Chat with Michael Wallace
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, NBA writer and blogger Michael Wallace stops by to chat about the latest news from around the league.
Send your questions now and join the chat Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Michael Wallace (2:02 PM)
Thanks for joining me for another great NBA chat. I look forward to your takes. It's been an amazing playoff run so far, and we're not even halfway to the Finals yet. So let's keep it going.
Cody (Palmyra, PA)
Are the Wizards a playoff team next year if they get Shabazz Mohammhed?
Michael Wallace (2:04 PM)
I think the Wizards are a playoff team even if they don't. The key for them is to stay relatively healthy. Had John Wall been able to play majority of the season, I see no reason why they wouldn't have been able to overcome both Philly and Milwaukee in the conference standings to get that eighth spot. A lottery pick, obviously, will only help their cause.
Ed (Queens Village)
Should NBA reseed after 1st round like NFL and NHL?
Michael Wallace (2:05 PM)
No. I'm not a fan of re-seeding after the playoffs start. Each time, you're making sure the best team left will have to face the team with the worst finish. I'd much rather see the NBA simply go to a Best-16-In format, where the 16 teams with the best records make the playoffs, regardless of conference.
Cody (Palmyr, PA)
Michael, I have asked this before and really want to know. Do you personally think Kyrie Irving is getting too much praise and recognition? I do not understand how people consider him an "elite" player in the NBA today. He is always hurt and hasn't turned around the team's W/L much at all. I wouldnt even put him in my top 10 PG's right now.
Michael Wallace (2:07 PM)
On talent alone, Kyrie is a top-10 point guard in this league. He does have to mature and also prove he can stay healthy for the duration of a season. Those are two big hurdles for him to clear at this point. But I agree with your notion that it's hard to consider anyone elite who hasn't impacted his team's win-loss and/or playoff performance. I think he's on the cusp of being elite, though.
Ryan (Dallas, TX)
how do you see the Mavs offseason shaking out?
Michael Wallace (2:11 PM)
Cuban wanted another shot at full-max free agency this summer, and he's got it. The question is how many times will he try this and strike out? Will Dwight, Chris Paul or even the likes of a Josh Smith even take a serious look at Dallas to play with Dirk? We'll see. But the Mavs were a championship team two years ago, and Cuban decided not to continue to contend with that team. I don't like the idea of folding on a championship-level squad. It tends to backfire one way or another. Look at the gamble OKC made by trading Harden instead of paying a guy that has proved he's worth a max salary and could help you win a title.
Mike (Miami, FL)
Do you get the sense that Wade cares about HIS legacy at all? It's one thing to establish a pecking order and have Lebron be at the top of it on this team but it's another thing to watch Dwade slowly not even be apart of the offense any longer like game 3.
Michael Wallace (2:19 PM)
Wade's production is a healthy topic right now, considering he's averaging 13 points a game in these playoffs. ON the other hand, the Heat are 6-1 in the postseason going into Game 4 in Chicago tonight. You can look at this in one of two ways. Either you applaud the Heat's depth, which has seen Ray Allen and Norris Cole pick up some of the slack from Wade. Or you can look at Wade's health as a key cause amid his dip in production. Wade isn't 100 percent. He's told folks that from the outset of the playoffs. But he's been doing more to help the team with his scoring down. I've seen him bounce back from these type of ordeals too many times to really be too concerned about it right now. Also credit Chicago's defense, which has a part in Wade's offensive struggles a bit, too.
Corey (New York, NY)
Still think the Warriors can pull off the upset?
Michael Wallace (2:20 PM)
It's 2-2 now, which puts this series at a best-of-three. That makes it more like a college NCAA Tournament situation. Which means the hottest team can often knock off the deeper and/or better overall team. I give Golden State a huge chance to win this series, even though I picked San Antonio in six. This one is a complete toss up at this point.
If the Heat get to the ECF, do you think they'd prefer to meet the Knicks or the Pacers?
Michael Wallace (2:28 PM)
Once you get that deep in the playoffs, I don't think too many teams actually have preferences like that. By then, they all believe they're capable of winning a title regardless of the opponent. I can say this: New York will certainly catch Miami's full attention because of the circus that series will include. The Pacers would be the tougher overall matchup/opponent, though.
The Bulls weakest position the last few years has been shooting guard, with Butler emergence this year I think I can make strong argument that he is the 4th best under 30 shooting guard moving forward, only behind Harden, Thompson, and Beal, agree?
Michael Wallace (2:32 PM)
I haven't really thought about it from that perspective. There are other names that would also come to mind such as DeRozan, Mayo, Eric Gordon and such. But I do absolutely love Jimmy Butler as one of the best young two-way players in the league. He's blossomed in the Bulls system. I agree with you, I think their shooting guard problem might just be solved. And if Chicago chooses to let Deng walk, Butler could just as easily shift over to small forward to fill that void if needed.
So recently LeBron James stated that he did not flop on the Muhammad push and that he "(doesn't) need to flop. I don't even know how to flop". From what most players around the league say, this is quite the opposite. What truth is there really in this statement from James then?
Michael Wallace (2:34 PM)
All players flop. All players know how to exaggerate contact in order to bait an official into making a call. All plays know the art form. And part of mastering the art form is never admitting you know exactly what it is.
post your question or commentHey Michael, Do you think Joe Dumars can get Kevin Love from Minn? Trading Monroe and Stuckey for Kevin Love and a bench player.. Then we draft Trey Burke if we get in the top 5. looking at a starting lineup of Burke, Knight, Free Agent, Kevin Love and Drummond. and Brian Shaw as the Coach.. You think this is what Joe dumars can make happen.. ?
Michael Wallace (2:36 PM)
Depends on which player fills that "Free Agent" spot in the lineup. Detroit has some nice young pieces on the roster and some decent cap space. I'm not sure I deal Monroe for Love - or whether that trade would make either team drastically better. Seems like it would be wheel-spinning for the sake of wheel-spinning, although I like Love and appreciate the upside Monroe has.
Taylor (Miami Beach)
Do you think David has been working with the mole this entire time or is it a more recent occurrence? He wouldn't condone killing Molly would he? #Scandal In a potential matchup with Memphis do you think the Heat will need Wade at full strength? Please ask Wade if he's tried Zheng Gu Shui and microcurrent therapy on his bone bruises.- Helps quicken the healing process.
Michael Wallace (2:39 PM)
Hey, you moved to the front of the line with that Scandal question. Nah, but seriously, I wouldn't rule David out of any level of backstabbing. He owes the Pope team one for the way they sabotaged his career as DA. As far as Wade, I don't think he needs much advice on how to handle knee treatment. He's had enough practice at it. And the Heat will need him well before they would get to a series against the Grizzlies or anyone else in the Finals.
David B. (Miami, Fl)
With J.R Smith's minutes going down, and Tyson Chandler saying some of his teammates are being selfish in the offense, is there a sense a panic with the New York Knicks?
Michael Wallace (2:41 PM)
Even if there isn't a panic, it will be covered and covered relentlessly in that market like there is one. The Knicks will be right back in the thick of this series, with homecourt advantage back on their side with a win in Game 4. This is what a seven-game series looks and feels like. There's always a game or two where the self-doubt and internal bickering/criticism will take center stage. These teams are in it for the long haul. I picked the Knicks in 7, but full aware of the fact that the Pacers could win it just the same.
Most disapointg player in the playoffs? Ibaka or Jr. Smith?
Michael Wallace (2:43 PM)
Nope, neither. I can't go with anyone who's team is still active. So my response would be to pick a Net. Any Net. And that would answer your question.
chilly (virginia beach)
is rip hamilton really so bad that he can't help a bulls team with this many injuries? this is a world champion
Michael Wallace (2:45 PM)
I've heard two things on this. One, Rip is so far into Thibodeau's doghouse, that he barely exists. And two, his back problems are so bad that he's probably going to retire at the end of this season. There could be a lot of truth in both of those statements.
Shouldn't the Warriors think about trading Curry because of his chronic injury issues? His value is at an all time high, they might get a very good PG and improve their bench in return. I know Curry has an affordable contract but if they want to play at this level every year they need a star player they can count on.
Michael Wallace (2:47 PM)
Curry has been arguably the best player in these playoffs. He's the reason Golden State is in this position. It's a shame he has those chronically bad ankles, and I hope, for his sake and the sake of the NBA, that this isn't something that's going to cut his career short. I can't see any way Golden State would trade him. No way possible.
South fl [via mobile]
Will Heat keep mike miller as wade's back up, based on Wade's injury history? Will the Heat be able to afford to resign the Birdman. Will the Heat be involved in the Greg Oden free agent conversation this off season. Finally, will rashard Lewis see time next year if Haslem/Anthony is moved. Thanks, Stephen, south fl
Michael Wallace (2:51 PM)
1. Miller $5-6 million salary will be more difficult to justify as the luxury tax penalties stiffen, so there could finally be that amnesty call unless the Heat find a trade partner.2. Yes. But Andersen would have to make the same sort of salary sacrifice others on the team have made. He should be a mini-midlevel guy, but nothing more than that. 3. They already have kicked the tires on Greg Oden, and might continue to do so, although the more the Heat plays this open style, the less likely it seems that Oden would be a good fit - even on the cheap.4. I'm not even sure Rashard sticks round next season to be almost out of the rotation again.
What is it about Thibs schemes that always make the HEAT struggle? They should be destroying a team so depleted.
Michael Wallace (2:53 PM)
First, the commitment to defense is paramount in slowing down the Heat. The Bulls do two things especially well. They get back in transition, and the defend the paint. That's the main reason why the 3-point line has been open for the Heat. If Battier and Allen could knock them down the way Cole has, this series would have been 3-0 right now, on the way to a sweep. But credit the Bulls for their toughness and resilience. They've made the Heat work for every possession, with the exception of the second half of Game 2.
At the end of games can Chicago afford to play Noah and Boozer together? When the HEAT go small with bosh, wade, lebron, ray allen, battier (or cole if hes going bananas like he was last game), the matchup for either boozer or Noah (whoever isn't covering bosh) is extremely difficult. If they put Noah on a shooter, then he isn't in the paint to disrupt a drive (see Norris Cole's drive at the end of the game. It was Boozer fouling Cole at the basket instead of Noah). If it's Boozer covering a shooter then Miami should be able to easily run him off of screens to get a good open 3. Meanwhile the Heat front the post so well with either Lebron or Battier that there isn't much of a mismatch on the other end of the floor.
Michael Wallace (2:55 PM)
Therein lies the ultimate chess match of this series. Boozer hasn't been the dominant low-post presence the Bulls need him to be to make this series as competitive as it could ultimately become. Boozer is simply an enigma.
Kings to Seattle or Sacramento?
Michael Wallace (2:57 PM)
They'll stay in Sacramento, I believe. But Seattle will entice some other team to move out there in a few years, despite Stern saying there's no additional talk on the horizon of expansion or relocation.
If the Heat don't win the championship this year, how would that impact Lebron's legacy? Would his reputation go back down to 2010-2011 levels?
Michael Wallace (2:59 PM)
Not really. He's 28 years old, with three trips to the Finals, a ring and 4 MVPs already. His legacy is already solid, and there's plenty of time to build on it. Still, the Heat are the heavy favorites to win a title this year. Anything short of winning it all would be a setback and a failure for this team, barring a major injury.
Ryan(Florida) [via mobile]
Are the Knicks done or is there a shot to win the series still and if so what's your percentage of winning it? I say 20%
Michael Wallace (3:00 PM)
I'd double that, and raise you an additional 10 percent. This series is far from decided.
Michael Wallace (3:01 PM)
That's my time for the week, folks. Thanks again for joining me for the chat. Let's do it again this same time next week as these second-round series wrap up and we head toward the conference finals. Take care and until then, peace. MW