Good afternoon from NY. Sorry for the delay. On backup computer now that 4-month-old computer went to blue screen of death yesterday. Questions? All NBA topics are in play.
JJ Hickson, keeper or trade bait? He matched Griffin on Friday which is impressive to say the least and has been putting up very good numbers since the beginning of the new year, averaging 20 and 11 this month. Can he be a legit piece on a contender? Or do the Cavs sell (relatively) high?
If he was a deal-breaker a year ago when Amar'e Stoudemire was a possibility, they ain't moving him now, Jim. Jamison and Mo Williams are the ones they'd prefer to move, but Anthony Parker generating the most interest.
If health costs the Celtics enough games to allow Miami to get the top seed (and maybe even the Bulls the two seed), are the Celtics still the overwhelming favorite to come out of the East? Is there any team in the East that can beat a healthy Celtics team 4 out of 7?
I liked them to come out of the East a year ago when they were finishing 27-27, and I like them even better now -- especially after going to 3-0 vs. Miami yesterday despite PPierce's misfirings.
Will the Bulls make a deal for a shooting guard?
Too much smoke out there for there not to be any fire, especially with the Bulls willing to give up their 2011 1st round pick. J.R. Smith, O.J. Mayo and Parker are the names I keep hearing.
RE: Melo's recent comment about maybe resigning in Denver. Could he possibly be tricking the Nuggets into believing him and in the end, leave them with nothing, after hearing so many undesirable teams being mentioned in his possible trade? His body language in games seems to indicate he is very irritated with all this Denver nonsense.
He has always said publicly he is keeping all his options open, so that comment did not strike me as too much of a departure from what he had been saying publicly all season. As for his body language, all I can read is the language of a guy who has been tearing it up. As as I wrote in my most recent Knicks column on the ESPNNework site, the Knicks are making a massive mistake if they are unwilling to budge off a lowball offer. I imagine three words sum it up best: To Be Continued ...
Who do you believe is the best point guard in the east between Rondo and Rose?
Right now, Rose. A year ago I would have said Rondo, but Rose has made huge strides this year. Right now, he is my leading MVP candidate.
Any chance the knicks miss the playoffs this year? If so, what changes would you expect?
Can't see them sinking like a stone and dropping out of postseason unless Amar'e went down for the season. Let's get them through the trade deadline first before we start having serious discussions about their future, starting with that of Donnie Walsh, whose contract option for next season must be picked up by April 30.
If the Pacers do make a trade,who is most likely? Also who would they bring in?
Expirings, i.e., Ford and Foster, for a player that would give them a puncher's chance in the first round, maybe a Rip Hamilton.
Greetings from overseas. How is Bosh an all star. I haven't been able to watch much this year, but his numbers seem not so great which makes sense given his 3rd banana status.
Go ahead and try to find a more worthy 12th All-Star from the East. Go ahead, I dare ya.
Your thoughts in Omer Asik, would you deal him for anyone other than a long term solution at 2?
Omer Asik deserves a Best Actor Oscar for his uberflop after being fouled in final minute of Turkey-Serbia semifinal in Istanbul at World Championship. Laid on the floor until they made him leave the game because he didn't want to shoot FTs. Was holding his head even though he was fouled in stomach. I think the Bulls would let him go in a heartbeat for a real player who could put them over the top this season.
What is the Heat's biggest obstacle when facing the Celtics
They are the second-best team between them. And come playoff time when/if Boston's bigs are healthy, it'll be even more lopsided.
I'll take that dare Chris...Joakim Noah, with injury is still a better overall player and 100% hustler than Bosh will ever be. Without injury, Noah is a Top 3 center in the Eastern Conference.
Missing so many games takes him out of All-Star picture, Eric. Anyone else?
Well, I can clearly see now why nobody is talking about the Hawks. Please tell me there's a chance they make a big move to shake things up? Surely there is a market for Jamal Crawford's expiring contract...wouldn't that and a first be able to bring a Mo Williams back to Atlanta?
Cavs would need more than a first in the low 20s for their PG who was an All-Star a year ago.
The Rockets have said that they will make a move before the deadline, anything brewing?
Aaron Brooks makes my Most Likely to Be Traded list, along with Rip Hamilton, Troy Murphy, Carmelo Anthony and Eddy Curry. They are as active as ever, but trade pipeline leaguewide still being plugged by MeloDrama.
Where will Steve Nash end up this summer. Do you think the Lakers can get him.
If the Knicks succeed in getting Amar'e, I expect them to target Nash as the final piece. He'll come cheaper than either Dwight/Deron/CP3 as UFA in '12, for whom Knicks would have to clear virtually everyone off their payroll a la what the Heat did last summer.
How much of a possibility is Melo to the lakers this season? And if it happened would it benefit the Lakers or Nuggets more in the long run?
If I am the Lakers I do that deal in a heartbeat for Bynum. But I am not Jim Buss, who loves Bynum because he was the driving force behind drafting Bynum when few other teams liked him as much.
The Cavs win overtime win vs. the Clippers last Friday (or should I say, assisted win thanks to the Haywood Workman no-call for Hickson going over-the-back on Ryan Gomes) means nothing when they allow the Wizards to not only get their first road win of the season, but in blowout fashion. Is there any reason to think another ridiculous losing streak is forthcoming?
I have them penciled in for their next win March 23 when Nets visit.
Chris Bosh reminds me of the little kid who can say anything he wants while the two big bullies are standing in front of him.
OK, Gabe. But who is your more-worthy All-Star?
With the Grizzlies playing so well without OJ Mayo, what are the chances they trade him and what should they look for in return?
The NBA's sleeper team will likely trade him, but he is worth more to them as a reserve than in a giveaway. I would say they need another big, but I was watching Darrell Arthur last night thinking to myself, 'This team does not need another big, at least not at that position.'
Why not Boozer over Bosh? Felton over Joe Johnson, even.
Boozer missed too many games. If Felton goes over JJ, the Hawks go underrepresented. Can't have that with their record being as strong as it is. And Felton is not more deserving than Bosh.
What's the consensus around the league -- executives or players -- on what the Knicks should do?
As Kobe Bryant said at MSG on Friday night, the Knicks have a few nice pieces, but who are we kidding? He, like most folks around the NBA, believe they should do whatever is necessary to get Melo and team him with Amar'e for the next four-plus years. It's the only way they have a whiff of a chance against Miami while their big three is under contract.
This whole drama with Melo and the Nuggets reminds me a few years back to Kobe and the Lakers. Does this make like an accurate correlation and if so does the outcome stay true where the Nuggets end up keeping Melo?
That one lasted a long time too, the entire summer actually, and didn't die until the eve of the regular season. But that one was much more under the radar than this one, which has been a season-long story since the preseason. As for the outcome, I see that being determined by whether the Knicks are willing to make a realistically fair offer. Denver will not trade him for only Curry, Chandler and Randolph, IMO, because they'd be getting fleeced, would look like fools and would alienate their fan base. They would be better off keeping him, rolling the dice in the playoffs and then seeing whether the pressure of letting all that money go would force Anthony into either signing, or amending his contract after the season and dropping his ETO, which would make him trade-eligible again from the end of the season through June 30.
Chris, Luol Deng is more deserving than Bosh, no missed games, better defense and executes a layup better than Bosh. Which of those 3 points do not belong?
Eric chimes in with perhaps the best anti-Bosh argument. Anyone in Miami want to respond?
What is your favorite part of All-Star weekend?
The player intros at the AS game itself. Always must-see TV.
Do you think the jazz make Move before the deadline,a la rip hamilton?
If they could get Hamilton and Prince for AK, they'd be in the same sentence with Lakers, Spurs for best contenders. Right now, they are first-round ouster fodder. But the Pistons' sale has finally been announced, which could free their front office to do deals that have been on hold.
Brand has been better than Bosh this year.
Dave in Pa. chimes in with a pro-Sixer argument that would have carried some added weight if Philly's dreadful start hadn't dragged them down. Hollinger and I both picked Sixers as 2nd half team on the rise in writer's survey a month ago, and for me Brand is a big reason why. He is playing as well as he has in 4 years.
Seems like Donnie Walsh is just waiting until closer to deadline to show his hand. Doesn't make sense to do it now since Denver will wait til next week anyway. Your thoughts?
Certainly seems that way, but not a lot of people know exactly what combinations of players Donnie has put out there, and which long contracts the Nuggets want him to take back along with Melo. Remember, if Knicks have to take back long money (such as Al Harrington), it impedes their future cap flexibility and their ability to get a third max player. But at the end of the day, I say a three-max goal is a pipe-dream for them, and if they have to take on Al H., go ahead and do it and try to keep him and Mike D'Antoni from being alone too long in a room together. Then go and try to get Nash over the summer.
Deng is a nice player but certainly not better than Bosh. Except for the first 7-10 days of the season Bosh has been a consistent force for Miami and is the best/only legitimate big man on the second best team in the East.
Your anti-Deng retort comes courtesy of Josh in Miami, who makes a strong point.
That is a wrap for this week, folks. Enjoy the warmth if you are in a place (like I am) that hasn't seen the mercury above 50 degrees in months. (NY is at 54 right now, and it is glorious).