Chat with Marc Stein
Send your questions now and join Marc in The Show Monday at 5:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (5:05 PM)
Marc Stein will be here at 5:30 p.m. ET to chat!
Marc Stein (5:30 PM)
Hello, all. Thanks for joining us.
Marc Stein (5:32 PM)
We're off to a pretty good start considering that this doesn't look like it's going to be the most suspense-filled playoffs we've ever seen. Let's discuss . . .
All the "experts" still believe in the Celtics but I don't see it. Aren't they just mediocre without KG?
Marc Stein (5:34 PM)
We're stubborn. We don't like to give up on the champs so quickly. But a lot of us certainly miscalculated. Chicago has some of same traits Atlanta had that helped the Hawks take a Celts team with KG to 7.
Todd in Indianapolis
I am so impressed by the Sixers. Talent-wise they are in the bottom half of the league, but they don't fear anybody, and play very hard. Iverson should give A.I. to the real person who derserves it(Andre Iquodala) who has a much better all-around game.
Marc Stein (5:36 PM)
Not sure how you could be impressed with the way Philly finished the season. They stopped playing almost as soon as they cliched a playoff spot. But full props for that comeback. Orlando was virtually unbeatable this season after taking a lead into the fourth quarter. Even with Orlando's injuries, that was a mighty comeback. Especially since we all say that the Sixers can't shoot and wound up turning the game around with 3s,
Bill Simmons' Ghost (Corolla's Backyard)
Nuggets are proving the national media severly underrated them...are the Nuggets the odds-on favorites to play the Lakeres in the WCF?
Marc Stein (5:38 PM)
Maybe my memory is off, but didn't more of our ESPN panelists pick Denver to win thatr series? Can someone look that up? Can't deny that the Nuggets have a great opportunity, but it's only one game. They rarely look good on the Hornets' floor and following up a blowout can be dangerous.
Terry M (Arlington, TX)
Even if the Hornets can't find a way to make the series competitive, New Orleans-Denver is going to be a must-see because of the tension and chippiness. Billups wrote it off as "playoff basketball" but doesn't it seem as though a punch is about to be thrown on any given play?
Marc Stein (5:40 PM)
Not sure about the punch, but i hear you. That was rougher than I imagined. Which isn't good for the Hornets because Denver has the bigger guy at almost every spot.
Marc, If you could change any of your picks after the first weekend of the playoffs (teams and/or length of series) would you and which ones?
Marc Stein (5:44 PM)
Just a hunch. But I think you're trying to get me say Atlanta. Can't change picks -- that's the whole point -- but your guys looked as good as the Nuggets. There haven't been many things D-Wade has tried and failed in this game, but solving the Hawks' D . . . he hasn't done it yet. And with the help he's getting -- as in none -- he might not.
Claus: (Nürnberg, Germany)
Paul Pierce won't let another loss like the one Saturday happen again, will he?
Marc Stein (5:44 PM)
Pierce missing that free throw is almost as surprising than the Anthony Johnson dunk over The Rattler.
Andy (Salt Lake)
Thoughts on what caused Utah's collapse at the end of the season? What should be the plan for the offseason (this series won't last long)?
Marc Stein (5:46 PM)
It's just not a together group. The uncertainty about the future with all those free agents has crept into the locker room. On the road especially, they're not pushing back like we expect from a Jerry Sloan team.
Only Abbott picked the Hornets in the series, but we in Denver love to pay the "No Respect" Card.
Marc Stein (5:47 PM)
Brian (Fort Worth, TX)
OK. No suspense. 4 Road wins already. What exactly do you want? Do the Mavs have a chance tonight? Dirk and Terry didn't play to well the other night while Parker and Duncan did. Thoughts?
Marc Stein (5:48 PM)
I want to know that the Cavs and Lakers aren't going to get a free pass to the Finals. It's early obviously, but that matchup looks like more of a lock than ever.
Marc Stein (5:49 PM)
As for Mavs-Spurs, disagree that Dirk and Terry didn't play well. San Antonio blanketed them even more than usual and dared all the other guys to win. Can't remember the last time -- especially on the road -- that Barea, Bass, Dampier and Wright all played well in the same game.
Do you think KG is coming back if they make it back to the ECF?
Marc Stein (5:51 PM)
If the Celtics were mine, I wouldn't allow it. Can the Celts really win it all this year? Even if KG does come back? They owe him almost 60 mil for the next three years. Shut him down and get him right for 2009-10. The Celts could even convince themselves then that they never really got a chance to defend their title. There's no way I let KG back on the floor this season. For what?
Talk me off the ledge Steiny Mo! Do the Blazers even have a shot in this series or are the Rockets the worse match up the Blazers could have drawn?
Marc Stein (5:54 PM)
Not going to say they have no shot. Any outcome in the three non-Laker matchups in the West is possible. But I never thought that was a good matchup for Portland. The Rockets are the team best equipped to deal with Roy (with Artest and Battier) and the Blazers need their star to be sensational to overcome the lack of playoff know-how.
All of you are predicting that young Portland is the only team that can knock off L.A. How can they do that if they can't beat the Rockets??
Marc Stein (5:56 PM)
Not all of us. That's Bucher and Simmons.
Kelly (Austin, TX)
Still "unsure about the Rockets as a playoff entity"?
Marc Stein (5:59 PM)
Yes and no. I picked them to win this series against Portland, so if they take advantage of the great start and the matchup edges they have, there will be no better gauge than seeing what they can do against the Lakers . . . and with the first-round hex lifted.
Brett (Altoona, Pa)
Josh Smith was amazing to watch last night! I seriously shook my head in disbelief at so many things he did. He obviously isn't as complete of a player, but don't you think his athleticism at least rivals Lebron?
Marc Stein (6:00 PM)
It's safe to say he's on my All-Lefty Team.
Jay (Detroit, MI)
What happens to Kobe's legacy if he loses to LeBron in the Finals?
Marc Stein (6:02 PM)
If that happens, we'd be talking three straight trips to the Finals without a title for Kobe. No question it would stain the resume significantly. But with the team L.A. has, it's not like this will be Kobe's last opportunity.
Kudos to voters for getting it right on COY. Not that there weren't other good candidates, but LBJ aside, look at that roster. For much of the season, the Cavs were starting one player that had been traded twice over the past 2 years (West) and two others who were basically just given away by their teams, in part because of personality conflict or selfishness issues (Big Ben and Mo Williams). Another key bench player, Szczerbiak, has also had difficulty playing with star players in the past (KG in Minnesota). Even with the leadership and phenomenal play of LBJ this year, how Brown got 64 wins out of this group is pretty amazing.
Marc Stein (6:08 PM)
I had Mike third in the end in a year where you could pick 10 or 12 worthy winners. As I mentioned recently, I took my ballot back and decided to hang onto it until after the regular season ended after giving the COY to Stan Van Gundy in the season's final Weekend Dime. I did so because the Magic started imploding almost as soon as that story went to print. When I turned the ballot in last Thursday, I wound up going with Nate McMillan over Rick Adelman in a photo finish because the Blazers' rise into the top four -- given the lack of experience we rail on them for daily in the playoffs -- swayed me ever so slightly. Seeing what's happened to Orlando made me glad that I took a second look at the COY race . . . but seeing Nate decline to front Yao and make him move in Game 1 means he's off to a playoff start as bad as Stan's. That decision hurt Portland as much as anything in Game 1.
Mike Brown actually got 66 wins out of this team, just to play the disrespect card.
Marc Stein (6:09 PM)
Justin (West Lafayette, IN)
Who would you rather have leading your team in the playoffs right now, Paul Pierce or Derek Rose?
Marc Stein (6:11 PM)
Hey Marc, Colangelo said today he plans on talking extension with Bosh. What do you see happening this summer in Toronto? Do they keep Bosh or trade him?
Marc Stein (6:15 PM)
I'm sure they will talk. Who knows? Maybe Bosh will change his stance. When I asked him on April 1 -- and I don't think he was April Foolin me -- he said that the economy won't factor into his decision when it comes to taking an extension this summer. The top free agents like Bosh, Wade and LBJ probably don't need to worry about the economy, since they're obviously going to get max offers in 2010. I also imagine that, as part of running out every ground ball, Toronto will listen to the trade offers for Bosh that are going to be rolling in. If the choices are Bosh signing an extension or Bosh getting traded, I'd say trade is more likely.
Forgie (Columbia, MO)
If the Jazz don't fall apart at the end of the season and end up with the 2 seed in the West, does Sloan win COY?
Marc Stein (6:17 PM)
Yes. Jerry has a lot of fans in the media.
TWO straight trips to the Finals for Kobe, Steiny. 2007 was the Spurs.
Marc Stein (6:19 PM)
2004 and 2008
Amit Aggarwal (Holmdel, NJ)
Do the Celtics try to get rid of KG over summer? What if they can get an expiring contact and Emeka?
Marc Stein (6:21 PM)
No. Because even if they wanted to move him -- and they don't -- who is going to trade for KG's contract when he's injured?
TT (Laramie, WY)
Do you ever see the Spurs core competing for another title?
Marc Stein (6:22 PM)
Of course. Things look bad for them right now, but they have almost no money on their books (except for Duncan and Parker) in the summer of 2010. Duncan is moving into his David Robinson phase. Imagine if they found a way to land, say, Bosh next to Duncan.
Eric Smith (San Antonio, Texas)
Hello marc, well see i love the boston celtics, but can you tell me why, as soon as they lose one playoff game everyone thinks they are going to lose the series??
Marc Stein (6:26 PM)
Because we're all guilty of getting all worked up over every single playoff game. All of us. With so much more coverage, so many more outlets for talking about every single dribble, we end up getting sucked into the NFL mentality of treating every game as the Super Bowl.
Disappointed about the UEFA Cup loss because Caicedo couldn't hit an empty net from five yards or encouraged by the fightback?
Marc Stein (6:28 PM)
Disappointed doesn't begin to describe. Shattered. Elano's two free kicks were absolute torture. It's gonna take a while to get over it. And I know you're only pretending to care.
Marc Stein (6:29 PM)
Thanks for all the questions. We will do it again soon.