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June 18, 1:30 PM ET
Chat with Michael Wilbon

mike wilbon
  (1:34 PM)

What's up everybody? Game 6 in just less than eight hours...here we go...AND feel free to hit the Stanley Cup Finals and U.S. Open in retrospect....

Joey (Tx)

Im so over the what Lebron didn't do garbage. The Spurs are good too, hello!

mike wilbon
  (1:37 PM)

We'll start with a smart point, a great point. Thanks for thinking Joey...LeBron hasn't been able to do some of what he did against the Pacers and Bulls and Bucks and others BECAUSE the Spurs are a great team. They're not as magnificent as they were in 2007 or 2005 or 2003 but they're damn sure a great team. They're a champion. So, LeBron is going toe to toe with a champ, which means he's going to absorb some shots on the chin while not being able to land all of his shots. The Spurs know how to defend, they study LeBron and simply aren't going to allow him to do all of what he wants to do all the time...And didn't LeBron just have 25 and 8 the other night in that loss? He wasn't some bum out there. I thought Miami played a pretty darned good game Sunday and just got beat by the better team on that night. The previous game, Game 5, LeBron and his crew were better that night. People get stupid with what they expect...and then their off-base criticism when somebody doesn't deliver that...

Ed (Queens Village)

Why is there this high standard with LeBron if he lose tonight or Thursday he deemed a failure. Magic, Bird, Dr J., Kobe, Shaq, Karl Malone all lost multiple finals.

mike wilbon
  (1:40 PM)

Another great point...and great list...And don't forget John Stockton on that list...and for that matter, The Great Jerry West, who lost ALL of them except one. Wilt...The list of guys who lost multiple finals is greater than the list of the guys who never lost one, which essentially is Russell, Jordan, Pippen, Duncan, Havlicek and Sam Jones...I'm exaggerating...a little...but that's pretty much it...

Fear (Whitby)

I think whoever wins tonight will win the title (obviously for the spurs). Can't see the heat losing game 7 at home.

mike wilbon
  (1:43 PM)

I can't see the Heat losing Game 7 at home either, which is why I picked the Heat in 7 when the series started...But we're all guessing. Personally, I'm less interested in making or hearing predictions than I am WATCHING the series, consuming it, trying to understand why the coaches are doing what they're doing, why players are better in certain situations than others...We've had enough predictions...so I don't really need to hear any more of them...

Andres (GA)

If the Spurs win tonight, Lebron would be 1-3 in the NBA finals. While, I don't agree that he's his own player and should not be compared to Jordan and all the other greats ..... Wouldn't it be time to stop mentioning him in the same sentences with the Jordans, Russells, Magics and Birds of the world?

mike wilbon
  (1:45 PM)

Perhaps, yes...But it's not like LeBron's career ends tonight and he's guaranteed to not play in any more Finals. Hell, he may be back in the Finals next season. I don't compare him to Jordan; I think that comparison is premature for sure...But this notion that we can write the history of LeBron James is sure as hell premature, too...

Zane (TX)

What do you think Danny Green's ceiling as a player is?

mike wilbon
  (1:48 PM)

These two games in the Finals. He's playing in the perfect system for him, with a defense-wrecking point guard in Tony Parker, another shooter in Gary Neal who prevents him, Green, from seeing any special defenses, a great big man who helps create space around the arc in Tim Duncan, for a coach who's a basketball genius in Pop...The guy just lit UP two Finals games...I don't see how his ceiling is any higher. You asking if he can be another Steph Curry? No, because he shouldn't dribble more than two times in any sequence...But this is a pretty high ceiling right now...Some nights he'll have 8 and miss everything, a lot of nights he'll have 12-14 and make 35-50 percent of his shots, and other nights he'll be out of his mind...I think this is who he is, which is a pretty high ceiling for a guy cut twice by THIS coach already earlier in his career...

Fear (Whitby)

Do you agree with Brian Windhorst that the next 3 days will define the last three years for the heat? He is probably right but 3 straight finals appearances is pretty damn impressive if you ask me.

mike wilbon
  (1:50 PM)

Great question...I agree with Brian to an extent. I think for most people one title will NOT be enough when evaluating this Miami group, particularly the Big Three...I won't dare call it a failure, but I would call it somewhat of a disappointment because of the promises they made themselves. At the same time, you're right about three straight Finals. That's something...But in the NBA, unlike the NFL or MLB or NHL, multiple titles are kind of expected for the greatest of the great players...fair or not. So, I think the Heat, if they don't win this series, will be judged sort of harshly...

MARI IL [via mobile]

I know it might sound ridicoulous but do you think tiger is getting overwhelmed by expectations this year as in being great all year

mike wilbon
  (1:52 PM)

Yes...And I think he's also at the place in his career where he's great still, the best in the game, but he's clearly falling off, specifically his putting when the stakes are the highest. Having said that, suppose Tiger wins the British Open or PGA and two other tournaments? Is there any doubt he'd be player of the year, unless somebody winds up with two major championships this year?

mike wilbon
  (1:53 PM)

Ooops, did you guys see that question? let me publish the question (by itself) one more time just in case...

MARI IL [via mobile]

I know it might sound ridicoulous but do you think tiger is getting overwhelmed by expectations this year as in being great all year

mike wilbon
  (1:53 PM)

there it is...

Greg Miller Philly [via mobile]

Will the comparisons to Jordan stop if LeBron fails to win the title this year?

mike wilbon
  (1:54 PM)

For awhile...

Ian (Flushing, NY)

Hey Michael, love everything you do. I think people are over-reacting to the potential damage a loss would do to LeBron's career. Everyone is so quick to compare him to MJ, but that comparison aside, LeBron has accomplished some REMARKABLE things and he is only 28.

mike wilbon
  (1:55 PM)

And that's an important observation to make, thank you. We're not talking about final chapters here, or a window closing yet. It's wide open for five, six years...presuming good health...

Brandon (syracuse) [via mobile]

What do the spurs need to do to finally put away the series and win consecutive games?

mike wilbon
  (1:58 PM)

Keep a lid on LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh. I think we're past the point in this series where the others--Miller, Ray Allen, Battier, Chalmers, Haslem--can beat the Spurs. Don't get me wrong, any or all of them will have to contribute...But we saw in Game 4 what makes Miami go...The Spurs will have to keep a lid on that PLUS get great games from Parker and Duncan, with big support from Ginobili, Green, Neal...ANd they HAVE to cut down the turnovers...Can't win with 20 turnovers tonight. My over-under on turnovers for the Spurs in Game 6 to win is 14...

Trott (Washington DC)

Bosh for Gasol?

mike wilbon
  (2:02 PM)

why would the Lakers do that? They've got a two-time champ in Gasol who actually WANTS to play closer to the basket...I love both players, but I would not trade Gasol...but that's just me...

Mike (Atl)

Hey mike, where would you rank Pop among the all time great coaches? I come away constantly amazed at his adjustments and ability to put the right players in positions to succeed well before they even tip off...the man is amazing..

mike wilbon
  (2:04 PM)

Not many guys have won 5...even 4 if the Spurs don't win this series...Behind Red Auerbach and Phil Jackson and maybe Pat Riley...but maybe ahead of Pat Riley...in any case, it's a short list...damn short...

Daniel (Alexandria,VA)

Do you think that the spurs will start manu again and put boris diaw back on lebron?

mike wilbon
  (2:05 PM)

I'm guessing Ginobili starts again, but Pop is a different cat...his thought process isn't like anybody else's, and by anybody I mean other coaches...

Paul (Portland, OR)

Hi Mike. First of all, I love how you four (Jalen, Bill and Magic the other 3 of course) have rounded into shape with your show. I think much of this season's disappointment, or maybe surprise with Miami is that win streak. When you looked at that team, even though they barely squeaked out some of those wins, it seemed they'd be nearly unstoppable in the post-season.

mike wilbon
  (2:07 PM)

thanks...and great point...I DO think that 27-game winning streak influenced us...It influenced me, for sure...I was 13 years old when the Lakers won 33 straight and the title with Wilt and Jerry West and they were so great in the playoffs...I did make the connection between the streak and presumed greatness in the playoffs. Again, I would caution, Miami still has a great chance to win the title...and validate that connection...two games at home is a great chance...

mike wilbon
  (2:13 PM)

It's okay to compare championship teams...and it's okay to compare one franchise's best team to other title teams. We do that all the time with the Lakers and Celtics and Bulls...I think it's more difficult to repeat; Magic reminds me of that all the time...so with that in mind I think this team is a little better...a hair better. I wouldn't see any reason to be disappointed with this team if Miami wins. IF...Big if...

mike wilbon
  (2:14 PM)

I'm sorry to do this because I kinda feel we're just getting warmed up...But we've got to do an early segment for PTI today...Jeff Van Gundy is our guest and I know you guys would rather hear him on the show than have more of me here...So I'm being told to shut up and get to the studio!!! Thanks for chatting...Can't wait for tipoff tonight...See you soon...MW