Chat with John Hollinger
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, NBA columnist John Hollinger will stop by to share his thoughts on all of the NBA news.
Send your questions now and join Hollinger Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
John Hollinger (2:03 PM)
Greetings everyone. Lots to talk about today so let's get right to it.
Scott Foster's Whistle (Portland 2/6/11)
Did you know the NBA can't review goaltending calls? I do.
John Hollinger (2:03 PM)
Great, they blew the goaltending call. Now, about the other 47 and a a half minutes ....
I keep watching Kobe in crunch time for the last 2 years( including playoffs) and he keeps failing, yet he get no criticizm at all for it; Whereas lebron gets destroyed if he misses a ft. Can we get a stat going for last 2 years counting last 3 minutes of regulations (including playoffs games)?
John Hollinger (2:04 PM)
Clearly you haven't been following our Henry Abbott on this, because he's been on this story like smug is on David Stern's face. Kobe's clutch numbers are awful, mostly because he keeps trying near-impossible shots in those situations.
Charles (San Jose)
Why is Tyrus Thomas so much worse than last season?
John Hollinger (2:05 PM)
Certainly part of the problem is that the Bobcats are playing him at the 3 because they have no wings right now. Even so, I suspect last season's numbers might have been his ceiling as a player.
Chris (Los Angeles)
You only have Rose representing the Bulls yet they have more wins than any team in the league. Doesn't that mean he is in fact the MVP? There have been 6 cases where team with league's best record had only 1 All-Star. In five of them that All-Star went on to win MVP.
John Hollinger (2:08 PM)
Narrowly edging Andre Iguodala on your ballot I presume? This is a very simplistic way of looking at things, albeit one that was a major reason Rose won a year ago when at least three other players were clearly more deserving and several were roughly as deserving.
How much trouble is DEN in if Gallo has to miss significant time?
John Hollinger (2:09 PM)
The problem for Denver isn't losing Gallo as much as it is losing Gallo, Nene, Affalo, Mozgov, and Brewer all at the same time. Denver has more than enough depth to withstand a single injury without skipping a beat, even one to Gallo, but they can only take so much.
Eric(indy) [via mobile]
When will the all-star alternates be announced? You think big Roy Hibbert will be on that list?
John Hollinger (2:11 PM)
Thursday. I think Hibbert will be on it, yes, even though I think his selection is a terrible mistake that mistakes team success for individual accomplishment. Tyson Chandler has been clearly better, and I'd argue Greg Monroe has at least as strong a case as Hibbert as well.
Do you buy into this idea that Melo's injury could be a "blessing in disguise"?
John Hollinger (2:13 PM)
Only if you're the Rockets and are hoping to get the No. 6 overall pick (its top-5 protected). Carmelo may be a bit overrated, but he's still massively better than anyone else on the Knicks except Chandler.
You make the point that James Harden has never produced at this level before but isn't it fair to say given his youth/experience this is simply his growth curve?
John Hollinger (2:16 PM)
It's a pretty huge bump in the curve, which is why I'm taking it with a grain of salt. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy and think he's potentially a big star in the Ginobili mold. But I don't think you can look at 20 games and say this is his new ability level.
Jeremy Lin (New York)
Could I be an Asian Steve Nash?
John Hollinger (2:18 PM)
I actually see very little similarly between the two players. Lin plays more like a cross between Ramon Sessions and Jason Kidd -- biggish point guard, iffy shooter, fills box score in multiple categories, ball hawk. I'm glad the Knicks gave him a chance because I thought he could be a successful backup PG, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say he averages less than 28 points a game from this point forward. In particular, I want to see how he does when teams keep going under screens on him and making him shoot.
Do you think Marc Gasol will get voted into the all star game?
John Hollinger (2:19 PM)
He's borderline I'd say, especially with the Griz at 12-13. I'd say he's the more likely of the two Gasols to get in, however, even though I'd pick Pau.
Why should losing teams players even get consideration for the all star game obviously their not making their team better.
John Hollinger (2:22 PM)
Obviously? If you take an awful team and make it merely bad, you've made it better. There are many sub .500 teams that would be amazingly dreadful without a given player; consider Milwaukee without Brandon Jennings or New Jersey without Deron Williams, for instance.
Do you think Josh Smith will get voted into the All Star Game?
John Hollinger (2:23 PM)
I doubt Josh gets in. Joe Johnson has a pretty decent chance, I think if enough coaches forget that Rondo exists he might get in.
Peter (Saskatoon, SK, Canada)
Lots ot talk about Seattle getting another chance for an NBA team - what about Vancouver? Still have a great arena.
John Hollinger (2:24 PM)
I don't think Vancouver is completely out of it, but I would put Seattle's odds much higher simply because the league is so motivated to get a team back there. If Seattle can't get an arena done, then I think Vancouver's odds improve quite a bit. However, still think the next three cities in terms of probability are Kansas City, San Jose and Anaheim.
Where do you see portland finishing up in the standings? Do you think they should rent Nash for reminder of the year?
John Hollinger (2:26 PM)
that depends -- can you tell me which players will be injured? In all seriousness, Blazers have best point differential in West and still project to land a top-five seed according to Playoff Odds. I think the motivation to rent Nash is the real possibility that they could go to WCF or further if they got him given how wide open the West is. They already know they can play with OKC, and Clips just lost Chauncey.
Derrick Favors is barely trying on defense this year and he can't postup skinny 6'6 guys. How much concern should there be for him?
John Hollinger (2:28 PM)
Don't let one bad game overwhelm -- Favors was very good in the Laker game. His lack of polish in the post is certainly a concern, but he has the potential to be very very good defensively. I agree he's been frustrating at times this year but I still like his long-term potential.
Spurs plodding along here. Doing their thing.
John Hollinger (2:29 PM)
shhhhhh .... we'll get back to you in May.
How will losing Billups for what appears to be the entire season hurt the clippers? seems like jr smith will be able to slide into the rotation, but hard to measure chauncey's leadership.
John Hollinger (2:30 PM)
With what, the Imaginary Big-Market Team Exception? Smith would have to play for the minimum if he goes to the Clips, which is why I greatly doubt that's where he's headed. I think we'll see more Mo Wiliams in the short term, and in the big picture I'd expect to see Bledsoe trade scenarios that bring in a defensive-minded 2.
not even a mention for andy varejao as an all star?? dude has been on a tear lately (20/20 and 17/17) how about some love for the big brazilian!!
John Hollinger (2:33 PM)
He's been on a tear lately. This much is true. It doesn't make him one of the 12 best players in the East. He's having a very strong year but realistically we'd need 20-man sides before he had a good chance of making the team.
With Gallo's injury, does this ensure the Nuggets extend Chandler?
John Hollinger (2:33 PM)
Thanks for the reminder -- as if Denver wasn't deep enough already, they're likely to get Wilson Chandler back in mid-March.
Joseph (Renton, WA)
I get your callousness about the goal tending call, but don't just dismiss it. That literally cost the Blazers a win. Up 2, our ball with 5 seconds left. You love numbers, how often does that team win?
John Hollinger (2:35 PM)
Yes, that call was the game. Or half of it, rather -- Portland still blew the last possession of regulation and the overtime. Dunk it, Nic. Bigger picture story for the Blazers in my book: They've played just as well as OKC, the only difference is their fortunes at the end of close games, which is mostly (if not entirely) luck-based. To me this bodes extremely well for rest of Blazers season.
Do the bucks play better with out bogut? Jennings likes to run and get in the open court but when bogut is in the line up they tend to slow the game down for him
John Hollinger (2:36 PM)
Look at the historical numbers -- they're dramatically worse without Bogut. They don't lose much offensively, but defensively this is a huuuuuge loss.
Why is Kobe shooting SO MUCH JOHN????/
John Hollinger (2:37 PM)
I think the names Derek Fisher and Metta World Peace provide a solid answer to that question.
Think Deron Williams gets (or deserves) a nod for an All Star reserve?
John Hollinger (2:37 PM)
yes to both.
Jake (Palo Alto)
On a 4-21 team, why is Monty Williams not giving Henry, Aminu, and Ayon more run to see what he has for the future?
John Hollinger (2:39 PM)
All three got pretty solid run last night, plus he's playing Vasquez a lot more, so I don't necessarily agree. I think at the start of the year the Hornets were actually trying to win games, and only recently (like when they held out Kaman) has it dawned on them that tanking and playing the young guys serves them better.
How close is Cousins to getting in as an All Star reserve?
John Hollinger (2:39 PM)
Better odds of Westphal being added to the coaching staff.
Ruben Boumtje Boumtje (Vodoo Doughnuts)
Blazers are 1-8 games decided by 5 or less. I don't think its luck, they miss B Roy to close teams out
John Hollinger (2:41 PM)
Except that they weren't that good in such games even with Roy -- they ran the same predictable hero-shot offense every time. I know it's hard to accept that this could just be terribly bad luck when it happens eight times in a row, but in all probability that's mostly what it is.
Speaking of Vasquez, what do you think of him as a player going forward? He's huge for a PG.
John Hollinger (2:42 PM)
Liked him in the draft two years ago, liked him better than his numbers with Memphis last season, and cringed a little when they traded him to fill the power forward hole. I think he's more likely a backup than a starter, but that was a nice grab by the Hornets.
RC (New Orleans)
John, Can you put the rest this non-sense that Eric Gordon is somehow end up with the Pacers. The Hornets will simply just match any offer and NO is probably a better market than Indy anyway. The Hornets are actually outdrawing the Pacers.
John Hollinger (2:43 PM)
I wish I could share your confidence that the Hornets will match any offer. I guarantee Dell Demps would match any offer, but Stu Jackson and Joel Litvin? Not so sure about that one.
In light of LaVoy Allen's solid play, who should replace him as Mr. 500?
John Hollinger (2:44 PM)
I had Targuy Ngombo as Mr. 500. Of players that are actually in the league right now, I'd say Rasual Butler is building a pretty solid case.
What are your top 3 most likely destinations for JR Smith?
John Hollinger (2:47 PM)
I think you have to look at New York, who still has its mini-midlevel. Mark Warkentien is a huge Smith fan from their Denver days, and on this team he'd probably really help the second unit. I don't think Indiana would take him, but the Pacers could offer more minutes and money than anyone. Clippers will likely try but can only offer minimum.
Thoughs on Jrue Holiday's development? Still a screen magnet on D? Seems to settle for way too many long 2s instead of attacking.
John Hollinger (2:49 PM)
Getting better on D but still has his screen-roll issues, yes. Part of me wonders if the long 2s thing is by design to keep the point guard back on defense, but he's the one Sixer whose offensive play thus far has been a bit disappointing.
Should Portland make a run at Aaron Brooks?
John Hollinger (2:51 PM)
With what? Can only offer biannual exception and Brooks is a restricted FA anyway, so it would have to be a sign-and-trade. And I'm guessing if the Blazers trade with Phoenix for a point guard, it won't be for Aaron Brooks.
Greg Monroe (Detroit)
I am going to save Joe Dumars job.
John Hollinger (2:53 PM)
It's going to take a lot more than you. Pistons have three players with a PER above 12 and play atrocious defense, masked by a molasses pace.
Do you think the Sixers will trade Brand next season on his final year of his contract? Seems like the emergence of Nik Vucevic and LaVoy Allen makes Brand expendable.
John Hollinger (2:54 PM)
I think he's more likely amnestied than traded, simply because you're going to have to take back a big ugly contract in any deal involving Brand.
JP (Buenos Aires)
Is it possible for Rubio and Love carry the team to the playoffs? Should Rubio be the Rookie of the year if that happens?
John Hollinger (2:56 PM)
It is very possible that Minnesota will make the playoffs yes. However, it is also possible that Cleveland gets in, and Kyrie Irving doesn't have Kevin Love on his team. As magnetized as everyone has been by Ricky, there is no question that Irving has been the better player this season.
Spencer Hawes (Philadelphia, PA)
More importantly - Voose and Allen have shown how expendable I am - yes?
John Hollinger (2:57 PM)
Disagree. Hawes has really become quite a high-post orchestrator with his passing and mid-range game.
It must be a foregone conclusion that Metta World Peace gets amnestied next year, right?
John Hollinger (2:58 PM)
Would be shocked if it didn't happen. Would save L.A. at least $7 million luxury tax, more if they go over line in 2013-14.
Am I having the greatest season ever? What will a regular season MVP and finals MVP do for my legacy?
John Hollinger (2:59 PM)
If LeBron is still on target for the PER record in March then we can start having more serious discussions about this. For now I'd consider this a spectacular 20-game stretch. And as for the Finals MVP .... that's always been the thing, hasn't it?
Not even a mention of Al Jeff in the all-star column? Defense that bad?
John Hollinger (3:01 PM)
His stats didn't even stack up that well -- he's 17th in the conference in EWA. And given the defensive shortcomings, it was a pretty easy call to exclude him.
How can Denver afford to resign Wilson Chandler and Ty Lawson (next season). Aren't they pretty tapped out!? Could a Chandler signing, be the precursor to a Afflalo move?
John Hollinger (3:03 PM)
Nuggets can go up to nearly $8 mil a year with Chandler and stay under tax; they can likely get him for far less. Next year, as you point out, it gets a bit trickier -- they have to pay Lawson and have a hard decision to make with Andre Miller, and they may lose Rudy to Spain.
Tony (San Antonio)
Will the Spurs have the money to sign N. Batum next year, considering Duncan should have a decrease in pay and the possibility to amnesty Jefferson?
John Hollinger (3:05 PM)
Would likely be a waste of time, as I'm pretty sure Blazers will match any offers. But yes, Spurs are positioned to have a boatload of cap space. They can likely resign Duncan at a more reasonable number, and I have to think they'll amnesty Jefferson.
John Hollinger (3:06 PM)
Folks that's all the time I have but thanks again for the questions. We'll be back at my regular time next week (thursday, noon ET) to do this again.