationship with Glenn Taylor.
He works well with him. Ithink all parties enjoy each other. But

what I would say is that rightnow, certainly the uncertainty surrounding the situation
is affecting everyone in the organization.And if it was tranquill either if it
let's even say you know that Glennwas the one who hired him and Alexi

Mark weren't involved, or let's saythat Alexa Mark completed the transaction and it
was and it's their team. Ithink that removes all of the drama on
this and he sticks around without anyany question. The tricky part is going
to be that he's probably going tohave to make a decision before there is
resolution to this, Like I thinkthere's only like a week after the season

is over when yes, so he'sgoing to have to look at that and
say, do I do this?Do I not do it? He's going
to do it regardless. Isn't heright to get more money? Yes?
Right in that would make sense.But you know, do you do you
do it just as a negoti yeah. Do you do it as a negotiating
employ and so you can get moremoney and all of that, or do
you do it and say, youknow what, I just I can't deal

with all of the uncertainty here.I'm just going to to go somewhere else
because of that. So I thinkit is a real issue not just for
Tim Connolly, but for many manypeople on the business side and in the
basketball front office to try and figureout because the uncertainty is the worst thing
you can have in the NBA.Good update there, the last one on

this. Give us the update onthe binding arbitration sessions that's coming up soon,
so soon, Yeah, I haven't. I don't. I'm not aware
of a date being set yet.But everything I continue to be told is
that this will not be quickly.So even if I think, even if

they have a date set for anarbitration, there's still going to be you
go through that, yeah, likeone session and it's all yeah, yeah,
and it's going to be Nope,you're right or you're wrong, and
that's it, and and it goesforward. It's gonna take a while for
this whole thing to play out.And so I don't, you know,
from everything I've been told, obviouslynothing will happen before the season is over.

And the deeper the season goes,then you're getting into draft and free
agency and and summer League and allof that stuff, and so, uh,
the clock is ticking here. ButI do not think we're you know,
imminent on anything getting to a pointwhere you're going to have any resolution
on it. Is it fair tosay that if we in a you know,

a couple of months, are celebratingthe first NBA title in the history
of the Minnesota Timberwolves, that thenext day on his podcast, Draymond Green
Green will still say that the firstoff season priority of the Wolves has to
be traded. Rudy Gobert, Yes, yes, he will find a way
to explain, explain it away,to rationalize it. I just it's really
unfortunate like it is. It isso good for it is so clearly personal,

and it's so clearly agenda driven.It is beneath that show. I
mean, as the it brings itto a halt too many times, no
question that this cultural significance of thatshow cannot be overstated. And to be
lowering themselves to that level it isunintelligent discourse. It is it is petty,

It is everything that they are not, and it's just and to have
I don't understand. I I well, here's my thought is is that I
think that they know eventually they're goingto have to have someone other than Charles
Barkley to do it. And thebelief was is that Draymond Green, this
unspoken tough guy, is the nextin the rule, and we're gonna groom

him so that we can have himfor the next thirty years after whenever Chuck
is gone. And what we areseeing right now is you're not Charles Barkley.
Man like not at all, andand and Charles can can criticize a
player, but it's never comes offas that kind of tone and mean spiritedness.

And he's not jealous. Yes,that still play against the guy choked.
Yeah, exactly. And so it'sit's all, yeah, it's just
and and now unfortunately like they're they'rethey're live on Target center and and you're
getting Draymond sucks chance like in thebackground, and Shaq is trying to tone
it down. It's just like,it doesn't make any sense that this is
happening, right. It bothers memore than it should, but it does.

I We've talked about it almost everyday, and it's just it's bizarre,
especially like you say, when it'sthe it's the the perfect example of
a show that no you you gotthe mix. This is the magic of
it. And I can even seemaybe occasionally bring in a guest person,
but it should be then a oneshot deal. There. This commitment goes
on and on and on, andit brings them down every single time.

We'll see you downstairs. Yeah,great stuff as always, man, Thank
you, Thanks Johnny Athletic helping usout a reminder we're we expect Lavelle at
what time? Four thirty? That'sthe plan also from our location, and
we hope, uh expect in factguards. I think he's gonna escort Kevin
Harland to our spot. Well,he's Kevin Harlan, you know what I'm
saying. What are supposed to do? You gotta do what you gotta do.

Uh, what time is Charles Barkley? Oh, that's might at the
same place I'm going to. Oh, that'd be good if we could get
them both. Maybe Harlan will bringBarlance twist like like he's gonna say no
to Kevin. Harlan is a verygood point, and maybe Tim Conley.
We're hoping, but no confirmation there. Back in a minute here in the fan
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