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January 5, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with John Hollinger

John Hollinger
  (12:04 PM)

Greetings everyone! New season under way and lots to discuss. Let's get rolling ...

GP (Stumptown)

Any chance someone with common sense may buy the Kings, and fire everyone. Seems the only solution.

John Hollinger
  (12:06 PM)

Pretty much. That organization has issues from top to bottom -- just not a lot of accountability there for anybody, and you're seeing it in the product. But they'll just keep slapping each other on the back, coasting to payday and pretending they're doing a good job.

jamie (atlanta)

how nervous should spurs fans be about 6-8 weeks without ginobili?

John Hollinger
  (12:07 PM)

It's a problem in terms of playoff seeding, but I don't seen it being any bigger than that. They'll still finish in West's top eight and still have the same issues (defending big 4s) once they get to postseason. As we saw the past two years, being 1 or 7 hasn't changed that factor.

tony (chi)

what would you do if you were GM of the Wiz? Seems like they need more grownups and less Blatche.

John Hollinger
  (12:09 PM)

The league's other honorary ABA franchise, they've actually done a lot of things right management-wise since the ownership change, they were just left with so many knuckleheads that it's tough to get any positive traction. Blatche may be the least of their problems; they have to put a leash on Jordan Crawford and figure out how to get the most out of John Wall.

Lee (Indy)

Is that really you replying in the comments section below?

John Hollinger
  (12:09 PM)

I can't see it right now but I have never, ever commented on any of my stories.

Doc (Toronto)

Bargnani an All Star? Is he perhaps one of the more underrated players in the league right now?

John Hollinger
  (12:10 PM)

Only if they give Italy its own team. But his play so far has been very encouraging, I will agree. Have a bit more on the Raptors coming later today in my Per Diem.

jane (memphis)

can the grizz still make the playoffs without zbo?

John Hollinger
  (12:11 PM)

Absolutely. He's out for several weeks, but not the season. Memphis did the same without Rudy last year and managed OK. I think we'll see a lot of 4th quarter lineups like last night, with Gay at the 4, and Speights is going to really help that second unit with his scoring.

Michael (B-Town)

How many times does Danny Granger have to hike up a bad shot before realizing the rest of his team is in better position?

John Hollinger
  (12:12 PM)

You misspelled "Hansbrough"

John Hollinger
  (12:13 PM)

In seriousness, Indy has a problem with all those black-hole type offensive players. They moved the ball well once in six games and won it in a blowout. But they need better passers, especially in the backcourt. Rondo would be unbelievable on that team.

Mark (New York)

Should I be worrying about the knicks or do you think they will pull it together?

John Hollinger
  (12:15 PM)

Depends on your definition of worry. I still think this is a playoff team, because there's just too much offensive firepower not to be, but you saw last night that it takes a lot more to become a good defensive team than just throwing money at the first available center. All the preseason bluster from NY conveniently overlooked this.

Miles (Philadelphia)

% Chance the Sixers win the Atlantic?

John Hollinger
  (12:15 PM)

Definitely on the rise. Sixers had a very nice start winning 3 of 5 on the road, which is more than Boston or New York can say.

DC (Chicago)

How long until Deng will hardly be able to walk? March 1st?

John Hollinger
  (12:16 PM)

I'm very concerned with the minutes load a lot of guys are playing and the ones on the Bulls and Clippers in particular. Hopefully they pull back on Deng's playing time when Rip comes back, because they can't just keep going to the whip all season like this.

Ryan (DC)

How dumb was trading rights to draft Rubio/Curry for Mike Miller and Foye.

John Hollinger
  (12:18 PM)

C'mon, the Wizards were going all-in for their big playoff push! I'd completely forgotten about that piece of Grunfeldian ridiculousness, but yes, that was awful.

Charlie (Utah)

Will your power rankings this season shorten to the most recent 8 games instead of 10 due to the shortened season?

John Hollinger
  (12:20 PM)

No. Only change is going to be after midpoint of season, we're going to telescope out from 10 previous games to previous 25% of games after 34 games instead of after 41.

Ryan (DC)

Did you see the end of the Minnesota game last night? Was it me or was Tolliver's costly turnover near the end, because he trusts Rubio way more than Ridnour?

John Hollinger
  (12:20 PM)

The turnover wasn't about which guard he trusts, it was about not trusting his jump shot. Dude was wide open and dribbled into the corner.

Justin (New Jersey)

Thoughts on MarShon Brooks? The kid can score. Doc was doubling him the whole second half last night.

John Hollinger
  (12:22 PM)

Saw a lot of Nets while I was seeing family this last week. Brooks is soooo long, he can get his shot off on anyone, but he has near-total tunnel vision. I like his length as much on boards and defense if he applies himself there. Offensively, he's great getting points for a bad team but I worry whether he can do it efficiently, and whether he'll ever record an assist.

John Hollinger (NJ)

Is Norris Cole in position for ROY?

John Hollinger
  (12:22 PM)

Highly unlikely that he'll get enough minutes or shots to truly challenge. I'm excited to get a look at him tonight, and with the Heat likely playing without LeBron or Wade he could play a major role.

John Hollinger (NJ)

I guess I'm only answering questions from Ryan in DC.

John Hollinger
  (12:23 PM)

Sorry, not looking at names.

Dave (Bronx)

How much blame does D'Antoni deserve for the current record given his current personnel?

John Hollinger
  (12:23 PM)

The only thing he deserves blame for is the team's lack of commitment to defense. He has a lot of pieces that don't fit well.

Paul (Cleveland)

So, what do you think of our rooks, it's got to be vindicating that after banging the tristan thompson drum all off season he's come out and showed some serious flashes.

John Hollinger
  (12:24 PM)

Really like what I saw from both of them the other night against Charlotte. Thompson is so explosive around the basket and really knows how to draw fouls, I think it's only a matter of time before he starts and Antawn comes off the pine.

Dave (SLC)

Can you think of any reason why Raja Bell starts, or gets any minutes at all for that matter?

John Hollinger
  (12:26 PM)

Probably the greatest mystery in the league thus far. It's not like he was awesome last year and this is taking them by surprise. All the Jazz are doing is delaying the development curve for Burks.

Matt (MN)

Rubio's scoring and shooting percentages have defied your projections based on his Euroleague stats. From what you've seen, is it sustainable and what are some factors that make him a better offensive player in the NBA?

John Hollinger
  (12:26 PM)

All in today's Per Diem. Coming soon....

Brad (Toronto)

Does Dwayne Casey deserve coach of the year even if the Raptors only get 25-30 wins?

John Hollinger
  (12:27 PM)

No, but Dwane Casey might. He's got Toronto playing defense, which already makes him a massive upgrade on Jay Triano. The schedule will get much more difficult, however.

Connor (Raliegh)

Have you seen Bismack Biyombo play yet? His offense looks more advanced than I thought it would be at this point, your opinion?

John Hollinger
  (12:28 PM)

I saw him play extensively at last year's Nike Hoop Summit; this is about what I expected. He can do some things around the basket but he can't shoot at all.

Brendan (Dallas)

What do you think of Dirk's comments that the defending champion Dallas Mavericks will hit their stride in March/April?

John Hollinger
  (12:29 PM)

Well, I think we can rule out December. In all seriousness, I expect Dallas to play better than they've shown and creep into the top eight, but I have trouble getting enthused about their title defense.

Nadeem (Houston )

do you think kyle lowry can be a legitimate allstar candidate?

John Hollinger
  (12:30 PM)

Only if they give up less than 300 points a game. But he is off to a great start and I've long felt he's one of the league's most underrated players.

Brendan (Dallas)

Do you think Mahinmi could take the starting job from Haywood by the end of the season?

John Hollinger
  (12:31 PM)

Yes, I think this scenario is very much in play. Like what I've seen from the Ianster thus far.

VW (NYC)

what's up with stephen curry's ankles???

John Hollinger
  (12:32 PM)

A) They're made of papier mache and B) the Warriors have done a ridiculously bad job of managing the problem.

Gilbert Arenas (Orlando, FL)

Why has no one signed me yet? Answer me Hollinger!!!!!

John Hollinger
  (12:32 PM)

Because it's not worth the trouble, basically. Right now he's a generic backup point guard; you don't need that kind of headache from your 9th-best player.

Nate (Portland)

Is Portland's start an aberration, or do you see them remaining a contender throughout this shortened season?

John Hollinger
  (12:33 PM)

Depends on how we're using the word "contender", but I do think they can get a top-4 seed.

Bob (Denver)

Does K-mart end up in Miami to chase that title?

John Hollinger
  (12:35 PM)

Very interesting to see how he chooses to play this. Miami, Dallas and L.A. all already have two power forwards that are better than he is, and I don't think Denver wants him back. Clippers maybe?

Xavier (Winston Salem)

Is it to early for you to change your prediction for the Hawks finishing 9th place in the EAST?!? And why is that seemingly every prognosticator, every season, underestimates Atlanta? What is it besides point differential (blowout losses can skewer that statistic right?) that you guys see that Hawk fans don't? Thanks.

John Hollinger
  (12:37 PM)

News flash: I will get some predictions wrong. I also occasionally fail to close my parentheses; those are my two major shortcomings. As for Atlanta, the Hawks certainly appear headed toward a better record than the 33-33 I projected. Not sure the disrespect card is really playable here though -- Hawks were slightly overestimated by most a year ago.

Xander (Philly)

Was the Speights trade done in order to make a bigger trade at some point? I'm just having a tough time grasping why the Sixers would give up nice depth for two future 2nd round picks. Thanks!

John Hollinger
  (12:42 PM)

I didn't have a big problem with it because they weren't going to play him and they weren't going to pay him (he's an RFA after the season). He was leaving for nothing after the year. So this move earns them a lot more space under the tax line and a trade exception, and opens up a roster spot to get another guard at some point down the line. He's really going to help Memphis though. And by the way, when did the Hornets decide to become a dumping ground for the Grizzlies' leftovers? how long before they trade for Haddadi?

Chet (OKC!!)

could KD and Russ win co-MVP this year?

John Hollinger
  (12:42 PM)

You must have seen Russ while I was out of town. Dude's really struggling so far.

Alex (Atlanta)

Since we're on Atlanta, do you think they can challenge for home court in the postseason? Teague at the point has really got this team moving in the right direction and after the offseason back surgery, Marvin seems to be showing why he was so highly thought at draft time.

John Hollinger
  (12:44 PM)

I'd be more optimistic about a top-four seed if Orlando would trade Dwight Howard. But it's within the realm of possibility, yes. Pretty excited to see them play Chicago again on Saturday. (Miami game tonight could be a dud unfortunately with no LeBron and no Wade).

David (PDX)

I'm a huge Blazer fan, but it seems like the praise the Blazers are getting might be a little hasty. How much will tonight's game against what I believe is an underrated Lakers team tell us?

John Hollinger
  (12:45 PM)

It's one game; generally it doesn't tell you a ton unless it's a blowout. Look for the tempo, though; Portland's bench should be able to crush L.A.'s second unit, especially if they get in an up-and-down game.

Kevin (SLC)

Any word on AK47 making his way onto an NBA team this season?

John Hollinger
  (12:46 PM)

Don't see it happening. He's making some pretty good coin in Moscow.

Brady (Texas)

Is Martin, Budinger, Scola the worst 2-3-4 combination defensively in the NBA?

John Hollinger
  (12:47 PM)

They sure looked the part last night. I didn't think Bud was bad the other two games I watched Houston, but really the only decent defender in the starting 5 is Lowry. I think at some point they have to start Sammy and Lee to get more D out there.

Patrick (Toronto)

Is the biggest development this season how shallow some teams benches are? With so many players abroad some of the second units and first units in the case of the nets are painful to watch.

John Hollinger
  (12:48 PM)

Yes, this is an underrated story. A lot of players who normally would be filling spots 8-10 in a rotation are in Europe instead, and some of the filler has been fairly putrid.

Monika (Poland)

Is it possible Rose will have a better season than last year and not be in the top 3 in MVP voting?

John Hollinger
  (12:48 PM)

I'd go beyond "possible" and say "likely"

Kevin (SLC)

From what you've seen so far, which team has the deepest bench in the league?

John Hollinger
  (12:49 PM)

Nuggets, without a doubt. They have two first-rounders that can't get on the court, and 11th man Kosta Koufos had a double-double last night.

Jerry Buss (Los Angeles)

Why do you hate on the Lakers so much?

John Hollinger
  (12:50 PM)

50 minutes before the first one... I believe we've set a new record.

Connor (Raleigh)

Based on the early goings, who is the favorite for the #1 pick? Nets, Wizards, or the field?

John Hollinger
  (12:51 PM)

Remember, No. 1 pick is decided by lottery and worst record only has a 25% chance of winning. So, by definition, the field.

Kevin O' Conner (SLC)

How long do I wait to fire Corbin because he is ruining the development of my young talent players?

John Hollinger
  (12:52 PM)

So a team that nobody predicted to make the playoffs is 3-3, and they still want to fire the coach? Tough crowd. The Raja Bell thing is ridiculous but let's try to look at the big picture.

Stall (Phoenix)

Is there anything the Suns can do short of trading Nash to save their season? Playoffs seem quite unlikely...

John Hollinger
  (12:54 PM)

They should have traded Nash a year ago and are paying for their loyalty. Still think the Blazers would be interested, but it's tough to offer much when he's not playing as well and he's a free agent after the year.

Tony (Texas)

Why do you have the Mavericks?

John Hollinger
  (12:55 PM)

At least spell the word right people.

Milwaukee Bucks (Milwaukee)

Hiring: Athletic individual with the ability to score on a consistant basis.

John Hollinger
  (12:56 PM)

I watched the Utah game and man am I sorry. Even with Bogut it's a struggle for them, but without him it's ridiculous. Cap'n Jack definitely looks like he's lost a step and Jennings remains an abysmal finisher.

Greg (Florida)

Are the Bobcats better off than they were at this point a season ago?

John Hollinger
  (12:57 PM)

Yes, because they finally started the rebuilding process instead of importing more veterans and contracts. Kemba, Biyombo, White, Mullens -- they have some nice pieces already.

Jeff P. (USA)

Love Portland, but I don't think Steve would ever play for the Blazers. He would love it up here, tho.

John Hollinger
  (12:58 PM)

He'd never SIGN with the Blazers, I agree. But Blazers could pursue him as a rental.

Heat fantasctic (FL)

One one - Rose vs Bron- who wins?

John Hollinger
  (12:58 PM)

I take it you didn't watch the Eastern Conference finals?

Chad (MI)

Why didn't the Pistons amnesty Charlie V?

John Hollinger
  (12:59 PM)

It didn't open up enough cap room to matter. However, after this season I expect them to cut loose either Charlie V or Ben Gordon with the amnesty. Given that Gordon has shown signs of a pulse, Charlie is the favorite.

lionel (new york)

I am convinced Nash will end up with the Knicks next year as a FA. Agree?

John Hollinger
  (1:00 PM)

yes.

Andrew bynum (Los Angeles)

If I keep up my monster play, will I still get traded for some big in the Southeast conference (mentioning his name is a no-no; tampering)?

John Hollinger
  (1:00 PM)

I still wouldn't do this deal if I were Orlando, but I must admit Bynum's start to the season makes it a bit more intriguing.

Charles (South Carolina)

Are Wade and LeBron officially out for tonights game?

John Hollinger
  (1:00 PM)

Not yet but it doesn't sound good.

Jeff (Miami)

When was the last time a move by Orlando management made sense?

John Hollinger
  (1:01 PM)

When they asked for Ryan Anderson as a throw-in in the Vince Carter trade. Pretty much straight downhill since.

Chris (NYC)

Have the grizzlies used their amnesty? if not could randolph sound like a candidate if he doesn't recover well?

John Hollinger
  (1:03 PM)

Randolph is amnesty-eligible, yes, but Memphis's cap situation is such that they'd never be able to replace him. So he'd have to look pretty awful to justify such a move. I think it's virtually 0% chance.

Patrick (Denton, TX)

everyone around here thinks the mavs are positioned to get DWill next season. your thoughts?

John Hollinger
  (1:04 PM)

I agree; only thing that can stop it if is if the Nets get Dwight Howard. I just hope they get a better DWill than the one that's been playing in New Jersey the past two weeks.

Philip (Germany)

Why doesn't Tyson Chandler grab rebounds in NY?

John Hollinger
  (1:06 PM)

A) Rebounds require a missed shot and New York opponents tend not to do that, B) Their defensive approach has him away from the basket a lot more than he was in Dallas, and most importantly, C) it's six games. Let's not go overboard just yet.

John Hollinger
  (1:07 PM)

Folks that's all the time I have but thanks again for all the great questions -- we'll do this again at the same time next week.