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March 29, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:00 PM)

Hello sportsnation. Thanks for spending some time chatting with us, as we leisurely discuss all things NBA and possibly NCAA. Just a spoiler alert-I will not be taking MVP questions until the last week of the season."Mexican...dude".

Merrilll (Salt Lake City, UT)

Do you agree with Reilly that Jimmer won't last long in the NBA?

David Thorpe
  (12:01 PM)

No, but I do think he'll have to get lucky and go to the right team just to get real chances to play his way. He does have a chance to be a solid backup pg with potential-he'll just have to change the way he plays, which I think he can handle.

goyo. keizer, oregon [via mobile]

Which team do u not wanna face in the playoffs in the east and west?

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

Denver and Portland out west, no one in east.

Patrick (Fayetteville)

Can anyone fix Ronnie Brewer's jumpshot?

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

Yes.

A friend (facebook)

Coach, just wanted to say that I've made some good connections through being your Facebook friend. Found a few people who love the game like I do. We're all Heat fans so we get together online and watch them. Thanks for being you.

David Thorpe
  (12:02 PM)

My pleasure. I love connecting people that way. I'm at David B. Thorpe on Facebook.

jojo (denver)

love your insight. who says a team has to have a superstar come postseason? though not likely, can't denver do well in the playoffs with great team defense, and player/ball movement? doesn't having a star/go-to guy sometimes make your offense predictable?

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

Agreed. It does not take a superstar, it takes some players who can play at that level for four games in 7, or so.

Alex (Los Angeles)

The Clippers have a strong core of young players moving forward. Do they need a better coach to become a contender?

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

Not yet. Give Vinny another year of growth.

Mark (Dallas)

Rickey Bebauious or Darren Collinson?

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

is Rickey better than Roddy?

Derek (Minnesota)

Dave, why have you not taken any credit for the marked improvement we have seen from Kris Humphries? I know he spent some time with you this summer, and he is such a different player than he ever has been before. Another case of Thorpe magic in action.

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

I don't think the improvements we've seen from Kris is related to anything other than getting lots of opportunities and support from his coach.

Sunil (NYC)

Hey Coach, Question for you. Would Marc Gasol be a good fit on the Knicks? Would he complement Carmelo and Amar'e?There is a teeny tiny chance he is gettable this offseason. In doing so, NYK would essentially be giving up on the notion of Dwight or Paul or Deron in '12 though.

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

I think he'd be terrific there.

Chris (Houston) [via mobile]

Do you work with Kyle Lowry? His 3 point percentage has gone up dramatically this season.

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

No. Houston has an excellent player development program. Just look at Hayes.

Bill (Vegas)

Thorpedo, was that you in Vegas last week? I think I saw you at Nobu.

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

Yes I was!! I go there annually with my 2 brothers and some lifelong friends, which included my boy Bird, my roommate from college and a 28 year friend.

Will (DC)

Thorpenal; noun; a highly addictive drug that induces basketball chat euphoria. What first round matchup do you think would give the Knicks the best shot at advancing to the second round?

David Thorpe
  (12:07 PM)

I've not looked ahead that far to see potential matchups. But my answer today would be nobody.

Keyser Söze (Minneapolis)

How good of a fit would Harrison Barnes be with John Wall in Washington?

David Thorpe
  (12:08 PM)

Like a soft glove. Perfect.

Tom (Virginia)

Coach, I have a message for the Thorpe "haters" that love to ride you in your chats. I'm a big George Mason fan, and I remember in 2006 hearing you on some radio shows argue with the hosts that our run into the Final 4 will not be a once in a 20 yr thing. You said you think having a mid-major team in the final 4 will start being an annual thing and that you think a mid-major team will win a title in the next 5 years. I thought about you when Butler just missed out, and now we have 2 middies in the last 4. You are the King coach, and we love getting to read and hear your insights. Thanks.

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

I remember those well. Seemed amazing to me that people were surprised to hear me say those things. Couldn't they see how watered down the NCAA had become with frosh leaving to the NBA? Mids have older teams and they are also keeping good coaches longer.

Elijah (Los Angeles)

Thorpe, since the Celtics have all but given up on their hopes for the #1 seed in the east, how do you feel about them in the upcoming playoff situations, given that The O'neals are both returning and the offthecharts intensity the team brings to the post season?

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

I worry about Boston after the first round. But Brian Windhorst had a great tweet about how he has seen this before. I trust his judgement a great deal, so no funerals should be planned yet.

David (Stillwater)

Harden has stepped up his scoring big-time since the Perkins trade. Did you see this coming?

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

Sure-we've always liked his talent.

Steve (Indy)

When training hoops players, how much time is spent working legs via strength training & cardio?...or do you save the legs for court time?

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

It varies for each player. Guards need less off court work than bigs.

John (Montreal)

What about the Grizllies? I think the Thunder and Mavs, and even the Spurs a bit, wouldn't want to see them in the first round

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

You are right. They can really defend.

Ryan (Tucson)

Do you see Derrick Williams being more effective as a 3 or a 4? Yes he can make open jump shots but he doesnt appear to get good lift on his jumper. Thoughts or observations?

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

He's a 4.

John (Austin, TX)

Thorpe, What in the world happened to Maurice Speights? Two years ago I thought he looked like a terrific young post player with possible All-Star potential. Now he's averaging 11 minutes, 5 points and 0.3 blocks per game. I know he never played any D, but now he even seems lost on offense . What do you see with him?Thanks,

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

I think he has a focus/motor problem.

Nick (OB)

SInce you nailed LBj and Melo, where will Dwight end up?

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

Orlando.

Paul (Washington, D.C.)

What's your opinion of Jordan Crawford? While being given extended minutes with the Wiz recently, he has been alternately electric or horrible.

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

Worst shot selection in league, but that can be coached. He's exciting.

Ben (NJ)

Dave, to me, Jared Sullinger has Sean May written all over him. Kinda short for the PF position, little overweight, little hops...agree?

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

Much better quick bounce than May. More like Barkley to me.

Jeremy H (Minneapolis)

I am going to be helping my 9-year old nephew this summer train for basketball next season. At that age what are some things I should focus on teaching him?

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

Rules of the game. Terms and phrases. Handle. Passing, catching on move, layups.

The Sane Madman (Bulls Nation) [via mobile]

Two questions, neither involves my nation. 1. Do you agree with my assessment of The Hangover > >Superbad and it's by a wide margin? 2. Do you agree with my assessment that if the 76ers grabbed Cousins instead of Evan Turner that they would be a 4th seed? This team is not shabby and has great parts.

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

Totally agree with first one-I did not like Superbad much. I don't enjoy cruel people. Cousins is such a handful off the court and on it, in terms of coaching, that we can't predict how he would have impacted their chemistry.

Paul (NC) [via mobile]

Are there books you would recommend on basketball theory/strategy? Something of the more advanced variety? Thanks.

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

Read everything possible. You will learn something from each. Chaney and Smith are my top 2 though.

Marc (Charlotte)

Coach, just wondering if you've caught any NCAA Tourney games, and if so, what players impressed you.

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

That's what I've been doing, more or less. Walker, Barnes, Henson, Knight, Sullinger, Jones.

JimmyZ (PHX, AZ)

Of the probable playoff teams, is there a worse closer than andre iguodala at the end of games?

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

I hate that term. But yes, Iggy's shooting troubles make him problematic to take big shots.

Nick Young (via mobile)

Does that mean I don't have the worst shot selection in the league anymore?

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

It's very close. But he tops you.

Benjamin (Concord)

Is Barnes long term position in the pros the 2 or the 3?

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

Either, but I'd lean 3.

Tim (INDY, IN)

I am assuming you have watched some of Butler's run both this year and last. It seems to me that this team success is directly related to Brad Stephens' coaching. Do you think he could achieve the same results in the NBAl, like say.... stay at home in Indianapolis where there is a vacancy

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

I've known him since he was a GA there. Yes, he's been terrific and has a pro's mentality on the sidelines.

Alexander (Baltimore)

I know you don't like it when people say a player should stay in college for development, but shouldn't Josh Selby stay another year at Kansas? He seems to have so much to learn and his stock is down, though he looks like he has a lot of potential...

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

He would not likely be a top 30 pick so yes, staying in school makes sense.

Dwade (Miami)

If we win out the season and finish with 60 wins, will people still say we underacheived? If we do I think we will be hitting our stride at the right time. Playoffs!!!!!!!!!!

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

Agreed.

Air Congo (Africa)

I know you're a fan of Ibaka, and his defensive numbers since the trade are downright scary. He has a jumpshot, a developing post game, the ability to defend the post and the perimeter, and by all accounts a fabulous work ethic and attitude, all within his second season. Just how good can he be?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

Starter for a playoff team good.

Alejandro (Boise, Idaho)

Hey Thorpe I have been a huge fan of yours for awhile but this is my first time with a Q. When you look at all the guys who get hurt, especially big men, wouldn't they all be alot more injury free if devoted more time to stretching and flexibility training? i.e. Shaq's hamstring pull that has kept him out months.

David Thorpe
  (12:21 PM)

I think more of their injuries stem from being too heavy with muscle. Their bones can not handle that much weight.

Marc (Malden, MA)

If you have the #1 pick, who are you taking?

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

I'd consider Irving, Knight, Williams, or Barnes, depending on my needs. All have similar upsides.

J. Ricardo (St. Charles)

Despite their difference in range, when I see Freddette player, I see Jameer Nelson. A scoring combo guard who probably doesn't have the skills to be an elite PG, but can still be a good player. What do you think?

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

He could learn to play like Jameer, yes. But he does not at this point.

Matt (Orlando)

I think Barnes reminds me of Jason Richardson. Is that actually a pretty fair comparison?

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

No. I see Paul Pierce.

Matthew (Westlake, OH)

I was surprised to see you (seemingly so definitively) say D. Williams is a 4. He screams physical, athletic 3 to me. Can you elaborate on why he's a 4 and not a 3?

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

Why expose him to the quickness at the 3? And we want him around the basket a lot.

BJ (Indiana)

Don't lie, you've caught Shaka fever

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

I've known Shaka since he was a grunt at Dayton, working for Oliver Purnell. He's done a brilliant job.

Ryan (St Louis)

A couple of years ago, I asked you if Tyler Hansbrough could be a 12 and 8 guy in the league, and you said "more like 6 and 4." It's starting to look like I was closer than you were. My point is that it seems there is a tendency to underestimate hard workers. Jimmer is cut from the same mold as Hansbrough - he'll learn how to do what it takes to help his team win, or he'll die trying. That's why he'll be a successful player in the league.

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

I was talking about that season.

Jeremy H (Minneapolis)

Who projects as a better point guard in the NBA, Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

I like Knight better over the long haul-longer and bigger. But I'm a big Walker fan too.

Jeremy H (Minneapolis)

Do you think John Henson needs another year of college? By the way his new nickname is "Bo Gangles"......

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

Of course not. That's not to say he has to leave. But "needing" another year is absurd.

Alex (New York)

Were any of the guys you listed as #1s on par with Wall? Griffen?

David Thorpe
  (12:26 PM)

I don't think so.

Randy (Miami)

Is it possible - and do you think that the Celtics are trying to position themselves as the 3rd seed to avoid playing the Pacers or Knicks in the 1st round and feel more comfortbale playing the 76'ers. It looks to me that they are throwing these games and I would not put it past them. Quite frankly the 6 7 and 8 seeds are dangerous and either team is possible to commit an upset. Your thoughts?

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

No way.

James (Wilmington)

How about we all chip in a few dollars and raise enough money to buy a team and let you run it? Would you do it?

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

This may come as a shock to you, but I've had those kinds of opportunities-working with a GM. Either a team has to move to Tampa, or I have to be able to create a job that allows me nights and weekends off for the next 9 years. Once my kids are in college, I'll reconsider. PS-Tanpa has a great arena!!

Kyle (Cleveland, OH)

Isn't D. Williams a little short for a 4?

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

You mean like Paul Milsap?

Kyle (PHX)

What do the suns do this offseason, who do you see them going after to put around gortat?

David Thorpe
  (12:31 PM)

I have no idea what their plans are. Does anyone?

Dan (NYC)

Agree or Disagree with Chauncey Billups's assertion that Carmelo Anthony is/can be the best overall player in the league when he is trying, the way he was last night?

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

Playing hard every night is a talent. Not sure Melo can develop that.

Earl Honest (Toronto)

I love ya work Dave, but sometimes I think you are TOO optimistic, coming from a background of player devlopment. Sometimes you have to cut the cord right? Players like Josh Smith or Anthonly Randolph are just never going to get it right?

David Thorpe
  (12:32 PM)

Never is too strong, but unlikely works better.

Matt (Cincinnati OH)

Coach - any thoughts on FSU's Chris Singleton? Is he someone that could come out or would another year to allow his offense to catch up to his D be beneficial for draft purposes?

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

He's probably a late lottery either way.

Eric (London)

So sad for David West and the Hornets...couldn't happen to a guy I admire more, so tough hardworking and intelligent. :(

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

Yes, it's bad bad news.

Adnan (SPCR)

Do you think the Heat should get DRose for Bosh since rose will leave via free agency?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

I'm going to have to ban you before Bulls nation finds you.

J. Ricardo (St. Charles, MO)

Josh Smith doesn't get it? He's a good player. Comparing him to Randolph is a bit silly, no?

David Thorpe
  (12:35 PM)

Correct. Like Odom, Smith may never realize his full potential, but that does not mean he's garbage. He isn't.

Playtime (Kent)

I'm not sure comparing D. Williams to Milsap is fair. Isn't Williams much faster and more athletic than Milsap? It just seems that Williams has too much perimeter talent to limit him to down low.

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

My point was Milsap may be undersized but it still terrific. And Williams is taller and bigger.

Nick (Wisconsin)

I think Adnan is the first banned person of the chat, glad to see we can function normally now Thorpedo. Anyways, what do you think of Uconn's Jeremy Lamb? He probably should go back to college another year, but where do you think he could go in this years draft?

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

I've not studied him yet. Will be doing so this week.

Neil (Manhattan)

It seams all the "experts" have labeled this years draft as a weak class. After watching watching the tournament it seems this draft has a lot more talent then people think. How does this class match up against the last couple of years in your view?

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

Weak and shallow. But there are still 15 or so guys who will make it. And a few strong starters/stars are possible.

Val (NY)

Dave forget the NBA for a sec. What are you final four predictions?

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

Butler and UK are my gut reactions, but I've not studied the teams or the games. Just the prospects.

Brian (NJ)

Thorpe, I love that you dont blindly follow the "guy needs to stay in school" train of thought. It just makes no sense logically. IMO those making that argument secretly don't really believe it, they just selfishly want to see the college game stay strong for their own enjoyment.

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

Colleges are rich, most college players are not even close to that. Too bad the alumni focus on the rich and not the poor.

Arik (Israel)

Hi David please tell me there's still hope for our dear Omri Casspi and he isn't on his way to being a bust...what does he need to do to improve?

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

He needs to go to another team.

Dan (Minneapolis)

Should the Wolves go after Deandre Jordan this summer?

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

Yes.

edizz1e (Queens, NY)

What is Brandon Knight's ceiling?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

All-star. Reminds me a lot of Billups in his Pistons run.

Freddy (Los Angeles)

Should the Kings continue to build their team around DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans, or does one of the two have to go?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

Too early to say, but the word I'm hearing isn't good.

pedro (ca)

why hasn't rondo developed a J over the summer like drose has?

David Thorpe
  (12:42 PM)

His large hands are an issue and no one has been able to fix it yet.

In Defense of College (Ohio State )

They way we see it. If a player is not a Guranteed Lottery Pick they should stay in school.

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

That's very poor logic. What's wrong with making $1M a year as the #22 pick? Where is it written that another year in school guarantees draft improvement? Ask yourself this question; someone offers you $2M for 2 years guaranteed, with the likely scenario of an additional $3M more over the next 2 years. or you can go back to college for the possibility of earning maybe $3M for the first 2 years plus $4 for the next 2. But---you could end up with $75k in Belgium or Slovenia. Is passing on $2m-$5M smart?

Chris (NY)

Lopez twins vs. Morris twins, who do you take?

David Thorpe
  (12:47 PM)

Morris twins probably.

Charles (Seattle)

Hi David. Why do so many people have a problem with shoot first point guards, but they are fine with 2 guards that can't shoot, or bigs that can't rebound? Why the double standard?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

Great question.

Benjamin (Concord)

How good of a combo would Deron Williams and Dwight Howard be?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

Wow.

Ben (ATL)

What player in the NBA do the stats lie about the most? (i.e., good/great stats but bad overall to the team) Andray Blatche?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

He's as good a choice as any.

paul (brooklyn)

hey coach, which active player, if they could suddenly transform back into their prime, would affect the league the most?

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

Shaq and TD.

Freddy (Los Angeles)

Who should Javale McGee study in the offseason?

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Duncan.

Mordy (Brooklyn)

Nicest NBA arena you have been to this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:50 PM)

Orlando in a walk.

Chris (Los Angeles)

Hi David. Can you give me your assessment on Tyler Honeycutt's potential as a pro? Thanks.

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

He surprised me in Tampa. Beautiful shot, beautiful passer, and an impact guy on d. Needs to compete harder. Great teammate. Top 20 talent to be sure.

Matt (Orlando)

I have a feeling Orlando gets Deron Williams to come here. I amy be wrong, but somehow I see it happening.

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

Makes a lot of sense.

Benjamin (Concord)

Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill to Paul's question

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

They would be great, but Shaq and TD in their prime would be fighting for a ring this June.

brian (providence)

i find your answer on honeycutt to be a little bizzare. if i was on a team with a guy who wasn't competing as hard as he could, i would have a hard time calling him a great teamate

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

He's 20. Led Pac 10 in blocks and he's a guard, so it's not like he's not trying. It's part of the learning process.

Steve (Orlando)

any thoughts on Kentucky's Josh "Jorts" Harrelson?

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

I tweeted about him when he was in Tampa. He's a very underrated player.

In Defense of College (Ohio State)

What about the guys who slip in the 2nd round or are not drafted at all? They get $0k. There is nothing wrong with improving your game at the college level. The money will always be there.

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Do you know how many guys in Europe heard the same thing?

Nick (OB)

What about Zeller from UNC?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

I like him a lot too.

Jeff (Toronto)

KEMBA Walker. Starting PG, Excellent 6th Man Scorer or 'Change of Pace' back-up PG that is a rotation player at best?

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

He's at least an excellent scoring guard off the bench. He definitely has starter potential.

Joe (PGH)

Hi David, which NBA team do you find the most entertaining to watch this year?

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Houston on offense. Memphis and Chicago on defense. Wade and Rose in iso's. Lebron at anything but iso's.

Aaron (Texas)

Will Manu make the HOF?

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Probably.

Jeremy H (Minneapolis)

Who is your all-time favorite player?

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

I'm awfully fond of Max Thorpe.

keeya (atl)

kemba walker seems like a nate robinson/marcus thornton/toney douglas type of player.

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

Excellent analysis. He's a combo of those guys, which means he's better.

Shane (Louisville)

Make this the last ?. If you could change one thing about Miami... It would be...

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

They'd have fewer old guys and more young energy guys.

David Thorpe
  (1:01 PM)

Thanks everyone. Have a great week! Be safe.