Hey everyone, thanks for your patience as we wrapped up the playoff preview edition of TrueHoopTV Live. Here now and have a couple of hours to take your questions on Playoff Eve.
Hi Kevin - The Nets -- Raptors series do you think these two are evenly match and will go the full seven games ?
I don't think they're evenly matched, no. The Raptors have been the better team over the course of the season, and in terms of point differential they've been better even over the second half/post-All-Star (take your pick). In fact, Brooklyn had the worst point differential of any playoff team, worse than even the Hawks.
Now, some of the advantages in terms of experience (<a href="http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10802035/identifying-potential-davids-goliaths-playoffs-nba" target="_blank">as I wrote about today</a>) and matchups make this a more competitive series, and one that I do think has a good chance of going the distance. But I do think Toronto should be the favorite.
What's been wrong with Hibbert? You got concerns about him for the playoffs or wasa he just coasting the past month or two?
I don't think he's been coasting. The post offense ... we've seen this before. Hibbert was nearly this bad during the first couple of months of last season, but there wasn't nearly as much national attention paid to it. As for the rebounding, that's more of a mystery to me. But the Pacers remain an elite defense and Hibbert remains the most important piece of that.
I'm picking Heat/Clippers Finals. Is that a safe or risky pick? Who is your pick to win championship?
Probably more safe than risky. In the West, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the top three teams, and I think the Pacers' struggles have made the Heat the clear East favorites. So my pick is San Antonio over Miami.
Will Henry Sims play power forward with Nerlens next year ? Does he have the capability?
Brett Brown has said that he sees Noel as a center and believes in having a floor spacer at the four spot. Henry Sims, as well as he played down the stretch, does not qualify as that.
Are the Wizards a bad matchup for the Bulls? They have played them well the last two seasons.
They're certainly not a good matchup. Washington was the only lower-seeded team to win the regular-season series, and <a href="http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10802035/identifying-potential-davids-goliaths-playoffs-nba" target="_blank">I wrote about how meaningful that has been today</a>.
What team is the lowest seed this year that has a puncher's chance to win the NBA Finals?
To win the whole thing? I could see Brooklyn getting there as a 6, but I can't see anyone outside the top 4 seeds winning it all, so I'll say Houston.
With all the rumors about Melo possibly going to Chicago, any chance Kevin Love ends up in Chicago instead?
He's not a free agent and the Wolves have shown no inclination to trade him, so very limited.
Why is Nick Johnson not projected to go earlier than second round? Seems like he is extremely underrated.
Not big enough to play shooting guard in the NBA and not a true point guard. I worry he'll have Jared Cunningham's career.
Thoughts on Steve Nash as a future NBA head coach? (Maybe next year with Lakers) Thanks.
I think he could definitely do it if he wants to -- which doesn't appear to be the case -- but as Jason Kidd's first two months showed us, it's good to apprentice as an assistant coach first. When Nate McMillan retired, I wanted him to replace George Karl as the Sonics' head coach, but he was better prepared when he did take over after his time on the bench.
Hey Kevin, is Carlos Boozer still an above average NBA starting power forward?
Not even on the Bulls' roster!
Sure. I think Andrew Bogut's injury makes it far less likely but I do think the Warriors can extend the series by going small and spreading the floor.
At the same time, I caution against reading too much into the series length predictions. They don't always match my perceived closeness of the series. Factors like difficulty closing out on the opponent's home court come into play.
Kevin which rookie big do you think will have the best career?
One of the criticsms of Jabari Parker is that he lacks elite athleticism and therefore will struggle to guard small forwards in the NBA. Do you have an opinion on how he rates as an athlete compared to Paul Pierce or Carmelo? Neither of those guys strike me as having elite athleticism and similar body types to Parker yet both were able to check small forwards (Pierce more than Melo). Is It inconceivable that Parker will be able to be a passable perimeter defender?
"Athleticism" comprises a lot of things. Parker is really explosive around the basket in transition. What we're really talking about is a lack of lateral quickness, and I think that is more of a problem for him than Pierce or Anthony. But note that Anthony has proven much more effective as a power forward.
Love your stuff, Kevin. Has there been any stat that looks at salary versus production? Like $ for every one PER point. I ask because I was interested in what Kevin Durant's true salary/worth would/should be if there was no CBA or salary cap. Would he be close to Mike Trout's 6 year, $144.5 million mark? Maybe even higher?
My research on this has been strictly in the context of what teams pay for a win on the opening market, where it's roughly around $1.6 million for each WARP. That would imply a value of between $30-35 million per year for Durant. But it might be different in a world without a cap.
Whichever team drafts Exum how concerned should they be about him bolting for L.A. after his rookie contract is up ???
The CBA makes it really painful for players to do so, since they have to sign the qualifying offer and play at a bargain rate for a year before also giving up the larger raises the original team can offer. More importantly, Exum is 19. Just because he loves the Lakers now doesn't mean he's going to want to play for them when he's 24.
For example, I recently finished <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Showtime-Kareem-Angeles-Lakers-Dynasty/dp/1592407552/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397850440
Rough year for the Bucks; however, 3 things seemed to have worked out great for them: 1) In a poor draft class, they got a steal at 15 getting Giannis who looks to have the most long term upside 2) they choose Knight over Jennings and Teague - Knight is better than Jennings and on par with Teague but on a friendlier contract 3) after overspending on a few players to try to make the playoffs and failing, they failed bad enough that they are going to end up with a nice daft pick... they should have some nice pieces to work with moving forward, thoughts?
Yes. The problem remains converting the pieces into anchors. The bad news is that this year's draft no longer seems to offer any sure things, so even if Milwaukee lands the No. 1 pick, the Bucks may not get that guy.
Now that the season is over, what are your thoughts on the Greek Freak? Everyone was so bullish for a while, but that has seemingly died out. So much talent, but Larry Drew as his coach terrifies me.
A bit of a regression from Antetokounmpo down the stretch, but he's still solidly ahead of schedule. The question remains how he becomes a quality offensive player. Will he be able to create his own offense on a regular basis? Will he become a consistent outside shooter? Those questions will determine his future, not his coach.
I couldn't imagine how lethal the Clips would have been if they kept Bledsoe. Before they (stupidly) traded him. I always thought that you could start both him and CP3 in your back court. Do you think the Clippers would still make that trade, knowing what they know now?
No, because Jared Dudley has been a disappointment, but keep in mind that Blake Griffin's emergence would have meant even less opportunity for Bledsoe to play on the ball. And J.J. Redick has been a great fit next to Chris Paul, so I think they would still want to find a way to get him, which might've required moving Bledsoe in some other deal.
Are you looking forward to Clippers-Warriors series the most? Or is there another opening round matchup that has you intrigued?
Yeah, I've apparently <a href="https://t.co/tDvYO6fRLh" target="_blank">been calling for it since Opening Night</a>. Sadly, it's 10 percent less exciting without Andrew Bogut.
If the Jazz part with Ty Corbin, who do YOU think the Jazz should pursue to lead the team forward?
I don't know that there's any candidate who really looks like an obviously good fit right now. I'm assuming Utah probably won't go with one of the veteran coaches like Lionel Hollins and George Karl, and other than Steve Kerr there's no up-and-coming coach that stands out to the pack for me.
Admit it...the Wizards are dangerous.
What makes you think the Spurs can beat the Thunder, given the matchup problems they've had over the past 2 years?
Well, A.) those results aren't more predictive than overall ability and home-court advantage, which favor the Spurs. But more importantly, B.) What makes you certain the Spurs will play the Thunder?
Hi, Kevin. Every good analyst and GM makes bad calls sometimes. But do you think we should be quantifying predictions (or at least gathering data). While it could certainly have deep implications for analytical journalism and stat geeks, would you freak out about job security? Or would you think that we might also sacrifice the entertainment value of guys like you as well. Or do you think how you're hired or kept on the job naturally selects you out anyway.
I would say that implies people aren't tracking them, which they are: <a href="http://statsbylopez.com/2014/04/17/2013-14-nba-projections/" target="_blank">http://statsbylopez.com/2014/04/17/2013-14-nba-projections/</a>
I think my biggest concerns are understanding the small sample size of projections (which works in SCHOENE's favor this year, as compared to previous years) and evaluating projections/predictions based on what they're actually trying to measure.
Which player outside of Ford's top 100 has show an intriguing projection?
With the withdrawals, pretty much everyone of note is now in the top 100. One player who stands out to me is Kendall Williams of New Mexico.
What would you think about a Warriors team that swapped out David Lee for Carmelo? I know that is a lot of jump shots but shouldn't the Warriors try to put that best for shooters on the floor with Bogut?
I think it would be very good and dangerous. I also can't see it happening, realistically.
Please tell us that we can win one game against Miami. That's all we really want.
I picked the Gentleman's Sweep (H/T Matt Moore/Graydon Gordian): <a href="http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2014/matchup/_/teams/bobcats-heat" target="_blank">http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2014/matchup/_/teams/bobcats-heat</a>
Do you think Kyle Anderson is a PG at the next level? Even if he washes out as a lead guard his passing skills make him intriguing as a combo forward. Do you see NBA clubs taking this into consideration when determining his value in this year's draft?
I don't think you can think of Anderson as playing one position. He'll play two different positions -- one on offense, one on defense. I could see him serving as a lead ballhandler in a scenario where a team has smaller perimeter players who lack playmaking ability.
Whoa! Let me make sure I understand you correctly. You think Nerlens Noel will have a better career than Joel Embiid or where you not including him in that question above?
No, I was interpreting that as referring to 2013-14 rookies. Until the season's over, they're still the current rookies. Embiid is a future one.
It should be noted that Noel's WARP projection was indeed higher than Embiid's -- or anyone in this year's draft class, for that matter. Given the ACL injury, that has to be adjusted downward to some extent, but keep in mind that Noel is actually a month younger than Embiid.
How much of lateral quickness is intrinsic? With different effort, diet, and training, could Parker improve that aspect of his athleticism?
I think you can improve it around the edges, but you can't fundamentally change who you are as an athlete with something like that.
Does Memphis need to ditch playing Tayshaun Prince in favor of giving James Johnson bigger minutes?
I don't know that they necessarily need to play Johnson in the playoffs, since rotations tighten up, but I'd certainly feel better about Memphis' chances of pulling the upset if Prince's minutes were limited or nonexistent.
LaMarcus Alridge staying put in Portland? I would sure love to see him in The Madhouse on Madison.
I don't think he's in any hurry to leave a team that just won 54 games.
Why do people not think the Rockets can make the NBA Finals? If the Lakers had Dwight Howard and James Harden, ESPN would love it! We have a tough as nails point guard in Beverley, the best 2 guard in the game in Harden & the best center in the game in Dwight Howard. Chandler Parsons is the glue guy and if Terrence Jones averages 10
If Terrence Jones averages 10 what? The suspense is killing me!
Is there any validity to my thinking the the Heat's small-ball style will play into the hands of the Al Jefferson-centric offense employed by the Bobcats?
There's validity to thinking it will play into the hands of Al Jefferson. Playing into the entire offense is a slightly different matter. I think the Heat will concede some big nights to Jefferson if it means stretching out the Charlotte defense at the other end.
is point differential a great indicator when discussing the nets? it appeared when they were winning or losing big they opted to rest players and the results were several big blowouts and rarely blowing teams out badly.
Given how bad they were, the Nets better hope it's a bad indicator. Certainly, the 44-point loss to Portland and the last week of the season were not particularly meaningful. But removing them still doesn't get Brooklyn anywhere close to Toronto's +3.2 mark.
If the league expanded by two teams would they slow down these "super teams" with players joining up, or would it exacerbate the problem due to the talent being thinned out more?
Probably the latter. But there are other, non-expansion related mechanisms the NBA can use if it truly views stars teaming up as a problem. As for ordinary NBA players, there are more than enough of those to stock an additional team or two: <a href="http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10447496/nba-world-talent-pool-support-nba-expansion" target="_blank">http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10447496/nba-world-talent-pool-support-nba-expansion</a>
Rookie with the biggest chance to affect a playoff series... Mason Plumlee? Isaiah Cannon?
If you want a college rookie, Plumlee is probably the best bet. Cody Zeller is a good choice as well, and the extreme wild card is Houston sharpshooter Troy Daniels. Apparently the Rockets are <a href="https://twitter.com/ca_rockets/status/456621197287903233" target="_blank">considering him as part of their playoff rotation</a>. He made a case with five 3-pointers in the season finale.
Does CJ Wilcox from Washington get drafted in the first round?
I think he's got a chance to sneak into the end of the round because his skill (shooting) is one good teams often covet. If he works out well in front of head coaches, I could see them pushing for him rather than a project.
Any chance on Brooklyn making it to the conference finals? They avoided the Bulls and are 4-0 against the Heat this season.
Any chance rule: Yes. Could certainly see things breaking their way, sort of like the 2012 Celtics.
If the thunder beat the spurs in WCF? Do the heat beat the Thunder?
We'll worry about that when we get there.
With the worse of the Knicks/Nuggets pick getting sent to Orlando, is it determined after the lottery? Or is it sent pre-lottery based on record?
All protections/swaps/etc. are determined post-lottery. That resulted in the dramatic moment when Jerry West was on stage knowing that either the Grizzlies were getting LeBron James or sending the No. 2 pick (which became Darko Milicic) to Detroit. LeSigh.
Why don't we see more players like, Deandre Jordan, Tyson Chandler, Kenneth Faried et al.? Ultra athletic defenders and rebounders.
I think the answer is in the question. There can only be so many ultra-athletic players by definition.
You mentioned in your Per Diem that in-season head-to-head seemed to be a good predictor of how a series will go. Did you also look at related stats like point differential? Is that a lesser predictor? Thanks for the chat?
I didn't look at point differential. I believe when it has been used it's been a weaker indicator because one blowout can sway things too much.
What's your opinion of CJ McCollum? Is he likely to be a solid backup/possible starter?
Jury's still out. The Blazers didn't even trust McCollum to play point guard in Game 82, which is a worrisome sign. I think he'll have to flush this season because of his injury and try to start anew at summer league.
How much stock do you put in Brooklyn's sweep of Miami? 3 point difference in regulation in 4 games.....
Certainly not as much as four resounding wins. At the same time, playing even with Miami is impressive in its own right.
Why don't you sing with Tom to close out the show?Real question: Will the Bogut injury provide MJax any cover on a poor playoff performance?
I don't think so. I could see it lowering expectations to the point where winning a series is sufficient to keep his job, but I don't think a first-round exit would be acceptable to Golden State ownership.
What resources do you advise on reading for a new coach looking for an analytical edge?
Besides Per Diem? I don't know if there's anything that has been written specifically directed to coaches, but <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Basketball-Paper-Rules-Performance-Analysis/dp/1574886886/" target="_blank">Basketball on Paper</a> is always a great resource.
Hey Kevin! Glad to have you back chatting this week. I believe it was you who quickly countered Adam Silver's "There's no tanking in the NBA" proclamation by pointing out that playoff seed-seeking is perhaps the most blatant form of tanking. The Nets did this to "perfection" by losing to the Cavs by 29(!), which included such "highlights" as Jason Collins logging 39 minutes after logging 30 combined prior minutes for the entire season, and the one and only Andray Blatche achieving a -39 despite dropping 20 points. Do you foresee any sanctions being implemented in the future to prevent these tactics?
That and tanking to keep the pick tend to be the clearest examples of my definition of tanking -- intentionally losing games. At the same time, the Nets can certainly argue that they simply prioritized rest for their stars over seed, something that plenty of teams legitimately do (for example, the Pacers resting all five starters against the Bucks). I think that's part of why Adam Silver told reporters today he doesn't see the league wading into that issue.
Why aren't more people giving the Wizards a chance against Chicago? Seems like a pretty even draw to me.
I think people are. As I noted on TrueHoop TV, sometimes <a href="http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2014/matchup/_/teams/wizards-bulls" target="_blank">the sea of Bulls logos</a> gives a false impression. If we all see the series as a 60 percent proposition in favor of Chicago (which is what I settled on), we're all going to pick the Bulls even though in reality we expect the Wizards to win frequently.
Quick - top 5 Sonics of all time - go!
In no particular order: Payton, Kemp, Sikma, Gus Williams, Lenny Wilkens.
Assuming Jackson is out after the season, do you think Stan Van Gundy, Karl, or someone else is the best fit for the Warriors? I personally would love Van Gundy.
I don't get the sense that the Warriors are going to go for one of the coaches with big personalities. Could be wrong about that, though.
My friend and I are going to be watching NBA playoff games all day tomorrow. Any suggestions on snacks to get us through the marathon?
The NCAA has some now!
Is Jabari Parker making the right decision by declaring for the NBA draft?
The right decision is personal and unique to each individual, but I can speak to <a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-basketball/news/20140417/jabari-parker-declares-for-nba-draft/" target="_blank">something he mentioned in his explanation</a> -- the environment that gives him the best chance of growing as a player. And <a href="http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10588150/nba-why-nba-develops-players-better-college" target="_blank">my research agrees with his conclusion that the NBA is the answer</a>.
It seems that the conventional wisdom is that James Harden is a better player than Melo. However Harden seems to be a worse defender and the two are relatively equal as offensive contributors (Harden better at getting to the line but Melo better 3 pt shooter). Is the difference in opinion based on expectation of each player coming into the league?
Harden is a worse defender in an absolute sense, but that gets back to something <a href="http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-lowe-post-podcast-kevin-pelton/" target="_blank">I discussed with Zach Lowe on last week's podcast</a> in the context of Real Plus-Minus -- the standard for defense is higher for big men than shooting guards, so in a relative sense I think Anthony's presence is more of a hinderance to a good defense.
I would also argue that Harden is a better offensive player in an absolute sense, given his superior playmaking and efficiency advantage.
Note of course that RPM does not in fact agree with that assessment.
Did you do anything special to celebrate Russ Schoene's birthday?
I raised a glass in his honor.
Are the Hawks likely to get Lucas Nogueira for next season? He looked really good in summer league.
Yeah, I would expect him in Atlanta next year.
Would you trade Kyrie Irving for a top-3 pick? Would the team with that pick do that? Would you rather have the proven Kyrie (assuming he signs the max) or the potential of Embiid, Wiggins, Parker?
Hmm. Good question. I think the answer, from the point of view of the team in the lottery, probably depends on whether I expect he'd want to stay in my market long-term and my timetable for winning. Like Philadelphia doesn't necessarily want to get good next year, so Irving wouldn't make much sense there (besides the presence of MCW). But if it's the Lakers, that's a different story.
I don't think Cleveland would do it, given the insistence the team needs to win and win now.
Is Kirk Hinrich the worst starter on a playoff team? Such a negative everywhere.
Must say I'm perplexed by Hinrich hate. The Bulls are better with him on the floor this season. And he's not even close to the conversation since the Grizzlies made the playoffs.
Zach Lowe really likes the Nets. You do not. I know what the numbers say, and I know their point differential isn't great. And I love numbers too, but I feel like you might be dismissing them a bit too readily on account of that point differential.
To be clear, it's also because I like the Raptors. And I think a lot of people look at that matchup and see Paul Pierce and KG vs. Amir Johnson and Terrence Ross and assume Toronto's doomed. And I think that's a mistake.
Is Mike Miller still with the Heat if they could have predicted he would be available to play 1700 minutes this year?
Yeah, given that knowledge I think they would have amnestied Joel Anthony. Right now Miller would be Miami's third-best wing.
I see plenty of articles on offensive strategies that are "analytics friendly" but what about defense?
It's basically the opposite -- teams that are selling out to defend the rim and the 3-point line while encouraging opponents to shoot midrange jumpers. Or the Indiana defense against most opponents.
Is Kidd going to continue to play his best players short minutes or was that just to save them to this point, where he can send KG out for 30+ mins and Deron/JJ/PP out there for 40?
I think those minutes will probably increase to some extent, but besides saving them over the long term, limiting those veterans' minutes also keeps them fresher and Brooklyn has developed pretty strong depth.
At this point, and I hate to say this, it's not clear that extending KG's minutes in place of Mason Plumlee is a win for the Nets.
Hi Kevin,Who would you take in a vacuum- Trey Burke or Gorgui Dieng? Min got some crap for the draft day trade, but maybe it turns out ok for them in the end?
The big thing working in Burke's favor is he's three years younger. But based on how Dieng played over the last month and a half, I probably would have to give him the edge long-term.
I have a solution for the Laker and City of Seattle problems. Here it is: send the Lakers to play in Seattle and don't allow them back to LA until they have improved to a playoff status team.Two cities would benefit!
How would this affect the lyrics to "It Was a Good Day"?
D you think he clippers would beat the thunder in second round match up?
I would probably pick them if that matchup came to pass.
Has an NBA team ever won a title with a guy similar to Carmelo dominating the offense?
I guess that depends how you define "similar to Carmelo." But it's certainly possible to get to the Finals that way, and I don't draw a bright-line distinction between those two things. Also, nothing wins a championship until it does.
Who is the best all round center in the NBA? I say Marc Gasol.
Will Noah get defensive player of the year?
Yes, and I don't think the voting will be particularly close.
True or False: With OKC's weak perimeter D, Mike Miller is going to have at least one game that gives the Thunder flashbacks from the Heat series.
I would say true.
what ever became of Jared Jeffries?
Didn't expect a Jared Jeffries question today, but the answer is working in the Denver Nuggets' front office.
Which side of the bet do you land on...you take either the Heat to win it all or get to pick any two teams from the West to win it?
I would take OKC/SAS over Miami.
What do you think about the OKC and Memphis series?
I think it will be an entertaining series!
I like the Thunder, but I don't think it will be easy by any stretch of the imagination.
Why is Aaron Gordon rated so high? He's a terrible shooter and doesn't seem like he can guard bigs in the league. Playing the 3 would make his shooting troubles even more glaring. Is it all athleticism?
I think he's rated highly because scouts don't believe he will have difficulty guarding bigs. And I would agree with that. He's 18, so he's bound to fill out.
Is there a playoff tiebreaker associated with point differential? If so, what priority does it have? It seems like it should be given high priority since it is so indicative of long term success.
Here's the thing, though -- it's indicative of long-term success precisely because it has no tangible meaning. If teams started to play for point differential (besides the Timberwolves, that is), it would lose some of its meaning.
Why didn't the Bucks give Tobias Harris much of a shot? Was he in Skiles' doghouse?
Well, Skiles left before the Harris trade, so it wasn't just him. He was young and Milwaukee had a lot of forwards, so I don't think it was any great indictment or huge mistake.
Does the Warriors personnel fit the Triangle? I think the answer is yes. I hope the answer is yes. I would hope they could steal Steve Kerr away from the Knicks since he is a West Coast guy.
Better than the Knicks' personnel does, I would say. You've got good passers at both frontcourt spots, which is key. But I'd hate to take too many pick-and-rolls away from Stephen Curry.
Hi Kevin, Bigger factor, playoff experience or home court advantage?
Home court by far.
I know the Rockets really like Patrick Beverly and his tenacity... but wouldn't Kyle Lowry have given them the same tenacity with a much higher skill level?
Certainly. But no Lowry, no Toronto pick, no Harden trade. The mistake was letting Dragic walk, not trading Lowry.
which lottery team do you think gets to the playoffs next year?
Phoenix is probably the safe choice, and Minnesota should be better next season. But the bar is still going to be high in the Western Conference -- a healthy New Orleans will also be in the mix for a spot. So I might say the Knicks because their path figures to be easier.
No love for Detlef in the top 5 all time Sonics? :)
Different if we're talking five all-time favorites ...
How much of a difference has Doc Rivers made to the Clips over VDN?
We're about to find out.
The big thing is they've become a better defensive team and less reliant on forcing steals, both of which should help in the playoffs.
Why do you think the Clippers would beat the Thunder?
Because I think the Clippers are the league's second-best team, and they have a coaching advantage.
Should teams feel more urgency to develop their rookies faster to maximize the value of their rookie contracts (allows for more $ to be spent on other players - think Russell Wilson in Seattle) or do NBA rookies take longer to develop than that?
It's a good idea to maximize those rookie contracts, but at the same time the problem is the teams in position to get players on rookie contracts usually need a lot of help, which means a couple of years in the lottery. Russell Wilson is different because he was a third-round pick dropped into a team that already had a budding defense.
David Locke mentioned how it's possible that Favors playing at Center negatively impacted his production since he's undersized for the position and his play at PF shows he's more effective playing the 4. If that's the case do you think that could impact Utah's decision on drafting Jabari Parker if they get the chance, or would the Jazz happily play Parker at the 3?
Generally speaking, you don't pick in the top five based on need.
Also worth noting that what's best for an individual's production -- usually meaning offense -- may not necessarily be what's best for the team.
Kelly Olynyk and Cody Zeller have played really well since the all-star break. Which player would you rather have long term?
Zeller, because I don't think Olynyk will ever be even an average defender.
So in Norris' scenario Seattle fans get to relive having a terrible team that leaves just when it's about to get good? How do they benefit from reliving that trauma?
I would take it for the opportunity to see other NBA teams come through. But I don't know if I could sell everyone in Seattle.
Are you a fan of the one and done?
I'd rather have no restrictions for players who have finished high school, but I certainly prefer it to raising the age limit a year.
Any Chance Mark McLaughlin from CWU the only D2 player at the PIT could make an NBA roster or get a Summer League invite?
Perhaps Summer League, but I have a hard time seeing him on an NBA roster since he doesn't really have role player skills.
Who is most likely to come out and shine during to 2014 NBA Playoffs? Will we see any heroic performances from non-NBA stars?
I think we could see guys like Kyle Lowry, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson who have quietly been effective in obscurity introduce themselves to a national audience.
Also would bet on a big D.J. Augustin game.
Does it make sense to fire Mike Woodson now? More than half of the current team will not be back in 2015-16. Does it make sense to implement the triangle now? Why not wait a year?
If you are going to implement the triangle, I think you want to start as soon as possible, so the players that will be holdovers (presumably Melo) do have some experience to help the new additions get up to speed quickly. In other words, you don't really want 2015-16 to be the learning year if possible.
Is CDR gonna become a household name during these playoffs?
Oh man, I hope so.
Wait how is Melos presence more of a hinderance? He's at least an effort defender and is solid on the ball, though he doesn't always rotate. Harden is a complete zero on defense on the ball or off the ball, he shows no effort and seems content with just using defense to take a breather.
His defensive responsibility is inherently smaller because he's on the perimeter rather than the interior.
Let's pose another question. If Harden's defense was that problematic, why wouldn't the Rockets do anything about it?
What is the rationale for the NBA waiting until May 20 to conduct the draft lottery? The NHL holds its lottery 2 days after its regular season concludes. Since no one is watching the NBA during the 2-day layoff between the conclusion of the regular season and the start playoffs, wouldn't that be the perfect time to hold the lottery? The NBA would have a night of programming to itself between the lottery and a playoff preview show. Plus, teams would know their draft position earlier -- something good for scouting and trades.
The NBA is already getting coverage during this period with playoff previews (just look at the NBA page on ESPN.com), so holding the lottery now wouldn't increase attention. It's better to do it during a quieter period for the league.
Who do you think would win in one on one? Happy Gilmore or Shooter McGavin? (You can't say Bob Barker) Gilmore's PER is off the charts but I hear McGavin is a beast on the beast on the block.
It's been a while since I've watched him try to run off, but I think Shooter's stamina would be an issue late in the game.
At what age did you realize that there was more to analyze the NBA outside of the standard PPG, Rebounds, Assists, etc.?
I don't know if there was any one age. I looked at the per-48 minute stats on basketball cards as a kid, and discovered eFG% in "Rick Barry's Pro Basketball Bible" as a teenager. But the real awakening wasn't until I started reading Rob Neyer and Baseball Prospectus near the time I began college and wondered about the NBA equivalent.
I think people have forgotten the type of impact that Nerlens Noel is capable of having. The kid had an incredibly high steal% to accompany the shot blocking ability. If he has spent an entire year honing his offensive, he could be the best rookie THIS upcoming year. (blake was reclassified)
And if he's healthy.
Will Scola/Turner/Watson prove to be a huge upgrade over Hansbrough/Young/Agustine? Or will the Pacers bench still be their fatal flaw this year?
Yes, but mostly because of the Watson/Augustin swap. It would be difficult to play much worse than Augustin did in last year's conference finals.
Do you remember DJ Agustin in the playoffs last year? I understand that it is impossible to play any worse than he did, but come on, a "big game"? Maybe for the guy he's defending...
Totally different role/confidence.
Would you rather draft a 7'0 dude with a 6'0 wingspan or a 6'0 dude with a 6'3 wingspan?
Um, I guess the 6-0 guy because presumably the 7-footer wouldn't be mobile enough to play anywhere but inside, where he'd be more T-Rex than Kevin Willis.
As a die hard Laker fan, I still blame David Stern for our troubles. Am I wrong to still hate on him?
You're not wrong, but A.) there are always multiple causes and B.) nobody else in the NBA is going to feel any sympathy for the Lakers having to do something basically every other franchise has had to in the past two decades.
Top 5 mullets of all time...Detlef again...
Business in the front, party in the back! But Dwayne Schintzius is the all-time winner in this category. If he had played in 2014, there would be an @SchintziusMullet account.
Is Parkers game more like Carmelo Anthony or Paul Pierce? Being compared to Melo has a negative ring to it since Melo doesn't make the players around him better. Pierce did. your thoughts?
I would say Anthony, but I think we can get too carried away with the comparisons. Similar doesn't mean the same.
Outside the top 6 players in the upcoming Nba draft, which player intrigues you the most?
I would say Kyle Anderson as far as intrigue.
Do you think the 7'5 dude from New Mexico State will make a NBA roster next season? I'm very confused why he declared for the NBA draft!
I don't think so. I'm assuming he hopes to play professionally somewhere, and declaring for the NBA Draft is usually the first step.
Do you think the Indiana Pacers are perfectly fit to run the triangle? With George Hill ill-equipped to run a point-guard driven offense, wouldn't it be perfect to have him just be a floor spacer and defensive specialist and let the triangle do the work? Why don't they already run this (considering they employed Shaw last year?)
Does seem like a pretty good fit. At the same time, here's a list of teams without Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant who have successfully run the triangle offense in the NBA in the past three decades:
Also, the triangle requires an enormous amount of practice time to be devoted to it, and that's a big sacrifice for a team that prides itself on defense as much as the Pacers do.
Are you a gamer? NBA 2k14 or Live?
No time during the season, alas.
Are positions a little overrated? Isn't the league more and more going to "wings" and "posts" rather than a true PG, SG, SF, PF, C lineup?
Certainly. PG/Wing/Post is generally more accurate.
What do you think about allowing medicinal marijuana in the NBA?
I would have no objection.
Is Vonleh assist/turnover ratio a big red flag?
I don't think so. Seems fairly similar to other one-and-done big men, like Derrick Favors, for example.
Just wanted to comment, of course on the absurd notion that the Nets "Tanked to play the Raptors" ... The Raptors did not secure the 3 seed until the final night of the season, AFTER Brooklyn had already decided to rest all of their players against the Cavs. Had the Bulls beat the Bobcats, they would have been the #3 seed and the Nets would be playing them. Ridiculous...
OK, then they tanked to play the Heat in round two?
Clearly, they didn't try to secure the fifth seed. What went into that decision only they know.
True or False Further proof that Sloan was one of the best NBA coaches of all time - Hornacek, Vaughn, and Jackson (all current NBA coaches) were former players under his system.
I don't think that's an uncommon number for a long-time NBA coach not named Phil Jackson.
Why there can't be two mvp lebron james and kevin durant should receive it. change up some times they both should get one.think about it. momwolf said so.
Coming into the Pros, Noah and Noel were very similar players, both D first with minimal offensive games. Could you see Noel's superior atheleticism putting his trajectory much higher than Noah's after 9 years in the league?
I can't say I remember watching Noah as a freshman, but certainly by the time he got to the NBA he was much more skilled offensively. His passing ability in particular differentiates him.
Why would point differential lose its meaning? Look at soccer where they play the game till the last second, even when a team is up 4 goals because goal differential has actually won some teams a championship. Not advocating deciding championships through point differential in basketball, but at least teams don't stop trying in garbage time. Thoughts?
I suppose it's probably true that if it forces teams to play harder at all times, that wouldn't mitigate the meaning as long as the competition were relatively equal. That's more of an issue at the college level, where teams effectively have a choice between differential and sportsmanship.
Why is everyone ready to anoint Steve Kerr as a great coach? He might be, but it is far from a certainty. Wasn't like he was mistake free as Suns GM.
For sure. I'm more commenting on the lack of trendy assistant coaches like Mike Malone was this time a year ago.
Any chance the Blazers play hack a Howard (or several Rockets) due to Houston's woeful FT%?
It might happen, but at 54.5 percent for Howard this season it's not really an advantageous play except at the end of quarters and when trailing to try to extend games.
Any way for analytics to take into account the "intangibles" of a player or is that better left to traditional scouting?
Perhaps: <a href="http://www.draftexpress.com/article/Breaking-Bad-The-Thin-Line-Between-Busts-and-Steals-4466/" target="_blank">http://www.draftexpress.com/article/Breaking-Bad-The-Thin-Line-Between-Busts-and-Steals-4466/</a>
If the Jazz end up with the third pick and Wiggins and Parker go one two, would it be possible to trade for either of them. What would they need to package with Embiid?
Doubtful. Teams get attached to prospects like that pretty quickly, and it becomes more difficult to trade once that attraction forms.
It looks like your pal Barnwell is soccer fan, having been to see some EPL games recently. Are you a soccer fan - European or MLS? I would assume you're a Sounders fan...
I am a Sounders fan, and I also follow international soccer fairly closely since it happens during the NBA offseason. European soccer is a lot tougher for that reason.
True or False? Kawhi Leonard will emerge as the best player on the spurs this postseason?
False. Still Tim Duncan.
His season certainly wasn't as good as his per-game stats would make it look, but nor was it terrible. If Carter-Williams reaches his defensive potential to go along with his playmaking ability, that certainly sounds like a part of a good team to me.
Wouldn't Sim Bhullar's best move be to actually get himself into shape this summer, have a killer junior year, and then declare?
I think this might be "in shape" for him.
It appears are some family financial issues -- why Bhullar landed at New Mexico State and not Xavier when he was academically ineligible for a scholarship his first year -- so that may explain the urgency.
After watching Harden for 2 years, I believe his defense actually is not bad when he puts forth the effort but the Rockets haven't demanded this from him. Do you agree?
I think most people do. He was a good defender at times in Oklahoma City. This is a relatively new problem. It was more excusable last year when his offensive load was much larger.
Do you think the 76ers would be best served to keep Thad Young around next year or is he a trade piece that can net them a substantial piece for the future?
Depends what the offer is. I don't think they need to be in any hurry to move him.
Do you think the Favors/Kanter front court can work out, and if not would you try to trade Kanter in the offseason?
I don't think they can start together, no, but it's not entirely clear Kanter is a starter in this league so I wouldn't feel a need to trade him.
will portland play like they did during the first 41 games or the last 41 games?
Somewhere in between.
What do you think of Julius Randle still undeclared for the draft. Could we potentially have another Marcus Smart on our hands?
I suppose he's going to get his minutes/touches no matter what, but it would be odd given the other players who have returned to Kentucky. I don't know if there's any real hurry to make the announcement.
I'm looking for VORL (value over replacement life) of standing up my wife and kids for dinner and sticking around for hour 3 of this chat.
What's the highest pick you see a team taking a chance on Zach Lavine's upside and do you think Minnesota would have any interest at 13?
Given the urgency to win now and convince Kevin Love to stick around, I have a hard time seeing the Wolves picking a guy who is a multi-year project.
Who would you rather have on your team Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, or Carmelo Anthony?
George, Anthony, Leonard in that order.
Alright everybody, thanks for chatting with me today. I'll be back next week, possibly at an earlier time. Until then, see you on Twitter and Per Diem and enjoy the start of the postseason (and Happy Easter)!