Lang Greene is a NBA Writer for HOOPSWORLD covering the Atlanta Hawks and Eastern Conference. Lang’s chat gets started at 8pm EST on Wednesday every week.
Hey Lang. Today in your column you talked about the Spurs adding new pieces and how they have another shot at the title this year. In your mind, what’s next for the organziation if they don’t win it all this year? Timmy comes off the books this summer and he could either retire or go to another team since he’s an unrestricted free agent. What are your thoughts?
Hoop Freaks! I was listening to Public Enemy heading into tonight’s chat, so it’s only right I give you a little Chuck D …
“Attitude when I’m on fire, juice on the loose, electric wire. Simple and plain … give me the lane and I’ll throw it down your throat like Barkley”
Man, listen. Let’s chat. I’m ready … are you?
Thanks for the note. I think this is the last year the Spurs are SERIOUS threats to win a championship with their core of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan.
But there’s a difference between ‘last year of title contending’ and falling completely off the map.
I don’t expect the Spurs to fall off the map. They’ll likely re-sign Tim Duncan to something modest this summer, provided he still wants to play, and will once again be in the playoff mix in 2013 – barring major injury. But with another year of wear and tear on their veteran legs I don’t see them in the position they are in right now … with the ability to make some noise and a deep playoff run.
Do you think a coach who has shown the ability to take up and coming teams far in the Playoffs like Flip Saunders would be a great fit for the blazers? I know in the past Paul Allen loved Flip
No, I don’t actually. Sometimes you are only as good as your last stop. More importantly, sometimes the game passes you by. He may get another shot because of his strong reputation, but Flip didn’t help the young Washington Wizards at all. There were plenty of stories of in-house fighting and guys like Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee didn’t develop properly under him.
No way I turn over the keys of my franchise (Portland), who is about to invest heavily in youth, to Flip at this point.
First thing, I hope the baby is good!!
The injury bug has bitten my knicks hard. With A’mare down and Jefferies out we need a decent big. What AK 47 or Nenad Krstic for minumum $ for the remainder of the season? We may have to waive Bibby for a roster spot(that might work for you so ATL can sign him lol).
Also, is it too late for any signings to be eligible for the playoff rosters?
The Marvelous one! What’s up kid? Man, my daughters are doing great … both of them.
Good news for Knicks fans is I hear Amar’e will only be out 2-4 weeks … that would bring him back around playoff time (if the Knicks can clinch a spot). When he first went down there were reports saying the back injury could be career ending.
My eyes are on Carmelo Anthony during this final month. You can tell a lot about guys based on how they handle adversity. Let’s see if Melo can elevate the Knicks into the postseason as the lone superstar. His rep has taken a beating this season and this would silence some critics.
The deadline to sign players for playoff eligibility was last Friday, March 23 I believe … so that train has already left the station.
Wassup lang?what would have been your take if atl did the yard sale aka portland style last trade deadline? Is this really the team we want to ball with or do we want to go rebuild. Why not traded joe maybe to the wolves for dwilliams and other guys to make it work.traded jsmooth for picks? He wants out.im just a hawk fan wanting to not just win but win it all. Do the okc way to the top. Do it tru draft and young guys. Am i wrong?
First, I must say this …. Take a step back and just enjoy this season the Hawks are having. They aren’t title contenders without Al Horford but the team has so many storylines to be proud of as a fan that you should just savor the 2012 campaign.
At various parts of the season Joe, Marvin, Zaza, Teague, T-Mac, Radmanovic, Green, Pargo, Horford, Ivan, Collins and Kirk have missed time due to injuries or personal problems.
But look at how the team has responded. They’re essentially a lock for the postseason and are playing inspired ball without a legitimate All-Star (Horford).
I know everyone is ready for a title run, but man these guys have played so hard when most teams would have folded under so much duress.
Enjoy all of the winning … why on earth would any fan want to endure a rebuilding project?
I really am pleased with the Hawks no matter what. They have had a ton of injuries and done well. I really think with a healthy Horford, we would be the 2 seed!! Who on this Hawks roster will be the toughest to keep next year (free agency) and throw me a name of someone who would be a good fit here. Thanks!
Someone who gets it! My man Mark … good to hear from you.
Toughest guy to keep will be kirk Hinrich. I just don’t see the Hawks venturing into luxury tax square to retain him. I just don’t believe he’s part of the team’s long term plans.
In terms of free agents, the Hawks don’t have money to spend … so I’d say veteran guys like Kenyon Martin or maybe even a combo guard like Randy Foye who may be looking for some extended playing time.
I think Martin would be a good fit here in Atlanta.
Is there a single thing Durant does better than Kevin Love outside of being the media anointed NBA golden child?
Here we go again … another week … another round of unwarranted Kevin Durant bashing.
To answer your question, yes, Durant is a much better scorer. Now, don’t get lazy and go to a stats website and tell me they’re averaging close to the same amount of points … Durant’s ability to score the rock is much better.
The newfound Durant hate tells me he has arrived and is on an elite level. These elite level guys (MJ, Bird, Shaq, Wilt, Magic, Isiah, Kobe, LeBron, Wade, D12,etc) get hate for no apparent reason. It is like a right of passage or something. I know some old timers right now who still hate on Jerry West.
If the logo is getting hate … then KD will have to learn to accept it as well. Can’t please everyone.
Having watched Bynum since his arrival, I’ve always hoped that he would turn into the stat machine he is now. This season, I thought our Lakers Nation was finally being rewarded with our patience with him. From his inability to listen to Phil Jackson and the coaching staff in their pleas for him to play defense, playboy bunnies on his shoulders during a knee injury, parking in handicap zones, speeding tickets, Lakers fans put up with it all. But, after watching last night’s game against the warriors, when he took a very ill advised three pointer, and laughed about it, and then proclaimed after the game that “he will take more”, I THINK WE SHOULD PLAY THE WHAT CAN WE GET FOR ANDREW BYNUM GAME. DO YOU AGREE?
SO let me get this straight … you’re willing to put up with all of the stuff you mentioned in your comment above, but the last straw was a missed three-pointer in a game the Lakers won last night?
Here’s the deal …
Have you ever played team sports? In my opinion, I don’t think he was laughing about missing the actual shot. I think once he got to the bench his teammates started chiding him about it and he just laughed it off.
I’m much more offended by the “I was slacking off” comment he made a couple weeks ago about not giving FULL effort than a missed three-pointer. But that comment flew under the radar.
Hey Lang, nice to chat with you again.Based on the current standing of Eastern Conference, in almost a month it doesn’t change… Is there any surprise team who will get it into the playoffs before the regular season ends on April 29? What’s your take?
Milwaukee has the best chance. The Knicks have to overcome the loss of Amar’e and somehow hold off the Bucks in the standings.
Lang great work on chat I always enjoy reading it everything week. Now when will the next wave of superstars or all arTs arrive ? When will we see the next TMac VC AI YAO KOBE etc some players you can’t wait to watch on tv or always talk about and who can carry franchise on thier back ?
I think there are already some in the league. Guys under 25 who I think fit the bill are and this is off the top of my head … Kevin Love, Kevin Durant, Westbrook, Derrick Rose, John Wall and Paul George immediately come to mind. Blake Griffin is another.
Some of these guys are a few years away (Wall, BG, PG).
I think George is a special talent playing in a more limited role now behind veterans. But if given the opportunity in a couple years to lead his own team I can see him making a T-Mac type jump (when T-Mac left Toronto). But he’s gointg to have to put in work.
what’s happening with my HEAT? Dropping too many games to chip contenders. Just can’t see them going all the way.
My man … there are only three or four legitimate title contenders this season and the Miami HEAT are one of them. Losing to OKC should not cause worldwide panic. The Thunder are one of the best teams in the league.
Losing to Indiana was a tough one to swallow but they’re also in the playoff mix and are by no means slouches.
Everyone is expecting the 72 win season Bulls but the HEAT aren’t on that type of level. If they win a title this season I wouldn’t be shocked, but if they lost a series to OKC or Chicago I also wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.
They’re in contention … they’re not locks. There’s a big difference. If you view them as locks, then you’ll be consistently disappointed.
Who do you see in the draft that could be the potential PG of the future for the Jazz? also Devin Harris has stepped up his playa lot since the all star break if he keeps this up do you still draft a PG in the first round (if we still have a pick that is) or do you hold off?
Hate to spoil the party but I don’t see a PG of the future right out of the gate in this draft. Just don’t see a D-Rose, J-Wall, CP3, Kyrie Irving or Westbrook type of talent coming out.
Kevin Durant is truly overrated. I just can’t seem to understand why the league’s 2nd leading scorer is being praised by the media. A guy who is averaging 28 points a game this year, 27+ points in 23 playoff games and was the third fastest player to 5,000 career points on over 50% shooting from the field. You mean when you play well you are praised? What’s the deal with that? Can you please explain this concept to me using simple, coherent words because I can’t seem to grasp this idea. Thanks.
You summed this up perfectly. No need for me to comment much. I mean, why should a guy like Durant get praise? Maybe us media types should devote more ink to Eddy Curry.
Hi Lang, JQuick blazers beat writer said the blazers might want Steve Kerr as GM..What do you think of Kerr as a gm?
I have mixed views of Steve Kerr as a GM … but from a political standpoint I can see where the Blazers are going.
Here’s the deal on Kerr … he hired Terry Porter to coach the Suns and that didn’t end well …. and he also tried to inject Shaquille O’Neal into that offense with Steve Nash. Now Shaq had a decent second season out there, but they missed the playoffs and were basically irrelevant on the national NBA stage. That’s basically two seasons on Nash’s career when he still had good legs left … gone.
On the positive side he traded for Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley … then drafted Robin Lopez.
We both know Paul George is more of natural Small forward..Do you see the pacers trading grander for 2 guard anytime soon?
My prediction as I’ve been saying for awhile now is that the Pacers will deal Granger once George enters his zone. If you remember, the Pacers traded a prime Ron Artest at small forward when Granger was entering his zone.
History has a way of repeating itself.
Lang, take off that american eagle shirt first off and 2ndly, when will LA fire coach Brown and hire Kobe’s buddy Nate McMillan?
LOL … Hey man, I have a sportcoat and collar shirt shot (like almost everyone else is using) I sent to Steve a long time ago but he hasn’t gotten around to uploading it for use. But since my shirt has some appeal and notoriety now … there is absolutely NO WAY I’ll take the picture down – haha
Why is everyone so anxious to fire Mike Brown … I mean the guy is 31-19 on the season. Nate is about a month removed from losing control of his superstarless team … and now you want him to handle KB24, Pau’s bruised ego abd Bynum?
Roll with you got for a little while longer.
What are your thoughts on Marshon Brooks and what can his upside and potential be? He seemed to have some of his best games this season against the hawks. He has alot of Kobe in his game.
I think he is a solid player who will have a good career. That’s about as far as I’m willing to go right now. Can’t anoint guys too early. He has really struggled with his shot post All-Star break, averaging single digits in points. The rookie wall is real. Let’s see how he pushes out of it.
Why hasn’t Tyreke Evans turned into a superstar yet after a historical rookie season? What will it take for him to reach Rose or Westbrook level because i know the talent is there.
How do you go from the starting Point Guard to the starting Small Forward?
Bill- my eyes are telling me Sacramento doesn’t think he’s the long term franchise player. He may not be THE guy … but he has game. Just needs to find the right situation.
Hey Lang, first I wanna say is that I enjoy your chats. You really respond thoroughly and with great insight.
My Blazers picked up JJ Hickson and he’s been great for us in his short time. Good footwork and can finish around the rim. My question is why do you think he’s been moved a few times around the league? Wasn’t he the guy that cleveland wouldn’t trade for Amare during Lebrons tenure? And since he was claimed off waivers, what’s his contract like?
David- thanks my brother. I appreciate you and all of the Hoop Freaks who support my craziness week in and week out.
I’ve talked with JJ a few times over the past couple of years and he is a nice guy who says the right things … but I think he has a problem with performing when people ARE EXPECTING consistency from him.
In Cleveland he rode the LeBron gravy train where plenty of guys have looked good and earned nice contracts (Varejao, Boobie Gibson, etc). But when LeBron skipped town and JJ had an opportunity to become an Alpha male … he fizzled.
In Sacramento expectation were high he could pair with Tyreke and DeMarcus and he barely got off the bench.
In Portland over the last three games, where he was a waiver wire pickup expectations are VERY low. And guess what … he’s out there balling.
I call this a trend. He has skills, but until he shows he can consistently get it done when a team needs him to (as a starter) I’d temper expectations accordingly.
John Wall is a very underrated Point Guard and passer. Wall averaged 8.4 assists last year as a rookie which is the most by a rookie in the last 15 years despite playing with below average teammates.
Wall averaged more assists in his rookie season than Rose, CP3, Nash, Kidd, Rondo, Ricky Rubio and Kyrie Irving while playing with Nick young and Jordan Crawford who shot the ball every time they touched and Javale Mcgee who has a IQ of 10.
Wall is an excellent talent. But he’s still learning as well. He presses very often instead of flowing with the game. But he also has shown a willnigness to take the clutch shot which is huge. The guy is full of confidence, talent and will be an All-Star one day.
Do you think Toronto should draft Austin Rivers and Trade Calderon (maybe add in Ed Davis) for a quality small forward?
This sounds good in theory but it takes two to tango in trade. Next year I believe Calderon’s contract will be expiring and expiring contracts just don’t have the same value under the current CBA.
who do think will go top 5 in this upcoming draft?
Two from Kentucky for sure … Anthony Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist. I’d round that out with Sullinger and Brad Beal. People are high on Drummond but he has work to do. Thomas Robinson has been a beast.
Theres a guy i wana compliment. Avery bradley. His first year in the league i thought he will be gone in his 3rd game. But boy i was wrong.this kid now can play pg /sg and can score. But his best asset is his lockout defense.wow. i guess playing ray allen in practice help alot! Whats your take on the kid lang?
I asked Doc Rivers when the Celtics came to Atlanta last season about Avery Bradley … Doc said the only way the kid ever sees the floor (with the big three around) is if he can prove he can play sound defense because he sure wasn’t going to be an offensive target for the team.
So I think Bradley was in a way forced into focusing more on the defensive end than some of his draft class members. Not saying he couldn’t play defense before … just saying his path to playing time required it. With me?
hey lang — I know DWill is gonna get all the attention this summer, but for teams not located in Dallas, answer me this… How good is Goran Dragic? Can he be a starter for a contender? I’d like to think my Blazers will make a run at Williams, but speaking realistically, Dragic seems a more appropriate target. Plus Portlanders love foreigners…
Dragic is going to start a lot of games during his career but I don’t think he’s an elite point guard. I liken him to Kirk Hinrich, not in how they play on the court, but career trajectory. Hinrich seems to be in or near the starting lineup everywhere he goes in the league without fail … I think Goran’s path will pan out the same way.
If you could put the percentages of any team winning a championship how much percentage do you think the spurs can win the title?
15-20 percent. I grew up a huge San Antonio fan … but right now it’s hard to put a lot of faith in them. They’re old and as proved last year in the first round of the playoffs, vulnerable to an upset.
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Kobe Bryant is just days away from returning. ... Should Isaiah Thomas be starting for Kings? ... Sixers learning to manage expectations
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