Chat with Chris Sheridan
Chris came to ESPN from the Associated Press where he spent 10 years as the lead NBA writer.
Send your questions now and join Sheridan at 4:30 p.m. ET to chat!
Chris Sheridan (4:40 PM)
Good afternoon from the press room at Staples Center. Both teams have just finished enlightening us with their wisdom, so there's plenty of material to cover. Bring it on ...
Hello Chris.The Lakers decision to run the the magic off the three point line worked to perfection,have the Magic been exposed as spot up shooters or were they just missing shots.
Chris Sheridan (4:42 PM)
Well, they missed a lot of their open shots, but they didn;t get all tha many. Stan Van G was going on and on today about how the Lakers' size changes the equation so much, especially in making it much harder for that extra pass to be thrown crisply and cleanly. He said a lot o their passes were "loopy" which gave the Lakers an extra second to close out and defend the 3-point line.
While most Lakers fans are already popping champagne, I get this feeling that Game 1 is more of an aberration than most people think. The Magic played horribly and couldn't buy a field goal. What do you think?
Chris Sheridan (4:45 PM)
I called it a throwaway game in my column last night, which is what it should be for the Magic. I expect to see a lot more energy and effort from them Sunday night, which was a point they continued to harp on today, and I expect Stan Van G to tinker with his rotations. He acknowledged playing Jameer Nelson for too long a stretch in the second quarter, and he changed his tune regarding possibly using a Twin Towers format of Howard and Gortat together. Last night, he was totally dismissive of that being a viable option. Today, he said he'll have to reconsider it if the boost it gives them on defense does not sap their offense too much.
DMiz (Breakin Down The Game)
Someone asked SVG after the game if playing Jameer would affect Skip at all. He said it has no affect. That's total BS. It kills his confidence and you need all your confidence to drain 3's!
Chris Sheridan (4:46 PM)
It was brought up today at Stan's news conference, and Stan said if Rafer thought it affected his game, then "that sounds like an excuse to me." Was one of Stan's strongest statements of the day. But before you ask, he said he is NOT considering starting Jameer over Rafer, nor is he considering removing Courtney Lee as the starting 2 guard. Not yet, anyway.
Vince (Riverside, CA)
Hey Chris, you think all this talk about Kobe being "destined" to win this championship will help or hurt the lakers in this series. It almost seems like everyone is forgetting the importance of all the other lakers
Chris Sheridan (4:49 PM)
I don;t know about "destined." I will say this about Kobe: He is so focused, so locked in, he appears absolutely joyless. He wore a scowl again on the dais today.
Freddy (Santa Ana)
Do you think the Lakers split personality will show up on Sunday and the Lakers will get blown out?
Chris Sheridan (4:51 PM)
I think they burned all of their half-efforts in the first three rounds. Kobe and Derek Fisher, the co-captains, spoke today about letting their teammates enjoy the moment and letting the team keep things loose today, but they both agreed that the practice mentality has to be at an entirely different level tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.
Cesar (Long Beach, CA)
Chris, all I kept hearing by so called experts is how the lakers need to worry about Dwight Howard in the paint and in the post that he needed all this attention on double teams. WHY? this is the same person that wanted to ball more. He will get his rebounds but I see him scoring 20 points a game at most. Am I wrong or can you please break it down?
Chris Sheridan (4:55 PM)
Look, the big thing 've been hiting on is that any team that has a defender that can push Dwight away from the basket, so when he gets the ball at least 8 feet away, does not need to double him and can stay home on Orlando's shooters. Boston was able to do that; Cleveland was't. That's why we saw such different Dwight Howards in those two series. Andrew Bynum outplayed Dwight in the first quarter last night, and if that trend continues the guys in blue and white don;t stand much of a chance.
Chris, I am terrified at how favored the lakers are now after game 1. They were favored last year and look what happened. What's different about this time around?
Chris Sheridan (4:57 PM)
Kobe, and his level of focus and intensity. I've never seen him locked in quite like this, not even in Beijing last summer, and certainly not at this time a year ago when they were playing Boston. Last night, he compared himself to Grumpy from the Seven Dwarfs. as long as he doesn't morph into Bashful or Happy, you needn't have the same concerns as tyou did a year ago.
DC (Costa Mesa, CA)
What effect do you think Kobe's current intensity is having on his teammates?
Chris Sheridan (4:59 PM)
Phil Jackson said it is carrying over and impacting the level of intensity that the others are showing. A textbook case of leading by example in a non-verbal way.
KC(Halifax NS Canada)
MASTER OF PANIC LIVES!! Jameer played too much, Rafer was taken out of rhythm becuase of it, Anthony Johnson who was great coming off the bench and helped get them to the Finals didnt even play, Gortat & Howard made total sense together, Battie can be used much more effectivly and the Lakers let Kobe shoot 34 shots(ideal!)...Stan Van will be the reason the Magic lose and The Zen Master will be the reason the Lakers win...
Chris Sheridan (5:04 PM)
Stan Van's main self-flaggelation point today was that his pick-and-roll defensive scheme made his players too passive, and that carried over into all the other aspects of the game, He also said he will start limiting Jameer to stretches of 6-7 minutes from here on out. The Gortat-Howard thing I touched upon earlier. He's thinking hard about using it again. Battie missed shots he usually makes, and they were open shots. Kobe was unstoppable last night. So I think I covered all your points, but I caution you not to make too much out of Game 1. Again, it should be a throwaway game for the Magic. Let's see if they look at it that way or allow it to carry over into Game 2.
DC (Costa, CA)
What do you feel was the tipping point between the first quarter (and a bit of the 2nd) and the rest of the game where the Lakers pulled away with the Magic showing no composure?
Chris Sheridan (5:05 PM)
Terrible pick-and-roll defense by Orlando over the last 4 mins of the second quarter, and too much reliance on Jameer when he was totally gassed at that point.
Rob (Portland, OR)
Could you help dispell the myth that the Magic didn't make their 3's last night? They shot 38% during the regular season and 35% last night, so where's the huge disparity. Seems like they were missing 20 ft jumpers to me, which is exactly what the Lakers want them taking.
Chris Sheridan (5:06 PM)
Somewhat of a solid point, Rob. But a bunch of those makes came when the game was out of hand already.
Rob Los Angeles, CA
Do you think we'll see Kobe come out and shoot over 30 shots again in Game 2? The Lakers were successful against the Nuggets with Kobe shooting anywhere from 18-22 shots and this could catch the Magic off guard since they might expect him to duplicate his Game 1 performance. Thoughts?
Chris Sheridan (5:10 PM)
I never get caught up in Kobe's shot counts. I look at the quality of the shots he takes, and whether he is "on" so to speak. He had on play last night where he got the ball near midcourt off a scramble with 5 secs left on the shot clock and took it straight to the hole for a half-layup, half-dunk. He took 34 shots last night, one one of which was a 3, and I can't recall more than one or two poor-quality shots from him. When he's playing like that, shot counts are irrelevant.
Do you get the feeling that the Magic are content with just getting to the Finals?
Chris Sheridan (5:12 PM)
I detected some of that last night. They looked like tourists. The good thing for them is they have two days to get that one out of their system and make adjustments for Game 2.
Pete (New York, NY)
Hi Chris! Can u think more reasons keep Fisher in starting line-up than i can swap him with Brown? (can't keep up with anyone, can't shoot anymore, messes up every fastbreak etc.)
Chris Sheridan (5:15 PM)
Pete, the guy was 4-for-6 from the field last night with zero turnovers in 32 minutes. Shannon Brown was 0-for-2 in garbage time, and Jordan Farmar was 0-for-3. Enough said?
Masputo (Los Angeles, CA Baby)
Is the staples center intimidating to an opponent. In baseball you have Yankee stadium, Football you have Texas Stadium. Did any of that have any affect with Orlando. Is this the meca of all basketball homes? Do you as press feel the vibe?
Chris Sheridan (5:18 PM)
Staples Center is one of the least intimidating arenas I have ever been to. Much of the crowd in the lower bowl seems more interested in being seen than in watching the game. You don;t see this on TV, but during timeouts in L.A. a large percentage of folks in the pricey seats simply stand up and stand in place, almost as though they are preening. The most intimidating thing I saw last night was an LAPD cop outside the press entrance handing out jaywalking tickets to people who didn't use the crosswalk.
Chris, can you answer a non-Finals question? Outside of this year's conference finalists, who in each conference do you give the best odds of making the conference finals next year? Thanks!
Chris Sheridan (5:20 PM)
Thanks to you, Josh, for mixing it up. In the East, I have to go with Boston because of how much they missed Garnett and Powe in this year's playoffs. In the West, I blv the Rockets are final four material if they keep Artest or turn him into someone of equal value through a sign-and-trade. And, of course, there is always the question of Yao Ming's health (and McGrady's).
DMiz (Breakin Down The Game)
Keeping it non-finals: Where will these guys be next year: Sheed, AI, Kidd, Bosh, Amare, David Lee. What says you?
Chris Sheridan (5:25 PM)
Sheed: Back in Detroit. AI: Unemployed. Kidd: Dallas, cuz I suspect they gave him a wink-wink promise of an extension when they acquired him. Bosh: In Toronto, probably for the whole season, cuz unless the aptors get bowled over by a trade deadline offer, it makes the most sense for both them and Bosh to do a sign-and-trade after he opts out in the summer of '10. Amare: Not Phoenix. Maybe New Jersey if they can't get Boozer through a sign-and-trade. Lee: New York after taking the Kniks' qualifying offer. He stands to get paid much, much more if he waits and becomes unrestricted in 2010, when the Knicks can use him in a sign-and-trade deal to bring in whichever stud they go after.
Paul Empson( NY < NY )
Hi Chris..Can we talk draft for a second. I hear all tis stuff here and there about NYK being interested in Rubio but never hear a word through the NY media . Does this story have any legs to it? Cheers...
Chris Sheridan (5:26 PM)
Rubio will be long gone by the time the Knicks pick.
If the French national team could get Tony Parker, Diaw, Pietrus, and Joakim Noah all to play would they be a medal contender in future world championships or Olympics?
Chris Sheridan (5:28 PM)
They had three of those guys (no Noah) at Eurobasket in Madrid in 2009 and stunk like fromage. They need shooters, Joe, before they can crack the Worldwide Top 6.
Freddy (Santa Ana, CA)
Who would be a PG that fits the Lakers system that you believe would be available to them at the end of the 1st round?
Chris Sheridan (5:29 PM)
Patrick Mills, St,. Mary's (Calif.) by way of Australia.
Rye (Vancouver, BC)
Chris, since you cover international basketball, I'd like to get your thoughts on Ionnis Bourossis (Greek center) possibly signing with the Spurs for 3 years/$10.5-12 million. Worth it? Good fit? Starting material? etc.
Chris Sheridan (5:30 PM)
I saw him a lot last summer in Beijing and liked his game a lot. But at that money? No way.
no way will Sheed be back in Detroit. We sacrificed too much this year to waste that cap space on him
Chris Sheridan (5:33 PM)
He made $14.3 this season, and it may become a question of how much of a pay cut he is willing to accept. But there aren't any teams out there that are going to throw their cap space at him.
Chris Sheridan (5:36 PM)
That's a wrap, folks. Thanks for spensing a piece of your Friday afternoon in this here chat room. I'll also throw in this plug-slash-reminder: Game 2 on Sunday night (ABC-TV) starts at 8 p.m. Eastern time _ an hour earlier than the games on Tuesdays and Thursdays.