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March 3, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Tom Haberstroh

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:17 PM)

Sorry for the delay. Let's get to it, y'all...

Drew (NC)

Discussing with a friend today: What makes Minor League Baseball and Hockey so much more attractive than basketball? Is it just better marketing? Or are baseball and hockey easier for the casual fan? Or am I wrong and the NBDL just needs some time?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:19 PM)

Most of the talent fit for NBDL is competing overseas or in the NCAA. Can't speak for hockey, but most of the young talent won't play for NBDL salary vs. the comps that they get in NCAA. Plus, playing at Cameron Indoor is way more fun than playing at Bakersfield.

steve (NYC)

who wins the atlantic?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:21 PM)

Toronto. As long as they're healthy, I don't see the Nets catching them. Kyle Lowry is too good.

Bob (Tennessee)

Hey Tom do you think the Heat will win the title?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:22 PM)

If I'm picking today, yes. But that's because Dwyane Wade is healthy. But we're three months away from the Finals, so anything can happen.

Omarvls (N.Hollywood, CA)

Tom, A Healthy Wade and a 20 min Oden against the Indiana Pacers I say Miami in 6 What do you say?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:23 PM)

I'd say Heat in 5 if I can guarantee Wade and Oden are healthy. But that's not a smart bet, considering their track record. I mean, Oden doesn't even have a track record.

Andrew (PA)

Is Noah the best center in the game?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:25 PM)

It's close, but I'd still probably take Roy Hibbert and Dwight Howard. Get angry, Bulls fans! Truth is I'd be thrilled with all three. It depends on what I need offensively. Noah's the most versatile offensively, but he's also the most limited back-to-the-basket. Defensively, he's the Energizer Bunny.

raph (FRA)

Hey Tom, what happens with the Hawks ? did they start tanking to get back into lottery ?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:27 PM)

Legit injuries are not a form of tanking. Tough to win without Paul Millsap and Al Horford.

Basil (Toronto)

Tom, do you think Melo will go?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:28 PM)

I don't. Money + fame can be a heckuva drug.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:29 PM)

Also, is Basil really your first name? Basil as in the plant or Basil as in the dude from Austin Powers? My father-in-law is the former. Never thought I'd "meet" another.

Drew (NC) [via mobile]

I want to believe in the four point shot being added but a shot that's worth twice as much as another live action field goal seems too drastic. I'm fine with changing the game, just can't back this.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:32 PM)

I hear you, but it's all about the distance. It takes a lot of skill to hit a 30-foot shot consistently, so it's not like we'd see four-pointers every time down the floor. Teams would hunt for low variance shots (close 2-pointers) to offset the inconsistency of a 30-foot shot. Bottom line, we're rewarding skill rather than discouraging it.

Ryan (LA)

The Bulls are in position to make a major S&T offer to NY if Melo demands out.....Boozer

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:33 PM)

And the Knicks do that because?

Jim (New York)

This Steve Nash news is super sad. The Finish Line short documentaries had me pulling for him so hard, and now it looks like we know how it ends. No more Nash in the NBA is the worst. I guess I don't really have a question, just more sadness.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:34 PM)

My thoughts exactly. Can't end like this.

Krish (Stamford, CT)

Why did the Raptors not trade Lowry at the deadline, even for just a second round pick to get something in return for him?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:37 PM)

Because he's really, really good and the Raptors have a solid chance at their best season in franchise history. Plus there's a chance they sign-and-trade him after the season. When a 2nd-rounder is the return, he holds more value on the roster.

Drew (NC) [via mobile]

How much does OKC beat Philly by tomorrow? 20? 30? 75?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:38 PM)

Whatever it is, I'd take the over.

marc (ny)

What are the chances that Chris Bosh opts out and leaves Miami after this season?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:39 PM)

Slim. He's in a good spot. Great place to live, compete at a high level and make lots of money. I could see him going back home to Dallas, but I still think it's highly unlikely he leaves the situation in Miami.

Devon (TN)

Why did the Sixers trade everyone of value except Thad Young, who actually has the least friendly contract for the sixers?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:42 PM)

Because he has the least-friendly contract. Believe me, if Hinkie found a half-decent offer for him, I'm sure he'd pull the trigger. No one's taking on long-term money these days, especially not for a 1st-round pick, which is likely what the 76ers would want for a 25-year-old talent like Thad.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:43 PM)

Speaking of Thad Young ... here's a note from the great Stats & Info group: Thaddeus Young (PHI): 30 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 7 steals (first player to reach those marks since Hakeem Olajuwon in March 1987)

Paul (Portland, OR)

Am I missing the Steve Nash news? Don't see it on the ESPN website currently.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:44 PM)

Harold (Riverside, CA)

Is Melo the new Iverson? Lots of Points but very little of the other things?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:47 PM)

Melo's way more efficient as a scorer and he's also an elite, elite rebounder for his position.

Joe (Chicago)

isn't this a watershed moment for Melo? If he stays in NY isn't he kinda saying I don't care about winning, I just want a check?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:47 PM)

Kinda like what Kobe just did?

marc (ny)

If heat surpass pacers for #1 seed will it mess with pacers psyche after they have been talking all season long about going after it?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:49 PM)

Never really understood why Vogel made this objective so public. Raises the level of disappointment. This is why you don't hear teams put hard timetables on injuries anymore.

Tomas (Vilnius, Lithuania)

Hi, Tom, let's assume, every team in the West has its rosters set by now and everybody is healthy for playoffs. Which team ultimately moves on to the finals?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:50 PM)

OKC. No one's stopping a healthy Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Rockets and Spurs probably right behind them.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:50 PM)

To clarify: strictly looking out West. I still think a healthy Heat team tops healthy OKC.

Harold (Riverside, CA)

Why no love for the Clippers?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:52 PM)

Not totally sold on their frontcourt depth, but they're right there as well.

ryan (the snow)

why didn't jimmer sign with houston?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:53 PM)

Probably playing time. I think he has a better chance at cracking the starting lineup in Chicago than Houston.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:54 PM)

Unless they finish in the playoffs, I doubt it. As is, he'd be third on my ballot if I had one.

Eric (MPLS)

If the Wolves keep winning and K-Love keeps putting up the numbers he has, does his name get added with Durants and Lebrons for MVP?

Dan (CA)

I was really hoping Jimmer would sign in NY, play well, then see Melo / Dolan run him out of town this summer.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:55 PM)

*Jeremy Lin nods*

Drew (NC) [via mobile]

Noah have a chance at first team all NBA?

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:58 PM)

A chance? Yes. Likely? Not unless something happens to Dwight Howard or Roy Hibbert.

Josh (Chicago 'Burbs)

No Kobe fanboy but he has five more rings than 'Melo.

Tom Haberstroh
  (2:58 PM)

How does that change what he just did?

Wags (The dirty Philly)

2 more years for around 20mill for Thad Young...Is that really a bad deal? He's good and that's only 2 years. Not sure what I'm missing on that one.

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:01 PM)

It's not a bad deal, but long-term contracts spook teams in this current CBA.

Coop (Orlando)

In order for Victor Oladipo to get the most out of his potential, he really should model his game after which NBA player? For example, does he need to be a Russell Westbrook type scorer for the Magic in the future?

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:02 PM)

Andre Iguodala.

Marshall (LA)

Even if Melo wanted to win, so what? Where could he go that would guarantee that? I guess Chicago? There aren't a lot of options that are really that much better than the knicks.

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:04 PM)

Suns and Mavericks would like a word. Look, the Knicks are a 50-loss team right now with almost no upside next season.

Mike (Chicago)

Do we not recognize enough the greatness of the 72-10 Bulls? Nobody since has come close to their mark.

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:06 PM)

Did I miss something? Has there been a wave of '96 Bulls haters?

Paul (Minn.)

Do you really want to see JR Smith or Nick Young pulling up from half court for a 4 point shot when his team is down by 20?

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:07 PM)

Yes. Sure beats the status quo of garbage time.

Mike (Plymouth, MI)

As a basketball purist I'd argue a 4 point shot will continue to lessen the impact of skilled big men? Do you really want to turn the nba into a rucker park league?

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:10 PM)

I happen to believe that big men would thrive in this environment with a rise in single-coverages and coaches looking for low-variance scoring. But I can see both sides of the argument.

Mike (Chicago)

No haters, but I don't think that record or that team's greatness is really appreciated.

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:11 PM)

Do you have evidence of this or are you just a Bulls fan?

clark (lafayette, in)

What impact would a 4pt shot have on high school basketball? Seems like the beginning of the end of skill development.

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:12 PM)

NBA rule.

Tom Haberstroh
  (3:14 PM)

Alright guys, I gotta run. Sorry for the short window. Keep cool, my babies.