Good afternoon from New York, home to teams #29 and #30 in Marc Stein's latest Power Rankings. Depressing thought of the day for me: The top 3 highlights of the Knicks' season may have already come and gone: LeBron's one and only visit last Friday (and his pronouncement that he'd sign for less than the max), Stephon Marbury's front row ejection a couple nights earlier, and Pini Gershon's refusal to leave the court after being ejected in the exhibition game against Maccabi. The Utah Jazz are in tonight, and if form holds, Jerry Sloan will be in the press room at 5:30 eating dinner. He is the only NBA coach who eats the Garden press room food, which makes him not only the NBA's IronMan among coaches, but also the Iron Stomach Man.Any and all topics are open for discussion, so being 'em on.
I used to be a supporter of Mike Brown, but recently his coaching strategies have made me question his abilities. With John Kuester gone our offense is lost, not to mention playing two 7 footers at the same time completely detracts from Lebron's strengths. Do you think his tenure is possibly coming to an end after this season?
Look, Gordon, Mike recognized pretty quickly that the pairing of Shaq and Varajao wasn't going to work, so he moved Hickson on and put Andy back in a role where he can play off Z, plus avoid the early foul troubles that, when they happen, always take him out of his game. everyone around that team has emphasized that some patience will be needed while they work out things with the new guys, but this is the Year of Impatience in cleveland, so that's a tough thing for fans like yourself to be giving.
Hey Chris love your work....I love your theory of LeBron-Wade-Bosh playing together. What do you think are the chances it actually happens?
It's really not my theory, Dave, but it's something I picked up on when I was with the Heat in preseason -- and it's a plan they're willing to give a try. Now, that being said, do I think they can get all three with the discount they'd all have to take from what would be the max? No. But let's say you replace Bosh with Boozer, and give wade and LBJ a bigger chunk of near-max money, and maybe that works better for all involved. In any case, the Heat (and the Mavs) must be considered in the mix when discussing possible LBJ destinations. Both have plausible plans to bring him aboard.
If you are the Jazz, how long do you wait to make a move? There is something wrong there and it isn't the talent.
Adam, I'll have a better answer for you after seeing them first-hand tonight and talking to coach Sloan and some of the other folks around the team. Just my opinion, but I think stephen jackson would be a nice fit if they could get him for nothing, or if they could get Biedrins back with SJ and send Kirilenko to Nellieland. They could even throw in their own No. 1 pick to sweeten the deal, since the Jazz hold the Knicks' No. 1 pick, and that'll be a lottery pick.
Do you think that the cavs will make a move and get someone, if so who do you think they get?
Sorry to be disingenuous here, Nick, but my answer would be Antonio Daniels.
Right now, through 3 games, Ricky Rubio is averaging 6.3 points, 6.3 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 23 minutes per game. Is it a good thing he didn't come over this year?
Euro stats aren't always a good measure of a player's worth because the game is played so differently over there (Exhibit A: Compare Brandon Jennings' stats with Milwaukee and with Roma). I think it is a bad thing for the NBA that he didn't come over because I think all the world's best players should play in the world's best league, and I've seen him play a lot, and he's worth the price of admission. But I also think it's a good thing for the ACB, and I look forward to seeing how be blends with the national team next summer in Turkey. Spain is clearly the No. 1 threat to Team USA once again.
I was second row at the game in Boston on Friday and the Suns bench is very underrated. They score (with LB back), defend and rebound. Play with a ton of energy and is a major reason the Suns are 6-1.
Jared Dudley and Louis Amundsen thank you, Jim. But if you have to point to one guy who is playing out of his mind on that team, I'd have to point to Grant Hill. The guy rebounds like an old DeJuan Blair.
Latest on the A.I. and Stephen Jackson situations. Trades/buyouts/teams with the most interest etc?
On A.I., obviously the situation is fluid. He can't be traded until Dec. 11, the Grizzlies aren't going to want to keep paying him if he stays on this leave of absence indefinitely, so there could be a loopy limbo period upcoming ... or A.I. might just go on Twitter tonight and say all is well and he'll be back by the weekend. I'm making no predictions on that one.As for S.Jax, I found it interesting that his agent, Mark Stevens, went public last night and lit into Nellie quite so hard in his interview with colleague Chris Broussard. I thought stevens was trying to turn up the heat, but those moves can cometimes backfire bcause it keeps teams from putting their best offer out there.If there's a deal that makes sense to me (and again, this is only me talking), it would send Jax to the Kings for Kenny Thomas. with Kevin Martin sidelined for the next several weeks, it would be a short term band-aid at the least, and an asset they can use or move in the future.
Are the recent injuries to the Magic roster a precursor to the rest of the season, or are these just unfortunate temporary issues?
Injuries hit some teams harder than others early in the year, Dan. Just ask Lawrence Frank, who was missing four injured starters Saturday night against Boston. (Strange Nets-Magic injury-related coincidence: Vince Carter hurt his ankle at the Meadowlands when the Magic were in a week ago.)
Do you think Houston would ever move Tmac for curry / darko so they can amortize the cost over two seasons and avoid luxury tax?
Ben, if the Rockets are ever going to entertain the thought of taking on the Knicks' two long contracts, Curry and Jeffries, I would imagine they would also demand three future No. 1 picks, $3 million and Wilson Chandler, too. But mcGrady would be a panacea for the Knicks cap-wise if they did that deal, because it would leave them with no one other than Gallinari, Jordan Hill and Toney Douglas under contract for next season.
Any ideas on if the Lakers make a move for a point guard or not? If so, who do you think would be a good fit?
I thought we'd see a little more of Shannon Brown after he played pretty well in the preseason. If they go outside for a guy, I think Jamaal Tinsley would be a great fit.
With Bosh playing the best basketball of his life, shouldn't Colangelo try to capitalize and trade him sooner rather than later?
They are only going to trade him if they are convince he is going to leave them, and even if that is the case, it behooves both Bosh (who can get a six-year deal with 10.5 percent raises) and the Raptors (who would get something back) to wait until after July 1 and do a sign-and-trade. In the meantime, they're trying to get to the point where they can challenge the top 3 in a best-of-7 series. They're not as far off as people think (I had them and the Thunder as my preseason Most Improved teams), but they need a lot more out of their two guards right now, with DeRozan doing little and Antoine Wright not providing the scoring punch they often need.
If you were the Jazz, would you try to help them move the Knicks' long contracts? The worse they do, the better for the Jazz no?
No, if were the Jazz I would observe the Knicks as a case study of what it looks like when you have six key guys in the last year of their contracts who are trying to get their stats and establish some kind of market value for next summer. Watch Al Harrington for a few minutes tonight and you'll see what I mean. All of his energy is going into trying to get shots. very little of his energy is being exerted on the boards or on D.
Hey Chris,When will Chris Paul begin thinking about how to get to a team that can put 4 solid guys around him? Thanks!
Chris was at MSG a couple nights ago, and Marc Stein was texting me that CP3 sure seems angry this season. at least CP doesn't have Mo Peterson to blame anymore, as Mo just became pretty close to being pronounced this week's Desmond Mason. If Devin Brown doesn't produce, I wouldn't be surprised by a mid-December uberoutburst from Mr. Paul.
Of all the top 10 ten picks this year in the NBA draft (excl. Rubio) Jordan Hill is the only one not getting minutes...why? is he a bust?
He got 'em in the last two games, Van, and D'antoni said they'll keep coming. You'll see more of Toney Douglas, too, and less of Chris Duhon. But Toney really hasn't looked good much at all, and Hill has actually looked better in the stretches I've seen. At the end of the day, the Knicks need a young big, so they'll get J.Hill's minutes consistently into the 20s by late January, I'd say.
who would the Lakes have to give up for Tinsley and what other options are out there?
Nothing. He is an unrestricted free agent.And if he signed for the veteran's minumum, the league ofice would pay a significant percentage of the salary under a little-known provision of the CBA.
With Kaman playing as well as any center in the league, Baron revitalized, Gordon coming around, and an unheralded bench of Telfair, Smith, Butler, and Camby (when Griffin comes back), I think the Clippers can not only make the playoffs, but actually make some noise. What's your take on their start and their chances going forward?
I've liked them as a competitor for the 8 spot since preseason, but I didn't know Kaman had this in him. He looked pretty glum last year, and I think the Olympics really took a toll on him. Will be interesting to see how the Al Thornton situation resolves itself. He's too much of a talent to be put on the shelf.
Do you agree with Adande that Kobe looks better than ever? It's amazing how he's been the best perimeter player in the NBA for 10 years and it looks like he's going to be the best for another 5.
I loved J.A.'s piece in today's Dime, and I wholeheartdly agree. For them to be off to this kind of a start without Gasol (and Bynum the last two), just very, very impressive.
If Boozer actually puts a string of several good games together what do you think the chances of the Jazz getting some sort of decent shooter back for his expiring contract? With no one a real constant shooting threat on the team besides maybe Williams, they have a hard time keeping most defenses honest
I still maintain they would be better served by movin Kirilenko to get their shooter, if they can get a big, too, and keeping Boozer through this season and trying to win the West. After that, they'll still have sign-and-trade options with Boozer after July 1.
Who's available in the 2011 Free Agent class. It seems to me that if the Knicks can't move their contracts they would have a ton of money availabe both this and next summer? Any chance something plays out where they get one big name this summer and one next summer.
There is a nice comprehensive list of all 2010 and 2011 free agents on ESPN.com. Very easy to find in the search box. and as it pertains to the Knicks, teir fallback plan if they can't move Curry'Jeffries is to sell incoming free agents on the fact that those two players come off the cap in '11, and yes, that'll give them room for another max guy. Problem is, they'd have to renounce Harrington, D.Lee, L.Hughes and probably Nate Robinson, too, just to get that first max guy. Just goes to show you how much of their future is tied to their ability to move Curry/Jeffries before the deadline, or before the close of business on June 30.
Chris- a national NBA writer commented in his column yesterday that the my Bulls are the sleeper for LBJ. As much as I would love that, it can't possibly be true can it?
I am of the opinion that the Mavs are the sleeper team behind the Knicks, Heat and Nets. I can't remember who wrote it, or I'd credit him/her, but someone wrote the other day that they can't see LBJ wanting to walk past a statue of MJ on his way to work every single day.
what about hinrich to LA for walton and farmar?
Makes no sense for the Bulls.again, In think the easiest and possibly the best solution for Lakers may be Jamaal Tinsley.
So, are you saying the Cavs are out of the running for LBJ, or that they are the favorites and the other teams are the upstart contenders?
No, I'm not saying they're out of it by any means. But I do not think they should be considered the prohibitive favorites to retain him. If he was locked into them long-term in his heart, he wouldn't be speaking with so much anticipation about what it's going to be like to be a free agent for the first time in his life.
Let's just assume that Bosh tells Colangelo he is done (i'll say 80% going to happen), what can the Raps get back that would make us Raptor fans happy?
David Lee, Nate Robinson and 3 million loonies.
That's a wrap for today, folks. Thanks for all the good questions. We'll chat again next Monday.