Chat with J.A. Adande
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com NBA senior writer J.A. Adande will stop by to chat about the NBA hardwood.
Prior to working at ESPN, Adande was at the Los Angeles Times, where he started in 1997. He has been a frequent panelist on ESPN's "Around the Horn." He has covered every major pro championship, every major college bowl game, the Final Four, the Masters, Wimbledon and the Olympics, and his work has appeared in the "Best American Sports Writing" series.
Send your questions now and chat with Adande at 3 p.m. ET on Friday!
J.A. Adande (3:01 PM)
Welcome back. Let's do it this week. A quick notice that there will be no chat next week so everyone can let their Thanksgiving meals digest, but we'll be back the following Friday. And we're off...
Is Shaq hurting his legacy by his lack of impact (some would negative impact) on the Suns and now the Cavaliers?
J.A. Adande (3:02 PM)
Jordan's time with the Wizards not making the playoffs didn't affect his legacy, did it?No matter what happens in Cleveland, Shaq will never have fewer than 4 championships.
Are you impressed with how the nuggets are playing right especially with that blowout win vs. lakers?? Do you see Carmelo Anthony being MVP for the 09-10 season?
J.A. Adande (3:04 PM)
Saw the Nuggets whip the Lakers up close (well, not as close as Bucher was sitting) and they were very impressive. Then you consider they racked up most of their W's without J.R. Smith. If the Nuggets get the best record in the West I'd give an MVP nod to Carmelo.
Pierre (New York)
I'm a Nets fan and so far this season is horrible. I don't blame their game cause everyday they still play hard but with all the injuries we're suffering do you think it's a good idea if they would pick him up. Even when this team is healthy I think it would work because the Nets fit his style. Other than Devin Harris they don't have much scoring playmakers and he would be able to start again (SG position).
J.A. Adande (3:05 PM)
By "him" do you mean Iverson? They might as well. I think any team with nothing to lose wouldn't get derailed with Iverson there.
Watching Bulls offensive sets is reminiscent of watching a crappy pickup game at the local gym. Do you think that if we got a legit back to the basket presence, we would then be able to run a more effective screen roll system? If so, do you see us getting this type of player?
J.A. Adande (3:06 PM)
You don't necessarily need a back-to-the-basket guy. Jordan never had one. But he was Jordan. the screen-rolls would be more effective if more of their bigs could shoot. Can't run it with Noah or Thomas if they're not knocking down the jumpers consistently.
Adand"ay" - i saw your Around the Horn episode yesterday. Anyway, i had questions on the OKC Thunder. How much more improved to they seem to be, and where, in your mind, have they really improved the most? Is Kevin Durant a bona-fide star in the NBA yet, or does he have more to prove?
Jennings point production gets most of the pub for Milwaukee's quick start. But it's his basketball IQ and work with Bogut that has been truly eye opening. With Bogut shelved for several weeks and Milwaukee going on the road, isn't this where we'll really see just how good Jennings is?
J.A. Adande (3:08 PM)
I'm throwing both of those questions in together because the same thing applies: in order to truly have cred in this league you have to carry your team to victories, then do it again in the playoffs. As dazzling as Jennings and Durant have looked, they have yet to do that so far. People forget, there were even questions about MJ before he started getting it done in the playoffs.
What is going on with the Spurs? Is this another slow start with a strong push later in the season or is it something else?
J.A. Adande (3:10 PM)
Can't blame them for losing back-to-back without Ginobili and Parker. Especially having to come off an OT game. Give them credit for hanging with Dallas and forcing a great game out of Dirk with Tim and a bunch of second-line guys going. 1 thing I'd be worried about: not getting more from Jefferson.
Did you read that story on the 50 Cent-Marv Albert beef? Only in Hollywood does a man who every sports fan knows get in to it with a rapper that every other person knows entourage. Awesome
J.A. Adande (3:12 PM)
I wasn't there, but from what I heard it wasn't Marv himself who got into a shoving match, it was security people and a member of 50's entourage. That's the account from a TNT person who went with Marv to the Kimmel show. Somehow it got twisted that Marv was about to throw down.
J.A. Adande (3:12 PM)
Still, I wouldn't mind a rap duel between 50 and Marv. That's the least that should come out of this.
Do you see artest being a bigger part of the lakers offense now that they have gasol in the middle to space the floor even more?
J.A. Adande (3:13 PM)
That's what happened last night vs. Denver...almost the exact opposite of what I thought might happen. I figured Artest's shots would disappear, but the Bulls kept leaving him open and the Lakers found him.
Why are we taking an NFL mentality to the nba? does it really matter how good orlando, LA, BOS, CLE etc play right now?
J.A. Adande (3:15 PM)
Right now? No. but as players come back from injuries and suspensions these next 5 weeks or so become very important. Most teams show their colors by January. In other words, if you don't see something you like from your squad in the next few weeks, it ain't happening.
Hey J.A. I was wondering what your thoughts were on Derek Rose. I've gone along with the "he's still not in game shape" reasoning for a while, but feel like after 11 games he should be there. Even though the Bulls looked bad last night, I feel a little better about Rose after seeing him get to the basket a little more often (even though the shots weren't falling in the first half). Do I have reason to think he is starting to come around and be more aggressive? I don't know if I can watch another game where he constantly brings the ball up and passes to Salmons or Miller on the wing and runs to the corner and stands around. I'm not hating on Derek at all. I love him, I just want to see him play like we all know he can.
J.A. Adande (3:17 PM)
Last night was my first chance to watch him extensively - and in person -- looked a lot like the guy from last year. Defenses against him have changed as much if not more than he has. Tough to get to the hole when Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum are hanging around to block your path. He's not elevating as high or finishing as strongly. He also wasn't getting calls when he got bumped around the rim.
who will have the better NBA career, Kevin Durant, Brando Roy, or Carmelo Anthony?
J.A. Adande (3:19 PM)
Durant has the most talent, Roy gets the most out of what he has, but Carmelo has the best combination of those two traits. I'll take Carmelo
L. Frank (NY)
Why do i still have a job?
J.A. Adande (3:21 PM)
variety of reasons. L's bosses know he doesn't have anything to work with. More than that, they don't have anyone in the wings to take over. And they don't want to spend a lot of $ on a "name" coach -- not that they'd probably be able to lure one anyway.
nolerhett (anchorage, ak)
Since you've been around and seen a lot coach/player dynamics up close can you comment on what/why Dwight Howard would go public with he and SVG's meeting about negativity other than taking some heat off himself for his poor start?
J.A. Adande (3:23 PM)
Not to get too 4th-grade on you, but Stan Van started it. He's called out Dwight in the past, so I think Dwight feels he has the license to do the same. And this is the first time for DH. Remember him complaining about touchs during the playoffs?
Ty Lawson on DJ Mbenga = Dunk of the Year
J.A. Adande (3:24 PM)
Yeah, I'm going with that one over the DWade/Varejao dunk. Ty's was cleaner.
Dan (New York)
Tonights the first battle between Orlando and Boston taking place in Boston. Who has the edge in tonights game and if you had to predict the final score what do you see?
J.A. Adande (3:25 PM)
I think the Celts' recent struggles will actually give them an edge. They realize they need a better effort...and they'll want to send a message to the team that eliminated them last year.
How did the hornets beat the suns WITHOUT CHRIS PAUL???
J.A. Adande (3:27 PM)
Peja finally showed signs of life.
I think Jordan is on point with this whole jersey retirement thing. I personally think it is an honor to wear the jersey. Not retiring all hall of famers jerseys that made an impact on the game. We probably would soon run out of numbers. You agree?
J.A. Adande (3:29 PM)
I'll keep saying this: Jordan elevated the NBA, but he didn't break new ground the way Jackie Robinson and Wayne Gretzky did in hockey and baseball. There are too many others who'd deserve league-wide jersey retirements before or with Jordan.
Laura (San Diego)
Could you see the egos of D.Wade and Lebron playing together next year?
J.A. Adande (3:30 PM)
Yes. They're as close as any of the Redeem Team members. Wade and Shaq co-existed. No reason Wade and LeBron couldn't.
JA-would love to hear your thoughts on the Hawks so far...
J.A. Adande (3:32 PM)
The difference this season...and what they'll need if they're going to come out of the East...is Joe Johnson is passing the threshold from star to superstar. You've gotta have one of those, and before I didn't think Johnson fit the description. Now he's living up to it.
billy knight (atlanta)
i'm a genius! the hornets beat the suns last night without chris paul, so obviously he isn't as good of a player as marvin williams. my pick is vindicated
J.A. Adande (3:32 PM)
Either that or we're about to see some serious Ewing Theory go down in the Bayou
Should T-Mac be traded to a contender?
J.A. Adande (3:33 PM)
the problem is his contract is so large a team would have to give up too many players to get to him. They might not be a contender anymore. Then you have to worry that he'll break down again. I think his greatest value is to a squad looking for a big expiring contract.
why dont the lakers pick up iverson? i understand his attitude to start but if a championship was in sights wouldnt he play how the team wants him?
J.A. Adande (3:36 PM)
Iverson is a classic anti-triangle player. The offense is built on passing and he's a dribbler. Wouldn't work. Iverson+Kobe? Bad idea.
4th and 2, do you go for it?
J.A. Adande (3:37 PM)
not from inside my own 30! Forget all the other factors, probabilities, whatever. I want to put Peyton Manning as far away from the end zone as possible.
Coach Pops (Austin, TX)
Why do I not care about winning games early in the season?
J.A. Adande (3:37 PM)
Because you know they don't give the O'Brien trophy for W's in November, and you're confident your vet squad can win a playoff series without homecourt advantage.
martell webster (portland)
What do you think the best starting lineup is for us in the long run? Do you think Oden will ever be an all star?
J.A. Adande (3:40 PM)
it could happen for Oden just by attrition. Once Yao's gone, for example. There are so few quality big men in the league right now. But at the moment he couldn't even crack the Bynum and Gasol. Channing Frye's having a better season....
J.A., The Rockets obviously need to add another big man in the coming weeks. Who do you see them targeting?
J.A. Adande (3:43 PM)
The problem is they're not the only ones looking. Denver would like another big as well. Pretty much everyone besides Orlando, the Lakers, Clippers and Portland are looking for more big men. But the only names you hear available are guys like Sam Dalembert, whose contract is too prohibitive for most teams to take on .
Yasir Saleem (Detroit)
do you think that the pistons can be better once rip and tyahsuan get better?
J.A. Adande (3:46 PM)
They can get a lot better with those 2. They're missing Tayshaun's defense most of all.
JA...throw some love north of the border. Where would you place Kobe on the all time list right now? Top 20? 10? What would Kobe need to do over the next 5 years to pull himself into the discussion of top 5 all time? Greatest all time?
J.A. Adande (3:47 PM)
He's definitely top 10. He needs to add to his ring collection before we move him into the top 5.
Hey JA...how do you see ron artest's impact as the season goes on...I expected kobe and ron to really set a intense defensive tone to the lakers...do you think this will happen as the season goes on?
J.A. Adande (3:48 PM)
More Canadian love! But why are you guys so worried about the Lakers? What about the Raptors. I think he's caused Kobe to perk up his perimeter defense this year. And now with Gasol back they have so much length in the paint. Phil was saying Pau's defensive is underrated, and after seeing the struggles the Bulls had with them last night I see why.
Jordan A. (Toronto)
J.A, do the Raptors need to experiment with changes in the starting lineup? Seems Bargnani goes bipolar defensively when his shot doesn't fall, Derozan is being asked to do too much and Jose just isn't athletic enough to stay with the PG's in the league. I nominate Amir Johnson, and or Reggie Evans and Antoine Wright, when healthy.
J.A. Adande (3:49 PM)
I don't think any of those guys give the Raptors enough scoring punch. They're going to be an offense-first team; might as well accentuate what you do well.
If the young Kings continue to play decently, and finish with say around 35 wins, with their young roster and obvious upside in coming years, do you see them as being potentially enticing to a big free agent? I know they have to clear a little more cap space first, But who would you expect to be the best player they could be capable of signing?
J.A. Adande (3:49 PM)
It depends if they move to Vegas...then they'll be enticing.
hasn't houston's recent success told us again that high energy, team effort and chemistry are the real fundamentals in this league full of talented so-called superstars (and that these are not just secondary things)
J.A. Adande (3:52 PM)
Here's the thing: how many NBA teams have won championships based strictly on those attributes such as energy and chemistry? If you work hard and do the little things you can win a lot of regular-season games just because most of your opponents won't match your effort night-in and night-out. But in the playoffs, when teams are focused, when they're not playing back-to-back games or hitting their fourth city of the week, the talent will win out.
Nathan (Puerto Rico)
If every "major" FA stays with their current team on Summer2010, who do you see any team with "dynasty" caliber?
J.A. Adande (3:54 PM)
The Lakers are in the best position if Kobe signs an extension. Mini-dynasty, though. They won't last as long as the Lakers in the 80s.
Bill (The Bay)
Lets talk about the most Dysfunctional team in the league...............My Warrior's. Whats going to happen next?
J.A. Adande (3:55 PM)
First Monta, then Randolph....I'd say then Nellie, but I'm not that patient and/or the Warriors aren't that smart.
VanWilder (New York, NY)
tmac to the knicks then???
J.A. Adande (3:56 PM)
Can't see the Rockets taking back that Curry contract
How soon we forget... Melo's dunk on Milsap was way sicker..straight facial.
J.A. Adande (3:57 PM)
is it better to sit midcourt on the upper level or an off angle on a lower level, considering the price?
J.A. Adande (3:57 PM)
I'd rather sit in the corner in the lower level. The best thing about going to a game live is the proximity, so the closer the better.
Sara (Atlanta )
Um, J.A., you obviously do not watch many Hawk games. Joe is doing what Joe has been doing the last 4 years. The difference in the Hawks is that Josh Smith and Al Horford are playing at an elite level, and Jamal Crawford is a threat off the bench. I still worry that the Hawks do not have enough size to match up with Orlando, Cleveland and L.A.
J.A. Adande (4:01 PM)
I was keeping track last year, when the Hawks had a stretch of four losses in 5 games and Joe had nights of 13 points, 14, 11 and 11 in there. Superstars don't let that happen. Neither has Johnson so far this year.
Is Blake Griffin going to win ROY honours this year even with the injury to start his season. Jennings is solid, but is he for real?
J.A. Adande (4:02 PM)
I can't see Griffin overcoming this great start by Jennings. I also can't see Griffin putting up big numbers with the Clippers. He won't be starting his first few games back...and with the way Kaman's been playing the Clippers will keep going to him.
Josh Smith is a lock for the all-star if he plays like this. Something in his head just got right
J.A. Adande (4:04 PM)
it's scary when talent merges with sense, isn't it?
nick (29 Palms, Ca)
JA - how do you feel about the early play of JJ Hickson - should he see more minutes?
J.A. Adande (4:05 PM)
Yes, and you can see why the Cavs didn't want to give him up in a trade for Shaq last season.
All Knicks Fans (NY, NY)
How did we miss this Jennings kid in the draft? Can we ever catch a break!?!
J.A. Adande (4:05 PM)
Isiah would've drafted him.
You look a lot younger on TV than your ESPN pic here
J.A. Adande (4:06 PM)
that's what happens when you take a picture after a red-eye flight and a two-hour drive to Bristol.
what do you think of the mcgrady situation...his comeback likely to mean anything significant for playoff chances considering this is a contract year for him?
J.A. Adande (4:07 PM)
After being in the locker room following the W against the Lakers I got the sense they like things just the way they are and are afraid McGrady would mess up the chemistry. This will not be an easy situation.
PDP (Walnut, CA)
What do you think of Dunleavy's comments that he should be evaluated once he gets Gordon and Griffin back, and not on his job performance up til now? If he is going to look at it that way, couldn't any mediocre coach win with a talented team?
J.A. Adande (4:11 PM)
That was absurd. You get paid to coach what you have...and many better coaches than him have gotten chopped when they didn't have a full roster. Go back to Pop's takeover of the Spurs job when David Robinson was injured. coaches are judged on 1 thing: their record. And in his seventh (seventh!) season with the Clippers Dunleavy has produced only one winning record.
J.A. Adande (4:12 PM)
Now I'm all upset. Have to go hit the gym before I head downtown to watch...the Clippers. Vs. Denver. Thanks for your questions. Have a great Thanksgiving...my favorite holiday. See you in two weeks.