Good afternoon from New York, where it is 20 degrees warmer than it was in Atlanta this morning. Something tells me we will discuss crying today, no?
With the bulls sweeping the Heat, is Rose definitely the MVP for this season?
He was my leading MVP candidate even before yesterday. I think yesterday pulled a few more voters my way. (And Thibodeau is coming along for the ride).
I don't care what you say Chris, having your Coach admit his players are crying after a regular season loss is insane!
Twas very odd for Spoelstra to say that an go there. But it was a window into how hard they are taking these losses and how much pressure they are feeling in Miami. Certainly was the talk of the league last night.
Why does Lebron take all the crunch time shots? I thought it was Wade's team? He is the guy with the ring right?
Everyone predicted this was going to be an issue at some point, and now it is. As Wade said yesterday, he is accustomed to having the game go through him in fourth quarters, and he is now experiencing the sacrifice that goes along with having to sometimes defer to an equally great player. My question is this: In the playoffs, who does Spoelstra design the play for in those situations? I imagine he'll give the ball to the guy he has known longer.
Over/under 1000 Heat questions in your que right now?
Under, but there is a distinct Eastern Conference bias in the queue.
Are the Bulls considered one of 3 best teams in the league now?
Top four, Gary, I'd say. They share space with Lakers, Spurs and Celtics.
what do you make of the knicks beating very good teams such as the heat, hornets & hawks and losing to the Cavs twice? you think energy is the main reason and they're just getting up for better teams?
Still figuring each other out after the big trade. They look completely different from night to night (allowing 119 points to Cavs, then holding Hawks to 79). They were at their best last night when 'Melo sat for the final 10 minutes and Amar'e went to work. You should expect more of the same roller-coaster rides, especially as they fight through the injury bug that has struck, and withhold judgement on their playoff chances until they have a 20-game body of work behind them.
So who have you heard was crying?
I do not believe anybody has pinned that down yet. But as I mentioned in my column from the Knicks-Hawks game last night, Stoudemire told Carmelo Anthony that it was Chris Bosh. (Although Bosh, when asked about it by reporters in Miami, said he had come close to tears but did not shed any).
Given the size advantage LA has, do you think Popovich needs to just bite the bullet and throw Splitter out there? Rebounds are important, after all. Thanks.
That is a question for late May and/or early June. But that game yesterday certainly gave the Spurs (and the rest of the West) plenty to think about when it comes to the task of beating that team four times in a seven-game series.
Game 7, NBA Finals, team is down 1 with 10 seconds leftWho would you want taking the shot.....Bron, Wade, Melo, Rose, PP
Of the five you mentioned (and since you didn't mention Kobe), I'll take the most cold-blooded one of the bunch: Paul Pierce.
What are your thoughts on Heats downfall and the Lakers beating the Spurs by the large margin?
Great storylines for a Monday in early March, but will be long forgotten when the games really start to matter. The interesting thing in the short term will be to watch how yesterday's two losing teams respond over the next couple games/weeks.
Game 7 on the line down 1...try Dirk...if you dont believe me check the stats on game winning shots. He did again last nite againt Memphis with 3 seconds left but Randolph hits a prayer at the buzzer for the win
Yes, Chris, Dirk was a glaring omission there, too.
I can't recall a team ever being hated this much, in any sport, as Miami. Was it really that awful that these guys took a little less money to play together and try to win? Were they supposed to hold a pep rally to excite the fan base and say that they HOPE they can win a playoff game or two? I suppose it is human nature to kick a man when he is down, and that certainly seems to be what fans want to do to LeBron and company. Enjoy it while it lasts.
The Heat players feeding into the hatred storyline has helped perpetuate that angle, and I agree with your point that it is freakish. Can't remember anything like it in my years following and covering the NBA.
With a healthy Perkins in the lineup, and assuming James Harden continues to play as well as he has lately (16ppg last 10 games, 21ppg last 3 games, 18ppg since the All Star break), do you think there are any needed pieces for the Thunder to be a contender?
They have everything they need to get to the second round. And if they play the Spurs in the second round, a healthy Perk alongside Ibaka would give San Antonio fits on the front line. Plus, no one has the length to defend Durant (which will be a problem for a lot of teams). For now, I want to se if they can carry some momentum through this month and the first two weeks of April. I sort of feel the same way about Memphis, but not as strongly because they do not have a talent who can drop 40 on you a la Durant.
Is it too early to say LeBron would have been better off picking the Bulls or Knicks? LeBron/Melo/Amare would have been a nice little trio.
Yes, it is WAY too early. He's got this season and four more ahead of him down there.
I agree Rose is the MVP. But how is Lebron over Kobe? Kobe's more skilled, a better leader, deadlier from more spots, more clutch, a better man defender and has a better record.
Who said LeBron is over Kobe? Right now, he's also behind Dirk, Manu and Amar'e, in my opinion.
Who do you think should take the game winning shot for the Heat?
I think Bosh has been crying since he lost his "locks" and lost his Samson fierceness. Wade regrets not teaming up with Rose. And Bron, well, the most hated man. Translation....appetite for destruction...ha!
Doug downed a glass of Haterade before typing his post.
I think when you add the pep rally in Miami, the decision on espn, Bosh complaining early on about not wanting to practice too hard, and how dumb some of these guys sound on twitter, you have the perfect storm.
Popular drink in Charlotte, too.
which team do you think from the east makes it to the finals ?
I still like Boston, but I am warming considerably to the Bulls. Not sure they have the shooters to be a championship-level team.
The Heat looked like they were hoping that the refs were going to bail them out. Seriously, did they think that the league was going to make things easier for them? Wade really need to shut his trap. Are you hearing the thoings that he is saying? They act like the bullseye on their back suddenly appeared. # superstars on 1 team...what did they expect?
Looked to me like they got a break yesterday because it appeared Wade was out of bounds (his foot was on the end line) when he grabbed that last offensive rebound and got off the final shot. As for the fouls called against them down the stretch, the replays clearly showed repeated forearms to the back. But that was an oddly officiated game. There was a long, long stretch of the third quarter with no whistles whatsoever. Reminded me of a FIBA game.
Western Conference question, please!! Chris, if the Jazz make the playoffs, do you think they'd be a scary 8-seed? They play well against SA after all...
I'll get my first up-close look at them since the trade tonight at MSG. And like the Knicks, I think you have to give them a 20-game body of work before you judge them or predict who they might present a problem for. The difference with the Jazz is they have to fight just to make the playoffs, whereas the Knicks are already pretty much in. So if anything, the Jazz could benefit from having each of these last 20-something games being so much more important to them.
Following up on your Celtics answer, do you think their chances have been diminished after the Perk trade?
Yes. As I have been saying since the trade, Perk was especially valuable because he defended Dwight Howard better than any other center in the East. And it appears as though we will have another Magic-Celtics series in the second round. If Shaq isn't in shape, this could finally be the year that Dwight dominates them.
Chris: Anything on Billups' injury? I still think he was the forgotten man in that trade.
I spoke to him yesterday morning at the Knicks shootaround, and he said this is the most painful thigh bruise he has ever had. If you've ever had one, you'd know that they tend to linger. (And the longer he stays out, the more Anthony Carter becomes the hidden gem in that deal. He has had two very good games since the Billups injury, and it wouldn't surprise to see him jump ahead of T.Douglas in the playoff rotation if Toney can't show some semblance of consistency.)
Do you think the Lakers regret the whole Artest for Ariza thing?
No. Not in the slightest.
That is a wrap for this week's NBA chat, amigos. We shall do it again next Monday at 2 p.m. EST.