Oct 30, 2012|
Yahoo! Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski continues the NBA coverage as he takes D&C around the league to look at a new-look Lakers team and the retirement of David Stern. He also analyzes the Celtics' prospects for the upcoming season and the progression of Jeff Green.
Transcript - will not be 100% accurate
-- -- else gives a great NBA writer for Yahoo! Sports agent joins us on the AT&T hotline AT&T forgy LT is good morning gauge how are yeah. How mortified I'm wondering will read out -- be a better fit in Miami that he wasn't Boston. I. At the end I think so I mean I think he'd. Certainly for his needs he he wasn't happy right he didn't like. Certainly the personalities were a big part of it the relationship with Rondo and the other relationship with dark deteriorated. Especially once -- if you guys on -- break -- one -- came back. And lost the starting job but certainly from. A basketball standpoint how he would use. Felt like he'd become morbid DK. I'd be quite an offense yeah. So I think he's where he wants to be. Are the Celtics a better team. Without Ray Allen but with Jason Terry and Barbosa and Courtney -- Well I'm not sure about Barbosa I don't know what he has left right now but there's no question Jason Terry. And Courtney Lee and and healthy Avery Bradley when he finally comes back. You you can make the case that they've improved. That position. I think that would have been the case if you -- -- Courtney Lee. And you know that was in Jason Terry in common possible Ray Allen from Boston doesn't missed. Wasn't written raising rates still going to be a very good player he's going to be if he's healthy. He's going to be when these guy is gonna be like Reggie Miller who would steal 3839. Missile going to be. You know. A productive player because the country. He keeps himself in but the fact that ray went to their rival -- went to their competitor that were -- -- that they can survive rays lost. But effective he goes to Miami team that's improved and so improve themselves. Is the bigger problem for -- and he win any world. They could live with it better than the fact that he's now he's going to help in the trying to. Adrian Stephen A Smith and a lot of people appear think the Celtics on the second best team in the east. Do you agree with that thought and if not what we would you rank and. I think in the regular season I don't think they may finish behind Indiana I know they're they're -- and Miami now I don't know if Indian is bill. For the playoffs and yet not that that was the young team that grew last year in an -- be even better but. To Boston's depth is tremendous and I think the Indian prime McDonough that front office that a great job. Of improving. Certainly improving -- and returner Jeff green is gonna help them a lot. Especially the series against Miami now where you have green to help cover their athletic wing players LeBron wade that a guy who can give minutes. And make those guys -- -- different that's stopping and those guys which are putting a guy now on them defensively is gonna make them work it has size and athleticism. But death doesn't between the best step -- doesn't always win in Miami to me right now. As long as they're healthy. And LeBron. LeBron isn't just the best player in the league right now is the best player by far and we all saw what happened last year the light went on. And I think LeBron may be out of the trying to -- and can -- -- the -- -- care now that Jordan did work when you think back. To some really great teams in the Eastern Conference knicks team. Pacers team. That could not get past them. And you know Boston's improved but it may now be enough because the level of -- playing yet from the finals the Olympics. And and it -- -- right Peru. I I don't know anybody needs is going to be I don't think anybody needs is going to be them unless they're significant injury. So your your thickened like we are that the best chance the Celtics have his high ankle sprain that. But that's but the thing is though. A team like all your try to do that all you try to do that -- try to put yourself in position that they stumble a little bit you're good enough to beat them. And right now I think Boston in India and everybody -- -- lead Miami to stumble but but injuries happen and Dwyane Wade. Has shown the -- -- his body. You know has really start to affect them in the at this point his career and have waged not on 2% but I just think of those guys. Our whole as the season goes on. I I don't see anybody being in the east. Conversely -- and could we not say that the Celtics will sink or swim on the long term health and well -- of Kevin Garnett. Yeah Garnett and AMP here and you know I think. You know you you're assuming you know it doesn't these guys have played Garnett had a tremendous season last year and and and pierce was healthy. And that is certainly no latter part a year it appears a while to get going out of lock out. You you're assuming that these guys that there were -- gonna get through deceit and you just don't know and injuries happen to anybody but certainly -- has. Put themselves in a good position where doctors not have to overplay. Is veteran guy and older guys in the regular season in terms of minutes. And and and doc is one of the best that this and it seemed that long picture the long view and I think he really learned from Gregg Popovich. It's at Tony on how he's handled that. With with his older players were -- are gonna sacrifice. You know win in March and a win in February and you know a couple back to back in January. To to Wear out his guys and not be on to pursue better be -- they can come the playoffs and Boston's depth give stock. You know a chance to not lose too much ground in the in the regular season are standing in the playoff positioning by resting -- and and not overplaying his key guy. Adrian are you -- fraternity of people who say the advent of Jeff green is going to make a big difference on this basketball team. I do I think. -- for Boston and when you go back to that Kendrick Perkins trade and you know it did not pay dividends and short term when green came over it took him. A -- you know he never got acclimated that season I think the pressure walking in replacing very popular. Player and perk was popular that just for the fans in the locker room. And you could tell you press a lot early and that first year that I obviously what happened last year was. Real unfortunate misses the whole season but the way he's looking to Tracy's in the -- Celtics feel about him you know talking to scouts around. -- who watched Boston closely to pre season Jeff green was the guy that they kept talking about. And it's his job I assume he is. Spent some time cover and LeBron James -- Carmelo Anthony and number the other. Wings thugs especially in the east. It it is that it takes pressure off with pierce takes pressure off of you know other you know -- especially Paul Pierce who has to give. You know it's hard for him to chase those guys around and still have the energy to be able score the ball I think relieved Yates. Certainly some of that pressure from pierce and all along that's public trust or use of personal. You know he's a versatile player and got pretty -- has that this group is a lot of versatility he can mix and match a lot of different kind of line up. And you know doc is one of the great coaches in the league in any really great in identifying match ups and and certainly that the the chemistry of certain groups and how they played together on the floor he can do a lot of experimenting. With this group I think you'll see a lot of that supplement preceded and you'll see a lot of that in the early year where. You know. How he can use different groups together and I think that was an option and the kind of versatility he didn't have watched. If the NBA is a star league Adrian and stars win. The lakers not win you know 65 this year. I don't think they're gonna I really don't I I think. The lakers. Number one there have to be careful with the minutes of this group would Nash. With Coby. Is they go you know even black power early with a back he stole -- soreness there they've got to be careful with that. Does the same -- the lakers had. Last year are still there that quick athletic guard you know that the real -- point guards the Russell Westbrook. Those guys are gonna continue to get in the paint against them. Now you have Dwight Howard -- at the rim and and that's a big difference spot. Defensively I still think the lakers. Against Oklahoma City with the athleticism of the -- And Westbrook it in their great skill is going to be a problem for the lakers and look in the but lakers straight -- -- amplified in and having powered. On the changes a lot for them and Steve Nash. I think to be traffic -- now with all that talent on the floor you've you've got five starters on the -- for the lakers who at one time or another in their career -- guy. -- it -- their team high level all star. Player and I think having Nash right traffic and all that is gonna be really important for them. We're talk to a major Georgian -- from Yahoo! and -- and aside from these reinvented lakers what NBA story interest you the most and watching it play out. Well you know I think this -- that Oklahoma City trade from the weakened going to be interstate and how it affects the thunder. Look at in the long term I understand why they did it and I think they'll recover in the long term that don't they can move some pieces around their but in their championship. You know how they were championship caliber team this year -- would -- that you know was in a mode of trying to win them now. And you take out James -- not a middle that can made. Find offense manufacturer. -- -- scoring in different places. Two. Compensate for that loss it was a gutsy call less impressed he could make that deal I understand why did it. And it obviously to see how it plays out. And even the chemistry and how locked. Pardon the popular player. Especially with Kevin Durant. I think those guys will get over and I certainly and I know they'll trust -- -- that he's done the right thing. Of all along there but I think that to me will be. That changes the whole dynamic in the way. The rockets general manager called James Harden a foundational player do you agree that. You know I I think. I I know durable these general -- Moore believes he can build the franchise around them. -- I think offensively he's gonna -- -- put up big numbers and score I think the question for me. With -- going to be. Is he a leader is he now when something goes wrong you know when he was in Oklahoma City. You know -- get blamed everybody has Westbrook -- too much now for a guy like James Harden -- that next deal and now he's got it. Is she ready to take definitely take that bird and make guys around him better that's always the test for a guy who dissect winner in his case a third option in another place. Eight I don't know if you've and discussed the Dave. And David Stern's retirement with them I know you'll probably attending department and a best wishes you wrote the best piece of anyone when he announces retirement. I was just wondered if you really believe he's retiring so I think is going to be like a Michael Bloomberg deal Adrian bunt. February 2014. -- don't just -- finished the year in the into the is missing just one more year. They're gonna have to pry his dead fingers up that job. Well the fact. The fact that he went. He's gone fifteen months here in this victory farewell tour of his. What in the Moroccan cheers Jon and I wouldn't throw any demise rock and -- -- Exactly. A -- tour. I think the question will be is how much influence to see and have even be and then Adam silver is a guy -- learned -- his. You know it is chair who. You know he groomed for the job police put in the job and and I think it was important for David Stern have. As in David Stern did want somebody coming in from the outside and really looking at how things ran in that place he's. His legacy is preserved. Which put them so overtaking over. But how what what Adams -- is -- guy b.'s own man and and and I think the owners. With stern going out the way it was always described to me was you know there's a very centralized. Power base with stern are always was and too much so and that if you'll see a little more state power now we're the owners wanna have. They don't want the commissioner to have the power that stern had. And I think that will be the issue Tug of war when it's over takes over. That the a lot of younger owners will think we're gonna get more control of this -- back from from that office and now be huge -- thing to watch and how that plays out. Completely changing the subject you think the new flopping. Deal the new flopping rule will be a big thing for a small thing ultimately Adrian. -- good question I just the way they're -- enforce -- positioning in the watching tape -- day after day in the league office. I think Judy players are Smart and they would -- and and Cogent app which I think coaches won't admit this but they're coach is like the pot this. -- in the league and so it's you know and that's why I don't like the idea that -- fining players. To meet if you're gonna find people for flopping him -- fighting teams find the team and the players I mean. Is it that showed how bad players association is and how little. That they just put in a financial fine for something you do want the court what you say next yeah they say it was terrifying god -- -- girl -- got to traveling. You know -- to meet with this rule they should -- a combination. Foreign players and find the team also because I I just I don't understand how you could put the rule in. And put fines on players about collectively bargaining that with the union but that -- you have bad in and how inept the -- Unionists. I forget the negativity on opening night here of this question but which coach you suspected Georgian house Campbell finds himself on the hot seat first this year if Justine does live up expectations. I think Alvin Gentry in Phoenix I -- think there's. That the relationship between management and they they inherited him there and with Nash go on I think that team. You know obviously there -- total rebuild now I think he's one but I want another guy Mike Brown if the lakers get off to a slow start. -- -- this doesn't and he's trying to put the Princeton offense in the air. -- big gut and his staff last year after the season brought it's a very good assistance the potential. You know interim head coaching replacements with the lakers I think that would be the high profile one would be would be Mike Brown if they do not get off to a great. And a -- and of Kobe wants him out right. Well it was I think Kobe wanted to Princeton offense and he was -- suggested it out there and I I just think it's going to be. You know that's always been the question what Mike was how these offensives -- powered offense you run and when you've got offensive players like Nash and and and and you know -- we bring into -- -- solid Colby is better look better than it looks flashier but they had no training camp been. I I think it'll be. I think Colby brown are fine but but if -- doesn't get off to a great start you'll you'll hear that about. Is you -- you pick in the heat to win it and and LeBron to be the MVP here's that too predictable and -- now. It is predictable it is easy -- I mean I I I they you have to I just think that again he's playing what you did in the post season last year and then watching it every day in the Olympics. When he decided those games I feel a -- India but. He's playing at that level confidence and belief now. And really do what go a lot of those demons I think that held him back in spots and and once that happened everybody knew it was going to be over for everyone -- again I I think he has the chance to have a short and ask. Run -- championships here in. Unless he falters. I can't see anybody beating them. Adrian final question for me what to NBA insiders like you. Think the role and impact of rookie -- soldier will be on the Celtics -- -- I think he's supposed to he would steel where they got a not a lottery ticket drop because of the concerns about the back injury but. What I keep hearing about him is just how both physically. He's got the most athletic guy he's not the most. Skilled guy in the world but outs Marty is on how these pix he's picked up on their things -- the way to veterans. Are ready gravitating. Toward and that's really hard for rookie especially in Boston with their veteran group and and no in the respect that -- sent after him and and and the guys around them. I think he had the chance to be real impact full player for them. You major ports and I'll -- the great NBA writer for Yahoo! Sports and David Stern's best friend Adrian thanks for the time this morning we appreciate it we'll talk you down the road -- -- or else Cuba Dennis and Callahan on the AT&T hotline AT&T four GL TE was speeds up to ten times faster than three G. AT&T rethink possible.