Tim Bontemps

NBA This Week
Saturday, December 30th

NBA National Writer for the Washington Post joins John Dickinson and Matt Steinmetz to talk about all things around the NBA including the referree controvery involving James Harden.

00:24:23

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

All right let's get to our next guest. Tim bon Temps at the Washington Post he joins us. Each and every week on this program meant that him or kick it around some some New Year's resolutions force of individual teams or players. And also. If there's something maybe you wanna roll out with the old in with a new league wide he could do that as wells we start to look toward a new year. I would say from a resolution standpoint I would like to see for Washington Wizards. Play with some level of consistency at some point. And twenty seeing them in the last. But three days kind of a good indication of where Barack they get. They've been whose subtle hawks. It then a game they've played this year and obviously want them and they come all and your mother played on the same upper back and back they destroy the rockets at all so. At some point I'd like to seat. But from what I like to wizard actually played like it seemed that are up they're Jewish community started as a real. Contender in the Eastern Conference instead of listing that is kind of floated around and you know it all over the place in the first unit to map won't so far this season. Tim what do you think go to Houston right now. I think they've got a lot of injuries that. They'd be you know Chris Paul has been an out of line up. I look at Bob moon say about frequent power is out who I think is pride in most underrated guy and everything. You know I I think. When you when you look at the amount a guy. That that are currently missing program. I just think it's it's it's not really surprising that they're struggling you know. Are they also there are seen that they can get into Iraq and they'd like that you have right off than me. If they didn't they they didn't they know they option Obama 46 point lead lost that game but it. They didn't do it when they start making shots they can go sideways pretty fast that they be here if you're reliant on hit a lot of threes and you saw it breathe and you can. Have a pretty cold scoring pass break and may not backing improved they were in the first after that hole in the second half of that. It it got underscores some of these limitations of the of the way to quiet and clicking on all cylinders. Andy you picked Iraq gets hurt team that would look at it you know in the midst of a of a street kin and maybe big picture say. We don't have enough we need to do something and could they be a team that tries to do something even before the end of this season. So I think there's no question that they're gonna try to do something JD I think the bigger issue for them is that they're going to be unlimited what you can do. I think they're gonna be a prime target for files people. You look at the roster they're there there are a couple of guys short right they had betrayed I mean remember when he got hurt all they had to trade away. Or five guys. To get him right so they were still able to get got a kabob which came PJ Tucker this summer. But there's a short couple got the bench is so if a guy like Marco Belinelli hit on out I could see him ending up there. It hurt not Jewish so we get bought out I could see a man enough there. I think any veteran guys that are looking to get them actually made it a bit even getting the break out it probably only got. February got a bit Sony really dropped now I think they did you. Nine or ten that would help them a lot I helped them out a lot even if you watch their range. There they'll have games where they'll pout there are core guys didn't know 56 minutes to go because we get totally go to that bench unit. That they did they have this they they're kind of liquid gold they have last year where they have like. Three setter playing at 180. Lucky doesn't allow that drew it close these big spot so. To me that something really watch here over the next walker Jews. Can you can't use him Michael Holmes sitting in for these other teams can't they find a piece or two to kind of upgrade that edge. And if they can't. Are you picking them you know will then Tony then truck them. To play them is either got it in the pat does not have to be willing to. Playing big occasion no matter how many got yes. Tim last night on the warriors warm up show we had on Steve Martin's do you play by play voice on the radio for the with a corner route and we're talking about Dwight Howard and you say how Dwight Howard. Went to Charlotte in part because of his relationship with Steve Clifford from back in Orlando now Clifford obviously is. Ailing physically to some extent Steve Silas is in there and steeper group. We asked about Charlize well you know we're gonna have to figure out why what who got to figure out why and what I was thinking was. Would they move Dwight and initially I would think wolf so wide but if you watched him last night. And he was terrific last night. What they'd be open to moving Dwight Howard and would anybody. And would anybody have interest in him. Thought I I thought it was funny at JD we. Way to gain candidate two weighted weighted play like that so you were in attendance which is pretty the just pretty funny you crack me up. But. I'm serious note I mean look I think. It's going to be hard to move Dwight because nobody better and he's making 22 million dollars. So I think trying to find a pager for him is gonna be typical leaders look around the league are a lot of necessarily obvious landing spot for him. I mean look I think at this point Charlotte. In Miami yet they won that fight but to me challenge to be single blowing at FEMA they should be visually they rupturing Kemba Walker they gave it credit for jubilation turned him. You know they could get comparable white Asian trade him. I mean comedic gold there should be you know get rid of somebody that contract blow this thing up and started over to a Babbitt did work today. When your back because demos kind of an undersized. 28 when your point guard north got a guy and if so what had Matt. Project to eighteen months from now social I think there are. Pretty bad place even you know lap late game notwithstanding and I just you know if they could get clobbered like I'd I'd like the team knew it. I didn't have trouble doing that now I just don't I just don't know what the direction for them is who all. Tim bon Temps the Washington Post joining us here. And ID 570 Gaby NBA this week we were talking about the timberwolves earlier and Mac apple esque. They still talking about pivot well and and how he's just a maniac on the sidelines they'd constantly pull this team in the end. And try to get on London and just. Grit grind every moment of every game. And I'll look at it then at 22 at fourteen in a league full of disappointing teams. The pace to win fifty games which is about what you want to see from them. I just give me your thoughts on the timberwolves a mean he added all up then and they're have a good year. Yeah I have a really good year and people love to go crazy about that at all feel the maniac but you don't like it seems when engaged. And that theme has not won and not made the playoffs since 2004. That seem to never made it well in its entire thirty year history in the NBA elect Kevin Garnett was on the scene think about that govern it has Lebanon looking for over a decade. And they have that made the playoffs so. I think when you when you look at me look at that scene. Singing making the playoffs is that number one objective for that branch out and see what they do that at the basics that and bill out of there obviously they have the talent. Let that they should they could and should win around and really be. You know really make it a bit of a run. And I think in there when you look at it that way obviously you know they play the first round of booze sales all seen it before five. Dowd disappointing but when we have made it welcome. Over a decade and you know and I think I hope they're probably the single guy there tire officer that was in the lead the last segment of last. When when you look at it that way I think it is hard to look at this season dating other than huge success and you know I think people you know again I think it then I'm not saying that criticized matters people say that. Are people they're probably go with the notion data being made to be acquired for the way it was part of the game I'd say they're right. I don't pretty crazy when you look at where bootable so bad until he showed up at where that he was playing right now. Well Thibodeau is a great coach and it's not about I've honestly I wore it I'm dead serious a word about the guys help a real well about the gathering. After that and added that is an obvious concern I mean a minute thing. The minute thing is that there's obviously a thing write me he played this guy is heavy minutes and you got. A lot of theories about why don't they and how he got bit by. You know the fact is he played got a lot of minutes ago began the way the league is now and that's really going to be something to monitor right I mean that they're there is no doubt about that. But we need to look at it from results standpoint I mean the fact is he getting result that seemed like gates. Hey Tim a look at the Philadelphia 76ers in and beat is. Is. You know banged up but he's playing here he's playing their he's now playing. Consistently. This I can't see the coal Angelos there are maybe start to get a little impatient. Would would you be surprised if the sixers basically went this season. And finished third at seven and 45 and didn't make the playoffs but they didn't really do anything to address and name. What so what I'd be surprised if they need to commit the wealthy don't do anything. Yeah I mean Michael would you would you be surprised if they just sit tight and then have a real. And kind of an underachieving season from the way they started. Well I wouldn't be this. I don't. Yeah yeah I gave you either Clinton or secretary acted like I thinks. I think I've said before the even Billy what the gonna make the playoffs and look they they were the hot young thing that was going to be invoke their right all the to Philly they're gonna make it well but look. And it'll without standpoint if you put the feet wide right at the number one pick your market false. They have to all be there have been primitive basic statement signed it erratic they have well Republicans need a bat chew it up three with the treaty weighing in the league. The native got a really nice if they got it right. But you look at the wind even gone and predictably to all be head start and stay healthy he's played I think 26 of their third or games you missed it tonight. So Marty missed nine games in the first 35 games he's done a few minutes. He'll play under sixty games again which obviously been our improvement from playing 31 games last year and play no games the first two years but. But still not having your bass player for over a quarter of the season. They event Simmons who. There's been terrific but at the same time. Teams that sort of figure out after a couple mud that they got what if we don't guard a guy anywhere outside the paint you backwards shoot the ball. So that what you're being very actively being kind of beat up about so that that's something to monitor. All that I've been outplayed at all he's going to be back here and I think he's going to be on the shoulder thing but. That's truly concerned I probably could have some injury issues so I mean look this is not a lot of stuff they've got to sort out and I've perking the into the position that they're hoping that the worst single look then to win 37 games and missed the playoffs get away prepared to get their pick. You know into more lottery picks and acting. And they're going to create. A bit film so got to come in there really make an impact for them I mean I don't think that the work situation at the end so. I personally wouldn't panic intuitively crazy but. If you told me that they try to really slump here in May fire we're proud of a major panic trade. I would surprise me at all because you know the expectation got ramp up their affiliate but that's a big market what a lot of us look a lot of pot media scrutiny. And yeah being our desire to go sideways like if you don't start panic induced a rash. Tim I'm looking at the Western Conference. The playoff picture is we had a boom year for the clippers. The jazz. The suns kings mavs lakers and grizzlies. If you had to pick one of those teams. That's good enough to make a playoff run who would it be. I would till they use Bachmann I think he edited the pop up and then the clippers clippers. And managed to survive bleeping out got them got some surprising win beat the wizard once speed another couple could change. I admit it frankly to wet the you know bottom left just not that good this year so far and they haven't really gotten. Blown out of the water so there's still in the mix but. I think they did you thought they had no law with healthy this year regal very very played. Arm they had anything scheduled their schedule would that you've got. If you pull up while talking eighty to eight. They've had to play I think they play off that I think twice with multiple local city three times. With the played San Antonio twice Houston twice it's it's been an insane schedule and are basically all local bear. So it would compare Carter got bigger why do you hear they're all whole lot more earlier couple games out now I think in the got a great coach what they're Donovan Mitchell really good. So to me if I'm picking horrible teams I think it I would I would truck that you saw is well coached. And they've disciplined enough to make that run. And get in the mix and and also they they do have the ability make him make a move they decide they want to also let that that the Reuters so. I'd love to pick one will be again I would say that. But I'm looking at the schedule that you mention it played Oklahoma City three times I know you talk doesn't want an Oklahoma City like eight years or so pluck a bad. And they you said Boston Cleveland at Milwaukee stuff they were at Denver. San Antonio mixed in there that was actually one of the games they won. Yeah you're. You're the ones they like acts they wanna have often would go bear got hurt like thirty seconds into the game two I think. Yeah one reporting that while they could have easily won true. I want so the fact that even just survived that thing is dumb. I think is a big credit for that and I so I know I pick them what do you make the playoffs. I hope they do want to go paired up and no keep missing significant chunks of time I think it they're gonna find a way to make it and eventually. Follow up would you tall little bit because I think we're insiders are real good coach. Where there does seem to be there but they're testing the deep pockets of people they. That don't think he's a good coach Rick if what is the criticism of him if you have a criticism of him because I'm not sure what it is. I've I and we haven't heard that and I I think that's crazy I don't know I'll I don't know how you could look at Fiat. And I could look at that seem to think anything of him either side culture mean. Aren't you you look at you you look at Iran is they've had he's been flexible and changes thousands all the playoff does that fit as well. All I think he's I think he's a tremendous coach and personally I I'd be thrilled album or culture machine so I haven't heard that I'm not sure where we come from is frankly I don't. Like you said that I don't know what the criticism would be. M I'll look at that at the lakers what what what's going on there in things getting a little. It is should there be any concern about Luke Walton right now with them I mean I I think they were gonna be good but is there a belief that there are. Worse than they should be and their half game out of the worst record in the west. Oh I think sick I mean I don't know anybody's ego and look at that look at thirteen I mean. They're playing a rookie point guard which is always a struggle I mean laughter raining on the better than it was last year but. Last year he was negative word rookie and additionally. I've played as many minutes as he did at least. You know he'd been much better but he's still improving how whose book and then at night last night revelations of that but he also played basically no defense. I know Buick. They've got a lot of guys who are one year contract to work. Kind of stuck in limbo because they don't know what direction the franchise is going in which I think is flooded some you know internal chemistry issues and that that is something that Buick. They had to deal with all of our ball situation with them I'm not criticizing the culture. No run and is now because of problems that way so. I mean no I did there here get to though the question at an air Ali does any worry for Luke wall whom I mean he's very clearly the you know the guided that management light fare army and air Moret you know huge internal applications there but. Welcoming its LA and there's always going to be drama on the lakers and you know I think again like last year remember they started out and it hadn't. And people got all excited and all the lakers are gonna be go to they're gonna win 35 games and they're just there to not good at like. They're very young guys are growing in their are going in the right direction I think but. You know they're just stated don't have much talent like if you like them up with. The other teams in the west and in just like look at them god for god invaded don't have the players to be much better than what they are. Hey Tim Oklahoma city's turnaround a little bit as of late yeah last night's game notwithstanding. You know they're involved in a ton of close games early in the year they couldn't finish are they doing anything differently that you see maybe the last two or three weeks or. Is it some things are kind even hang out now those close games are going their way a little bit. Well what did I mean this is why part of this is what I would say in the whole firefight which is that this team. It is a bunch of guys who barely did anything together that it was put together at the last second. In that you know all that Carmelo Anthony gets quiet even the EU training camp starting then. You know it has brought the weapon permit all camp at all we issued to keep them from really practice together doing anything drug of course the year trying to I think. A lot of it just then getting used to each other are Russell Westbrook has been more aggressive lately which has which has helped I think he's gotten a little bit better of a little bit more recruitment and more comfort zone which has helped them. An and I also would you say there. I it it's just a matter of them you know kind of vitamin stride overall offensively and it figured out you know what lane they need to have guided anywhere they need to have. Where we really need this why didn't I think aren't going back to Iraq be more aggressive I mean it all their defense is legit and it's been great all eagle on I think all of George's. Illegitimate our other guy in the race for governor referred back to where you're offered he's legally you can tour after game which is crazy mom but at the wrong that's nose and ask you about yeah. Started to drop it has been struggling there there did they you know they've been battered bad and Iraq have been more impatient. Like you said of course because Jim Lockett turned around and now suddenly they look quite good in there's also the. So I want to continue a little bit on the defensive player of the year as it pertains to your rant and that's been kind of picky here being out at the arena this week and and career and a lot of flash plays will work you put him in that mix for defense of player you is that realistic is that a little bit silly what do you think. It somewhat rare for Iran where does he fit. I think so yeah I regret I think Durant right now who percolate in the the ballot I mean I think if you look. If you imparted and it just because a way to rate has gone right. Dodger and I've created is that a little bit of a down year for it permit by his standards. On political baron Eric played. Quite Leonard is barely played well coming into these remote with a three guys were beat consensus choices you win the war right there's going to be one of Austria guys. Top three vote getters last year they none of them have really. Made impact I think I think animated actor Martin obviously good -- he had been the same level he's been in the last couple years and the other few that haven't played. So the field kind of opened up. And I think it Paul George and into it really got into Al Horford would there for a while. On but that led the Celtics have really fallen off a click offensively over the last month. All right so I think it and he can they debate it on but yeah immediate direct got a real shot at it repeat these illegal block the goals they had about defense in the league. I know he's gonna you gonna have a really really strong gay people all the award get a few which. You know people were talking about it early near or at any fighter vanity the only boy you without you may remember back in October what I thought. Underage kid can win that one word I didn't I didn't think he would have been aired behind them but the latest the way the rate had a broken eat. I think it sort of opposition remember a chocolate. Tim final question for you here I just direct. A couple of plays as far as the officiating in replay this week obviously I the book the ball they gave make Christmas here. With LeBron James Cindy did Iran Fallon brought the league said he felt twice in the ball clearly obviously went out of bounds. Awful LeBron but there's nothing they can do about that call you've got that the place in Boston with James Harden. Didn't call are the push off and then that the Yana satanic group Bo would eat he goes to the baseline. Steps out of bounds and a replay can't be triggered when everybody in the building knows he steps out of bounds they have waited a game on that play against the thunder. Just give me your thoughts on odd replay as it pertains to. The two instances where it it it played out in the call with Harden and the Celtics in a game. Thought they made me think you guys CD because we we are have a radio with you guys. And Wednesday at taking and you got drafted me about replay it or why it's what you need I looked at and it was just kind of funny to have. No particular act situation where it. Yeah and it happened last night on him anyway. I thought. I'm deeply deeply gated off with the with the rockets was a little unfortunate that it their racquet back battle that happens maybe what twice a year. When Iraqis your day for something you'll may have to wrap in the game but that was an atrocious leave. Officiated game. I mean it is there's the Celtics were just. Man handling the rockets all over the place there were calling anything then Tony brothers' grip sorry I talk to people believe yesterday and they work you know trying to defend. Well call is being correct I'm sorry but Coulter jokes I mean is there when you see a star player ever did call for not one but to push off valves. In the lap. Ten seconds of the game I mean it it is ridiculous. Five an and then obviously the thing that played with. With with yacht at the top I mean we would just stay right there and didn't see it and look it I'm not trying to. Pretend that I would be a good rap in the NBA because like lord knows that the brutal job and things are happening so fast yet be a popular thing. But it's pretty tough when. The guy there and he got that right I live right on the foul line around in the out about a play they may go a bit dunks the ball. And like even lied blocking it out like awhile got about a balance that they don't it thank you know the holy crap beat dump it and then they didn't call. It all so. I didn't identity that's the thing they've run you can't how did not look at that it's like it's like got. Catch in the back of the ins noted in the NFL if you look at it. Yeah I know and talk because it look I don't quite so good to be pretty MBA here could you really don't want. The turning to let it review every single play of that happened in the game. I have so their target just going to be sold under like. I guess it is good look at that but did talk when you have a game ended on a dunk. And they don't hurt at all I'll report say it didn't matter because that was such an incredible dog that like I'm kind of glad it so it putt. Both when he had it tough when you when you can see eye and obviously states and you can't correct it. Huge pretty stop glad it's good to see you all Carmelo classical wild actually would perhaps like I think I can't specifically for him in that pocket that flight. You know it's wrong they don't that a strong needed that they shrug and and move out hermitage kind of got a tough situation but at the same time I I still don't really know what the right answer it depicts. Tim great stuff today and am really appreciated as always will will see out here later on sounds like number thirty going to be out there. Yeah look at sorted out hopefully it a little more dedicated Internet garbage game last night so hopefully a little more on the net. When last night about three other teams on this home stand within within Iraq so there are home dad. That the opposite has been very terrible about Kerry a deal be in it should be night C a mob back at her quiet. I Kimball saleable later. I picked out appreciate it.
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