175 episodes

A show bringing you nuanced perspectives on the NBA's most important stories, hosted by USC alums Aaron Fischman, Joshua Jonah Fischman and Loren Lee Chen. Find us on our website at OnTheNBABeat.com or our Twitter page (@OnTheNBABeat).

On the NBA Beat Aaron Fischman, Loren Lee Chen

    • Sports
    • 5.0 • 62 Ratings

A show bringing you nuanced perspectives on the NBA's most important stories, hosted by USC alums Aaron Fischman, Joshua Jonah Fischman and Loren Lee Chen. Find us on our website at OnTheNBABeat.com or our Twitter page (@OnTheNBABeat).

    On the NBA Beat Ep. 175: Andy Liu: “More Mature” Warriors “Come at You Without Shooting 3s”

    On the NBA Beat Ep. 175: Andy Liu: “More Mature” Warriors “Come at You Without Shooting 3s”

    After two seasons of missing the playoffs, the Golden State Warriors are back on the main stage, making their sixth Western Conference finals appearance in the last eight years. Ahead of Sunday night's Game 3, they find themselves with a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Dallas Mavericks and are poised to make their return to the NBA Finals. Joining us for a record fifth episode is Andy Liu of the Light Years podcast, who never fails to bring both knowledge and passion to the show.

    2:37-3:58: “In those comebacks, it was the defense that was great, but the Warriors rained 3s. It would just be left, right, Steph, Klay, repeatedly until they beat the other team into submission, and that’s not what it was last night. It was a lot of defense, of course…but it was just getting to the bucket. A lot of that is Steph, Klay and (Jordan) Poole figuring out, ‘Hey, we’re great shooters, but that’s not our first option anymore.’ That’s different from what we’ve seen with the Warriors. Everybody always wants to see Steph go dribble, dribble, dribble, step-back 3, but I think those are less sustainable in the postseason. It’s pretty cool to see a more experienced championship pedigree Warriors team kind of come back this way. It felt like more classic basketball versus the Warriors basketball that we’ve seen for a long time.”

    6:13-6:38: “Luka Doncic is a traffic cone. Luka Doncic is amazing. He was damn near LeBron-like on offense Friday night with the way that he was making 3s and getting to the hole. But he doesn’t hold LeBron’s jock on defense. And he’s absolutely terrible. Andrew Wiggins was going at him, Steph was driving right by him, and this Dallas team is exhausted. They go seven guys, they have like two, three good defenders – none of them great – and the Warriors know that.”

    20:48-22:30: “I’ve never seen (Poole) lose confidence yet. … You could say he’s already helped the Warriors win one game this series, and this was Game 2. He got to the hole, he made a few big 3s. That third-quarter run at the end and then the beginning of the fourth quarter, that was Jordan Poole. That was Poole, Wiggins, Otto (Porter), (Kevon) Loon(ey). Those guys brought the Warriors back and helped give that lead to Steph. … And that’s something also that the Warriors have never had. Even when KD was on this team, the minutes that Steph wouldn’t play were always terrible.”

    28:22-30:23: [Steph Curry]'s been great at everything except the thing that he's the greatest ever at. Like his shooting has been down, he's shooting 80% from the free-throw line. Just weird. ... Outside of that, I would say physically he's as great as he's ever been. And he's also way smarter. ... I think right now if you're a Warriors fan, you can argue who's the best player in this series and people are gonna say, 'Luka this, Luka that.' Five minutes left, give me Steph Curry every single time."

    37:36-38:08: "I don't want to say [Steve Kerr] stole the game with the defensive scheme, but he set the tone. He said, 'You know what, we're just going to run this scheme with 18 different coverages in Game 1,' and that's what set the tone on Luka, and they won that game because of that. They won that first game because of Steve Kerr."

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    • 43 min
    On the NBA Beat Ep. 174: Parish: Desmond Bane Is “Absolutely Key for the Grizzlies”

    On the NBA Beat Ep. 174: Parish: Desmond Bane Is “Absolutely Key for the Grizzlies”

    With the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors tied through two games of an intense Western Conference semifinal series, we're joined by Keith Parish, host of Grind City Media‘s Fastbreak Breakfast and Grits and Grinds podcasts, who provides insight from the Grizzlies' perspective.
    3:47-4:17: “These Ja Morant highlights, 140 million people saw them, and that’s by far the most of any NBA player. So he’s becoming an absolute superstar. What he did in Game 2 was a little bit different. … The Warriors are probably kicking themselves with the way they covered him. They didn’t seem to understand that he wants to drive left every time. They didn’t seem to understand that the Grizzlies were really, really short-handed and had not their normal closing lineup out there, but they didn’t force the ball out of his hands.”  
    12:32-14:11: “A healthy [Desmond] Bane I think could do incredibly against Klay Thompson. I’m not that confident in Klay Thompson’s ability to defend, and the Warriors keep playing these lineups where if [Jordan] Poole and Thompson are both out there, those are two things that the Grizzlies can attack if Bane is healthy. ... If he’s healthy and we get the normal Desmond Bane, he’s this unbelievable weapon because when you start helping off of Ja, [Bane]’s just there and he’s such a deadeye shooter. … If he’s hurt like he was in the first two games, where he’s not a threat, he can’t even quickly load his shot like he normally does, [then] you can get away with having Klay Thompson check him. I know Klay Thompson is a historically great defender, but I haven’t seen the athleticism from him yet this season where I feel like this is the old Klay on defense, so I think that’s something the Grizzlies would hope to attack. But it’s the health [of Bane], and we don’t know. “        
    17:30-18:03: “I don’t think the Warriors showed incredible poise outside of a Klay Thompson shot in Game 1, and in Game 2 they looked especially frantic. And they’re also prone to turn the ball over, which is one of the matchups in the series that plays into the Grizzlies’ hands. Clearly I have a lot of fear and respect for Klay and for Steph in the clutch, but I don’t know how much overall that experience factor is gonna matter or decide the series. Of course, we could see Games 3 and 4, maybe the young Grizzlies come out shell-shocked in Golden State, but it’s not something I’m expecting.” 
    29:26-30:31: “We don’t expect the Warriors to shoot that poorly, like they did in Game 2, but some of it is a little bit calculated where Andrew Wiggins is being left alone to shoot; I know he has the ability to make shots, but it has felt like a pick-your-poison type thing, where they’re saying, ‘OK, you can shoot.’ ... Steph is the one you’re obviously terrified of at all times. He missed a ton of very makeable 3s, including one where Ja and Ziaire [Williams] got mixed up at the end of the fourth quarter and left him wide open. As far as Jordan Poole, he’s been a good huge problem and he’s gonna continue to be a problem for the Grizzlies. They just have to try to continue to contest him, not foul him and hopefully he doesn’t make too high of a number.”   
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    • 37 min
    On the NBA Beat Ep. 173: John Karalis: Celtics "Cutting Durant's Legs Off"

    On the NBA Beat Ep. 173: John Karalis: Celtics "Cutting Durant's Legs Off"

    With the Boston Celtics (arguably) improbably leading the Brooklyn Nets 3-0 in an opening-round 2-7 matchup, we're joined by John Karalis, host of Locked on Celtics, Celtics beat reporter for The Boston Sports Journal and author of The Boston Celtics All-Time All-Stars
    5:07-5:45: Most importantly, defending at an extraordinarily high level; that’s what got them to this place. In this series, they are not letting Kevin Durant close out. They are not letting Durant get going and start to do all the things that Durant does. When the Nets are closing out teams, it’s Durant, just bucket after bucket after bucket, midrange after midrange after midrange. Unstoppable. In this series, they’ve frustrated the hell out of him, they’ve beaten him up, and he’s throwing passes to nobody now.”   
    13:51-14:54: “The switching has, I think, taken them out of their rhythm. And when Kevin Durant is out of rhythm, then the whole thing starts to fall apart ‘cuz Kyrie [Irving] plays off Kevin Durant, and it’s not the other way around. … I look at Game 3 and I say, ‘Bruce Brown got 19 field-goal attempts, and Kevin Durant got 11 field-goal attempts.’ And to me, that tells the story of the Celtics’ defense more than any of these other stats, the steals, the turnovers, Kyrie’s numbers, KD’s numbers. That one number: Bruce Brown had eight more field-goal attempts than Kevin Durant is everything you need to know.”
    27:49-28:57: "Right now with the playoffs, everybody understands ‘Whatever works.’ And so if [Payton] Pritchard is the guy that comes in and can hit some shots, then great. … If the series needs shooting and Pritchard's the guy who's gonna be hitting the shots, then great. I think Derrick White is ready to play 40 minutes or four minutes, and at the end of the game he's gonna be happy if they get the win."
    34:39-36:26: "I said Celtics in five because of that defense. … Pick your poison: Kyrie, terrible defender, especially in Game 3 when he has five fouls. Seth Curry, terrible defender. Goran Dragic, terrible. Blake Griffin, terrible. Now you have multiple guys on the floor and Kevin Durant is so worn out that he can't be the defensive presence, the rim protector that he's supposed to be. … I never saw Brooklyn with the ability to stop the Celtics. And I always saw the Celtics being able to kind of get whatever shot they wanted in switches against a heavily switching team like the Brooklyn Nets."
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    • 45 min
    On the NBA Beat Ep. 172: Shamit Dua: “If You Had to Offer (Zion) the Max, You’d Do It”

    On the NBA Beat Ep. 172: Shamit Dua: “If You Had to Offer (Zion) the Max, You’d Do It”

    Shamit Dua, host of the In the NO podcast, discusses the promising, young New Orleans Pelicans, whose vastly improved defense and deadline acquisition of guard CJ McCollum has them tentatively in a play-in spot. Shamit discusses McCollum's arrival, including what it's unlocked for star wing Brandon Ingram, before exploring New Orleans' new dual-big man starting lineup, Herb Jones' seismic impact on its defense and the team's prospects for the remainder of the season and beyond. Among other forward-looking topics, Shamit pays special attention to the franchise’s consequential upcoming summer decision regarding Zion Williamson’s future as its centerpiece.

    2:10-2:57: "From the get-go, CJ has brought professionalism, leadership and just attention to the franchise in a way that it hasn't had before. ... It's the kind of leadership that the team has really needed. He's been producing at an extremely high rate. I think he's up to like 27 points per game as a Pelican. He's jelling well with the other players on the team, creating open looks and just all in all making the Pelicans offense that much more dynamic and that much more difficult to defend."

    7:46-8:45: "I think you as an organization have to do everything you can to sort of sort this whole situation out, and if at the end of the day it doesn’t work, then you can say, ‘We did everything, we accommodated [Williamson] at every corner, and it just didn’t work out.’ So you don’t want to look like the negligent franchise that the media will inevitably try to paint you as if another superstar ends up walking. With regard to his extension, I think that’s gonna be a very fascinating question this summer because you look at how Joel Embiid did not play very much in the first couple years and he got a pretty conditional extension with a lot of injury provisions and whatnot. A lot of people are arguing that Zion should get something similar, and I think the Pelicans would be right to do that. But it's still a tricky issue. Do you risk alienating him further by putting that on the table? Or do you just kinda swallow the pill and offer the full max?    

    22:12-22:47: “I personally don’t see [the Williamson-Jonas Valanciunas fit] as a challenge. You look at Zion last year: He averaged 27 points a game, shooting 60 percent from the floor, and you had Steven Adams as the center. People said the Steven Adams partnership wouldn’t work. The Pelicans were a pretty decent offensive team, and Zion got whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. Jonas is a much more talented offensive player than Steven Adams, just as good of an offensive rebounder, he can space the floor, he can draw doubles himself. If the Jonas and Jaxson Hayes lineups aren’t obliterating teams offensively, Zion’s just gonna take them to another level. So I don’t see there being a question of fit.”

    33:35-33:54: “They would like to win; that’s why they traded for CJ McCollum. I think they view themselves as an organization that should be trending upwards, so making the play-in would be the right step. But I’m not sure there’s this ‘World is ending. Are we gonna blow the team up?’ or there’s dysfunction behind the scenes if those outcomes aren’t reached.”

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    • 35 min
    On the NBA Beat Ep. 171: Caitlin Cooper: “The Way [Haliburton] Can Freeze Defenders” Boosts Pacers

    On the NBA Beat Ep. 171: Caitlin Cooper: “The Way [Haliburton] Can Freeze Defenders” Boosts Pacers

    Caitlin Cooper, contributing writer for SB Nation’s Indy Cornrows, has experienced quite a memorable 2021-22 Pacers season so far. Although the team stands at 20-40 at the All-Star break, well below expectations, it boldly traded 25-year-old two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis, just days before the deadline, in a package that most notably returned super-talented second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton from the Kings. Caitlin discusses Indiana’s team-building process, why Sabonis was ultimately dealt, what Haliburton’s arrival means for Malcolm Brogdon’s Pacers future, why she’s excited about some of the franchise’s lesser-known youngsters, the magic of Lance Stephenson’s return, and that’s not even all. Enjoy some notable excerpts below:
    3:33-4:15: "When you go from Sabonis to Halliburton, both of them have really good feel for the game, and they process what's out on the floor very quickly; it's just that you're doing it at two very different positions. Knowing that they were moving on from Domas, they were mainly going to be losing what he does as a hand-off operator, his roll gravity, interior gravity, his ability to generate side-to-side action. They don't really have any other bigs that can do that to the level that he does, but I think the thought process was…I don't think the Pacers have ever in my lifetime had a point guard the caliber, even just after seeing these four games, of what Halliburton can do in terms of no-look passes, pass fakes to shake help defenders and get guys open and get everybody involved."
    13:43-14:40: "I think that the skill that has stood out the most to me…is just the way that he [Haliburton] can freeze defenders. I mean you don't notice it right away sometimes even. But then I've watched the games back and been like, 'Oh, the reason Terry Taylor was just so open in the dunker spot is because he used a slight hand fake over to the corner and that defender jumped and then that was open.' Or, he'll look in transition to the opposite slot and then throw it to Isaiah Jackson on the roll. He has a really nice fake little lob pass that he'll throw that can even open up the lob even further. … Part of what’s so exciting about his potential is that I can see areas that he can be better in in each of these games that we’ve watched, and then I’ll look and be like, ‘Oh, that was pretty close to a 20-20 game.’"
    31:30-32:08: "It's really tough to explain, and I'm even from Indiana. I live it. I've watched Lance [Stephenson] play since back in the 2013-14 era when they went to the Eastern Conference finals, and it's even hard for me to fully describe what the connection is between Pacers fans and Lance Stephenson and just how every single time, even since he's come back, when he enters a game, you'll start hearing the crowd get excited, and it's because Lance is going in. Even more so than watching Sabonis as a two-time All Star, or even sometimes what the reaction has been with Tyrese Halliburton getting introduced. He’s said it before, it's like he gets superpowers when he plays with the Pacers."
    42:49-43:11: “They do need to settle on, going into next season, exactly what type of defensive team they want to be because I don’t think they’ve really ever solved that. When they headed into the season, what Rick Carlisle said that he wanted to do for this team, his top two priorities were togetherness and defense, and before they made these trades, I’m not sure that they really accomplished either one of those two outcomes.” 
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    • 49 min
    On the NBA Beat Ep. 170: Zach Weiss on Cavs: “We Are Real”

    On the NBA Beat Ep. 170: Zach Weiss on Cavs: “We Are Real”

    Zach Weiss, host of the “Across the Cavs” podcast, is back to provide Loren an update, and boy, is it an exciting one! As the Cavaliers ready to host the 2022 NBA All-Star game, they just received word that Darius Garland will be playing in the showcase event for the first time. On the heels of an 11-4 January, Cleveland is still playing excellent basketball, yet not satisfied with its roster. In fact, one-third of the way through this very interview, Zach learned in real time that Caris LeVert was on his way to Cleveland to improve the already talented squad. Among other topics, Zach opines on the acquisition, the Cavaliers’ postseason chances and why their three-7-footer lineup has worked so well.

    2:55-3:01 – “Garland’s All-Star selection basically says, ‘Yeah, we’re hosting the game. We’ve got players in the game. We are real!’
    14:39-14:55 – “Justin Rowan of the Chase Down [podcast] – we had him on Thursday of last week; this would be February 3. He was big on Caris LeVert, who proceeded to drop 42 points, including 20 on just one miss in the first quarter in Indy’s last game, so he’s an option as well.” (Not even two and a half minutes later, Zach learns that the Cavaliers did indeed acquire LeVert, so be sure to listen to his excited, real-time reaction from 17:29-17:51.)
    21:02-21:17 – “We get a guy who can create, he has playoff experience from Brooklyn, he dropped 50 in the Bubble, he’s got a lot of talent, he’ll have good nights, he’ll have bad nights. But finally [much-needed help has arrived]! We talked about Darius [Garland] carrying too much weight.”
    26:17-26:35 – “When you put him [Lauri Markannen] with two rim-protecting, mobile bigs, I think you scare teams. You go at them even if they’re ready for the fight. Not many teams have figured us out. The Cavs are 32-21, and that includes a five-game streak without their bigs, so they’re really 32-16.”
    30:37-31:04 – “It’ll be Darius and Caris, which kinda rhymes. LeVertland. Vertland, Vertland! There we go. Vertland. So take the pressure off Darius now. And they’re not gonna have that much tape to follow us ‘cuz Lauri’s not coming back until after the All-Star break, so for now you’ll probably have LeVert and Okoro starting together. And so when you consider everything here, they’re only gonna have 15 games of tape probably to watch.”
    39:59-40:34 – “I don’t see a weakness [with the Milwaukee Bucks], and they’re gonna have [Brook] Lopez back in the playoffs, even if he’s only playing 15 [minutes per game]. He was incredible last year when they needed him to be, and when he was out, you put in Bobby [Portis]. This is a scary team. I don’t care they don’t have PJ [Tucker]. I don’t know how we beat them. I could be wrong because I said the Cavs weren’t ‘this,’ and then on October 1, I said we were a 12th seed. In November, end of the month, maybe even early December, I said we’re not even a top-six. So don’t take my word for it, I guess, but the Bucks are the team I’m the most scared of, more than Miami, more than Chicago, more than anyone else in the conference. Anyone!”   
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    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
62 Ratings

62 Ratings

Richie Ostler ,

Great pod, very fun

I’ve only listened to a couple episodes so far but I love the unique energy of this pod! They do a great job at covering all things NBA!

swjones87 ,

Great all around basketball coverage!

If you’re looking for all around NBA coverage other than your local team’s, this is great! Guys are very well informed and provide for excellent analysis!

XAMRdan ,

Full NBA coverage

As a Sixers fan, I’ve become heavily invested in pure Sixers pods but needed one to keep me updated on the rest of the league, and I found it here. Great insight, coverage, and overall incredibly entertaining. Love the show!

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