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December 6, 8:27 AM ET
Chat with John Hollinger

John Hollinger
  (3:03 PM)

Greetings from the Rose City. I have copious doses of caffeine in me and no place to go for a while, so let's talk some hoops.

Brett (Charlotte, NC)

Please give me a couple of reason to remain a fan of the Bobcats. Yesterday's trade continued their attempt to break my spirit.

John Hollinger
  (3:05 PM)

Well, they have a better coach now. Larry's problem has always been when he tries to become a GM, because he runs so hot and cold on his guys that he'll end up wanting to give them all way at some point during the year.

Rajon Rondo (Boston MA)

Will the NBA coaches vote me into the All-Star game?

John Hollinger
  (3:06 PM)

I have a feeling they will -- historically, being on a winning team has been a huge factor in getting selected or not once we get toward the end of the roster.

Jordan (Portland, OR)

Will the Blazers be able to pull off a win tonight against the Jazz? Will they take the Northwest Division?

John Hollinger
  (3:07 PM)

They have a great shot because it appears Boozer still isn't ready to play, and that Williams isn't quite himself yet. In fact, I'd almost call it a must-win as far as division title hopes are concerned, in the sense that Portland had better put some distance between itself and the Jazz before Utah gets back to full strength.

Matt (Whittier, Ca)

How realistic are the chances of LBJ, CP3, and D-Wade all finishing the season with a PER above 30?

John Hollinger
  (3:08 PM)

Not good -- it's a little bit like having three guys batting .400 on May 15. Chances are that all three will regress to the mean a little bit. If not, we've got the greatest MVP race ever.

Mo Williams (Cleveland, OH)

Am I the most underrated player in the whole league?

Mo Williams

Why am I not in the All-Star talk?

John Hollinger
  (3:09 PM)

Actually, if there's a second All-Star from Cleveland I think it will be Z. Mo has made a difference, though, and it's been magnified because since February it's really Mo + West + Wally replacing some of the worst shooters in basketball, and that's allowed their offense to just explode.

Chris Baker, England

How bad must the Suns feel that they passed up both Rajon Rondo and Rudy Fernandez in their search for new backcourt blood, particularly at PG? Who can we expect the Suns to sign to complete their roster following this trade?

John Hollinger
  (3:11 PM)

I don't get why they think it's so horrible to have Barbosa and Grant Hill initiate the offense when Nash is on the bench. But they seem hell-bent on sending Tragic out for his nightly beating.

Chuck (San Jose)

Any possible trades out there for Maggette? Would the Grizz go for a Mags/Marco (and Marcus williams for salary purposes) for conley and darko?

John Hollinger
  (3:12 PM)

Quick word on that -- players who signed over the summer are trade-eligible on Dec. 15, so we may see a flurry of moves after next week. In fact, that's why a lot of folks in the biz were amazed to see two deals go down just prior to that threshold.

John Hollinger
  (3:12 PM)

That said, cutting bait on Maggette after a month, when he hasn't even played in several of the games, would be absurd even by Golden State's standards.

Brady (Portland, OR)

What trades do you think might happen involving the Trailblazers this year?

John Hollinger
  (3:15 PM)

I could see them making a move for either a small forward or a point guard, though they're probably less likely to do the latter now that Blake and Sergio both are playing well. I have people in here asking me about Antawn Jamison or Vince Carter, but Blazers don't need another offensive player -- they need somebody who can lock down on D and hit open shots.

Andy

Do you think that the Nuggets are not really in contention for the NW division?

John Hollinger
  (3:16 PM)

In contention? Sure. Would I bet on them to win it? Not without another move to upgrade the depth.

Michael: Cary, NC

How long until Wallace and Felton are not in a bobcats uniform and why do people over look that we got diaw to fill a need at the PF position. May was not showing up and he never will for that matter

John Hollinger
  (3:17 PM)

Diaw will be an upgrade, but the downgrade at the 2 is just as severe -- Larry's thinking he's getting the Raja from 2001 but he's most definitely not.

Kregg (Toronto)

Heard of anything that the raptors are doing to get any better? we need to make a move..this team is not giong to cut it.

John Hollinger
  (3:18 PM)

you did make a move -- you fired the coach -- and the reason you did it was because there aren't any good pieces lying around to make a major trade. Unless you want to give up Bargnani, that is.

Mo Cheeks

How do I get Thaddeus Young, Iggy, and Shareef Abdur Brand on the floor at the same time when Brand can't play center and Iggy's jumper isn't consistent?

John Hollinger
  (3:19 PM)

i think it's easy -- you bench Sam Dalembert. But Sixers have been reluctant to do that. Last night they reverted to starting Willie Green and brought Young off the pine, confirming my theory that Green has compromising photos of both Billy King *and* Mo Cheeks.

Jon (NJ)

Loss to the Knicks aside, the Nets are a legit playoff contender this year. Do you see them upgrading at the three to deepen their run?

John Hollinger
  (3:22 PM)

They'd like to, and they certainly can trade from their surplus of bigs; problem is that they don't want to take on $$ and they don't want to have a fire sale for guys like Williams and Boone. Of course, if they had just signed a 3 to begin with instead of using most of their MLE on Eduardo Najera we wouldn't be worrying about this.

Dan (DC)

Please say something about Javaris Crittendon. And do you think N.O. did well to get Daniels as a real backup point guard?

John Hollinger
  (3:23 PM)

GREAT trade for New Orleans, they upgraded at backup PG at no cost (actually saved about 200K if I remember correctly) because the Wizards had to make it a 3-way deal to get Crittenton from Memphis. I'm intrigued by Crittenton but wonder if he isn't more of a 2 than a 1 -- it's very rare for a player of his size to stay at the 1 his whole career.

Jeff Miami

Is Miami a lock to make the playoffs or we need to make a move?

John Hollinger
  (3:25 PM)

Not a lock at all -- virtually everyone in the East projects to win between 35 and 44 games, so luck (both with injuries and buzzer-beaters) is going to be a huge factor. Miami will be active in trade talks certainly, with Shawn Marion and Udonis Haslem as the likely bait.

Decent People everywhere

Please tell me that he has distinct compromising pictures of them separately and not a compromising picture of them together.

John Hollinger
  (3:26 PM)

Good point.

cesar (tempe)

Jason Richardson is a huge upgrade over Bell. But are Jared Dudley and Boris Diaw a wash? Dudley has some upside.

John Hollinger
  (3:27 PM)

Dudley is roughly as good as Diaw offensively but not as good or versatile defensively. He's a smart, overachieving type with a fairly low ceiling, but he'll be a productive bench player for half a decade.

Krish (Memphis)

Who do you think is available for Memphis to try to pry away (pretending that Heisley would be ok with ponying up the cash for it)? It seems like a move of Mayo to the 1 for a defensive minded two would work here.

John Hollinger
  (3:28 PM)

I'm more skeptical about Mayo playing the 1 than most. He can't get into the paint against 2s and now he's supposed to beat smaller players off the bounce?

Joe (Davis)

Is Anthony Randloph worth playing if he can be convince not to shoot or handle the ball?

John Hollinger
  (3:29 PM)

funny but perhaps true. he's an amazingly bad offensive player at this point, but his defensive activity has some value.

Ray Allen

Will I be a snub this year? Or will I make it into the All-Star game?

John Hollinger
  (3:30 PM)

i suspect Allen will just slip in, and based on the first 22 games I believe he deserves to be there. Though I should point out that Allen has as many questionable All-Star selections as any player in history, with his laughable inclusion ahead of Chris Paul in 2006 heading the list, so perhaps this will be the year for karmic retribution.

Dan (DC)

Is Dominic McGuire still the worst offensive player in basketball? I'd like to thank the Wizards for continuing to find these guys - I'm still recovering from the Michael Ruffin days.

John Hollinger
  (3:35 PM)

This year he's only "among the worst." Maybe the Wizards can acquire Jason Collins to give him some company.

Nicolas Batum

Why am I an underated rookie? I start for a pretty good team, but I'm around number 17 on the rookie rankings. What's up with that?

John Hollinger
  (3:36 PM)

you've played five games this month and went scoreless in four of them. Settle down.

Francesco Milan

Where does Bargnani end up? Whats he worth to other teams?

John Hollinger
  (3:37 PM)

Here's the real question -- does anyone else value Bargnani as highly as the Raptors do? If not, they'd have to take 50 centers on the dollar in their view; that's always a tricky thing with trades, especially when it comes to valuing young guys.

Kobe

Is it time to panic in Lakerland since we not playing any defense lately?

John Hollinger
  (3:39 PM)

you're 18-3. Panic seems a little rash. However, you should be concerned that the defensive intensity that sustained their torrid start has apparently vanished into thin air. Time will tell whether it's just a brief slump or something worse.

Kevin

Does Rudy have a chance of winning the ROY?

John Hollinger
  (3:40 PM)

Not the way Rose and Mayo are playing, no. Only realistic path for Rudy is if something were to happen to Roy and he suddenly had to play 40 minutes a game.

Steven (Tulsa)

Better chance of getting out of the first round, Denver or Houston?

John Hollinger
  (3:41 PM)

I'll go with Houston -- i think they may end up with a better seed, and at full strength (which they may finally be next week) they have a more imposing lineup.

charlie, san diego

Is Luke ridnour blackmailing Scott Skiles with some shameful secret that allows him to play so many minutes over Ramon Session? Are we missing something that Ridnour does better?

John Hollinger
  (3:42 PM)

I've been wondering the same thing since training camp, and I'm no closer to an answer than you are.

Ricky (Spain)

This is the worst chat ever. Not one mention of me. Where's Thorpe when you need him.

John Hollinger
  (3:42 PM)

There. Te gusta?

Rick (Denver)

Apparently you have not looked at your playoff odds lately and you missed watching Melo last night?

John Hollinger
  (3:44 PM)

Playoff Odds don't know that Houston hasn't had it's full contingent for one game this year .. and yet they're still keeping pace with the Nuggies. But congrats on beating Minnesota at home; now you have something in common with Oklahoma City besides a state capital.

"Winter Storm 2008" (Portland weather hype machine)

Are you prepared for the impending snowy armageddon? Maybe you should get to the airport now! Ridiculous... Seems the Magic figured out the way to stop the Blazers is to trap BRoy. Rough patch for Portland if that catches on. Thoughts?

John Hollinger
  (3:46 PM)

Yes, I'm anxious about the quarter-inch of wet snow that is sure to snarl traffic and create widespread mayhem during the 15 minutes before it melts. Scary, scary stuff. As for the Magic's trap, I suspect Nate worked on that all day in practice on Wednesday. He was VERY upset after the game about how they handled that.

Magic

With a record of 17-5, how can we be #11 on your power rankings?

John Hollinger
  (3:48 PM)

Orlando has played the league's easiest schedule. Their opponents have a .409 winning pct. when not playing the Magic.

Dwyane Wade (Miami, FL)

I am leading the league in scoring. I am third in steals. I am eighth in assists. I am fifteenth in blocks. And my former-15-win team is currently fourth in the East. I AM the top MVP candidate.

John Hollinger
  (3:49 PM)

Here's the problem with arguments like that: You can't make the case in a vaccum. Wade is having an amazing year, but so is LeBron, and frankly what he's done trumps what Wade has done so far. In nearly any other year, Wade would be the top dog, but not this one.

Dave, SLC

Has Millsap's improved play made him a starter in this league? And can or should the Jazz resign both Sap and Boozer?

John Hollinger
  (3:53 PM)

Millsap is 10th among power forwards in PER and has sharply cut his foul rate, which was the big thing that prevented him from playing big minutes before. At this point,Jazz have two high-caliber PFs to pay next summer, so it makes sense to keep one and sign-and-trade the other. The interesting part is determining who stays and who goes.

John (ohio)

Almost an hours worth of chat and only one question answered about the number one team in your power rankings. What will cleveland do with their trade chips (expiring contracts) or do they do anything.

John Hollinger
  (3:54 PM)

They've been so unbelievably successful that I do wonder if it tempts them to stand pat under the "just don't screw it up" theory. Much will depend on who becomes available and whether they can get a major upgrade just using Wally's contract or it it requires more.

Tien, DC

What do you predict for the Hornets both in the regular season and playoffs now? On PER alone, one would think that Antonio Daniels is a huge upgrade over Mike James, which solves their biggest weakness at backup point... now they just gotta hope that Hilton/Ely/Marks can hold the backup big spot down. The rest of the team is solid!

John Hollinger
  (3:55 PM)

Daniels is a major upgrade, yes, plus he can move to the 2 and play with Paul in the same backcourt, which didn't really work with James. This is a great deal for the Hornets, and as you mention now they just have one problem area (backup C) instead of 2 ... making it much easier to address with another trade (or by asking P.J. Brown really, really nicely) come Feb.

Joey (Syracuse, NY)

So Kobe hasn't been playing very well this season. How much do you think the Olympics is to blame for that? Wade, Lebron, and Bosh etc. don't seem too affected by it, but they aren't 30.

John Hollinger
  (3:57 PM)

There is no demonstrable correlation between playing in the summer and performing better or worse in the following NBA season. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, but nobody's been able to show any significant impact. But any time somebody starts slow or gets injured, commentators blame the Olympics every time.

jay, ny

who do u think the knicks r tryna get to fill that empty roster space

John Hollinger
  (3:58 PM)

Pat Ewing Jr. is the rumor. But could also go for a point guard; if so, it's interesting to note that D'Antoni will be competing with Phoenix to fill the same position need at the same time (Phoenix also needs to sign a player for an empty roster spot).

Kevin Durant

Why did I have to spend my entire rookie season pretending I was a shooting guard?

John Hollinger
  (3:59 PM)

yes, that was a little odd, wasn't it? But even as a 3 or a 4, the issues are pretty much the same for him offensively -- shot selection and poor court vision.

John Hollinger
  (4:00 PM)

Folks, that' all the time I have, but thanks again for all the great questions. I'll be back here next Thursday at the same time for more.