Hey folks, Michael will be here at 2:30 p.m. ET to take your questions!
Thanks for joining us again for another round of NBA chatting. The playoffs are here, and there's no shortage of story lines out there to tackle. So let's get right to your questions.
There have obviously been an array of hated/disliked teams in the NBA (i.e. the Heatles, Bad Boy Pistons, etc.), but I can't remember a team like these Lob City Clippers, where the rest of the league seemingly wants them to be embarrassed at every moment. What exactly causes them to be so reviled? (to be honest, I hate the Clippers, I just don't know why.)
I'm not so sure that's the case nation-wide. When it comes to most despised or disliked teams, I could think of a handful before I'd even get to the Clippers. They haven't proven enough on the court in the postseason over history to be truly disliked. Now disappointing, well, they've had that covered for years. But these aren't your father's or grandfather's Clippers today.
when can we expect the announcement of the MVP award?
Typically, it's right around the first week of May. But there's absolutely no suspense with that award, unless you're interested in who finishes second or third. Otherwise, this will be the worst-kept surprise party LeBron James has ever had in his life.
What do you say to someone who wants to compare Lebron to kobe at this time of their careers? Kobe does have 5 rings but Lebron still has not played out the same amount of nba seasons as kobe to get a fair judgement. I say wait will both are retired.
That's what makes all of these comparisons a bit silly. There's no fair way to place one guy's resume against someone else until they've had the same level of experience in the league. LeBron James will be one of the top five players to ever play the game by the time he retires, regardless of his ring count at this stage. Comparing him to Kobe is one thing, but to compare LeBron to players he's never faced is a debate that can never truly be won or lost.
It looks like Bulls will end up beating Nets in first round. Could you see D. Rose coming back against the Heat in the hope of giving team a mental boost? The Bulls play with so much energy. It would seem that just having Rose on the floor would them an extra bit to really scare Miami. Thoughts?
Well, the series is tied 1-1. I'm not ready to say either team has established enough to declare a winner. But I was thinking the same thing as you were as I watched how engaged, physically and emotionally, Rose was in the game last night. He's on the bench because his teammates want him there. He's also giving advice to players on the bench. He's doing all he's ready to do right now. I'm sure he'd be tempted to come back against the Heat in the next round, but I wouldn't bank on it. I don't think you just jump into a series like that without as much as a warmup.
Hey Mike, how many more years do you see the Heat being title favorites?
Every year LeBron James is in Miami, over at least the next three years.
Hey Mike,Predictions for tonight's game 2's? Any bold prediction?
None. I've got the Knicks, Heat and Nuggets. But I guess the Knicks going up 2-0 in a playoff series would be considered the biggest and boldest prediction of them all.
Knicks in 4
I wouldn't go that far.
Where would you rate the heats bench out of all playoff teams now? Ever since birdman has arrived he has changed the culture of bringing it every day and night has he not?
It's still amazing how Chris Andersen was able to essentially walk in off the street and have this kind of impact on the Heat's rotation. Keep in mind the Heat have been a team the past two-and-a-half seasons that went out of its way to prove NBA basketball could be played without a center on the court. That says a lot about how Andersen has approached this opportunity mentally and physically.
Should the Knicks be worried about Tyson Chandler's recent performance? He's not playing up to his usual self and I'd be worried if I was Mike Woodson.
He's been banged up. If you're a Knicks fan, just be thankful he's still available. That hasn't been the case with just about every other big on their roster who started out the season.
Hey Michael, Question for you, Do you think if Detroit Pistons take Zeller in the draft that they could move Monroe for a wing player? one more, and make a trade for Danny Granger since Indiana over the cap?
I think those would be two horrible moves. Monroe will be a star big man in this league alongside Drummond. And I wouldn't tough Granger right now, especially at his age and coming off knee surgery. The Pistons do need a scoring wing player and a shooter. But I would think they have far more options than Granger and Zeller, although I think he will be a solid pro at the center spot.
What is the overall key to get the Heat Bucks Series over in 4? Do you think there will be a letdown on Miami's part tonite??
I predicted the series to go 5. Obviously, a sweep wouldn't surprise me. But the Bucks need to get more balance in their offense and figure out a way to keep the Heat out of transition. Easier said than done, I know. But it's possible.
Any gut feeling on who will be the Cavs next coach ?
Not really. I can't see Phil Jackson having any real interest in going there, unless it came with total front-office control. Mike Brown's interview went well, according to ESPN.com reports. But if the Cavs are smart, they should also consider Brian Shaw if he's interested. One thing I know is that Cavs roster isn't far from being a playoff team if they can avoid the injuries that have buried them the past couple of seasons.
What are the chances Clippers beat Thunder?
That would be a tremendous second-round series. But I wouldn't secure the Clippers' reservation just yet. They still have to go to Memphis, potentially, for three of the next four games.
What do you think about the state of the Warriors with David Lee down and out? Everyone seems to think that since they almost won Game 1 despite a bad game from Steph Curry, they have the same chances going forward. But whats forgotten is the absence and now return of the Manimal and the fact that Lee was the force on the boards that would combat the Manimal's rebounding frenzy. Do they still have the power down low to compete?
This is where Andrew Bogut has to step up and become the elite-level player his potential promised when he entered the league as the No. 1 pick several years ago. Bogut had a solid Game 1 with 14 rebounds, but he has to score about 20 points and really put pressure on the Nuggets frontline if the Warriors are to compensate for Lee's absence.
Your All-NBA first team?
Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Marc Gasol
Any chance we see Jerry Sloan prowling the sidelines soon? There seem to be enough openings...
If Utah opens up, he'd slip right back into the mix in his old stomping grounds. But of the other openings that are out there, I think his system, discipline and structure would be perfect fits for a talented but raw team like Detroit's young core.
Any chance the Thunder can win it all without much depth from their bench to help the starters keep a lead? They have no system to run and no one like LBJ or CP3 to help them score...
I think the criticism of OKC's bench is a bit overblown. I like Kevin Martin, Reggie Jackson and Nick Collison. Is that a championship-caliber second unit? They still have to prove it in the long run. But OKC's biggest problem isn't a lack of scoring, by any stretch. But the Thunder must have either Westbrook or Durant on the floor at all times to avoid droughts.
if you're dirk would you prefer bledsoe or b.jennings as your PG next year?
If I'm Dirk, I wouldn't be too excited about either option. But if you had to pick one, probably Jennings. He's the more natural scorer and shooter of the two. And at this stage of Dirk's career, he needs someone to help take the scoring load off his shoulders.
Do you think New York can beat Miami if they meet in the playoffs?
Are they capable? Sure, under the right circumstances. But would I pick them in that series, of course not. Straight up, I believe Miami is the superior team. But if the Knicks were to get that far to meet Miami in the conference finals, it would have meant they've beaten two battle-tested teams in Boston and, likely Indiana. If that proves to be the case, then the Heat-Knicks would be a heck of a slugfest to get the NBA Finals.
Some vocal commentators like Charles Barkley (last night) and Greg Anthony have stated Tony Parker is the best point guard in the league but the articles on ESPN that aggregate writers/execs opinions almost always say CP3. Is there still much of a debate on this among the ESPN writers?
I would say there's a legitimate divide among our staffers between Parker, Paul and even Westbrook as the point guard of choice. What that suggests is the league is very deep at the position. Different writers/analysts prefer different attributes. But you can't go wrong with any of those guys at the top.
What are your views about Jarett Jack not getting a single vote for 6th man of the year on arguably the most underrated team of the year?
Jack received 14 of 121 first-place votes and finished third in the balloting behind JR Smith and Jamal Crawford. I had them projected the same way. Jack didn't win the award, despite a great season, but he wasn't robbed by any stretch. In fact, he's likely to make out with a wad of cash this summer in free agency for the season he's put together.
michael, if you didnt cover the heat, which team would you want to be convering?
Never thought about it that way. I get enough opportunities to cover several teams across the league. My main thing is I prefer great stories, no matter where they are. Some of the best stories I've had a chance to write came from covering the worst season in Heat history a few years back. This Heat team is the perfect storm of relevance, polarizing, popular, supremely talented and controversial. That's a recipe for great stories.
Michael I love your work, but what is your case for Gasol over Duncan on First Team All NBA? Duncan scores more points, gets more rebounds, as a comparable defender and his team had a better record. Or are you just not considering TD a center? Thanks for your thoughts.
This year's All-NBA first team might be the hardest one to select in NBA history. I could easily swap Gasol out for Duncan, Paul out for Tony Parker or Kobe out for either Carmelo or Dwyane Wade. So I certainly have no gripes with folks who prefer Duncan over Gasol in that situation.
Thoughts on Kobe Tweeting during the game. Seems inappropriate especially if perceived as "coaching" from a far.
Honestly, it was one of the more remarkable developments I've seen in an NBA playoff game. We've all heard how TV broadcasts sometimes mic up players and coaches during games. But Kobe's tweeting took it to another level, and he was able to connect with fans in a way we've never seen before. I can understand how the second-guessing of the coach and players can be seen by the team and counterproductive and inappropriate. But I absolutely loved it. In fact, the league should have Derrick Rose, David Lee, Rajon Rondo and Rasheed Wallace do it for their respective teams as they sit home with injuries.
Well, that's my time for this week. I've got to get ready to cover Game 2 tonight. Otherwise, I'd stay longer to get to some of the great questions I still see out there. Let's do it again next week. Until then, take care and peace. MW