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February 26, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with J.A. Adande

J.A. Adande
  (3:01 PM)

Hi everybody. Hopefully everything is in the right place at the right time this week. Let's go...

Jack (Cincy)

As the rare cleveland basher in ohio, i have one question: Why doesn't anyone believe that the hawks can get to the finals and maybe win? They have a great starting five that can go toe-to-toe with just about anyone! If miami could do it 4 years ago with 2 great players and a bunch of supporters why cant atlanta?

J.A. Adande
  (3:03 PM)

I have the Hawks getting to the ECF and giving the Cavs a tough time. But ultimately I like LeBron + the fact many of his teammates have been to the Finals before more than what the Hawks bring. I believe prior experience is worth one game in a series against a team that hasn't been there before. That'll be the difference for Cleveland vs. Atlanta

Patrick (Los Angeles)

Hey JA,Do you still feel the Lakers are the team to beat? They were the odds on favorites to start the year but even Vegas has shifted their stance and is now favoring Cleveland. Seems Kobe's body isn't holding up over the long haul and the Cavs just keep adding more pieces as the year moves along. Should us Los Angelans be concerned?

J.A. Adande
  (3:05 PM)

You should've been concerned back on Christmas day when the Cavs came into Staples Center and beat the Lakers. Of course we have to see how long Shaq is out and how effective he is when he comes back, but with Shaq able to bang around the Laker big men I'd take Cleveland over L.A. right now.

jim g (Stillwater OK)

J.A. Huge fan, hoping I'm the first question...Thunder...most improved team in the NBA? Contenders in the next ten years? Love the NBA and I truly think the next 5-10 years are the golden years as far as talent evenly distributed around the league...thoughts?

J.A. Adande
  (3:07 PM)

I think they OKC can contend within 3-4 years. It would help if they bring in an experienced vet. Even Shaq and Kobe needed wiser guys like Ron Harper and Robert Horry around to get them over the hump. The Thunder still have a lot to learn...and I agree with you about the talent distribution. I can't remember a time that there are so many different teams I want to watch on League Pass. The question is whether this summer will condense the talent or keep it spread out.

Randall (Dallas)

J.A., what is your take on the new look Mavericks? They looked like a true contender early in the year, faded a bit heading into the break, but now look extremely confident and gritty. Basically, how would you rank the Western Conference elite and what are Dallas' chances of making it out of the west?

J.A. Adande
  (3:10 PM)

It's strange to use the word "gritty" with the Mavs, but you're right. Don't want to make too much of their W over Lakers coming on a back-to-back and off night for Kobe, but doing it without Butler is definitely an example of grit. Love the Haywood addition for the battles with Denver. But I'd still take a Nuggets squad over Dallas if Denver can focus, so Denver is still my No. 2 team in the West

Eric (Auburn, AL)

I know it depends on certain matchups, but who's gonna be the odd man out of Cleveland's playoff rotation?

J.A. Adande
  (3:11 PM)

Looks like it'll be Hickson based on some of Mike Brown's rotations lately. You'll see him out there with Shaq out and Z waiting out his 30 days, but I have to imagine Brown will go with more experienced guys come playoff time.

Basketball Purist (Houston)

I'm trying to figure out why Dwayne Wade never gets mentioned in the same breath as Lebron and Kobe for the game's best player. I mean at least Kobe is accomplished but Lebron doesn't even have a ring yet and every year some columinst is making an excuse for him. Since when did we start anointing people the game best player without any hardware. Even Jordan didn't get those accolades until he beat Magic. Wade's team is far less talented then both Cleveland and L.A. and he still gets them in the playoffs. If he had the teams that those two have he would definitely have the Heat among the top two or three teams in the league competing for a ring. Please respond.

J.A. Adande
  (3:13 PM)

It's simple: you get your due when you play after Memorial Day. Wade hasn't done that since 2006. Melo's getting more accolades now because he was in the conference finals last year. Kobe has been there the past 2 years, LeBron was a game away from making it 3 straight years. Wade's play had him in the convo with Kobe and Bron last year, but he hasn't been on their level consistently this season

Ray A. (San Francisco, CA)

J.A. you da man! Can you please explain to me why the Warriors didn't pull the trigger on the O.J. Mayo-Hasheem Thabeet for Monta Ellis deal? Team gets two young pieces and saves 3 million in cap space.

J.A. Adande
  (3:14 PM)

I'm gonna guess this was submitted before the Griz sent Thabeet to the D-League. If so, you got your answer in the transactions section.

Jason(The Original) (New Jersey)

Hello Adande, what is with the Celtics and their, as usual, second half collapses when ever they have the lead?

J.A. Adande
  (3:15 PM)

We saw last night that when the game slowed in the 4th quarter...as it tends to do...the Celtics weren't effective. Rondo is their best player right now and his game suffers when the lane clogs and the flow slows.

Mastro (ATX)

J.A., LBJ/Bosh/Wade on the same team? What yah think? Im excited even though I know its never gonna happen.

J.A. Adande
  (3:18 PM)

Dream on. No way one of those guys signs up to be No. 3...not in his prime. And there's no way all 3 of them leave that much money on the table.

Drew (Mpls)

Please rate these PG's and would flynn look better not in triangle? Evans, Flynn, Jennings, Curry(if pg), Lawson, Meyer, collison, Rubio (wild card)thanks. also which can be allstar?

J.A. Adande
  (3:20 PM)

Curry would be the best fit in the triangle. I could see Evans, Jennings and Curry as all-stars

J.A. Adande
  (3:20 PM)

Wow, USA is dominating Finland in hockey, up 3-0

Mike (Iowa City)

JA! please put aside the fact and make some assumptions...lets assume that in the summer, LBJ is coming to Chicago....does the City of Chicago, MJ, and the Bulls organization give up the #23, or is that something LBJ needs to sacrifice?

J.A. Adande
  (3:22 PM)

He's already said he wants to give up 23 to honor MJ, so that wouldn't be an issue. Some people see that as a sign he wants to go to Chicago and wanted to get the jersey issue out of the way early. We'll see

Bassy (LA)

What's your thoughts on the NBA not letting Butler chew straws any more? Foolish or legit?

J.A. Adande
  (3:23 PM)

I can understand that. Put it this way: would you want your son playing with a straw in his mouth? Choking hazard

will (slc)

who is your most under rated player in the leauge i want to say D-will

J.A. Adande
  (3:25 PM)

Chauncey Billups. All he does is go to conference finals.

Daniel (Kentucky)

I think it is cheating and unfair that the Cavaliers have and are using the ability to trade a player away knowing that when hes bought out he is gonna return to the team in 30 days. What are your thoughts?

J.A. Adande
  (3:26 PM)

totally disagree. I have more to say about this on Around the Horn and on the video J.A. Adande Lounge here: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4949091

Jacob (Milwaukee)

Why are the Bucks so under-the-radar this year. They are in position to get the 5 seed in the East. They have maybe the top rookie point guard in the leauge in Brandon Jennings, an all-star snub in Andrew Bogut and they just made a trade for John Salmons who when with him, are 5-0 this season.

J.A. Adande
  (3:29 PM)

If Salmons gets back-to-back teams to the playoffs after trades maybe HE should lead the underrated discussion. But I think the Bucks would be get more notice if we thought they could do more damage in the playoffs. There's no team from the bottom half I can see beating a top 4 team in the East

J.A. Adande
  (3:29 PM)

OK, USA-Finland is officially ridiculous. 6-0 USA in the first period

Jameer Nelson (Orlando)

Where have I been this season? Why am I consistently getting outplayed by guys like Shannon Brown, Darren Collison, and Randy Foye all season? How can my career already be regressing?

J.A. Adande
  (3:30 PM)

Injury issues, lack of practice time...and I wonder if there's a hangover effect from his defensive lapse at the end of Game 4 of the Finals. Nick Anderson 2.0?

Pooh BeA (Yonkers, NY)

I'm one of the few Knicks fans who is convinced LeBron and/or Wade isNOT coming to the Knicks. When next season rolls around, who is most likely going to be the face of the Knicks franchise?

J.A. Adande
  (3:31 PM)

Joe Johnson

Michael (Seoul)

What's wrong with the Spurs? Chicken/Egg situation? Bad chemistry causes weird rotations/too much small ball? OR Weird rotations/too much small ball causing bad chemistry?

J.A. Adande
  (3:32 PM)

The system's the same, so I'm going with the chicken. Or would that be the egg? Whatever represents new players not fitting the Spurs culture (especially RJ). And Manu not being himself doesn't help. But if we see that Manu guy who blocked KD the other night show up in the playoffs, watch out.

Joey (Madison, WI)

I'm a Bulls fan, but don't think we get LeBron, Wade, or Bosh next year. What's the outlook for the next few years with a Rose, Noah, Deng core?

J.A. Adande
  (3:33 PM)

What if you added Boozer to that mix? An effective frontcourt scorer...I think that's a second-round playoff team for a while.

Eric (SF)

Hey J.A., what would the warriors do if they got John Wall? Who would they trade Curry or Ellis?

J.A. Adande
  (3:35 PM)

Ellis, no doubt. They'd love to get out of that contract. Having Curry and Wall on rookie contracts for a few years would be a dream for them.

Joey (Minnesota)

Favorite moment of the season?

J.A. Adande
  (3:37 PM)

Single moment: Kobe's 3-pointer vs. Miami, mainly because I happened to be there. Favorite stretch of basketball: LeBron and Wade going back and forth in Miami

Matt (Fort Collins)

Is Utah the worst market in the NBA? Can you imagine how much we'd be hearing about the Jazz as a team if it was New York or LA?

J.A. Adande
  (3:40 PM)

Utah's no worse than Indiana, Sacramento, etc. Basically if it's not NY, LA or Boston they're all the same. At least the Celtics and Lakers are good teams, and the Lakers are proven as the squad that bring the most eyeballs to TV sets. The Knicks haven't mattered for a decade, but we still have to hear about them all the time just because they play in NY.

Jacob (Provo, UT)

If the Suns and Spurs were to meet in the playoffs this season, would the suns finally get the best of the spurs?

J.A. Adande
  (3:40 PM)

Be a little too late, wouldn't it? Kind of like if Russia beat the US in hockey this year. Wouldn't take away 1980.

J.A. Adande
  (3:41 PM)

And yes, my head's in hockeyland right now. Olympic hockey is some of the best sports you'll see. Too bad the NHL product couldn't be more like this. Well, it could if they contracted and got rid of the fighting, but....

Jerel (Gary)

At first I was scared of Billups age, but now I'm not. The biggest thing is his chemistry and by time he retires Lawson will be of age to run a contending team.I think that he will still stay around the team since he is from Denver.

J.A. Adande
  (3:42 PM)

The one thing I'd like to see Billups do more is make sure Carmelo gets fed a little more. They had some stretches last night vs. GS when Melo wasn't getting touches. That shouldn't happen with an MVP candidate. (Same thing went on with Durant in 4th Q vs. Spurs)

mike (san diego)

why would Bosh/lebron/wade leave $30million on the table to go elsewhere? those guys arent leaving via free agency. maybe by a sign and trade, but they arent just giving that money up for nothing.

J.A. Adande
  (3:46 PM)

One thing to keep in mind: they only give up $30 million if they planned on staying with their home teams for the full 6 years. And in their last contracts they decided to go shorter to give themselves this option. I think they'll both sign short to get another shot at free agency in their primes. So if they only sign a 3 or 4 year deal elsewhere, they're looking at, maybe $15 million or so (haven't done the math to get the exact #, but you get the idea). It's still a lot of money, but not as huge as that $30 million figure

Jeff (Chicago, IL)

I understand your comments about the Milwaukee Bucks inability to beat a top 4 seed in a 7 game series, but they were picked to finish dead last ni the Eastern Conference by most "experts". Doesn't that earn you at least a small blip on the radar?

J.A. Adande
  (3:51 PM)

Blip...blip...For some reason that radar talk got me thinking about "Crimson Tide" (I guess technically that would be sonar). But I love this scene:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKf7ONCXu3g&feature=related

J.A. Adande
  (3:52 PM)

Contains a bit of r-rated language

Brent (Utah)

Do you pay much attention to NCAA basketball? March Madness is looming ahead of us.

J.A. Adande
  (3:54 PM)

There are only 2 reasons to watch college basketball: to see who will be good pros, and to get ready for the NCAA tournament. I usually start ramping up my interest in college hoops in February, then go wall-to-wall, multiple TVS + internet during the conference tournaments and early rounds of the Big Dance. The NCAA tournament is one of the best things in sports and they BETTER NOT EXPAND IT

Jacob (NY)

Should the Hornets start from scratch and rebuild, I think that team reached its height two season ago.

J.A. Adande
  (3:55 PM)

They'd like to...but big contracts like Peja's slow down the process.

David (Belfast)

If Lebron/Wade and Bosh go to Chicago, we need to put Mike D'Antoni on suicide watch, not only will Chicago become the favourite for the forseeable future but he could have been coaching not only 2 of the big 3 FAs but also Derrick Rose!

J.A. Adande
  (3:56 PM)

If that happened Mike D's decision would have to go down as the worst in NBA history. The opposite: Phil Jackson passing on the Nets job, then taking the Lakers.

Mike (A-town, Oh)

If you could put together and all-time nba team, assuming all players from every era in their prime, who would your 5 be?? (not just on paper! consider they actually have to play well together)I'd go: PG Nash, SG MJ, SF LeBron, PF Duncan, C Olajuwon(Who is beating that team?)

J.A. Adande
  (3:59 PM)

If I can't have any of the players from your team, I'll take Magic PG, Bird SF, Kobe SG, Kareem C, and Malone PF, for one, and I'll start taking ring sizes for my squad

Fake Kevin Durant (OKC)

You ask why Wade isn't talked about seriously? Ahem, HELLO!!! What about me? Kobe scores less, and his team wins cause he got Pau (and Artest, and Odom, and Bynum, and Fisher/Brown). James? You may be #1 now, but I WILL RULE!!! And Bosh, OKC is a great place! Let's hook up!!!

J.A. Adande
  (4:00 PM)

Same deal...you gotta do it in the playoffs. Durant's great to watch, loads of talent. But he hasn't done anything in this league until he's won playoff rounds. Until then he's T-Mac.

Jim (Chicago)

Wasn't your favorite moment of the season the first time you watched Z's puppet bust out the "wasssssup LeBrooonnnnnnnnnn"?

J.A. Adande
  (4:01 PM)

Close second.

J.A. Adande
  (4:02 PM)

Gotta run. I'll try to pop in the Daily Dime Live chat from my seat at Staples Center tonight (pending successful internet signal) and chat some more there. Have a great weekend.