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September 30, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

Welcome to the chat, this day after the opening of training camp around the league. Lots to speculate on, so let's get to it.I listening to Bizet's "Carmen", so tune in if you can. If you are new to opera, you will recognize some of the music and aria's."All I do, man, is stare at their mouths and wrinkle my eyebrows,and somehow I turn out to be a big sweetie".

Nick (Toronto)

Is Hedo's "fatigue" more mental or physical?

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

Probably both.

walter (NY)

DT Express, How much would Delonte' loss hurt Cleveland's chances this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

It would hurt, of course. But I'm a fan of Anthony Parker, so it may not be as bad as you'd think.

Marc (Charlotte)

Thorpe, glad to have you back. I know Rashad McCants is borderline crazy, but wouldn't he be a good fit in Denver. He could fill the role JR Smith played last year as an explosive scorer of the bench.

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

I think that's an excellent point. He's a scoring machine.

Jordan P (Milwaukee)

We all know that Brandon Jennings needs to work on his shooting, but besides that, what skill does he need to work on the most to run the point for Milwaukee?

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

Shooting is enough.

Greg (Minneapolis)

How long was Corey Brewer down at IMG? What can Wolves fans expect from the on-ball train wreck and off-ball dynamo?

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

We had him for a few weeks. His athleticism seemed to be returning. And his shot looked a lot better even before we coached him. He's so good on defense that he actually taught me something. I'm serious.

Scott (Boston, MA)

How do you think Oden will perform this year? What do you legitimately think are the Blazer's chances at winning a title in the next 5 years?

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

I couldn't even guess at that now. But clearly, if he's much improved, then the Blazers are "contenders" in the next few years.

Mike (Miami)

does miami have enough pieces to the puzzle to make it farther in this years playoffs? especially with the addition of q-rich?

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

They do. The HEAT will help Q get in shape, and Wade will be better. So will Beasley.

Randy (Houston, TX)

Are you in line with the rest of the media giving the Rocket's no chance to make the playoffs this year? Do people have short memories or did a no-star Rocket's team split 4 games with the world champs last year? Could this team of role players actually surprise a few people?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

As presently constructed, it will be hard for them to make it. But I have a feeling that their brilliant GM will work some magic and keep things interesting.

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

I like Vince, but question that move. I love what the Spurs did, and I like the moves in Boston.

Kris (Simi Valley, CA)

"Swingers" is truly a classic. And it called out one of the greatest video-game performers of all-time: Jeremy Roenick. Dude couldn't be stopped.

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

The "House of Pain" line is worth the price of admission.

Steven (San Antonio)

Hey THORPOLICIOS question. Why does john hollinger hate the Spurs?

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

I have no earthly idea what you are talking about. He does not arrange the tea leaves, he just reads and interprets them.

Mike (Akron)

Hey David, its good to have you back. You are so money and you don't even know it. So is Delonte West. Thorpe, just curious on why you don't have the Cavs number 1 in the East? I mean, all their weaknesses have been covered by their off-season signings. Bench, athletic tall swingmen, and a guy who can handle Howard?

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

I'm like a big bear, right? I'm not loving the Shaq move.

KYle (Newport Beach)

Do you think Kevin Durant is ready to contend for a MVP yet???

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

One more year.

Tony (Boston)

Personally, I think if the Celtics stay healthy I put them on the same scale as Lakers, Cavs, Spurs to win the championship. Not convinced on Orlando yet. I love the pickups of Wallace and Daniels which makes our bench much better than last year, and if we get some production of Walker or Giddens that would be a bonus. What do you think? On a different, a little sad that Minny wasn't able to bring in Rubio. I would have loved to see him play in the NBA.

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

Boston winning it all would not surprise me in the least. Yes, Rubio would have been great to watch. He didn't put up great stats in the Eurobasket tourney, but he still helped quarterback the champions.

Stephen (Texas)

Glad your back!!! Are you a fan of the Ariza for Artest swap?

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

Yes, for Houston.

Shaq (Cleveland)

I still cannot stop the pick and roll, Z cannot stop the pick and roll. I can't draw Dwight away from the basket. The two keys to beating Orlando. With Vince and healthy Jameer P&Ring me to death I feel I'm going to let everyone down.

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

I think the Cavs need some deep shooting from their bigs. Can you help there?

Jeremy (Chicago, IL)

Thorpedo, it's great to have you back. Will the Bulls' newfound emphasis on defense be a success?

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

My guess is, kind of.

Lindsay (Orlando)

Hey Dave!! I like the way the Kings have gone out of their way to get a Roster with a bunch of international players (Rodriguez, Nocioni, Udrih rookie Casspi). International players were huge in the King's breakout seasons (Divac, Pedja, Songalia, Wahad,...) and I think these guys can be good contributors to the team (within reasonable expectations). Your thoughts? 25 wins, over or under? Thanks!

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

I don't think they've targeted those kinds of guys. They just want players. Seems hard to imagine they can't get 25 , considering Martin missed 23 games (of which they only won 5) and they added Evans. Throw in the expected improvement of "Shock and Hawes", plus a veteran coach who is a teacher, and if they stay healthy they should get close to 30.

Linda (Los Angeles)

Coach, I'm a big fan, as is my husband, because he's a coach and we love the Lakers. We first heard about you listening to Chad Ford's podcasts. Why does he not do them anymore, and why won;t you ever come on to the Bill Simmons casts?

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

Chad is busy covering the draft for espn and helping to save the world. Seriously. As it happens, I listen to Bill's podcasts when I work out each day, they are howlingly funny. And he books a lot of big-time guests. Clearly, I do not qualify. Yet!!

Marc (Charlotte)

Should Brandan Wright have stayed in school longer, or is he struggling because he plays for the dysfunctional Warriors?

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

Much more of the latter.

Craig (Chicago)

Will Tyrus Thomas make a jump this year as a player? What would you expect out of him this year, based on what you've seen this summer?Thanks

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

Ty stayed in Chicago this summer, so I've not seen him. I hope he becomes a 10 rebounds a game guy who shoots 50% from the field. It's in him to do that.

Rip Wiley (UK)

I was wondering which second-year players you think made the biggest jump from Summer League last year to this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

Gallinari, Gallinari, Gallinari.

Kyle (Newport Beach)

Do you think Lamar Odom's marriage will hurt his play this year???

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

I'll say the same thing I've been preaching since 1988, my first year as a teacher. Immature love is exhausting, mature love is energizing. So we'll see.

glenn (memphis)

Can the Griz make it work with Iverson?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

Not likely.

Angel (New York)

How important is a healthy Josh Howard to the Mavs? Would they have gotten past Denver last year if he didn't have two injured ankles?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

Probably not, but he's awfully important.

Billy (Chicago )

Do you think Luol Deng can play PF for the Bulls this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

Sometimes, when the other team has a face up 4 on the floor.

trevor (toronto)

Hi David, The Delonte West story is shocking me! Two loaded guns and a shotgun is a misdemeanor? The NBA is considering a one week suspension? God forbid he got caught with a joint, there might be some serious reprocussions. Isn't there something wrong with the priorities?

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

The whole story makes me squeamish. I am genuinely worried for that young man. When the brain goes dark, it's so hard to find the light.

alex (chicago)

Hey Thorpe, do you think D Rose can step up this year and fill the scoring void left by BG?

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

Yes, he and a few of the others.

David (Orlando, Fl)

Coach, I heard you on the radio here. My man asked you so many questions about the NBA, and you sounded so smart on each answer. Really, how can one guy know so much about a league with 30 teams?

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

To be honest, I read espn.com every day. I assure you, every writer we have would have answered those questions better than me. Those guys know the league, period.

Mike (Milwaukee, WI)

What do think of Brandon Jennings and his chances of starting for the Bucks? Also did you get the chance to watch Ersan Ilyasova during the Eurobasket Tourney? Thoughts on his game translating to the NBA?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

I think he'll start soon enough. I loved him this summer. I did not see Ersan, but I've been a huge fan of his since his rookie season. I think he could be special.

Chris (Sacramento)

Hey David, do you know anything further about Tyreke Evans's knee injury?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

No. Sorry.

JP (Baton Rouge)

Hey coach, what are you thoughts on Marcus Thornton. The Hornets could really use another scoring presence off of the bench. Do you think he can play that role?

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

Yes I do. He needs lots of shots, but he can score. Better, he can PLAY!!

Joe (PA)

hey David, what kind of role do you see McGee playing this year in Washington? Is he going to start seeing some kind of regularity in minutes and will he be a help to them this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

I think they need to force him to play, and play a lot. Over time, he'll figure it out.

Ryan (back in the USA)

I've been living in Australia for the last year or so and I've been reading your chats 12rs after they happen. Got home 2 days ago...Good to be back!!!

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

You are a nice bloke to say that, Ryan. Welcome home.

Ben (Chicago)

Word out of Minnesota is Rambis wants his Wolves to run. Flynn projects to be the push guard you want, but will Al Jefferson and Kevin Love work out as a frontcourt over the long haul?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

I don't think they will be the starting combo in a few years, but in the short term they will do.

Brad (Gadsden,Alabama)

David, Will the hawks get a better seed then 4?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

Orlando. Cavs. Celtics. Book it. For the 4th spot, they have a solid chance.

Anthony (Toronto)

Is Jose Calderon a top 5 PG in the leauge? I think he gets overlooked way to often

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

Paul. Dwill. CB. Parker. Rose. Rondo. Nelson. Harris. I could go on. It's not easy to get in the top 5, my man.

Charlie D (Austin)

You've talked a lot about Brandon Jennings but what about the Mavs rookie pg making a splash this year? What do you think about the Frenchmen? Can he take minutes of Barea this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

He was terrific, and yes, I think he can get those mins by mid-season.

Daryl (Hyattsville)

How do you think Evans and Martin will play together in Sac-town? Will Evans dominate the ball too much to get Kevin the looks he needs or so you see Garcia handling the rock as a point-3?

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

I've never understood the concern. Martin has played with scoring pg's for 5 straight years, and still led his team in scoring 3 straight years with less than 15 shots a game. The bigger question is, how will less capable scorers produce efficiently without a playmaking pg?

Anthony (Dublin, Ireland)

What do you think of developments at the Nets? Improve the chances of LBJ ending up there? They have some nice pieces to go with a ton of cap space, and with the likely investment, a bright future me thinks!

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

I expect to see an improved Nets squad, but I wouldn't guess as to what LBJ will do.

Harry (Babylon)

What are realistic expectations for Darko this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

That might be the greatest question ever seen here. I have no idea!!

Pierre (Sacramento)

Yo, Is my ban Lifetime or am I welcome with the new season??

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

Welcome back.

Mike (Milwaukee, WI)

With Charlotte said to be shopping Raja Bell, is Larry Brown going to start Gerald Henderson, a rookie?

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

By the time Bell could be moved, Gerald will have some time under his belt and won't play like a rookie.

Marc (Charlotte)

What are your thoughts on Monta Ellis saying he can't play with Steph Curry in the backcourt?

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

I'm amazed at how often he says or does silly things.

Kevin (OH)

David, Cleveland is dieing to hear...any word on Delonte? Between legal troubles and his bi-polar disorder, does he miss extended parts of the season?

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

This is the last question I'll post on Delonte. Please, everyone, forget about basketball for a moment. And just focus on Delonte getting better. Thanks.

Paul (Kansas City)

David, my friends and I loved reading your tweets this summer from Orlando and Vegas. Will espn let you tweet important games this year? I think they are better than the live chats you used to do at the NBA Finals. Also, are you on Facebook?

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

Thanks, it was fun tweeting. I have no idea what the plans are this season. And yes, David B. Thorpe is on facebook.

Jefferson (Boston, MA)

Why is everyone counting out the magic again this year...their team is stacked and boston isnt far behind at all...cleveland is good too but i just think they'll make it to the ECF's like last year...but either way what do you think we're looking for the finals this year....2008 finals rematch or 2009 finals rematch??

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

No one is counting them out. No one.

Venkat (India)

What does Danny Granger need to improve on?

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

I'd like to see a lot more activity on the boards, especially the offensive glass.

Robert (Atlanta)

I read that Tony Gaffney is in LA. Can you pull another miracle and get Tony to pull a Rob Kurz?

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

I've done nothing. Rob Kurz is a special player, and so is Tony. I'm pulling hard for him.

Ben (Minneapolis)

Your thoughts on Wayne Ellington? I thought he was almost a steal at #28. With his shooting ability, he'll be a solid top-8 guy for the next 5-10 years won't he?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

Yes. I like him a lot.

Matt (Dallas)

Why do you hate the Spurs?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

You mean the team I picked to win it all?

Ben (New York City)

Would you play Curry and Monta is the same backcourt consistently if you were the head coach?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

Of course not.

Eric (Houston)

You said Brewer taught you something on defense, what was it? Can Wolves fans believe he will turn into the lockdown guy he has teased us with?

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

All I'll say -it was a great plan for defending scorers. It was really smart. He's got every chance to be that kind of defender.

Chico (Oakland, CA)

The Warriors have a fair bit of talent. At the core, they're also unstable. Is it the coach, the owner or a couple of players that simply want to be elsewhere? Also, what is the upside to Anthony Randolph. I see Odom plus Bosh.

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

They have internal issues, yes. Randolph is a quicker and more explosive Odom.

Kantad (New York City)

Welcome back Dave - nice to be talking NBA again. Do you think Arenas and the Wizards will pull it together and make playoffs this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

I think they are one of the most intriguing teams to watch early on.

Matty (Gainesville)

Is Tebow "the best leader ever" if he had signed with Mississipi St. or South Carolina?

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

Yes, as long as he got the support from the coaches.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Right now, I have Spurs over Celtics in the Finals...you?

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

Ditto. But it's meaningless, considering how teams change by February.

Peat (Chicoutimi)

I wanna see every Grizzlies games this year. About you ?

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

Exactly the opposite.

Steve (Ny)

Please answer this question since it's related to your field of expertise. Me and my buddies from high school have had a team for a while and now our starting PG is going to study a year abroad. I'm a natural 3, but I'll probably have to help fill part of the void. Any advice as to how I can defend quicker point gourds with good penetration skills? Thank you VERY much

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

Besides working on your quickness, I'd suggest crowding the heck out of guys. You'll get beat a lot, but you will no matter what you do. At least you'll force some turnovers along the way. Or employ a zone.

Drunk On Mystery (Baltimore)

"Orlando. Cavs. Celtics. Book it. "Is that your order? Orlando 1st, Celtics 3rd? Also, what do you think of Dwight Howard's "I want to shoot 75% from the FT line." statement?

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

No, that's in no order. I think he should have aimed for 80% and settled for 75.

Nick (Cleveland)

David, between Shaq's antics, LBJ's free agency looming and the recent you know what...can the Cavaliers overcome all the distractions?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

That's the big question. I'm not sure. But I don't have a good feeling about them now. But June is a long way away.

JJ (Dallas, TX)

Hi David,Do my Mavs have a real chance to win it all, I really think they are a Top 3 West, what do you see we need to go all the way?Thanks

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

As presently constructed, no. But I think they may be able to help themselves before February and them sneak into contention.

Gabe (New Rochelle, NY)

how come nobody talks about the value of Yi Jianlian in attracting free agents? Playing alongside him opens up a HUGE market. Hello China!

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Excellent point.

Brian (CA)

Do you think Ammo can earn some playing time and resurrect his career on a stacked Lakers team?

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Not likely.

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Not likely.

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Not likely.

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Not likely.

Colin (Michigan)

the other day you answered a question about the importance of a young player's psyche on his development. Do you think a player can gain confidence late in his career after a rough beginning, or is he doomed by a poor start? (Consider Kwame Brown story vs. Chauncey Billups)

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

It's very hard, at some point, to change.

Demar Derozen (T DOT)

ROY candidate?

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

Yes, but as a dark horse.

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

It's hard for me to see James leave Cleveland, but is there any scenario where you see playing out that makes James want to leave Cleveland?

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

I think it's folly to speculate.

Michael (Fort Worth)

Which top 10 pick has your highest chance of being a complete bust? other than Thabeet...

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

Rubio, for obvious reasons.

John (Canada)

You guys are selfish and greedy, you charge people to read your 'insider' why charge people to read something, anyways off to hoopsworld they dont charge and there better writers anyways!

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

Smile John, life isn't as bad as you think. Tune in to "Carmen", it will brighten your day. Would it help to know that my family and I loved our vacation in Mont Tremblant this summer?

Daniel (Rochester)

How to i become a sports analyst.... what major in college etc???

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

The heck with the major. Start coaching the sport and become an expert.

Kid at Lebron's book signing (Cleveland)

LBJ told me himself "I ain't goin nowhere" and I believe him

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

That's almost as strong as the college player who announces that he's coming back to school the night he loses his last game.

Patrick (Munich, Germany (not on the Oktoberfest, though))

Hello David, thanks for the chats! I really enjoy them a lot! .2 quick questions:- any chance you'll let us watch some of your work... similar to the Dywane Wade video working out with Tim Grover in Chicago? It would be really incredible to get some more insight.- In contrast to the ~18 months before the All-Star break where lots of trades were made, I feel that there's very little possible right now. Agree?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

I'd be happy to show what we do, but it's probably pretty boring stuff.

Tracy (Utah)

Is bike riding a nice complement when you want to get in shape for basketball season or is it too different of an exercise? Thanks cyber-coach!

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

I like the bike, in small doses. I think it hurts my players' hip flexors.

lucian (toronto)

hollinger says toronto could win as little a 25 games .... does that strike you as a reasonable projection?

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

No, which should worry me, because John creates reasonable projections.

Gabe (New Rochelle, NY)

has there ever been or will there ever be another Dirk Nowitski ? if you really think about it, he is so amazingly unique.

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

Best shooting "footer" in world history. Unique indeed.

Fred (Tampa)

You just advised what i would imagine is a 16 or 17 year old kid to not go to college!!! Hurry up and fix it!! Kids are very easy to influence these days...

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

Oops. My point is, major in whatever you want, but learn the game from the inside.

Michael (Fort Worth)

Steal of the draft: Earl Clark. Has the talent of a top 5 pick. I'm calling it, the next Josh Smith with a sick jumper!

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

His jumper is a bit sick, but not the good kind. I helped him for 3 weeks this past May, but it takes more time than that. Ultimately, he will be a good shooter, and yes, I do think he may end up being a big steal at 14. He can really defend.

David Thorpe
  (1:01 PM)

That's a wrap. Thanks everyone. See you all next week. Be safe.