Jun 12, 2012|
Ric Bucher, NBA analyst for ESPN, joined the Dennis and Callahan show to discuss the upcoming NBA finals and the future of the Celtics. Bucher explains what he finds odd about Lebron James, what he thinks will happen to the Cetlics moving forward, and gives his prediction on which player will be the unexpected hero in the NBA Finals.
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As the very accomplished NBA analyst for ESPN also senior writer for ESPN the magazine report -- joins us on the AT&T hotline neat TNT. Orgy LTE good morning cal -- good morning Perry topless when you don't know what else. I not -- about it -- you're much better -- -- idea you know what to do -- -- much better than -- it's -- -- they very specific question which teams are used to superstars are better than the other team would you take LeBron wade and bosh over Durant Westbrook and -- or the other way around. Wow now. Which trying to put a plus or minus and somebody's category when it comes of the Big Three. I and my stump them do you know yet got a he's not that accomplished that they think about it. I'm good I'm gonna have to go at this point in time. I'm gonna have to go Miami Heat then. But I AI like. I believe that the other three. Will ultimately accomplish far more because they've gotten to it so much quicker. Honestly the beat the it will we're just talking about straight and -- yes what I appreciate. Is that. These Oklahoma City Thunder Big Three. Have found a way to integrate what they -- too. Much more quickly and in surprising fashion because. You don't even talking about them up big in the mix there are about three essentially perimeter guys. And go to guy without question. And and yet they've found a way to make it work and that's where it. To me it just so impressive people tried to put a wedge between. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. James Harden has come up eight and they'd taken a page out of -- Antonio spurs where. They look we -- to do the same thing we have we have a lot of similar talent. But we're not gonna get that and let that get in the way of us winning. Our Rick another check mark I'm looking to place somewhere what's more important in your mind the home court advantage that Oklahoma City has and would have in game seven. Or the finals experience that Miami brings to the table that the thunder doesn't have. I'm gonna say experience. Because. It again because this format. Miami Heat can come in here in just the yield one of these first two games. All of that and it goes away now the pressure is on yes. 44 Oklahoma City to do something. Quite honestly that they never done before and and that's go on the road in the final -- at the big. That's the big question mark for me you know my Miami Heat of face and edited incredible that this crowd is an Oklahoma City. This -- atmosphere is like that before. Or or or darn near similar you that you really can't say. But their experience anything like the NBA finals because there is nothing like being. -- -- away or thinking oh my gosh. You know at -- with this deduction that possessed you to get because closer or farther away. Rotten ride home from the ultimate dream. And -- that. On every possession. Do you get this do you feel like the that obviously James is under a lot of pressure. Is that going to be a factor here and beauty the the that you set Oklahoma -- the back the 23 what do they Dominican home court but they got not that'll lose. James is playing. For his his legacy perception -- image and all that did to dispel the notion that he can't get it -- in the finals. No question about it and we're we're gonna have -- and sidelined for ESPN radio coverage of the of the games and we're gonna have a production meeting this morning. And that's what I'm -- -- that's what I wanna talk about pregame because it is. It is what what I found really odd and it it sort of stole all of my -- feeling like okay it's LeBron time it just feels like it's time that way he played in game six it's and the way he's. Handled this season. And then he comes out and says. Well you know win or lose. I'm gonna be okay in a lake. -- -- -- -- Spoke at work here and say hey look at the ball out there I can walk away that's okay goal it is to it. It used it to mean it sounds like a guy who still trying to deal with the pressure. And they -- So I did but I felt like he handled the pressure and gained sixty handled the pressure in game seven. Clearly I mean. That is still a question to be answered -- LeBron James can't be with LeBron James was. In game six in game seven. Then you know what we're just talking about who which speak three is better and all that all of that reverses the only -- night I said what I said. You answer your first question where did is because LeBron James has has just been. This he's been what we all hoped he would be. A guy that is going to attack the rim. Guys can play below the free Carolina guy who's gonna play its biggest years which is 6927. Do you think they'll cover each other will LeBron and Durant spent much of the time on on each other -- This -- I I can see LeBron guarding the rants far more than I concede the rant guarding LeBron there there. Just because it's that the -- lead there's no reason to Wear -- out. Trying to guard LeBron and that's. I believe that there's going to be a lot of cross matches here for two teams that like the plane transition that's gonna make things interesting because it. When when you when you're not guarding the guy that's guarding you. Now when there's a turn over the long rebound goes -- and your like your. Tracking the try to find the guy that you're supposed to be matched up with and that -- create a greater opportunity for the offense. That's I hope albeit still see how much of factors that place. In this series. Eric -- is there any added value for the thunder in having beaten three champions and taking a much more difficult road to the NBA finals with knocking off Dallas lakers and San Antonio verses. -- knicks pacers and Celtics. But yeah I I believe especially because there's such a young team. That that that that's not a factor and I wonder. I just wonder. Whether we. And the Miami Heat. Because. And particularly the Celtics coming off of that series to me. The Celtics didn't. Lose as much as they -- -- album that you know -- got. Win win when LeBron James can in crunch time to ride to the rim when Dwyane Wade can ride to the rim uncontested. Uncontested against the team that is clearly. Locked in I'm not talk about game six where they just didn't show up and talked about game seven. To me that's justice sign that you know what that the -- just weren't there any more than they the mind was Wheeling the body was not. And that's going to be case with these Oklahoma City Thunder and they had to. They have to do something that. I'm just not sure that Miami had to do which was. They had to execute. It to XQ under arrest and now the Oklahoma City Thunder. I -- I believe they can't route through these playoffs. Maybe more than the Miami Heat. You know that's a great point wrecked because you look back at six in 7 games here the Eastern Conference finals. And he relied on. Isolation on hero ball wasn't amendment weren't run and play as they were given to LeBron or wade and they were nick and and it worked mean they had some good. Matchups in the in the Celtics as you point out or worn down but it wasn't X acute shouldn't there was a superior talent. But you did the epitaph for the Boston big feedback is that headline on your recent piece for the magazine. What are you here and -- is Garnett coming back here is he going somewhere else is he walking away. But my sense is that they'd they'd like to keep them that the big question. In this is where I believe that the lock out and the conversation in the lock out and we gross specs. Involvement in it and then you know Rondo KG and and Paul Pierce all at various times. We're involved in the meeting and from everything that I know. Wick was very aggressive in wanting to. Squeeze down the players. And I'll just be interested to see whether the relationship with dock with the rivers and the desire to stay together. Will convince those guys to come back for last. The other part and in will they'll get over the fact that they CEO. As this. -- we didn't. You know that that they are not you know whether that whether it was it was created across the bargaining table. Will be forgotten. And the other part for me quite honestly is a noted Danny -- all the right things but I have yet. -- mean Danny Ainge traded Kendrick Perkins so immediate says. He's not he doesn't allow emotion and sentiment to get in the way of doing what you think needs to be done with this team and I'd just be elusive. It's time to turn the page. I I -- it the worst thing in Boston Celtics fans know this. More than anybody else. You don't wanna hung on your superstars a year too long you want to trade him a year early. Because otherwise you get stock and it takes you a long time to get back and I just I believe. You know whether it's sign and -- or whatever -- there's some value in those guys. And the big question for me is not KG. It's not ray it's do you stand on Paul Pierce is done enough that he deserves to retire Celtic. Or do we say. Were turning the page. Maybe it maybe you don't deal but do you -- war. What you may be may be able to do and say we're just we're go -- this is now run those team. This is now hopefully Jeff Green team. And we need to move forward. I believe you almost have to do it one or the other because those three became. So emotionally bonded I don't know that any one of them are two of them would beat this game if you're letting wanted to go. And if indeed he does decide to go plan B that's blow all up and and and rebuild is that -- it is that next year then automatically a a transition near a bridge your a rebuilding year Rick. See I don't I I really don't like still -- well it'll be a transition year it'll be a rich year for sure but I don't. Think it has to be a non playoff year. Because. That the and again a lot of this hinges on I'm a believer in Jeff Green I think the guy can play. I think that he can be part of your part of the nucleus. Of a of a playoff teams certainly. And then it's just a matter. What are you going to get. That's going to put dynamite in an earlier piece where. I talked GMs about potential trade. Focusing more on how this all and one of the things that they said was if there Mitch Kupchak. They go and see if they can duke how this all Paul Pierce -- And I look at the nucleus of Rondo Jeff Green and how to solve. And to me practice that is good is being mean. Nucleus. In the Eastern Conference as far as playoff team and turned it. Maybe I -- at Miami but. Would Garnett and included an act Rick what that include Garnett and that. I mean here -- and keep them Garnett sought to. You know but then you could that. Certainly that you could that you that you could you could keep them I saw Allen and Garnett playing together and go to sleep in today KG -- -- Jeff Green and Rondo and Rondo and Avery Bradley I mean you're now look at that and one that the only nine. We went to come up with this. -- that I can I guess I talked I talked to GMs about what he would do if they were. The lakers Mitch Kupchak in terms of trying to improve the team and and -- and moving -- saw. And interest and and it and it all makes sense amend that all works. The numbers the numbers certainly work in terms of trading is all for pierce you know out of the one question is and you know how. One. You don't want pierce and happily going to LA and there is going in and what are you gonna do to your fan base. In I mean whether you like it or not sometimes they have a voice and you -- noted. If you're going to do you move somebody like Paul he's been there for so long. You'd better know that you gonna get better that that ultimately can at whatever. Sentiment whatever. However upset people might be. That you're gonna have a winning product after the fact it's going to make them. Forget that but I look at it it certainly. It's certainly work and it certainly. On the flip side if you look at the lakers Kobe Bryant Paul Pierce and and and Andrew Bynum. You know like back at number one -- what the -- thing you need in the in the west. Is he need to be better small forward now to Kevin Durant rant has. Has made his presence felt and and and in the east in the east is just different animal because it. The -- that a little bit lower in terms of getting to the playoffs look beyond. -- final question for me and I'm looking for your prediction as an unexpected hero win this series runs its course that means we're not talking about. LeBron or. 71. Who stands to be the unexpected hero in this series Perkins. Battier. Mike Miller Derek Fisher a block up or Sefolosha or somebody else. I'm gonna have to go with a pocket yeah. It when a guy -- eleven. Makes eleven of eleven. Against the San Antonio are right and is blocking everything in the GM. I'm gonna put my money on on that that could be three easy talent that. You know he might be hyperventilating he might be seized by the moment but. That that's that that's the real question I have for Miami is that I look over there and I go after the Big Three. -- might expect one guy he didn't mention is Mario Chalmers yeah that's probably be my pick on that end of things and you know -- Mario is for either crazy talent but there's probably more -- and content. That Alan. Eric we appreciate the NBA title at my question that I accomplished something here yes -- -- Definitely started up with the Paul Pierce for -- Gasol and if that happens we're gonna say you know you heard it here you heard it from Rick Walker duke -- first. At that and it. And it it does it you have no idea where that came with just had no idea whatsoever in -- -- -- -- so well put on hold touch wants to get an address from you we have some before you come -- we talked you down the road -- You got Rick eucharist that Dennis and Callahan put him on hold and we will say he join us on the AT&T hotline AT&T. Forgy don't value in this if if you're in LA right now yeah and you see here in this rumor pierced Bynum KG via yeah -- is your X-Factor. You trade Gasol for him for appears yours you get too small forward. You get you senator and Bynum. You bring in KG as your power forward. Colby in the backcourt I mean. That would be pretty exciting you're from LA Laker fan and you feel like -- was the end of the road. A couple weeks ago right. But when you got spank and eliminated new sand while they're getting old cells -- -- and and and and and -- in the old. You flip and I know pierce is old too with -- excitement that would bring but it. Are you Danny -- with them if you're -- -- reluctant to do anything to help the lakers get good -- real fast here you have your local artists. I don't think drop a lakers get good fast and you were totally. Blow up the Big Three and a better do you have a such twisted way of thinking hasn't been that way thinks about this is get a better play around blog so ball. But can they convince Garnett stay without pierce sat out Rleal that would be fine. KG and and assault here KG McGraw-Hill Avery and and green and bass. And green and Rondo and Bradley and then and don't forget dueling -- for his boss hall and Ryan Hollins your big bench scorer. And -- seven will be right back PNC. They don't go -- text the code word driver ER I VER drive.