Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

March 20, 12:08 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (1:07 PM)

Aloha everyone, sorry we're off to late start. I had problems logging into the chat this morning. Let's roll ....

Stan Van Gundy

If my team is forced to play the Pistons in the first round of the playoffs do we win?

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

Probably ... I think the Pistons have played better since Allen Iverson has been out, but it also means they seriously lack depth. I think Orlando's advantage in the middle would put them ahead of Detroit in a 7 game series.

King AL CHI-TOWN [via mobile]

Do u think da Bulls will hold their 8th playoffs spot?0r maybe move up a slot even?

Chad Ford
  (1:12 PM)

Yeah, I think they're in the playoffs, but probably will stick at the 8th seed unless Detroit collapses again. Either way ... 7th or 8th seed, they're out in the first round against either Cleveland or Boston.

Matt (Los Angeles)

Is there anybody in the West that you think will give the Lakers a run for their money in the playoffs? I've been thinking about this for a while, and I really don't see any competition out West.

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

I think Utah has the best chance of knocking them off, followed by the Spurs and Rockets. But no ... I think LA is not only in the Finals, I think they win it all this year.

Christopher, Germany

Thorpe and Adande have been asked to rank the best player since Jordan's retirement. Thorpe ranked Duncan ahead of Shaq and Adande had it the other way round. What is your take?

Chad Ford
  (1:13 PM)

LeBron

Sam (UT)

Are there any teams that Portland can beat in a first-round series? I love my Blazers and all, but I'm feeling like we're going to end up one and done.

Chad Ford
  (1:15 PM)

Hey ... just be happy. The team is playing great, they're a playoff team and they have a bright, bright future. As for first round ... they could beat anyone other than LA. I think, mostly likely, they're out in the first round, but there's a lot of parity in the West after LA.

Jeremy (Cleveland)

Chad, you do know it's been 20 years since a team lost in the finals and came back to win it the next year, right?

Chad Ford
  (1:16 PM)

That has to be the most meaningless statistic I've ever heard.

Jevon h town [via mobile]

What final matchup would you like to see? And what teams do you like going into the play offs?

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

I would love to see a Lakers-Celtics rematch ... but a Lakers-Cavs series would be good as well. Those are the three teams with a great shot at a title. Everyone else is a very big long shot in my opinion.

Jorge (Cleveland)

So I assume Lebron is your pick for the MVP is this year?

Chad Ford
  (1:18 PM)

Good assumption. DWade has been awesome and Kobe's always great and I love Dwight Howard and Chris Paul ... but LeBron is the man.

Rich ( The OC )

Chad, HELP! I'm so sick of the Kobe LeBron debate. Hollinger clearly is obsessed with LeBron and says he's much better then Kobe right now and more clutch. Do we not forget Lebron has no rings and despite going to the finals, never even got 1 win?

Chad Ford
  (1:18 PM)

How many rings would LeBron have if he played with Shaq in his prime? Since Shaq left LA ... Kobe's yet to win a ring.

Jake (wellington, FL)

then maybe shaq is the best since jordan's retirement...

Chad Ford
  (1:20 PM)

I'd rank him No. 2 behind LeBron. Duncan 3. Kobe 4. DWade 5.

Rob (Jersey)

Hey Chad, In your opinion how far can D-Wade carry Miami in the playoffs?

Chad Ford
  (1:22 PM)

Second round ... because he's so special. Like LeBron he can completely take over a game. I think they probably make it to the second round but will have a hard time getting past Boston or Cleveland. The way it looks right now, they'd have to face one of those two teams in round 2.

Sean (gainesville, fl)

Are the Thunder winning too much to hurt their draft positioning? Do you think they'll shutdown some major players with bogus injuries to improve draft positioning. They need Blake Griffin, it'll mean a lot to the city and would get them on TV.

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

I agree that Griffin would be great for them ... but I don't believe in tanking. They're better off getting some momentum going into next season.

Jacob (Orlando FL)

Chad, why are your live chats way more exciting and entertaining than the others? Is it your uncanny ability to shut down stupid people?

Chad Ford
  (1:23 PM)

I think you nailed it Jacob.

Ian(Toronto)

Chad, do you think the Raps would consider moving Bosh to the team that wins the draft lottery and build around Griffin + Bargnani? Do you figure at their draft position, there will be an impact swingmen to help them ?

Chad Ford
  (1:25 PM)

I don't think it would be a bad move for them ... I'm still pretty convinced he leaves in the summer of 2010. The problem is, unless a major market team gets the No. 1 pick ... they run a HUGE risk of losing Bosh in a year. I doubt any of them would do that trade. Unless the Knicks get the No. 1 pick ... don't hold your breath.

Mannchild (Orange County, CA)

As of today: MVP:? DPOY:? COY:? ROY:? MIP:?

Chad Ford
  (1:28 PM)

MVP? LeBron DPOY? Dwight Howard COY? Mike Brown ROY? Derrick Rose MIP? Danny Granger

Joel (Texas)

You forgot SMOY!

Chad Ford
  (1:29 PM)

Manu

Chris (Albany, NY)

So far, who has helped and hurt their respective draft stocks the most in the tournament? I would have to think Lawson and Flynn are probably moving up and Harden if it is possible is slipping some after those 2 lousy performances. Thoughts?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

Lawson was really good in the second half of UNC's win against LSU. Flynn's been good. I would say Cole Aldrich has probably helped himself the most. In a draft devoid of big men, he was awesome in KU's first two games. As for hurting their stock, no doubt James Harden didn't do himself any favors. Ditto for Jeff Teague of Wake Forest. You can seem my take on 23 different prospects on the site ... I filed the story yesterday.

Bob, CT

Who's the draft prospect that no one is talking about right now who could shock us by how high they go on draft night?

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

A couple come to mind. Ed Davis of North Carolina. He's big, athletic, an excellent rebounder. He's played a secondary role at UNC this year, but was great in the tournament. He's got huge upside. I could see him slipping into the lottery if he declared. Also Eric Maynor of VCU. More and more NBA executives seem to be sold on him. He also could be a lottery pick.

Jeff (SF)

Chad, where would Jrue Holiday go in the draft? Should he go back to UCLA?

Chad Ford
  (1:34 PM)

He'd be a first round pick, but he should really head back to UCLA. He needs to be the man at UCLA for a year and prove he's a true point guard. If he comes out now ... he probably goes somewhere between 14 and 25.

Justin (IN)

How about some draft talk! Would Blair look good in a Pacers uni or what! Seriously though, does his game translate well into the Pacers style of play? Thanks

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

Blair is the best offensive rebounder in the country and the Pacers could use a beast like that in the paint. He's not the type of offensive player that Jim O'Brien likes, but yeah, he'd be a good fit.

Darryl (Oakland, CA)

I saw that a few GMs said that Blake Griffen might have been picked ahead of Rose and Beasley, if that's the case, shouldn't Brook Lopez have been a lock for the top spot in last year's draft?

Chad Ford
  (1:37 PM)

I like Brook Lopez a lot, but I think ultimately Derrick Rose will be a better NBA player ... if he isn't already. Beasley? I think he'll be fine too. As for Griffin, I think he's going to be dominant. He's so tough and athletic. Jerry Sloan would love to have this guy.

Max (Chicago)

do you think Stephan Curry will be a lottery pick even though Davidson didnt make the tourney and Got killed by Saint Mary's in the NIT

Chad Ford
  (1:37 PM)

I think so. I know the Knicks love him, but I have my doubts after watching him play so much this year. Great shooter, great basketball IQ, but lacks the physical skills to dominate the game. He needs to be in the right system in the NBA. With that said, Mike D'Antoni is the perfect coach for him.

Wade Lawrence, KS

Please tell Cole Aldrich that he should come back for one more year. Pretty please?

Chad Ford
  (1:38 PM)

If he keeps playing like this in the tournament, he's going in the lottery and probably leaves.

Mike (Germantown TN)

Chad, what is the Rubio update, in or out?

Chad Ford
  (1:39 PM)

Still hearing the same thing I've been hearing all year ... he's in if he's a Top 3 pick which ... at this point is a no brainer. He's pretty much the consensus No. 2 pick on most NBA boards.

Matt (NY)

Chad, conventional wisdom says this draft is pretty weak. While it obviously cannot stand up to last years class, is this class really that bad?

Chad Ford
  (1:41 PM)

Yeah, it's pretty bad. After Griffin and Rubio there are no sure things in this draft. There is some depth, but mostly with guys who look like role players in the league. It's a down year and 2010 doesn't look a lot better.

Matt (Boston)

Has A.J. Price done enough to boost his stock and sneak into the first round? Seems like he could be a steel for the right team.

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

He's probably a second round pick. His age, background and injury history are all working against him.

E (Phila)

What up C-Ford?? If you were an NBA GM preparing for the draft.... Harden or Evan Turner? Aldrich or Thabeet? Jennings or Curry?

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

This is me ... but I'd take Turner, Aldrich and Jennings ... however most NBA folks have that reversed

Greg Monroe (DC)

People calling this draft "weak" after Griffin & Rubio are REALLY going to be disappointed. I'm going to dominate in the NBA.

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

Yeah .. you need to dominate the Big East first. I love Monroe on talent. He's No. 3 on my Big Board. But he was not the dominant force he could be for Georgetown. That scares a lot of people.

Younger (Los Angeles, CA)

What about USC's Derozen? Will he come out and at what pick would he go?

Chad Ford
  (1:46 PM)

He played well enough in March to move back into the lottery conversation, he's the best athlete in the draft. He seemed to figure things out a bit in March and was great in the tournament. He really needs another year at USC, but he'd go somewhere between 7 and 12 if he declared for the draft this year.

Daryl (Richmond, VA)

What about that kid Brandon Jennings? Will he declare, and if so, how high does he get drafted?

Chad Ford
  (1:47 PM)

He hasn't been great in Italy, but in a weak draft, teams will reach for upside and he has it. Great athlete, excellent scorer, good floor vision. He's most likely a top 10 pick

Jesse (San Antonio)

Thabeet = Shawn Bradley?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

Let's not go that far. Thabeet is a better shotblocker and a much better athlete than Bradley was.

Gerardo (Tempe, AZ)

Is Budinger still in the 25-35 range? If so, someone is going to get an absolute steal. He won't be a superstar, but he'll be a poor-man's Ray Allen, which is pretty good...

Chad Ford
  (1:50 PM)

He's been more aggresive this year which is good, but teams are still suspicious that he lacks the killer instinct to be a starter in the league.

Nick (NJ)

Who do/should the Nets do if DeRozen, Turner, Clark, and Warren are all sitting there when they pick? I'd say Clark.

Chad Ford
  (1:51 PM)

I'd say Warren, DeRozan, Turner then Clark in that order.

Mike Chicago

I know he's talented, but does Gerald Henderson hurt his stock (and team) with his 1 v 5 offense approach. He was 7 for 21 against Texas and fails to make the easy pass to the open shooter. I can't believe Coach K lets him get away with that.

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Actually, in a weird way, I actually think it helps Henderson. He showed he can take over a game which is often a critique of Duke players.

Andrew (Knoxville, TN) [via mobile]

Do you see Tyler Smith being drafted? I mean he's a decent shooter inside the arc and is super athletic. It could happen, right???

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

For sure he'll get drafted, but he's on the first round bubble.

Robert (Memphis, TN)

Where do you see T. Evans going?

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Late lottery to mid first round. If he had a jumper he'd be a Top 5 pick.

jason

Is BJ Mullens actually thinking about going out? Wouldn't that be a mistake?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

Mistake ... he's a borderline lottery pick and could slip ala DeAndre Jordan. Another year at OSU and he could be a Top 5 pick.

Paul (LA, CA)

What are the chances Harden moves farther down the draft, gets picked up by a great team like San Antonio, Boston or Cleveland, and becomes a stud?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

He won't slip that far ... He's a Top 10 pick

Patty Mills (St. Mary's)

Do I enter the draft if we make it to MSG?

Chad Ford
  (1:55 PM)

That 1-for-10 shooting from three versus Davidson didn't help things. I think another year at St. Mary's. But if he does declare, he'll go somewhere in the 20s

Jesse (San Antonio)

Vacationing to Hawaii next week...how are pick up games at the university there?

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

Noon on Tuesday's and Thursday's in the Cannon Activities Center.

Jason (Green Bay) [via mobile]

Happy Tuesday Mr. Ford! Two seniors I have to know about. Toney Douglas and Dionte Christmas, under appreciated, what's their draft prospects?

Chad Ford
  (1:58 PM)

Both are probably second round picks. Of the two, Christmas I think is the best.

Jordan (Chino Hills,CA)

Will the current state + future outlook of the economy drive college players to enter in the draft prematurely to get paid big bucks?

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

I don't think so ... interesting but if you're driven to declare for the NBA for anything other than basketball talent, you're going to lose money.

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

Gotta run everyone, thanks for coming to the chat today, let's do it again next week.