After a bit of a break, Sam and Alex are back with a quick Give and Go to bring you into the conference finals. They discuss the Game 7 between Toronto and Miami, what to expect in the coming series, and DeMar DeRozan’s upcoming free agency. Check back as they continue these discussions for the conference finals. Happy playoffs!
Sam: Who you got today?
Alex: Seems like they’re pretty equally banged up and ineffective so I gotta just go with the home team. You?
Sam: I said Heat in 6 or 7 coming in. I’ll stick with it. I think it’s gonna take a great performance from (Dwyane) Wade though.
Alex: It’s pretty much down to him and (Goran) Dragic and Wade is already in foul trouble. Toronto should be running away with it but they’re not. I guess that’s the theme of their playoffs.
Sam: Toronto hasn’t grasped that whole concept of making things easier for themselves yet. You think (DeMar) DeRozan bolts for LA if they lose?
Alex: I think if he’s not making much of an effort to stay they’re not going to try that hard to make him stay. He’s an inefficient scorer who hasn’t really showed up in the playoffs, but he’s going to make a lot of money somewhere. Toronto may not be willing to pay that much.
Sam: “Sources” have indicated that he actually likes it there, but at the same token he’s from LA, went to USC and the Lakers have cap space and an opening at the starting two guard position for the first time in two decades.
Alex: Oh, is Kobe retiring? I hadn’t heard. Really I wouldn’t be surprised by either, but if hemakes a few more of his shots this game we won’t have to worry about that for another couple of weeks.
Sam: It was backpage news only. Chris Broussard didn’t even bother breaking the news on the 5 PM SportsCenter. Miami is in a pretty good place all things considered in my opinion. If this is close in the 4th I’m not sure I trust the Raps to hold on and seal the deal.
Alex: Even if it’s not close I don’t trust them. They’ve given me no reason to no matter what the score.
Sam: True, but they just did exactly what they needed to do (at least in my mind) to win this game, not unlike OKC the other night.
Alex: (Kyle) Lowry and DeRozan are finally doing what they’re capable of at the same time and while that still might not be enough that’s their best shot.
Sam: Loved what DeRozan did at the end of the quarter. If you’d have told me that I felt decent about Toronto holding an 8 point lead going into the 4th an hour ago I’d ask you what you were smoking.
Alex: I still don’t feel all that safe. They just can’t seem to keep their leads above double digits. You have to be able to hold leads like that in the playoffs. If they can’t do it now there’s no way in hell it’ll happen later.
Sam: Well I think you just answered my question of it any of these teams have shown you anything to suggest they might could upset Cleveland.
Alex: Toronto played them well in the regular season and I can see them getting leads but especially with how the Cavs are shooting those leads could evaporate so fast. They’d need their guards at full power.
Sam: I agree those woes from Lowry and DeRozan need to be distant past for them to have any shot. Carroll is a key too. He can guard any one of Cleveland’s big three reasonably effectively when healthy.
Alex: True, there’s not going to be any room for error on either side of the ball against that team. But if the team that showed up today in Toronto lasts that whole series? That could get super interesting.
Sam: I do think Toronto’s homecourt advantage is inherently a little stronger than Cleveland’s. If Cleveland doesn’t cool off then everything else might be moot.
Alex: Yeah, Toronto would have had a tough time with Atlanta and look what happened to them. They can’t afford to lose at home and need to steal one away. I’m not so sure about that.
Sam: Yeah, me neither. I do think they will end Cleveland’s hope of a 16-0 playoff at least which is pretty insane to think about.
Alex: I’m not sure if that will ever be done, and I still believe they’re prone to a significant cool down. I’m pretty pessimistic, but I still can’t trust them completely.