Welcome to NBA Chat with HOOPSWORLD Senior Writer Eric Pincus. Thanks for participating all these weeks and years!
Eric covers the L.A. Lakers, Clippers and NBA at large.
Hey Eric. First of all, congrats on the new gig. That’s awesome for you and well deserved. You’ll be missed around here.
Anyhow, I am a Lakers fan out in Ohio. Scanning my Time Warner channels, it would seem that I have the new Lakers channel as all their preseason games have been on there and most other programming is Lakers related. I thought it would only be in California. Am I seeing things?
Thanks Jason. For those who may have missed it, I’ve taken a position with the Los Angeles Times to cover the Lakers. The good news is that I will still be covering the Clippers and NBA at large for HOOPSWORLD. The casualties are any Laker coverage – and the NBA Chat. So this will be the final one (for the foreseeable future).
HOOPSWORLD will still give you tremendous Laker coverage and I’m around still doing my thing. But I will miss our weekly conversations.
As far as Time Warner – I really don’t know the answer here. I know I get some various channels not-local to Los Angeles with my Time Warner provider – so maybe you’re getting the Laker channel in Ohio.
Obviously in LA? People are flipping out a bit that they won’t get games this year. I’m very curious to see how this thing all works out.
Will the Laker games be available on League Pass? I would assume that at least via the away team, the answer would be yes. We’ll have to wait and see on this one.
In response to Kobe Byrant’s criticism, Smush Parker said “out of his own mouth Kobe told me I couldn’t talk to him. That my accolades under my belt weren’t deserving enough for me to talk to him.” It’s statements like this that makes it hard for me to believe there are Kobe Bryant fans out there. He may be a great basketball player, but if true, this line to Smush should open the eyes of even the most unkind people on this planet. In your opinion, should any player (regardless of how great) be able to tell their teammates something like this. And how do you think it would impact player morale / the lockerroom?
I gotta say, Smush was one of the least friendly/accessible Lakers I’ve ever covered (bordering on rude). I’m not going to go by his account really.
Watched the Cavaliers preseason game and the commentator mentioned how CJ Miles may be the #2 scoring option for Cleveland this year. This made me immediately concerned, as no free agent who signed for 2.25 million / year should be a team’s #2 option. Would this concern you as a Cavs fan? What do you think of Kyrie’s supporting cast and who would you peg as the #2 scorer for the team this year?
This is not a “playoff” year for the Cavaliers. It’s more about growth. You want to see Kyrie continue to blossom. You want to see signs from the young guys that they are part of the future. No, if CJ Miles is the second scorer, it’s going to be a long year. It’s the painful process of rebuilding but it can also be enjoyable if you reduce expectations.
Very few will deny Sam Presti is well above the curve when it comes to executive decisions. That’s why when he picked up castaway Hasheem Thabeet, it may have raised a few eyebrows. Heard he scouted him hard during the draft. Is Presti grasping at straws or does he see something no one else does. Any chance Hasheem is the back-up center in OKC this year?
What’s the risk? Maybe Thabeet never pans out but the Thunder, given how much payroll is going to their top players, need to experiment. I don’t have high expectations for Hasheem but worth I try I would think.
How concerned should Mavs fans be about Disco’s knee. He had something similar last year, which contributed to a slow start. Is this a few week injury or a few months? How do you think this will impact Dallas’ standing in the West this year?
The Mavs are the wildcard in the West. They may be really good and fight for a top-four seed . . . or Dirk struggles with a knee injury and they’re grasping for that eighth spot. It’s a real concern.
If you were in charge of a NBA team, which current coach would be least appealing as a hire for your team and why: Vinny Del Negro, Jacques Vaughn, Mike Dunlap, or Scott Skiles
Skiles has the best track record I would argue. He’s a very serious dude, so you know that coming in. Del Negro is well liked by players and handles the media part of it well. Vaughn is an interesting experiment but coming from the Spurs background, he’s one to watch. Dunlap is very well respected as a college coach. I know the least about him directly but I’ve heard good things from people I trust. I’m not going to point one as the worst prospect. I’ll say they all have pros/cons – if I was in charge of a team it really would depend on my culture/players.
I read Jacques Vaughn was the #3 assistant coach in San Antonio last year, making this a real jump to NBA head coach. Didn’t realize there were cut and dry #1, 2 and 3 lead assistants on a team. And if true, why was he given the opportunity in Orlando over all these 1rst and 2nd assistants around the NBA?
Orlando has some time where they don’t have to win. They obviously believe they’re getting a young coach with potential. Vaughn has a solid background and while he’s clearly on an accelerated path to head coach, I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.
Brandon Knight has looked like a real stud in preseason so far. After mediocre numbers last year, what are your expectations from him this year. Are you fan? And how would you rank him among NBA PG’s. Top 10? Top 15? Top 20?
He’s not top-10 – I’d have to make a list to see where he ranks. He’s a young kid with a really strong tool-set. The question becomes – when will that be on display consistently? He’ll be better this year with the experience from last year, plus training camp and some time with the team. He’s someone I’m keeping my eye on to see how he grows. It could be a big year for Knight – and in turn the Pistons – although I have them outside the top eight in the East (in preseason rankings).
The Atlanta Hawks have used some different combinations at SF during the preseason. Starting Kyle Korver first, then Damion James in the 2nd game. Now Anthony Tolliver is in the mix, who played the 3 last year in Minnesota. Who do you think is opening day starter at small forward? And do you think the weakness at this position will prevent the Hawks from making the playoffs?
I generally argue that small forward is the “least” important position. Certainly that’s not always true – but you traditionally want to get that center and point guard sorted out, put in a strong power forward and try to get a high volume shooter (who can pass) at the two.
Small forwards tend to be readily available – 6’6″-6’9″ players who can slash but often don’t handle as well.
That said, a great small forward can really impact the game – notably Lebron, Durant, Scottie Pippen, etc. – I’m not discounting that at all.
The Hawks have some strong pieces. They’ll need to adjust without Joe and no, small forward isn’t their strength, but I don’t see that being the reason why they’re in the top-eight or not.
It’s important but Horford at center is more so, Smith at the four – Teague having a great year at the point – Williams taking over in a starting role. There’s a lot there to build around. It’s hard to be “great” at every position.
With the injury to Andrew Bynum, these 76ers may just be in trouble. They looked awful in their first preseason game (with Iguodala successor Evan Turner going 2 for 12 from the field). Think they may be the surprise team to do much worse than expected. With Bynum out, would be difficult to cut it with a Kwame Brown / Spenser Hawes / Thad Young frontcourt. Agree or Disagree Philly may be in big trouble this year?
The Sixers are tough to call. I have them behind the Knicks/Nets – but by just a hair. Bynum isn’t “hurt,” he’s just not ready yet. He will be soon and I think Philly will be a playoff team. The outside shooting is a concern but I don’t think they’re in “big trouble.” They just have potential on both sides of the coin – up and down.
With McGrady’s career in the NBA likely over, do you think he makes it into the Hall of Fame? I personally don’t think so, simply for his lack of playoff success, no outstanding college career, no MVP’s, etc. Do you agree?
I don’t have him in the Hall.
I like what I have seen from Sacre early on in the pre-season. Although playing with Nash has definitely made him look better, he is still a very skilled big man with good mobility. I think he is as good a lock to make the team as any of the Lakers non-guaranteed contracts. I think the last spot goes to Darius-Johnson Odom or CDR. I know you have been going with Sacre and DJO as the final two spots. Have you changed your mind now that we have seen a couple pre-season games?
I’d agree that Sacre has earned a spot on the opening night roster. The team doesn’t have to decide for the season until early January. I’m curious to see what the Lakers do with DJO and CDR. I can argue both deserve a look. Johnson-Odom has the athleticism – a trait the Lakers are thin on – that could help situationally. Naturally he’s at a disadvantage as a 6’2″ shooting guard.
Douglas-Roberts is more polished and experienced but he hasn’t found a home in the league yet. He certainly has shown in camp that he’s worth a look as well.
I wonder, with Earl Clark going down with a groin injury and not necessarily impressing in camp, do the Lakers view CDR as a better option as a backup three than Clark? If so, would they waive guaranteed salary to keep both CDR and DJO?
I’m not sure they would but it’s certainly an interesting debate.
If the Lakers trade Pau before the deadline. who will they trade him for instead of Josh Smith. Are there any other good players left out there?
There’s no real momentum on that front. The team isn’t exploring options. It’s throwing darts with a blindfold on trying to guess something that isn’t set in motion. Let’s wait and see how things evolve.
sup eric p.. lakers really don’t look that gelled so far in the preseason as a die heart lakers fan hope this is not a sign to come giving the championship talent that we have on this team, How long do you feel it could take to start to gell? thnks..
I would say Dwight Howard playing zero minutes has something to do with that. Mike Brown is coaching to figure out who can do what on this team – not to win. I can’t recall Phil Jackson winning many preseason games either. I don’t really consider it anything of note.
I have read a number of analysts already say Jeremy Lamb`s defense is suspect, if not non-existent. Do you agree with this viewpoint? And on a scale from 1 to 10, where would you rank Lamb`s defense at the NBA level.
Speaking to an NBA scout – I’ve heard Lamb doesn’t like to play defense. The scout said he was quite similar in that regard to Kevin Martin.
I have Omar Asik, Jrue Holiday, and Grevais Vasquez as candidates for most improved player this year. Questions: Do you like my picks. And who are your top 2-3 players you could see having the most improvement this season.
Could be – I’d include Klay Thompson, Goran Dragic and a few others on that list.
Lamar Odom was a sixth man of the year only 2 years ago. One terrible season in Dallas and he is viewed by many as washed up. How do you personally think he will do this year with the Clippers?
If Odom can get back to playing shape, he can really help the Clippers. From a basketball standpoint, I’d think the team could use a better outside shooter than LO. If he can hit some open looks, then all the other stuff he brings (playmaking, rebounding, experience, etc.) just becomes more valuable.
is their any possibilities that the Lakers sign CDR? I like his game even though he’s not a great shooter but his attack to the basket plays makes me a fun of him and also what is CDR real height? is he a 6’7 or 6’5. another question is lakers bench especially the back court looks small is their any chance the lakers upgrade their aging back up point guard? tnx eric have a nice day..
CDR is listed as a “guard” but if he can play some backup three – that might open room for him. I haven’t measured him but he’s supposedly about 6’6″. I don’t see any clear upgrades at the point with the volume LA has already. Naturally they may look to thin it out once trading season opens up – but no promises. It’s not like there’s a line of suitors for Steve Blake or Chris Duhon.
Hello. So I hear dwights looking for a new nickname. At first I was thinking the incredible Hulk since dwight is so insanely strong. But personalities don’t quite match.
Soon after, it came to me. Hercules. One word. Rolls off the toungue. Characteristics match (both freakishly strong)
Personalities match (both charming)
What do you think?
I wouldn’t know how to tell dwight. Maybe you can
I think nicknames happen naturally – the more you work out – the farther away you get from where you’re trying to go!
What are your thoughts on the New Orleans Hornets? Are they a playoff team this year
No. On a good night they can compete but over 82 games? I think it’ll be very up and down. Naturally they need a healthy year, especially from Eric Gordon.
Congratulations on your new L.A. Times gig! Could you briefly share how you first joined the hoopsworld.com team?
When I started with HOOPSWORLD – it was a much smaller site back then. I saw there was an opening and sent in an article. It was the five reasons why the Lakers would repeat – and five reasons why they would not. I guess they liked it and that was that. I guess it was just the right place at the right time.
Since then HW has really grown into a top NBA destination on the web and I’m proud to have been a part of that. I’ll still be here doing my thing, so I look forward to seeing where the path leads.
Over at that other sports site, a noted reported tried to link the Lakers’ willingness to trading Blake/Duhon with a desire to find a spot for Fisher later in the season. Seems like an awful stretch of logic to me. Do you think this notion has any merit? I mean, sometimes trying to reduce payroll is just trying to reduce payroll and nothing more, right?
The question is – can Fisher sign with the Lakers. The league itself had to battle to get a correct interpretation of the rules. I think it’s less about Fisher joining the Lakers and more about “can” he join the Lakers. Never mind that they already have four point guards. LA has more important things to suss out than Derek but it’s interesting to see the league’s decision on it. I will say, it’s unexpected.
Aww man you were my favourite chat read here on HW. Good luck on your new gig!
Two quick questions: Are you going to have some sort of Lakers based chat on LA Times website? And do you know who is going to replace your Lakers/Clippers chats here on hoopsworld?
Ty for your time.
I don’t have any answers yet but I’m confident on all fronts.
If you had to make up the all still-unsigned-free-agents team at this point, who would you take? If well coached, do you think it can make the playoffs, say, in the east?
Ha, no. Kenyon Martin? Leandro Barbosa? Derek Fisher? Mickael Pietrus? Playoffs? No.
Hey Eric, Good luck writing for the LA Times
My question is do you see the Lakers cutting someone like Morris, who has a guaranteed contract, to make room to sign three players for training camp and carry a full 15 man roster?
I mentioned Clark as a possible guaranteed cut. I’d be surprised if they just cut Morris. Is it possible? Certainly although I don’t expect it at this point.
Do you think Dwight will play before Bynum does? Also what are the chances LA brings DJO onto their roster
Yes I do. I mentioned that DJO has a chance but far from a lock.
Sry this is your last chat. Enjoy following you on twitter and reading your posts on hoopsworld as well.
Is buyout of clark an option (especially now since he’s out indefinetely)? This way Lakers could keep CDR, odom, and sacre. Know blake/duhon are on trading block, but their value isn’t that high and don’t we have to wait till march until duhon/clark can be traded? And morris/ebanks have veto power of any trade this year I thought.
Duhon and Clark could have been traded immediately after the Howard deal went through – it takes two months to be able to package players together going out – but alone, right away is possible. Morris/Ebanks can block any trades but if it is the difference between getting cut and approving a deal? They might chose deal. Of course this is all theoretical – I can talk about the rules but I can’t say what the Lakers will do within that (other than educated opinion).
First off, congratulations on your new job with the LA Times. You’re gonna make the Lakers and their fans very proud. Take note you might get asked to appear on ESPN LA with Mason & Ireland, Max & Marcellus (funniest guys on the radio!), and Mark Willard & Mychael Thompson. With that, here are my questions:
Lakers: I am very impressed with Gonzaga prospect Robert Sacre. He had a great performance against the Utah Jazz Saturday night. I now think that the Lakers have become deadlier than ever with Gasol, Howard and Sacre – that’s three towers of power. Do you see him getting more minutes in the regular season even with Howard on the starting lineup? Will Sacre jump to the second unit with Jodie Meeks, Antawn Jamison, Jordan Hill and Steve Blake?
Clippers: Simply put, they sacrificed 3-point offense for 3-point defense. They have players who can shoot the 3-ball (Paul, Billups, Butler, Crawford, Bledsoe, Barnes, Odom), but it’s not going to happen every night. Jordan’s offense has grown, even if he’s still a horrible FT shooter. Not sure about Griffin’s improvement. Do you think the Clippers will have to rely on scoring in the paint now more than ever – the same way the Lakers do with Gasol, Howard and Sacre? What about Travis Leslie: why aren’t the Clippers giving him any play time?
Thanks Alfredo – Sacre’s calmness playing through preseason is a positive, especially as the 60th pick. I don’t know if he’ll get normal rotation minutes but equally i wouldn’t be surprised if he got some 7-10 nightly regular season.
The Clippers have a lot I like. I think they’re better than last year but it still all needs to come together. They will be able to score but can they defend? Are they tough enough? They’re more skilled than last year but will Lamar Odom make up for the loss of Reggie Evans/Kenyon Martin – both are very physical players (both limited offensively).
Eric, congrats on moving to the latimes lakers blog. Look forward to reading you there. Question: I’ve heard about the laker’s additional ‘tax’ under the new cba. The clippers share the same market. What are they expected to pay? What about the Knicks?
Tax is based on total salary and while the Lakers are way, way into the tax, the Clippers may end up under going into the season. The Knicks are a tax team although not nearly as high as LA. Lakers are going to be at about $30 mil this year in tax.
Any chance Lakers make trade involving point guards?
That’s so broad, the answer is naturally “yes.” I mean “any chance”? How could it be zero chance unless we’re past the deadline!
hi eric, i thought jodie meeks was penciled in to be the back up shooting guard, but it seems like devon ebanks might beat him out. Is that because of meeks poor play or ebanks strong play in pre season and training camp?
It’s Coach Mike Brown experimenting and looking for what’s going to work this season. A coach needs flexibility and options. If Ebanks has a great year at two-guard and that means less Meeks, then so be it. Ebanks has greater potential defensively but doesn’t hit the three while that’s supposedly Meeks’ strength – although we really haven’t seen it yet this preseason.
is there a scenario where the Bulls can trade for K.Love. Maybe next summer? Like: Dengs exp. contract (he is an ALL-Star), Gibson, Mirotic (who´s the best european talent) and the Bobcats pick??
I don’t expect the Wolves to trade Love. Anything is possible but I think they hold out and try to keep him past this contract.
I read Amare worked with Olajuwon for 2 weeks this summer. How much can players pick up from a 2 week intensive like this? When do players improve their games the most: playing in games, practices, or offseason regimens with with focused coaching? Any examples of players whose games improved dramatically through a hard-working offseason?
You can learn a lot in a session – for two weeks? Certainly. The list of players who have improved over the offseason is longer than this chat. That’s where most players grow from babies to studs – putting in their summer work. I’ve seen Kyle Lowry each year working out in Vegas and his game as dramatically improved from that effort.
Hi Eric, because I don’t have TimeWarner I’ve yet to see a Laker pre-season game. The media only talks about Nash, Howard and Kobe. Im just wondering about Jamison. Is he fitting in? Please talk to me about Jamison. Based on what you’ve seen in the first exhibition games, is he doing ok? Thanks!
Jamison’s played mostly with ragtag lineups. I think he’ll look better given some better teammates to play alongside. I wonder – what else can he do if he’s not scoring? We’ll find out.
A 28 year old Kobe vs LBJ one-on-one. Who in your opinion wins?
I’ll go Kobe in his prime. James has a better team-orientated game so I would argue one-on-one favors Bryant.
hi eric, few questions for you!
1) who do you will be the starting 3 for the GSW? barnes or rush?
2) LAL and LAC are pretty loaded with talent, but i think its reasonable to say the lakers will be definitely going farther than the clippers. if a spot opened up, do you think kenyon martin is a better fit in LAL? or LAC?
It looks like the Warriors are sticking with Barnes in the starting role but things like that fluctuate through the season.
I have the Lakers a little bit better than the Clippers. LAC has great upside but they really have to prove they can deliver defensively.
I like Kenyon for the Lakers at this point. He doesn’t make a lot of sense for the Clippers with Lamar Odom getting the minutes.
Are you a Jae Crowder believer? I see him as a future good starting small forward and also how are you liking the Mavs this year? they have alot of scorers,good defense, a great coach and a deep bench
I haven’t seen enough of him yet to really say – but I’ve heard good things about him. Quite a few good things actually.
There has been some speculation lately (largely from Mark Stein) regarding Fisher coming back. Seems a mixed blessing? What can he provide other than bench support?
Kobe hasn’t won a ring without Derek Fisher so from that perspective, I don’t think it hurts. You’d want to have some athleticism in the backcourt, perhaps that’s someone like DJO – but I find it a real stretch to assume Derek will be back given the glut already. If LA trades Blake or Duhon – then it’s time to revisit Fisher – but that feels like a long ways away (if at all).
Just read about Bynum’s knee issues. Seems Kupchak traded Bynum at the perfect time. Although I loved watching Andrew grow as a Laker and wish him the very best, I just can’t help but think his carrer will end prematurely becase of those knees. Is Kupchak simply the master of all trades? What a great GM!
I think Bynum will have a very strong season in Philadelphia. Perhaps a slower start but he’ll be just fine there. The Lakers did well but let’s wait until Dwight is on the court before giving them the trophy!
Any TWC Laker updates? I live in Santa Barbara. Can I watch the Laker games if I get NBA League Pass or is it ‘blacked out’ because of the 99 mile radius from LA? (Didn’t you know you were now known as Eric the Cableguy?)
What a mess!
first of all congratulations and best of luck in your new position at the times. you’ve always presented a very balanced and honest view of the lakers…they’re getting a good man. it seems the biggest concerns for the lakers (besides health) are coach brown’s instincts as a coach and the still questionable bench (preseason on not) getting creamed in three consecutive games. as far as mike brown, even steve nash joked about his practices and john hollinger while very positive on the starters thinks the bench is barely better than last year’s. i don’t really think bringing back derek fisher accomplishes much. do you reserve judgement or are you concerned? and as a blog writer
are you encouraged by the times to be as opinionated (like the bros k) as you want or simply blog about current events? again mazol tov!
I think Mike Brown as head coach will be tested this year. Expectations are really high and he has to find a way to deliver. It may be too much for him or he may prove that he’s the right guy for the job. I could see it going both ways but I’m slightly less optimistic on Brown in this role than high – but not pessimistic either.
The Portland Trailblazers have been pegged at 33.5 wins for next year. Pros = LaMarcus Aldridge Cons = too many rookies, new head coach/system. If you had to guess, over or under on this total?
That’s pretty close – maybe 36 wins?
In his chat, Bill Ingram complimented new Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap. Was surprised at this, as looking at Dunlap’s credentials one would wonder how he even got a NBA head coaching job. What do you personally think of him as a coach and how much of an improvement do you expect from Charlotte this year.
I mentioned this earlier – but Dunlap is HIGHLY respected as a coach outside of the NBA. I don’t think it was a reach for the Bobcats and that’s a group that really needs a teacher in place. I’m curious to see how it works out for him – knowing naturally that he doesn’t have a ton of talent to work with on the roster.
No more questions from me for the Chats here Eric. Words just will never be able to express how much you have been a huge part of my life for so many years. The positive side to this is that I still get to follow your work! You can not be replaced or copied at Hoopsworld! Good Luck and much continued success!
Wow, thanks Peter. The good news is that only aspects of what I do will need to be replaced. I’ll still very much be a part of the HW family.
I was excited to hear that Fish is in fact eligible to sign with the Lakers, but have you heard why this is the case? Were we misinterpreting the rule?
Also, it would be nice to see Fish end his career a Laker, but I just don’t see anyone wanting to take on Blake’s 2yr/8mil considering he’s 30+ and not a starting pg.
Duhon’s contract seems like it may be easier to move but even then I just don’t see a team willing to help the Lakers. What do you foresee in your magic ball?
The Rockets believed that Fisher opted in and was bought out. Fisher believed he didn’t opt in. Derek still has a number on Houston’s books for this season so it’s being applied like he opted in. It’s a gray area but it looks like the league has come out on Fisher’s side. I’m still going to explore the issue further. Strange stuff.
We’ll see on Blake/Duhon. Teams don’t really look for trades – for the most part – until at least 20 games into the season.
Love your work and congrats on your new job! Question about Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis – how do you see them producing this season?
Irving should tear it up. Davis is a rookie but he has all the opportunity in the world to contribute on a team built around him – so he should do just fine. The question will be offense as he is very polished defensively, he still needs to show a regular offensive game.
Hey Eric it was nice knowing you! Enjoy the new job.
Can you tell me why DJO isn’t getting any play? Literally every other play has gotten noticeably more time than him except maybe one of those centers who won’t make the roster.
It’s what makes me think CDR may be the favorite over DJO. Then again, maybe we get a long look at Johnson-Odom before the Lakers decide anything.
Do you think anyone in the league bites at the Lakers offer of Blake and/or Duhon before the season begins?
Eric, what’s going on with Trey Thompkins? I don’t think he’s played in any of the preseason games. Is he ok?
He’s still trying to get past the bone bruise suffered right before summer league (knee).
Hey Eric, who would you say is the Lakers and also the Clippers ex factor player and why?
Meeks can change the game for the Lakers if he can find his shot. DeAndre Jordan both offensively and defensively can make the Clippers elite – but can he and will he? DJ put in the work this summer but applying it may not be an overnight thing!
What are you going to miss at Hoopsworld?
I will definitely miss the chats, without question. I’ll be antsy on Tuesdays at 1pm.
I am so proud of you and your accomplishments…Hoopsworld,La Times and an amazing husband and dad..
My question today is do you think the lakers have a chance to win the championship this year or is this another Lakers team that look good on paper like the year Karl Malone, Gary Payton and Shaq played on the Lakers and they just couldn’t get it done?
This is a first I believe! I’m honored and humbled.
I love the question. It’s easy to forget that Malone was hurt much of the season and was hobbling and/or out for most of the NBA Finals. So was Horace Grant – so the Lakers were going with the likes of Brian Cook and Slava Medvedenko in the most important games of the season.
That was an older group and there was a lot of dysfunction in the team back then too.
This time around, the pieces fit better. Howard is younger. Nash may be late in his career but he has more coming in that Payton did back then.
I would say that if the Lakers can stay healthy – they will be better than the the 2004 team.
Thanks for making all this possible btw – because none of it would be otherwise.
Wassup Eric two questions 1.Why are ppl under-selling the Lakers bench? The last two years the best bench player was Matt Barnes!! Who avg less than 8ppg.They added Jamison & Meeks two former starters that can score & retained Ebanks,Hill,&Blake. Bench scoring IMO was the Lakers biggest problem the last couple of years. 2. Who are your favorite lottery picks that didn’t pan out? Mine are Rod Grizzard,Chris Wilcox,Dajuan Wagner, & Johnny Flynn to name a few.
The Lakers bench isn’t very good. That’s why. Better than last year doesn’t mean “great.” The Lakers will need to heavily rely on a rotation of starters in with their reserves. I’m pulling for Wilcox to bounce back after last year’s surgery.
Most of the ROY talk seems to center around Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard and to a lesser extent Brandon Beal and MKG – with good reason. After those guys, is there a rook (or two) that could emerge as a standout this season?
I’m curious to see what Jared Sullinger does in Boston. Harrison Barnes should be on your list. I’ll keep an eye on Mo Harkless and the Houston rookies as well. I’m sure we left some out!
Smush vs Kobe. What more can you tell us about the feud? Any inside info?
Kobe is focused on winning and that isn’t always pleasant to be around. Parker was just the kind of guy who would get dressed while you’re waiting to speak to him – and then leave you standing there without a word.
By what I’ve watched of the Lakers thus far, Blake, Duhon nor Morris showed anything. I mean anything.
Which of these guys seem like I realistic shot at ending in LA?
Fish- A bit too old
Barbosa- Undersized SG, but has to be better than anything we have
Ridnour- Maybe package Duhon with Clark or Odom
Calderon- I know the rumor is false but would they take Ebanks, Odom and Duhon.
Reason on didn’t put Blake was because Duhons contract is partially guaranteed I believe which makes it easier to trade him.
The Lakers have who they have. In a week or so they’ll get it down to 15 (or in theory 14 or 13). From there other teams will compete for a month and see who they have. If they’re 15-5, 10-10 or 5-15 – that’s going to dictate their paths. The Lakers can’t trade in a vacuum.
Travis Leslie looked good in the scrimmage. Why aren’t Leslie and Thompkins getting any preseason time? Also, why is Willie Green starting over Leslie, Crawford Bledsoe, Barnes, Hill…?
That was the best I’ve ever seen Leslie play, ever – at the scrimmage. He hasn’t necessarily earned it. I believe Del Negro is trying to keep his rotation together and Billups will be in Green’s place. I think that makes a lot of sense through the preseason.
There have been a lot of rumors surrounding the lakers back up pg (getting rid of duhon and blake, getting calderon or fisher), what do you think the lakers will ultimately do with the position
I see opening night – Nash, Kobe, Blake, Duhon, Morris, Meeks – if you want to say Ebanks too as a possible guard – and either CDR or DJO. If I had to say – today it seems like CDR but I’m not even sold that’s true. As far as both? Still an option as well though maybe a less-likely one.
Dmorris ,duhon,eclark all got guaranteed money. Does this mean they got automatic roster spot unless traded?
No, the Lakers can cut them if they’d like to. They just have to pay them.
Delonte is having trouble in Dallas. Any chance the Lakers might trade one of their point guards for him?
I would say that’s very unlikely.
Who do u think have the bettwr summer conditioning and will play more,ebanks or meeks?
It depends on Hill frankly. If Jamison is playing more four then Ebanks is at three more and thus Meeks at two. Also – can Ebanks play with consistent effort and more fire? So far I haven’t seen it – but then Meeks hasn’t done much yet either.
It has been easy to see that DeAndre Jordan has taken some tremendous leaps forward in the development of a post game. How much of a game changer would a more offensively competent DeAndre be in the Clippers’ pursuit of a title?
Agreed and it would make a tremendous difference for the Clippers. Naturally the free throw issue remains (thus far).
Having been around Lamar Odom in the past, where would you say he is at mentally right now? Many have been concerned that he is out of shape. Does he currently seem as focused on basketball as he was in past years or should we have reason to worry?
Thanks Eric and good luck with your new opportunity.
This will have to do for the week (and the foreseeable future). I will still be a regular on HOOPSWORLD, so this is just an adjustment. I will miss the weekly conversations – scattered at times as they might have been!
Jay – Odom always comes into camp, working himself into shape. That’s nothing new. The one year he really was ready was the season he played for Team USA – and then went on to win 6th Man of the Year. That’s not the Odom the Clippers are getting but I think he’s really motivated to show that last year was a blip on the radar.
The Clippers need really big years from both Odom and DeAndre. If they get them – LAC might be able to climb above the fourth seed.
If not – there is enough competition that they could easily drop to six.
Thanks again . . .
Select a Team
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
New Orleans Pelicans
New York Knicks
Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs
Select a Team
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
New Orleans Pelicans
New York Knicks
Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs
After a slow start to the season, the Memphis Grizzlies are remembering how to close out teams in the fourth quarter.
10:30am - Steve Kyler
3:00pm - Yannis Koutroupis
8:00pm - Jessica Camerato
11:00am - Nate Duncan
8:00pm - Bill Ingram
12:00pm - Travis Heath***
8:00pm - Lang Greene
1:00pm - Joel Brigham
3:00pm - Jabari Davis
1:00pm - Moke Hamilton
3:00pm - Larry Coon
8:00pm - Alex Kennedy
11:00am - Susan Bible ***
*** denotes chats that are held bi-weekly