Good afternoon from the press room at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, where I amcovering Allen Iverson's return to the Philadelphia 76ers tonight. Biggest buzz game in this town since ... oh, another time the Nuggets came to town, when Iverson played his first game here since being traded. That was quite the emotional night for him, and this one should be, too. The question: Does AI channel that emotion into adrenalin? Because he's already said he's not in game shape. So A.I. is obviously Topic A, but nothing is off-limits in this here chat room. And so we begin ...
over under 18.5 ppg for Iverson as a Sixer and will they make the playoffs
That first number seems fairly safe assuming Lou Williams returns in January and they play him and AI together in the backcourt. I think Allen will need to be in the 20s until Lou returns to get this team back on track. remember, they're carrying a nine-game losing streak into a tough game tonight. As for the playoffs? Only the Nets are out of it in the East -- and I can only say that with 95 percent certainty.
I love Fisher for the first 2 mins of every game and the last 2 mins of every game..AND THATS IT!! But who can we get as a solid point guard for the other 44 mins? Shannons ok but just a "ok" back up..Can't we trade Farmar, Sasha, or Walton for a good Point? Who would you recommend?
If a big advocate of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" theory. I know Shannon Brown hasn't been as good as they thought he'd be, but like you said -- Fish is rock solid when you need him. I think they're OK as is. That being said, if they can steal a youngster like DJ Augustin from Charlotte at a low price, I say go for it.
Chris, so with Oden out for the year with the unfortunate injury do you think the Blazers will match last years win total of 54?
I think they will end up in the 50s is they straighten themselves out by the time they come off this trip. They have a lot of hurt guys besides Oden, but I think Przybilla will be a rock in the middle, they'll be able to utilize Rudy fernandez more cuz they'll go small more. But they also have to figure out what they're going to do with Andre Miller. I'm starting a petition to rename Dec. 15 -- the first day players who signed over the summer can be traded -- Andre Miller day.
Sheri.. What can you tell me about Monta Ellis. Is this for real, he is averaging over 30PPG the last 6 games or do you think he reverts back to his old self??
He's playing in a system that accentuates his talents, and it's no secret that speedy PGs have an almost unfair advantage over playrs at other positions because of the changes in the defendsive rules, i.e. no hand chacking. His turnovers have been high latly, but he's had the ball in his hands, lot, too, and they are a very free-wheeling team. On offensive production alone, he merits serious All-Star consideration at this point in my book.
People always complain about Derek Fisher (including myself at times) and everyone comes up with some point guard for the lakers to trade for who needs the ball in his hands. Doesn't anyone understand that, with the players the lakers have and the offense they run, they dont want some PG dribbling the ball around all of the time with their starting unit?
Well said, Jesse. And some credit is due to the Lakers front office for sticking with him in the role he plays for so long when there have been tempting talents to go after at that position.
Saw Donaghy's 60 minutes interview - What does the fact that he was able to pick against the spread correctly 80% of the time say about NBA officiating in general?
I saw it, too. If he can pick 80 percent winners, he should move to Vegas and make his living that way. The queestion I wanted to hear asked, but which wasn't: What kind of bets was he making -- over/under bets, or picks as they related to the spread? I think it would be easier for a ref to manipulate the over/under than the spread, and I can;t say I believe Donaghy when he says he never manipulated a game to impact one of his bets. That's just too hard for me to believe.
The Pistons are 8-12 after playing the 6th toughest schedule in the league to date while being decimated by injuries. Am I crazy to think this team is the 5th best in the East when fully healthy?
That was some starting five they threw out there yesterday. My problem with them is this when fully healthy, there is still way too much duplication at too many positions. I like Bynum a lot, and Stuckey, too, and you add Hamilton back in that guard mix and you have the same problem you;ve had ever since Chauncey left. which i one of the reasons I believe they'll be an active team at the trade deadline.
Is MSG a black hole? Why can't Mike D'Antoni get anything out of the Knicks? Man, they just look like they never practice. I guess it could be worse, but seriously?!
Jose can you see? The dawn's early light(sorry, couldn't resist) brought the morning paper to your doorstep, and buried behind the Giants and Jets news was the nugget that the Knicks have won three of four after knocking off the Nets yesterday. They are playing a LOT better over the past 2-3 weeks, and the decision NOT to bringIverson aboard seems to have catapaulted their spirits (well, of off them except Nate Robinson). They have a long road to try to reach .500, but .500 probably makes the eighth seed in the East.
Chris, My team is on a 7-game win-streak, they are 4-0 in their latest road trip and some would even say that they are playing fairly well. Why is it that we Bostonians aren't quite as giddy as we were say the 07-08 season when in all honesty, we're more loaded now than then..Please explain my pessimissm?
They were 27-2 last season, right? So the bar was set pretty high, especially with them coming of a title a year ago, and the excitement bar isn't going to get raised until they get on one of those double-digit winning streaks that runs head-on into a couple quality opponents. Only quality victories impress Celtics fans now, which is understandable.
Chris: Have you been watching Mike Beasley lately? He looks like he's improving leaps and bounds, be it getting into the paint or hustling on D. If he continues on course, should the Heat be looking elsewhere (in terms of position) in the off-season?
The Heat have been pretty clear to both Beasley and their fans that this is very much a make-or-break season for him in term of whether he's going to be a part of their revamped roster next season. (Remember, they'll have $22-24ish mill in cap room). If they don't think he's a keeper, that'll impact who they target in free agency, and Beasley will be an asset if a sign-and-trade is an option to acquire a third superstar to [play alongside Wade and LeBron. :)
There's so much talk about Carmelo being a frontrunner for MVP, which is fine though I think his emergence is overblown. Dirk Nowitzki is a guy I think should be getting more attention. His offensive versatility at the 4 position makes him much more of an impact player than Melo. I know its early, but who do you consider to be the top performers this year?
The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not discuss the MVP race before January. That being said, top performers: Kobe, 'Melo, Dirk, Boozer, Nash, LBJ.
Chris, Do you think VC is playing better than expected in Orlando and are you convinced yet he is an upgrade over Hedo?
Yes, and not sure. And I won't answer that second one until I have a 60-game body of work to judge VC on.
What trades, if any, could you see the Cavaliers making this year? Do they aim for a better starting SG (because Parker is a pretty underwhelming starter for a team that wants to win the Finals), some front court help (considering both of their centers are probably not coming back to the team after this year), both, something else entirely?
Probably something minor, maybe an upgrade on Daniel Gibson, maybe they try to get an Andre Miller type if they can get him cheap and include Wally Szczerbiak in a Van Hornesque sign-and-trade. I think they're doing the right thing developing Hickson as somewhat of an outside threat to play alongside Shaq, but I'd also have to hink that they'd move him in a deal that upgraded that spot with another PF with an outside game.
Who is Jerry Collangelo's heir? He's really become quite the figurehead with USA basketball, can they sustain it when he, inevitably, retires?
It's 2009. He's signed up through 2012. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We still don't know what next summer's team will look like for the Worlds in Turkey, and D.Wade seems to be hedging harder that he was before. I'm sure all of the Beijing bunch (except Kidd) will be back for London, but the US hasn't won the worlds in 16 years, and that tourney carries more prestige worldwide than the Olympics do -- all points that Colangelo is using in trying to put the best team he can together for the upcoming summer. the free agency of LBJ, Bosh and wade will impact things, but all should have their business done by mid-August when they get the roster down to 13 or 14 and leave for Europe.
Nate on the trading block? And what is his value around the league?
Nate Robinson is one of thpose rare players who have a trade veto, because if he accepted a trade, he'd be forfeiting his Larry Bird rights, which would allow his current team to exceed the salary cap to re-sign him. He's also a base-year compensation player, which makes trading him even more difficult. (Same case for David Lee). chances are that either or both those players, and/or al harrington, end up elsewhere in sign-and-trades nxt summer.
Now that Chris Paul is back, how soon before he demands a trade out of New Orleans?
Over/under is the Wednesday night prior to All-Star weekend.
I'm finding Ron-Ron surprisingly easy to root for. I've always thought he was an idiot (and I'm not saying he isn't), but it sure is fun having him on your team. The dude busts his butt. Plus, he has accepted his role thus far. I was worried he would be looking to create his own shot too much, but that hasn't happened yet. Do you think this lasts?
I've said it before and I'll say it again: He is a mesmerizing guy to watch, and he's an even more mesmerizing presence now that he's in such a big media capital. The important thing with Ron-Ron is where his head is at in the playoffs, and where his energy is channeled. Fos six games against the Lakers last season when he was with Houston, he was a big reason why that series went to a Game 7. And when he went off the reality charts in the first 6 minutes of Game 7 (not to mention riding the third bus to the game with the owner and sponsors, wearing glorified bozer shorts), the Rockets were cooked. So stay tuned until the end with him, Rob.
So with the US in such a world championship drought, who are the favorites going in?
U.S. and Spain are easy 1-2. Can't see anyone (except perhaps Greece, which could knock off Spain in a semifinal) keeping them out of a renatch of the Beijing gold medal game. FIBA will pick the four wild card teams for the 24-team field next Tuesday, and my guesses are Lithuania, Russia, Senegal and Great Britain.
Who would you say is the most overachieving team in the league? I would say its between Houston and Sacramento.
Gotta include Memphis, Matt.
can BOS beat CLE and ORL in the playoffs without homecourt adv ? PLEASE ANSWER Chris
OK, GABE, SINCE YOU USED ALL CAPS in such an unusual way AND GOT MY ATENTION. The answer is a resounding yes. Orlando would be the tougher game, I'd say.
read a piece on a forum that the Lakers only really "movable" piece would be Adam Morrisson's Expiring Contract (lovingly abbreviated to AMEC).just wondering what kind of deals/player they could pull off for that, or if you think they need to make any moves at all (i think you mentioned Augustin from the Bobcats earlier).also, thoughts on our Artest-Ariza swap? (i'm still torn on this, mind you)
AMEC, eh? Love it. If I'm the lakers, I cal the Nets and see if an AMEC-Keyon Dooling deal interests them.
That's all for now, folks. Will be back online chatting more during the Live Daily Dime during tonight's game in Philly. My prediction on Iverson's point total: 33.