The Step Back – Episode 10 – Transcript

Andrew Wing
Hello and welcome to the 10th edition of The Step Back podcast. I’m Andrew

Graham Wing
and I’m Graham

Andrew Wing
and we’re just a couple of guys who love basketball. In today’s episode of the podcast we’ll discuss the end of the regular season, the start of the playoffs, our final predictions for the end of season awards, the longest streak of being in the playoffs and much more. As always, we want you to visit The Step Back podcast page on Facebook. Visit facebook.com/stepbackpodcast to see links to interesting stories and links to new content on thestepback.ca website. Leave a comment on the site or on Facebook and we’ll use some of the comments in future episodes. Alright, so the season is finally over. What do you think?

Graham Wing
I liked it, but I’m kind of glad it’s over. What did you think of the last couple weeks?

Andrew Wing
I thought really boring, really boring. Nothing exciting to be looking forward to

Graham Wing
Yeah, there were you know, we commented last week that a lot of the seeds that already been determined. Like the Raptors were second place, I think for the last five games, so none of it, they could have lost all five games and it really didn’t matter. So they were trying different rotations and trying to get some minutes in for certain rotations. I guess there were a couple of interesting things right down to the last day but they weren’t that exciting. The last few weeks were a grind. I’m glad it’s over.

Andrew Wing
Definitely.

Graham Wing
Yeah, so the playoffs have started. So let’s review what our predictions are for the for the playoffs and how we’re doing so far. So let’s start in the East with the Milwaukee Bucks vs the Detroit Pistons one vs vs eight? What do you, what do you call it?

Andrew Wing
Milwaukee 4-0, a sweep

Graham Wing
A sweep. I think they’re playing now or shortly as we record this episode.

Andrew Wing
They play at seven, so it’s right now

Detroit sucks.

Graham Wing
So we don’t know what the outcome is going to be. I said the Bucks in six. Why do you think the Bucks are going to sweep?

They beat your Raptors every game this season.

Andrew Wing
They got lucky.

Graham Wing
Yeah, well the Rapters based on game one suck too. I just think that the Bucks, they’re inexperienced together as a team in the playoffs, and I just think that Detroit’s got some good defense when they need it. I think DeAndre Jordan will probably have a, not DeAndre Jordan.

Andrew Wing
No who? Sorry. Dummond

Graham Wing
Drummond, sorry. I always get them mixed up. Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. I think they’re going to have at least one or two good games. So I’m saying in six. Your Toronto Raptors lost game one. Now, did you call a sweep on that one?

Andrew Wing
No, I actually called Toronto winning 4-1.

Graham Wing
So in other words, the Raptors are now going to have to win four in a row.

Andrew Wing
And they will

Graham Wing
And they will. I called Toronto in five as well. So I’m a little reluctant to think that they’re going to win four in a row right now. But I guess it’s possible. What was the problem for the Raptors

Andrew Wing
Kyle Lowry? Go figure.

Graham Wing
I thought we got rid of tomorrow in order to fix this problem but he was definitely part of the problem. But obviously Kyle…

Andrew Wing
He wasn’t the complete problem.

Graham Wing
Scoreless so he was 0 for seven or eight whatever it was

Andrew Wing
0 for seven and then 0 for six from three and over 2 from the freethrow line

Graham Wing
0 for 2 from the freethrow so zero points and they lost by three points.

Andrew Wing
Yeah. If he’d had five points we would have won

Graham Wing
Now I don’t know, I haven’t seen anything online Have you, are people complaining about Kawhi? Like should Kawhi have gotten that three at the end

Andrew Wing
No one is really complain about Kawhi. They’re all just they, they’re all just roasting and complaining about Lowry that he didn’t score

Graham Wing
They may not win and five like we predicted but I still think they’re gonna win

Andrew Wing
If they don’t win I’m not a fan.

Graham Wing
Okay, next is Philly versus Brooklyn. Another upset there. They won game one. Pretty much led the whole game. I didn’t get a chance to see any of it. I don’t think you did either. But what did you call for that series?

Andrew Wing
I have Philadelphia winning 4-2

Graham Wing
So Philly in six. That’s what I have as well. Again, long series. I commented before at the trade deadline that I just didn’t think Philly had done what they needed to do. They had these four or five scorers but I guess only Jimmy Butler had 30 something points and Embiid had 20 something but then Reddick had five I think it was and Harris only had single digits, whatever the number was. So they they’re going to need the whole lineup to play well. Brooklyn was playing really really well. And then your Boston Celtics

Andrew Wing
My Boston Celtics?

Graham Wing
Yeah, aren’t you a Boston fan?

Andrew Wing
No

Graham Wing
I know it’s Matthews Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers, four verses five. What did you call for that one?

Andrew Wing
Boston. Boston in seven.

Graham Wing
I’m slightly different. I said Boston and six. And Boston did not play well near the beginning of the game. The first half I guess. But then today they came back and destroyed them in the third quarter. Indiana only scored eight points in the third quarter, whici terrible and ended up winning by 10 points or whatever the score was. So Boston’s up one nothing in that series. Alright, heading to the west. Golden State Warriors vs. the Clippers. We saw some of that game yesterday. The Warriors and the Clippers were very close for a good chunk of the first quarter and maybe half the second quarter, within just two or three. Then the Warriors went on one of their runs and the game was pretty much at a touch for the whole second half. It was kind of disappointing. What did you call for that series?

So did I. Warriors in five. That may be a sweep. All right. Number two Denver versus number seven San Antonio. That was one that I, if there is an upset, I think that’s the upset. I don’t think that Denver is as good as they are. If that makes any sense.

Andrew Wing
Warriors in five.

Yeah, it is does to me.

Graham Wing
And I don’t think that they have enough experience in the playoffs, they don’t experience together and when you talk about experienced this Spuds have experience, certainly with coaching. And so I have the Spurs in seven for that one. What did you have?

Andrew Wing
I have Spurs in six

Graham Wing
Oh, you have even more confidence in the Spurs

Andrew Wing
They’re going to win at home

Graham Wing
Well that would be good for San Antonio. And they came out in won by five points in game one. So so far, so good. Number three, Portland versus number six. Oklahoma. What did you call?

Andrew Wing
OKC in seven.

Graham Wing
OKC in seven. I said Portland in six. So we’re totally, I think that’s might be the only, is the only series where we have different winners. Why do you think OKC will win?

Andrew Wing
They have an MVP candidate, a defensive player of the year candidate, they have a triple double legend, and they swept the Blazers 4-0 during the regular season.

Graham Wing
All right, and how’d that work out for game one

Andrew Wing
Not too well.

Graham Wing
Yeah, Portland won 104-99. They’re playing in Portland. I didn’t see any of the game. I don’t really know what happened. It looks like Damian Lillard had 30 points and McCollum had 24. Kanter had 20 which seems kind of high for him. Westbrook had 24, George had 26 so it seemed like it was a close game.

Andrew Wing
Westbrook had a triple double

Graham Wing
No, really? They just couldn’t come through. It was just game one. So I again I’m saying that the…

Andrew Wing
They also shot five for 33 from three which is pretty bad.

Graham Wing
Wow. Alright, so I said Portland in six. You say OKC in seven

Andrew Wing
Yeah

Graham Wing
So that’s I think the only one. So then go into the last game we’ve got number four Houston versus the Utah Jazz. We haven’t seen them. They’re playing tonight for game one so we don’t know how that’s gonna work out what did you call on that one?

Andrew Wing
I have Houston in six

Graham Wing
That’s what I have as well. Why do you think Houston’s gonna win?

Andrew Wing
Fear the beard

Graham Wing
Fear the beard. I’m not sure people fear the beard. His shooting percentage isn’t great.

Andrew Wing
They should fear the beard. I don’t know why they wouldn’t

Graham Wing
But his true shooting percentages is excellent. So though

Andrew Wing
Yes

Graham Wing
and the way he contributes to the game. And of course that leads into our next segment. I believe he’s the MVP candidate. We have talked about this time and time again. But let’s go over one more time. The season is over I’m not sure when the, when they actually vote, but it needs to be soon. And they’re going to have to make their choices. It’s supposed to have nothing to do with the playoffs or so they say so MVP. If you, Zach Lowe says it’s Giannis. Who do you say?

Andrew Wing
James Harden

Graham Wing
Still James Harden. I agree. I’m getting a little worried. I have to admit I mentioned this last week because more and more I’m seeing people saying that it’s the Giannis but there was a vote among the players and they voted for Harden. I’ve still got my fingers crossed for my Reese’s Pieces

Andrew Wing
It’s not just the media that does it. It’s the players.

Graham Wing
I don’t even know what the vote is. Is a portion of this? I think that’s all star stuff. I think it’s just the basketball Writers of America or something like that.

Andrew Wing
The players don’t do anything?

Graham Wing
No, I don’t think so.

Andrew Wing
You sure?

Graham Wing
I’m not sure but that’s what I think. Anyways among the people that Zach Lowe at least listed was Paul George who again had a great first half not a great second half. Nicola Jokic, the Joker

Andrew Wing
Not getting it

Graham Wing
I think he’s he’s not getting I think he’s had a career year. I don’t think he’ll ever have a year as good as this personally. But that’s just what I think. And then Damian Lillard who again had a great year, but it’s not an MVP year. Alright, Defensive Player of the Year. Now, I’ve said all along, but I thought that Paul George, this was his consolation prize.

Andrew Wing
I still think it is

Graham Wing
I’m not convinced of it. If he had played MVP level for the whole year. I think he would have gotten if I can say a sympathy vote that he’s not the MVP we’ll give him Defensive Player of the Year. But I think he dropped off so much from the MVP conversation that I don’t think that he’s necessarily going to get this sympathy vote. I, it to me, it’s either Rudy Gobert or Paul George

Andrew Wing
It’s not Rudy Gobert. It’s not, he’s not going to get it

Graham Wing
But he’s a beast in the middle.

Andrew Wing
He’s not No, not really.

Graham Wing
And then Zach Lowe also mentioned, Giannis as Defensive Player of the Year.

Andrew Wing
What? no one’s talked at all about him being defensive player of the year

Graham Wing
He’s tall and long and blocks and all that kind of stuff. He’s involved in every play. And the defense on the box is quite good. And so he leads the way. So anyways, you think it’s Paul George

Still

All right, I’ll say it’s, it’s Rudy Gobert. Coach of the Year.

Andrew Wing
Nick Nurse

Graham Wing
Seriously, who is it?

Andrew Wing
Mike Budenholzer

Graham Wing
Absolutely. It’s interesting, though, because they were a playoff team last year. And yeah, they led the league this year. But this wasn’t a huge jump. So if there was a coach that deserves it because of the change. I’m not sure of the names. But who’s the coach of the magic?

Andrew Wing
Steve Clifford

Graham Wing
Yeah, they had one of the best records in the second half of the season. The coach of Brooklyn?

Andrew Wing
I don’t know

Graham Wing
But he’s like, Brooklyn has done phenomenal this year. Doc Rivers, I heard a part of the Woj Pod with him last week. And he’s just sounds like a great guy. And they’ve done better than people expected. So in some ways, I think the coach of the year should be one of those guys. But I agree with you. I think it’s Budenholzer. The Bucks led the league, and he’s the coach, the brand new coach and brings them to the first place in the league. He’s the coach of the year. Rookie of the year?

Trae Young

Wrong.

Andrew Wing
I’m going for Trae Young now. Well, it’s not gonna happen, but I want it to.

Graham Wing
Okay, so your heart is with Trey. But who is it going to be?

Andrew Wing
It’s probably going to be Luca.

Graham Wing
Yes, it is absolutely going to be Luka Doncic.

Andrew Wing
Probably

Graham Wing
It will be

Andrew Wing
probably

Graham Wing
Trae young. And I think this was in this article, Trae Young was the pretty much the worst player in the NBA for the first four months of the season

Andrew Wing
He was

Graham Wing
And although he has been phenomenal. His passing and his shooting has been extremely impressive over the last couple of months. He’s too far behind. Doncic came into the league ready to play. And he’s the MVP

MVP?

Sorry, he’s the Rookie of the Year. We’re going to talk about Rookie of the Year and Luca and in another couple minutes here. Alright, six man of the year?

Andrew Wing
Fred Van Vleet

Graham Wing
It would be nice if he was in the conversation, but I don’t think, he’s not doing it. I think really sixth man of the year

Andrew Wing
He starts too many games

Graham Wing
Sixth Man of the Year is pretty much about scoring.

Andrew Wing
Yeah

Graham Wing
You got to come off the bench and score. And if it’s about scoring and who’s the six Man of the Year?

Andrew Wing
Lou Williams.

Graham Wing
Now we’ve talked before in previous podcasts, I think that’s a joke. The guy misses the first couple minutes of the game then comes in and plays as much minutes as a starter and somehow he’s a sixth man. Technically he is, but I don’t know. I just don’t like that one. Nothing to even talk about there. All right Most Improved Player. I think we all agree on this one

Spicy.

Pascal Siaam. There are people, statistically, there are probably more players that have improved by greater amounts, like scoring more points or getting more rebounds or whatever. But I think everybody is so impressed with his game overall. He has, rather than being just this guy, was he part of the bench mob or

Andrew Wing
He started 10 times.

Graham Wing
But part of the benchmark, was doing some starting. And now he is a key part of that Raptors starting lineup.

Andrew Wing
Yes he is

Graham Wing
And when Kawhi, Kawhi missed 22 games and Pascal, I don’t know what it was exactly, but it seemed like he was scoring 20 to 30 points every game. So he stepped in for one of the top five players in the league and just filled the shoes without an issue. So

Andrew Wing
Yeah

Graham Wing
I think it’s him. Zach Lowe mentioned D’Angelo. Russell who had a great year.

Andrew Wing
That’s true.

Graham Wing
And D’Aaron Fox and I don’t really, didn’t pay much attention to him. But I would just say it’s between Siacam and D’Angelo Russell and I’d be fine with either of them, but I think it’s going to be Siacam.

Andrew Wing
Yeah.

Graham Wing
And the last one that really isn’t a big deal for a lot of fans, but it’s still an award is the Executive of the Year. I don’t have any particularly strong opinions. But if we just kind of go through some of the teams there’s the Bucks Jon Horst, the Nets Sean Marks, he’s a great interview. When you listen to him being interviewed, he’s he’s a great basketball guy. Tim Connelly of the Nuggets, Masai Ujiri of the Raptors, Lawrence Frank of the Clippers, and Sam Presti of the Thunder. In some ways, I think that the Bucks when they were good, and they’re still good, don’t deserve it. Masai, they won 59 games last year and 58 games this year

Andrew Wing
Yeah but he took a risk getting Kawhi and it

Graham Wing
Yeah, but

Andrew Wing
He did a lot this offseason to try to fix things. And I think he did very good job

Graham Wing
The Clippers haven’t really accomplished anything yet.

Andrew Wing
Yet

Graham Wing
They’ve positioned themselves really well. But will, if they don’t get anybody that how can he be the Executive of the Year? The Thunder, I guess the thought is they kept Paul George. And they’ve done really well. The Nets have done phenomenally. So I would say it’s probably between the Bucks guy, Jon Horst or Sean Marks of the Nets. All right, we promise until we get closer to the awards show. We will not talk about the end of season awards. But those are our picks for it. So really, the big difference between you and I is probably just with Defensive Player of the Year. You’re certain it’s Paul George, and I’m going to say it’s Rudy Gobert. All right.

Andrew Wing
If you could vote for someone who would it be?

Graham Wing
I honestly don’t follow the defensive part enough. I was surprised I didn’t even know Paul George was a good defensive player until a couple months ago. So it’s just off my radar. I’m really not educated enough in it to know who’s the best.

Andrew Wing
Kawhi is the best

Graham Wing
He was. I still, what’s the what’s the play of the year

Andrew Wing
Double block

Graham Wing
I think just for that one alone, that he and Danny Green should share the award. Everybody needs to Danny Green. All right. just a couple of trivia things for you that related to it. So who was the first Rookie of the Year that was European? To give you a hint this happened in 2002.

Andrew Wing
Manu Ginobli

Graham Wing
No. There is a Spurs connection. That’s my hint.

Andrew Wing
Tony Parker.

Graham Wing
Nope.

Andrew Wing
Spurs connection.

Graham Wing
You don’t have a guess? Come on, 3 2 1. Pau Gasol.

So here’s the list on Wikipedia, and we’ll post a link to it. Starting in 1952, United States all the way down until you get to 2001-2002, Pau Gasol, from Spain. Now there was Andrew Wiggins won and Ben Simmons won so that we’ve had a couple of non American players. There was also Kyrie Irving, who was born in, where was he was born?

Andrew Wing
Yeah

In Australia

Graham Wing
But he became an American citizen. And Patrick Ewing apparently was born in Jamaica, but was an American citizen. And Patrick Ewing and Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins and Ben Simmons, were all basically part of the American basketball system. Even though they might have been from other countries, they were still American basketball players. So Pau, right to this very day other than this coming year, to this very day. Pau Gasol is the only Rookie of the Year who’s ever been part of a different system, right? Born and raised and played in Europe, and then came to the NBA. So that’s number two this year is going to be Luca Doncic. So it’s kind of hard to believe that in the history of the NBA, with all these great players, like Dirk Nowitzki and Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker and other such players, they were great players, but they weren’t Rookie of the Year. So to this day, we’ve only had one European player win Rookie of the Year.

Andrew Wing
Yeah, the list that we’re looking at just makes me mad. So it has the year they won, like the season they won, it has their name and their position where they’re from, team they played and in the year they’re drafted. And so in 2016-17, it says Malcolm Brown was rookie of the year he was drafted in 2016. But then 2017-18 it was Ben Simmons who won Rookie of the year, but he was drafted in 2016. If anyone who doesn’t know basketball or anything about like what happened last year sees this, they’re like, what is happening? This is so wrong. That’s not right.

He wasn’t the rookie, even though. Yeah, I know. All right. One other little piece of trivia. What did Doc Rivers do the night that they won, when he won a championship with the Celtics in 2008.

He went to the grocery store to pick up some things for a family dinner.

I just think that’s such a great story that I heard about the he talked about this on the Woj Pod that, you know, they finished celebrating. Apparently he didn’t go in the locker room for champagne. He sat in his office with somebody and smoked a cigar. He regrets it. But he did not go into the locker room. With the players

Regrets smoking a cigar or being in the locker room

Graham Wing
He regretted not going into the locker room. And then he got home. And he was talking with his wife and there was going to be I guess, some sort of a family dinner or something. And they needed something. He’s like, well, I’ll just go to the grocery store. So here he is at I don’t know what time was, you know, one o’clock in the morning, two o’clock in the morning on the night when he just won the world championship, the NBA championship, and he’s at a 24 hour grocery store picking up some stuff for dinner. I just, there’s just something about that I think is really cool. All right, then maybe the last, that isn’t really a trivia thing, but it kind of is. So Kawhi Leonard was on Serge Ibaka’s latest “How Hungry Are You?” YouTube show.

Andrew Wing
Yeah.

Graham Wing
And Serge asked where he’s going to be next year and he didn’t say anything. But I was shocked to know that he has not been to Niagara Falls yet. Now we are based in the Niagara area of Ontario.

Andrew Wing
Yeah

Graham Wing
I work in Niagara Falls personally. Kawhi, if you’re listening, come to Niagara Falls, I will take you around, I will get your comp tickets all over the place. We’ll get you free food, we will take you and figure out a way to have you come down to the Falls and have a great time. I know lots of people who would be happy to help me out with this. So Kawhi, please come to Niagara Falls, it’ll be worth your time.

Last week, we talked about the Spurs and do you remember Andrew, how many years in a row they’ve been in the playoffs?

Andrew Wing
22

Graham Wing
22 straight years. This year because of leaving the Spurs. Tony Parker, he has the current, he had the current record the current streak of longest number of years in the playoffs, which was at 17 years. So he was with the Spurs for all those years and was 17 years in the playoffs. This year he went to Charlotte, and they were right up until literally the last game of the season and didn’t make the playoffs. So apparently it was the third longest streak in NBA history. Looking at the chart here, it’s no surprise but number one, tied for number one is the legendary duo of Karl Malone and John Stockton. It’s certainly no surprise that the two of them are there. What a team, what a duo. I think one of our topics for future episodes are the kind of the greatest duos in NBA history. And if they’re not the greatest, they’re right up there. So 19 years in a row. That’s amazing. Tony Parker as said was 17, and Jason Kidd was 17. But he played on Phoenix and New Jersey and Dallas and the Knicks he was on a bunch of different teams. Tim Duncan, of course, again with the Spurs was 16 years. And then it goes down from there. Michael Jordan is not on the list because

Andrew Wing
Dummy, he retired.

Graham Wing
He went to play baseball and then came back again. So he’s not there. LeBron is on the list at 13 years, but that’s over this year.

Andrew Wing
Thank goodness

Graham Wing
Shaq’s on the list that 15. Scottie Pippen at 16, Kareem 13, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish 13, both with the Boston Celtics, they probably overlapped almost the entire time, if not, if not all of it. And then some other names in there from NBA history as well. But really, it’s kind of surprising when you look at the list that there may be half of them ten to 15 names are kind of superstars that you would expect to see on the list. And the rest of them are old time players. Bill Russell was in the playoffs 13 years in a row and how many championships did he win?

So he was he was pretty successful than in the number of years in the playoffs versus the number of championships. So that was interesting. JJ Redick, I guess will have the next longest streak now that LeBron’s done and Tony Parker’s done. And he’s at 12. So he’s not even on the chart. So he’s gonna have to make the playoffs another couple years before he starts to move up the chart. So what’s the lesson from all of this?

Andrew Wing
Eleven

Make the playoffs

Graham Wing
Don’t leave the Spurs.

Andrew Wing
Yes.

Graham Wing
On that note, I think we’re finished for this week. The playoffs are here. This is wonderful. If you look at the schedule for the next two weeks. If the series go longer than four games, there are three or four games every single night, I think for the next two weeks.

Andrew Wing
Yeah

Graham Wing
So I’m going to be tired. But it’s a great time of year. This is this is why we’re basketball fans, because these games are exciting and it’s great to watch. So watch the games. Leave some comments on the website. Let us know what you think. Give suggestions on things to talk about. Ask us some questions, and we’ll include them in future episodes of The Step Back podcast. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you next week.

Andrew Wing
Peace


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