Hi folks. Let's get to it. Remember, please don't post questions more than twice so I can get to more of them easily.
I know that right now it looks great for the Nuggets record and playoff hopes that the team is getting more wins although Melo has less points per game but do you think Anthony will need to step up his scoring to take Denver deep into the playoffs?
We'll start with Melo today since he looked more unstoppable than I've ever seen him last night. And that's exactly the type of performance Denver's going to need from him. Yes, Billups has provided great leadership. But he can't carry the team singlehandedly. And if he's going to be occupied by the likes of Tony Parker, Deron Williams or Chris Paul in a playoff series it's even more important that Melo handles the scoring duties.
John hollinger put brandan roy over kevin durant and dwill.. What is wrong with him? Do you agree wit me or hollinger?
B-Roy at seventh sounds about right to me. He's one great playoffs away from truly earning the superstar label. To date he's done just about everything you could ask a star player to do.
Why Is Everyone Handing The Western conference To The Lakers. People Never Talk About The Spurs Like Always. Rember Its An Odd Year. And If It Wasnt For That Non foul Call When Fisher Fouled Barry That Series Would Have Been Close Last Year. Once Again People Will Be Overlooking SA And They Will Be In The Finals. SORRY AMERICA
I'd wait to see how healthy Manu is and how well their new acquisitions play off him before you make any bold predictions about the Spurs. When he was hobbled last year against the Lakers, they really had no shot.
Watching the latest Celtic pickups in Marbury and Moore, they seem to be far less of an impact than Posey and PJ Brown. Do you see that being a major cause for concern in the Playoffs? At this point, I'm worried my beloved Celtics are going to me hammered by Cleveland, especially with the Cavs looking to have home cort advantage. Your thoughts?
Hammered? That's not happening. Boston-Cleveland series is going to be a war. But if the Cavs have homecourt, I see them winning it. You're right, we won't see the same impact from Moore and Marbury as the Celtics bench players gave them last year. And I didn't think Stepoh would look THIS rusty.
J.A., what is the consensus among your peers and other writers about Chris Bosh staying in Toronto? Is it likely Colangelo shops him on draft day to get a good package ?
The only people I talk to who believe Bosh will stay in Toronto are people with the Raptors. That's how they're operating, at least, hoping to put the right pieces around him. They should have the cap space in 2010 to do get another piece...the question is will it be an addition or a replacement? I think a replacement.
how is andrew bynums recovery coming along
He told reporters at the Lakers game the other night that he is working out on elliptical machines, etc. but not running on the court yet. No indications that he's had any setbacks, though.
J.A., who are going to be free agent buyers this summer? Seems like are bargains to be had (Gordon, Lee, Boozer, Iverson, Artest) if teams are willing to spend/go over the cap.
The only teams with significant cap room right now are Memphis, OKC and Detroit. In the D, Joe Dumars has indicated that he'll spend now and won't just wait for the big 2010 summer. But I could see Memphis and OKC sitting out the sale. It's like the way I felt about the Circuit City liquidation...some good bargains, but nothing I absolutely needed, so I'm not in a rush to spend money.
Who are your favorite local announcers? My top 3 are: Joel Meyers/Stu Lance (Lakers) Bob Fitzgerald/Jim Barnett (Golden St.) Marv Albert/Mike Fratello (New Jersey)
The Golden State guys are very underrated. Informative analysis, without any unnecessary screaming and shouting. I liked Kevin Calabro with the Sonics...his loss is yet another reason I hate the move to OKC. And I have to give a shoutout to Gus Johnson's Knicks duties.
J.A. Pleasssssssssseeee take a question on B-Easy. What kind of growth do you expect from him next season?? Possibly the same kind of jump that we saw in Durant this season?
I don't see him making a similar jump as Durant because I don't think he takes the game as seriously as Durant does. Beasley won't maximize his talent until he becomes more professional.
JA, how deep do the 'Cats have to go in Indianapolis next week to go dancing for the first time ever? Seems like with everyone else on the bubble tripping over themselves, the team coming on like a freight train with a boatload of quality wins has to be attractive. Also, I know they aren't supposed to consider this, but do you think if it's close, the Selection committee gives them a tiebreaker because of their well-documented futility?
If Stein can give Cal State Fullerton shoutouts, I'm definitely going to take any excuse I can to mention my Northwestern Wildcats in the same sentence as the NCAA tournament. I'm thinking a trip to the conf. tournament semis would get them in. And I just might have to go Boise or wherever to watch their first NCAA tournament game.
What do u think about Shaqs trash talk lately?(Stan,Howard,Bosh)I expected a lot more professionalism out of him.
Um, you must not have been following Shaq's career too closely. But I'll give you a break because everything in the US comes on in the middle of the night in Germany. This is what Shaq does. I don't think any of the people should take it very personally. I've seen him come back and hug man of the people he mocked. He's had good words to say about David Robinson lately, and he used to always disparage the Admiral. the only one I think he genuinely dislikes is Stan Van Gundy. Shaq wanted Stan Van out the minute the Heat lost to the Pistons in Game 7 in 05
JA, I think the word SUPERSTAR gets thrown about too easily. Brandon Roy is not a superstar, he's an all-star. Yes, he's clutch and puts up great #s, but that doesn't turn an all-star into a superstar. He can't single handedly carry a team to a win ... which is what SUPERstars do. Durant hasn't done that, either, but he's already shown he can post repeated 30 and 40 pt games, so as he and his team matures, he will be a superstar. Brandon Roy isn't that caliber of a player. He's an awesome All-star and that's pretty dang good, but to be a superstar requires more than clutch play and solid numbers. It's an intangible that allows said player to reach a level that most others simply can't. Roy can post numbers that many all-stars can post. That's not SUPER, that's AL. There are actually very few superstars in this league, even though so many love to just throw that title around like it?s commonly found. It isn?t. Kobe. Wade. LBJ. Howard. CP3 Duncan. Those are superstars. Most everyone else who people lump in with those guys, are allstars.
That's why I said he has to win a playoff series or two first. But he can carry a team to a W. It seems like he does it in half the Blazers games I've watched this year. He doesn't look superstary, but his results are similar. Again, this is all pending some playoff success before we can use that label.
Austin Carr is the best announcer in basketball! He's informative, funny as hell, his nickname is Mr. Cavalier so he's in the right business, and we even have a drinking game that we can playing during Cavs games. Hands down the best.
You're joking, right? You've got to do more than say "L-Trainnn! Ohhhh!" to be the best.
Fire Vinny Del Negro! JA, please is there any hope for us bulls fan that Vinny will get the boot so this team can actually play like they belong in the NBA?
There is some hope. There's talk that he's on shaky ground. I know from those in the locker that he doesn't inspire much confidence in the players.
Who's more objective: Tommy Heinsohn or FOX News?
What do you think would be the SMARTEST decision the Rockets could pull with regards to McGrady? It's unfortunate it never panned out, and I think it's time for him to go...thoughts on a replacement?
The smartest would be to trade him. They might actually have a shot to get some decent players in return, because McGrady's $23 million contract would come off the books in 2010. But the Rockets would have to be willing to take back some long-term contracts at some pretty big $$$. If they want to spend the money, they could get 2-3 good players and be one of the deepest teams around.
When will Larry Bird's failure as gm b brought 2 light? This team has went no where but down sense he took over. It is time 4 him 2 step down! As much as a fan favorit that he is here it does not excuse him 4 the direction the team has gone under his leadership. What r u thoughts on this?
In fairness to Larry, the demise of the Pacers had little to do with basketball decisions. They had to deconstruct that team because of The Brawl, and they couldn't get full value for Artest and Stephen Jackson. Then Jermaine O'Neal broke down. And at least the Pacers weren't the ones who took Yaroslav Korelev over Danny Granger.
Trade mcgrady?! how about the bulls for loul deng and kirk hinrich. Then the bulls might be in position for two free agents in 2010 with derrick rose, noah and thomas locked up. what do you say JA?
I'd say thumbs up to everything but referring to noah as "locked up". Is that really something to be proud of?
Instead of trading McGrady (honestly who's going to even give us a decent bag of chips for him) why not keep him and try our hand in the free agent bonanza of 2010? We could pair Yao with, dare I say it, D-Wade.
Because you're not guaranteed to get any of the big FA's. Somebody's going to get left out. Why not get good players, knowing exactly what they cost before you get them, and let the others break out their checkbooks?
I believe Shaq knows he is a the end of his career and is making these negative comments about people to stay in the spotlight. I know he has had a couple nice games lately, but those kinds of games are far in-between. What do you think?
He was making these types of comments even when he was at his peak. that's what he does. I don't mind. Keeps things interesting. It does make him seem smaller, but if he's willing to take that hit for our entertainment, so be it.
Is there any chance Jannero Pargo comes back to the Hornets this year? We REALLY need him.
No, his agent says he's locked into his contract overseas.
ja, now that it allen iverson has been demoted from his starting role for the pistons the two highest paid point guards in the league going into this season find themselves riding the bench of their respective teams (the other being stephon marbury of the celtics and his $22 million contract). What are your thoughts on this? Is it possible that nba owners have become more concerned with BIG names than quality talent? And are u surprised that 37 year old shaq hasnt fallen to the same fate after 15+ years?
And Jason Kidd is right there on that list, too. It is amazing that of those 3, two are now coming off the bench and one is the QB of a team that's on the brink of missing the playoffs. It's situations like that which could lead to some big changes in the collective bargaining agreement next go-round. Shorter contract lengths could be one change, so teams aren't stuck with bad decisions for as long. And yes, I'm surprised Shaq is this effective this late in his career....that reminds me: happy 37th birthday to the Diesel
In the Anthony Randolph/Brandan Wright debate, why does everyone choose Wright? From what I've seen I would have to go Randolph, his sheer will sometimes carries the Warriors. Your thoughts?
When I first saw Randolph I thought the W's had just drafted another version of Wright. Their physiques are very similar. But I think Randolph can do more things than Wright. I'd go with Randolph, too.
Buckhantz and Chenier are very good from a local/lovable/listenable perspective... good fit for what they do. Not very good basketball analysis though. What are you using to measure goodness?
I like guys who can tell me why things are happening and what adjustments need to be made. That's what make the national guys like Doug Collins and Hubie Brown so good. When they're doing games that I'm working I try to talk to them at halftime so they can tell me what I just saw with my own eyes. that's how good they are.
J.A., favorite spot to eat in Miami?
Easy: Prime 112
If Portland can perhaps get Oden back in the lineup for the playoffs and have him playing at an "average" level, do you possibly seeing them making it to the western conference finals?
That's too much, but last night's game in Denver showed that he is important to them. Only six offensive rebounds for Portland. Denver, 52 points in the paint. I don't think those numbers would be the same with Oden in there
I think the biggest change in the CBA will be the lowering of the top % of the cap one player can make. A team should not be 2 good players and a bunch of stiffs.
Even if that changes, I think that's still what you will get. Maybe even more so than what it is now. Perhaps there won't be any more Big Threes, unless one of them is a beyond-his years young player still on his rookie contract.
JA, I keep hearing everyone talk up the Jazz as threats to win the West. But they went down in 6 to the Lakers last year and in 5 to the Spurs the year before that. Their team isn't that different from previous years but now everyones loving on them.
They're a tough out, though. But I need to see a much better playoffs from Boozer than he gave us last year in order for me to feel they're a threat.
Barkley AND Kenny Smith both said last night the Lakers need Bynum back to win it all against Cle or Bos...But the finals were a lot closer than people remember last year, everything broke wrong for the Lakers, and they just beat Cle AND Bos ON THE ROAD without Bynum...why the doubt??
Because it's hard to imagine Gasol and Odom holding down the paint on the defensive end for an entire series against those guys.
Would you take Shaq's past or Dwight's future in this league?
Great question. I'd take Shaq's past. Even though Howard could get a couple of MVP's before he's done (Shaq really should have more than one), I don't think Dwight will get to 4 rings.
How far do you think the hawks can go in the playoffs? They play elite teams close but fall in the end.
That and their poor free-throw shooting will keep them from going beyond the second round at best.
Barring a season-derailing injury to Lebron, do you see Wade ever winning an MVP?
It's not going to happen this year, because LeBron and Kobe have too big a head start in the minds of the voters. Post 2010 he could end up with a better team, but the numbers wouldn't be as stellar because he could have another superstar to lighten the load. So next year, when his young Heat teammates are a little more mature, could be his last, best shot at the Podoloff trophy
Please something on the best game tonight of year
I think the Cavs escape with a W...their first in Boston since the formation of the new Big 3.
That's the horn. Thanks for your questions. See you here next week.