Welcome to NBA Chat with HOOPSWORLD Senior Writer Eric Pincus. I’ve got all the questions I can handle. Thanks for participating!
Eric covers the L.A. Lakers, Clippers and NBA at large.
Eric, Obviously no one is going to condone MWP’s blow to Harden’s head last year (if Harden weren’t such a beast it couldv’e been fatal ) but don’t you think it’s fair to say he’s chippy player who escalates alot of contact and ill will?
Media Day has happened – I went to Clippers Friday – Lakers Monday – looking forward to all that’s to come. Today we chat.
Peace is a rough players to go against. I didn’t like the elbow that hit Harden and while I don’t think it was fully intentional, there’s no reason it should have happened. Peace is chippy but this is a pretty physical game and that’s one of his strengths. As long as he keeps it within good faith – and that Harden move obviously wasn’t – then I’m OK with it.
WILL KOBE EVER GIVE THE BALL TO ME?
I really think any concern here is overblown. Kobe will do too much sometimes. He always has – that’s Kobe. He also goes to the NBA Finals and wins rings.
who is better for you miami or lakers or thunder?
I have – in my rankings – Miami #1, Thunder #2 and Lakers #3 – but how do I think it will finish if all teams are healthy? I have Lakers/HEAT NBA Finals and I really think this is a year where the Lakers can get it – though Miami is right there. And Thunder? Still a team not to count out.
Part of the motivation behind the new CBA was to increase parity between teams. Certainly there are cases like the Lakers that have spent a lot to field a quality team. However, is there systematic evidence that a) correlates payroll with wins and b) shows that over time, the league has become less competitive with a few super teams, a lean middle, and a growth in, say sub .300 teams?
Going back to the Magic/Bird era – how many teams where there of merit? In the MJ days? Same question? There’s always the haves and the have nots. The Lakers always seem to be in the mix and they spend near the most. The OK City Thunder are among the most exciting and potent teams in the NBA and they are very cost conscious. The Spurs are a small market organization as well. The Knicks spent and spent and spent and got nowhere. The Mavs? Same until it finally paid off (certainly their recent “down” years were great compared to the Knicks).
Let’s remember – the new CBA has increasingly restrictive rules – we haven’t gotten the full force of the new deal yet. Parity to a degree is impossible. If you’re someone who loves the beach and wants the Miami nightlife – can I sell you on Toronto if it’s equal pay or near equal pay?
hi eric, huge lakers fan but im suprised pau gasol is ranked #15 in the espn rankings considering hes age and how bad he played in the last 2 post seasons.How is he ranked ahead of bosh and aldrige who are in their primes?
I gotta say, because I’m a national NBA analyst – I try to avoid the rankings of other organizations/reporters so I’m not influenced. When I write my power rankings during the season – I avoid all others (even from reporters I highly respect). I can’t speak to that report and I haven’t gone through a player ranking process at this point myself. It’s subjective but I would rank Pau above Bosh and it’d be close with Aldridge. LaMArcus had that injury which set him back but he was right on Pau’s heels. I’ll say Pau still has to prove something – that he’s not declining – and last year was more about situation but we’ll see. This stuff fluctuates so quickly and is so subjective – it’s fun to do – but far from scientific.
Hello Mr.Pincus if I get NBA league Pass will the Lakers games be block out I live in The LA area or will the Lakers game only be seen on Time Warner thanks
I don’t really know yet. I’ll say this – I get these questions constantly. I was at a physical therapy appointment this morning (getting my hip back in shape so I can get back on the court) and one of the techs was asking me the same. I believe the red tape will be snipped at the very last minute and most will get Lakers TV – but it’ll be cable – not for non-cable/Dish/DirecTV, etc. Will it be on all networks, etc. on time? I’m not sure but I think eventually it will all be worked out. And we’ll all pay a little hike in our monthly fees for it!
do you think pavlovic and jefferies will get some PT with portland? both have talents that can make them usefull, like jefferies with his D and pavlovic with his shooting. what about ronnie price? do you think he gets more PT at PG/SG than nolan smith?
It’s up to Pavlovic to prove himself in camp – he’s not exactly a player the team really wanted to go out and get. It was just circumstance. The same can be said of Jefferies but he may be a little more useful with his size and versatility. Price, whether he gets minutes or not, will help the Blazers. He’s a good locker room dude and I think he may get a crack at minutes, perhaps more than the other two you mentioned.
if you had to make a team(starters and 3 bench players) with no superstar players…what would your team look like? here is mine PG – j.holiday, SG – m.thornton, SF – t.prince, PF – k.humphries, C – s.dalembert, and my bench would be l.ridenour, b.rush, and e.udoh
I mean – what’s the definition of superstar? That’s really iffy. I mean I don’t think Andre Iguodala is a superstar. Is Andrew Bynum? Not sure he is. Marc Gasol? Let’s put it this way – it’s a great question. I’d need more parameters and in this brief, brief chat window – I don’t think I can answer it. But shoot me an email with more specifics and I’ll see if I can come up with a team like that – that can win some games.
if you had to make a team(starters and 3 bench) that was mainly a scoring/3pt team(has to be practical) who would you have on your team? my team would be PG – b.jennings, SG – b.gordon, SF – d.granger, PF – a.jamison, C – s.hawes, and my bench would be n.robinson, a.harrington, and m.speights
CJ – You’ve got like five of these kinds of posts – it’s just not great for chat format where I need to get through a high volume of questions. As I noted – better to email something that I need to really think on.
Eric, I love the Lakers but if I can’t watch them on TV this season, I blame Jerry Buss for making this stupid deal with TWC. How dare they take away the GAMES from us fans? TWC is not available in my area, and if my cable provider chooses not to negotiate I’ll be left with no games even if I order league pass. Seriously? Come on, how dare they treat us FANS like dirt? We pay their players salaries pretty much. This is unfair and I know you have zero power over this but I just wanted to vent! All I want is to watch laker games on my TV. I hate TWC.
I just answered something like this. Here’s the gun. You just jumped it. Let’s see what comes. If you don’t pay for cable at all, I’m sorry and I get that – but the world has moved to pay – not just free TV. Beyond that – I think Laker games will be in Los Angeles nearly across the board – just maybe not on Day 1.
Hey Eric, can you tell me if Chris Douglas Roberts is:
2) at least an average defender
3) a good defender?
CDR just hasn’t stuck. He’s a talented player who can defend and play. Whatever it is – he just hasn’t fit into the NBA culture it seems – as teams haven’t really kept him around long. Just based on the Lakers contracts, it’s hard for him to make this roster but if he outplays some of the other bubble players and has his head on straight, perhaps something unexpected happens.
Hi Eric! As always, you have been a splendid source of information and opinion for my favorite team – Lakers. Lakers fans are very excited for the training camp to commence and can’t wait for the season to start! As of now, aside from Kobe, Pau, Dwight, MWP, Nash, Meeks, Jamison, Hill and Blake, who are guaranteed to be on the roster? Who do you think will complete the lineup and how many players will the Lakers have during the regular season?
The Lakers don’t have to keep a player with a guaranteed contract – in theory they could waive Earl Clark if they don’t like his game – but he’s going to get $1.24 million this year and that’s a lot to just eat for a team – especially with luxury tax.
Everyone on the roster is guaranteed and likely to make a spot except for Goudelock, Nelson, Somogyi, Sacre, Johnson-Odom, Aguilar and CDR. That’s 13 players guaranteed which means the Lakers are already at the minimum.
They can keep 0, 1 or 2 more players. I anticipate they start with 15 with the option of cutting down some by January if need be. So if I had to bet which two? It’d be one big and one small – to me it’s Sacre and Johnson-Odom.
But that’s just my hunch and actual play in camp has something to do with the Lakers’ decision.
How come everyone keeps making excuses for Ray Allen? It’s not like the Celtics were terrible and he left, I think most people would understand that. They were one game away from beating the Heat and then they improve and he leaves? I know people say he was bitter about management trying to trade him but his loyalty should be to KG and PP, not to management. He let them both down and Celtic nation down and is a trader indeed. What’s your opinion?
This is a business. He felt the loyalty from the team wasn’t there so he made a change. It happens. I would argue the Celtics with Terry/Lee are probably better for it at this point given Allen’s age. Equally, on a team like the HEAT – Ray should flourish. Feelings get hurt – it’s part of it – but time generally heals all that.
Have you heard anything about Jeremy Lin’s progress over the summer as far as him improving his game? Has he worked with any former players or went through any type of special training? I know he’s going to be up under alot pressure to deliver for the Rockets….the thing is they still have a long way to go before they can become contenders in the Western Conference.
I know he spent a lot of time rehabbing and making sure he was healthy. Beyond that I don’t have the detail on what he worked on yet. Bill Ingram is really our Rockets’ expect so certainly hit him up and he may have more detail straight out of Houston.
who’s your top 5 best floppers today
I think we have to re-dfine this now, because the league is going to be cracking down. The question isn’t who has been a great flopper in the past. It’s – who can flop now AND get away with it – without repercussions from the league. Ask again in a couple of months.
I heard that the Clippers had discussions with Del Negro about an extension. Is that the right choice? Would this affect Chris Paul’s decision to stay or not? Would it be better if they went after a more proven coach, like Sloan, McMillan or either Van Gundy?
First of all, teams and players/coaches – they have discussions all the time when it comes to extensions. Both sides like to feel out where each other’s price point is, etc. As far as triggering an extension? If I’m the Clippers, that would take a mighty endorsement from both Blake Griffin and Chris Paul to re-up Del Negro. I’m not thinking alternatives – I’m thinking, when CP3 is a free agent and wants to re-sign – and it’s when he has most leverage – does he want to have a specific coach in place? And is that a concession Clipper management is willing to make? It probably should be to a point – a point – but not completely.
hi eric, will jamison play more small forward or power forward?
3 years later do you thing the lakers would be better off with world peace or ariza?
I spoke to Jamison and he said he expects his role to fluctuate regularly – depending on opponent and matchup. He said it could very easily be three as a floor spacer or as four. He was very open-minded about doing whatever the team needs – perhaps more so than any other I spoke to.
The way that Peace looked in camp on Monday – which was amazing – I may say Peace. Short-term I get the choice – and Trevor has struggled outside of LA. The decision was made – I miss Ariza because he’s a very solid guy (and I’m a UCLA guy myself) but I certainly enjoy Metta’s presence in the locker room and even on the floor. I don’t think LA gets that ring over Boston with Ariza over Metta.
Eric, is it just me or can you name a better PG that would fit this Lakers team as perfectly as I think Nash will be? Other than CP3 I cant think of another PG. Barring chemistry & injuries, if this team gels perfectly can they be beaten? I just dont see it, there isnt a team out there than guard our starting 5.
Steve Nash like 5 years ago? Point being – great mix on this Laker team but as Mitch Kupchak said – he wishes they were all 25-years old.
Hello Eric, were you at Lakers’ Media Day?
With the new teammates, new offense, etc., which of our starting 5 do you think will have the toughest job in transitioning into their new roles?
It may actually be the most challenging for Nash to play in a different role. Also, Gasol has struggled not being the top big man scorer – is that still an issue?
What did you see yesterday at laker’s media camp? what is Great or good or bad? thanks
I have a report I filed that won’t go live onto HOOPSWORLD until tonight. The most important thing I felt that jumped out – by far – was the condition of Metta World Peace. He looked FIT. We’re talking some 20 pounds lighter but still built like a tank.
what did you see at Laker’s media day? The great,good or ugly?
I like Darius-Johnson Odom – if he can prove that he can defend some at the one/two – he has a real shot to make the roster as a defender. Jodie Meeks also said he may have minutes guarding guys like Westbrook (presumably to protect Nash in a difficult matchup).
76er fan here.
Important training camp for the 6ers with all the new players.
I do not know the inside details but does it seem negligent of A Bynam not to have the knee procedure done the beginning of August and not miss camp?
That’s Andrew – he does things on his schedule. Actually – so did Shaq. I’m not really worried about Andrew – he’ll do a lot right in Philly. He’ll also do some things, I presume, to alienate the fans at times as well.
I think Jeremy Lin is an All-Star this season. Not because he will play well. But because all of China will be voting him in. What do you think?
Very possibly although he’s actually I believe of Taiwanese decent – there’s a difference and we may not see the Yao Ming vote in the same way.
Good afternoon Eric, any ‘update’ to
when Dwight might be available for
fairly regular NBA play?
I’ve heard he’ll play on opening night. I’ve heard he’ll miss the opener but will be ready soon after. I’ve heard he won’t be available until December. I’ve heard he won’t be good til January. My actual take? He MAY make opening night but a safer bet would be mid-November.
Hi again Eric, presumably you at least saw him live at LAC media day; your thoughts on what Lamar Odom is ‘ready’ to actually produce for the Clippers this season?
Lamar typically works his way into shape, which isn’t necessarily a good thing – but I do think he’ll help the Clippers this year significantly.
Sup EP love the chats your the best!!! Will Jamison play the 4 and Hill be the back up 5 or will Sacre get minutes backing up D12?
Sacre has to make the team first. I would expect Pau to start at five with Hill at four and Jamison still in the 6th-man role in Howard’s absence but we’re probably talking about decisions Coach Mike Brown hasn’t made yet.
Excepting Billups, do you foresee any injury issues that would preclude the other 4 expected Clipper starters-Paul, Griffin, Jordan, Butler- from opening the 12/13 regular season?
Chris Paul is still nursing the thumb but he’s expected back on time. Trey Thompkins told me his knee issue shouldn’t hold him back either. There’s ALWAYS something – for every team. So we wait and see.
Eric, you were at Media Day for the Clippers. Did Odom look out of shape to you? He admitted his conditioning “could be better.” Should we worry?
I touched on this a second ago – basically the only team he looked great in Laker camp was the year he played on Team USA. Lamar gets into shape quickly – just rarely on the first day of camp.
Is it possible for Metta to opt out of his contract at the end of the season and sign for a significantly less but multi-year contract – so that the Lakers can avoid having to pay more? Thanks.
Sure but I think Peace won’t get that much more elsewhere. If he opts out – he probably loses money in re-signing or inking elsewhere.
One more question. What are your predictions for Kobe’s stats this year? (just up or down)FG%, Pts, 3P% and assists. Thanks!
I would think everything up but points, which should be in the 23-24 range.
If the line for wins on Golden State this year was .500 or 41 wins. Would you personally bet on the over or the under? Talent says yes, injury possibilities make one hesitant. Which way would Eric Pincus lean?
On paper I would lean up. Reality and history says the safe bet is down. If you said I had to make a bet for my livelihood I would go under. I rank the Warriors above the Wolves and Jazz and yet – of the three – I actually think Utah has the best chance of making it to the postseason.
I believe the Utah Jazz are clearly better than Minnesota (with Rubio out for the first few months and question marks at SG) and Golden State (who always underachieve and Bogut/Curry injury concerns). Other than PG the Jazz are two deep at every position. How would you rank these teams in terms of standings next year: Minny, GS, and Utah?
I just touched on this. The Jazz are imperfect, have some guard issues and some development to go through – and no, I have them ranked below all three BUT – and I was clear what I ranked them all – I still think Utah is the favorite of the three to make the postseason. Upside is greater in Oakland and Minny – but what the Jazz bring is always stable and dependable. The one wrinkle – complete health from the Warriors. The other wrinkle? Rick Adelman is a heck of a coach.
Fun question for you. If you switch LBJ and Durant to each other teams, which team is better and why?
Thunder – I like their mix of players a bit more.
so lakers last 2 roater spot is interesting for the take.who do u think lakers need the most? sizeable combo guard in chris douglas roberts, 7ft sacre, dark horse center aguilar, athletic defensive guard DJO, pure shooter glock or small forward reeves?
I hit this earlier but I feel like they probably go one more big – and at point with four guards? I see Goudelock out. They paid $500k to draft Johnson-Odom and if he may be the best pure athlete on the team – which matters. CDR has some real talent but hasn’t latched on yet in a really positive way in NBA. My gut is Sacre/DJO – but we have to see what comes. Nelson has some tangible abilities – I’m just not sure it’s his time yet.
I guess there’s a lot of hype now with the Lakers and everything, but cmon you have to admit the Clippers are scary. There bench has 5 players that can start on any other team. What other team has a bench as deep as theirs and who do you think will be MIP on the Clippers?
Keep up the good work brother.
The Clippers are deep and talented. If they can get enough development from both Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan? They can be a real, real force. I have LAC as fourth but if they can close the gap on the Spurs – I like how they match up against the Thunder. Presently on paper I have the Lakers ahead but I gotta say the Clippers are super, super deep.
Is there any pressure on Mike Brown, or is can he take it a little easier because the team is so stacked?
There is a TON of pressure on Mike Brown.
Who are players the clippers invited to training camp ?
The team is really fond of Courtney Fortson but they realize there’s no true room for him on the roster. Marqus Blakely is a guy who can probably fit on a roster somewhere as a designated defender. The others I don’t know as well – Chris Johnson, Trent Plaisted and Hank Thorns. I do like the name Hank Thorns.
It would seem LA has some ‘open minutes’ at backup SF. Presmably that could be filled by Bryant (with more Meeks at SG) or by one of Ebanks/Clark. How do you see Brown filling the backup SF role?
Secondly, what do you see as the greater area of uncertainty for LA, backup SF or backup PG? ….Thanks
Meeks is a wild card this season. If he can 1) hit 40-50% from three and 2) find a position defend (one or two) – he could be a game-changer. That would push Bryant into more minutes at three (shared with MWP). If someone has to sit, it’s Ebanks. Of course Devin, who has some athleticism at this position – may jump out too. The Lakers are deep and have a lot of talent. Maybe some of the pieces bring more questions than those on other teams – but there’s a lot of potential there.
lakers – djo looks to be athletic freak i don’t see anyway glock beats him for a roster spot. although same height djo has 6’7 wingspan and 44 inch vert or so. is a playmaker, can create his own shot, and can also shoot and DEFEND. glock is 3pt specialist and teardrop and confidence but not much else. (he lacks the passing/ballhandling skills to play the 1 and lacks the height and defense to play the 2). although djo lacks the height he has athletic ability and wingspan to make up for his height. not sure if djo could play the one some as well as 2. (in third string backup role of course)
know before you thought djo and sacre make it. djo seems like a 100% shoe in.
what are they going to do at point with blake out? duhon and morris i guess? know morris is gym rat but is he really ready for that role? thanks love your chats and twitter posts.
Whoever plays the best – fits the best – will get the minutes behind Nash. It’s really that simple. Sad to say, because I’m found of Goudelock – I think he sees the writing on the wall here. I don’t expect him to make the roster.
Why hasn’t Leandro Barbosa signed yet? Where do you see him playing for this season?
Teams have injuries and that’s when a guy like Barbosa’s demand will jump. He should be patient and make sure he’s in shape ready to go when the opportunity comes.
Yes or No answer, Dwight re-signs with the Lakers after the season?
If you want simple, one-word answer – Yes.
Who makes the cut on roster spots 13-15? Is there a non-injury scenario where DCR makes the team and contributes?
Hmm DCR? Do you mean DJO or CDR? I don’t anticipate Chris Douglas-Roberts on the Lakers this year but I would not be shocked if he showed what he has – which is real talent. Decisions have not been made yet so we can only go with educated guesses.
Eric: As with any “super team”, expectations are usually unrealistic when it comes to being able to win the championship the first year.
Knowing that the Heat have a glaring deficiency at the C position, do you think the Lakers Defense will be able to mitigate the Lebron freight train which will help our scorers expose the weak middle?
The HEAT have shooters which make zoning a lot tougher – the Lakers have some real advantages over the HEAT – the HEAT have some real advantages over the Lakers. If MWP can make sure that LeBron just has a good game (or Finals) and not a great one? Then the Lakers tip the balance. From what I saw in Ron the other day? He is in better shape than I’ve ever seen him.
Where do you see the Nets finishing in the east?
This is a VERY tough call. I need to see the Knicks, Nets and Sixers play – and to a point the Pacers. I’m going to say the HEAT and then Celtics are top 1/2 in the East. The Nets could get as high as three – and if Boston isn’t entirely healthy – two. Or it may not come together quickly – and if Lopez struggles after that injury? It could be more difficult. Regardless, I have the Nets in the playoffs.
What do you think of Griffin’s new jumper and FTs? Think there’s enough improvement to where defenders have to respect it?
Blake needs to improve in three areas – FT, 15-20 ft jumpers and defense. It’s hard to practice the last skill over the summer (especially recovering from a knee surgery) but I’ve heard good things about his shooting.
Have you seen those new Nuggets alternate jerseys? What do you think of them?
Nice – I’m open minded. I know some are more “swag” conscious than I am personally. I just want to see the games whatever they’re wearing.
why dont people realize lakers will b hardest team to score on with the defensive players they have.magic only had howard and they was a top defensive team.lakers championship easily
I think a lot of people realize this. I haven’t don’t a poll to really gauge if your question is accurate.
Best case and worse case scenario, where do you see the Blazers in 2 years?
Best case would be winning the title? Worst is last place but coming in 4th in the lottery? I mean, that’s kind of a general rule. Realistically I like some of what Portland is doing. This is a process and if I’m a Blazer fan, I go in with expectations that they may not make playoffs but it’s a chance to see one of the best prospects in the league develop in Damian Lillard.
Why isn’t anyone putting the Clippers as possible contenders for the Western Conference Champions? They are ranked high, but IMO, they have just as many questionmarks in coming together as a team as do the Lakers, yet everyone puts the Lakers head and shoulders above them. Yes, Nash is a huge improvement for the Lakers, but DH is questionable about his back, and they already had a good center in Bynum. It seems to me, the Clippers improved their roster top to bottom much more, plus guys like DJ, Griffin and Bledsoe stand to show major improvement this season. I also think LO and Crawford and going to really bounce back and have something to prove.
Hmm – again, I just write for me and my perspective. I can’t read everything out there and try to stay away from much of the opinion/subjective stuff. I see the Clippers as fourth in the West. Their best situation would be to surpass the Spurs and Thunder but even if they’re fourth and get out of the first round – I think they have a good matchup against the Thunder (perhaps more so than vs. Lakers or Spurs).
Health and injuries to others could make the Clippers a contender. I think they’re close but have more to prove – especially defensively – to get there.
Do you think Dwight will sign with Lakers longterm next year?
This will have to do for the week. As always, I’ll be back next Tuesday and we’ll do it again.
Shaq/Jason – Will the Lakers sign Dwight next year? I think there’s no question they’ll offer him a max deal. Will he look to another team with cap room? Is there really a better future for him in Dallas, given they’d have to trim down the roster Dirk Nowitzki is getting a bit older? I fully expect Howard to stay long term in LA but nothing is a lock – so like anything, we’ll have to wait and see!
Select a Team
Golden State Warriors
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Select a Team
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
New Orleans Pelicans
New York Knicks
Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs
The Phoenix Suns are going through a full-scale rebuild after finishing the season as the last place team in the Western Conference.
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10:30am - Steve Kyler
1:30pm - Joel Brigham
11:00am - Yannis Koutroupis
3:00pm - Larry Coon
11:00am - Susan Bible
5:00pm - Derek Page