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November 30, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

Hi Sportsnation, hope you all had a great holiday. It's always nice to take a timeout and connect with family and friends. Now, back to work!! I tried doing some chats without opera, and just didn't feel like myself. So I have Faust's "Spohr" playing loudly in my office-let's rock!"He just wandered out on the floor!!!" (not a comedy but a great line).

jd (philly)

any chance the sixers move iguodala after december 15th? are cleveland or houston the most likely destinations?

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

Yes, and yes. He fits well in Houston next to Brooks and Martin since both of them are scorers and Iggy is a playmaker.

Bret (Michigan)

Can LB and DW coexist? History to back it up?

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

Yes, of course. Not as they used to play, but evolving into great partners.

Bob (Chicago)

Besides time and basketball maturity, what piece(s) do the Clippers need to add to their young core of Griffin, Gordon, Aminu and Bledsoe? What time frame should they be aiming for to make their run w/that core? Thanks, David

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

Outside shooting for one. Shot blocking five would be nice. But either way it's a terrific young core. i love watching them play actually.

Bradley (Tilburg, Netherlands)

Was reading Amare's comments about never being taught Defence. If he is able and willing to develop offensive moves over his career, why hasn't he tried to improve it at any stage of his career? Or isn't it as simple as seeking out a coach or someone in the off season to help him with it?

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

Players rarely ask for defensive help. Ultimately it's on Amare, but I'm not surprised by his comments. He's still playing right? So let's see if he gets better.

Joel (San Antonio)

Two questions: 1.) can my spurs win it all? and 2.) does that macri guy really work with you? how did he luck out?

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

Yes, I think so. And yes, he has been a big help to me for years. He constantly emailed me (in the days before facebook) and I invited him to participate in some of my summer workouts years ago. He's terrific.

Jason (Portland, OR)

Could bringing Lebron to Miami backfire for Wade if the Heat decide that they need to move either James or Lebron? Since I would assume they would keep James over Wade.

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

Not backfire. But it could fail. Doubt they would ever move Wade.

Facebook friend (Cyperspace)

David, thanks for answering some questions for me on Facebook about coaching. I appreciate it. Do you miss roaming the sidelines?

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

My pleasure. Facebook is a great way for me to answer those types of questions so many people can see my answers. I'm at David B. Thorpe on it. And yes, I miss the strategic aspect of coaching a great deal. I loved that part of it.

Ben (Halifax, Canada)

Hey Coach, Ed Davis hasn't played yet, but what do you think of the Raptors young guys in general. Weems has had flashes,and although he's struggled by times, DeRozen looks like he could be a player. Any thoughts or specific evaluations?

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

Davis is expected to return this week, I'm excited to see him. I love Weems and DD is improving some. Both should be solid players, at least.

Josh (Colorado)

After being in and out of the doghouse and playing major minutes the other night vs the suns, do you think a market for JR Smith will open up before the trade deadline?

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

I do. He's still a special scorer.

celia bruz (brooklyn)

It's unrealistic to expect a newly formed team to come out swinging. Give the Heat time, let them find their unique rhthym. It will be a beautiful thing. oh, yeah!

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

I tend to agree.

CJ (San Diego)

Can Kyrie Irving develop into a top-5 PG in NBA? What kind of things does he have to work on?

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

The league is so filled with great to spectacular pg's. Tough to crack that group.

John (Indiana)

From your past chats I am still struggling to understand how you can possibly think Rondo and Stephen Curry is better than D. Rose. If you put either of them on the Bulls, that team will win much much less.

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

Let me put it this way-when asked yesterday (off the record) by an espn colleague to name my top 5 pg's, in terms of who is playing best at that position, Rose made the list. I'm not that dumb. I leave him off my personal list of who I'd most like to have as my point guard. However, he'd be high on a list of scoring guards that I can play with a tall pure pg. I absolutely love Rose, and have said so for a year.

sam (my bed)

hey d rose hater. i know you dont have him as a top 5 point guard but would you say hes a top 10 player?

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

That's a better question. Probably not, but he's close. And he could get there soon.

Dexter (PDX) [via mobile]

Seems like there are a lot of great young coaches in the league (Monty Williams, Scott Brooks, etc.). Who's most likely to move into that upper echelon someday?

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

I like Brooks a lot. Too early for Monty.

TR (Germany)

Is Chris Bosh an overrated good-stats-on-a-bad-team guy?

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

No.

Chris (Fort Worth)

David, thanks for all the insight. What is wrong with Caron Butler? He lost all that weight getting fit in order to gain quickness, and in theory become more able to get past guys on his way to the rim, yet I still see him jacking up jumpers night in and night out.

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

He scored 11 straight last night, all over Battier on jumpers. Looked great to me.

Dustin (NC)

How much better is Orlando if the get Carmelo in a trade and can sign him for max contract?

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

Depends who they move for him, but likely they get much better.

Rachel (Hattiesburg)

Hi David! Ive been waiting for Warrick to become a starter and now he has a chance. Do you think he will remain a starter the rest of this season? Thanks!

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

I've been a fan of his for years. And yes I do.

Mark (Long Beach)

Glad D Lee is back for the W's. Do you think the Warriors pick it up where they left off before David's injury?

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

Probably. They have an interesting mix of talent.

a mom ( FL)

Hi Coach Thorpe. I've never read your chats before, but my husband has ever since you coached our son in little league baseball a few years ago. I just wanted every one of your readers to know that you are exactly the kind of man in person that you are in these chats. To this day, we use lessons in parenting our children that we learned watching you coach our team. My son has continued to play baseball, but since we moved we're in a different league, and we've never had a coach who compared to you. Thanks for helping all us moms raise good boys. And just so you know, we all had a secret crush on the handsome coach who sounds just like Vince Vaughn.

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

Thanks so much for this message. All of us who volunteer hope to help each young boy as much as we can. Funny Vince Vaughn story-this year an umpire came up to me between innings and said "I know you know who you sound like, but it's a pain because I keep listening to you instead of focusing on the game because I keep waiting to hear something funny". He's still waiting.

Shawn (Rochester, MN)

Hi David. Do you think the Wolves can build around Beasley & Love? Or is this Love/Jefferson part II, where the two best players are both PFs that can't defend together?

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

There is no reason at all they these guys should be unable to play solid d.

Craig (Trenton, NJ)

What are you hearing about Melo? I read somewhere the Nuggets are allowing the Nets to build up a bad record to make the pick they send to Denver in a trade for Melo as low as possible.

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

I think Denver will wait as long as they can to see if he'll sign the extension, and if he doesn't by mid-January, then I'll start paying attention to the trade rumors.

Matt (San Antonio)

What in the world is going on in Sacramento? PW obviously can't control these guys and has never been known as a great x's and o's guys. With such a young team don't they need someone who can develop them as players as well as people? Is there any coach willing to go there with all the uncertainty surrounding the arena and possible relocation?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

Isn't this their 5th coach in 5 years? Adelman, Muss, Theus, Natt, and now PW. All failed. Who answers to that?

Esref Güner (Istanbul (Turkey))

What's wrong with James Harden? I expected him to be one of the most improved players this year. I still do. Not enough minutes for Harden, Aldrich and Maynor is a concern?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

Hard to improve a lot in limited minutes. Thabo is very good.

Esref Güner (Istanbul (Turkey))

Who do you think will the most dominant big man for the next ten years? A) Roy Hibbert B) Al Horford C) Joakim Noah

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

Noah. Did anyone see his 2nd half against the Kings? He defended everyone.

Gabe (Jersey)

How good can this Bulls team be with Boozer coming back? They just finished the "circus trip" going 4-3. 2 of the losses (Spurs, Lakers) came off blown Double digit leads (which i don't think would have happened w/ Boozer in the line up) and the other loss to Denver came on a last second shot in a Game Rose didn't play in.

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

They can be very, very good. Maybe great.

Jake (Orlando)

Your thoughts on the new Amway Center? I can only imagine player intros in that place for All Star Weekend 2012.

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

It's awesome.

David Stern (Planet Earth)

I know it's not good for any league to go on a lockout, but these guys have been overpaid for the lst 10+ years and now were trying to cut their salaries and they're acting like little children...These guys make ridiculous amount of money are these kids really that selfish?

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

Are we talking about the owners, the league, or the players?

Mike Jensen (Utah)

David we are facebook friends now answer my question does d-will have a good argument for MVP so far this season

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

No he does not.

Chris (NYC)

Why does everyone give the Heat so much time to evolve together but in the same breath everyone has already dismissed the Knicks as a 500 team?

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

Great question, and I don't know the answer totally. But one reason is the Knicks don't have three-all-stars trying to learn how to play together.

Jon (Iowa City)

Did you see Derrick Rose's crossover on Tyreke Evans? Thoughts?

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

I saw it live. Spectacular, though beating Evans off the dribble isn't so hard. Then again, who can't Rose beat off the dribble?

Julius (Atlanta)

I like your chats, enjoy the short answers you give. In April, do you still see Celtics and Lakers in Finals. Please don't say only time will tell or any smart response like that, what does your gut tell you, please?

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

My gut tells me it's foolish to predict things that have so many variables in place. I can guess that the weather in Clearwater will be in the 70's in April, but I would not dare to say it will be 78 or 79.

PJ (Boston)

Have the Grizzles given up on Thabeet? Can't they trade him? He's 7'3"!

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

It's just a sad sad story.

Chris (Brooklyn)

Hey David Russell Westbrook has picked up where he left off in the Lakers series last year will he get the max extension and do we let Jeff Green walk.

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

He is headed for a monster deal, to be sure. Green gets traded is my guess.

Wayne (Greenfield)

Can the Pacers become a true contender with Granger as "the man" he would be fine as 2nd fiddle but just don't see hin as a championship type leader.

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

Depends who the other two are.

scott (chicago)

If Tim Duncan and Lebron James had come out in the same year, who would have gone #1 in the draft....Please answer this one, I am so interested to hear an experts opinion!!!

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

I could see either guy going #1 depending on who was drafting. But Duncan should be 1.

David (Chicago)

If the Bulls do not land Melo at the trade dead line, who do you see them going after, if anyone at all? I keep hearing OJ Mayo, any truth to that? and wouldn't that be almost like having ben gordan back?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

I don't know, but Mayo is no Ben Gordon. Not even close, though he is a better defender.

DeMarcous Cousins (Sacramento)

I got kicked out of practice. Thoughts?

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

Quit being an a#

Dee (Hong Kong)

with the exception of Billups, everyone(including the last snub Rondo) on the Team USA squad has improved this season, Chandler, Westbrook, Rose, Gordon and Love numberwise are having a career year. Is it coaching or playing with better teammates? Same thing happened to the 08 Redeem team. Coach K has even made the 3 of Miami believed they can succeed!

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

It's an excellent point. I'm not at all surprised that Coach K helped make those guys better.

Esref Güner (Istanbul (Turkey))

Gordon Hayward's minutes decrased dramatically since Deron Williams threw the basketball to his face? Is there any relation?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

I saw that play live-it was DWill showing frustration at the rook not knowing what to do. Yes, I believe he told his coach his feelings and Sloan responded.

Tyson (PDX)

Blazers have to travel the most of any team because of their distance to other teams and the ridiculousness of the "Northwest" division. Do you think this could have anything to do with their injury woes?

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

I don't, but I'm not a doctor.

John (CO)

Does the Coach K effect support the idea that most of these guys could have used more time in college?

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

The evidence suggests overwhelmingly that players develop better in the pro's.

Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas)

Why am I not being mentioned as a legitimate MVP candidate, I just single-handedly knocked off the Hornets, Spurs, Thunder, and Hawks and I am putting up monster numbers. Is it because I am white, tall, and foreign? I am not even in the top 10 in the ESPN MVP watch! Blasphemy

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

I bet he's there soon.

Warren (TN)

Who are your favorite teams to watch? Mine are all bad teams for some reason. And the Spurs - who would have guessed a couple years ago they'd have an explosive offense?

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

Clippers, Spurs, Bulls, Thunder, any team Steve Nash plays on.

John (MN)

DARKO. Thoughts?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

The Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde of the NBA. Sometimes horrific, sometimes brilliant.

Matt (California)

Would you still take Lopez over Rose? And if so why?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

Yesterday, yes. Today, hell no. Tomorrow, who knows? Lopez has not kept up the pace.

Sujei (Puerto Rico)

How about this Nash and Hedo to Houston for Battier, Jeffries, Jordan Hill, Brooks who says no? Houston starting 5 Nash, Martin, Hedo, Scola, Yao and Brooks is unhappy with the lack of extantion. Suns get young pg and pf as well as salary cap

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

I like Nash for Houston a great deal, but paired with Martin and Turk on the wing and Scola at 4 means they won't defend well. And Yao can not expected to help, so it would be Miller at 5.

Chris (NYC)

Should Landry Fields be considered for rookie of the year?

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

He's a distant third, as of now. Long way to go, but it's not at all likely he'll be better than GriffinWall.

Sven (SLC)

I thought you actually knew something about basketball. If you did you would actually like to watch a team that plays like a team like the Utah jazz instead of a bunch of Iso's like you get out of most the teams you mentioned

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

I do like the Jazz. I like the athleticism of the Clips and Thunder, the pick and roll genius of the Spurs, and the defense of the Bulls plus Rose on iso's and Noah in every situation. Maybe someday I'll learn enough about the game to be on your level, eh Sven?

Chuck (Los Angeles)

What's the craziest trade rumor you've heard this season so far?

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

I heard Sven was being traded for a dozen eggs. no way, right?

Marcos Brenes (NY)

Why neither Nash nor Hill come out and ask for trade or put the owner in his place? They earn the right and Sarver just keep destroying one good nucleus after another

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

I agree, hate to see them slip into obscurity.

dave (sleepy in rochester, ny)

Thorpedo, any suggestions on how to get my 9 month old daughter to sleep through the night more consistently? Thanks

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

Now we're getting into a subject I know a lot about. Limit her naps during the day, and no sleeping after 3:30pm. Then I'd start with 7pm bedtimes, or perhaps 8pm. And let her cry a bit.

Mo (NYC)

I know its crazy to consider at this point but any way Miami trading Bosh to OKC for Green and Ibaka works?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

That's crazy, yes. But wow is Ibaka good.

VW (NYC)

can a guy like cousins ever get his head straight or is he doomed to have this type of career...teasing talent with sporadic conflicts with coaches

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

We simply do not know. Some players figure it out, some don't. It's on that entire franchise to figure it out for him.

Warren (TN)

Give me some unathletic guys whose game I can watch to learn how to compensate for slow feet / poor ups

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

Besides Kevin Love?

Sven (SLC)

I am worth WAY more than just a dozen eggs. make it two dozen eggs and some chocolate milk and you got a deal!

David Thorpe
  (12:43 PM)

Mmm, chocolate milk.

VW (NYC)

Jrue Holiday or Eric Bledsoe?

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

Excellent question. I'd lean to Holiday as being more of a sure thing, with Bledsoe having slightly more upside.

phil (pa)

Do the 76ers have one viable frontcourt option for the future? Hawes is awful, Speights doesn't pass, Brand is 52 years old.

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

Go small with Young at 4.

Az (Chicago)

Why do teams double Dwight? I say let him do his damange and don't let the other guys get the open threes like the Celtics do.

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

Easy to say if you can slow Dwight.

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

With one guy I mean.

AW (PDX)

Are the Bulls going to get a 2 guard this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

I don't think it's a definite. Korver can play there in enough spots.

Ryan Valentine (Long Beach, CA)

How good are Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon in that pick in roll?

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

Really good. Gordon at 48% on longer two's.

Jared (Philly)

Cleveland or Miami? Who wins and why?

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

Edge to Cleveland, but Miami is the superior team.

Patrick (PA)

Why does Evan Turner always have the deer in the headlights look? Is it too early to say "bust?"

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

Way too early. But danger signs are everywhere.

Jon (NJ)

How long til the plug is pulled on Heat Index? Seems a little silly at this point.

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Silly? The Miami story was unlike anything we'd ever seen. It was just a response to what the fans wanted. I'm guessing that if the Heat ended up as an average team, then the Index would get dialed down.

Jason J (NYC)

Love to watch Russell Westbrook, but I'm not sure he's the best fit next to Durant. I feel like Durant needs more of a pure point to get the best out of him. What do you think?

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

I think that it's a similar story to the Miami one. Two wings who need to learn how to play together where each plays to their best potential in a team context.

Hector (OKC)

Glad to hear how much you like Ibaka. I think he's fantastic and would really like to see him on the court as much as possible. Why won't Brooks just commit to playing him big minutes? Neither Krstic nor Collison can come close to doing what he does, so why not just put Serge at the 5 and move on?

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

I'm not sure. But I do know my favorite tweet ever was "Ibaka!!". Two summers ago.

Warren (TN)

Tyson Chandler becoming an 80% FT shooter - fluke or legit improvement? If it's legit, why is it so rare?

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

Very few people know how to teach shooting. I saw him last night-he looked legit to me.

Ben (Chicago)

Come March, will Marcus Thornton be in the rotation for the Hornets, still stuck on the bench, or playing for another team?

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

I'd guess another team.

Aaron (Orlando)

So there is hope for Dwights FT shooting?

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

Yes.

Matt (Fort Collins)

The heat index a "response to what the fans wanted"? I think ESPN often gets this confused. We're sports fans -- we read what's there. But if there was no Heat Index, I doubt the phone lines would be going crazy from people clamoring for more heat news.

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

You just are not correct.

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

Though the "George Costanza" line of reasoning does make sense.

mendel (fl)

David if the heat end up winning with this nucleus, would we look back at the beasely/rose draft and be thankful we did not get rose? Most likely this never happens with rose on our team!

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

I can never imagine not wanting Rose. Though he and wade are not perfect partners, but paired with a 3 and 4 or 5 that could shoot three's, they'd be incredible.

VW (NYC)

My buddy disco thought of a great nickname for Serge Ibaka...BoomShakaIbaka...can u get that started?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

I'm no nickname starter, or "The Zohan" would be a household term.

Ryan (Lehi, UT)

I personally think Matt has a point. How does ESPN account for people like me, who change the channel whenever the Heat or Favre comes up?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

You are in the small minority.

VW (NYC)

Anthony Randolph = Tyrus Thomas = Stromile Swift?

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

Except Tyrus is now a very good player.

Michael (Irvine, CA)

how good are Noah and Rose going to be together? on D Noah reminds me a lot of Garnett, not many bigs (actually none outside of those two) can get down in a defensive stance and keep a guard in front of them.

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Excellent point-Noah at least can put up a fight guarding wings on switches. They are excellent together.

Az (Chicago)

I hate the Heat but I read everythinig on the Heat Index

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Sounds like Howard Stern stuff.

Jon (Iowa City)

My friend and I are were having a debate, please settle it. Who has a higher ceiling John Wall or Derrick Rose?

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

I think Wall because he has a better gift as a passer and defender, but it's close.

Sujei (Puerto Rico)

Hey David do you agree with Gentry going with Warrick over Hedo to start?

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

Yes.

AtlKnicksFan (Atl)

Just curious: Why are you not surprised by Amar'e's comments? Heard it before from former Suns, or from payers in general, or...?

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

I've been around, you know.

David Thorpe
  (1:01 PM)

Time to go, thanks everyone. it was fun and lively. Hope you all start off December in a pleasant mood. Let's have a great month. Be safe.