DiscoverThe Bill Simmons PodcastPart 1: The Best NBA Finals Angles With Ryen Russillo
Part 1: The Best NBA Finals Angles With Ryen Russillo

Part 1: The Best NBA Finals Angles With Ryen Russillo

Update: 2024-06-033
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Bill Simmons and Ryen Russillo delve into a two-part podcast previewing the NBA Finals, starting with a discussion about the Celtics' minus-225 odds to win the title against the Mavericks, who are plus-188 underdogs. They explore the historical context of such a significant underdog winning the championship, highlighting the 2004 Pistons' upset over the Lakers and the 2019 Raptors' victory over the Warriors. Simmons emphasizes the unusual nature of a team with Dallas's regular season record winning the Finals, comparing them to the 1995 Rockets. They also discuss the Mavericks' recent playoff run, particularly their dominance over the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the impact of Luka Doncic's performance. Simmons highlights the Celtics' consistent dominance throughout the season and playoffs, but acknowledges the Luka factor and the historical trend of underdogs losing in the Finals. The conversation then shifts to the individual matchups, with Simmons expressing his belief that the Celtics have the personnel to guard Kyrie Irving effectively. They analyze the Celtics' defensive strategy against the Mavericks, particularly their ability to switch and guard Doncic. Simmons also discusses the importance of Jalen Brown's performance and his potential to be a key factor in the series. The podcast concludes with a discussion about the trade deadline and the potential for more teams to make significant moves in the future, inspired by the Mavericks' success with their trade deadline acquisitions. Simmons also highlights the importance of having two on-ball creators in the playoffs, which he believes was a key factor in the Mavericks' success over the Timberwolves.

Outlines

00:00:00
NBA Finals Preview: Celtics vs. Mavericks

This Chapter begins with Bill Simmons and Ryen Russillo discussing the upcoming NBA Finals matchup between the Celtics and Mavericks. They analyze the odds, with the Celtics being favored at minus-225 and the Mavericks as plus-188 underdogs. They discuss the historical context of such a significant underdog winning the championship, highlighting the 2004 Pistons' upset over the Lakers and the 2019 Raptors' victory over the Warriors. Simmons emphasizes the unusual nature of a team with Dallas's regular season record winning the Finals, comparing them to the 1995 Rockets.

00:17:13
Analyzing the Minnesota Series

This Chapter focuses on the Minnesota Timberwolves series, where the Mavericks emerged victorious. Simmons and Russillo discuss the challenges the Timberwolves faced in defending Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, highlighting their inability to find a consistent strategy. They also analyze the Mavericks' offensive struggles against the Timberwolves, particularly their inability to exploit weaknesses on the Minnesota side. The conversation explores whether the Timberwolves ran out of gas or if the Mavericks simply elevated their game.

00:19:15
The Importance of Two On-Ball Creators

This Chapter delves into the importance of having two on-ball creators in the playoffs, which Simmons believes was a key factor in the Mavericks' success over the Timberwolves. He argues that Minnesota's reliance on Anthony Edwards as their primary offensive threat made them vulnerable, while the Mavericks' duo of Doncic and Irving provided a more balanced attack. Simmons also discusses the potential impact of a healthy Kristaps Porzingis on the Mavericks' chances in the Finals.

00:21:18
The Celtics' Defensive Strategy

This Chapter focuses on the Celtics' defensive strategy against the Mavericks. Simmons believes that the Celtics have the personnel to guard Kyrie Irving effectively, highlighting their ability to switch and guard Luka Doncic. He also discusses the importance of Jalen Brown's performance and his potential to be a key factor in the series.

00:24:23
Jalen Brown's Impact

This Chapter focuses on Jalen Brown's performance in the playoffs and his potential impact on the Finals. Simmons highlights Brown's impressive scoring and shooting percentages, arguing that he has been a key contributor to the Celtics' success. He also discusses the perception of Brown's abilities compared to Kyrie Irving, emphasizing that Brown has been a more consistent performer in recent playoffs.

00:30:25
The Importance of Bottling Up Kyrie Irving

This Chapter focuses on the importance of limiting Kyrie Irving's impact in the Finals. Simmons believes that the Celtics need to prioritize bottling up Irving, as he has been a key factor in the Mavericks' success. He argues that the Celtics have the personnel to do so, with their guards and wing players capable of guarding Irving effectively.

00:31:41
Jalen Brown's Rise

This Chapter focuses on Jalen Brown's recent performance and his emergence as a key player for the Celtics. Simmons highlights Brown's impressive scoring and shooting percentages, arguing that he has been a more consistent performer than Kyrie Irving in recent playoffs. He also discusses the perception of Brown's abilities compared to Irving, emphasizing that Brown has been a more consistent performer in recent playoffs.

00:36:54
Kyrie Irving's Redemption

This Chapter focuses on Kyrie Irving's recent performance and his redemption as a basketball player. Simmons acknowledges Irving's impressive play in the playoffs, but also highlights his inconsistent past and the challenges he has faced throughout his career. He argues that Irving's current performance deserves praise, but also acknowledges the need to consider his past struggles.

Keywords

NBA Finals
The championship series of the National Basketball Association (NBA), played between the Eastern Conference champion and the Western Conference champion. It is the culmination of the NBA season and determines the league's champion.

Luka Doncic
A Slovenian professional basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks. He is widely considered one of the best players in the NBA, known for his exceptional scoring, playmaking, and rebounding abilities. He is a two-time NBA All-Star and a two-time All-NBA First Team selection.

Kyrie Irving
An American professional basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks. He is known for his exceptional ball-handling skills, scoring ability, and clutch play. He has won an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers and is a seven-time NBA All-Star.

Boston Celtics
An American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They are one of the most successful teams in NBA history, having won 17 championships. They are known for their rich history, passionate fan base, and competitive spirit.

Dallas Mavericks
An American professional basketball team based in Dallas, Texas. They are known for their high-flying offense and their ability to compete with the league's best teams. They have won one NBA championship, in 2011.

Jalen Brown
An American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics. He is known for his athleticism, scoring ability, and defensive prowess. He is a two-time NBA All-Star and a two-time All-NBA Third Team selection.

Kristaps Porzingis
A Latvian professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics. He is known for his height, shooting ability, and rim protection. He has played for the New York Knicks and the Dallas Mavericks before joining the Celtics.

Anthony Edwards
An American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He is known for his athleticism, scoring ability, and high-flying dunks. He is a two-time NBA All-Star and a one-time All-NBA Third Team selection.

Trade Deadline
The date in the NBA season when teams can no longer make trades. It is a significant event in the league, as teams often make major moves to improve their rosters or clear cap space.

Second Apron
A luxury tax threshold in the NBA that teams must pay if their payroll exceeds a certain amount. It is a significant factor in team building, as it can limit a team's ability to sign free agents or make trades.

Q&A

  • What are the odds for the Celtics and Mavericks to win the NBA Finals?

    The Celtics are favored at minus-225, while the Mavericks are plus-188 underdogs.

  • What are some historical examples of significant underdogs winning the NBA Finals?

    The 2004 Pistons' upset over the Lakers and the 2019 Raptors' victory over the Warriors are two notable examples.

  • What makes the Mavericks' potential Finals victory so unusual?

    The Mavericks had a relatively poor regular season record, making them a significant underdog. This is unusual for a team to win the Finals with such a record.

  • How did the Mavericks perform against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference Finals?

    The Mavericks dominated the Timberwolves, showcasing their offensive prowess and Luka Doncic's exceptional performance.

  • What is the importance of having two on-ball creators in the playoffs?

    Having two on-ball creators provides a more balanced attack and makes it more difficult for opponents to defend. This was a key factor in the Mavericks' success over the Timberwolves.

  • What is the Celtics' defensive strategy against the Mavericks?

    The Celtics plan to switch defensively and guard Luka Doncic effectively. They also have the personnel to guard Kyrie Irving effectively.

  • How has Jalen Brown performed in the playoffs?

    Jalen Brown has been a key contributor to the Celtics' success, showcasing impressive scoring and shooting percentages.

  • What is the importance of limiting Kyrie Irving's impact in the Finals?

    Kyrie Irving has been a key factor in the Mavericks' success, so the Celtics need to prioritize bottling him up defensively.

  • What is the potential impact of the trade deadline on future NBA seasons?

    The Mavericks' success with their trade deadline acquisitions could inspire more teams to make significant moves in the future, potentially leading to more parity at the top of the league.

  • What is the significance of having two on-ball creators in the playoffs?

    Having two on-ball creators provides a more balanced attack and makes it more difficult for opponents to defend. This was a key factor in the Mavericks' success over the Timberwolves.

Show Notes

In Part 1 of a two-part podcast, The Ringer's Bill Simmons is joined by Ryen Russillo to discuss the Mavericks-Celtics NBA Finals, a look back on each team's playoff path, NBA historical implications, how the Mavericks reinvented their team mid-season, player matchups, and much more.


Host: Bill Simmons

Guest: Ryen Russillo

Producer: Kyle Crichton




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Part 1: The Best NBA Finals Angles With Ryen Russillo

Part 1: The Best NBA Finals Angles With Ryen Russillo

The Ringer