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May 20, 2024 26 mins
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Episode Transcript

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(00:05):
And we're holding beyond the arc againstGorge right hand at dribble drive to stop.
Now he's double for KCP Towns withit now to Mcdanbiel's to the corner.
Coffee lets him Ry and Harry's it. Six boys game. It's a
fifteen to one Timberwolves run here.Midway through the third, We've got ourselves
a game. Here's a hand offthe un Christian brown watchman Zoe's Jokis Now

(00:27):
Jokis backs away where he sets thehigh screen. He zips it. Lef
size Coley comes down with a toughcatch. He's got it against Jamal.
Murry's trying to free himself. Where'sup with the triple and rains it at
the shock clock buzzer and Mike turnsover to the Wolves fence and says,
yeah, three fingers down. Timberwolvesare up seventy five to seventy two.

(00:48):
The elation at elevation's pretty good too, The elation at Elevation seven to one.
Guy Dan Charles is a flaming liberaland hates Trump like you do.
He will come on your show.We should maybe lead with that. Maybe
we do. Yeah, but look, I can turn political as hell if

(01:14):
it'll help us get Charles Barkley.Huh, don't play the hits. Yeah,
we got to do what we cando. I mean, I if
not now when we've talked about havinghim on for years, but this might
be the best shot. Obviously localyou know TV station. He's going to
be in town. He doesn't Idon't think. I don't think he needs

(01:34):
the pub. He's okay there,but who's to say might work out.
We expect a phone call any minutefrom Mike Conley, the triumphant Timberwolves point
guard, who you just heard wellhe certainly heard part of Alan Horton's highlight
reel from last night's ball games.We expect him any minute, right seown

(01:56):
Brian Cafe in text line is opensix four six eighty six. John Krasinski,
who was there in Denver as welllast night, will join in about
one hour. We've got a lotof good stuff planned this week. Kevin
Harlan very good shot. Michael Wilbond'sgoing to join us before the week is
done. I'm sure we'll play thehits. That'll include another visit with Sam
Mitchell. I'm sure Craiger's will beback with us as well, Craig Kilbourne

(02:22):
and I maybe even some new guestsas well to be part of the conversation.
Mike Conley joins US now via theConnectico Water Systems hotline. Mike,
thanks for joining as always, andcongratulations on reaching the conference finals. Thank
you, thank you very much.So take me back. I don't want

(02:44):
to go back eventually, I wantto talk about halftime, but take me
back to the end of game five, because this is what I heard from
people who were there. There werepeople I who observed the team after the
game or late in the game andfelt like the body language didn't look promising,
that it looked like okay, maybenot that you were defeated, but

(03:07):
that something was off a little bit. And then maybe even some doubts had
crept in. Are people or thenwere people reading too much into it?
Or you've got a good you know, you got your finger on the pulse
of this team. What was themood like immediately or maybe in the minutes
after Game five when you guys falldown three games to two. Yeah,

(03:31):
I think just you know, normalfrustrations, you know, when you lose
to a team three times in arow, and especially having started the series.
The way we did. When youlose like that, it's frustrating,
but I think that guys were neverin a state where or a space where
they were, you know, doubtingwhat we are capable of doing. I

(03:53):
think, you know, part ofthat, even being with me being out
in game five, was understanding that, hey, you know, we might
not win game five, but weplan on winning games six and seven.
I guess that's where our minds were. And if we weren't able to steal
game five, so never really youknow, looked at across the locker room

(04:14):
and thought that there was any doubtin there. Six. There was a
lot of talk after six about areel of highlights that apparently Finchy showed.
Anthony talked about it after the game. I think you did as well.
And it was interesting because you know, you guys are almost of different generations.
Obviously you and Anthony sharing the samelocker room, and so I was

(04:38):
fascinated by the fact that almost twodifferent generational players are players from two different
generations. Both seemed to feel likethat was really effective. Look back on
that and tell me what you thinkthat ultimately did. Yeah, honestly,
you know for me that you saidtwo different and race for me, it

(05:00):
doesn't really like I don't really care, but but for I know, for
our young guys, and you knowthe way things can be viewed for them,
and you see your positive highlights.You see you know, the good
that you've done, all the workthat you've kind of put in, you
know, the games where we werehounding on defense and getting stills and getting

(05:24):
Alue dunks, and just the excitementfrom you know, our fans and our
arena all built into that video.You get you know, a little burst
energy, you get a little burstof like confidence and the fact that you
know, this is who we are, this is who we've been, this
is why we're in this this andnever in so just kind of getting back
to that state. And I thinkthat those videos and you know, you

(05:46):
have those kind of moments where youcan kind of help bring you back to
that mindset as opposed to worrying abouthow you might have been playing lately,
or you might have been you know, on a slump or individually just whatever
you're dealing with, and you cankind of hang back to that those moments
that you know you're watching on thatfilm. So for you, the positivity
you expressed about it had more todo with the impact you thought it was

(06:11):
it had on the younger players.You're the veteran guy. You've been through
a million wars, so it wasn'tnecessarily that it inspired you. It was
more what you thought it could dofor younger players. Is that the key
to it? Yeah? I thinkso. I think that they really just
took to it. And for me, I kind of knew once the video
started. I'd probably seen like twentythirty of those videos before it. I

(06:34):
knew, you know, at somepoint it was going to come out,
and yeah, but you know not, our guys really really liked it.
You said after the game last nightthat you wanted the team to better perhaps
understand what the hell they had done. And again, I thought it was
it was a good veteran moment becauseit's a lot of what we've talked about
the first hour of the show today. Go back to game seven, you're

(06:58):
down nine to and over the nextforty one minutes you outscore Denver one twelve
to fifty five. And then gameseven you're down twenty fifty eight to thirty
eight, and you then outscore themfifty four to twenty four. Thirty points
there. This is rarefied air.Do you think the tea your teammates do

(07:23):
they fully appreciate exactly how unusual notjust winning, but winning this way is
in the postseason. Yeah, Isaid, we have a team that we
don't know any better as far asthe whole sum of the team. We
don't know exactly what we're doing asfar as accomplishments so far in this postseason.

(07:45):
Like you said, it's not somethingthat you see every day. You
know, being able to build bigleis like that and even come back from
in deficits and you know, biggames and against great teams. So you
know, it's part of our maybethat's part of our superpower. We is
don't know any better. We don'thave the history to be worried looking up

(08:07):
at the scoreboard and the scene thatwe're down twenty and this doesn't look good.
You know, it's that it's like, hey, we're going to keep
our head down and keep working andkeep being aggressive, and that's what's been
working for so I think our guysjust have been locked in even you know,
throughout the good and the bad ofthe series and through the playoffs.
You guys were down fifteen, stilldown fifty nine to forty three with a

(08:31):
little less than eight minutes to goin the third, and then you score
ten. The team scores ten ina row. You punctuate that by hitting
a three pointer with five forty eightto go. So now it's a ballgame.
Now it's fifty nine fifty three.How essential is that stretch because we've
talked about all the heroics in thefourth quarter from several individuals, but you

(08:54):
got to get the game back tobeing a game, right And to me,
that was slow, it was steady, and it was a combination of
just enough offense and good defense,but even better defensive rebounding because in that
stretch, Denver, you guys gotevery defensive rebound. In fact, you
got one of them as well.And to me, that was none of

(09:16):
the rest happens unless you bring thegame back to you. Yeah, it
was a very important stretch for us. It was It's exactly what we needed.
You needed to have that run earlymid third. That gives your team
that hope and you know, showsyour you know, guys on the bench

(09:37):
and the crowd and everybody that we'renot going away, that we're right here.
This is a ballgame, and moreimportantly, shows the you know,
shows the nuggets that you know,you don't mess up, don't turn it
over. It might be you know, knocking on the door. It might
be one point game here at threepoint game. You never know, so
and maybe it puts a little bitof pressure on them. So for us

(09:58):
to make that run when we did, and start doing the little things throughout
that point in the game. Youtalked about defensive rebounding, you talked about
pushing the tempo, getting stills,getting you know, layups and easy buckets
and timely threes like all that stuffwas super important for us, and we
just put it all together at theright time. What was Finshi's message to

(10:18):
you guys at halftime, honestly wasyou know, he continued to say this
over and over again that our bestbasketball is going to beat their best basketball,
and we hadn't played that in thefirst half. We weren't playing our
best basketball. We weren't doing thesmall things that lead to big wins.

(10:39):
And for us, it was justlike trying to relax a little bit,
trying to relax and make the rightreads, make the right plays, make
them on time. We talked aboutthis all year long. But that's what
we are when we play to ourbest any night, where we can be
better than any team. And that'swhat we needed, that effort in the
third quarter, in the fourth quarter, and you know he was able to

(11:01):
get that out of us. Whatwas your personal message, if any,
to Anthony Edwards on a night whereobviously he was struggling. Well, he
ended up, you know, Ithink six for twenty four for the game,
but was especially early having difficulty evengetting shots off and making shots.
What was your message to him?Man, I really didn't have to give
him any messages. I looked athim one time and I said, I

(11:22):
guess I don't have to say nothingto you, all right, dang all
right, you don't got to sendit to me. I'm gonna keep shooting,
I'm gonna keep you know, beingaggressive. And I said, that's
what we need. We needed tobe aggressive means you continue to do what
you do. But you know,he made a statement that you know,
on the bench that he was goingto try to take over this game on
the defensive end. You know,for those possessions where he was just picking

(11:45):
up and guarding and trying to stealthe ball and that showed more to me
than anything, his his mindset andwhat he wanted to accomplish and winning and
winning in a different way than whatpeople are normally used to, you know,
superstars winning, and that was superimpressive to me to see that,
you know, he was willing to, you know, take that side of

(12:05):
the game and make that the pointthat he was going to try to be
great at because his shot wasn't fallen. We've talked a lot over the months
with you about Rudy. I don'twant to get back to some Rudy stuff
in a minute, but I wantto talk about somebody we haven't talked about
as much, you and I atleast, and that's Karl Anthony Towns,
who I thought the last two gameswere as well as he's played with something

(12:26):
significant on the line, and ingame six it wasn't you know, he
didn't have big scoring totals. Ithink he had ten in game six,
but it looked to me like heplayed the right way. He stayed out
of foul trouble, so you couldcontinue to have him more likely on Jokic.
And then to me, you know, among the starters, you guys
all were struggling. I thought exceptfor him in the first half. What

(12:48):
are your observations of you know,Karl Anthony Towns, the improvements he's made
and sort of, you know,his contributions to this thing. He's been
he's been, you know, oneof the biggest keys for us this postseason,
not just this this series, butlast series as well. You know,

(13:09):
we talked to him beforehand, justsaying how important you know, him
being the best cat for us isfor our team and what that means can
be something different every game, andhe's been able to morph into that at
different moments at different times, youknow, whether that is being the guy
we throw the ball to to forcea double team and him make the correct

(13:30):
reads to get us open looks andget our offense humming, whether that's guarding
their best player in the post,whether that's spacing in the corner or just
you know, being a decoy hereand there, or just going to work
when it's time time for you togo to work. He's a great balance
of that and I think that's abig reason, you know, why we're
able to have these runs and comeback the way we do is when he

(13:52):
when he gets going and he's hekind of like a fel safe in a
sense where you just know he canget a bucket. You know you can
cause you know, having down therein the paint, you know he stretched
the floor. But it's been superimpressive and we just need more of that,
Mike. They seemed they being denveras the game went on and you
guys are starting to get back intoit. They look tired to me.

(14:13):
They look beaten down as the gamewore on, which I know is something
you guys kind of pride yourselves on. You guys keep coming and you keep
coming, especially defensively, and theimpact that can have. What did you
see on the court, because itlooked to me almost like they were out
of gas. Yeah, honestly,we saw that. We did see that.

(14:35):
You know, they were you know, hands on, hands on knees,
hands on hips, you know,just really kind of moved the ball
a little bit slower than they werethe first half. You know, shots
for getting becoming shorter there, youknow, everything that all those signs of
fatigue were starting to show. Andthat's when we were in the huddle.
You hear every guy in our bendsaying, hey man, you know this

(14:56):
is our time to push it.Keep pushing you keep pushing the tempo and
keep pushing our aggressiveness. And youknow, because we're you know, we
feel like we were, you know, in shape, and they're going to
continue to play this way and that'sthe way we've played all year, and
just implement that part of our gameand we'll have a chance to win.
And you know, luckily we wereable to scratch back into that game because

(15:16):
of that. And then and takeit home from there. I want you
to listen. We got a soundbite. This is this was Joker after
game seven. He's meeting the reportersafter the game. I want you to
listen to a couple of comments hemade immediately after the game. I think
that built to beat us in someone. And then just look at the roster
they have basically to all stars twoprobably the first defensive players and he Mike

(15:41):
Only, who is the most underratedplayer in the NBA probably. I mean,
I love the guy. He's sogood and you know, he always
made the right the right even hedidn't he didn't shoot as well. This
uh, this, this was thename serious this game. You know,
in one moment he was the leadinggap on the in the in the game

(16:03):
for dems interesting. Great compliments therefrom from Joker on on you. I
I you know, you know yourworth obviously, but it never, I
assume hurts to hear those kind ofthat kind of praise from a from a
player that is, you know,you've just knocked out of the playoffs.
No, that's I mean, that'sawesome. We have such you know,

(16:23):
such respect for for him and havealways had respect for him. Is a
player in person that he is oneof my favorite you know, people to
watch Washington as he's grown throughout theleague. So it's super respect for him
and and it's great because you know, it's it's like, you know,
we're kind of on the level oflike we like guys who play the right
way, you know, Joke Jokeris one of those guys who you look

(16:45):
at. If you double them,he's gonna make the right read. If
you don't double him, he's goingto be aggressive. And I'm kind of
like the same guy. If yougo underscreen, I'm gonna shoot. If
you go over it, I'm gonnamake the play for the next guy.
If you double me, I'm gonnaswing it. You know, it's just
the simple game of basketball that peopletake for granted, and if you're really
good at it, you can lasta long time. And I'm just you

(17:06):
know, completely honored, you know, obviously have those kind of comments said
by a guy like him. Howdo you feel? How? What?
What have the last two games been? Like? We know, you know
you missed game five and and clearlythis is an injury that was bothering you
because you ain't gonna miss time ifyou if you don't have to, uh
do you get through six and seven? Are you? Would you say you're

(17:26):
at eighty percent, eighty two percent, ninety percent or even less? How
tough is it to get around onthe injury? Yeah, it's it's interesting
because it's one of those that justyou know it's gonna linger. It's been
lingering. I probably honestly had itsome version of it since Phoenix series and
just kind of aggravated it in thatgame. And I can think it was

(17:48):
game four and to where you know, I couldn't really walk her do anything
like that for you know, duringthe game five. So the last two
games I felt a lot better.I think Game six I was a little
bit slower than I wanted to be. Of a Game seven I started,
I found a little bit more bursenot saying that you're playing without pain or

(18:08):
anything. It's still a lot ofpain and stuff, but still can you
know, move within my you knowmy movements and be effective how I need
to be effective. So this nextseries should be you know, getting these
next couple of days for for Wednesday'sgame would be huge for me. Just
arrest it and you know that's someof that swelling and pain, get out

(18:29):
of there and and kind of rechargeit up for another series. Well,
it's interesting that you say that about, you know, game six, because
it looked to me like this issort of the classic case of I know
how to play and even if Iif I'm not moving as well as I
want, I can still orchestrate.And the offense obviously looks so much better
with you back out there just sortof surveying, making plays and and and

(18:53):
so forth. What's the key tothat? What's the is it? Is
it just the mental knowledge of whatyou need to do? Is it taking
the pressure off of Anthony, whothe previous game seemed to feel like he
had pretty much initiate obviously, andalso try to worry about his offense because
it looks like you worked all theangles pretty well offensively. Yeah, you

(19:14):
know a lot of it was that, you know, kind of letting guys
feel back into their roles, youknow, let him be the scorer,
get our rotations back. You know. I think the team obviously looks to
me to to you know, makecalls, make play calls when we're in
tough situations, and put guys inthe best positions. And that's easy for
me. That's easiest part of myjob is finding that, you know,

(19:34):
that that balance and striking that balanceor any game. So playing with the
injury is normally pretty you know,I'm pretty straightforward with it because I know
how to control my pace. LikeI literally couldn't sprint that game, and
I knew that if I just hoppedinto stuff and just you know, kind
of scootered into stuff and you know, played off for two feet more than

(19:56):
I normally would, and I couldstill be a fact, still knock down
shots that way. I can stillget bigger rolls that way. So yeah,
so I'll limited as far as,like, you know, what I
feel like I can do, Butas far as the whole team, I
think I was still able to beassertive and aggressive at moments and help the
guys for what they needed. Ithink we call that savvy, Mike,

(20:18):
don't we. I guess you justknow your body how you use it.
Yeah, for sure, real quickon Rudy, So the reports go to
him after the game. You know, at half you guys are struggling,
and naturally the guy who gets rippedby Charles, even though Ant was obviously
not shooting very well, you werenot shooting very well. I think Kat

(20:41):
was really the only guy who's doingthat much offensively is Colbert. Charles goes
after Rudy. You gotta sit him. They got to go small. Rudy's
asked about it after the game,and you know, he tried to chuckle
and have fun with it. Youknow, I'm glad the coaches weren't listening
to what they were having to say. You know him well, though,
does it? Do you think thisstuff cuts at him? Do you think

(21:03):
this this hurts him? That hefor whatever reason, As we talked about
before, uh, even in thisseries, it feels like became for Charles
and a couple other people on thepanel, heeled to a degree Draymond green
way too much. As far asI'm concerned, it was like that was
the guy, no matter what wasn'tworking, well, it's got to be

(21:23):
Gobert's fault. Do you think thatthat hurts him at all? Honestly,
I think it doesn't anymore. Ithink at some point, you know,
years ago, it might have youknow, med on his mind or something
like that, but not, Ifanything, it maybe motivates him more to

(21:44):
continually try to show people, youknow, the opposite of what they may
be thinking. You know that hecan do X, Y and Z that
they say he can't do, andand he lived by that every day,
lives by the way he works,by the way he he you know,
prepares and prepares his body every day, takes care of himself like he truthfully

(22:04):
is really locked in on himself.And so I doubt that you know,
anything people say nowadays really really affects. You know, what's he going to
do on the court? I thinkhe's self Explanatory's going to affect the affect
the game the way he does everynight. How different I know, you're
just you know, you're coming upfor air after the last series, but
not a lot of time before thenext one starts. How different of a

(22:26):
series, How different of a challenge? You think the Mavericks Afford. You
guys, it's gonna be a heckof a challenge. They're obviously led by
Luca and Kyrie. I think theygot better adding a couple of wing defenders
and two way players like PJ.PJ. Washington, you know, having

(22:49):
Gafford another another big they can rolland you know, be on the glass
stuff like that to help with theirspacing. And yeah, there's gonna be
a great areas of of you know, attrition and you know, who can
implement their will on the games andwho can implement their style in the game.
Obviously there they've always been a greatoffensive team where they're playing great defense

(23:12):
as well, and we're a teamthat's you know, hung our hat on
defense and as our offense is going, we feel like we can we can
be anybody. So it'll be agreat matchup, a great test for us
all because they got they put alot of pressure on you with their guards
and who they have out there,so you know, we'll be ready to
go. Anthony already said that Kyrieis going to be his the guy he

(23:33):
guards. I don't know if hewas giving away any secrets there or maybe
he was, you know, projectingI have no idea, So do you
know what your defensive assignment is goingto be. Who's gonna end up on
Luca? I have no idea atthe moment. I think that we'll find
out that out tomorrow or practice.But today we kind of had an optional

(23:55):
deal. But I think coaches,uh, he'll have some He'll have some
cooked up to where we all knowwhere matchups are and different options on who
we can guard, and you know, different groups that can go into the
game and guard those particular players.Last item, how where you're in the
game. I don't know how youknow where you or how much you can
pay attention to this because you're tryingto win the damn game and make the

(24:17):
comeback. But how where did youbecome of the presence of it? Seemed
like a pretty good number or atleast a very enthusiastic number of Timberwolves fans
in Denver. Man, we recognizedthat that was crazy. I'm not gonna
lie. I don't think I've everbeen in many playoff games. We might

(24:37):
have maybe Game one or two,we had a similar turnout down there in
Denver, and I mean it wasunreal last night. At moments during that
game, you know, you'd makea shot and it would sound like arena
what he erupped? And I waslike, whoa, what was that?
Like, that's not supposed to besupposed to be like booze and aws and
stuff like that. Instead it's likejust complete like cheers and chants going on,

(25:00):
and like it sounded like the Timberwolves. You know, the fans just
took over half the arena and newhonestly that that stuff gets us through,
It gets us going, it getsus excited. And to see that,
you know how how well Wolf's fanstravel, Wolf's fans travel and support is
it means a lot virtue also performance, my friend, We appreciate, like

(25:21):
I said, the talks all yearround and we hope we can continue it
through this round into the next roundas well. Good luck against Dallas,
but thank you very much, Sall. We get Mike Conley, the point
guard, the adult in the room. It's almost become a cliche. You're
here now nationally all the time.We've been talking about that for months on
this club. But it's true.There's no doubt about the value that Conley

(25:45):
has brought to the equation almost fromthe moment he got here. But I
think even more so this year thanlast year as he got more acclimated.
Johnny Athletic was in Denver as well. He can speak to what the crowd
was like. Guards. He canspeak to what the crowd was like he
was there. Johnny will be atfive thirty Guards. He's going to be
coming up next with the top fiveWolves, Wolves, Wolves, and apparently

(26:07):
the twins are also playing.
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