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November 23, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

Hello all, thanks for stopping by on this busy Holiday week. Let's talk hoops."oh honey, thanks for the coffee".

AJ (ohio)

what do you think of blake griffin and where do you rank him among PF's in the league?

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

He's terrific, will get better, and he has all-star potential this season.

kingkay (los angeles)

what did jeff van gundy see in the heat that he predicted 72+ wins for them

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

I always felt it was a ruse to help his brother. Still do.

Nick (Oak Brook)

What do you want for Christmas?

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

World peace.

avon (baltimore)

Do you still believe that brook lopez is better than derrick rose? fast dont lie

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

I think he has a higher upside, but there is no way to say that he is better now.

Linda (MSP)

Coach, for months last year you warned that Wes Johnson was just going to be a good player, not a great one. I just saw his PER is below 10, and all he does is jack up shots, and miss them. Good call!

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

He'll learn to drive, I hope. Maybe to post up a bit too.

Ryan L (S jersey)

Now that the spurs are more athletic/younger do they have enough to compete with lakers or are they still to small inside ?

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

Great question. Size down low is a problem, unless Splitter can continue to make progress. He can be a "big" help.

Marc (DC)

Do you really think Stephen Curry is a better pg than Rose? Paul, Deron are no-brainers; Nash, Rondo, Westbrook you can make the argument; Curry is just egregious. Rose is easily top 4

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

Rose is amazing. I adore everything about him as a player. Watched him in amazement last week. Maybe the most humble star we have in the league (though KD is similar). For me, I'd prefer a shooter/passer like Curry, period. Easier to pair him with others. Rose, though, is sensational. You can call me dumb for ever-so-slightly preferring Curry, but I won't call you dumb for thinking I'm wrong.

Ben (NYC)

How do you convince a guy like Anthony randolph to not do too much and just focus on rebounding and shotblocking..that would get him PT right?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

It's always been an issue with him. Larry Brown has helped Tyrus Thomas do just that, and look how special he has become.

STEVE (LAKEPORT,CA)

With Bynum coming back are the Lakers better with Odom starting or coming off the bench?

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

I'm not sure it matters much, but Odom off bench has always worked.

Dale (Ann Arbor, MI)

Coach, just wanted to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. I know that my friends and I are so thankful to have your voice and words to help us understand our favorite game. We like Jeff Van Gundy, admire Hubie Brown's old school sayings, chuckle with Chuck, but we live for your spot on analysis. Now if we can get just get a UM guy into your rookie report. :(

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

Thanks, and same to you. Just calling it like I see it.

Heath (Timor-Leste)

Can anyone master the running floater with loads of practise, or is it more to do with a natural ability? I ask both for myself and just because it seems like more people should be working on it. Thanks for all the great stuff Coach!

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

It takes practice, specifically guiding the ball towards the rim if your action is taking you to the side of the floor. Remember, the ball is moving at the same speed and in the same direction as your body, until it's released, so your hand has to send it towards the rim (it's a basic physics lesson).

Dixon (Salina, UT)

Who are the players with the best motors in the NBA, that nobody talks about? Here in Utah I am always amazed how much energy Ronnie Price brings.

David Thorpe
  (12:10 PM)

Love Price. The Thunder announcers talked about Corey Brewer doing this last night (and no, it's not something I've ever helped him with). Kyle Lowry competes at a very high level too.

Travis Y. (Glendale, CA)

What makes the Celtics defense so good? What makes the Lakers defense so good, besides when they care?

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

Everyone knowing their role in every situation, and an attitude or edginess that each player exhibits.

JRod (IL)

Fine I will say it... You are DUMB!

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

Not the first time I've heard that. You may indeed be right.

Travis Y. (Glendale, CA)

What is wrong with the shooting form of Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, and Shaquille? You always hear about how they practice shooting for hours upon hours, lighting it up in the gym. But it never translates long term?

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

My reaction when I hear about guys practicing shooting is that they are practicing missing. I see how broken their mechanics (inconsistent release, poor posture, poor hand placement, etc.) are, and they must be missing a lot each day. The idea is to MAKE lots of shots each day, not just shoot them.

Jason (WI)

Thorpe...got a general question for you. Not particularly basketball related, but I'd still like your input as you are the source I trust most. What should I be eating? How often? If you could just give some general info, I'd really appreciate it (how many meals/snacks a day, when to have proteins vs carbs, etc). Thanks!

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

I'm no expert in this field, though I do have lots of experience eating, and also with players in training. We like our guys to eat 5 or 6 times a day. Tons of fruit and vegetables. Whole grains and beans are great. Avoid sugar and fried foods, and not too much dairy. That, and a good 60 minutes of cardio a day is great for most people, 120 mins a day for athletes.

lebron james (miami)

do you think we're in trouble right now???

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

Only if you do. Stop panicking.

Alex (Paris)

Who's the best rebounder today ?

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

Joakim Noah and Kevin Love. Both amazing out of area rebounders, with a slight edge to Noah for his ability to disrupt every rebound an opponent goes for.

Joe (NY)

Shane Battier had more fg attempts than Martin last night. Do you agree that Martin has to step up and be a number 1 option for the Rockets with all of their guys out?

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

I'm not big on "who's #1 option" because defense dictates much of that. Scola needs lots of touches. But most of the Rockets players just keep shooting, expecting their shots must eventually start falling. Scola and Martin are having career years, almost every other Rocket having career low years.

Josh (Tulsa)

The Thunder haven't been playing much defense since the season started. Is this a product of getting caught up in their own hype (and not giving enough effort), or is the loss of Ron Adams much bigger than originally expected? What do you think the team needs to get back their defensive mojo?

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

Probably a little of both, though I don't think it's hype. They are better on offense, and that has taken some attention from their focus on d. I suspect it will come back.

Chris (California)

Do most teams have a shooting coach, like Engelland with the Spurs? And if not, should they?

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

Most teams do not. I predicted a few years ago that every team will have a development staff of 2-5 guys, solely focused on getting players to play better, by 2015 or so. Many of these guys doing it now are just waiting to be elevated to full time bench assistants, and are not experts at getting guys better.

J (Milwaukee)

I am a big B. Griffin fan, but are they teaching him anything about defense? Seems to me he is playing just like in college where he does not want to pick up fouls but ends up not contesting as athletically and aggressively as someone like him could do.

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

They are a horrid defensive team because they are so young. Blake will be an excellent defender in a few years. He's having fun as a scorer now.

Ricky Rubio (Spain)

Would it be a good idea for me to take my talents to the Twin Cities next season?

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

I think that another year playing over there in that system would be disastrous for you.

Doug (Utah)

David, is Tyreke Evans just a stats on bad teams guy? He can't play at all without the ball and can't get other people involved with the ball. He also doesn't have the athleticism to take the next step and his jump shot's broken.

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

Yes, he is struggling now.

William B. (Granite Bay, CA)

Coach T, I'm a huge Kings fan that drank all the kool aid they served about Tyreke Evans. This year, he just looks terrible. As do they, and I'm not sure what we have to do to fix things. Is there any way you can get Evans down with you this summer? His shot still looks broke to me.

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

Evans will not be coming down here, that's for sure. I heard that he's hurt, but so is every other top scorer. It seems that they are now saying he's more of a 2 than a 1, despite all comments to the contrary last year. That can't be helping him.

Scrooge McDuck (Duckville)

Is Darko really that bad? i don't understand why Kahn took grief for the signing. Money is moderate for a guy who is guaranteed to protect the rim and pass well. And he is still young, to boot. What am I missing?

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

Darko was simply awful to start the year, and so was Minny. He's been much better lately, and so have they. If he can perform to the level of the last few games, it's a smart move to pay him what they are. If not, not so much.

mike (youngstown,oh)

hey thorpe, i thought lebron and wade were too good not to make it work, but is it possible that because they are basically the same player that it will never completely mesh?

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

Wade is learning how tough it is to play with a bad wrist. I think the problem is with the other guys. I do not like how the team is constructed. No young energy guys.

Ken (Ohio)

Hey David! What can i do to achieve more back spin on the ball with my jumpshot? Is hand size an issue with this?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

Snap your wrist, and feel the ball leave your index and middle fingers.

Kshiz (Chicago)

Al-Farouq Aminu - next Luol Deng?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

Better shooter at that age, poorer defender.

Mike (Portland)

What do you do with Oden?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

Honestly, I'd start talking to him about learning how to be a coach. I think throwing him right back to rehab is a mistake. That is a grueling process. He needs to be happy first, then start back to work.

Bert (NYC)

The Spectrum gets demolished today - what was your fondest memory of the Spectrum?

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

None. Hated the Sixers growing up.

Disco (Chicago)

Are Darko and Beasley playing so well b/c nothing is expected of the Twolves other than losing?

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

No. They are fitting into the system and have lots of talent.

Matt (San Antonio)

I know Jack is a solid pickup for New Orleans who can play both guard positions, and I know there are a lot of expiring out there...but with Peja's higher salary couldn't New Orleans have held out for more of an impact player than Jack? Just don't see him making a massive difference.

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

i rarely disagree with Hollinger, but I thought they could have gotten a better player than JJ>

Jobin (Hawaii)

The Warriors are staring to slide. Is it the loss of D Lee?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

That, and Ellis is coming back to earth some.

David (DC)

How about those Spurs? Is any offense more fun to watch right now with Parker and Ginobili performing so well?

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

i love how they carve up teams.

Robert Manjarrez (Las Vegas, NV)

It's early, but where do you put Pau Gasol in the MVP discussion? I think he's the best player in the deepest, most talented team in the league. To me, he's the MVP...even doing better than Kobe this year. Your thoughts, sir?

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

He's right in the hunt.

Brian (Chicago)

Do you see Taj Gibson as possible 6th Man of the Year once Boozer comes back?

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

Not if he stays hurt, and probably not anyway. But he's an excellent player. A starter for many teams.

kshiz (Chicago)

True or false: Orlando should make a trade for Gilbert Arenas?

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

false.

Cosmo (Anytown, USA)

I'm a Sixers fan now and I hate them. Is there any chance they can build a winner around Holiday and Turner - or does one of them have to leave?

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

I don't like them together, but I'm willing to give it time.

Az (Chicago)

Did you see Taj Gibson's 17pts and 18rebs. Also his great defense on a red hot Dirk at the end of the game. If you had sophmore rankings he would have to be in the top 5 right?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

Should be doing one soon.

JASON (CHI CITY)

How's Boozer gonna fit with my Bulls?

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

He's going to be fine, an excellent option to play with both Rose and Deng, and Noah's passing ability will make for some great hi-low actions. Noah helped Horford a ton in college with those sets.

kshiz (Chicago)

For Andrea Bargnani: Can rebounding be taught?

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

of course.

Robert (Brooklyn)

Who has to most complete team right now Boston, Lakers, or Spurs

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

LakersSpursBoston

Steven (RI)

Shannon Brown has improved so much, why?

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

Great coaching, great work ethic and attitude.

suny (israel)

what do you think the phoenix suns should do ? everybody know that the suns going nowhere this season, so why not let steve nash and grant hill to move on to contender team (nash to atlanta seems to look great idea)? i think the suns should start think in the way of rebuilding and good lottary posision in the draft..

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

I agree totally.

Robert (Brooklyn)

How would you approach defending Rondo?

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

I'd pressure him a lot and not help much. Make him score 30+ in the paint.

jordan (sf)

what do the kings need to do to get better?DMC is just not looking good at all!

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

They need an identity.

Steve (Houston)

Coach Thorpe, you rarely post questions about Kevin Martin and I know why. But he's currently #4 for all sg's in PER and we don't give him the ball a ton. Do you ever think what he'd be like with a more talented team like Chicago?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

Sometimes, not often. Houston is a great franchise and he seems happy there (just not right now). His job is to wake up each day and try to get better, and then help Houston play as good as they can. I'm pleased that he's bouncing back from wrist surgery and the trade.

Bradford (Raleigh, NC)

What do you think of Derrick Brown? Aggressive to the rim, crashing the boards... He needs more minutes right?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

He's a dynamic athlete for sure. I'd like to see him play more, yes.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who do you think will be the 2010-2011 NBA Rookie of the Year?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

99% chance it's Griffin or Wall.

Scott (Santa Barbara, CA)

How good is the Clippers young core of Griffin, Gordon, Aminu, and Bledsoe going to be?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

They could be very good, no question.

edizz1e (Queens, NY)

Is Cousins ceiling really that high? I just don't see it.

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

Indeed it is.

edizz1e (Queens, NY)

What are you getting your kids for Christmas?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

Nothing, but Hanukkah will be a fun time.

Robert (Brooklyn)

It seems that Lebron doesn't have the killer instinct to lead a team to a championship. Im thinking of championship teams having at least one leader that wanted to crush their opponent do or die. What do you think

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

It's the craziest thing I've ever heard. Who played that role for the 4 time champs in SA, Mr. Robinson, Duncan, or Manu? Three of the nicest guys in the league.

Gus (Chicago)

If JR Smith is still on the trading block, do you see any teams out there that would be a great fit to be able to handle his personality, and benefit from his scoring potential, so he can realize his potential?

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

I'd love to see him in your town. TT would make him play right.

Jon (NYC)

If Gallinari continues to get to the line the way he has over the past few weeks, does it alter the projection of his ceiling? 31 points on 11 shots is nothing to sneeze at, even if it was against the Clippers...

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

It sure does. He's better than he realizes.

Brendan (St. Louis)

Based on his limited play so far this year, what do you think Splitter needs to improve to be a key contributor for the Spurs come playoff time?

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

Defensive rebounding.

Justin (Los Angeles)

Are you ready yet to admit that you under-rated Eric Gordon? If you ever entered a 12 step program you would have to apologize to him.

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

He has improved a lot, for sure. What did I say that was so bad about him?

George Karl (Denver)

So you think that "THe Great" Tom Thibodeau can get JR Smith to act like a grown up when I couldn't?Sometimes Thorpe you should pull your head out of your rear and acknowledge the word incorrigible applies to some players

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

Not a knock on George at all, he's done a great job. But Smith, if moved again, would have no choice but to realize it's his last stop.

Michael (Milwaukee)

Do you see Larry Sanders ever being an impact player?

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

No. Solid at best.

AtlKnicksFan (Atl)

"Snap your wrist, and feel the ball leave your index and middle fingers."Sometimes you give just brilliant advice. By which I mean, of course, that I agree with you :) By coincidence, I've recently focused on doing precisely that and the difference it's made... it's like I started to wonder:what was I doing all that time before?Oh, a question: why is Felton so bad on the PnR? Can it be taught at this level, at this stage of his career?? Thank you! Happy holidays

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

Thanks, but asking me that question is like asking a plumber how to tighten a faucet. I've been teaching shooting longer than most NBA players have been out of diapers. Yes, PnR can be taught. Drills and tape watching help.

Robert (Brooklyn)

What do you think of Billy Hunters 99% lockout prediction

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

I think that comment appears on the "Negotiating a New CBA" manual, page 65.

edizz1e (Queens, NY)

Who would win in a foot race? Rondo, rose, westbrook, aaron brooks, barbosa, lebron?

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

You forgot Wall and Bledsoe.

RB (Chicago)

Would you reteach Noah his jumpshot? Is it worth it for the short-term regression?

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

Yes. When I had him for 2 weeks, we worked on balance, getting his right hand to really extend, and to hold his follow thru. I think he could learn to freeze his off hand in a month or less.

Kris (Oxnard, CA)

Since we're quoting "chick" movies (It's Complicated), please give "Home for the Holidays" a try. Surprisingly effective, and a good Thanksgiving double feature with "Planes, Trails and Automobiles."

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

Good call!! Alec Baldwin delivered that line perfectly. As for "chick movies", let me say this-for those of us both married to a woman and parenting a daughter, we better learn to enjoy movies about more than kung fu, blood, car crashes, and death.

Terry (Madison)

What is the biggest surprise of the NBA season to you thus far?

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

Hornets success, Miami failures.

eric (brooklyn)

re: guarding rondo. why would you pressure him without help defense? it seems to me that that would allow him to get to the paint, where he would not only score, but create opportunities for his teammates. why not back off, deny his penetration, and allow him to shoot the jumper?

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

Backing off is not effective at all, unless Rondo chooses to shoot, which he rarely does. Trust me. You have to pressure quick guys.

Justin (Los Angeles)

Can you do me a favor and work with Griffin on his free throw shooting. He has a hitch were he snaps his wrist right before shooting. It's not a fluid movement and I believe you could do the lad wonders. Thanks in advance.

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

Now you are just quoting my twitter feed.

Disco (Chicago)

Who's the one NBA player you'd tell students to emulate for jump shooting? Ray Allen?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Maybe him, maybe Korver, definitely JJ.

Jay (IL)

kung fu, blood, car crashes, and death? You forgot boobs.

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Yes, I've been out of high school for a bit.

bo (orlando)

Is there anyway the Magic make a trade this year. They have too many assets but not enough pieces to bring home a title.

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

I think they are an interesting team to follow in that regard.

Andy (NJ)

Is Derrick Favors an all star caliber talent

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

Probably.

Chad (Auburn Hills)

Backing off Rondo gives him room to operate.Rondo with room to operate = HAVOC!!!

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

Exactly.

mike (minneapolis)

Coach - saw you at the Wolves/Clippers game...the game you saw Darko was good on D but bad on O - thoughts on his last 2 outings? Can he be the 3rd big along with Love and Beasley for the foreseeable future?

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Only if he plays with more passion on most nights. I'm rooting for him.

john (ohio)

How will Dampier help the Heat if any?

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Maybe on the boards a bit, but probably not for awhile.

Brian Keats (Toronto)

Sonny Weems is looking like an NBA player. Mirage?

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

Not at all. I loved him this summer.

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

That's it for this week. Thanks for the great questions. I'm at David B. Thorpe on Facebook, and @coachthorpe on twitter. Hope you all have a great week, and please take the time to tell the people most important to you that you love them. Make Thanksgiving a special day!!