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April 23, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with J.A. Adande

  (3:14 PM)

Hang in there folks. We're working on getting J.A.

  (3:18 PM)

Hey gang...J.A.'s at Thunder practice. He'll be here to chat at the top of the hour.

J.A. Adande
  (4:02 PM)

Welcome folks. Sorry for the delay, I was out at Thunder practice, and you all know how tough it is trying to get through this Oklahoma City Traffic. (OK, so not really. Do they even have traffic reporters in this town?) Didn't mean to capitalize traffic. But just realized Traffic would be a great nickname for an NFL team in L.A if we ever get one.

Tyler (Ames,Ia)

J.A. how do you feel about the Bulls performance against the Cavs last night and do you think that they have a shot to tie this series up and possibly even take this series if they play like they did last night?

J.A. Adande
  (4:03 PM)

Tie? Yes. Take? No. Let's be real. Can you envision the Bulls wining 3 of the next four games from the Cavs? LeBron isn't having that. Not sure how many more times the Bulls will get 58 points from Hinrich and Rose again, either.

Tom (Seattle, WA)

J A, Russell Westbrook dominated Derek Fisher over the last three games... I really think at some point Kobe Bryant has to guard Westbrook and stop him. What do you think with the idea Kobe guarding Russell?

J.A. Adande
  (4:05 PM)

Kobe has worked well on the likes of Iverson and Bibby when taking over in the past. But if we haven't seen the same Kobe on offense, what makes you think we can just assume he's the same Kobe on defense? He's struggling enough with his shot as is. I wouldn't ask him to guard Westbrook and use more energy and risk fouls as well.

Scott Skiles (Milwaukee)

Why was I robbed of the Coach of the Year Award? All I did was lead a team to a 46-36 record (4 games back of the Thunder) and the 6th seed of the playoffs that was predicted to finish close to the basement in the Eastern Conference.

J.A. Adande
  (4:06 PM)

Skiles did a great job. But if you're talking robbery, we need to get the Justice Department on the case of Jerry Sloan going 2 decades without a COY award. He earned it this year as much as any

Jim (Ottawa)

Last year, the Cavs posted the best record and turned out to be about the 5th best team in the league in the playoffs. I think they are a great young team that plays with enthusiasm and energy during the regular season, giving their best every night. As a result, they don't have a playoff gear to go to when the post season arrives. More experienced teams (Don't say Old!) pace themselves during the regular season and then play all out in the postseason. Do you think the Cavs (admittedly a great team already) will be able to find a playoff gear and be able to respond to the greater intensity of the more experienced teams they will face in the playoffs? Or will this postseason be a mirror of last year's?

J.A. Adande
  (4:08 PM)

I completely agree with you that teams that max out all regular season have nowhere to go in the playoffs. But we differ in that I don't think the Cavs fall in that category. They had plenty of games where they played only 10-15 minutes of good ball, just enough to get the victory. There's plenty of room for them to play more consistent games beginning to end in the playoffs.

Jd (Orlando)

can Vince Carter be that game changer in a ECF against the Cavs? can the Magic beat them in a series?

J.A. Adande
  (4:09 PM)

Can't have the second scenario without an answer to the first question. The Magic staked their season on the notion that Vince CAN do it when it matters most. I can only go with the known, and that is that we haven't seen him do it before.

Clay D NY [via mobile]

After watching the NFL Draft I realize it's too bad that NBA teams don't have the same chance as NFL and MLB franchises to turn around fortunes from year to year. Hopefully you can tell me I'm wrong, or can you?

J.A. Adande
  (4:11 PM)

It's not the draft that turns NFL teams' fortunes around, it's the weighted schedule. What if Memphis didn't have to play the Lakers, Nuggets or Mavericks next season...wouldn't you love their chances of getting a high playoff seed?


Who is more vulnerable the Lakers or Cavs?

J.A. Adande
  (4:12 PM)

Lakers. Even though their loss (and close win in Game 2) came against a worse team, at least their superstar looks more like his peak self.

Peter (Chicago)

Do the Bulls go after a SG or PF this summer? What is a more glaring need?

J.A. Adande
  (4:13 PM)

They need a big man, a guy who can get them buckets in the post

Tim (Roanoke, VA)

Please shed some light on why coaches and players are not allowed to critique officiating. I have been watching the NBA for over 30 years and the officials are usually down right terrible. They never call 3 seconds or walking. If you are headed toward the basket and you are a superstar, you will be heading to the line. I probably don't have to tell you anything, you probably already know all of this. But, IMO, if the officials they should be talked about and reprimanded just like a coach, player, GM, owner, etc. Thanks for any insight you can provide.

J.A. Adande
  (4:16 PM)

David Stern went off on this last night, using the final question of his media session to put the coaches on blast and warn them if they squawked about the officials anymore this postseason they could get suspended. Stern says when the caoches harp on the officials it leads fans to have doubts about the officials' integrity (as if the Donaghy scandal or the league's public announcements of missed calls didn't do that already).I still believe if you want to let the fans feel the process is fair the officials should have to face the media and be held just as accountable as the coaches and players

William (NY)

A moment of silence please for Guru from Gangstarr...

J.A. Adande
  (4:17 PM)

Actually, the opposite. I'm listening to a Guru/Gangstarr tribute mix from my boy DJ Jesse De La Pena right now


Who is in control Of the lakers Phil or Kobe because as I was watching that game I said kobe needs to be stopped from taking these ridiculous shots...hil obviously noticed this but never changed the game planand it was not until Kobe failed did he start passing to the open man (artest+fisher) but by then it was laready too late...thoughts?

J.A. Adande
  (4:18 PM)

The last time Phil crossed Kobe he wound up out of a job. I think he learned his lesson. But you'd think Kobe would have played enough ball to know on his own when he's hurting the team more than helping it

Joe (NYC)

Hey JA, you know that the weighted schedule only applies to TWO games per season, right? That's not what makes bad teams turn around.

J.A. Adande
  (4:23 PM)

That's 12.5 percent of the season. It's equal to 10 NBA games. Plsu they rotate non-divisional opponents. If you catch a break and get to face, say the NFC West, your schedule can look dramatically different from the year before. The NBA has nothing remotely like that. And getting back to the question that spawned that, the NBA draft affords a better chance for a quick turnaround than the NFL draft. How quickly did Peyton Manning turn around the Colts?

Brian (Providence)

Correction JA; Kobe wasn't hurting LA last night. He was KILLING them!

Jim (Akrowdy)

So tell me why Bulls cant beat the Cavs? Huge Cavs fan but the last two games have left me petrified. Cavs can't stop dribble penetration and have zero inside game. Unless Shaq gets 5 years younger or Mo Williams becomes Gary Payton, those two problems aren't going away.

J.A. Adande
  (4:26 PM)

Have we seen the Cavs play a complete game yet, one with Mo and Shaq and Delonte all clicking? The Bulls have been playing near their peak more than the Cavs over the past 2 games, and Cleveland still has the series lead

Peter North (Boston, Ma)

Celtics-can they beat the Cavs? gotta admit, they look great now

J.A. Adande
  (4:27 PM)

They're playing a one-man team. Boston's lack of depth will be a bigger issue against Cleveland

J.A. Adande
  (4:29 PM)

Bynum had a suggestion this morning: try going high-low, with one big man feeding the entry pass to another. They've done it a couple of times this series and it gets them layups. But it's not coming from their standard sets. Time to mix it up some

Greg (SoPo, Maine)

As a C's fan at first Iwas annoyed at how long between games. But I'm glad the Celts didn't play last night, Should be a real eye opener watching the Lakers and Cavs loose. Think they go 3-0 with KG back?

J.A. Adande
  (4:30 PM)

If any team needs the extra rest it's Boston. I still don't see them sweeping,so Miami takes Game 3

J.A. Adande
  (4:31 PM)

BTW, for everyone panicking in Lakerland, have you seen the stat that the Lakers have lost game 3 the past 5 times they've led 2-0, but went on to win the series each time

J.A. Adande
  (4:31 PM)

Also, Phil Jackson is 51-1 in series in which he has led at any point.

Dan (Los Angeles)

The Lakers lost came against a worse team? Are you saying the Bulls are better than the Thunder? Are you kidding me. The bulls were barely .500 and the Thunder won 50 games, plus they have a top 5 player in the league. Sometimes you analyst just kiss so much of the cavs and Lebron James butt

J.A. Adande
  (4:33 PM)

Sorry, the way I answered that earlier question was misleading (poor pronoun use). I meant to say the CAVS' loss was to a worse team.

Jessica (Montreal)

I'm not a Kobe fan but people need to show the man some respect. They weren't flipping out when he led them to 4 rings and shouldn't criticize him for a few bad games- or even if the lakers don't win this year.

J.A. Adande
  (4:35 PM)

You know how it is...whatcha done for me lately?

Ryan (CT)

JA-how scary do the Suns look right now, especially if Lopez can come back next round? And Amare better not get a suspension for that "elbow" last night...

J.A. Adande
  (4:37 PM)

Let's not get carried away. The Suns are beating a team without its best player. We overreacted to Game 1, when I think that was more about the Suns than the Blazers. Portland had that game played the way the Blazers wanted and Phoenix still had a chance to tie late.

Jim (Akrowdy)

Maybe its my inner North East Ohio in me but I hope you're right. Cleveland fans are inherently pessimistic and with good reason. We're always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Lebron is the only Cleveland player in my lifetime who you literally expect to win each time he's playing. I still have doubts after the last two games as to whether this team will click or not though.

J.A. Adande
  (4:39 PM)

I love when teams have to combat their fans' own angst in addition to the opponent. Saw it with the NY Rangers in the 94 Stanley Cup, best example I've seen in person. Everyone in the building was waiting for something to go wrong on that last faceoff in the Rangers' zone. Can you imagine the tension in the Q if the Cavs face a game 7?

mat (los angeles)

nuggets or jazz tonight?

J.A. Adande
  (4:40 PM)

Jazz. But series is a loooong way from over

drew (vegas)

People are sleeping on the Hawks. I know they are playing a Bogut-less Bucks team, but I'd take their big 3 over any other teams top 3 (JJ, J Smoove, Horford) and they have some nice pieces to compliment them (Crawford, ZaZa, Bibby). Any chance they come out of the East?

J.A. Adande
  (4:42 PM)

They've struggled with the Magic and can't get past the Cavs. I still say no, Josh Smith's great play notwithstanding.

J.A. Adande
  (4:42 PM)

(Man, this Guru mix is getting good)

Brian (Providence)

BONUS QUESTION: What was the one series Phil lost after taking the series lead? (hint; it was with LA)

J.A. Adande
  (4:43 PM)

Vs. the Suns in 06 after going up 3-1

Khloe Kardashian (Los Angeles, CA)

Hey J.A., Have you seen my husband Lamar anywhere? He said he was going to the Playoffs but whenever I watch the games he seems to be missing? Any idea what happened to him?

J.A. Adande
  (4:45 PM)

You shouldn't have married an NBA player if you're going to be worrying about his whereabouts all the time. Seriously, at this point I think it's just negative momentum for Odom. Things aren't going right, so he doesn't see a way for them to turn around. Part of it is the Thunder's great interior defense. He isn't getting easy layups to build confidence, so you see him struggling to get it going from outside.

Ryan (Los Angeles)

JA- Why does it seem like people at ESPN never give the Bulls a legit chance to land a TOP star this summer? There are no teams with money to spend that offers what the Bulls currently have! Star youg PG, budding center and a great cast of role players. This is the place for Chris Bosh to sign and become the face of the Bulls, along with Rose.

J.A. Adande
  (4:48 PM)

Don't make the mistake of basing your forecasts on pure basketball logic (can't believe I just wrote that, but this is the NBA). Bosh would be a great fit in Chicago, but the word is that he wants to be somewhere South. One thing the Bulls can't offer is warm weather.

Brendan (St. Louis)

How dangerous can the Spurs be if Duncan keeps playing at this level and Jefferson consistently produces?

J.A. Adande
  (4:51 PM)

Jefferson is the key. Duncan will do what he does, but he can't carry them. That's on Ginobili. Add in another 20 or so from Jefferson and it transform them from what appeared to be an overmatched team in Game 1, to a team that carried most of Game 2. You really think the Suns want a hot Spurs team with all of the previous ghosts they bring with them?

Andrew (tallahassee)

so, being a sports reporter, is Oklahoma City REALLY that much of a cowboy town? How is the city life there?

J.A. Adande
  (4:53 PM)

Put it this way: we got here late Wednesday night, and the only dining options we had were Sonic or Hooters. it's not a Cowboy town, it's a bison town. There are bison statues, paintings and reliefs everywhere

Christopher (Germany)

Best first-round-series so far and in total? I thought Boston-Miami, so what do I know?

J.A. Adande
  (4:54 PM)

I've loved Denver-Utah so far. Game 2 was my favorite of the playoffs. And let's hear it for their high scores. Celts-Heat, meanwhile, has been unwatchable at times.

Andy (NYC)

Isn't the fact that Kobe's struggling with his shot more reason for him to play Westbook on D? He should focus on d and with him and Artest slowing down Westbrook and Durant, the Thunder would have no way to score and on offense he can be more of a facilitator and let Gasol and Bynum dominate inside. When they've done that they've crushed OKC. When they haven't... let's just say they've gotten different results

J.A. Adande
  (4:57 PM)

So you're saying Phil should intentionally wear down Kobe so he's too tired to shoot? Interesting. I will say, the problem for those who say Phil should bench Kobe is that the Lakers fell apart without him at the end of the first and third quarters when he came out. If Phil had more confidence in his reserves he probably would keep Kobe out longer. But he played him 42 minutes last night, including the entire 4th

J.A. Adande
  (4:57 PM)

So you're saying Phil should intentionally wear down Kobe so he's too tired to shoot? Interesting. I will say, the problem for those who say Phil should bench Kobe is that the Lakers fell apart without him at the end of the first and third quarters when he came out. If Phil had more confidence in his reserves he probably would keep Kobe out longer. But he played him 42 minutes last night, including the entire 4th

Moe (Minneapolis)

The Magics are having this quite swag to them real early this last two games but before the playoffs I thought the Bobcats would show some swag themselves. They're a really good home team with nice defense, you think they can pull a pair of wins or are they done!

J.A. Adande
  (4:58 PM)

They can get 1 -- remember how much Orlando struggled in the first round last year? - but I don't see them getting two. It's much easier for me to see the Thunder winning a second game this weekend.

Matt (State College)

It really hurts us Hawks fans that you backed us all year and bailed when the playoffs started. You're like the anti-Hollinger.

J.A. Adande
  (4:59 PM)

Actually, my rationale was very Hollinger-like. Had to go with the data, couldn't let my feelings or my earlier statements prevail over the facts.

Heath (Dallas)

The NBA should invoke the Robert Horry exception. Horry should be eligible to sign with either team of his choosing in the NBA finals and can only come in with four minutes left in the game.

J.A. Adande
  (5:00 PM)

Good plan, but you'd have a tough time getting the Kings, Pistons, Sixers and Blazers t vote for it.

J.A. Adande
  (5:01 PM)

That'll do it for this week. have to run, lots of work to get to. Thanks for showing up in the time-shifted chat. Enjoy the playoffs. R.I.P. Guru