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January 24, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with David Thorpe

David Thorpe
  (12:03 PM)

What's up sportsnation? Thanks for joining us today, 80 degrees and sunny here in Clearwater. Hope it's like that where you live."It's amateur hour around here. Strictly amateur hour".

Matt (San Antonio)

Who can the Wizards hire that this team will listen to? This group of players seems to tune any authority out completely.

David Thorpe
  (12:04 PM)

By seasons end I'd think there will be a few assistant coaches from very good teams who are ready to captain their own ship.

John (Santa Barbara, CA)

Jrue Holidays game seems to be more about scoring this year, and since he's not getting benched, it seems like it's a coaching decision from coach collins. Is it a coaching decision you think is a good idea for Holidays long term evolution?

David Thorpe
  (12:05 PM)

Best to focus on making the best basketball play, scoring or passing. Holiday needs to develop fully, and that includes scoring.

John (Santa Barbara, CA)

I love the way the sixers are playing this year, but let's face it - no way they beat the heat or bulls in a 7 game series and Elton Brand isn't getting younger (and there's no one really behind him) - if you ran the sixers - (as opposed to zombie Thorn) what would your plan be?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

I'd likely continue to develop the assets as much as possible, then look to make some blockbuster deals. Right now their assets are decent, not great. But a few have real upside to mine.

sam (miami)

Do you see any way that a team other than miami or chicago can win the east?

David Thorpe
  (12:06 PM)

Orlando if Dwight announced he was staying. And that's it.

Eric (New York, NY)

Thorpezilla!! The Pacers this year look like the Sixers did last year; well-balanced with younger players developing and a couple of solid vets. How far can either team go as constructed, and would they be better off trading pieces for a superstar?

Eric (New York, NY)

Thorpedo, Denver and Utah both look pretty solid after giving up superstars, while the Knicks and the Nets, not so much. Should Orlando feel better about its future if it trades Dwight?

David Thorpe
  (12:09 PM)

These questions go great together, as does the one about Philly. A star alone is not the answer. I like to say now that "basketball is rocket science", despite what many experts say. It's very very hard to create the right formula with all the right ingredients. There's no one way to do this either. The best plan is to develop your players to their highest potential, have a great coach and staff, and then see how good you are. From there, with assets, options are available.

Eric (El Paso Tx)

Would a combination of Scola, Martin and Dragic be enough to land Gasol from LA?

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

Houston has won 7 straight. They have 3 streaks of 5 or more wins since the trade deadline last season. Dalembert is playing probably his best hoops of his career. I doubt they'll do something drastic just yet-and I don't think LA would want Martin or Scola.

LeBron James (Miami)

Likelihood I convince Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson to leave the Cavs and play for the Heat?

David Thorpe
  (12:11 PM)

Funny.

Norris Cole (Miami)

Do I prove tonight that I'm the best rookie PG in the league? Or just better than Kyrie?

David Thorpe
  (12:12 PM)

In no universe that I know are you better than KI.

Jeremy H (Minneapolis)

Watching Kevin Martin last night take the Wolves down gave me a new found respect for him. Why would the Rockets want to trade him?

David Thorpe
  (12:13 PM)

If they can land Pau, it makes sense. But he is not "on the blocks" nor is he sulking or sad about the trade that died. Houston is an interesting team, one of the youngest in the NBA. They are well managed and are playing to their talent currently.

Heather V. (Georgia)

Hey David! Like the play of M.Morris for Suns and if he continues to start how do you see his season going forward?

David Thorpe
  (12:14 PM)

I like him and am glad to see his passion. He's a long term starter, as I've said repeatedly over the past year.

Sam (Chicago)

Thoughts on Derrick Williams for Marcin Gortat? MN gets a legit post player, Phoenix gets a young exciting player (and 'Zona grad) to build around.

David Thorpe
  (12:15 PM)

No chance Sam, one's a tweener forward with no identity right now and the other is an underrated center.

Tom A (Sacramento)

Why no love shown to Isaiah Thomas of the Kings? For a 2nd rounder (last pick in the draft) he seems to be contributing when he gets time, competes hard, and is pretty athletic.

David Thorpe
  (12:16 PM)

I think he's been a pleasant surprise in yet another poisonous season in Sacto. May beat out Jimmer for minutes soon.

Dan (CA)

What can the Kings do to get better? They've been stuck in the same place since firing Adelman. Just a bunch of young guys with no veteran leadership.

David Thorpe
  (12:17 PM)

The problems there run deep. It may take awhile to shake off the Westphal impact. He and Rambis have to be in the running for worst coaching job of the last 20 years.

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

Though Flip is making a hard run at them this year and last.

Sir mitch New York [via mobile]

What do you think of the Portland Trailblazers' chances of being NBA champions?

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

I have never had that thought.

Niko (Adelaide)

As someone who preaches the importance of fundamentals, you must absolutely love watching James Harden ball?

David Thorpe
  (12:18 PM)

Holy cow yes I do. He just oozes poise and talent.

Nick (CT)

David, What's wrong with the Lakers offensive struggles so far? Who's most to blame?

David Thorpe
  (12:19 PM)

The biggest myth of the past 20 years is that guys like Jordan and Kobe need open paint spaces to operate. PJack contantly pounded his bigs to pound the paint, and it was marvelous. That is not the case in LA anymore.

Aaron (Seattle)

I noticed that you have both Jazz rookies, Kanter and Burks, outside of your top 10. They have PERs, however, that suggest otherwise. Why the downgrade?

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

Not enough minutes yet, but stay tuned.

Kris (CO)

As the season is progressing, does it still look like the Hornets got a good deal for CP3? Gordon is hurt (as normal), T'wolves pick is most likely in the middle of the 1st at this rate, and Aminu isn't even a bench player anymore.

David Thorpe
  (12:20 PM)

I thought it was a bad deal then, and I still do.

John (Philadelphia)

Doug Collings your early favorite to win COY?

David Thorpe
  (12:22 PM)

No. They are 2-4 against teams with a winning record. They have played the 3rd easiest schedule in the NBA. Ask me again in March.

Jeremy H (Minneapolis)

Excluding last night's game Wayne Ellington has been playing really the prior 5 games. Why on earth does Ridnour keep starting Luke" Shoot First Point guard" Ridnour when he is a defensive liabilty?

David Thorpe
  (12:23 PM)

Did you not see Ellington get cooked last night? He's not a bad defender, but he's no Corey Brewer (oops).

Saif Raza (Roanoke, Va)

Thorpedo what do you make of Dwight Howard's responses to Shaq? It seems to me other elite athletes would use it as fuel (MJ, Kobe) but Dwight seems to be more like eh...leave me alone Shaq! Can you be in contention for GOAT and not be a bit crazy like MJ and Kobe?

David Thorpe
  (12:24 PM)

Shaq was a phenomenal player and is a very amusing man to listen to. I'll leave it at that.

gregor (anchor town)

Hey Mr. Thorpe, what about the Sixers trying to get Gasol from LA? He seems to need a new home and we need some skilled size. How would it work?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

Now that is an interesting idea, though I have no clue what Gasol thinks about it. Sixers have some athletes, which LA needs.

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

The Mavericks have played 3 more games than several teams in the league....do you see this as a significant advantage towards the end of the season when they should have a few extra days of rest? And is this the reason Rick Carlisle has used such a long bench early on?

David Thorpe
  (12:25 PM)

I don't think it has much of an impact now, but yes, as the season unfolds I think how much pt a player gets will effect how he plays, to some degree.

JJ (SJ,CA)

FB friend of yours, you're such a great guy coach! Anyway, Thoughts on Rubio thus far???? Surprised any??? I find it funny that everyone(me included) assumed he wouldn't be as good as T.Evans,Curry,Jennings,Holiday, and all the other pgs from that draft...now look!

David Thorpe
  (12:27 PM)

Thanks!! I love connecting with NBA fans thru Facebook in a way that has nothing to do with basketball. Rubio has been exactly what I expected two seasons ago. Glad to see him find his game again. For you Facebookers out there, I'm at David B. Thorpe, and @coachthorpe on twitter.

BZ (San Bernardino, CA.)

With the injury to Chicagos star forward Deng, How big of an impact on the team will this be?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

They survive injuries well because they are so well coached, but over time it will have its' impact, to be sure. Luol does so much for them.

Jonny H (Milwaukee)

What does Wall need to work on more, his jump shot or his shot selection?

David Thorpe
  (12:28 PM)

Both.

James (California)

Looking back do you thing Stern made the wrong decision on the CP3 trade?, the guys they were going to get in the Lakers trade are doing great and Eric gordon is injured and the minny pick doesnt look so good suddenly

David Thorpe
  (12:29 PM)

I think Stern was focused on the money still guaranteed to Martin and Scola.

Ahmad (Montreal)

What is the main issue with the Pistons? I thought after hiring L. Frank, they will be a much better team. At least I thought they would be a respectful team. They are awful to watch. What gives? Thanks in advance

David Thorpe
  (12:30 PM)

I have yet to be convinced that he's the right coach for young players. But I'm not passing judgement yet on him in Detroit.

Devlin (Land of 10,000 lakes)

Thorpedo, did you enjoy a taste of winter in your trip here? thats why we are hearty folks we deal with that yearly. Anyways, last night watching the Wolves-Rockets game, I realized that if the Wolves had Kevin Martin, we ould be a great team. He does everything the Wolves SGs cant in terms of scoring, creating and playing solid defense. thanks for being facebook friends with me. Keep up the great work, chats are always fun!

David Thorpe
  (12:33 PM)

How tough can you be when all of downtown is connected by a mall/walkway above ground? I didn't even have to bring a jacket, other than when I walked to Hell's Kitchen to have lunch with Zach Harper!! No one has accused Martin of being solid on d since his 2nd season in the league, but McHale and his staff have Houston more prepared on that end than they have been in a few years. Yes, he's a perfect fit with Rubio, Love, and Adelman, but so are many other shooting guards.

Ted (Dallas)

Russell Westbrook knows what the media and fans are saying about his temperment and his (in most people's opinion) obvious desire to be the superstar of his own team. Why, in your opinion, did he sign the extension? What message does this send to the media, fans, etc?

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

I think he and KD are very close, and he loves playing for that franchise. Period.

Jonny H (Milwaukee)

Is Jennings starting to turn the corner? It looks like he is playing with much more confidence.

David Thorpe
  (12:34 PM)

I totally agree.

Kurt (Salt Lake)

You really have no eye for talent!! you thought Fesenko was the next great big man then you say Enes Kanter wont be a good player, he has the 2nd highest rebounding rateever has a rookie, the only one higher was Dwight Howard.

David Thorpe
  (12:36 PM)

You might be right, but those are not the facts. One-I always thought Fes could be a starting center if he every matured. Which he hasn't. But Hollinger rated him as the single best defender in the league, metrics wise. Not too shabby. And Kanter played slowly early on, but is definitely locked into being a defensive rebounder. I like it and will be writing about him soon.

Ben (Australia)

What's the most important part of a jump shot? Legs, snapping the wrist, other?

David Thorpe
  (12:37 PM)

That's like asking what's the best part of a wedding cake? If it's gonna be sweet, then all the ingredients have to mesh perfectly. And every one is unique.

Eric (El Paso, Tx)

Also Mr. Thorpe, if i'm going to coach a 6 foot 15 year old on basketball, what should i focus more on? I was thinking rebounding and blocking shot, being physical in the paint, etc

David Thorpe
  (12:38 PM)

Nope-speed, agility, ball handling, shooting, finishing. He's a little guy man, for this sport.

Ying (Ottawa)

I feel like Marc Gasol has been putting up some great numbers. Is he taking a significant step forward, or is it just a result of increased usage? (Z-bo minutes)

David Thorpe
  (12:39 PM)

Probably more the latter than former. There's my early season coach of the year. And how about the Grizz, last year and now, dealing with injuries to Gay and Z-BO?!!

JRC (Illinois)

Phoenix has gotten praise for their training staff or also know as the rehab center. Whats next we going to take a shot at Oden and try to patch him up to resurrect his career too?

David Thorpe
  (12:40 PM)

I think that's a possibility, yes.

Jackson (IA)

I feel like Darius Morris would be the best pg in the game...if the point of the game were to dribble with no purpose...

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

You lost me at first, but then cleared it up nicely.

Jackson (New York )

Do you blame Flip or a young, hodge podge roster in rebuilding mode? Also, any chance Westphal gets the nod here?

David Thorpe
  (12:41 PM)

Yes, kind of, and no frickin' way.

Mike (Oakland)

Best drills for teaching 3rd graders man defensive principles? Lots of thrust and parry, not enough foot sliding.

David Thorpe
  (12:44 PM)

My team of 3rd and 4th graders is one game away from an undefeated regular season, and I'd say it's partially because we spend time learning how to help in the paint with our hands up or wide. Also, I taught them the "gimme that" that guys like Carlos Boozer likes to shout, and some of our 8 and 9 yr olds were heard shouting that last week as they grabbed a rebound or took the ball away from someone. So teaching them to be aggressive is a big step forward.

Jerry (DC)

How bad is the injury to Deng? Will he gut out the season?

David Thorpe
  (12:45 PM)

Dammit Jerry, I'm a coach not a doctor!

tom (chicago partly sunny and 30's)

Thorpedo - Is Brad Beal the next Vernon Maxwell (who always outplayed jordan)?

David Thorpe
  (12:46 PM)

Oh gosh I hope not. I knew Vernon, we went to college together and were just a year apart. The godfather to my twins was his teammate there. Beal is no Vernon Maxwell, seems far more polished, mature, responsible, etc. And is not nearly as quick.

Bradley (Chicago)

Thorpe: I enjoy the chats and the movie quotes. One thing, though: the end punctuation should generally be inside the quotation marks (with some exceptions). Everyday is a school day, right?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

That's why we (or I) need editors. I've seen it done both ways (but thanks for the tip.).

Jonny H (Milwaukee)

How do you rate Anthony Davis? Potential superstar, or more of a pure rebounder/shot blocker?

David Thorpe
  (12:48 PM)

Less the former and more the latter, but with potential for stardom.

Craig (Kansas City)

Is Paul Millsap an example of someone who is changing his "brand" from a energy player to complete player with all star potential?

David Thorpe
  (12:49 PM)

That is the correct question, Craig. Yes.

Adam (Washington )

Now that they got rid of Flip, any chance they can get rid of Blatche too?

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

Getting rid of Flip is step one, but I don't know if they know what step two is. Who would take Blatche? And don't say Orlando.

Cosmo (Anytown, USA)

I'm helping coach 6 and 7 year olds. I feel that the ball that they are using is too big for them at this age. Is there a rule of thumb for using the appropriate ball size as kids get bigger?

David Thorpe
  (12:51 PM)

I used the 28.5 then for my son, still do. He's 10.

Matt (NY)

Is this going to mean yet another ESPN NBA chat hour goes by without mentioning the Denver Nuggets? They get no love, but are so balanced and well coached they will absolutely make noise come playoff time. Ignore them all you want America, they are on the rise!

David Thorpe
  (12:52 PM)

Relax Matt. We all know they are a good team and a contender.

chuck (dc)

with ernie still the gm and selfish players like baltche and jordan crawford et al on the team does it really matter who the coach is? would the wizards have been better off using amnesty on baltches terrible contract and cleaning house.

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

The coach can make a big difference, to be sure.

David Thorpe
  (12:53 PM)

That's step two by the way, hiring the right guy.

Brian (Cleveland)

Anchorman! Classic flick... What advice would you give to Tristan Thompson with his foul shot?

David Thorpe
  (12:54 PM)

Um, no. "Indian Summer". Classic flick.

Michael (denver)

the experiment of monta and curry has been tried for way too long. Which player would you keep and why?

David Thorpe
  (12:55 PM)

Curry. Many reasons, but let's start with his contract.

big boy (la)

So you're suggesting the Wizards should bring in someone with no head coaching experiance to guide this bunch of morons?

David Thorpe
  (12:56 PM)

Yes I am. No nba head coaching experience is needed, just a great mind, good teaching and talking skills, and a great motivator.

Matt (NY)

Questions answered about the woeful Wizards: lots. Questions answered about the exceptionally balanced and well coached Denver Nuggets: Half of one. Where's the love?

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

Would you like me to make up my own questions?

IT (provo, ut)

Is it too early to give up on Jimmer?Jimmer over his last 3 games is 11 of 24 from the field and 7 of 12 from 3 point range.

David Thorpe
  (12:57 PM)

Not close to give up time.

VW (NYC)

Chandler Parsons - what's he good at and what's he got to improve on?

David Thorpe
  (12:58 PM)

Tune in to my rookie report on Thursday.

SeaBass (OB)

What about Jo Noah for Monta Ellis. Seems like a win win .

David Thorpe
  (12:59 PM)

SeaBass, that's a ban my friend. In effect next week.

Jake (SF)

First off, how do you know if the woman you are dating is "the one"? Second, thoughts on M. Jackson so far in the bay?

David Thorpe
  (1:00 PM)

As long as she does not think the Bulls should trade Noah for Ellis, she has a chance.

David Thorpe
  (1:01 PM)

Gotta run. Thanks for 600 or so questions. See all of you next week. Be safe.