Chat with Chris Sheridan
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, Chris Sheridan stops by to chat about the NBA season.
Sheridan has been covering the NBA full-time for the past 15 years. Since joining the ESPN.com staff in October of 2005, Chris has been providing in-depth reporting and commentary on the NBA and international basketball for all of ESPN's platforms. Follow him on Twitter: @csheridanespn.
Send your questions now and join Sheridan Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Chris Sheridan (2:02 PM)
Good afternoon, and I hope everyone is enjoying the start of the second round. I have bruises on my forehead from banging my head against the wall for continuing to doubt the Grizzlies in my postseason picks after touting them so strongly at the end of the regular season. All NBA topics are in play, from the playoffs to labor situation to the Kings staying in Sacto to the merits of Ed Malloy's quick trigger. Also promised my EuroTweeps a Euroleague Final Four prediction. Onward we go ...
Mark (San Diego)
Hey Chris, who are you most impressed with of the teams that remain and has any team's play, (Memphis), made you rethink your finals picks?
Chris Sheridan (2:05 PM)
Yes, it is Memphis, and on an individual basis it is Zach Randolph. That was quite a mouthful Kevin Durant spit out yesterday when he called him the best power forward in the league. It is worth reminding folks in Milwaukee that the Bucks could have had him three years ago for Dan Gadzuric and a second player whose name I can't immediately recall, but Senator Kohl vetoed he trade. I am not ready to change by pick for champion, which remains the Lakers.
Rust vs Rest any effect on Sunday's games or just a matter of the teams who got after it more coming out on top?
Chris Sheridan (2:07 PM)
I don't know that rust or rest had much to do with it. Both the Grizz and Heat protected their leads very well. The Battier put-back was the momentum killer for the Thunder, and the Jermaine flagrant that turned into a five-point play wiped out the Celtics' comeback hopes.
Celtics in 7? How's that looking now?
Chris Sheridan (2:09 PM)
Celtics in 7 (my pick) means I have the Heat winning three games. And do you know who I think is going to dagger the Heat again? Paul Pierce, just like he did in Game 3 at Miami last spring.
Ok so whats the over/under on Pierce's next game. I think he is going to go off for 35.
Chris Sheridan (2:12 PM)
I will set it at 28.5. But I think the key breakout player for the Celtics in Game 2 will be R.Rondo. The foul trouble killed him yesterday, and his 5 fourth quarter TOs would worry me if I was a Celtics fan because Rajon showed that tendency at times in the Knicks series, too.
i'm glad everyone gets to see now how overrated kendrick perkins is. he got absolutely abused by randolph and gasol. ibaka is by far a better defender than him. i know people talk about things players do that don't show up in the box score, but at some point averaging only 5pts and 6rebs needs to mean something, right?
Chris Sheridan (2:14 PM)
I expected better from both him and Ibaka, and I think you will see some more doubling from the Thunder in Game 2 on Randolph. Haven't seen Marc Gasol bring it like he did yesterday, so props to him. But I wonder if he has many more of those in his holster.
As a Celtics fan, nothing went right for the Celtics, but did the officiating affect this game too much in your opinion (the flagrant on JO but not on Jones, Pierce ejected, foul shot disparity)?
Chris Sheridan (2:18 PM)
I thought Ed Malloy had too quick of a trigger on that second technical foul against Pierce. He has earned a reputtion as a ref who is quick to give out techs, but the NBA likes his work and coaches and players seem to treat him with respect. It seemed to me he got carried away a little because the game was becoming very chippy at that point. He should have given Pierce and Wade a verbal warning at that point.
E-rock (Los Angeles, CA)
What are the chances of Lebron & Bosh hanging on Dwade's coattails causing another migraine?
Chris Sheridan (2:19 PM)
Nice one, E-rock.
Why aren't the Maloofs seriously considering Seattle for relocation? Solid fan base, up to the date arena, etc.
Chris Sheridan (2:24 PM)
From afar, it seems to me that the mayor (Kevin Johnson, formerly of the Phoenix Suns) exercised all the clout he could muster to get the one-year reprieve, but they have been trying to get a new arena built there for 13 years, and I just don't see the taxpayer funds being used for that purpose with the state of California's budget woes. But you never know. As commissioner Stern was saying after the Board of Governors meeting, Sacramento needs a new arena not just for the Kings, but for concerts, the circus, etc. They are the only NBA city without such a venue.
Perice was ejected for setting a screen. Was that right? Maybe there was a slight stare down as well. Do you think the league will take action on the officiating of that game? Let them play!
Chris Sheridan (2:27 PM)
He was ejected for his second technical, which he got for swearing at Wade. That was the explanation given by crew chief Dan Crawford to pool reporter Tim Reynolds of the AP. As I said before, I thought Malloy was too quick to whistle that T. Gotta let some stuff go, even if it is filthy language. It is an emotional game.
Sen. Herb Kohl (Milwaukee, WI)
Chris, the trade was Randolph and Renaldo Balkman for Gadzuric, Bobby Simmons and Charlie Villanueva. Oh, and thanks for reminding me.
Chris Sheridan (2:28 PM)
No, thank YOU for reminding me.
Does Memphis's post season success so far hurt the NBA in terms of positioning in the CBA negotiations?
Chris Sheridan (2:32 PM)
It makes things interesting, because the Grizzlies (and the Nets) account for a large portion of the leaguewide losses of $300 million for the current season and the larger losses in recent seasons. The NBA keeps saying it wants teams to have a chance to compete for a championship and a chance to be profitable, and if the Grizz make it another round or two it sort of undermines one of their arguments.
Why hasn't anyone asked any Knicks questions?! Big news signing Chauncey. Bigger news that the deadline to pick-up Donnie Walsh's contract passed! What's happening in Bockerland Chris?
Chris Sheridan (2:36 PM)
By picking up Chauncey's option, they have a $14.2 million expiring contract to use if Chris Paul or Dwight Howard tries to pull a Carmelo and force a trade. If they keep him past the deadline, he is a nice piece to have in the playoffs if he doesn't get hurt again, and then he comes of the cap in the summer of '12 when the Knicks will have only Stoudemire, Anthony, Balkman and this year's No. 1 pick under contract. As for the Walsh deadline, Donnie scolded the writers between Games 3 and 4 for making too much out of the April 30 date to pick up his fourth-year option. He said it was a relatively small piece of a bigger equation.
Finish this sentence: in 2012, Dwight Howard will be playing for _________
Chris Sheridan (2:37 PM)
Team USA in the London Olympics.
So why were the Knicks so anxious to get rid of Randolph? Never quite got that...
Chris Sheridan (2:38 PM)
Same as with Jamal Crawford, they wanted their money of the books for the summer of '10 free agency sweepstakes.
Craig(Chicago) [via mobile]
What are the Bulls chances of advancing now that Kirk Hinrich is injured. Have they increased?
Chris Sheridan (2:40 PM)
Absolutely. Jeff Teague is going to get thrown into the frying pan tonight, and I expect the Bulls to win easily. Kirk is a pretty savvy defender, and he could have at last made things somewhat difficult for D-Rose.
Will this Game finally establish a chain of command for the Heat? Will Wade finally take his place as the #1 option on this team?
Chris Sheridan (2:42 PM)
It seems to me that evolution began about six weeks before the regular season ended.
Colton (Salt Lake City)
I realize the chances of this happening are EXTREMELY remote, but humor me. IF the Grizz won the whole thing this year, where does that rank in terms of most unexpected playoff runs ever?
Chris Sheridan (2:47 PM)
That is a good question, Colton. Maybe the closest thing I remember from the last few decades is the 94-95 Rockets, who acquired Clyde Drexler midseason and played poorly over the rest of the regular season but then suddenly clicked in the playoffs. That was the "Never Underestimate the Heart of a champion" team.
Anthony (New York)
Pierce set a screen and Wade ran into him. That is a very likely consequence of setting a screen. Pierce should stop setting screens if he can't handle being run into from time to time. The fact that he decided to start talking again a minute after he was just hit with a tehcnical shows he is a dope. I had no problem with the ejection.
Chris Sheridan (2:48 PM)
I respect your right to disagree with me, but again I thought it was too quick of a trigger from Malloy.
the knicks made it to the finals as an 8th seed during the 1999 lockout season. but that team was much better than their seeding showed.
Chris Sheridan (2:49 PM)
Yes, in part because that was a 50-game season. Plus, the Knicks lost.
Can the Mavs take two from the Lakers?
Chris Sheridan (2:53 PM)
I have it going 7. I was quite impressed with the Mavs against Portland, especially Dirk, and Barea/Terry's ability to collapse that defense will be a significant factor. But the Lakers are my pick to win it all, and I think they hold homecourt with a decisive fourth-quarter effort (similar to Game 7 vs. Boston last June) at Staples in Game 7.
Will the NBA look into Pierce's headbutt for a possible suspension?
Chris Sheridan (2:54 PM)
Using the Pachulia standard, I would classify Pierce's as a headbump.
Doron T (College Park, MD)
Ok you promised a Euroleague pick. Can my boys in yellow and blue win their 6th euro championship? Yalla Maccabi!
Chris Sheridan (2:57 PM)
I think David Blatt's team will make it to the final, where they will lose to Obradovic's men in green. And I pick Diamantidis as the MVP. For those needing translation, that means I pick Panathinaikos over Maccabi.
Regardless of the Pierce ejection, the Heat outplayed the Celtics yesterday. Wade was in top form. You can argue certain Celtics could play better tomorrow, but so could Lebron and Bosh. James Jones isn't going to shoot 5/7 from 3 every game, but neither is Ray Allen. What makes you think Boston should still be the favorite to win this series?
Chris Sheridan (2:59 PM)
How can you say that about Ray Allen with the way he has been shooting the ball this postseason? I repeat, a little more strongly: Rondo will have a breakout Game 2 to even the series, and Pierce will be daggerman at the buzzer at least once in this series.
Chris Sheridan (3:01 PM)
That is a chat wrap for this week folks. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the games tonight.