Chat with Chris Sheridan
Chris came to ESPN from the Associated Press where he spent the last 10 years as the lead NBA writer.
Sheridan's chat tips off at noon ET on Friday so send in your questions now and join him right here for the answers.
Chris Sheridan (12:00 PM)
Good afternoon fron New York. How 'bout that Bill Walton chat? Is that guy a tough act to follow, or what? And I want to know if Walton took some sort of a speed typing course at UCLA. I've got a strong case of ESPN-vy today, given how Walton was waxing poetic about the birds singing in South Florida, where he's on assignment, and given how Stein is getting to bear witness every night to such a special team down in Dallas. Me, I get to slog through a cold rain to see Steve Francis' comeback attempt tonight, a mere four days after he said he was probably done for the season. Anyway, we've got 6 1-2 weeks left in the season, and some team is going to make a late surge for an eighth spot. I've got Portland. Anyone with me?
Bryan Colangelo - Executive of the Year?
Chris Sheridan (12:03 PM)
Yes, in a walkover right now. I normally discourage serious discussion of postseason awards until March. So here we are in March, and it's time to start pushing Bryan C.'s work with the Euroraptors for the executive award, which I'm doing in my next blog entry. I'll also weigh in on the other award frontrunners as I see them, starting, of course, with Dirk ahead of Nash for the MVP award. Check the site over the weekend for the rest of my picks.
Hey Chris what is up with the Nuggets? Do you think they will make a run and catch the Lakers and perhaps the Rockets?
Chris Sheridan (12:04 PM)
Not if they don't start playing some defense. They're as bad as a defensive team as there is anywhere in the NBA right now.
Daryl (Richmond, VA)
Who's more long-winded: Bill Walton or Luke Walton's father? Somebody needs to tell that guy that an occasional yes/no answer wouldn't hurt instead of the long explanations!!
Chris Sheridan (12:05 PM)
The guy had to be typing at 150 words per minute.
Chris, would you pick Roy over Bargnani for the ROY despite the fact that Bargnani seems to be more valuable to his team and the Raptors have a terrific record , or do you think its based purely on stats ?
Chris Sheridan (12:06 PM)
I think Brandon has a pretty clear edge on him right now, and I think Garbajosa will draw some support away from bargnani. In fact, I'd argue that garbajosa has had much more of a positive impact on the Raptors than Bargnani.
Chris, with Luke getting ready to return, will the Lakers keep Mo Evas in the starting lineup or will Luke reclaim that?
Chris Sheridan (12:09 PM)
I took some flack from my e-mailers in L.A. who pointed out that the Lakers were 5-0 with Evans as a starter when I took a mild jab at Evans in this week's Pippen column. I still think Luke will reclaim the starting job by the end of March, but I'm becoming more and more of an Evans believer the more I watch him.
Seba (Fort Worth)
I know Sam Mitchell is doing a heck of a job but if the Mavs get 70 or close to it, should Avery repeat as Coach of the Year?
Chris Sheridan (12:11 PM)
Tbis is probably the most wide-open race, with Avery, JVG, Sloan and Sam all in the mix. This award probablhy gets won in April by whichever of those four surges to the finish.
Shane (Venango Pa)
Can miami get to the playoffs, and if so how far can they go?
Chris Sheridan (12:13 PM)
At this point, as much as I'm down on the Heat, I like their chances of holding their plaoyff spot a lot better than I like the chances of the Magic, Knicks or even the Hawks catching them. I think they'll go in as the 8 seed and get taken apart by the Pistons.
Fro (Plymouth, VT)
the nets...anything special or a first round playoff loss
Chris Sheridan (12:17 PM)
There are really only three teams I like in the east right now, and they're one of them (Detroit and Toronto the others). Vince has been spectacular since the trade deadline passed, and Mikki Moore and Boki Nachbar are giving them a lot. I think they'll have a good trip to Texas next week when they go on the road for six in a row, and I'll even go so far as to say they'll give the Mavs a battle next Tuesday night. I've been saying all season that they've got a seven- or eight-game winning streak in them, and maybe they're building it now.
Charlie (Portland, OR)
Great to hear the Blazers love. Sarcasm there? Hopefully not. Biggest surprise for Portland so far? And how bright is the future for this team? Chanecs of hanging on to both Ime and Travis this offseason?
Chris Sheridan (12:20 PM)
Well, the biggest surprise was the Patterson resignation yesterday, I suppose. There's no sarcasm there, either. Maybe I'm going a little overboard coming off that 36-point beatdown of the Bobcats last night, but as I said at the start of this chat: Somebody is going to make a surge in the West, and I like Portland's chances better than I like Minny, Golden state or even the Hornets.
Are you saying that you would take the Nets over the Cavs? The same Cavs that just did give the Mavs a battle last night?
Chris Sheridan (12:23 PM)
Let's see how both of those teams look when the playoffs start, but I'm not in love with the Cavs in spite of how well they played last night in Dallas (until the final 14 seconds, anyway). I'm looking forward to seeing how they do in their next three, all tough ones, against Toronto, Houston and Detroit. If they go 3-0, I'll give 'em plenty of love in next week's chat.
Do you think the Pistons would have a legit shot to take out the Mavs or the Suns if they make it to the finals?
Chris Sheridan (12:24 PM)
Can Seattle sneak up and get the last playoff spot? They have some talent and could be a dangerous first round opponent.
Chris Sheridan (12:25 PM)
Not if Ray Allen's ankle injury is as bad as it sounds. Apparently he has a pretty big bone chip in there, and he might be shutting it down for the season.
Do you think there is a possibility of a Raptors - Nets playoff matchup? I can't think of anything I'd like to see more!
Chris Sheridan (12:29 PM)
Agreed. Other East matchups I want to see: Detroit-Washington (the Wizards might be the one team that can beat them) and Detroit-Cleveland (Cavs still can't get past 'em).
Do you think the Bulls have a real chance of making it to the Eastern Conference finals or are they going to be out in the first round again this year?
Chris Sheridan (12:30 PM)
Well, the nocioni injury is going to make the diffrence. That guy steps his game up in the playoffs more than anyone in the NBA, at least judging by the last two years.
Paul (Cleveland, OH)
Did you see LeBron D up Dirk in the 4th quarter last night? Dirk had scored 10 points and was about to put the game away, when LeBron switched over and shut him down completely. He's been catching some flack for not hitting those threes at the end, but by my estimation had we not missed all those layups we would have won easily... your thoughts?
Chris Sheridan (12:32 PM)
The missed FTs by LeBron were pretty bad, and that's gonna be a tough mental thing for him to overcome in the playoffs if he doesn't get right by then. That being said, his D on Dirk was outstanding. LBJ did that to Dirk last summer, too, at the World Championship in the US-Germany game.
Reid (Bloomington, IN)
Will Nene ever reach the Nuggets' lofty expectations? Seemingly, he hasn't made noticeable progress since his rookie year.
Chris Sheridan (12:35 PM)
Hey reid, have you seen any Nuggets games over the past three weeks? Nene is really coming on strong. He's the one guy on that team that has benefitted most from having the ball in Iverson's hands more over the last couple games since they benched Blake. The Nuggs took a lot of grief for giving Nene that hiuge contract last summer, but at least they've been patient with him this season, and it seems like they brought him back at the right pace.
Amanda (LA) California
How much can Jason Hart help the Clippers?
Chris Sheridan (12:37 PM)
I was just glad to see that somebody, anybody, got waived prior to the March 1 deadline. Big dropoff in buyout activity this year. That being said, I think Jason can help a lot, and I think he's been waiting two years for an opportunity like this.
Is the Pippen thing kind of dying off or are there teams that are interested?
Chris Sheridan (12:38 PM)
Scottie told me Monday that it'd be a week or two before he did anything, so stay tuned ...
Chris please answer my question buddy. Everyone always makes it seem like Dirk and Nash are both shoe-ins for MVP this year. How about Kobe Bryant? Despite all their injuries they are still 7 games above .500. The way the NBA judges the MVP is majorly flawed. If you take Dirk and Nash away from their teams they will still be playoff teams since they have other all-stars to help out. If you take away Kobe from the Lakers they will likely be a lottery team. Who do they have? An inconsistent Odom, a few other guys that show up some nights and not the other? Seriously how can you say that that the way the NBA determines the MVP is fair. It's based too much on wins and losses. You have to look at what the team has and what a big impact the player will be if hes gone. There is no person more deserving then Kobe. Last year Kobe should have won it, this year Nash is having an awesome year as well. Maybe the best season of his career, but will he win a 3 in a row? Probably not, it's going to be tough to beat Dirk. This MVP thing is a joke to me now.
Chris Sheridan (12:40 PM)
Easy Mike. It's March 2, so the MVP debate is \far from over. You can't help but single out Dirk at this point because of the Mavs' 49-9 record, but there are stioll 6 1-2 weeks left, so there's a lot of basketball left to be played. Kobe can still make a run, but he's going to need the Mavs to falter.
Neal (Newark, DE)
Do you think Iverson's trade to the Nuggets hurts his "great player" image at all? I don't think people expected the Sixers to go far and the thinking was he didn't have much of a supporting cast. Now in Denver, he has Anthony as a fellow all-star player, but he didn't make the team a "great" team. Seems like you could reason Larry Brown got the Sixers to the Finals more than Iverson did.
Chris Sheridan (12:41 PM)
The whole Iverson-to-Denver thing is still an open book. March is going to be a very important chapter, but it's far, far too soon to be making blanket statements about that trade just yet.
Chris, Other than Detroit, do you see anyone in the East being able to win it all?
Chris Sheridan (12:42 PM)
How did your daily poker challenge at the Bellagio turn out the Monday after the ASG?
Chris Sheridan (12:43 PM)
How much will the J. Crawford injury impact the Knicks? I hope it hurts them a lot. The Bulls need for ping pong balls for Oden.
Chris Sheridan (12:44 PM)
It's a killer, unless Stevie Franchise has something left in his knees. I'm still waiting for him and Marbury to turn into Frazier and Monroe the way isiah promised 13 months ago.
Chris , Who exactly is MJ gonna be spending money on for the Bobcats this Summer ?
Chris Sheridan (12:47 PM)
I think it'll be Rashard Lewis, but I'm still not convinced that Bob Johnson is going to open his checkbook to get it done. I'm also starting to believe more and more that Vince Carter is going to decide against opting out and will play one more season in NJ.
Chris, man I have been trying to get on the chat for the last 6 months. If the Pistons go all the way this year, do you think Ben " Mr Unhappy at coach" Wallace going to the Bulls would be the greatest blessing in disguise for Detroit
Chris Sheridan (12:50 PM)
In a roundabout way, yes, because it paved the way for the Webber signing. But let's see first how the absence of Wallace's defense impacts the Pistons in the playoffs. Still an open book there, too, Avnish.
if the raps keep on its current pace and keep doing what they are doing. they are on pace to finish either 3rd or 4th in the east. which will probaly give them a first-round match up against chicago or the pacers. think they have a chance to win that series and make some major noice in the playoff?
Chris Sheridan (12:51 PM)
If they keep playing as well as they're playing now, I'll take the Raps over either of those teams in a first-round series, though I think it'd go 7 games against chicago.
True/False: Gasol, KG and JO will all be shopped on or after draft day.
Chris Sheridan (12:53 PM)
True, true and false.
Craig (Scottsdale, AZ)
Mavs remind me of last year's pistons, great regular season, but their winning margins don't impress me, I think there is a very good chance they can't get past Rockets/Jazz in Round 2, agree or disagree?
Chris Sheridan (12:55 PM)
Disagree. Only teams I see possibly beating them in a WC playoff series are Phoenix and San Antonio, though I hesitate to exclude the Lakers.
Matt (Austin, TX)
What do you think of the Patterson firing? Long overdue? Canzano slams him today in the Oregonian, basically ranting about not getting Chris Paul because Patterson over-ruled Pritchard...
Chris Sheridan (12:58 PM)
I think Patterson sealed his fate during the Darius Miles fine fiasco, and it was only a matter of time before he got tossed aside to make room for Pritchard, who I think is going to end up with the GM job.
The Bulls have playoff experience, the Raptors don't. You nuts if you would take them over Chicago in the playoffs.
Chris Sheridan (1:00 PM)
I know, I know, and they've beaten the Bulls like once in the past five years ( a couple weeks back). But I'm telling you, if Nocioni is out for the playoffs, the Bulls aren't doing much. Toronto can take them.
who do you think will win the ncaa tournament
Chris Sheridan (1:01 PM)
The Marquette Warriors, baby. (some of us still can't bring ourselves to call them by their newer, stupider nickname).
Chris Sheridan (1:02 PM)
That's all for this afternoon, folks. Everyone have a nice weekend, and we'll chat again next Friday.