Hello everybody. Coming to you from the patio today since it's so nice in LA it would be a crime to be inside. Let's get to it.
Given Westbrook, Luc Richard, and Love's success in the NBA do you think this helps Collison's draft stock and UCLA's program in general?
Programs definitely get a reputation for producing NBA-quality guys, especially when a school puts an emphasis on defense as Ben Howland does. Even some pre-Howland Bruins like Gadzuric and Watson have carved out nice NBA careers. I always thought the greatest testament to Dean Smith wasn't Michael Jordan, but the fact that guys like Joe Wolf stuck around the league so long
I'm a Magic fan that is watching my team have a season of their lives but go basically unnoticed because of the media's love of Lebron, Kobe and the Celtics. What do you think is the reason? Is it their location, market or lack of a Megastar?
I'd say location. Dwight Howard counts as a megastar (check the commercials, the nba stats and the fans' all-star voting). But because the Magic aren't in the Northeast (I know Cleveland's in the Midwest, but it's like NY has already adopted LeBron) and they're not the Lakers they don't get as much run. They could make a huge statement with a win against the Lakers in LA tonight.
Do you think a swap of bosh for amare would be benefecial for both teams-bobby
I think it would mostly benefit Amare. I don't see how he single-handedly turns Toronto into contenders, but he would see a boost in his numbers. Bosh might not be able to play alongside Shaq if the Suns are going to stick to their Shaq-oriented offense.
J.A.: Are you going to give Philly some love after the Sixers won 5 straight and how do you think Elton Brand fits once he comes back this weekend? Thanks!
Watching the Sixers without Brand is like watching Phoenix in the first half without Shaq last night. They get back to playing the way they're best suited to play. They look liberated. Now it's up to Elton to fit in somehow if he can. I thought his halfcourt presence would be a great complement to their up-tempo style, but he hampered them. time to defer to what's been working and let the 3's keep flying.
Jerryd Bayless is fearless and can score, but in his breakout performance (which ESPN.com was all over this morning) he had only 3 assists. Does the presence of Brandon Roy change what is needed out of point guard in Portland?
That's consistent with the way he played in the summer league in Vegas, where I watched him put up something like 40 points with only one assist. Brandon definitely allows them to get away with a scoring point guard -- for a while. I don't think you want to ask Roy to run the offense the whole time, because he's also the go-to guy in the clutch. That's too many jobs for one man
J.A. I enjoy the chat every Friday. As a Bulls fan, last night was the first time I got excited all year. I certainly like Hinrich on the floor with Rose and Deng finally playing loose. What else do the Bulls need to do to keep up the momentum going forward throughout the rest of the year and beyond?
One thing hasn't changed over the past few years: a low-post scoring option.
J.A.: Your not suggesting the signing of Elton Brand will turn out to be a bust signing for Philly?
Let's see, Phillies win the World Series, Eagles in the NFC championship...Philly fans gotta have SOMETHING to be bitter about, right?
I think Brand will be what he was for the Clippers: very good, but not someone who singlehandedly changes the franchise's prospects
Don't you think Kobe's "Gorilla Balls" dance after the big 3 in San Antonio was a bit offensive? I mean there are kids in the stands.
Kenyon Martin did one last night too, only the score graphic conveniently covered up most of it in the replay. Remember, Sam Cassell was the originator. And it's not inherently offensive, because if a kid doesn't understand it there's no need to explain exactly what it means.
What say you about Andrea Bargnani's new found awesomeness? Will he be able to keep that mojo when JO returns?
From O'Neal's quotes he sounds willing to play behind Bargnani when he comes back, so I think we'll see more of the same. I think the biggest beneficiary of Andrea's surge is Bryan Colangelo, who was starting to take some heat in Toronto. Makes that No. 1 pick look a little better
JA, how much of a slip do you think the Cavs will have without Delonte and Z for the next few weeks?
Delonte wasn't getting enough credit for Cleveland's great season. in his absence I think we'll see how valuable he was. It's really on LeBron now. LThis is what MVP's do, hold things down while the team is shorthanded.
We heard the "I'm ok with things, I can blend in when I come back" line from O'Neal all the time. But it never holds. Hang on Canada, it's coming.
Who will be a better NBA PG- Stephon Curry or Ricky Rubio?
Was talking with an NBA coach the other day who doubted Curry's ability to be a true PG in the league, but thinks he'll have to play there because of his size. But I think Curry has shown his willingness and ability to share the ball this season. I also think we'll see a different side of him in the NBA because defenses won't be as focused on him as they are in college. I'll go with Curry for now, simply because I've seen more of him than I have of Rubio.
Speaking of MVP's holding down the team without the point guard... I haven't heard a single person in the media mention Kobe's shooting percentage. He's shooting 2.2% higher than his MVP season (easily higher than any other year in his career.) Does the MVP award still automatically go to LBJ?
Kobe's FG% has been amazing the past few weeks. But LeBron is stil the MVP. In many games when Kobe comes out the Lakers actually increase the lead because their bench has been so much better. Last night in Chicago, for example, a cushy Cleveland lead vaporized without LeBron.
The Hawks have got to get another big man to compete with the top 3 teams in the east in the playoffs. Any chance this happens through a trade?
I know they're searching, but they'll have competition from the likes of the Spurs and the Celtics
The Pistons have the offensive weapons to match any team in the league, but can they get their defense (and a rotation) together in time for the playoffs??
I don't think defense is something that comes together. It's something that's in your team's bones, a commitment made every night from the beginning of training camp. I think they lost a chunk of that with Chauncey (by the way, consider me a convert to the "Denver plays better defense than people give them credit for" camp.)
Hi, j.a.! why should the kings trade miller for sczerbiak? do you think they get a important payer during summer? should they trade salmons while he's playing so well?
Miller's name is popping up in the trade rumor mill, but if I'm the Kings I would not trade for expiring contracts. Remember, they built that 2K team by trading for players they actually valued. I just don't think Sacramento is going to be a top FA destination. Just like Oklahoma City.
I know you don't want to answer this question... But if Len Bias had played in the NBA, would've he created a big big time challenge for Michael of ruling the league and made it a rivalry, instead of a one-man era, that it was?
I'm thinking Bias would've been more like James Worthy than Michael Jordan -- a Hall of Famer, but not necessarily the transcendent figure. And that's because he would have gone to a defending championship squad, just like Worthy did when the Lakers drafted him. Probably comes off the bench his first year. But I'm guessing the Celtics win 2 of the next 3 championships (from 87-89) with him, which would've titled the balance of the 80s from Magic and the Lakers to Larry and the Celtics. It's hard to project Bias as one of the all-time greats. Remember, no one projected Michael to be Michael when he came out of college (the Blazers sure didn't)
Thoughts on the overachieving Miami Heat? Particularly DWade and Coach Spo?
This season goes right behind Wade's run to the 2006 championship when it's time to list his credentials. He's doing so much for this team...I'd say even more than LeBron does for the Cavs.
I'm confused. Are the Knicks a good team with a decent shot at the playoffs, or a bad team with a decent shot at a good lottery pick? Which should I want as a fan?
I'd root for them to go ahead and make the playoffs (nothing like playoff games in the Garden). But a worse draft pick means a lower number on the sliding rookie scale, which means more cap room down the road for you know what.
The question shouldn't be about Kobe's dance being offensive. It should be how stupid is it to do the dance and then lose.
Yeah, might want to wait to break it out until your up 4 with 4 seconds left.
What's wrong with Tysan Chandler?
The first part of the season he was thinking about his baby's pending birth, so he was distracted. Once the baby was born he hasn't gotten back to his old ways because teams aren't letting CP throw as many alley-oops to him. As for the rebounding, as he said in LA recently, he was wondering about that himself. Some guys have their entire games energized when they're scoring points. When the ball doesn't go through the hoop not as much goes on for them
Hey J.A. who you got winning ROY? D.Rose seems to be getting his legs back under him lately...
I know some other folks have cooled on him, but I still like Derrick Rose. Last night helped his cause.
"The Gorilla Dance" was originally "The Marbles Dance" from Major League 2, not originated by Sam Cassell. Also, do you think the Nuggets are legit contenders against the Lakers, or do you think they need to make another move either in free agency or by trade?
A few people have mentioned Major League 2, so I'll stand corrected. Never bothered to see that (another movie I will never, ever see: Pink Panther 2. Why a sequel to a bad remake that never should have been done in the first place? Is Hollywood that out of ideas?) As for the Nuggets, I'd like to see them get another wing/shooter. Right now Melo's their top 3-point shooter, and he's 24th in the league.
Were you watching the same game i was??? Rose missed 2 clutch free throws back to back; and shot horrible from the field. I think he went 5 for 17. David Thorpe would ban you for saying "Last night helped his cause." Was it me or Deng locked up LBJ to shoot 9 for 28???
I'm talking about him getting it done in OT, going to the hoop and then finding Deng for those two jumpers
is pau an all star?
I'd give Shaq the second center spot ahead of him. If they take 3 centers, then yes.
Q: "What's wrong with Tysan Chandler?" A: It's T-Y-S-O-N. I should have my own chats.
all spelling errors are the responsibility of the questioner. Trust me, if I went through and corrected all the spelling errors I wouldn't have time to answer the questions.
J.A. It's -20 here with windchill, glad to see someone can enjoy being outside without the inside of their nose freezing. The Cav's find themselves down 2 starters out with significant injuries. Do you think this will bring forth a trade faster than expected for Wally Z's contract?
I wouldn't panic. When they get everyone back they'll still have the team that was at the top of the league. But will they feel the need to keep pace with the Celtics (who seem like they've gotten back on track) for home court? HC will be crucial in that series. It would be a huge confidence boost to the Cavs if they go in knowing a game 7 would be at home.
Not long ago, you mentioned "In Da Club" had the best beat ever. Were you serious in that regard? There is no doubt that a fantastic beat was laid down for him, but best ever? What are your top 5? Thanks.
A couple off the top of my head: "Paid in Full" (simple, yet so memorable). "Run's House" and, of course, "Perfect Beat." "Buffalo Gals" had to be the all-time top break-dancing song, so that goes on the list too.
I think the Magic dont get any respect because they havent won in the playoffs. Win some games, attention follows. Simple as that.
Hey J.A., as a warrior fan this season has been hard, but I think that team has talent. I think with proper management, health and luck in the lottery the warriors could make the playoffs. What do you think the warriors need do just to get back to a team like last year?
Bring back Baron...and don't think they haven't thought about it
Shaq? Shaq?! Both average 17 and 9. Shaq's played 29 games. Pau played in 37. I would think playing for a better team is the trump card (if not free throws!)
Shaq has emerged as the central player on a playoff team. Pau's playing well, but he isn't the most important player on his team.
Can we agree that LeBron is statistically the best player in the league (like KG was in his MVP years), but Kobe is still the one player you would want to have to win a big game because he has a higher ceiling on any given night?
I would agree with the basis of that argument. Maybe I wouldn't word it the exact same way. I'll have a lot more to say on this coming off the Cavs-Lakers game Monday night.
I am so sick of this "Magic don't win in the playoffs" crap. This is a different team then years previous. This isn't T-Macs Magic. This is a SVG/Howard/Lewis Magic team. This team has won a playoff series. They have improved dramatically this year. Our defense is still not noticed. Tony Kornheiser said we were a bad defensive team the other day on PTI, yet we were ranked 3rd in defensive efficiency last time I checked behind the Lakers and Cavs? I mean, is the media just uninformed? This is worse then when Walton said Howard has never won a playoff series, and the Spurs were better then us THIS YEAR.
As it stands right now, I don't see them beating the Cavs or Celtics in a playoff series. That's why I can't get on the bandwagon, and I'm assuming the same logic stands for other folks as well. There a lot of good teams in the West, but the Spurs are the only ones I can even imagine beating the Lakers. But the beauty of the NBA is it isn't up to our speculation. If the Magic can actually do it, they'll get a Larry O'Brien trophy. I'm so glad college football is over and we're back to real sports.
Givin how there are 9 team in the west basically in the running for playoffs and only 8 teams make it, what team do you see as the odd one out?
Is Charlotte dealing Felton and Mohammed?
I think Felton is a goner once DJ Augustin is back.
I know it's early, but what will it take to get the Coach of the Year award changed from "Most Improved Coach" to "most Valuable Coach" or "Most achieved with the least" or something of more merit
Coach of the Year usually stands for: our way of making up for not doing a better job of predicting a team's success.
Settling the LeBron v. Kobe debate can only be done through compromise. What ends it is the fact that Kobe has more skills in the toolbox than LeBron (who has more moves?), but LeBron's skills are more dominating (size & cant stop him going to the basket). Agree?
Maybe the most reasonable approach I've heard yet. But it still comes down to who do you think would win a game for you? Right now that edge goes to Kobe.
That's a wrap for this week. We'll do it again next Friday. Wish i could send some of this warmth to the folks freezing around the country...