Coach Anthony Macri is Director of Business Development and a Player Development Consultant for the Pro Training Center. Anthony works closely with NBA trainer David Thorpe, and writes the weekly Coach’s Notebook column for HOOPSWORLD. Coach Macri gets started at 3pm EST every Monday.
Charlie in Philadelphia:
In his chat, Mark Nugent claimed Dirk Nowitzki was on par with Kevin Garnett career wise. Do you agree with Mark?
Happy Monday everybody! Gorgeous day out here. Yesterday was my birthday – feeling old for sure. But I have a good feeling about this year so let’s get it started with a bang. Sorry I’m a bit late – will hang out til 4:15p to answer your Qs. There is plenty of room in the queue so put them in now!
I think that is an excellent comparison and tend to think I would rate Nowitzki ahead of Garnett, if only slightly, on a list of all-time power forwards. Both changed the game but I do think it’s easier to build a franchise around Nowitzki as a franchise player than it is around Garnett. Garnett was also the (significantly) better defender, but Nowitzki’s completely invincible offensive repetoire is hard to argue with. Great question though – folks should throw their thoughts into the comments!
Bill in Madision County:
In Joel Brigham’s article "Most Promising Backcourts" he ranked Wes Matthews and Ray Felton ahead of John Wall and Nick Young. Would you have ranked them the same? Why or why not.
I tend to think pretty negatively about the impact of Nick Young, though I think the world of John Wall. I want to see how they start the season this coming before making a final decision – I think I like the John Wall / Jordan Crawford backcourt more in this regard (so, in other words, replace Nick Young with most other younger, more solid shooting guards and I think a pairing with John Wall is a winner all the way).
Gray in :
Courtney Lee(athletic, defensive SG who can hit the 3) for Wes Johnson(athletic SF who can hit the 3 & also is tight with Jonny Flynn, who should emerge as the starting PG)…helps out both teams right?
I think Minnesota gets the better player and prospect in that deal. Johnson just doesn’t do enough things for me to get super-excited about him. I like him, but I don’t love him. Courtney, who I might have some underlying biases for, is just so much more complete as a player.
tiff in :
i wish cp3 could end up with the lakers bt i cant see him wanting to help kobe beat lbj in the finals..any chance of this? can LA present NO with a better trade than anyone else
I think it is certainly possible for Los Angeles to present just about any team in the league with some very valuable short and long term assets. The question is whether parting with those assets is worth the prize. I do tend to think acquiring CP3 would obviously be a net positive, the problem is do they have to gut the team or prevent success in the future in order to do so? I don’t think CP3 ends up in LA. There are a few other destinations that seem more likely, but without getting a sense of the new CBA, this is a pretty worthless thought experiment.
Courtney in Miami:
In his chat, Bill Ingram claimed Jordan Hill would not last much longer in the NBA. This is surprising as the Knicks took him #8 overall just a few years ago. Do you expect Jordan to be on an NBA team in 3-5 years.
What does Hill do well? While I haven’t seen him enough (has anyone?) to know if his career is salvageable, I do know it isn’t terribly notable. He is a strong though not completely overwhelming athlete, but that means little when you don’t use your athleticism in productive ways. Similar to Joe Alexander, Hill needs to develop a plan that he employs on each possession. That will help channel his energy / athleticism and become much more effective. Right now, it’s unbridled, and it’s not so overwhelming that you look past the lock of polish.
Mirage in Los Angeles, CA:
Love the chats; what do you think is the best course for the Lakers? Odom for Monta?, Bynum for Hinrich and Smoove? Odom for Iggy? I feel lakers need some Athleticism and 3 point shooters
I tend to think the biggest thing they were msising in their starting lineup is quickness. Who is the quickest player they have? Shannon Brown? That just isn’t going to cut it. Quickness would be my first and central goal. The rest revolves around that skill. While Monta is obviously quick, I’m not sure I’d advocate acquiring him to any team making a realistic run at a title. Are there are places they can look to get quicker? That’s where I’d go first.
steven in MSG:
hey A.M . what do you think the knicks will do this season? (if there is one). . will they be a top 4 team in east and can stat and melo coexist .
Complicated question. Let me try to break it down a little bit.
I do think Amare and Melo can coexist and that they should be able to figure it out without a lot of problems. They are both very good players and as they play more together a synergy should start to develop. The real question is what they do with Chauncey at the point guard slot. I’m not sure he’s really the best fit for the way I think this team should approach things (a lot of possessions in transition), though I’m not sure if there is a better fit in terms of leadership.
With that said, I don’t think they are Top 4 in the East yet – but they do have real potential to be an upset special in the first round as the 5th or 6th seed. I wouldnt’ want to draw them this year.
Kyle in LB,CA:
Shouldn’t the Rockets trade for Andre Igoudala…he and Kevin Martin would be one hell of a duo offense & defense w/ Scola on the inside…if Thabeet took the center spot, all he’d have to do is rebound & block shots
I don’t mind this idea on its face though I’d near to hear who Philly would be getting back in exchange for Iggy. I know Coach Thorpe got to spend some limited time with Thabeet this summer but haven’t really gotten an update on his progress, though he had very little to do to get better. I’m not one of those folks who think the 76ers have to jump at any opportunity to trade Andre – I like him as a player.
Mirage in :
Being that the Bobcats are going nowhere fast, why don’t they take fliers on a few high draft picks that didn’t pan out? O.J. Mayo, Michael Beasley. Shoot, even Chicago has the pieces to bring in Mayo and Beasley;top 3 picks of that draft
Making change for change’s sake is usually not sound strategy, and I’m not sure the Bobcats should be trying to strike gold where none have succeeded thusfar. What’s the definition of insanity again? Doing something over and over and expecting to get a different result.
Nghiem in :
I see Denver as one of the more unpredictable teams next year. They have the tools and are very deep, but how do you see them panning out? Do you also see any substantial improvement with Lawson and even Afflalo, stepping up to the plate?
I tend to agree that they are unpredictable. In fact, I think they would have offered a lot more trouble for Dallas than they faced with most of their Western Conference foes during the postseason. They are built to really given trouble to jumpshooting teams (though, honestly, with as well as Dallas shot, it might not have really mattered). I think Afflalo is underrated, and I really like their roster. I’d say this could be a team that challenges for a top 5 slot in the west, along with Dallas, OKC, the Lakers, and the Spurs.
Andy in Perrysburg, OH:
Are Kings fans overly optimistic about the future of Tyreke, DeMarcus Cousins, JJ Hickson, Marcus Thornton and Jimmer? There is a lot of "potential", will it translate to wins?
Molding that into a consistent and cohesive unit will prove to be pretty difficult, I think. I was surprised Paul Westphal made it all the way through the season last year, and I think they will need to show some marked improvement this year to give him the abiliyt to stay on. Cousins has the ability to be a franchise player but, as they say, attitude determines altitude, and he has shown only limited awareness of that reality. Evans is super talented but without a position, and the other guys are not exactly world-beaters yet. I think they are two to three years away – but how much progress can they make this year? That’s the real question. My answer is probably not much.
Bill in :
Since the Thunder need scoring from the PF spot. Why don’t they trade Jackson and Aldrich for Beasily? Beasily would give scoring off the bench at both forward spots. T-Wolves get 2 nice young prospects.
Not sure Michael Beasley fits next to Kevin Durant given the way that offense runs, though they are friends and might enjoy the experience. Also not sure we’d ever see Westbrook pass the ball up the floor then, for fear of never getting it back again.
marshall in houston, texas:
Do you think t he Bulls should go after O.J. Mayo? I think he would be exactly what they need to make a run at the Ship
I’m OK with OJ though I don’t think it’s a slam dunk fit. I’d like a guy that can catch and shoot out of a stationary spot better than OJ, since Rose creates so many of those kinds of opportunities. I do like that Mayo can handle the ball and has size to guard opposing twos. I have made no secret that I think a guy like Courtney Lee (or Aaron Afflalo) would be absolutely perfect in that role. I stay by my story.
Bob in :
Whay do you think of Jonas Valenciunas?
I have to admit to only seeing bits and pieces, though I hope to have seen a few full games soon. From what I’ve seen and what I’ve heard from people I trust, he is the real deal and will help out very quickly in Toronto when he’s able to come over. He definitely passes the eye test, but his ability to change speeds, and his court awareness with regard to open spaces is very high. I like him as a prospect.
aaron in noosa, queensland:
espn keeps hyping durant’s summer, but the guy couldn’t score a single basket against dallas when it counted. when will the media ever learn?
Not a lot of other basketball news to talk about. I think Durant had an extremely informative postseason. We may see Durant 2.0 this year – I just think he really had front row tickets to an absolute show put on by Nowitzki, and now he’s ready to take his own game to the next level. Some of the things you see him doing in highlight films are pretty remarkable – the level of defense doesn’t really matter, just how fluid he continues to make his game is a spectacle in itself.
Dylan in Charlotte, NC:
Im a sharpshooter, mostly known for my offense. im a sub-par dribbler. How do i improve my dribbling?
This is like the most popular question that I get in terms of individual player improvement. I’m going to do a Coach’s Notebook on just ball-handling – maybe this week or next – so be on the lookout for it. The number one most important thing is that when you practice, dribble the ball EXTREMELY hard. Like so hard that you lose control. Work on maintaining control, but if you are able to do so, you aren’t going hard enough. That will get you ready for really working the rock when a defender is up on you.
Alright folks – remember, I need topics for off-season Coach’s Notebook articles – send them my way at amacri[at]hoopsworld.com. In the meantime, a new Notebook will be out this Thursday, and I’m back next Monday to chat again. Enjoy the end of summer!
Have questions for Coach Macri? Be sure and drop by HOOPSWORLD on Mondays at 3PM Eastern for the Coach’s weekly basketball chat! You can also follow Coach Macri on Twitter @CoachMacri.
Coach Macri serves as a player development consultant for the Pro Training Center and Coach David Thorpe, working with a variety of NBA players on their skills and game understanding. The Coach’s Notebook appears on HOOPSWORLD every Thursday.