Chat with Tom Haberstroh
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh stops by to chat some hoops.
Haberstroh started at ESPN in 2008 following his graduation from Wake Forest. He's contributed to ESPN.com's NBA coverage since 2010, as a writer, Insider and contributor to the TrueHoop Network.
Send your questions now and join Haberstroh Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Tom Haberstroh (2:01 PM)
Just left Heat practice and settled in my office on a beautiful 83 degree day in Miami. Lots to talk about after 2 weeks in the books. Let's do this...
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will be NBA Rookie of the Year?
Tom Haberstroh (2:03 PM)
Not exactly shocking, but I picked Oladipo before the season and I still feel pretty, prettayyyy, prettaaaay good about that. When (I don't think it's if) Jameer Nelson is traded, Oladipo'll get the run that he deserves. Also, I love what I've seen from MCW, but I'm calling fluke on his jumper so far.
Michael (Kingwood, TX)
Tom, what is your biggest surprises this season (both good and bad)?
Tom Haberstroh (2:06 PM)
I'm chiming in a 5-on-5 later today with my answers to this (check the site in a few hours for that), but Sixers and Suns obviously have caught my attention. In the disappointment category? Jazz. They have been wayyyy worse than I thought (WHOOPS ---> http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9902211/nba-most-underrated-teams-players-storylines-entering-2013-14-season). They desperately need Trey Burke back. It's been ugly.
Teo (Minnesota) [via mobile]
How deep into the playoffs can the T-wolves get
Tom Haberstroh (2:08 PM)
To early to say, but I don't see them coming out of the West. Just too many blue chip teams out there. But can they get to the Western Conference Finals? Sure. I'm not sure many saw Memphis getting to the WCF this time last year, even though they got off to a hot start. I love what that starting 5 has done, but the biggest variable continues to be health, health, health, health. Did I mention health?
Sean (Newcastle UK)
Kevin Love throws a sexy outlet pass. Is a sentence i never thought i'd write. Dude can throw the pumpkin something fierce.
Tom Haberstroh (2:09 PM)
Your third sentence is a sentence I never thought I'd read either.
Pacers Fan (Fort Wayne)
The Pacers are off to their best start in franchise history, and, as a fan, it is certainly fun to watch. Nevertheless, I still think they need an upgrade at the point guard position. Too often, opposing squads pressure the Pacers' guards or overplay passing lanes causing the team to start its offense far too late into the shot clock. If the Pacers' do not win it all, I think the guard position will be there downfall. Thoughts? Is there anyway, that Celtics might be interesting in dealing Rondo for Granger's expiring contract and picks? I know Bird has pursued deals for him in the past.
Tom Haberstroh (2:11 PM)
I doubt Indiana -- a small-market team against the tax line -- will give up the picks necessary to get a deal done for Rondo. Also, that's a team that needs George Hill's 3-point shooting. Not the biggest fan of Rondo's fit there for that reason.
Deven (New York, NY)
Are the Knicks in trouble?
Tom Haberstroh (2:13 PM)
Yup and here's a big reason why: https://twitter.com/tomhaberstroh/status/399915250692022272 Not sure where they go from here, but that 2014 first-rounder might've come in handy in trade talks, huh?
What do you think Brandon Bass is worth? He's looked great this year defensively and is still automatic on his jump shot. A late first round pick maybe?
Tom Haberstroh (2:13 PM)
Celtics fan, I'm guessing?
Kyle (South Bend, Indiana)
Do you think Kevin Love will be an MVP candidate at the end of the season?
Tom Haberstroh (2:15 PM)
No doubt as long as he stays healthy. Love got no love in 2011-12 when he put up a monster season. Now, he has an actual team around him. Amazing what that'll do for a player's perception.
What happened to the Clipper defense?
Tom Haberstroh (2:18 PM)
Mostly? Eric Bledsoe left. That second unit was murderous last season and now they're forced to give minutes to the Turnstile That Is BJ Mullens. DeAndre Jordan has been problematic with his rotations, but that should come in time if he listens to Doc Rivers.
Do you think Rose will turn it around anytime soon? He's been playing horribly so far
Tom Haberstroh (2:19 PM)
Yep. He'll be fine once he gets his timing back. His body is going faster than his mind at this point. He'll figure it out. Still, it's amazing to see his name on the negative value list here: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/statistics/_/sort/VORPe/order/false
Nick D (Indianapolis)
James Jones for Mike Miller by Christmas. My bold prediction.
Tom Haberstroh (2:20 PM)
Heat fan I'm guessing?
Would JR Smith for Taj Gibson solve some problems for both teams?And: Who'd say no? You could make a case for both teams
Tom Haberstroh (2:24 PM)
My first reaction was giggling at the thought of JR Smith playing for Tom Thibodeau. But then I watched Nate Robinson flourish as Thibs' starting point guard in the playoffs. So anything can happen. But as badly as the Knicks need a big who can play defense, their offense is ranked 23rd right now. JR Smith looked horrible yesterday (the airball finger roll followed by his guy Marco Belinelli hitting a wide open 3-pointer in transition was a horrific sequence) but it's too early to bail just yet. Also, Knicks would have to throw some money in that deal to make it work. Taj's deal ain't cheap.
David (New York)
What do you think of the Asik/Howard pairing so far? Do you think Morey will ever put Asik on the trading block?
Tom Haberstroh (2:27 PM)
Was he ever taken off the trading block? Don't be so sure. Morey is as aggressive in trade talks as any GM in the league. That said, the Asik-Howard duo hasn't bolstered the old NBA adage that you always find a way to put your five best players on the floor at the same time. They need to play better defensively to make up for the spacing issues on O. So far, they're not doing that.
Hello Tom. How would you handicap the Atlantic Division now? BK still overwhelming favorite? Odds a non-NYC team wins the division? Thanks.
Tom Haberstroh (2:29 PM)
Yes, I still see Brooklyn as the team that is the least bad by the end of the season. Soon we might have to relegate that whole division.
Gregg Ochaita (Guatemala)
what are the odds the sixers make playoffs 8th seed? considering Miami has their lottery protected pick for this upcoming draft
Tom Haberstroh (2:30 PM)
Slim to none. Soft schedule + negative point differential = smoke and mirrors.
Brian (Ann Arbor)
Is Michael Beasley going to get more minutes? And how many minutes do you think he'll have to play to get his first rebound or assist. 20? 30?
Tom Haberstroh (2:33 PM)
I'll put the (fake) over/under on his minutes at 12 vs. MIL on Tuesday night. The scoring has been great, but it's worth mentioning that when Chris Bosh was asked about Beasley's performance after the Boston game, Bosh immediately pointed out that he has work to do defensively. The Heat don't need his scoring right now. They need to see him commit to playing an NBA defense. They're not sold quite yet.
Dan B (Binghamton)
Why does Deron Williams insist on acting like a role player? I know it's a new team and he's been injured but I'd like to see more aggression.
Tom Haberstroh (2:35 PM)
He's banged up and has been for a couple years now. When fans want "aggression" what they really want is "player not hurt." It's hard to drive on a flat tire.
Guess as to when Oden plays? Will he even matter at all this year?
Tom Haberstroh (2:37 PM)
Hard to say, but it this way: I think he plays at his homecoming game, Dec. 10 at Indiana. The Heat got him to play against Roy Hibbert in the same way that the Hawks had Jason Collins for Dwight Howard.
Derrick Favors has had a bit of a rough start. Is poor PG play responsible or is there more to it?
Tom Haberstroh (2:39 PM)
I think anytime Jamaal Tinsley is starting for an NBA team in the year 2013, that's where the issues start. Trickle down effect.
You think the Heat's defense troubles are a real concern moving forward?
Tom Haberstroh (2:39 PM)
Probably not. See: 2012-13.
What do you think Paul George stats will be at the end of this season? 24pts/4ast/7reb/2st ?
Tom Haberstroh (2:42 PM)
If you're asking whether I think he'll keep up his current pace, the answer is no. I don't think he'll continue to shoot ~50% in the mid-range so of those numbers the "24pts" seems a bit high. 20 PPG is more realistic. Which is crazy considering where he was 2 years ago.
I know the Pacers are good. HOwever, LeBron knows that he needs to keep getting rings if he's going to be considered the greatest ever. Do you think that LeBron will let anybody else come out of the East?
Tom Haberstroh (2:44 PM)
I still think the Heat will be the East's rep come June, but it's not about LeBron "letting" someone else get there. It's about Dwyane Wade's health. LeBron has no control over that unless he added a Ph. D to his resume this summer, too.
Matt (Los Angeles)
Is Gordon Hayward becoming a star or is he simply putting up empty stats? 19pts 5 assists 6 rebounds w/ 1.5 steals is pretty nice.
Tom Haberstroh (2:45 PM)
Remember when people thought Kevin Love was putting up empty stats?
Luol Deng was just 1 assist away from a triple double (and 5 steals). Should Chicago be pressing the trade button repeatedly right now? Small chance they keep him after this season, bigger chance they might lose him for nothing
Tom Haberstroh (2:48 PM)
No inside info here, but I think it's only a matter of time before Deng gets moved. They need help bolstering that second unit and Jimmy Butler makes Deng expendable.
not freaking out yet, but what's the market value on Iman Shumpert.?
Tom Haberstroh (2:48 PM)
Not as high as Knicks' fans. Not as low as Dolan's (reportedly). Somewhere in between.
Do you ever misspell Wade's first name or are you past that by now?
Tom Haberstroh (2:50 PM)
I have a tough last name to spell so I feel bad about misspelling other folks' names. In this case, auto-correct is a beautiful thing.
Tom Haberstroh (2:50 PM)
Somewhat related: I misspell "misspell" all the time.
is a 1st rounder too much for hawes or turner?what do you think is a fair return for them?
Tom Haberstroh (2:51 PM)
If Philly is offered a lottery-protected first for either, they'll do back flips.
If neither one develops a better jumpshot, who's more valuable, Rubio or Rondo?
Tom Haberstroh (2:53 PM)
Rubio. He's almost 5 years younger, a better defender and, from what I hear, a better teammate than Rondo.
If you "had" to pick? Hawes, Plumlee, or Valanciunas?
Tom Haberstroh (2:55 PM)
Valanciunas, all day. Plumlee if I need to retrieve the cereal off the top of my fridge.
Whats your take on Chris Bosh so far? He is playing very efficient and i believe its time for him to take the next step.
Tom Haberstroh (2:56 PM)
What's the next step? 8-time All-Star. 2-time champion. Averaged 24 and 10 before.
Tom Haberstroh (2:58 PM)
Although Bosh, adding a 3-point shot like he has, is an incredible move for his long-term prospects in this league. He's the model of a modern big in the NBA.
How long before you put Adams at the starting center position? Midseason?
Tom Haberstroh (2:58 PM)
If it was up to me, yesterday.
Lillard or Davis?
Tom Haberstroh (2:59 PM)
Davis. Assuming you're not talking about Dale. Had to mention since you're hailing from PDX.
Another reason that Amar'e- Pau trade makes sense is Amar'e once flourished in D'Antoni's system with nash.
Tom Haberstroh (3:00 PM)
If that's your "another" reason, I don't want to hear your first reasons.
Enes Kanter for MIP?
Tom Haberstroh (3:01 PM)
Markieff Morris and Anthony Davis would like a word.
Tom Haberstroh (3:02 PM)
Is there a team in the league that sports a better cellection of bigs that the Grizzlies' Gasol/Randolph/Koufos/Davis?
Tom Haberstroh (3:04 PM)
I may take Brooklyn or Miami (if we're including LeBron) over them, contracts aside. But it's close.
Tom Haberstroh (3:05 PM)
Alright folks, I gotta run. Thanks for the great questions. Keep cool, my babies.