Thanks for joining me for this holiday edition of the weekly NBA chat. I hope all of you are having a safe and blessed time with loved ones or wherever you are. Me? I'm in L.A. getting ready for tomorrow's Kobe-less clash between the Lakers and surging Miami Heat. Well, let's get right to unwrapping some of your questions.
Roy Hibbert or Chris Bosh?
Great question. But my answer won't be. Why? Because it depends on what you're looking for from the post. Bosh is far more dynamic and would be the choice if I'm running an up-tempo, spread-the-court system. If I'm a power team, I go with Hibbert. Since I'm more of a traditionalist, and was raised on Georgetown hoops back in the day, I'm going with the Hoya out of loyalty.
Why are fans obseesed with getting a stretch four for Houston? They seem to have a pretty good team. Top 5 players in at least 2 positions already. Is it realistic to think they could land Bosh or Aldridge?
Yes, to me, that would be extremely unrealistic for the simple fact that Portland and Miami are playing great basketball and are satisfied with their personnel. My guess is Houston will have to look elsewhere to find a trade partner to unload Omer Asik.
Michael, the Heat are playing Shane at PF and defending bigger players is hurting him offensively. The heat should start Beasley he could some what handle it better than battier and it allows Battier to have a more comfortable bench role
I think the Heat prefer to have Beasley come off the bench as a sparkplug. That role continues to motivate Beasley to bring his best in whatever minutes he gets. On the other hand, once Shane gets finds his stroke consistently, the Heat will regain that dynamic of stretching the floor. But coach Erik Spoelstra seems to keep an open mind with lineup combinations and flexibility.
Why do some chatters think that Miami will be able to obtain Asik for Joel Anthony? And does Miami need Asik, their 2 time champs and cruising. There are other teams in the league, while were at it, Miami should just trade for Chris Paul and Kevin Love that way they can have Bosh coming off the bench for possible sixth man of the year.
You have to figure out a way to distinguish the rational fans from the unrealistic ones. Not team in their right mind wants to help the Heat at this point via trade. The Heat are also limited in their realistic trade chips to land a deal. I'm not saying it's impossible for Miami to get involved an any deal. But there's a reason why the Heat's roster additions have come during free agency, be it midseason or offseason.
Honestly, do you think Carmelo will leave the Knicks? I hope they don't but is there a possibility that they trade him? Thanks
I no longer rule antyhing out. But this experiment in New York with Carmelo hasn't worked out for either side. I don't think the Knicks go anywhere with him at this point, potentially beyond the second round of the playoffs at the most. If he truly wants to test free agency and allows himself to be recruited on the open market, then it tells me he already has one foot out of the door.
Michael will Denver make a trade the next few weeks?
They have plenty of pieces, but they also must decide what direction they want to go as a team. What style do they want to play. Between injuries and inconsistent play, they're not getting much from the post they can rely on this season. Yes, I see them making a move by the trade deadline to get themselves firmly into playoff position.
Hey Michael, Bulls say they won't trade Deng. Do you believe them?
Yes, I believe them. But those things change. If there's a team willing to give up a first-round pick or offers a package that benefits the Bulls with some cap relief, they would be foolish not to part with Deng.
Do you think the Bulls will still make playoffs?
Even in a diminished state, I believe the Bulls will make the playoffs. They just don't know how to quit, even if quitting on the season and trying to rebuild might be the best thing in the long run for the team.
Settle this debate with my brother please. He is a Heat fan and thinks the Heat are better with Bosh than they would be with Dwight Howard instead. Thoughts?
Come on, fellas. Is that really a debate? There aren't many people in the league Pat Riley would trade Chris Bosh for at this point. But Dwight Howard is on that list. But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting on that transaction to happen.
do u think the wizards will make it to the playoffs if yes how? and why
Yes. Two things impress me about the Wizards right now. They're playing much better on the road than they have in the past, which means they are competing and giving themselves a chance to win most nights of the season. Secondly, John Wall seems to be on a mission this season. If Nene and Bradley Beal can stay healthy, they're a playoff team. Especially in the East. I have the East slotted like this at this stage of the season, with regards to playoff potential: Pacers, Heat, Hawks, Pistons, Wizards, Bobcats, Knicks, Bulls
I know he's closed off to the media but any Oden progress updates? How are his knees lately and how's his mentality with the slow and steady approach. Guys are competitive and love basketball so it's gotta hurt him to watch instead of play.
The reality is that it takes time to work off four years of inactivity and rust. That's the position Oden is in right now. Some days his body cooperates and responds to the rehab and workout plan; some days it doesn't. The key with Oden is that he gets himself in solid condition to give his knees the best chance to hold up under his massive frame. That part remains a challenge. But mentally, Oden will tell you he's in a better situation just being around an NBA team on a daily basis than he was the past few years.
Why no love for Curry for an mvp contender? I know he wont win, but hes gotta be top 4 or 5. Thoughts?
The Warriors sporadic start plays a huge role in the perception with Curry when it comes to MVP consideration. That said, we tend to give Kevin Love the benefit of the doubt because he's putting up incredible numbers on team that floats above and below .500 all the time. But I would say the early frontrunners, in no particular order, are Lebron, Durant, George, Parker and Love.
As Vince Carter pushed closer to 25k points do you see him making the HOF?
I've thought about this the past two seasons. I do think Vince Carter is a Hall of Fame player. His durability and stability allowed him get to the cusp of 25,000 points. Look at the list. There are guys ahead of him and behind him on the list who are in the Hall of Fame. While he never consistently became the impact, elite-level superstar his talented suggested he'd be, Vince has done enough over the years to solidify his Hall pass. It might take a couple of ballots to get him in, but he'll get in there.
What was the bigger shock? 76ers beating miami early in the season or Toronto beating okc at home??
I'd say the 76ers beating the Heat. I know it was the second game of a back-to-back set for the Heat, and Dwyane Wade sat out. But that Philly team had nothing going for it coming into the season. Then, Michael Carter-Williams throws up a triple-double in his NBA debut. That type of stuff doesn't happen. Except, it did. The Raptors might be a bunch of misfitting parts, but they do play hard every night. They have streaky scorers who can torch you every now and then.
If their careers ended now who had the better NBA career, Paul Pierce or Ray Allen?
That's truly a tough one. Give me a week to look into that and get back to you. Initially, I'm inclined to say Ray Allen. But I need to think on that a bit more.
Best handle in the league?
It's a tie between Kyrie Rubio and Ricky Irving.
Beasley has been a pleasant surprise this year, he has been efficient and has rebounded very well coming off the bench. Do you think the heat will want to keep him after this season, (assuming he keeps this level of play, or better, up)? And, if they do, will they be able to afford him at that point?
I think they'll want to keep him. But the numbers will be tricky for the Heat next season, assuming LeBron, Wade and Bosh all return. The luxury tax penalties are steeper. For Beasley to maintain a place on this team moving forward, he'll have to be either a mini-midlevel player or a veteran minimal player. Decisions from Ray Allen and Shane Battier will also impact the Beasley ordeal after this season.
Who needs to step up for the T-wolves to make a move on the playoffs? (Could be more than one)
There's not much in terms of bench help, so I would start there. Beyond that, Rubio needs to be more of a consistent threat as a scorer on offense and Kevin Martin must more closely resemble the Sacramento/Houston Kevin Martin. There's not one player on that roster, besides Love, you can trust on a nightly basis to deliver.
There's no reason for the Suns to trade Dragic and/or Frye at this point, right? It's too late for a high pick, and they're important parts of a quality team with tons of draft picks and cap space.
The Suns are defying the whole "tank" logic. Good for them. No one who has ever been a part of a competitive environment in any sport goes out to purposely do their jobs miserably. It's refreshing at times when some of the know-it-alls in our industry are shown to not really know as much as they thought they knew. I hope the Suns keep this up with the roster full of players nobody else really valued as highly.
Well, that's my time for the week. Thanks, as always, for joining me. Again, have a happy and safe holiday season. Talk to you again next week. Until then, peace - MW