DiscoverThe Athletic NBA ShowEarly Finals Preview + Looking to Game 5 of Western Conference Finals
Early Finals Preview + Looking to Game 5 of Western Conference Finals

Early Finals Preview + Looking to Game 5 of Western Conference Finals

Update: 2024-05-30
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Digest

The Celtics are a veteran team with a strong core of players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and newcomers like Drew Holiday. They have been incredibly consistent throughout the season, rarely falling into a slump. The team is led by a more experienced coach, Joe Mazzulla, and the city of Boston is hopeful for a championship. The Celtics' depth is a key factor in their success, with Al Horford stepping up in the absence of Kristaps Porzingis. The return of Porzingis is expected to further bolster the Celtics' chances in the finals. The Celtics' success has been built on a foundation of introverted personalities and versatile players, with Porzingis emerging as a key voice in the locker room. The Timberwolves, on the other hand, face a challenging situation against the Mavericks, despite a competitive series. The Mavericks have a strong history of overcoming deficits, and the Timberwolves will need to find a way to overcome their offensive struggles and foul trouble. The series has been a showcase of star power, with Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns leading the Timberwolves, and Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving leading the Mavericks. The coaching matchup has also been intriguing, with Chris Finch's unique approach to coaching adding another layer to the series. The coaching market has exploded in recent years, with coaches like Ty Lue and Mike Brown commanding significant salaries. The Kings' negotiations with Mike Brown have hit a snag, with a gap between the team's offer and Brown's expectations. The Kings' reluctance to commit to a long-term deal with Brown has raised eyebrows around the league, with many questioning the team's commitment to winning. The Kings' recent playoff appearance has not been enough to convince some that they are serious about building a contender, and the team's focus on the micro rather than the macro is a cause for concern. The Kings' financial situation is also a factor in the negotiations, with the team unwilling to pay Brown the top dollar that he commands. The Kings' struggles to find a coach that works have led to a sense of frustration among fans and observers, and the team's reluctance to make significant roster moves has further fueled the skepticism. The coaching market is becoming increasingly inflated, with coaches demanding higher salaries and longer contracts. The Kings' decision to pay Kevin Huerter a significant salary while negotiating with Brown has raised questions about the team's priorities. The Kings' situation highlights the challenges of navigating the coaching market in the modern NBA, with the price for top coaches continuing to rise.

Outlines

00:00:00
Introduction

This Chapter introduces the podcast and its hosts, Sam Amick, Anthony Slater, and Jared Weiss. They discuss the Athletic NBA Show Network and highlight the podcast 'Full Time with Meg Linahan,' which previews Emma Hayes' first game as head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team.

00:01:01
Celtics' Championship Hopes

This Chapter focuses on the Boston Celtics' chances of winning the NBA championship. Jared Weiss, the Celtics beat writer, discusses the team's veteran experience, their consistent performance throughout the season, and the city's expectations. He highlights the importance of Al Horford's contributions in the absence of Kristaps Porzingis and the impact of Porzingis' return on the team's chances in the finals. The chapter also explores the Celtics' unique locker room dynamic, with Porzingis emerging as a key voice and the team's overall introverted personalities.

00:02:39
Timberwolves' Uphill Battle

This Chapter shifts to the Minnesota Timberwolves' series against the Dallas Mavericks. Sam Amick, who has been covering the series, discusses the Mavericks' history of overcoming deficits and the Timberwolves' need to improve their offensive performance and foul trouble. He highlights the star power on both teams, including Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns for the Timberwolves, and Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving for the Mavericks. The chapter also explores the unique coaching style of Chris Finch, who has been a key factor in the series.

00:39:55
Coaching Market Explosion

This Chapter delves into the coaching market in the NBA, highlighting the significant salaries and long-term contracts that coaches are now commanding. The Kings' negotiations with Mike Brown are discussed, with a focus on the gap between the team's offer and Brown's expectations. The Kings' reluctance to commit to a long-term deal with Brown has raised questions about the team's commitment to winning. The chapter also explores the Kings' financial situation and the challenges of navigating the coaching market in the modern NBA.

Keywords

Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are a professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They are one of the most successful teams in NBA history, with 17 championships. The Celtics are known for their strong tradition and their passionate fan base. The team's current roster features a mix of veteran players and young stars, including Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford. The Celtics are considered a top contender for the NBA championship in 2023.

Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves are a professional basketball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves have a long history of struggles, but they have shown signs of improvement in recent years. The team's current roster features a young and talented core, including Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, and D'Angelo Russell. The Timberwolves are hoping to make a deep playoff run in 2023.

Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks are a professional basketball team based in Dallas, Texas. The Mavericks are known for their high-powered offense and their star player, Luka Doncic. The team won the NBA championship in 2011, led by Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavericks are a perennial playoff contender and are hoping to make another deep run in 2023.

Kristaps Porzingis
Kristaps Porzingis is a Latvian professional basketball player who plays for the Boston Celtics. He is a 7-foot-3 power forward/center known for his shooting ability and his defensive versatility. Porzingis has had a successful career, playing for the New York Knicks and the Dallas Mavericks before joining the Celtics. He is expected to be a key contributor for the Celtics in their quest for the NBA championship.

Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Dallas Mavericks. He is a 6-foot-3 point guard known for his exceptional ball-handling skills, his scoring ability, and his clutch play. Irving has won an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers and has been selected to eight NBA All-Star teams. He is a controversial figure, known for his outspoken views and his sometimes erratic behavior.

Mike Brown
Mike Brown is an American professional basketball coach who is currently the head coach of the Sacramento Kings. He has a long and successful coaching career, having previously coached the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Golden State Warriors. Brown is known for his defensive schemes and his ability to develop young players. He is considered one of the top coaches in the NBA.

Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings are a professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California. The Kings have a long history of struggles, but they have shown signs of improvement in recent years. The team's current roster features a young and talented core, including De'Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, and Keegan Murray. The Kings are hoping to make a deep playoff run in 2023.

Ty Lue
Ty Lue is an American professional basketball coach who is currently the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. He has a long and successful coaching career, having previously coached the Cleveland Cavaliers. Lue is known for his ability to lead teams to championships, having won two NBA championships with the Cavaliers. He is considered one of the top coaches in the NBA.

Coaching Market
The coaching market in the NBA is a competitive and lucrative one. Coaches are now commanding higher salaries and longer contracts than ever before. The rise of the coaching market is due to a number of factors, including the increasing importance of coaching in the NBA, the growing popularity of the league, and the influx of new television money. The coaching market is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.

Second Apron
The second apron is a luxury tax threshold in the NBA. Teams that exceed the second apron are subject to a variety of penalties, including a higher luxury tax rate, restrictions on trades, and limitations on signing free agents. The second apron is designed to discourage teams from spending excessively on salaries and to promote competitive balance in the league.

Q&A

  • What are the Celtics' chances of winning the NBA championship?

    The Celtics are considered a top contender for the NBA championship, with a strong core of players, a deep bench, and a more experienced coach. The return of Kristaps Porzingis is expected to further bolster their chances.

  • What are the Timberwolves' chances of winning their series against the Mavericks?

    The Timberwolves face an uphill battle against the Mavericks, who have a strong history of overcoming deficits. The Timberwolves will need to improve their offensive performance and foul trouble to have a chance of winning the series.

  • What is the current state of the coaching market in the NBA?

    The coaching market has exploded in recent years, with coaches commanding significant salaries and long-term contracts. The Kings' negotiations with Mike Brown highlight the challenges of navigating this inflated market.

  • What are the Kings' chances of re-signing Mike Brown?

    The Kings' negotiations with Mike Brown have hit a snag, with a gap between the team's offer and Brown's expectations. The Kings' reluctance to commit to a long-term deal with Brown has raised eyebrows around the league, and the team's financial situation is also a factor. It remains to be seen whether the Kings will be able to re-sign Brown.

  • What are the Celtics' strengths and weaknesses?

    The Celtics' strengths include their veteran experience, their consistent performance, their deep bench, and their strong defense. Their weaknesses include their reliance on a few key players and their sometimes inconsistent shooting.

  • What are the Timberwolves' strengths and weaknesses?

    The Timberwolves' strengths include their young and talented core, their high-powered offense, and their defensive aggression. Their weaknesses include their inconsistent shooting, their foul trouble, and their lack of experience.

  • What are the Mavericks' strengths and weaknesses?

    The Mavericks' strengths include their star player, Luka Doncic, their high-powered offense, and their experience in overcoming deficits. Their weaknesses include their lack of depth and their sometimes inconsistent defense.

  • What are the Kings' strengths and weaknesses?

    The Kings' strengths include their young and talented core, their high-powered offense, and their improved defense. Their weaknesses include their lack of experience, their inconsistent performance, and their reluctance to make significant roster moves.

  • What are the key takeaways from the Celtics-Timberwolves series?

    The series has been a showcase of star power, with Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns leading the Timberwolves, and Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving leading the Mavericks. The coaching matchup has also been intriguing, with Chris Finch's unique approach to coaching adding another layer to the series.

  • What are the key takeaways from the Kings-Mike Brown negotiations?

    The Kings' negotiations with Mike Brown highlight the challenges of navigating the coaching market in the modern NBA, with the price for top coaches continuing to rise. The Kings' reluctance to commit to a long-term deal with Brown has raised questions about the team's commitment to winning.

Show Notes

Tampering

Sam Amick and Anthony Slater are joined by The Athletic's Jared Weiss to discuss the Celtics' road to the NBA Finals, and previewing what they need to do to bring home banner No. 18. The guys also look at the Western Conference Finals to see if the Wolves will be able to force a Game 6, or if the Mavericks have a date with the Celtics on June 6th.

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Early Finals Preview + Looking to Game 5 of Western Conference Finals

Early Finals Preview + Looking to Game 5 of Western Conference Finals

The Athletic