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December 16, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Tom Haberstroh

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:00 PM)

Greetings, y'all. A dreadful cloudy-and-73 day here in Miami. As I wrap up my lunch, I'm wondering if there's a more addictive holiday snack than mint M&Ms? I posit no. Curious to hear your thoughts as I wipe the chocolate off my fingers. With that, ball's in...

Cole (Chicago)

So Kobe Bryant is leading all West guards in votes and will probably a starter. I weep for the intellect of our race.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:02 PM)

It's a popularity vote, not a merit-based. If Kobe plays at his current level and is first team All-NBA at the end of the season, then you can grab a Kleenex and sob your eyes out. All-Star starters are for the fans, by the fans.

Adam (New York)

With the rumors of the Heat going after Crawford, how would a trade of Jordan Crawford, Jarred Sullinger and Courtney Less work for Joel Anthony and Udonos Haslem for Both teams?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:02 PM)

I know you're in New York, but ... Heat fan?

Vichu (Madrid (Spain))

Steph Curry's averaging 8.3 FTA in December. It's a new version of his offense?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:06 PM)

Right now, he is the Warriors' offense, doing everything. And that's a problem. Warriors' ORtg with him in the game? 110.7 points per 100 possessions. On the bench? 88.6. If Curry can get to the line, Warriors will be so much harder to beat come May. But they need to get there first.

Marco (Italy)

Will the Lakers trade Pau Gasol? Where?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:07 PM)

Yes. Don't know, but there could be a family reunion in Memphis.

Jake (NY)

Who is your MVP so far this season?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:09 PM)

Wrote about this last week. http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10111807/nba-lebron-james-paul-george-lead-first-quarter-mvp-ballot Not much has changed except I'd probably put KD at No. 2 now. Averaging 29-9-5 with 55-51-89 shooting in December. So freaking good.

Tim (Tucson)

Why isn't Alex Len getting any playing time?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:11 PM)

Ankle issues have bothered him all season and even the Phoenix training staff can't solve it! Also, he may not be an NBA player yet. Would love to see him get action in the D-League and get some reps.

JD (VA)

What trade partner works best for both Asik and the Rockets?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:12 PM)

Atlanta. Millsap for Asik straight up. Makes too much sense, though.

Jason (Arizona)

If Lebron has a season where he shoots 60, 45, 80 from fg 3pfg and FT, shouldn't he run away with the MVP? I feel like his insane offensive numbers aren't getting enough recognition

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:14 PM)

No, he shouldn't run away with it even if he's shooting that well. Kevin Durant could be right there with him. Shooting is only but one (large) part of the game. Rebounds, assists, steals and block -- all rates are down this season for LeBron.

Ariel (Texas)

What's your take on guys like Xavier Henry and Wes Johnson?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:15 PM)

Regression to the mean is a nasty thing.

Kris (Pittsburgh)

Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic are the most underrated back court in the NBA. Your thoughts?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:18 PM)

Truth, but I love . But I don't it'll last long. The underrated part, that is. Makes me sad that I can't list Wall/Beal here.

BLAZER BELIVER (MOTOA CENTER)

l. Aldridge MVP ?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:20 PM)

No. Very good player, finally got a very good supporting cast. Don't confuse correlation and causation. MVP is not a team award.

Steve (Miami)

I never thought I'd say this, but the Heat really need Michael Beasley back, don't they?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:21 PM)

Yep. Might help if Shane Battier starts hitting 3s again. Heat offense looks very ordinary when they can't effectively space the floor.

Lorne (Vancouver)

What about Asik for Jamal Crawford? It works straight up and it makes both teams way better...

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:24 PM)

Don't see how it makes Houston "way" better at all. The Rockets don't want Terrence Jones starting a playoff game. They need a defending 4 with range more than a scorer off the bench. That's why they have Lin.

Gavin (Vancouver)

With the development of Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb and surprise play of Steven Adams, could we possibly be seeing the strongest Thunder bench yet? Perhaps some revision on the Harden trade?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:27 PM)

Love what those youngsters are doing, especially Reggie Jackson. See: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/64645/the-big-number-dynamic-duo But James Harden was an Olympian and Derek Fisher still gets 15 minutes a night, so I'm not on board with today's bench being better than 2012.

Cole (Portland)

"MVP is not a team award" haha, you're joking right? Name the last MVP that was on sub .500 team. Team success is a part (maybe not the largest) of winning the MVP.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:30 PM)

I'd argue that's the problem. When we lived in the statistical dark ages, voters relied on team W-L to explain the cloudy areas like defense and "chemistry." But we're smarter, more informed now. We can spot value even on so-so teams. What would Timberwolves look like without Kevin Love? That's value.

Sierra (Baltimore)

Over/under 4.5 East teams above .500 at the end of the regular season?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:31 PM)

Over. Atlanta, Brooklyn and Chicago get there. Washington and Cleveland can get there with a little help.

Max (Indiana)

Who do you see the Bulls offering in trades?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:32 PM)

Expensive veterans, which teams in win-now mode (cough, cough Lakers cough, cough) may want. Deng and Boozer could be had at the right price. However, I doubt European star Nikola Mirotic, whom the Bulls have rights to, is on the table.

Pole (Cortland)

"MVP is not a team award"... and even if it was, there are candidates with better individual resumes than Aldridge on teams that are equally as good.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:34 PM)

That's true as well. Kevin Durant, Paul George, LeBron James above him on my fake MVP ballot. Also, mint M&M's.

Buddy (Canada)

Is Landry Fields the worst player in the nba?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:36 PM)

Not even in the worst player on his own team. (Sorry, Austin Daye).

Buddy (China)

lol Kevin Love is not MVP material he is a David Lee type player

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:37 PM)

Not even going to touch that one...

Selva (Chennai, India)

Should the NBA really get rid of divisions.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:38 PM)

I'd put incessant instant replays at end of games higher on the priority list.

Brent (Indy)

Do you see Larry Bird making any trades during the season?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:39 PM)

Danny Granger's days in Indiana are numbered, from what I can tell.

Greg (Chicago)

Most impressive coaching job? Stotts, Vogel, Hornacek?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:41 PM)

My COY rankings in order: Hornacek, Clifford, Stevens, Vogel, Stotts.

Bob (Orlando)

Is it me, or is Jaqcue Vaughn not a very good coach? I know his roster is not great, but I don't feel like hes getting the best out of the Magic every night.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:42 PM)

All I'll say is this: #freeandrewnicholson

Bruno (São Paulo, Brazil)

What about Gasol for Chandler/Shumpert?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:44 PM)

If the Knicks did that deal, their fanbase should flock to Brooklyn out of spite.

Ben (London)

How good is Pablo Prigioni?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:45 PM)

Way better for the Knicks than Mike Woodson thinks he is. He's like Goo Gone. The ball sticks without him.

Jeff (Sacramento)

Am I foolishly optimistic about the trio of Cousins, Gay and Thomas at this point? Early returns are positive.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:47 PM)

Re-read the first word of your second sentence and then read it some more.

Rick (Springfield)

Is Carmelo Anthony destined to never win a championship based on his style of play?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:48 PM)

Lots of people said that about Dirk, too.

James (Phoenix)

Is Deandre Jordan a candidate for Most Improved Player of the year?

mike b (houston)

Could the rockets possibly get a return of Hawes, A. Miller and Foye in some sort of 3 teamer with both Lin and Asik involved?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:51 PM)

Doubtful. I'd imagine they'd want someone better than Brandon Bass. Millsap, Thad Young, Ersan Ilyasova more likely options in my opinion.

BLAZER BELIVER (MOTO CENTER )

TOM I BELIVE THAT YOU ARE A BLAZER HATER

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:53 PM)

I believe there are three e's in believe.

Mark Da Rosa (Yonkers, NY)

Ryan McDonough, Masai Ujiri, or Danny Ainge for Executive of the Year?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:54 PM)

Neil Olshey would like a word.

John (Iceland)

How about Amare, Felton, Shumpert for Rondo,Wallace and C.Lee?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:54 PM)

Knicks fan?

Wes (Frankfort)

Are you related to the guy that wrote The Breaks Of The Game?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:55 PM)

No, but I wish. Same goes for Tom Haverford!

Brendan (Florida)

Do you see a three team trade happening with Houston, Boston, and Philadelphia involving HOU's center?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:56 PM)

I love the honesty here. Is Omer Asik really that hard to spell?

Daryl Morey (Houston)

Omer Asik and Aaron Brooks for Dasher, Dancer and Buddy the Elf. Who says no?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:58 PM)

Love Buddy the Elf's size, but he needs to cut back on the maple syrup pasta with candy topping. Great workout on the escalator though. Really showcased his flexibility. Baseball might be his sport though, source close to that snowball fight tells me.

Ariel (Texas)

Ever see Duke Silver live?

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:00 PM)

Every show's sold out.

Reality (Not New York)

The answer to "who says no" in any trade proposal involving Amar'e Stoudemire is "the team receiving Amar'e Stoudemire."

J. Smith (Detroit)

Is it ok to shoot 4.2 3s/game when you're hitting .264? Asking for a friend.

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:02 PM)

Yes, as long as it's replacing long 2s, which you're currently shooting at a 24.4 percent clip. 3 is worth more than 2. It's science.

Darren (Miami)

First player to be traded this week?

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:05 PM)

Kyle Lowry. My guess is he'll head to LA once the Lakers cave with a 2014 pick swap.

Nick (Oregon)

re: Josh Smith 3's. Or he could, you know, go to the basket instead, where he actually shoots a good percentage. Looks pretty unstoppable posting up smaller 3's. (Last night vs. batum/matthews good example)

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:05 PM)

Right, which is why I wrote "as long as."

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:05 PM)

Wrapping up here...

Richard (New York)

Whose play has impacted their team more: Paul George or Lamarcus Aldrigde

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:07 PM)

This is easy for me: Paul George. The offense would be a disaster without that guy.

Jeff (N. Attleboro)

Do you see the Celtics being buyers or sellers at trade deadline?

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:09 PM)

Put it this way: they probably started their Jordan Crawford PowerPoint in October.

Justin (Cleveland)

Best fit for Asik? Best fit player in return for Houston?

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:10 PM)

Like I said earlier: Millsap for Asik.

Danny (LA)

Will Griffin be traded for Love at the trade deadline

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:10 PM)

Doubt it. Flip Saunders wants to build around Kevin Love.

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:12 PM)

Last one...

Keane (Portland, OR)

What is the missing piece for Portland to be an even more serious contender for the NBA title?

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:17 PM)

If they can find a way to get into the Omer Asik conversation, that's it. Bottom 10 defense right now and they won't be serious contenders until that gets above average. They'd be scary good with Asik.

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:17 PM)

Alright folks, that's all from me. Headed to Utah-Miami tonight and will have a fresh Per Diem for you tomorrow. Keep cool, my babies!