Hi folks. Last regular-season version of the chat. Please don't ask for my MVP, ROY picks because we'll have those for you early next week...don't want to ruin your suspense. Let's get too it.
Looking back at the whole Chandler-Wilcox trade, did OKC make the right move by backing out?
the grade for this trade is still "incomplete" because we don't know if Chandler is going to be continuously hurt. It wasn't a move made for the present...not like the Thunder had title contention ideas this year. So Tyson's current injury doesn't mean "I told you so." Quality bigs are hard to come by. If Chandler only plays, say, half the games next year then OKC will be proven right.
I hate the 2010 talk but have to ask. With the high possibility of Yao staying, do you think Houston might chase after Wade or bite the bullet, stand pat, grow their youngs, and sign McGrady for a small contract. Despite the expiring contract I don't see the Rockets taking anything back that doesn't help them for the next three years at least.
I don't think T-Mac fits into their long-term plans. They tried to move him already, and the ball has been moving much better in his absence. What's worse than an injury-ravaged former star who doesn't realize he no longer is the top dog? That would be an ugly situation.
Hey J.A., In three years, who will be the second best player in the NBA? I think it is between Paul, Wade, and Durant, and I am actually going to give the nod to Durant? What do you think? Maybe someone besides those three, even?
What about Dwight Howard? and I'm assuming LeBron is your default no. 1
J.A. a friend and I got in a debate about whos more valuable to thier team, we need a non biased EXPERT pick, amare for the suns or manu for the spurs...thanks
Easy: Manu. Remember how well the Suns did that year they had to play almost a full season without Amare. And the Suns weren't exactly contending for the Western crown before Amare was injured this season.
Is there any chance at all that this years' NBA champs don't play for a city named Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, or Orlando?
No chance. I put this up of a reminder of how the NBA playoffs can be enjoyable even though they're the most predictable in pro sports. So why do I still love them even though I can think of only one true upstart champion (2004 Detroit) in the last 30 years?) The passion, the intensity, the struggle in the journey to the top. Even though only 4 of the 16 teams have a shot at this, I'm still getting fired up for the postseason
With all this propaganda being thrown out by Doc Rivers and Phil Jackson about home court adavantage not being important in the playoffs and finals, do you believe that they really think it isnt important or are they just shoveling this out to psyche up their team in case they arent able to catch the Cavaliers for home court?
If you have a veteran, experienced team you don't need it. Phil didn't need HC in the Finals in 93 and 98 with the Bulls, or to get past the Kings in 02 with the Lakers. Doc must feel the same way about his defending champs
J.A., I remember a few years ago, folks here in ATL bounced around the idea of trading Josh Smith for Amare. If you were the Hawks (in the offseason) would you make the move? Imagine Amare and Horford in the paint together.
I wouldn't do it now. You need defense, and Smith is still their main shot-blocking threat
Houston wasn't an upstart team the 2nd title season?
True, the Rockets were the 6th seed in 95, but they were still the defending champs
And there weren't any real dominant teams that year..
It seems that Hollinger has written off the Celtics. Do you see them as being as sure of an "out" as he seems to?
I'm not ruling out Boston until I see what KG can or can't give them
Can we add Dallas to the list of teams that can win the championship this year? If not, then will be we on the list next year with Shaq??
No and no, but a lot more interesting.
Bynum looked pretty good last night coming back from his injury. Do you think all athletes should start rehabbing with playboy bunnies on their shoulders more often?
Ha! I wouldn't add bunny-hoisting to the training regimen, but it does show how overblown that story was. Bynum established a nice base, and if he can improve from there the Lakers get a lot more formidable
If the Magic were able to get to the conference finals against the Cavs, looking at the match up Historically, do you see the Magic shocking their way to the finals?
Just because not enough people talk about the Magic, it wouldn't make their victory shocking. They'll be a 60-win team (probably) and have shown they can beat Cleveland already this season
Upstart champs or not, NBA playoffs is simply the best basketball tournament in the world. There may only be four true contenders, but that's more than there were in the olympics, and the NCAA tournament is just an appetizer. For hoops fans, NBA's playoffs is the main course?the best players, the best teams, the best competition. Best time of the year, in my opinion.
Well said...although this week, with the Masters and the NCAA final isn't bad either. And I love October, when you have all 4 main sports going, plus college football
I feel like people are underestimating the C's. Obviously they are a different team without KG, but they still have a better Rondo, a solid bench, and a better Allen. Don't you think they're being overlooked?
I'm also concerned about Rondo's ankles...and the way they've barely been squeaking by at home lately. Not sure they can get back to that November/December roll they had going
Why do you think it is that Nate McMillan hasn't been included in very many Coach of the year conversations? In watching the Blazers on a game-by-game basis, I don't believe I've seen much better coaching. For such a young team, they're always competitive. At the start of the season, there weren't many NBA writers who had the team as a top-four team in the West, and now, they're fighting for home court through at least one round.
They see Portland's talent and don't think Nate has to do much, but they forget how young the Blazers are. The maturity that team shows is a tribute to Nate
Adande--love your work--what do you think about voting for the MVP like this: Imagine that the NBA started over and had a draft every season for all of the players. The MVP is going to be the #1 overall pick for that year. Obviously, D-Wade, Kobe, and Bron Bron would go 1,2,3. The question would be who (if you were a GM) would you take #1 for the prior year? It is only for one year, because LeBron would be #1 for any team for the future. What do you think of that logic and how would you vote with this in mind?
I don't agree with the "whom would you draft first" approach to the MVP. There's a difference between starting a team from scratch and having a guy who suits your team. And the player I'd take first going forward isn't the same as who has had the most value this season
What do you think about the Nuggets being able to push the Lakers if the weetin the WCF? A healthy Kenyon would make them a much more formidable opponet than we saw last night.
True, and the Nuggets were playing in a back-to-back. But with them and Houston, if it gets close the Lakers could just turn to Kobe...an option those other teams just don't have. Kobe has already taken over games single-handedly in Denver and Houston this season.
What do you think about the hawks?
If this were the NCAA tournament I'd love them because of their guard play (Bibby and Johnson). But I wonder how they'll get easy baskets, and I don't like their second-round prospects
JA, overall thoughts on this season as it comes to an end?
Sometimes you can be watching history in the making and it doesn't seem that thrilling. That's the way this year has been. Cleveland's home record is as good as there's ever been. This could go down as the first of many MVPs for LeBron. Overall free-throw shooting is up. But last year seemed more dramatic, with the big trades. And the injuries throughout the league (Celtics, Spurs Rockets, Magic, primarily) mean we might not get the truest test of who is the best team.
JA, what do you think about the bulls chances this year? Future years?
They've done a good job of shoring up this season but no Luol Deng now and perhaps no Ben Gordon in the future. You don't win in this league without superstars, so until Derrick Rose develops into one they won't be anything more than just a good team.
How about Brandon Rush? He has really turned it on lately for the Pacers. I think he can be a stud.
I always liked him, and the last 6 weeks he's turned into a double-digit scorer and pretty accurate shooter. He'll be a good player for them.
JA, seeing you answer a question about the bulls chances in future years made me wonder: what do you see in the future for the really bad teams in the league, the grizzlies and kings in particular
It's hard to imagine them contending, especially if they stay in those cities. They aren't going to be top free agent destinations. They will have to end up with the No. 1 pick in a year when there's a franchise player in the draft
what do you think I should do this offseason. Stand pat for 2010 or spend money to go after boozer
Boozer's too much of an injury risk to make him your one big move for the next few years.
i should have 4 MVP by now. remember the yr shaq decided to delay his injury until the start of the season? i carried that team while shaq was recovering. my stats 36/7/6 was i even in the MVP conversations?
That year the Lakers barely made the playoffs...didn't even have homecourt in the first round. Kobe did a great job of holding things together, but the Lakers did not have a great season.
How much longer do you see the C's hanging around in the all-elite club? Lakers and Cavs and Magic all have younger players with brighter futures, whereas the C's seem to have aging stars and nice young role players. What's your timetable on their freefall back to earth?
I give them one more year. then Ray will be a free agent, KG will be a old 34. They know they don't have much time. That's why they put it together so quickly last year. Sense of urgency
who's the best past or present nba player with the best golf game???
I don't now if he's the best, but Jon Barry is a scratch golfer...and can pound the ball. Jerry West was really good, but I don't think he plays that much anymore
You said in the JA lounge that the spurs are doing fine. I disagree. The spurs are done with Duncan is done playing. And he is showing his age. Yes, he played in less games compared to Kobe Bryant, but like Barkley said, big men who passed 30ish is all down hill from there. Do you still think the Spurs can go back to the NBA finals in the Duncan era?
If they can use their 2010 cap space get another guy who can carry them (along with Parker) through the regular season I think they have another Finals run in them. Where this year went sour was Duncan had to do too much to compensate for the loss of Ginobili during the season
JA, if you had a choice to attend one first round playoff series, which one would you go to?
of the current matchups, New Orleans-Houston
When did Kobe average a 36/7/6?
It was actually 30 ppg in 02-03
Tyrus or Aldridge right now? In 3 years?
Aldridge and Aldridge. (Lamarcus, not David right?)
I'd like to take this time to apologize to the rest of the league fans for having to endure the nationally televised Knicks game tonight. It will probably be over before it even starts.
Wow, a New Yorker taking the rest of the country into consideration? That's so rare, I've got to end on that gracious note. Thanks for dropping by...playoffs next week!!!!