The Step Back – Episode 5 – Transcript

Graham Wing
Welcome to the fifth edition of The Step Back podcast. I’m Graham

Andrew Wing
and I’m Andrew

Graham Wing
And we’re just a couple of guys who love basketball.

In today’s episode of the podcast we’ll discuss this past week games, answer some listener questions and share our predictions for the end of season awards.

But of course, as always, we wanted to let you know that we keep posting new things to the website. Visit thestepback.ca to listen to past episodes, leave comments and to find any links that we mention in each episode.

Andrew Wing
So we first like to share some comments left last week. The first one is from listener, Margaret and she asked about what we thought of the refs and the missed calls. So I guess I’ll start this one off.

Sure.

I I, I see it, it’s a very hard job, and just how fast the game is played. They they have to make calls really quickly. And they, honestly, even when we watch games, and they, sometimes it may seem that they make bad calls against our teams the teams that were watching they, they do their best, and I have a lot of respect for them. I’m just I’m just really glad I’m not them.

Graham Wing
Oh, it’s a tough job.

Andrew Wing
It is it really is

Graham Wing
Dad, what will you do? Are there too many missed calls? Or is it just to be expected? Are you mad at the refs? Are you, what do you what do you think, in general?

Andrew Wing
I mean, there’s always even some calls, like when Durant’s step like for

Graham Wing
Yeah, the Durant out of bounds and what was the Beal with the bad the bad travel in the key

Andrew Wing
There was some really bad ones. But ultimately, they do, they try their best and yeah,

Graham Wing
Yeah? I think that in many cases, the players are their own worst enemies, that they whine about, everything. It’s one of my favorite, I love Jeff Van Gundy as a broadcaster. And one of the things that he often mentions after you know, there’s a foul, and then the player freaks out going what, I didn’t foul anybody. And then they show a replay and he just hacks the guy and he kind of jokes and says, There must be something wrong with the player that he has no feeling in his arms or his hands. And I think it’s fantastic because you watch the replay and the they hacked the player, the player they’re defending and yet they’re whining about the ref making a bad call. And so I just think that they are their own worst enemy. If they didn’t wine so much then we’d really be able to tell what good calls were and what bad calls were. Sso that’s one thing. I also think that I like the idea of the instant replay but it takes way too long. The TV show, the broadcast can show a replay in seconds and show you exactly where a foot was on the three point line or out of bounds but the referees have to go to the table, they forget the TV off the countertop, they put it up, they get the little controller, they put their headsets on, they watch it, they watch it 10 times, then they talk to the scorer, and then finally they announced that the call has been overturned ball is to whoever. It takes forever.

Andrew Wing
It does.

Graham Wing
So my suggestion and what do I know I’m just a guy who likes basketball but my suggestion is that they have a another referee crew or another person who is essentially a replay ref. That they can sit there with all the replays and you just need the head referee on the court there’s always one who’s the I don’t know whether they what to they call him the headrest for the chief for these crew chief cruise yeah whatever it is a crew chief I think is baseball but whatever whoever the guy is it whoever is the guy that’s in charge has an earpiece in or something like that and they he said he presses a button and he says you know talking to whoever it says who’s who’s ball is it and five seconds later we know that it’s Phoenix’s ball. And now it’s their turn. Like I it seems like it would be so easy. I think they should they need to do something to make those things faster. And when and when calls are being missed. Then they’ve got to do something to fix it. In tennis they have, they used to call it the Cyclops. There’s a, there’s technology that checks the sidelines. And so if a serve goes, you don’t hear you, well sometimes you hear somebody yell out, but you hear BEEP because the sensor says it’s out.

Andrew Wing
Yeah

Graham Wing
So I think that there’s gotta be some way that they can have technology in the courts, or like a laser going down the sideline, something that checks for certain things. I just think there’s certainly technology either a replay ref or something else, they can do something. But generally, I think the refs do an excellent job. I think the missed calls get so much attention because it’s so easy to circulate them during or through social media, there are memes and there’s video clips and stuff and look at Durant going, you know, they just show this replay over and over again, of Durant going out of bounds. And somebody can say, you know, of course the NBA wants the warriors to win but, or whatever. It’s dumb, but it’s, the refs do a great job. And I don’t know 90% of the time 95% of the time they make fantastic calls in a fast game. So it really I think, I think they do really, really well.

Andrew Wing
Totally agree.

Graham Wing
Well listener Dave asked about covering March Madness. Now we generally cover the NBA but certainly those coming into the NBA it’s we’ve got some interest in it. I don’t really follow college basketball that much. I catch some headlines and highlights and that but not much. But you’re interested in it aren’t you Andrew.

Andrew Wing
Yeah, I followed a bit. So I’ll definitely be talking about what’s happening in March Madness in upcoming episodes.

Graham Wing
So does, when does March Madness start? or like the Thursday that most things start is on the what? 24 20th the 13th or 14th the 14th does it start or does it start on the 21st.

Andrew Wing
I thought it was next week.

Graham Wing
That would be the 14 next week.

Andrew Wing
Yeah,

Graham Wing
Sure. The 14th sounds good. So whatever podcasts we do after that, you’ll probably you’ll share a couple of thoughts about some things anyways. Right?

Andrew Wing
Yep

Graham Wing
All right. Mr. Dave also asked what we thought the biggest surprises of the season were so far. So what do you what are you surprised at this year?

Andrew Wing
Um, so I have two things that I’m surprised about. The first one is LeBron James. He hasn’t. He hasn’t been the player i think i have expected to be I think most people expected him to be he’s still he’s still played amazing.

Graham Wing
Statistically, it’s, it seems the same as always.

Andrew Wing
Yeah, he’s he’s reached some career milestones the season but he just hasn’t made an impact on his team like he has with his previous years. Like when he was younger with the Cavaliers or even last season with his Cavaliers I mean his this Lakers team he has you could argue that it does have better talent than those Cavaliers team from last year but he’s just, they’re out of the playoffs. I think they’re like five games behind. Vegas odds have them at a 90% chance to miss the playoffs. And it’s just not the same LeBron that we’ve seen the last couple of years and and just how he works with his team I don’t I don’t really know what’s happening but that’s definitely one of the biggest surprises for me

Graham Wing
Yeah, I I agree. I think that the if I could say the LeBron mystique is gone. I don’t think people care anymore. I think there’s too many other superstars and he’s just LeBron and I, it’s too bad because he did so well for so long but he doesn’t, he just doesn’t seem to be trying at all this year. You see, you see him on defense all the different clips that you see out there

Andrew Wing
He left I think they’re playing Memphis and he’s talking about how he’s going off for like playoff

Graham Wing
playoff mode

Andrew Wing
and he just leaves and he’s standing in the key me loses man wide open for three and he hits the three

Graham Wing
Yeah no I it’s it’s it’s not very impressive that’s for sure. Well as for me oh, no, you said you had a couple things

Andrew Wing
Yeah I just have one more.

Graham Wing
Okay

Andrew Wing
Um. It’s just not how bad they are but just how poorly the Celtics have played this season. They’re sitting currently fifth in the East. I think they’re like 36 and 25 something like that and I read something that said that they are at this time like when they had 26 losses last year came out in April 3 and this year it came end of February so that’s just… I don’t really know what that means. If it’s coaching issue, if it’s the player issue. If it’s a superstar issue with Kyrie is I don’t really know but I also saw something where I think it was a Jalen and Jacoby thing and Jalen Rose was saying that they don’t know their roles and that this is after the Toronto Raptors game after they had blown out Boston and he said that the Raptors their players they know their roles but the Celtics they they don’t know them or they do know them but they just don’t accept them and that the team chemistry is just not there and they’re in some big trouble if they can’t find it from now till April.

Graham Wing
Yes. Now do you know what I think the problem is?

Andrew Wing
Oh, yes

Graham Wing
So what do you, what is it?

Andrew Wing
Kyrie Irving,

They would

Graham Wing
Kyrie he is a superstar but I think he’s poison on the team. I think that he is a selfish player. He went to Boston. He left Cleveland because he didn’t want to be in LeBron’s shadow and he wants to be the star in Boston but he isn’t that sort of a player. He’s amazing, he’s amazing on the ball. He’s an average an average defender I mean maybe he’s above average but he’s not a great defender anyways. Sometimes he’s incredibly inconsistent in his shooting I don’t think he’s a, I don’t think he’s the guy to carry the team like that as a one as the main superstar and he wants to be and then when he’s not and then he’s criticizing his team that you know he’s the thing he said a couple of weeks ago about how he sympathized with LeBron about how hard it is to help the younger players or whatever it was, he said. I just I think the Celtics could easily do without them. I think Terry Rosier did an amazing job last year as the point guard. I think Tatum and Brown, I was never I Hayward fan I think he’s decent enough but him coming off the bench makes sense. I think they could have a great starting five with Rosier, Brown, Tatum Horford and neither Morris or Marcus Smart however they want to balance their height and different things to move players to whatever positions. I think they could have a great starting five and get it you know get Hayward and Baynes when he’s healthy, off the bench with a couple other people I think that have a great team and they would gel I think, Kyrie is

I think Kyrie is the guy

Andrew Wing
That’s what we saw last year they’ve gelled in the playoffs and that’s why they made such a good push

Graham Wing
I think Kyrie is the guy that is causing the problem but that’s just my opinion. Anyways for me I’ve got a couple of things as well probably my biggest surprise is Luca Doncic

Andrew Wing
Boy is he good.

Graham Wing
He is like. It’s shocking that he is he is just a pro. Now I know he played with basically professional over in Europe but

Andrew Wing
Kinda cheated

Graham Wing
kind of but he came into this league and he’s just playing like he’s been here forever yeah and you compare him and the mistakes that he makes he’s making pro mistakes and you look at Trae young and what’s his name the guy in Phoenix?

Andrew Wing
Deandre Ayton

Graham Wing
Yeah Ayton and and they make mistakes and their rookie mistakes yeah and Doncic doesn’t make those rookie mistakes that. He’s just a good player. Super, super impressed.

Andrew Wing
Very talented. He’ll be good for the Mavs. Very good.

Graham Wing
Yeah. So you get him and

Andrew Wing
Porzingas

Graham Wing
if Porzingas decides to stay there, I think the two of them together if they get another, if they get maybe a guard, send Kyrie there you get a guard

He’ll ruin that team to

maybe. You got a garden, then there’s a big three, I’m just super impressed with him. And I, I had heard about him, you know, but I’m just surprised. He’s exceptional.

Andrew Wing
Yep

Graham Wing
And probably my other surprise is kind of the opposite of yours. So you talked about how kind of the Celtics just aren’t jelling there are there this bad even though that that bad. Yeah, I’m kind of surprised. The book the Bucks are this good?

Yeah. So am I

Andrew Wing
Other then Giannis this is pretty much just an average team.

Graham Wing
You know that I knew they’d be good, but I don’t really look at their team as if you look at the individual players they’re good at and good enough, but they’re not superstars. So other than Giannis, Giannis is a star,

Yeah, I mean, Middleton I mean, where would you be picking Middleton over where would he be on if you had 20 players to pick would even be in your top 20

Andrew Wing
Probably not

Graham Wing
No. And so you go through the list of people that they have. I just don’t see it being that great of a team but they’re obviously well coached they are inspired. Which you know, don’t underestimate that you get a team that’s doing well with being led by a superstar player and Giannis seems like he’s just a great guy so what you know if you’re going to play for LeBron or play with the Giannis who do you want to play with

Andrew Wing
It would definitely be Giannis

Graham Wing
Right! So these players are happy to be where they are they play well together and it’s exceptional and so I think probably they’re, they’re my biggest surprise. So yours was about LeBron and the Celtics and minds about Luca and the Bucks, but they’re good surprises to have. I mean, there’s lots of I don’t think anybody expected Harden to be playing as well as he has. I don’t think anybody expected Paul George to be on fire the way he has been. I know there’s probably some other stories to whether it’s been a good year in the league, for sure.

Andrew Wing
Yeah.

Graham Wing
All right. And then listener Dave, one other thing that he sent along was that he had tagged me in a link to a Michael Jordan / Dominique Wilkins dunk contest from 1988. Now, when you watch the dunk contest, it is kinda lame compared to the dunks that we see now nowadays, it. You certainly people are better athletes now and doing things that people didn’t used to do.

Andrew Wing
Yes

Graham Wing
But the comment really was about two superstars being in the dunk contest. So he made a comment about LeBron, and I agree. I didn’t realize this. I was talking to you about it earlier. So LeBron has never been in the dunk contest.

Andrew Wing
I don’t think he’s been in one

Graham Wing
Has he done? Has he done anything in the all star game other than playing the game?

Andrew Wing
I don’t think so. He’s not never been a great three point shooters may never be in that. He may have been in the skills I’m not too sure.

Graham Wing
Because before this goes competition, they did that three on they did that three on three thing with the WNBA stars where they had to shoot from different Oh, yeah, and I can’t remember what they call that. I don’t know you ever play it on that? I don’t know. Ultimately, though LeBron has barely participated in all star weekend.

Andrew Wing
Yeah.

Graham Wing
And in the past, the stars all participated. So not that there’s an answer for it. But it’s just curious, like, why is that? Why hasn’t it?

Andrew Wing
Well, I forget where I got this from. But surely you TV or an article I don’t remember. But pretty much could be an answer this question is that most superstars don’t want to be or because sometimes they can be like, they get asked if they’d like to do it. They’re not just like, they’re not forced to these events. And so they asked a superstar who’s like younger in the league like sometimes or even like now like LeBron, he may not want to do it because he doesn’t want to lose to like not really a nobody but pretty much this no name guy who’s just it was just like an average player I don’t think you superstars really want to do that to themselves. That’s that’s probably probably the best answer to this

Graham Wing
I mean, that’s just dumb.

Andrew Wing
It is

Graham Wing
To play, it’s great fun. I mean, you know, we talked before about maybe changes we can make in the all star or the three point competent 3.2 done competition specifically, but changes to all star weekend and I get some superstars involved that that would hype it up, you know, not just not just rookies because they’re exceptional athletes. But get some people in there that are are good that have been in it for been in the league for a few years. Why can’t LeBron do it? If Jordan can do two or three dunks from the free throw line and get 50 points have done quite can’t LeBron do the same power dunk. Where is Russell Westbrook. Where is he when it comes to like, he would do the same power dunk that he does. And I don’t know I just think that the superstars of today are too afraid to get hurt they’re to have, as you said, too afraid to lose, just going for the love of the game and play. Oh, that’s something I forgot to mention Two, there are two, two of my biggest stories of the week, number one was Kevin Durant’s smiled

Andrew Wing
he did he did

Graham Wing
it was a game against Philly, and I earlier in the game, he was smiling with somebody, and he genuinely looks happy. Oh, wow. He knows how to smile. And the second thing of the second big story of the week was totally not basketball related. Did you see the video of the spider that was the size of a dinner plate eating a possum?

Andrew Wing
Why are we talking about this?

Graham Wing
Did you see it?

Andrew Wing
No

Graham Wing
There was a spider as size as a piece of paper eating an animal in like the Amazon or in like the Amazon rainforest or something like oh my goodness, that was freaky. I think that was more important than any basketball thing that we watch this week. Do you want a spider that size coming to eat you?

Andrew Wing
I don’t know what to say

Graham Wing
That’s okay. All right. back on topic. So games this week… Andrew, anything you want to highlight

Andrew Wing
There were a couple games on national TV Tuesday night. There’s Boston at Toronto. I already talked about that. In Toronto won, I think by the 23 points. On Thursday night, Philadelphia at Oklahoma. Oklahoma was without Paul George for most of the games this week. I don’t know why I probably saw somewhere but I just forget. And so Philadelphia won that one.

Graham Wing
And that was that was Philly’s first win against Oklahoma in 20 tries. They had lost 19 games in a row anywhere. Right. It wasn’t just at home or anything. It was 19

Andrew Wing
haven’t won since Westbrook’s or until like 11 one game since Westbrook’s were

Graham Wing
right so it wasn’t just a home or away thing. It was any game. They were they had lost 19 in a row to Oklahoma before they won. I mean that’s quite I was quite a streak.

Andrew Wing
Yep. And then on Saturday,

Graham Wing
I watched some of the early game the Detroit Pistons were playing in Cleveland. And I don’t know what the final score of the game was. But Detroit was just killing Cleveland, they were up by 33 points at the half It was 71 to 38 or something like that it was unbelievable. Now the game I think only I think it was like a 35 point wins so the scoring was essentially equal on the second half but Cleveland is just bad. Now are you know are they bad enough that they’re going to get the first pick and are they going to pass

Andrew Wing
New York, they are getting Zion

Graham Wing
Well that’s what is going to say is I don’t know who’s going to get Zion but I’m sure the league would much rather have Zion going to the Knicks than to Cleveland

Oh yeah

but we’ll we’ll just have to see what happens and then Saturday night we watched some of Golden State of Philly What do you think of that game?

Andrew Wing
um. I always think that there’s this thing about Primetime that even if the team like even like the Lakers play there’s a team it’s not that good or team and Philadelphia without Embiid, even though teams are missing players always seems to be close. And to be good games. It’s not I don’t know. It’s called it’s not a curse it’s a blessing it is a primetime blessing is what it is

Graham Wing
Philly was up by like a dozen at one point on Golden State. But unfortunately they couldn’t hold out

Andrew Wing
Even with Golden State still won it was still close game and I have my Primetime

Graham Wing
Now Golden State lost four of six or something like that. Recently, it was three of five

Andrew Wing
They had two like really bad. With one like crazy. Dwayne Wade, three of the lost to the Heat

Graham Wing
Yeah, they lost to Miami.

Andrew Wing
They lost to Orlando

Graham Wing
Portland

Andrew Wing
and in Orlando

Graham Wing
Orlando. So I know they had a bad run, which is good. I don’t know if listeners know this or not. But I have a bit of a bet with someone that I know. It’s just for cereal. A box of our favorite cereal. But I have bet this young man that I know that he thinks it’s going to be the Warriors and I get everybody else. But unfortunately, I’ve lost the last two years because he won with the warriors. So I’m really hoping I get my box of cereal this year.

Andrew Wing
You will, the Toronto Raptors.

Graham Wing
All right. And then Sunday was Toronto at Detroit.

Andrew Wing
Yeah, that ended just a couple minutes ago.

Graham Wing
Yeah, we record this on Sunday. Even though we don’t post it until Monday.

Andrew Wing
I have nothing to say about it.

Graham Wing
Who won?

Andrew Wing
Detroit.

Graham Wing
So it went to overtime. The Raptors were up by five

Andrew Wing
Lowry hit like a deep three with about two minutes left. And they got out scored 10 nothing last two minutes. And it’s just old classic Toronto.

Graham Wing
Well, that leads us to our new segment. So last week, we debuted a couple of new segments, the Shot Clock Violation and the Buzzer Beater. So a shot clock violation is a negative thing. So it’s a chance for us to rant about something for 24 seconds. A buzzer beater is the opposite. It is something that’s good. So we want to praise or hype up something for 24 seconds. So last week, we each did a shot clock violation. And we just did a buzzer beater. But going forward each week we’re just we’re going to have this one segment and then you choose whether it’s a shot clock violation or a buzzer beater. So this week, Andrew, why don’t you start with a shot clock violation. And this ties in with your Toronto at Detroit game right?

Andrew Wing
It does

Graham Wing
all right. Ready set go.

Andrew Wing
So this ties in because I want to be talking about quiet Leonard and his load management so I’ve got notification on my phone the last like week and a half of bunch of different games and Kawhi missing because of load management. I don’t know why he’s missing these games. He played an all star game he played a game against San Antonio and then he was rested again. Then he played against Boston and he was rested again and if he keeps resting we’re not, we’re not going to be winning games and don’t won’t a good playoff seed and this is not good

Graham Wing
yeah

Andrew Wing
It’s so annoying. It’s really annoying

Graham Wing
Load management Why is a superstar, like Durant missed his first game last week he’s played 60 games this year or something like that hadn’t missed a game and Kawhi misses every other game every third game I don’t understand

Andrew Wing
It’s really annoying

Graham Wing
Yeah, I I totally agree. That is a violation for sure. I don’t, I’m assuming the Raptors are doing this because they’re hoping he’s gonna say look at how how great they are. The way they hanlde me at the Spurs were terrible. But the Raptors are the best. But I don’t know. I just seems like he’s taken advantage of the situation. And I just don’t get I don’t get it. Load management. Give me a break. It’s a, it’s a load of something.

Andrew Wing
Yep

Graham Wing
Alrighty. Well, it’s my turn.

Well as my thing is that I am sick and tired of people getting hyped up too much. Not the people, not viewers, but team or players on the team. That from the time that people are in high school, they’re hyped. They’re going to be the next big thing. And then they’re in college like Zion Williamson he’s the best thing ever. And then people get into the NBA and they can’t do it. They can’t match the hype. And it’s just I think it’s too hard on players. we criticize them way too much.

I think I needed more than 24 seconds to explain that

Andrew Wing
I think you did too.

Graham Wing
but it’s just too hard. Like, you know, like a Trae young he did not shoot well at the beginning of the season. And everybody was talking about not that he was a bust, but criticizing him. He’s a rookie, not everybody can be a you know, a superstar player like LeBron or Kobe right out of high school. Not everybody played professional ball like Luca Doncic, and just give these guys a break. Let them develop. Normally, they make a slight mistake. And they’re the worst thing ever. And they do one thing good and they are the best thing ever, you know. So Trae, we didn’t talk about that. The quadruple overtime game between Chicago and Atlanta. And those are a couple of bad teams.

Andrew Wing
Exciting

Graham Wing
but it was still excited. Yeah, it was like

Andrew Wing
You didn’t know who would score

Graham Wing
I forgot to get the exact stats. But the third highest point total ever in NBA history. They scored whatever it was 300 and something points. Trae Young had 49 points, so everybody was he so awesome. He was shooting these threes. But then he had two turnovers right near the end. You know, so just give the guy a break. He’s not the best thing ever. Not the worst thing ever. He’s a rookie, Michael Jordan wasn’t the best rookie ever, you know, LeBron James. They might win Rookie of the Year and that but just give them time to develop. I just that’s my it’s a violation for sure.

Yeah, I agree.

All right. Well, our main topic for this week is we wanted to talk about the mids while we’re way past mid season but our predictions for the awards. So let’s take a few minutes here to go over each one. So sixth man who’s getting it?

Andrew Wing
I hate to say this is Lou Williams

Graham Wing
now is he a sixth man?

Andrew Wing
He he technically is like literally is he is the first man off the bench but he’s not at the same time

Graham Wing
I know it’s a joke

Andrew Wing
He plays way too much and he’s not a six man he’s he’s pretty much a starter I don’t even know how to describe it he’s a starter off the bench

Graham Wing
He pretty well plays starter minutes.

Andrew Wing
Yes.

Graham Wing
But he’s just coming off the bench so I think it’s a it’s ridiculous and he’s considered a six man so like LeBron James could not start a game his whole career come off the bench at the one minute my point and he’s a six man I think that I don’t know. I just think that Lou wants to come off the bench. He plays better coming off the bench so he’s the best six man i think that’s that’s ridiculous. Probably my the person I mean he’s been injured, which would hurt his chances. But Fred van Vliet is a true sixth man comes off the bench is the spark that they need

Andrew Wing
I see that I see that

Graham Wing
Terry rosier, he’s probably not up with the same level but he’s the backup for Kyrie and he is

Andrew Wing
he does a very good job

Graham Wing
he does a great job. I’m sure every most teams have that guy that comes off the bench like that. And I it’s too bad that Lou Williams gets all the attention. Sure he scores a lot of points. But he doesn’t seem like a real six man. To me.

Andrew Wing
I can’t forget about Derrick Rose. He’s had quite a good season this year.

Graham Wing
And one thing I read was that it’s just hard for voters to give him an award when he was the MVP you know it’s been many years now a decade or more or whatever it’s

Andrew Wing
2011

Graham Wing
Not quite okay but still I just the former MVP he you know, he’s only a six man because he’s played so poorly in the past that now you know, he’s now he has to come off the bench. But now he’s playing well this year. So I don’t know he might be in the running for most improved anyways,

Andrew Wing
He had a 50 point game and a career high and not even from an MVP season.

Graham Wing
Alright, Rookie of the Year now last year where they were certainly some I guess you could say some controversy

Andrew Wing
Donovan Mitchell got robbed.

It sucked

Graham Wing
because Ben Simmons was the Rookie of the Year even though it wasn’t his rookie year. But because he didn’t play the first year. I personally am of the opinion that he wasn’t a rookie, I think your rookie year is the year you’re drafted. And if you miss it, you miss it. Too bad. That’s just that’s just the break. You know, you you don’t when you finish your NBA career. You don’t have you know, if you’re out for an entire season because of an injury. You just didn’t play that year. If I played for 10 years and was out for one did you have an 11 year career Did you play basketball for 10 years? You play basketball for 10 years? You didn’t play that one year. So I just don’t think it counts as a whether that made any sense or not. I just don’t think that counts is or he’s that he wasn’t a rookie. I know, we hadn’t played a game but he wasn’t a rookie. And I think it really was too bad. Because we had two exceptional rookies. Last year

Oh yeah. And I mean and Tatum, Tatum was amazing. In the playoffs. They should be a rookie of the playoffs because I guess Mitchell did well as also but Tatum really, I mean, against the Philly see in the Philly series. Tatum was amazing.

Andrew Wing
Started to see some potential.

Graham Wing
Oh yeah. And so I think we had these two great rookies and then Ben Simmons Won. So anyway this year who’s who’s got it?

Unknown
Got to be Luca? I think.

Graham Wing
So there’s no people are saying that, you know, does the 49 points that

Andrew Wing
I mean Trae Young, it’s it’s not like just like it’s half a season thing I trade on this played really well, and he’s starting to play well for the last couple weeks. So he continues this he could get higher up in the race I guess.

Graham Wing
So what about the fact that Luca played some professional basketball? Does that matter?

Andrew Wing
No, because he wasn’t in the NBA. He wasn’t drafted yet.

Graham Wing
Okay.

Andrew Wing
So if Ben Simmons is was drafted and has signed with the team,

Graham Wing
So it’s not so it’s not based on your experience coming in. It’s based on how you play in your first year in the NBA.

Andrew Wing
Yep

Graham Wing
I agree, I think is Doncic. I think Trae Young has come along well, recently, but his first half of the season wasn’t great. And so I think Doncic is the Rookie of the Year. All right, MVP, we talked in Episode Three about this. We both felt that it was Harden. It’s not going to be Paul George. It could be Giannis or Harden. I think it’s between the two of them

Andrew Wing
Harden had another 58 point game and then a 42, so he had 100 points and two games. So I don’t know how you can’t give it to him.

Graham Wing
Yeah, hundred points in two games. And he’s doing things that haven’t been done forever. I still think that Antetokounmpo is going to be an MVP in the future.

Andrew Wing
Oh, yeah. He’ll win a couple for sure.

Graham Wing
He’s just, he’s just not right now.

Andrew Wing
No

Graham Wing
So I think Harden

Andrew Wing
If not this season that I’m pretty sure next season could be his time.

Graham Wing
Yeah, no, I think Hardens the guy. Absolutely. Most Improved Player?

Andrew Wing
Pascal Siakam. You could make arguments for the D’Angelo Russell and I mean Joe Harris has played really well

Derrick Rose could be there but I think Siakam is just went from pretty much coming off the bench last season and being part of the Raptors Bench Mob averaging about seven points a game to starting from the Raptors and being a key piece to their success this year playing at almost all star potential level he has a jump shot. He has a bit of a jump shot. Now he’s shooting threes well. He’s he’s played really well. So he I think he definitely deserves it. And it seems like the media and the NBA also thinks he deserves it as well.

Graham Wing
Derrick Rose

I agree. He is but he, his improvement is amazing. So he definitely is the Most Improved Player. Statistically, there might be somebody who’s scoring more points or the difference between last year and this year is a greater number like there’s going even more points than they were before but his overall game, his defense, three point shooting, the role he’s playing on the Raptors. If you think that there’s 30 teams in the NBA and could he you know, he’s not the best player on the Raptors. But there are some teams in the NBA that he probably would be the best player so he’s gone from being somebody that was maybe the sixtieth best player in the NBA or maybe even further down

Andrew Wing
Probably further down

Graham Wing
to being easily in the top 30 if not the top 25 this year anyways

Yeah

And that’s that’s a remarkable improvement for sure. And when you look at the other people that are eligible for it, would you take any of them over Siakam.

I wouldn’t.

No, his upside the way he’s played this year the trust you have in him and the upside for future is incredible. So I agree with you. And the last award would be the Defensive Player of the Year now in the past Kawhi’s won it twice.

Andrew Wing
Yep.

Graham Wing
And Draymond Green’s won it couple of times

Andrew Wing
He’s got one once

Graham Wing
Just once, Rudy Gobert, I think what did he went last year?

Andrew Wing
Yep.

Graham Wing
Alright, so those are kind of the three people they’re probably still in the conversation. Paul George this year is just playing lights out defense. But then so is Russell Westbrook. I think between the two of them. They have like five steals. So the Oklahoma defense overall is quite good.

Andrew Wing
Yeah, my pick, my pick is Paul George.

Graham Wing
Yeah, I think that if I could say it this way, that’s his consolation prize because he’s not going to be the MVP but he’s had an amazing year. He’s not going to be most improved even though statistically he probably is one of the most improved players because he’s a superstar and to give a Most Improved Player to a superstar seems kind of weird

Yeah

So I think the Defensive Player of the Year award is his consolation prize for having an amazing year and he deserves it

Andrew Wing
I’m sure he’d be happy to take it

Graham Wing
Right no I agree and what about chances on the other ones

Andrew Wing
Um, Kawhi Leonard has been out too much so he’s definitely

Graham Wing
He’s not out it’s called load management

Andrew Wing
Kawhi Leonard has not played like at all the seasons so he’s not going to get it. Rudy Gobert and Draymond Green they’re solid defensive players I just

Graham Wing
well, Draymond Green missed, has missed some of his, he has not had a great year

Andrew Wing
He’s not big this season for him but still solid defender and Rudy Gobert is you haven’t really, just haven’t heard much about

Graham Wing
I’m drawing a blank there’s a guy in Brooklyn that’s like blocking everybody shots

Andrew Wing
Oh, that’s Joe Harris

Graham Wing
is that Joe Harris

Andrew Wing
No, not Joe Harris, that’s the three point guy Jared Allen

Graham Wing
Jared Allen, I was gonna say yeah. So I know something you know you hear bit of buzz about him just because of the blocks

Andrew Wing
he won’t he won’t win

Graham Wing
but blocks on everything that’s it you’re not get a lot of steals that way so but Rudy Gobert his is almost all blocks I know yeah

he doesn’t he hasn’t done, he’s my pick

alright so I think we agree on everything then so Lou Williams is sixth man even though we don’t like it. Luca Doncic is rookie year and we’re good with that. We both think Harden’s you do How convinced you that it’s Harden

Andrew Wing
Oh I’m 100% convinced

Graham Wing
okay so am I

Andrew Wing
It better be Harden

Graham Wing
so we’re both sold on Harden for MVP. We’re both sold on Pascal Siakam for most improved and we’re both sold on Paul George for defensive player. We agree on every one. That’s unusual. We got to remember this day. Mark this date and time we agree on everything.

Okay, I think that brings us to the end of our podcast. So next week, we have some other stuff to share. We’re going to talk more about Kawhi Leonard. Well one of these episodes we’re going to talk about the best dunker’s in the NBA, we’ll share some links to some YouTube to some YouTube videos that we have. We’re going to be talking about some of the best plays, maybe that we’ve ever seen. Either we actually we watched live on TV or that we’ve seen replays of just incredible plays, our favorite plays in basketball. We’ve got lots planned for future episodes. Please share the podcast information with your friends. Post it on social media for us get the word out there so we can get more listeners. And that’s it for this week. Take care and we’ll talk to you next week.

Andrew Wing
Peace

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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