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May 22, 11:38 AM ET
Chat with J.A. Adande

J.A. Adande
  (3:03 PM)

Good afternoon folks. Plenty to talk about, as usual. Great conference finals so far. Could it be the conference finals will be better than the NBA Finals? Even if we do get Kobe vs. LeBron (and that's very iffy at the moment) I don't think the level of play would match the hype. So enjoy this next week.

J.A. Adande
  (3:03 PM)

might be a little shorter chat today because I still have to pack and get to the airport for my flight to Denver.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

Who's in bigger trouble and why, the Lakers or Cavaliers?

J.A. Adande
  (3:05 PM)

I'd say the Lakers. Both teams have lost homecourt advantage, but Orlando hasn't looked as unbeatable at the crib as Denver has. Also Denver has looked capable of beating the Lakers in both games. Let's see if Orlando has 2 "winning" type games in it.

Shane- Orlando,Florida

Can you tell ESPN to stop playing Lebron and Kobe commercials? Didn't Stern get the memo his league has a "fixed" perception and this doesn't help before their teams are even up in a series?

J.A. Adande
  (3:06 PM)

Let's clarify this: those aren't ESPN's Kobe and LeBron commercials. They aren't the NBA's Kobe-LeBron commercials. They're from Nike and Vitamin Water. NOw, would the NBA and ESPN like to have Kobe play LeBron? Sure. More people would watch,,,and companies would pay more money to air their Kobe vs. LeBron commercials.

JKL (Boston, MA)

The Clippers need a fire sale to get Randolph off the team right?

J.A. Adande
  (3:07 PM)

Isn't it just like the Clippers to win the lottery when they've got a guy making $16 million at that spot?

J.A. Adande
  (3:08 PM)

Here's the problem: Zach can be's happened 2 x before with that fat contract...but he brings back less and less in return.

mathieu (san francisco)

Should the Cavs recover and make the finals, you've gotta think that their fans will be rooting to see the Lakers rather than face a team from Denver and have to hear and watch all of the allusions to Broncos-Browns and how those two championship loses began to cement the legend of John Elway and how this might just be Melo's rise to superstardom

J.A. Adande
  (3:09 PM)

And with Chauncey wearing No. 7! Hadn't thought about it. But if Cleveland makes the Finals I'm sure you'll see plenty of clips of The Drive and The Fumble and The Shot, etc. no matter who they play.

Jameer Nelson (Orlando)

How come in all of this, not one person has even mentioned the fact the Magic beat the Cavs without its Allstar PG. Hello, if celtics had won w/o KG it would have been huge news.

J.A. Adande
  (3:11 PM)

that is underplayed. Look at all the credit Houston got for winning games without yao and T-Mac...even though Rockets still lost the series and Orlando's in the ECF

Manish (Houston, TX)

I know that there are a lot of laker haters in espn and the nba thats why there were no calls in game 2. like in the jumpball in the 4th. Let me put it this way the NBA needs the Lakers without them no one would watch like it is to be Lakers vs Cavs and Lakers in 7 for the title.. anything else would bring down the NBA.

J.A. Adande
  (3:13 PM)

I posted this just to point out how crazed some of these "anti-Laker" theorists are. You contradicted yourself in your own post! If the league needs the Lakers, why would it orchestrate calls against them?

Nikko (Barrington, IL)

Is it fair to blame the Lakers' loss in game 2 on the referees? They didn't call that violation during the jump-ball which resulted in the Lakers losing possession in the closing minute, and eventually losing the game.

J.A. Adande
  (3:14 PM)

and speaking of calls... No, you can't blame that missed J.R. Smith jump ball violation for the Lakers loss. Smith didn't get the ball: Ariza did. Then he panicked and lost it. It's that simple.

jpvazquez (Tijuana, Mexico)

Who's legacy would take the bigger hit, Kobe or Lebron's if they don't reach the finals?

J.A. Adande
  (3:16 PM)

It SHOULD be LeBron, because as my man pointed out Orlando doesn't have Jameer Nelson, while Denver is closer to full strength. But in the long run I think it would be Kobe's. His window is much smaller than LeBron's. If LBJ doesn't win this year but racks up a nice collection before he's done we won't fixate on 2009. If this turns out to be Kobe's last best shot at a ring and he doesn't get it, it's a major strike against him.

Matt: (chicago) [via mobile]

Am I in the "Adande Lounge?" I know this isnt a playoff question but if you were the Bulls would you keep Ben Gordon or Kirk Hinrich? And why.

J.A. Adande
  (3:18 PM)

I wouldn't keep both. With them it wasn't quite enough to get past Boston, and then you can hope Rose will grow and take and make some of the shots Gordon did next year, plus Luol Deng comes back from injury.

PETER (Los Angeles, CA)

Why do you think Phil constantly plays Fisher despite his terrible play? Who would you rather see in his spot and do you think it would have made a difference in these past two games, or even the Playoffs as a whole?

J.A. Adande
  (3:21 PM)

He still trusts Fisher to help run the offense better and feels comfortable enough with him to call htat last shot for him in Game 2. It worked in Game 7 vs. Hou and Game 1, but cost them in Game 2.

J.A. Adande
  (3:22 PM)

Kind of ironic...when Phil first got to LA Fish thought he was a goner because Phil likes bigger, older guards. Now Fish is older himself, and Phil is leaning on him.

William (NY)

With tons of players in the draft with raw upside potential, is it really that wise for the Knickerbockers to draft an undersized 2 guard in Curry?

J.A. Adande
  (3:24 PM)

It's fine if they're committed to their system. They're gonna need guys who can shoot it...that's one thing Steph can do.

Ryan (Detroit, MI)

If Carmelo makes it to the Championship will he join Lebron, Kobe and Dwayne in elite category?

J.A. Adande
  (3:26 PM)

Yes. those are the stakes. And I think you can count his NCAA championship too if we're going to evaluate him as a player. (I count Magic's over Bird in their comparison). That's something the other guys don't have.

GN (Denver)

Is K-Mart one of the most underrated players in the NBA? He did a phenomenal job of containing 2 All-Star PFs already and he did a great job on Pau last night. Plus he made the game winner for the Nugs and set the tone by fouling Ariza.

J.A. Adande
  (3:27 PM)

Hard to call a guy underrated when he was a No. 1 overall pick. Is Joe Smith underrated?

phletchuer, WAY northern CA

If Kobe Happens to beat Lebron in the finals. It is the Ali v Foreman - The Rumble in the Jungle? The aging star beating the powerful and seemingly unstoppable young star? If it happened, AND if Kobe and Lebron retire with the same number of rings, wouldn't we be forced to say that Kobe was a better player than Lebron.

J.A. Adande
  (3:30 PM)

Sorry can't compare any of these matchups (Kobe-Bron, Kobe-Melo, Bron-Dwight, Bron-melo) to Ali's great fights. Ali-Foreman and Ali-Frazier was about their very entities. They diminished their lives in there. Watch that Thrilla in Manilla doc on HBO and ask yourself if you think there's at much at stake in these NBA playoffs. And if the matchup will take the toll those fights took on Ali

Coop (Orlando)

J.A., if your Cleveland, who does LeBron guard tonight? GO MAGIC!!

J.A. Adande
  (3:33 PM)

Interesting question. Had this debate with (namedrop) Denzel Washington last night (end namedrop) at the game. He doesn't think Lebron should be on Rafer. I think it's a good idea because it frees LeBron to roam. And I don't think you can ask LeBron to expend the energy it would take to guard Rashard Lewis or somebody and still do so much on offense. I know we've seen Melo on Kobe...but Melo also has Chauncey around. LeBron's asked to do too much on O already.

Joe (Bristol)

With a lot of teams looking to re-jiggle for either under achieving or finance, (or both) do you expect this summer to bring on a lot of trades? What's the biggest in the making? I like Bosh to leave the Raps

J.A. Adande
  (3:35 PM)

I expect a lot of trades around the draft because teams don't want to get stuck with guaranteed first-round contracts for players they don't think will help them.

Muayad (NYC)

Why on earth did Phil Jackson play Sasha over Farmar. Sasha is an overrated defender and Farmar would've done just as well guarding a hobbled J.R Smith, don't you think? and for that matter, don't you think Jackson has been stubborn to the detriment of his team these playoffs?

J.A. Adande
  (3:41 PM)

Is Jackson stubborn when he yo-yos Bynum in and out of the lineup? True, there have been several games when Jackson didn't put the Lakers in best position to win. But 1 thing I've learned about him is he has to be judged in the broader picture. Things worked out vs. Houston. Let's see what happens s the Denver series goes on.

J.A. Adande
  (3:42 PM)

One thing that hit me: His first championship with the Bulls was 18 years ago.He's had a great ride, but no one stays on top of their game forever.

Orlan (Belize)

whats the first thing that comes to your mind when discribing Melo's play.

J.A. Adande
  (3:42 PM)

Versatility. He can hit threes, post you, beat guys off dribble.

Ryan (Detroit, MI)

I hate to say this but why does Mike Dunleavy still have a coaching job? The Clippers have a very talented team and after seeing Houston go through the playoffs and regular season, with a barely healthy Yao Ming and no Tracy McGrady how can they settle for that excuse anymore?

J.A. Adande
  (3:45 PM)

I'd like to thank the Houston Rockets for removing the injury excuse from the Clippers and every other team in the league next year. And Clipper fans should be happy: landing No. 1 pick should make this draft Dunleavy-proof as a GM (he's the guy who took Koralev over Danny Granger) and it will increase the pressure on him as a coach.

Nimesh (Orlando)

If Magic win tonight, can you see them winning it all??

J.A. Adande
  (3:46 PM)

I'll stick with the stat that none of the 18 top three-point shooting teams in NBA history won championship. But I'll say this: I'd like their chances better against the Lakers than vs. Denver

Bryan (Toronto)

I haven't heard you weigh in on this J.A. -- will Bosh leave the Raps?

J.A. Adande
  (3:50 PM)

More important than my opinion, a GM told me the Raptors are listening a little more seriously to trade proposals for Bosh, indicating they could be trying to get ahead of his departure. Not that they're shopping Bosh, they just aren't rejecting trade offers outright as much as they were before.

Davor (Croatia)

Do you think that Ainge will trade Ray Allen's expiring contract to reload and can Celtics trade or buy for a pick in a first round and who's player who can be available in 20-30 pick to be great fit in Beantown. Thanks

J.A. Adande
  (3:53 PM)

I wouldn't break up the Big 3 until I see what KG can still give them. Might as well take 1 more crack at it. Ray and Pierce will have a little more time to rest this summer with 2 fewer playoff rounds. Maybe they won't down as much in next year's postseason. and KG would ake bothof their lives easier.

Cesar (Denver)

Looks like Denver is the more complete team. They have been "in" every game in the playoffs. There 3 losses in the playoffs were only decided in last minute. NOt like lakers getting blown out a few times. Thats why I believe Denver will burry lakers at home. What do you think?

J.A. Adande
  (3:57 PM)

It's not always about the more complete team. Portland had a more complete team than LA in 2000. Sac had a more complete team than LA in 2002, but LA won both years b/c they had the 2 best players on the floor and their other guys were mentally tougher. Can Kobe be the best player on the court or will Melo outplay him this series? Can Billups outweigh the mental errors of Kenyon or JR Smith? That's what makes this series so fascinating. I think Kobe has 1 more game-takeover in him, which would give the slight edge to the Lakers.

Scott (Santa Barbara, CA)

Should the Clips try at all costs to land Rubio as well as Griffin? How about Camby, Thornton, and a future 1st for the 2nd pick, Jaric, and Buckner. Memphis would then have another young SF who was first team all rookie two years ago, a future 1st, and would save about 15 million this by trading the two guys and not having to pay the pick.

J.A. Adande
  (3:59 PM)

They still have so much money committed to Baron and would find him so hard to move that they want to make it work. Baron's been working out in Clipper practice facility every day. They say he realizes he messed up last year and wants to come back with a vengeance this tme. He's done more with less talent around him. So they hope he can be the guy to lead this squad.

J.A. Adande
  (4:00 PM)

Gotta get ready for Denver. Can't wait for this weekend's games. Hope they bring back Elway for the intros (how cool/cruel would that be if they did that to Cleveland in the Finals?) Have a great weekend everybody. Take a moment to think of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us to live in the Best Country on the Planet.