NBA's 65 in 65: Chris Sheridan
Welcome to SportsNation! On Saturday, we continue our 65 in 65. That's 65 NBA chats in 65 days. We will hold an NBA chat each day through the end of the NBA Finals. Saturday's guest is ESPN.com's NBA reporter Chris Sheridan.
Sheridan's chat tips off at 2p.m. ET so send in your questions now and join him right here for the answers.
Watch Game 5 of the NBA Finals Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
Chris Sheridan (2:00 PM)
Goof afternoon from Amway Arena, where both teams have just finished up their media availability. Glad to have so many questions in queue on a Saturday afternoon. here we go ...
Crase42 (Los Angeles)
Kobe did not foul Nelson.
Chris Sheridan (2:01 PM)
Mike Bibby and a few folks in Sacramento would disagree with you, as would a few people here in Central Florida. But I think everyone would agree that the elbow to Nelson's jaw was definitely not intentional.
AJ Rathakrishnan (Oviedo, Florida)
Everyone is believing that the series is over. I'm pretty sure the Magic will take game 5 just because of the emotion they will have after a tough loss. And the Magic are one missed layup away from winning game 2 in L.A, so do the Magic still have a chance in this series if they win tomorow?
Chris Sheridan (2:03 PM)
Well, AJ, the Magic certainly feel they are the Lakers' equals, and they are only a missed alley-oop and a missed FT away from being up 3-1 instead of down 3-1. So they are confident and do not feel overmatched, which is half the battle. The other half is whether they can summon the fortitude to play their best ball in the final 3-4 minutes of Game 5, and then take things one day and one game at a time from there.
max from minneapolis [via mobile]
Will Dwight Howard ever develop top tier post moves to dominate like Shaq?
Chris Sheridan (2:05 PM)
what Dwight is concentrating on now is going up quickly with the ball when he gets it deep in the low post. When he puts the ball on the floor, bad things tend to happen. and when he brings the ball down and then goes up for a power dunk, it gives the defender the extra half-second he needs to commit a foul and sent Dwight to the line.
Erick Springfield va [via mobile]
Why do u think phil jackson didn't want to inbound the ball at half court before nails a three pointer that sent the game to overtime. Also why is stan van gundy keep playing nelson instead alston especially in crunch time?
Chris Sheridan (2:09 PM)
I asked Phil about that today, and whether it was common or uncommon for him to do so, and he said it goes back to his first three-peat with the Bulls, when they were playing the lakers and had a similar situation, and he wanted Michael Jordan to have more space to operate with so that he could create a shot. He felt that inbounding in the front court would give the Magic a better opportunity to foul and prevent the 3-pointer. I thought it was a brilliant move.On your ssecond question, it really comes down to a question of who Stan has more confidence in. That being said, I asked Stan today if he was considering or planning any changes to his starting lineup, and he said he was not.
any chance lakers make a run at Artest if Odom or Ariza leaves?
Chris Sheridan (2:12 PM)
That's a good question, Kevin, and my instinct would be to say yes. Ron-Ron and Kobe are friendly (despite what you saw at some points during the Rockets-Lakers series), and he would be a nice fit if they lost either of those guys. For more on Odom's and Ariza's pending free agency (along with Turkoglu's), click over to the NBA homepage. We have stories up today on all three.
Everyone says that the "Superstars" get all the calls, but if thats true how could the Lakers not have any free throws in the 4th and I think only Gasol shot them in OT? It has seemed that even when Kobe drives he doesn't get the call.
Chris Sheridan (2:14 PM)
Kobe hasn;t been getting the calls here that he gets in L.A., and Dwight did not get the calls in L.A. that he has been getting here. It all speaks to the importance of having the home court advantage, which is why the regular season is not as meaningless as some would have you believe.
I'm not sure what the outcome of these finals will be but I think people don't give the Lakers enough credit. Yes it has been close, but I think qualities of champions include making less mistakes and executing better when the game is on the line. So far that has been the reason why the Lakers are up 3-1.
Chris Sheridan (2:15 PM)
A good point, and that was especially true at the end of Game 4.
I'm quite surprised that Pietrus was not suspended 1 game. Do you think that the foul was worthy of a suspension?
Chris Sheridan (2:18 PM)
I thought so, but I'm glad the NBA did not suspend him because I think that would have doomed Orlando's chances of winning Game 5, and I'd rather see both teams competing at full strength than have Stu Jackson dictate otherwise.Which reminds me, Kobe and Dwight are both still two techs away from an automatic one-game suspension. something to keep in mind if emotions get a little out of control in Game 5 (or 6).
carlos jimenez orange,california [via mobile]
why did courtney lee get limited minutes in game 4?!?!
Chris Sheridan (2:19 PM)
Because he can't defend Kobe effectively, which is basically his job in this series. I am actually a little surprised that Stan hasn't gone away from him and given the job back to J.J. Redick, who had it in the Boston series, or elevated Pietrus to the starting lineup.
Wouldn't it have made a lot more sense to foul during the Lakers last posession of regulation instead allowing any attempt at all for a tying shot? Also, why not play Alston in the clutch? He tore it up just one game ago.
Chris Sheridan (2:24 PM)
You have hit on all the pertinent second-guesses that have been bandied around for the past 36 hours. Stan xplained that the magic usually foul to prevent a tying 3 only when there are 6 seconds or less remaining in the game. he said Thursday night his decision not to foul when the Lakers inbounded with 11 seconds left will "haunt" him. as for Rafer vs. Jameer, it comes down to a question of who the coach trusts more. It's his prerogitive, so I have to give him some leeway on that one. hen both guys are 100 percent, Jameer is the better player.
Jason Adams (Lake Forest, CA)
Why wasn't Pietrus' flagrant foul elevated to a category 2? It wasn't a simple "push," it was more of a double-fisted pound to the back (not the ball) with intent as Pietrus' facial expression indicated directly afterward.
Chris Sheridan (2:26 PM)
I was surprised it wasn't, but also keep this in mind: Even if it had been upgraded to a flagrant-2, that would not automatically bring a one-game suspension. The decision on whether to suspend a player after a foul is reclassified is discretionary, not automatic.
Chris Sheridan (2:29 PM)
That's a wrap for this chat session, folks. A reminder Game 5 starts at 8 p.m. EDT tomorrow night, and we'll be back to 9 p.m. EDT starts if the series returns to L.A. for Games 6 and/or 7. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!