Hi everyone, thanks for not forgetting about me. We had a great pre-playoff vacation in Williamsburg and DC, and are now primed and ready for...the Passover Seder tonight at the Thorpe house. Then we'll truly be ready for what should be a great playoff run. I'm playing Gibbons-Locke "Cupid and death". Here we go. "...doing the bull dance. Feeling the flow. Working it. Working it."
What's going on with Jermaine O'Neal's rebounding? When (or if) will he return to 10 reb. per game form?
Not likely to happen.
How do you assess the Cavs chances of beating the Lakers in a seven game series if they were to meet in the finals?
I'd give them 3 chances in 10, as of now.
With the standings the way they are now, who are some first round upsets in the playoffs? (not counting whoever is playing the Spurs).
Denver can be a scary team. Houston too. And Orlando may end up being better than we thought after Jameer went down.
Hey Thorpe, love the chats. What do you think is the biggest reason for Oden picking up so many fouls? Learning the pro game, refs learning how to call him, Portland's subpar perimeter D allowing everyone to get inside uncontested, all of the above?
Too eager and just not experienced enough-bouncing in and out of a lineup definitely hurts.
Mr. Thorpe, I've been watching Russell Westbrook play recently and noticed how well he rebounds for his position. But, I've also noticed that it happens because he hangs around near the basket far more than most guards. Is this what you would teach to a young pg?
Yes, if they had the talents he has.
Please help settle a debate between my friend and I: what do scouts mean with the term "athelticism?" He says its how high they can jump and how fast they are, I argue that it ALSO has to do with agility, endurance, and a strength to size and speed ratio, basically, "who would do better at any given sport, assuming they have never done the sport before, based on pure natural tools that they were born with." I am more right, right?
It's clearly a combination of their abilities overall as athlete's, but more based on speed, quickness, and their vertical game.
"Why didn't you just go home! That's your home! Are you too good for your home? Answer me!" I'll see you at the Sizzler after the chat, Dave.
I'll be there with Happy.
With Anthony Randolph's play in the last 5-10 games where he is averaging a double-double, is he starting to like a steal? MIP candidate next year?
I continue to hear mixed messages from insiders there. But what we see on the court is exactly what I expected. He's a special talent.
Isn't home-court advantage a myth for the best players and best teams?
Tell that to Atlanta last year.
Have you seen the recent play of CDR? Now that's he is actually getting a chance to play he's looking like a steal of a 2nd round pick. Combined with Lopez at #10, how soon until Thorn is arrested?
CDR has a long way to go before he's labeled a steal. But Lopez is that for sure.
Thorpedo, just wanted to let you know I enjoy reading your short, funny, and regularly spot-on answers. Youre the man!
Sweet, because I enjoy writing them!!
what can you tell us about james white, the guy the rockets just signed a few weeks ago-are we looking at another tmac like player
Oh no, not at all.
hey, i saw your top 5 movies on facebook. you like anything in the last 50 years??
You mean like High Fidelity?
Would Gordat (backup center for Majic) be worth pursuing in teh offseason for the Hawks? What would he bring to them? It would be nice to slide Horford over to the 4.
Great observation. Yes, that would work. Gortat is a player.
David, Should Patrick Mills stay in college, or is he ready for the league?
being ready for the league is not relevant, despite what most reporters suggest. The question is, is the league ready for him, meaning will they draft him in his proper place. I don't know the answer to that yet.
From what you've seen so far, who are your top 5 draft prospects in college? Griffin, Curry, Harden, Thabeet, Ed Davis?
No. Right now I like Rubio and Griffin, not sure about the rest.
David, What do you think of the Sacramento Bee editor that thinks the Kings should trade the top pick (should they get it) and take Rubio, instead of Griffin, because Griffin duplicates the things that Hawes and Thompson do? Is he a pinhead or am I being a little harsh on his nitwit opinion?
No one will trade down from #1 this year.
David, I heard you on espn radio here and the radio host said that you were the best family man he knows. When I heard that, I drove home from the gym and hung out with my kids all day. Thanks David.
You are welcome. I think Steve was just being nice, and besides, it's all up to the individual. I happen to like the life I lead, while others may be more driven by their careers. One is not better than the other.
K Love is already a dominant rebounder. How do you see his offense turning around in year 2?
I think he'll get a lot better.
Who did you pretend to be when you were on the playground as a kid? Or did you hang on the sidelines pretending to be Wooden?
I was Norm Nixon baby!!
Could you explain why being "ready for the league" is irrelevant, considering you are saying that a large number of people are wrong about that issue?
Simple, how many players have been drafted that needed years of development before they were solid? Scores of them. Including many lottery picks.
David What do you know about Sean Miller and how will he fit in at Arizona? Also - can yo project Chase Budinger to the pros? thanks
I spoke to Sean last week, he's a friend. I told him he'll be marvelous out west, but that I'd understand completely if he stayed at X for 20 years. They'd name the arena after him. I don't have a lot of great thigns to say about Chase, but if his motor starts running hotter he could be a player.
I can't find you on facebook! How do i become your friend/what network do you belong to?
No networks. David B. Thorpe, I think.
Greeting Coach Thorpe! With Manu out, do you think Portland should bring back Martell Webster? Similar injury to Manu is scary but I also think the Blazers need him to win a series. What's your outlook on Oden in the playoffs in year 1?
Webster should not play if it will put him at great risk for injury. And Oden will be at least somewhat of a factor, I'd guess.
I thought you were pretty sold on Curry in the pros? "Mike Bibby without the baggage" no? That sounds better than anybody in this draft outside of Griffin and Rubio.
Agreed, if he enters the draft he may make my top 5, but not many agree with me.
I just read an analysis of the best rookies this year and was surprised not to see Nicolas Batum's name on the list- is he really not one of the top 15 rookies even though he has been one of the reasons for Portland's success this season?
I set a standard of at least 20 mins a game for all wings and guards.
how much do you like rubio?
Do you ever give any knowlegable info? You're the most boring person to chat with on here.
That's because I'm the only one chatting now.
David, what did you think of Fratello criticizing your article saying Rose needs to work on his lobs on TNT the other week during the Bulls-Heat game?
I laughed. he clearly has not seen them play much this year, but in truth, Rose has gotten better with them lately. I think he read the article too.
Hey Thorpe, love your chats! Regardless of what you hear about what's going on with Randolph upstairs, there's no denying his play lately. He's been averaging nearly 25 minutes a game for the last five weeks, and his PER has shot up with the increased playing time. He's now #5 in rookie PER. How can you still have him ranked #22 in your rankings? He's between #10 and #15 in mine.
I have to consider minutes a game too, you know.
right on thorpedo I love high fidelity, one of the best shows, my other loves are the big lebowski (it gets funnier everytime) and swingers. GO Jazz
Two more of my faves.
How high do you see Maynor going in the draft? mid-first round, late first/early second, or late lottery?
Mid-first seems a lock.
What about DeJaun Blair? You compared him to Reggie Evans, which I realize is a huge compliemt in terms of rebounding, but I think he's much more skilled offensively. Not Elton Brand good, but somewhere in between. Especially if he can upgrade his 15 foot jumper. What do you think?
I've written exactly that.
What about the Jennings kid that went to Europe? will he be drafted in the 1st 15 picks?
Seems to be locked in there.
YOU are laughing at Mike Fratello, a guy who is a REAL coach and has actual experience in the NBA? What an ego, man!
Look at it like this. I can be a television producer for 20 years, and if I see one episode of a show and claim that it's really funny, am I right just because of my resume?
If Jonny Flynn was three inches taller he goes top 5, no?
He still may go top 10 as it is.
If the Kings do not land the 2009 #1 draft pick, what do they do? Draft a PG, look to trade the pick???
As I see it, they need athleticism and toughness on the frontline and wings, and a pg or two.
Now that the tourney is over, what is your take on Gerald Henderson? What do you expect of him in the pros, and should he go now?
I really like him, but I worry about his motor. He was terrific this year, for the first time, with the game's best motivator on the sidelines. That won't be the case next season and beyond.
Coach Thorpe, I'm sure you read the link on TrueHoop that discusses how incredibly efficient Kevin Martin is as a scorer, and how unique he is too. I mean, he's up there with guys like Jordan and Miller. Imagine if he had some excellent teammates.
I am, right now.
Do you think Lawson is a starting NBA guard or role player? He seems to be better than I remember Felton with the ball and a better shooter? What do you think?
I'm leaning to a starter, but he could be dynamic as a 6th man too.
How long before D Rose develops a 3pt shot?
Probably just a few years.
Thorpedo, what would you do to help improve Dwight's free throw shooting and jump shot. We are going to need the free throw shooting in the playoffs to have a chance!
Get him to extend his arm every time the exact same way.
Is this years rookie class better then most in recent memory? There are seriously 5 guys in this class that have chances to be stars. What is your opinion?
Really talented, and really deep.
With a 16-20th draft pick, can the Bulls even think about Terrence Williams or Tyler Hansbrough?
Williams will be gone by then, and that's too high for Tyler.
High Fidelity? What about Say Anything? You can't beat that iconic ghetto blaster scene!
"In Your Eyes" is a song my wife and I have always loved.
Thorpe-a-potamous, let's talk playoffs!!! Do you think the Bulls can snatch the 6 seed away from Philly? They play each other Thursday (in Chicago) and Philly still has to play Cleveland twice and Boston.
Thorpedo, I have to say that I really missed reading your chat last week. Your rapid fire stuff is fun. But, what's the shortest answer you have ever given?
What is it about rubio that u like? i havent seen a flaw but maybe his long range shooting ability
He's special in many ways, and will get so much better. Heck, he was named the top defensive player in Spain!
Coach, settle a debate between me and a friend...he claims that great shooters are born, but I dont agree. He says not many Nba players turn into great shooters, which for the most part is true, but I say how many great shooters all have great form on their shot. Isn't that just attributed to lots of practice?
You are both right.
are you voting for me Rookie of the year? I've played all 82 games, and deserve it, don't I?
Tune in to the rookie report next week.
What do you think the blazers need to add to take it to the next level... and do you think they should do it through the draft or get a veteran
I think they need some veteran toughness and clutch shot-making. Every team does.
So regardless of what my team "needs" are, if I win the #1 pick and already have an established PF, do I draft Griffin?
Hey THorpe, i am a die-hard DEnver Nuggets fan. I was wondering, when do you think Carmelo will be a MVP Candidate?
How much better can Lebron get? Aside from improving his already improved jumper, what do you think he should work on?
A better post up game.
What do you think of Wayne Ellington as a pro?
I think he can be a solid shooter if on a team of good to very good players. He's made nice progress as a rebounder and defender too. But he may lack some quickness to be better than average. Still, an average NBA player is a good life.
I'm happy with the 76ers being ranked where they are without Brand, however, how can anyone justify Speights not getting minutes at this point? With Young in I suppose it made sense, but last night Evans and Ratliff played 46 minutes and scored 2 POINTS COMBINED!!! Please tell me something that makes some sort of logical sense before my head explodes!
Sorry Marc, just do it in a closed room so you don't mes up anyone's clothing.
Do you want to take back all of the bad things you have said about my game?
On the contrary, it's not his game that I've questioned, it's his head. His talent is special.
What about Danny Green as a pro?
Love, love, love, love.
Stephen Curry is my idol. I model all my game after him and people keep telling me that he will not be a successful NBA player. What do you think his role will be at the next level?
He's a starting pg for a very good team.
Thorpatron! You're chats rock! If the Blazers get home court advantage, can they get out of the first round?
We always hear about who people would build a franchise around. But who would you destroy one around?
Great question. Sportsnation, chime in.
Do you think if the Nets put Brook in the low post more, as opposed to constantly coming out to the 3pt line to set a screen, his rebounding numbers would go up? In addition to his scoring going up I think his offensive rebounds could really go up.
Yes, but I won't second guess his coach. It's not just about helping one guy.
Did someone say my name?
Aaron (Provo, UT): We always hear about who people would build a franchise around. But who would you destroy one around? ....marbury
Marbury is the worst player to build around..
Hey, I'd be best for destroying franchises!!
As a player development professional, what kind of advice, mentally and physically, do you give a player when a nagging injury (such as Kevin Martin's ankle problems this season) start to effect the way they play on the court?
It's very tough. The key is to ensure that playing does not create a different injury due to favoring the current one. In Kevin's case, it looks like he has a bone spur now in his foot. Bad news.
Who said they wanted their team destoryed? I'm here, lets do it!!!
Did someone say they wanted a franchise destroyed?
We have a winner!
If you want to destroy a franchise, hire Isiah Thomas to run it.
If you really want to destroy a franchise for a long time, you can't do it with just one guy. You really need a GM that can bury the team with awful contract and players who don't fit together.
Will the real Isiah Thomas please stand up?
What do you think of the Hawks chances?
They are scary at home, and skittish on then road. Still, the first series should be terrific to watch.
Do you think Heinrich is a good fit for the Warriors to play with Ellis...big pg who can guard 2's and shoot the 3?
Thorpe, Can you talk about "tanking" in the NBA. Do you think it happens? Why does Stern not address this? I just watched my Clips get throttled by the lowly T-Pups. Tanking is the only thing that comes to mind.
Coaches may do it, but players want to play well.
You other "Franchise Destroyers" are all amateurs compared to me.
Im here to!! Wait, this isn't football. Crap.
Is the Cavs 2-6 record against the Lakers, Magic, and Celtics something to worry about? Can they step up in the playoffs and beat those teams on the road?
No worries. Yes, they can.
Franchised destroyed? I can destroy a whole city!
Can i join zekes team?
David, after struggling in Europe,how much stock will scouts put in the pre draft camps and individual workouts for a player like Brandon Jennings?
Some, but they saw him enough last year. He's a likely lottery guy.
You know you're chats are the worst on ESPN right? Like, not the worst of NBA chats, but of all of them. I will be in the underwater basketing weaving chat today at noon instead of yours.
Your mother must be so proud.
David, how do i get over my nerves and focus better on the court? I got a game tonite! Thanks.
Genuine confidence comes from genuine work. Have you put in the time? If so, then be excited about showing it off.
Erik Kuselias has been talking up this idea that, for the 1st round of the playoffs, the top teams should be able to choose who they play. He thinks it would add excitement and get teams to stop trying to play to a certain seed...thoughts?
I don't like it.
I come on your chat for 45 minutes to tell you i hate you because i really just want you to hold me and tell me you'll make everything okay.
I'm not sure what you mean, but I laughed anyway.
To Sean in Boston: Ask Johnny Drama, hahahahah!
My favorite character on tv!!
i'm disappointed in you, mr. thorpe, with you only giving the cavs a 30% chance of beating the lakers, if they meet in the finals. the best way of determining a champ is by point differential and defensive stats, the cavs are better than the lakers in both. AND the cavs have, in the mike brown era. always tuned it UP come playoff time. time to rethink you position, no?
hey thorpedo love your work I just want to know is it feasable that orlando could try to move rashard lewis and his ridicoulus contract and make a run at lebron in 2010
Highly unlikely, unless they got Tiger involved in the recruiting process.
Are there any basketball blogs that you make it a point to read? I'm partial to FreeDarko. Highly entertaining, and it gives you a lot of info that you might not think of...
If Henry links to it, I read it. He does the surfing for me.
Something like 95% of the times I ran the lottery generator, Stephen Curry fell to Charlotte with the 13th pick. How likely do you think this is, and, would Curry be a good fit for the Bobcats's playoff run next season?
Sounds 95% accurate to me. But DJ seems to have that spot on lockdown.
I realize the two are completely different, but I wonder why you feel more strongly about Curry's NBA career than you do someone like Ellington. Neither are great athletes, will face much quicker players at their positions, and are on the smallish end in the NBA. So why is Curry a starting PG on a very good team and Ellington an average player?
Curry is quicker with the ball, and is better for his spot at pg than Wayne is.
fine. then point me to the champ who won it with offense in the last decade. i'm waiting...DEFENSE WINS. the lakers are an OFFENSIVE TEAM. PERIOD.
Um, you have not been paying attention.
Alright David, i gave you comedy gold with "Roy Tarply" and the "william-hold me" response, now give me an anwser, do you think Beas will come back next year stronger and take the starting 4 job from Haslem?
Probably, but then again Haslem may be moved before it happens.
David, I just saw you in a segment about Kevin Martin during the Kings - Lakers game. One Word: Awesome. Which pros do you expect to come to the IMG Academies this summer?
I never saw it. We'll have 40-60 guys here this year. I'll let you know once they get here.
I'm new but I can still destroy a franchise with the best of them!
can you devote one chat to an "ask the coach" format where you focus on basketball training and x' and o's? You are the only top tier coach we have contact with.
I've suggested that in the past. I like that idea.
Where would Jrue Holiday go in the draft and do think he could do anything in the NBA after only one year at UCLA if he did leave?
I hear he's a top 20 lock, and will be much better in the pro's.
Dave, you work with athletes all the time (and know what it takes to get back to 100% on the court). So, if Bynum gets 2 games to end the season and a round vs the Mavs (plus practices, scrimmages,etc) will he be back to speed by the 2nd round (or at least the western finals)?
Not full speed, but serviceable.
Numb Kings fan here. If the Maloofs decide to hire career womens coach John Whisenant to lead the team next year, will we hear about team bonding functions that revolve around giving each other new hairstyles and having pillow fights?
As the father of a girl, I resent those remarks. But I laughed anyway.
Thorpey, did you actually say something positive about the Nuggets? Wow. Can we still assume that you think JR is poison or have you mellowed on that view as well?
I understand better than most that yesterday's poison can be today's medicine. See Thomas, Tyrus. Players must be allowed to mature.
I attend your chats every week and i come out disappointed everytime not getting 1 question answered. I post a couple every chat. Disappointing. But you are awesome at your job! so please answer this.. Ronnie Brewer - Most Underrated SG in the NBA?
Sorry Nick. You might be right. He's so tough in that system, and is one of my favorite players to watch.
If Batman and Spiderman fought to the death who would win?
Edge to Batman. But Green Lantern crushes them both.
Would it be crazy to trade Al Jefferson for Rubio? Many folks in the Twin Cities do not believe a tandem of Jefferson and Love in the frontcourt will work. It may be easier to build a team around a legit PG and upcoming PF.
BAD CHICKEN! MESS YOU UP!
Always a winner.
What is the difference between having a motor and having great basketball IQ? and you'd said you'd get back to me at the end of the season, OJ Mayo or Kevin Love?
A motor is is how hard a player completes, and the IQ is about how smart they play. Edge to Love.
Around this time before the draft, people always make the argument that a player should stay to develop his skills because he is "not ready"...but won't a player develop even more in that same year with better pro coaches?
It's a terrible argument. Pro's routinely draft players based on potential.
George: "What is a barometer, anyways?" Kramer: "It's pronounced thermometer." Best Seinfeld line ever.
It's up there, a real classic.
mvp lebron or wade?
Hi David, I want you to know that my 16 year old son dreams of being good enough of a player to one day train with you in Florida. He says most coaches scream and yell and teach little, but you seem to be just the opposite. Is that true?
I used to scream and yell, but them I grew up. Still, no player will accuse me of being quiet. Most NBA coaches are not screamers. Most college guys are.
if you were a hot dog and you were starving, would you eat yourself?
That says it's time to go. Thanks for all the nice comments and questions. Happy Pesach to all and I'll be back next week. Be safe.