Chat with Michael Wilbon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN's Michael Wilbon stops by to chat and share his thoughts on the sports world.
Wilbon, a longtime Washington Post sports columnist, is co-host of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, the popular weekday sports debate and discussion program, as well as an NBA studio analyst for both ESPN and ABC. A pioneer in sports journalism, Wilbon was one of the first sports writers to broaden his success beyond newspapers to include television, radio and other media.
Send your questions now and join Wilbon Monday at 1 p.m. ET!
Jason Bloom (New York)
Why would the Nets do this trade? they are giving up so much
mike wilbon (1:13 PM)
Good afternoon everybody...sorry to be a few minutes late, but was trying to see the latest on the NBA trade involving the Nets, Nuggets and Pistons...We'll get to the NFL playoffs in a second, but we'll start here...I must say, it doesn't seem to me like the Nets are on the short end; it seems like the Nets are the immediate winners here, if they're going to wind up with Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton...and they keep Brooke Lopez. What, exactly, are the Nets giving up? They're in the playoff mix with those four players, even though they have a ton of ground to make up...And with Avery Johnson coaching them??? I think if that's the final outcome the Nets will be in pretty darned good shape...
Are the Packers the biggest threat to the Falcons, in my opinion they are since they have one of the top defenses in the NFL and there rushing game woke up yesterday. If they can play like they did last night are they contenders?
mike wilbon (1:19 PM)
The Packers are a HUGE threat to the Falcons. I don't know what the Vegas line is but I think it's a pick 'em game...The Falcons don't have any history of winning these types of games in January. And the Packers, with yesterday's win under their belts, do. I think the Green Bay defense can definitely solve Matty Ice and that offense. I don't know if it comes down to Xs and Os as much as confidence and experience in playing these kinds of games. Aaron Rodgers has won and lost them; remember than heart-breaker of a loss in OT the Pack had in Arizona last year? If I had to pick a winner today, I'd take the Packers to go on the road and win in ATL...
How much did u enjoy the outcomes of wild card weekend? 3 of 4 games were decided by 1 score!
mike wilbon (1:24 PM)
The Saints loss in Seattle wasn't as shocking to me as it was to most, simply because I've been in Seattle's stadium enough to know it provides the greatest home field advantage in the league. And the Saints, who play minimum of 10 games in domes (eight at home, two in ATL) plus warm weather games in Carolina and Tampa, just don't have enough outdoor cold weather games to get used to that...The shocking element of that game is Gregg Williams' defense getting batted around like that. But yeah, the wild-card weekend was great. I was surprised by the lopsided nature of the Baltimore-Kansas City game. I thought the Chiefs would give a better accounting of themselves then that; then again, I had the Ravens in the Super Bowl from the pre-season forecasts exactly because of the kind of game they played yesterday...The other two games were such thrillers. Two have two division games now in the AFC is compelling. I certainly don't believe the Patriots are going to blow out the Jets again. In fact, the last thing you want to see if you're the favorite is a division opponent...
omar (bronx ny)
i think lebron and wade can be co-mvps the way there playing this year, what do you think?
mike wilbon (1:28 PM)
No. To arrive at that result with as many votes as are out there is very, very, very unlikely. I think, as LeBron does, that he and Wade will split the votes, which will hurt both their chances...and that will leave Amare Stoudemire, Derrick Rose, Manu Ginobili in good positions, perhaps in that order if their teams continue along about the pace they're playing now...I think Kevin Durant his approaching MVP form again, but Russell Westbrook, if he keeps it up, will get some votes as well. Stoudemire is carrying his team and Rose, as well as Carlos Boozer has played, is carrying his. Dirk and Rondo have missed too many games with injuries so far, though if both miss a total of a dozen or fewer and they finish great, 70 games ought to be enough and that would throw the two of them, especially Rondo, back into the mix.
Michael, big fan with a Bulls question. If the Melo deal finally goes through, which I don't think it will, will the Bulls finally make a move for a starting caliber SG? They need another shooter to spread the floor for Derrick.
mike wilbon (1:31 PM)
No matter what happens or doesn't happen with Melo the Bulls have to make a move to get a shooter...whether that's J.R. Smith, O.J. Mayo, Courtney Lee, Caspi in Sacramento...They've got to come up with a 40-percent 3-point shooter, especially with Kyle Korver struggling to hit a jump shot lately...Without such a move the Bulls would struggle in a first-round 4-5 matchup against the Hawks or Knicks...ANY chance of advancing in the post-season or looking the big boys (Celtics, Heat, Magic) eye-to-eye depends on getting such a shooter.
Jason Taylor (Evanston)
Hey Michael, Does the win vs the Celts on Saturday bring the Bulls up to one of the top teams in the league, or do the loses to New Jersey and Philadelphia hurt the Bulls chances of being recognized as one of the top teams
mike wilbon (1:38 PM)
The Bulls, even though they're playing .667 basketball, are clearly behind San Antonio,Miami, Boston, L.A., Orlando...about even with the Hawks and Knicks...They've won impressively at home against the Celtics and Lakers, but lost to the Nets, Sixers and Clippers at home...A lot will be learned about the way they play Saturday night at home against Miami. They've got to get more production from the shooting guard position (as we already talked about). They've got to make some free throws (three of their losses directly can be traced to bad foul shooting). They'll benefit from Noah's return, whenever that is. And they've simply got to concentrate better/harder whatever over longer stretches. Too many lapses and long periods without scoring. (Think a guy who's a knockdown jump shooter wouldn't cure that to a great degree?)
Antawn Jamison has been playing well, the Cavs should trade him while his value is high. Where is he going?
mike wilbon (1:41 PM)
I have no idea where he's going, but I hope he's traded because Antawn Jamison is one of the nicest people I've ever met in sports. He's a prince. He never asked out of Washington, even though the Wizards were a mess. They did him a favor last year, sending him to Cleveland...but that, through no fault of his, turned into a nightmare, of course. I wonder if he could help Utah, playing with a guy like Deron Williams...or Dallas with Caron Butler down for the season. He's such a professional, isn't needy in any way...doesn't even need the ball much to score. I hope he gets out of Cleveland. To go from the Wizards to the Cavs without LeBron is just so...so....awful.
Clippers are a small forward away from being an elite team. Agreed?
mike wilbon (1:45 PM)
No. The Clippers are a dysfunctional mess. And it's about the owner, not the players. We've seen this same storyline for 30 years...You think if the Lakers had a team with Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon etc. they'd be this bad? Of course not. When the executive office is a mess (see Washington Redskins) then the team has no chance. None. Tell me a team where the front office is incompetent and the team is good nonnetheless? I don't think you can name one...I don't mean short-term the front office is bad...I mean Clippers bad...all the time bad. That team has no chance right now, which is why Blake Griffin has to get out. If I'm advising him, I'm pointing to free agency, whatever the system, to get out of there.
Demar DeRozan finally breaking out and looking like a star! Your comments please.
mike wilbon (1:47 PM)
He really does appear to be doing that, though I would caution that putting up a lot of points for a terrible team often is a mirage and when the player joins a good team he can't be as productive. But DeRozam seems to be doing everything he is asked, which is the best he can do now...
While I think we can all agree that the Bulls need an upgrade at SG, the larger issue is what are you willing to give up? If teams are asking for Taj and the #1 pick from the Bobacts for guys like Courntey Lee, would you make that deal?
mike wilbon (1:48 PM)
No, I'm not giving the Rockets Taj and that No. pick...That's why I might be looking to Sacramento, which is going to unload some people...
Scott David (cincinnati, OH)
Your dismissal of Dirk is sad. He has only missed 7 games and is very likely to play in the next game. For you not to recognize what he has done this season simply shows you aren't even paying attention.
mike wilbon (1:50 PM)
You're not paying attention...I said if Dirk misses fewer than 12 games this season he's in the mix. What do you want me to do, say he's having a better season than Stoudemire and Rose? He's not. They've played every game...or all but one. And the problem with Dirk, and I NEVER dismiss him, is that 2007 season when he won the MVP but then as the No. 1 seed got embarassed in the first round of the playoffs. That sticks with voters. YES, it's a regular season award but what you do in the playoff forges your reputation. If you're the Dirk fan you seem to be you ought to be worried about him getting out of the first round and less about individual hardware. He's already been there and done that.
Tyler (Vancouver Canada)
Michael - love PTI and love what you're doing here. Do you think Vancouver will ever see an NBA franchise again? So many teams need help, and we a have renovated stadium, and the Canadian dollar is soaring. Vancouver is a world-class city. Any chance?
mike wilbon (1:52 PM)
The team never should have moved to Memphis. It was an enormous mistake. So was moving out of Seattle. The Hornets should have been left in Oklahoma City, which absolutely deserves a team, and the NBA should still be strong in the Pacific NW...I'm more adamant about Seattle than Vancouver (sorry)...I could see Seattle winding up with a team again, but I don't know about Vancouver, even though I think it's the most beautiful, most cosmopolitan, most sophisticated city in North America...
Maxwell (Los Angeles)
Clippers are 7-3 over their last ten. Could they play .500 ball for the rest of the season?
mike wilbon (1:53 PM)
One would think! With that roster...I picked the Clippers, pre-season, to finish in the top 8 so I was fuming at the start they got off to. I'm higher on Vinny Del Negro than most as a head coach, so I hope so...
We all know Lovie doesn't change the defenses identity with their cover 2 scheme but if Hasselbeck gets hot again and starts picking it apart, what adjustments do you think should be made on the defensive side?
mike wilbon (1:56 PM)
Hasselbeck did a wonderful job Saturday against New Orleans, but he's not the QB he was when he led Seattle to the Super Bowl...I'm talking about the injuries. NO way he can move as well as he used to, which is why I think hitting him early is critical. I know Lovie is one stubborn coach, which is part of the reason for his success and part of the reason for a couple of huge losses in his career, but I would think his philosophy allows for an expanded role for putting the QB on his butt. That's the way you keep guys from getting into a rhythm...
Admit it wilbon, although your bulls are playing great the heat WILL win it all this year. The biggest knock on them to date: no team has ever won playing the offensive style the heat employ, but no team has ever, and its not even close, played with that offensive and combined it with the stifling defense the heat have. All you pundits are just scared to buck history in case you end up with an egg on your face, but the heat have the components to make history. admit it!
mike wilbon (1:59 PM)
What, because you say they do? The Heat is small. Just look at the team. In the playoffs, when the pace slows considerably, half-court execution and rebounding are critical. The Celtics are better at that than Miami, as is Boston. And Orlando, now that Hedo Turkoglu has rediscovered his game, might be as well. No take-it-off-the-rack-and-run is going to win the east, not this year; the conference is too strong. I had Miami getting to the Finals against the Lakers, but I don't see Miami beating a healthy Celtics team...not this year...In the future, after Miami has a chance to tweak its offense and add some size, sure. But not this June. Sorry.
mike wilbon (2:01 PM)
Okay, I gotta run and prepare for PTI and get myself out to the stadium for the BCS Championship game tonight...Goodness, we didn't even talk about Auburn-Oregon. I'm expecting it to be a 40-35 kind of game. I don't see anybody stopping Oregon's speed and I don't see anybody stopping Cam Newton...Every day I've flip-flopped on making a pick...This is no different because I see this as a pick-em game...But we've seen in recent years situations where the best player on the field wins the game (example, Vince Young vs. USC)...and while I like Oregon's full team better by a smidge...I'll take Auburn to win narrowly in a shootout...Okay, see you guys next Monday...thanks...MW
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