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 (1:59 PM)
Greeting's, y'all. Lots of stuff to talk about including the debut of ESPN's new RPM metric (http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10740818/introducing-real-plus-minus). Let's do this. Ball in...
Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green are the only two non-big men in the top 20 in DRPM. Not really a question, but I think it bears mentioning, and maybe repeating, that those two are fantastic wing defenders!
Tom Haberstroh (2:02 PM)
Absolutely. Makes things tough for Mark Jackson, who's already juggling lots of issues with his (depleting) staff as is. The Dre and Dray combo offers them a ton of versatility on the defensive end, but at the end of the day, David Lee is making $44 million through 2016. That pricetag (and his PPG) probably dictates MJax's lineups more than it should.
I hate how the Coach of the Year is given to the team that performs the best versus media preseason expectations. Can't we just give the award to the best coach (Pop, Spo, or Thibs)?
Tom Haberstroh (2:06 PM)
I've been tooting that horn since I can remember. If we gave out two awards -- Best Coach and Coach of the Year -- and compared the voting totals, it'd reveal a lot about little we know about coaching. Much of actual coaching is hidden behind a curtain so we're only left to grade based on preseason expectations. Often, like you said, COY is just a media mulligan.
Rah-Steam (Hackensack, N.J.)
How do you compare scoring pg's vs. passing pg's. I feel some would rather have Steph Curry over Chris Paul due to the consistent scoring. How do you see it?
Tom Haberstroh (2:08 PM)
Depends on the roster you have! But I'd be prettayyy prettayyy happy with either Steph or CP. Also, I'd argue than Steph is a much better passer than people think and vice versa with CP and scoring.
If it's true what the Jazz management said at the beginning of the season, that Corbin would be judged on defense and player development, can you see any justification for bringing him back next season? Especially down the stretch the defense has been non-existent.
Tom Haberstroh (2:10 PM)
I thought they'd be much better especially defensively, but Kanter has been horrible on that end. You could look at it this way. Considering the upcoming draft class, I think Corbin did his job.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Tom - The Suns most recent win [122 to 115 over the Thunder] improved their record to 46 - 31, if they can hang on to the 8th and final playoff spot, will they be NBA's most surprise playoff entrant and just how far will they go in the playoffs?
Tom Haberstroh (2:12 PM)
Probably. Vegas and just about every other predictive measure saw this team as bottom feeders. Hard to think of another team that surprised expectations this much. 2007 Raptors come to mind, but they weren't predicted to contend for the No. 1 overall pick.
Woody (Pentagon, Washington DC)
What position do the Wizards need to upgrade to be a real Championship contender?
Tom Haberstroh (2:13 PM)
Entire frontcourt. Nene's body can't be a foundation.
Daniel (Coram, NY)
In the very unlikely event that the Pacers get bounced in the first round who will leave first, Hibbert, Vogel, or both?
Tom Haberstroh (2:14 PM)
That sound you hear is Evan Turner zipping up his luggage.
Who ya got tonight?
Tom Haberstroh (2:15 PM)
Rob Hartwell (Brigus)
Would anyone potentially agree to a sign and trade for Evan Turner? Seems like a Bobcats type move.
Tom Haberstroh (2:18 PM)
Maybe a few years ago, but they're much smarter these days. And so has the rest of the league. Turner's stock has bottomed out since he got traded.
What kind of improvement can we expect (or hope) to see from Giannis in the offseason? Is 10 pts, 5 reb a game too much?
Tom Haberstroh (2:21 PM)
Expectations and hope are two different things. That said, international players statistically see a huge boost (more than normal) in Year 2 just because of the adjustment to the NBA life is so much more than about basketball. 10 and 5 seems attainable but I'd probably set expectations lower than that. He's still 19. Let him develop.
AM (New York)
Why cant i see my question appear
Tom Haberstroh (2:21 PM)
Hungry fella? There ya go.
Did the new RPM stat make you change your mind at all as to who should be MVP and is having the better season between Lebron and Durant? Interesting to see Lebron is so far ahead of Durant in RPM, but Durant wins in WS/48.
Tom Haberstroh (2:23 PM)
I'll have more thoughts on this later, but KD had been leading LeBron until recently. We've been internally tracking it for some time and I was surprised to see LeBron's name at the top this week. The main takeaway is his defense hasn't lived up to his hype, but his versatility compensates for that.
Tom Haberstroh (2:24 PM)
Also, the difference is razor-thin. The WAR battle is going down to the wire.
what do you think the Heat will look like next year? so few guaranteed contracts...
Tom Haberstroh (2:26 PM)
If they win the title, most everyone will be back. If they don't, you can still pencil in the Big Three, but the rest of the roster may look younger. Fatigue/age may be their downfall.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that the Miami Heat will be in the Playoffs?
Tom Haberstroh (2:26 PM)
Randy (Dallas, TX)
I don't understand why the Mavs got Jose Calderon. He is a great shooter no doubt, but it seems that their backcourt of Jose and Ellis is their weekpoint on defense. they can't stop anyone. now they are locked up with this contract for the foreseeable future.
Tom Haberstroh (2:27 PM)
You can take out the "it seems that" from your comment. It's Calderon and Ellis. If they had a defensive eraser (hey, Tyson Chandler!) they could probably make up for their defensive incompetence but keep in mind, Dallas is a top-3 offense. You take the good with the bad.
I hate to be that "RINGZZZ" guy, but when Lebron was KD's age he was catching flak left, right, and center for not "winning". In your opinion, why is it that KD gets a relative pass for being ringless compared to Lebron at a similar, and even at an earlier age?
Tom Haberstroh (2:29 PM)
KD wasn't heralded as The Chosen One on the cover of magazines at 17 years old.
Josiah (Killeen, Tx)
Can you wish me a Early Happy Birthday?
Tom Haberstroh (2:31 PM)
Woody (Pentagon, Washington DC)
So do you recommend that the Wizards try to trade Nene for a younger big man?
Tom Haberstroh (2:33 PM)
Sure, but they wouldn't find a foundational piece that way. Nene's contract/health is prohibitive.
Why is Spo playing Norris so much? he is being horrible lately. I know the HEAT do not have many options, but there must be a different guy to play instead of calamity Cole
Tom Haberstroh (2:34 PM)
Dwyane Wade will soak up his minutes in the playoffs. The Heat don't need 4 point guards when you count LeBron and Wade.
Tell me a story
Tom Haberstroh (2:35 PM)
Mario Chalmers and I were teammates at UNC basketball camp in high school. (He doesn't remember me).
what do you see on tap for the Raps this summer? re-sign lowry and possibly go after deng? or what about gordon hayward? thoughts? thanks for the chat
Tom Haberstroh (2:37 PM)
Just as a rule of thumb, I'd stay away from signing Thibs players to long-term contracts. Lot of miles on those tires. I suspect Ujiri will be pragmatic about Toronto's future and not overreact about their season. This is Year 1 of a long-term rebuild.
Jay (NY). [via mobile]
Mr. H, what's your take on the disparity b/t the EC & WC? Why do you think it's happened? Is that really a "problem" for the NBA? Thanks a bunch!!!
Tom Haberstroh (2:40 PM)
Step 1) Compile a list of then 10 best international players over the past decade. Step 2) Look at which conference they play/played for.
Tom Haberstroh (2:40 PM)
I don't think it's a major problem. Just get rid of conference alignment in the playoffs and go 16 best teams. Done.
Does Dirk make an All-NBA team?
Tom Haberstroh (2:42 PM)
Probably not the first. Second or third. He's been great this year, but so many deserving candidates.
OB [via mobile]
So John Henson has some terrible advanced stats. How worrying is that?
Tom Haberstroh (2:45 PM)
I was stunned by that too. Needs a better environment probably. Can't imagine he's been coached very well since he came into the league considering his teammates have all underperformed as well.
Tim, Detroit [via mobile]
Hey tom, here's a question for ya; would you vote for Vince carter on a hall of game ballot?
Tom Haberstroh (2:48 PM)
Yes. Hugely underrated scorer, IMO. People think of him like people think of Blake Griffin today. Just a dunker. So far from the truth. When you throw in his college credentials, I think he's in.
What is your personal favorite, go to advanced metric? Can be more than one.
Tom Haberstroh (2:49 PM)
Mount Rushmore of advanced metrics: PER, Win shares, RPM (or RAPM) and blocks retained. (I just like the last one).
Kevin (Plymouth, MI)
Zeke is a legend in Detroit but please don't tell me he'll be our next GM.
Tom Haberstroh (2:50 PM)
Don't worry, Joe Dumars was a legend too! Wait. Nevermind.
Joey (West Palm Beach)
If lists (paper copies) of RPM leaders and losers, along with a concise blurb explaining the statistic, were taped up in the knicks locker room prior to a game, what effect (if any) do you imagine it might have?
Tom Haberstroh (2:51 PM)
I already know the answer: "Sometimes there's glitches in the computer" http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/48845/knicks-dont-agree-with-37-wins-projection
Do you agree with the fact that Lebron James is the 220th best defender of the league, as reported by the new Real Plus-Minus Stat?
Tom Haberstroh (2:52 PM)
I agree with it as long as you say "has been" rather than "is."
Your take...Bird Man a contender for 6th man of the year?
Tom Haberstroh (2:56 PM)
He's in my top-3. Markieff Morris probably gets my vote today. Manu, Taj and Jamal Crawford in there as well.
Love the chats, Tom. Here is my issue with Sports media. I have been reading since last Thursday of how the Spurs can't be OKC and OKC would be favored in the WCF if they meet, blah blah blah. Do they conveniently forget that last Thursday's game, the Spurs were in their 5th game in 7 nights and OKC was playing on 3 days rest? How does that not factor into the equation? The schedule makers have to realize when they setup a matchup between heavyweights this late in the season that the game will more than likely carry huge weight going into the playoffs, so why not make it more even competitive-wise? Schedule these games first and build the schedules around that. I'll get off my soapbox now. Go Spurs Go!
Tom Haberstroh (2:57 PM)
I can't believe you're a Spurs fan! Usual Suspects esque twist at the end.
Tom Haberstroh (2:58 PM)
Wrapping up ...
BigCitySid (Mt. Vernon, NY)
Why is Iggy rated so high (#2 behind LeBron & over Durant)? Is this an anomaly?
Tom Haberstroh (3:00 PM)
Iguodala's defense finally gets its due. Players have long loathed going against that guy.
Kawhian Punch (San Antonio,TX)
Who was the last team to have as Bizarro season as this year's Pacers?
Tom Haberstroh (3:03 PM)
Probably 2010 Celtics. But those issues were injury related.
Tom Haberstroh (3:04 PM)
2011 Celtics got off to a ridiculous start and crashed down to Earth as well.
Alec (Los Angeles)
I'm a spurs fan too....but, the 5th game in 7 nights thing gets so overblown. It's only worth about a point or a point-and-a-half. The Spurs lost by 12 to OKC!
Tom Haberstroh (3:05 PM)
And 10 of last 12. That wasn't just a one-game blip.
Does Taj Gibson have a fair contract?
Tom Haberstroh (3:06 PM)
Yes. Problem is the guy starting ahead of him does not.
Tom Haberstroh (3:07 PM)
With that, I gotta run. Keep cool, my babies.