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.
horrible game 5 last night for the lakers…only reason it was close is cause kobe went into mamba mode at the end….inconsistent and sloppy games like this are the reason they only have a tiny chance, if any, to move past okc and the spurs. you think this problem is fixable during this post-season run or something that they’re going to have to wait to address in the summer?
Two of my local teams in the playoffs – let’s chat:
You got this question in early but it seems relevant still. Nuggets 113 – Lakers 96, and that’s even after your post after Game 5. The Lakers recovered and won the series but there’s no question they haven’t played especially well in three of their last four games – or even four of their last six.
It’s going to take a different kind of digging to beat the Thunder but a win in Game 2 makes everything that happened in Game 1 a distant memory.
They have a lot that’s right on the roster but ultimately they’re still a thin team re: depth. We’ll see if they can get it together but even in the offseason, options can be limited.
why does griffin get away with so many offensive fouls?
Blake is one of the hardest guys to ref in the league. He moves so quickly and forcefully, there’s so much contact – the officials struggle to know what to call at times. We see a range of hard fouls applied to Blake, offensive fouls where he pushes off, flops, etc. It’s just a difficult call and as much as he’s getting away with he’s also taking in punishment.
Will the Clippers have all of their exceptions to use this summer and who will likely get these exceptions? Can they sign their own players then use those exceptions to sign other free agents?
The Clippers need to see what Mo Williams does first and foremost. If he opts out of his final year at $8.5 million that opens up money for LA to spend under the tax. I’m skeptical they’ll go over it. They can use their Amnesty on Ryan Gomes to open up a little room as well. So if Mo/Gomes is on the roster that’s $12.5 million eaten up. If they’re both gone, it’s a different thing altogether.
The Clippers could end up under the cap but if they intend on keeping players like Randy Foye, Nick Young, Kenyon Martin, Chauncey Billups and Reggie Evans – they’re going to have to be very creative. I’m not sure how they get most or all of that done and find someone else to bring in but in theory it’s possible. They would have their full Mid-Level Exception.
Although they aren’t done yet, and how they fair in the post season may decide any off-season moves, could the Celtics and Lakers possibly conjure up a move to swap Rondo for Gasol?
Something along the lines of-
Celtics trade Rondo + Bass
Lakers trade Sessions + Gasol
there’d need to be a little work for the salaries to match, but is it something either team might consider? Lakers could resign Jordan Hill as a cheaper PF option.
We need to see what both teams do. There are reasons the Celtics might be open to trading Rondo but then he’s a pretty special player. The same can be said of Gasol. If the Laker flame out, they may look to get younger but I could see Sessions being the long-term point with Gasol out for younger size.
There are just too many variables at this point. We don’t have all the facts and more importantly the Celtics and Lakers don’t have all the facts to make this kind of decision yet.
What off season moves you think the lakers will do this summer? A shooter? A kobe back-up?
The Lakers have about $79 million in salary lined up next year assuming Ramon Sessions opts out. At that point I’d expect them to try and lock in Sessions long term as what they deem a fair price. It’s hard to say what that number is but more than full Mid-Level Exception range (more than $5 million). Jordan Hill, if he’ll take it, can retained for up to $3.6 million.
LA would have the Mini-Mle which is about $3.1 million. That’s not going to yield a lot in return. They also need to decide on free agents Matt Barnes and two players expected to be restricted free agents in Devin Ebanks and Darius Morris.
The team holds an option on Bynum at $16.1 million.
If there was anything drastic, you’re probably looking at a Gasol trade. If the team isn’t good enough to compete for a title or get even past the Thunder – then paying $19 million next year for Pau as third option probably doesn’t make sense.
What will be the strength and weakness of the Lakers against Thunder? Can you cite it with me? Thanks Eric.
Speed and depth. Defense on Harden.
What happens with Memphis next? Is there a shake up coming or do they stick to what they have? Will they be a luxury tax team? Is one of Randolph or Gay likely to go?
Sorry – that last answer was about weaknesses. The strengths of Lakers vs. Thunder = size/rebounding.
Matt – Memphis is heavily invested in the Zach/Gasol/Conley/Gay core. They have very limited flexibility and if they want to stay under the tax, I can’t see Mayo back. I don’t see major tinkering other than looking for health. The team, especially Zach, just wasn’t at full strength.
I’m not sure it’s time yet to trigger a “big” move although if I had to guess, perhaps Gay is out before Zach.
(1)With the news the Bosh is out indefinitely for the Heat, do you think that the Pacers win the series? Or do the Heat win the series even if they don’t see Bosh the rest of the series?
(2)What are the keys to the Lakers winning the series against the Thunder?
I still have HEAT but the Pacers have an opportunity. I have Lakers winning in 7. I make my predictions before the playoffs even start and I stand by them and if necessary – go down with the ship. LA didn’t look particularly good in Game 1 to say the least.
Lakers need to slow Westbrook, probably with Kobe, while Metta World Peace slows Durant and the rest of the team scrambles and finds a way to help on Harden. If something doesn’t work – then all of it can fall apart pretty quickly (See G1).
LA needs to play near four perfect games but they have some advantages. If the Thunder have a poor shooting night, if LA’s defense can kick in, size and rebounding should favor LA.
How outraged would you be if you were an Atlanta Hawks fan? Your team was clearly cheated by the refs by not understanding a basic rule of basketball. A judgment play can be called incorrect. No problem, these officials are only human who make mistakes. But three professional referees who were selected to officiate a playoff game 7 all failed to acknowledge a rule the majority of those watching understood = unacceptable. And the NBA thinks coming out with an apology is going to help? Question: How would you feel if you were an Atlanta Hawks fan right now?
I coach a girls team. They’re only 9/10 years old but they really want to win. During the games they complain about calls and I tell them that we have to get more stops than the other team – and score more points than the other team – to make up for those mistakes. Not everyone is great at their job every single day, and they’re human, so focus on the game and win anyway.
It’s not fair, it’s not right – but it’s reality and if you lose two points to the officials, you have to score three then to make it up.
Perhaps that’s simplistic but ultimately there’s nothing that can be done if it winning takes more for one team than the other because of bad calls, then that team has to do more.
The Hawks had many opportunities including free throws from Horford that didn’t fall. Every opportunity that comes, whatever you leave on the table, you can’t point to the refs and ignore the moments you didn’t capitalize on.
It seems like the Lakers, even going back to Showtime, and certainly in the Shaq/Kobe era, have not consistently played with effort, the way teams like the Spurs (and Celtics/Nuggets?) are reputed to do; there has long been the appearance that the team feels it can turn it on at will. Any theory why this is so-it’s been under different coaches, with different personnel?
I find that most teams have good and bad nights and what’s different is the expectation. I don’t think lack of effort is what we see often – instead it’s lack of understanding. If you don’t know how to stop the other team, you play confused and it looks like lack of energy or desire – but instead it’s just not having the tools.
Also, I don’t think this is a Lakers problem – most fans feel this way about their teams. There are a few exceptions but in general I hear fans complain about their squad about effort all the time. I see from the locker room/media section that may not be the case – but I understand why it’s perceived that way.
If the lakers will trade Gasol. What type of player/postion will the lakers trade for?
Can the lakers trade him for the #1 pick? Im sure Gasol’s stock is high for lottery teams??
I don’t think there’s any team that will deal Anthony Davis for Gasol. That just doesn’t make economic or basketball sense. The Lakers need depth, youth, athleticism, size if Gasol is gone, possibly help at point guard, someone to take over the mantle as Kobe ages, etc.
I’m not sure they can get all that in one trade but as I mentioned earlier, we don’t have all the facts just yet. How do the Lakers do the next 3-6 games vs. the Thunder?
Nash says he will stay if the suns improve. If you are The GM- and you want to keep nash(whether you agree or not) what moves do you make to make the team better and keep Nash in phx? Gordon? Mayo?
Gordon is a restricted free agent. I don’t see Mayo as the answer but he’d be a decent get for the Suns. I like some of what the Suns have the floor with Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris, at times Channing Frye is affective. Jared Dudley is a very solid player as well. I don’t know if I see an obvious cure-all that jumps the Suns from the bubble to true contention but I do think Nash will give them a very serious look this summer. I would not be shocked if he finishes his career in Phoenix.
Hi Eric. What were Pau and Andrew talking about after the buzzer sounded right before they headed to the locker room last night?
Pancakes? Don’t know. I’m not traveling with the team but covering out of Los Angeles.
What’s the latest on Blake Griffin for tonight’s game?
Blake will play but I don’t think he even knows the answer until he’s out there playing, how that knee will respond.
Will the clipper’s heart be enough to give the spur’s experience any trouble? Or do you expect this to be onesided?
I’ll straight-up say I had Spurs in six in the series, so I’m not going to lie to you and say I expect the Clippers to win – and now that Paul and Blake aren’t 100%? It’s difficult.
However – I like a LOT of what the Clippers can do against the Spurs. San Antonio is not a particularly physical/athletic team. They’re guard oriented and CP3 is among the best in the league so Tony Parker isn’t an advantage over LAC like he might be over many other teams.
The Clippers have a real chance to beat the Spurs (if Paul/Griffin, etc.) but they need to execute to near perfection and that may be difficult. Gregg Popovich may be the best coach in the league at this point and Vinny Del Negro is still a young coach finding his way in this league.
I give props to VDN and the entire Clipper roster for winning out against Memphis, on the road no less. They have a lot to prove against the Spurs.
Eric thanks for your time,What do you think Derrick Favors ceiling is? All Star? Super Star?, I see super star written all over this kid.
I’m not ready to say superstar. Favors has a tremendous ceiling and I really see that the maturity is starting to kick in. He came into the league with very little experience. He was raw but clearly talented. He’s starting to harness that and the experience in the playoffs, brief as it was in the sweep, was a big step. Give him a couple more years before All-Star consideration. He’s not quite near Love, Griffin, Aldridge, Pau, etc. at four in the West but he has a bright future.
Blake is unstoppable and extends his career as soon as he
can hit the jump shot from the wing. Why not shoot a jumper
when shooting free throws? Hal Greer was a 90% shooter from
the line and shot a jumper. Only one shot to practice. What
do you think?
If there’s something Blake needs to perfect it’s free throws. It’s clearly a mental issue at this point. Whether he’s shooting straight, jumping, granny style, whatever – he’s got to mature and get his head right on it.
That will come over time – remember Karl Malone was lousy when he first came into the league at the line.
Blake also gets a lot of open looks out on the wing/mid-range. If he can hit that with just a touch more accuracy? Yikes because then he needs to be guarded out there and with his athleticism?
Do you expect Gordon to get a max deal this summer, and is he worth it consider his injury history? Is NO the one signing the checks or do they let him go to a higher bidder?
I expect Gordon to ASK for a max deal. He won’t get that. Now he may get a nice offer sheet from another team near the max for four years and 4.5% raises and that’s what I expect him to sign.
We’re talking about $55 million and that’s about what he’ll get for four years . . .
Hi Eric, Do you agree/disagree with Barkey and Shaq’s opinion that Bynum will never be a franchise type player because of his unwillingness to consistently bring it every night. Even though he’s only 24 he’s been in the league 7 yrs and they believe that players rarely get better/have a mjor change in attitude after 7 yrs. Also when is the last time a team played back to back days in the playoffs. I can’t remember that happening.
Bynum, when healthy, has gotten better every year. I’m not going to put a cap on that yet.
Let’s pretend the Lakers loose badly in this series, and you, Dr. Eric Pincus were the Lakers GM. What changes would you make for 2012-13?
It’s been touched on but they probably keep Bynum, give him an extension and move Pau. I’d have to think long and hard if I believe truly that Bynum is better than Howard. If Dwight doesn’t want to be in LA and his back is iffy, then Drew is the best center to go with. What to get in return from Pau – that determines a lot.
It’s very hard for Sessions – or any true point guard in this league who wants to play fast – to try and get it done with two bigs like Bynum/Gasol (not to mention Kobe needing the ball as well). I would stick with Ramon, get a younger athletic four who can spread the floor and rebound. I’d also make sure there’s some toughness on the bench up front – if Jordan Hill is that, then so be it.
What is worse for Kobe…being coached by Mike Brown or playing with Smush Parker?
Mike Brown is a good coach and Parker was, well . . . my answer is clear.
Who do you think would match up better in 2-3 years as a pick/roll partner with CP3 – Blake Griffin or Kevin Love? Do you think their teams are open to discussing a swap?
No, they’re not being swapped. They’re different players and as the roll you always want Griffin. As the pop you want Love.
Would Brown consider Kobe at the point with any two of Metta, Barnes, Ebanks when Westbrook, Harden, Durant are on the floor? Only play Sessions or Blake when Sefolosha and back ups are are in. Also, Mcbob at the three to harass Durant for a few minutes?
You lost me at the end there with McRoberts on Durant. Yikes. Beyond that, I expect Brown to experiment with different combinations to slow the trio of Westbrook/Durant/Harden.
Hi Eric, After watching the Hawks/Celts series, I think Teague has a very bright future in the NBA. He is quick, agile and has the ability to knock down jumpshots. Moreover, his finishing around the rim is excellent. I see a little bit of Tony Parker in him. Both of them are very aggressive going to the hole and can hit those tear drops. Thoughts?
Teague is going to get better. He’s already good, especially in the postseason.
what adjustments do lakers need to do to win game 2? is ramon sessions in a slump? and is game 2 a must win?
It’s going to be hard for the Lakers to win the series if they lose two in OK City but not impossible if they can in turn win two-straight in LA. Hold home court and win just one of four on the road – but that’s so not easy to do! As far as Sessions, he’s struggling as the game moves to more half-court and the Lakers work to pound the ball inside to their strength. He’s also not tremendous defensively and his confidence appears struck a bit.
Hey Eric, swup, despite a first round elimination the Nuggets accomplished a lot. Is there a future for the “No superstar” markets like the nuggets and 6ers and pacers or are they just ensuring they have a decent club, dont go over the cap and get edge out every post season from here on out? Not sure if that’s better than having 2 superstars carry the load and not deliver(knicks)
I write about the Nuggets here http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba2-irving-a-deserving-rookie-of-the-year – I like what they’re doing.
Do you still think lakers will win in 7 after last night? Seems like the pick and roll defense that has been haunting this team in the past few years, cannot be corrected in one day. You gotta have the rigr players to defend this right?
I don’t judge a series by one game.
Why is OJ Mayo so determined to play PG and do you think it is the right declaration for him to make?
I don’t think Mayo is a point guard and he needs to be in the right situation where he can play a similar role to a Dwyane Wade or Kobe Bryant as a decision-making shooting guard – but one who respects and gives up the ball to a more true pg. Not an easy fit.
What’s up Eric? So of all the teams that have a legit chance to land Anthony Davis which 1 do u think is the ideal spot? I say with all the cap space and the big move I would love to see him in Brooklyn
I’m not sure Charlotte is near putting together a cohesive team – and while I think John Wall is better than he’s shown on the Wizards, that too hasn’t been a great situation. I like Davis in Cleveland, New Orleans, New Jersey, Golden State and even Sacramento (although the ownership/arena issue is a headache).
Your time is always greatly appreciated! I’m not even going to ask you about LAL/OKC G1 because I’m sure you’re already being blasted with those Q’s.
So I know you have Lakers in 7 but what do you think about Spurs/Clippers?
Also, I hear a lot of people saying Heat in 5 vs. Pacers but the way the Pacers started G1 (I feel) says a lot! Now that Bosh is out indefinitely, you think Pacers have even more of a shot to make this a series?
I touched on these a bit already. I’m going to go with execution/healthy why Spurs get Clippers but I don’t think LA will be embarrassed (unless it’s really that bad for CP3/Blake).
The Pacers are the team no one really talks about. They are well-built but young. The HEAT play exceptional defense but without Bosh they’re vulnerable. The floor won’t be spread as widely which should only help Indy’s defense. I’ll still go Miami but the Pacers have a window.
If the Lakers don’t win this year or next what do you see happening with Kobe? What kind of contract do you see the Lakers giving him?
This is a huge question because the Lakers can’t, under the new CBA, afford to pay Kobe what he’s been getting. No one else will be able to either – so where does the pay cut land? At what point is Bryant insulted enough to want to leave? It’s a tough one to predict.
Eric! Love the chats. This is an NBA stat sheet question:
If a player attempts to tip in a missed shot, is that attempted tip counted as a “shot taken”? Or, does it only count as a “shot taken” if the tip goes in?
If a player tries to tip in a shot, they get a rebound and a field goal attempt (and make if it goes in). They aren’t credited with an attempt if they’re fouled and go to the line – but otherwise yes, an attempt.
Should the Clips sit CP3 and Blake in Game 1 tonite? I think the rest will serve them better than letting those two play 5 games in 7 days. It’s a calculated risk, but I think it’s a move to help push this 2nd round series to 7 games.
I’m not in the training room. If there was a real chance they could damage their status for the rest of the series, they’d sit. But I don’t believe that to be the case and don’t see that happening. At some point you just have to go to battle with what you have to work with.
I know you are not the type to jump ship on your predeictions. But you do know it is over for the lakers. Right? A little bit at least? LOL!!
Memorial Day Massacre mean anything to you? If LA plays like that again, multiple times? Sure. But a win in Game 2 and suddenly the Lakers have home court – so yeah, curious to see what comes.
With the Clippers/Grizzlies series, I understand both players & coaching staff is reasonable, but who takes more blame for the collapse for the series and especially Game 1?
That’s on everyone but the team recovered from Game 1. They re-earned home court advantage so you don’t look at Game 1 – you look at Game 7 at home when the team had a chance to win. At that point they just didn’t have what they needed and more than anything I blame Zach Randolph’s knee injury.
When Zach is Zach, he’s a bear. He only showed glimpses of that this season after the MCL.
how will you remember nash, kobe, duncan, and dirk on and off the court when they retire?
Nash controlling his dribble after driving into the guts of a team’s defense, dribbling out and finding open men as the other team scrambles to figure out what’s going on. Kobe winning titles and doing some things we’ll never see again. Duncan banking in everything, dominating Shaq in 2003. Dirk with his awkward release and finally a ring. Some great guys in this era. We’re all lucky and perhaps at times unappreciative of what’s before us.
Some commentators have mentioned that the Clippers need an enforcer to help protect Griffin. Martin’s name is mentioned, but the commentators typically say that Martin needs to avoid foul trouble. In your opinion, do the Clips need an enforcer to protect Griffin (e.g., Rodman with MJ)?
The Clippers have that. There are limitations in what they can do and as I mentioned earlier, it’s difficult to ref Blake – and getting suspended for standing up for him? That doesn’t exactly help either.
What team would be interested in Pau? assuming the Lakers try and trade him this summer. Even though there’s only 2 years left on his deal, 19 million per year is a ton of dough.
A younger team on the bubble looking for credibility and a big who should age gracefully. Think Rockets, Wolves, maybe Philadelphia depending on this series, Atlanta although $ may get in the way there. I’m not sure Golden State makes any more sense since they got Bogut. I’d argue Milwaukee but again $ issues. The Bulls might be interested although I don’t see LA going near Boozer. Perhaps the Blazers. I’m sure there are others but I’m just throwing darts right now as we wrap this chat – already running over!
Is there any possible way of a acquiring Deron Williams via sign & trade this offseason for the LA Lakers?
Yes because anything within the rules is possible. Likely? No, I don’t see any clear scenario where that happens.
what inspired you to be a coach?
Well naturally I’m a big fan of the game. My daughter started playing a few months ago and I was at every game and practice helping her learn from scratch – and believe me she came in with almost no idea whatsoever! The next session she wanted to keep playing so my wife signed me up. Then she had my daughter call and ask if I wanted to coach her team. Naturally I couldn’t say no – and my wife said good, cause you’re already signed up. So that’s how it happened.
If I’m going to do something, I’m going to try and do it right and to the best of my ability. I have a ton of experience learning from coaches. Now I’m trying to apply it, except with 9-10 year old girls but there are some striking similarities.
So far we’re 4-1 and our one loss came when our mini-female-Russell Westbrook was hurt and sat from the second quarter on against the best team in the league. We play eight games then playoffs . . .
What is your favorite memory of basketball?
I’d probably say listening to Chick Hearn call a long-ago Lakers win with Nick Van Excel over the Bulls – pretty sure in an overtime game. I have many memories though – good ones – too many to recount.
Also – Jeff Van Gundy on Alonzo Mourning’s leg, that will always be top five.
1.is it out of the question to have a deal in place through “back channels”..where lin who the raptors really want gets tradd to the raptors on july 1st..for their 8th pick and they draft Jeremy Lamb or Austin Rivers for us..
2. If that is possible than can we use the mid-level on a vet. PG.
1) Illegal and not happening basically.
2a) If you mean “we” and that means Raptors – they’re likely under the cap so no Mid-Level.
2b) If you mean “we” and that means Knicks – then the MLE is likely going to be used to retain Lin.
There’s a union dispute on that but as the way the rules are interpreted today – I’ll stick with that.
Is there a more important player to their respective team then Chris Paul?
Kobe to Lakers, LeBron to HEAT, Durant to Thunder, etc.
i do like ramon as our pg but after looking at the problems we still have with elite/speedy pgs should i throw caution to the wind and go all out to pair Dwill with 24 this off season at all cost to have a core of 24, Dwill, 17 ?? imo we still need another dynamic back court player to pair with 24 you agree??
If the Nets don’t want Bynum and don’t want Gasol and the Lakers have $3 million to offer Williams, how do you do that?
does the clippers first round series win give VDN a greater chance of being teh clippers coach next year? with the coaches available, isnt it still worth it to look at McMillian and SVG if available?
Undecided. The Clippers have a lot to weigh here. Some of that may be where Chris Paul is on the subject and how likely he is to sign an extension with Vinny there. He may be for – he may be against. The other variable – who else would LAC line up in his absence, is a better coach a lock? (Nate, SVG, etc. as you write).
What are the chances of KG coming to Lakers for a veteran’s minimum next year? Good friends with Kobe & lives in Malibu.
This will have to do for the week! I enjoyed it. We’ll do it again next Tuesday!
As far as KG, he’d be a good fit but from what I understand he’s not ready to take that kind of pay cut. I’m not sure he’d even come for the Mini-MLE.
He may be more likely to stick in Boston than jump ship to the rival Lakers.
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Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
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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