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.
Fact or Fiction: No playoffs for the Hawks this season.
What’s up Hoop Freaks? A little Cody Chestnutt for the theme music tonight … feeling real confident tonight. Let’s work. “Put on my poker face when I walk the street, because I look good in leather. I can make a star out of anyone I meet, you’re gonna shine if you’re standing beside me … give me some truth … don’t you wish that you could kick it with me”
Fiction. The Hawks have the goodies to make a playoff run this season and I'd expect they would be in the top 6-7 as currently constructed. Now, here's the deal … with Danny Ferry obviously working his plan anything can happen before the end of the season to either set the team back or improve them. Also, want to put out … the Hawks may still be a playoff team but they are NOT a better team than last season. There's a difference.
I loved how Shaq knocked reporters about his playing in Mexico. Or should I say lack of reporting. He said people at ESPN know him but no one has contacted him. Didn’t you just love that?
Lol … honestly, I saw the headline to the story of Mexican team wanting Shaw and I didn’t click the link. FOr one, the big fella is done … secondly, if he did lace them up he would go to a more high profile destination.
Don’t know why but I always got to ask you a question. Which team and why would you give the nod. Team 1: PG Gary Payton, SG Joe Dumars, SF Ron Artest, PF Dennis Rodman, C Ben Wallace. Team 2: PG Allen Iverson, SG Kobe Bryant, SF Tracy McGrady, PF Dirk Nowitzki, C Shaquille O’neal. One team plays great defense, the other scores with ease. We have seen each players prime so who would come out on top?
That’s what I’m here for … ask away.
Team two wins this hands down. You have named some all-time great offensive talents … they would be too much for team one. This could get ugly.
Which 2 Western Conference makes the all star team?
Dwight Howard, Chris Kaman, Anthony Davis, Javale McGee, Al Jefferson, Andrew Bogut, Marc Gasol, Tim Duncan
I think the Western Conference all-star centers will be Dwight Howard and Marc Gasol. I also think Al Jefferson can get in the mix depending on how the Jazz are doing.
My current East standings at the end of this year: 1) Miami 2) Boston 3) Indiana 4) New Jersey 5) New York 6) Philadelphia 7) Chicago 8) Atlanta. If you could choose 1 team to move up or down in my standings, which one would it be and why?
I think your list is solid … swap Atlanta and Chicago and it would probably mirror mine.
Both John Wall and Kevin Love came out in the media this summer to declare they are no longer satisfied with mediocrity and wanted to make it to the playoffs. If you were a betting man, who has the better chance to fulfill these predictions. Love may have the better team, but easier to get in the East. Your thoughts.
The pressure is on Kevin Love to get to the postseason … I don’t care how tough the road is … K-Love has been calling out his front office to give him the talent to compete with the league’s best for over a year … well, guess what … he has some weapons on the squad with him now so I’ll be watching K-Love very close as the team’s franchise guy. Brandon Roy, Shved, Kirilenko, Steimsma … if Rubio comes back balling then the pressure gets even more tense.
Hey Greene, 2 questions:
1)Barbosa claims he is in talks with Nets, Suns, and Lakers but I feel he is just using Lakers for leverage, even if Nash is recruiting him. What is perplexing all three of those teams seem set at both guard positions, although I guess he could beat out Wesley Johnson in Phoenix. Where would Barbosa fit on any of those 3 teams?
2) If Barbosa did come to LA, which I don’t see happening, what role would he play?
3) IF Barbosa did come to LA, can he play any PG (I.e., better than Blake or Duhon)
1. Those teams may indeed have an exploratory interest in Barbosa. If you can add a guy like Barbosa to the roster on a veteran minimum deal wouldn’t you at least pick up the phone? I think Leandro is working the media to get a couple more greenbacks added to his next contract. Players work the media when they need too … it’s part of the negotiation process …
2. Barbosa could probably beat Duhon out for playing time as one of the backup guards, change of pace type.
3. Barbosa isn’t a pure point but you could see him play off the ball with Nash in the lineup or playing “point” only in theory with Kobe Bryant as lead playmaker while Nash gets a rest. There would be ways to make it work …
Do you think Rondo is the best PG right now?
My respect for Rajon Rondo continues to grow. But no … he is not the game’s best. I have CP3, D-Rose, Westbrook and Deron Williamns to name a few all ahead of him … the knock on Rondo is his shaky jump shot and terrible free throw shooting. Personally, I couldn’t have a floor general with poor skill in those areas.
I do think you can build around him sort of what Boston is doing, but he needs to be protected in the backcourt with a shooting guard who can stretch the defense.
Hey Lang how’s it going?
Just wonder what you think of all the moves and signings by the Celts? I’m pretty excited, although I wish Ray had stayed (I really do love the guy).
Although I like the team, I think we are still a little lacking with the bigs. We really need a big contribution from Jarod Sullinger, especially on the boards. I was very impressed with his summer league performance. He’s a MAN on the boards and he’s got a very good offensive game – inside and outside. One thing I was very impressed with was his passing and court presence. I believe he’ll play better with KG, RR PP and the vets. However I think he’d need to average 12 pts/8-10 boards for us to be a strong title contender.
The other thing that has been beat around in Celtics Blogs is trading for Josh Smith. I’m not a big fan (at times he think he’s a jump shooter), but getting more comfortable with him. What chance do the Celts have of landing him in a trade around JG, others and draft picks? And could he be the missing piece?
What’s good my man? Rondo and Josh Smith are tight but I don’t see anyone on the Celtics’ roster that would get the Hawks fired up to trade their borderline All-Star. I also don’t believe Sullinger needs to average 12 points and 8 rebounds. I mean bro, those are basically Roy Hibbert type numbers. Kevin Garnett averaged 15 and 8 last season … that’s too high of an expection. 6-7 points 3-4 rebounds in 18-19 minutes is much more realistic. IF the Celtics are counting on Sullinger pumping in what you stated this season, something went wrong … likely due to injury.
How good can OJ Mayo and Darren Collison be in Dallas, both as individuals and combo?
Both guys played major minutes for playoff teams in the past, so make no mistake they will be a solid backcourt … but there’s a reason Collison has been traded twice this early into his career and Mayo has been on the trading block the last two seasons. They are good talents, but far from elite level talents.
if the warriors are healthy and make the playoffs, i think they could give the spurs and thunder trouble. what do you think?
If the Warriors are healthy … that’s a mighty big IF and a risk I wouldn’t take if I was a betting man. But I see where you’re going … I love Klay Thompson’s game. I think the guy has 20 point scorer written all over him. Curry is a solid young guard. David Lee and Landry a great at PF. But is Bogut going to stay healthy? Can you get any production out of Richard Jefferson? How will Harrison Barnes pan out? I can see Golden State in the playoffs, but I could just as easily see them watching from the couch like you and I.
what is the new orleans hornets starting 5? and if u were to choose their best 6th man who would that be? thanks
PG Austin Rivers
SG Erick Gordon
SF Ryan Anderson
PF Anthony Davis
C Robin Lopez
6 – Aminu
Or maybe Aminu gets the start and they play Anderson off the bench. I could also see Hakim Warrick getting a start at SF as well. The point guard situation is going to be one to watch though … can Austin Rivers handle a full-time starting PG role … definitely a lot to ask from the kid since he’s played off the ball basically his entire career.
Hey Lang, what up?
Leaves are starting to fall in germany and we have to move into the gym. I hope you still a lot of time left for outside action.
Witnessing the pairing of Dwight and Pau, i was wondering which frontcourt duo could actually match them.
I can see Sactown giving them a hard time with Cousins,Robinson and Thompson patroulling the paint. In your opinion who´s frontcourt is capable of guarding the purple and gold wearing twin towers?
All the best to you and the rest of the hoopsworld crew, thanks for keeping my love for the game at an alltime high.
I just mowed my grass for the last time this year yesterday (hopefully). Fall is coming.
Sacramento’s young bigs are talented but too inexperienced. D12 and Pau would take those youngsters out to deep water and force them to ask for a life jacket.
I think Dallas’ frontcourt could give the Lakers’ duo some problems. Chris Kaman and Dirk Nowitzki both have great jumpers and would force D12 and Pau Gasol to leave the paint area to defend the perimeter.
What is your take on how Shaq keeps dissing Dwight Howard?
What did he say now? I honestly don’t pay much attention to Shaq these days.
who says no to a trade of james harden for manu and leonard? okc gets a similar player in manu to replace harden and get a backup sf with lots of potential.the spurs get a young star to build around with tony.
Spurs say no. San Antonio believes Kawhi Leonard is their next centerpiece (or number 2 guy). They spent a great deal of time in summer league featuring him as the lead guy and Leonard responded very well. What I like most about the kid is his work ethic. If i had his work ethic, I’d still be near my college weight and have a rock solid stomach.
What’s good Brother Lang? What do you think of the Damion James signing? Are the Hawks looking at anyone else? Keep doing your thing bro! Peace!
Very sneaky signing for the Hawks. James has something to prove and ironically the team drafted him back in 2010 … his draft profile when he was slected by the Hawks (he was traded shortly thereafter) was actually one of the first pieces I penned for this publication … funny how things come full circle.
In no particular order who do you think are the 5 best backcourt tandems in the league this year?
No paritcular order …
Deron Williams / Joe Johnson
Brandon Jennings / Monta Ellis
Tony Parker / Manu Ginobili
What up Lang! Q for ya.. lookin back at the NOLA trade I think me Hornets got a sick deal for CP3! I’m straight excited for our future man.. Ant Davis, Lil Rivers, EG are a group of great young ballers! Do we have the best young team in the league, & do you see playoffs in the 2013-2014 season?!?!
It wasn’t as sweet as the first deal David Stern nixed, but the Hornets are sitting in a very favorable spots … especially when you look at what the Orlando Magic got for Dwight Howard … it isn’t even close.
Since the game has gotten smaller don’t you think Beasely is better suited for the PF position? When he dominated at K-State wasn’t that his natural position?
Beasley was able to use his athleticism in college and out jump guys on the collegiate level for rebounds. At the pro level, rebounding takes an intense focus, timing, determination and heart … I don’t think you ever see Beas average more than 6-7 rebounds as a professional. He definitely isn’t a full-time power forward in my opinion. He can play there in spots, but he seems better suited to play the 3.
Who do you thinks is more likely to smell the playoffs this season, Toronto or Minnesota?
Minnesota has the expectation. I expect them to make it to the postseason.
Toronto is a sleeper choice. There time is really next season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they managed to sneak in this year.
Who are your top breakout players for the upcoming season?
I have my eye on Marcin Gortat, Ty Lawson, Paul George, Evan Turner, Jeff Teague and Joakim Noah. All of those guys are in situations where there respective teams need to come out of the gate balling …
If you were Cavs GM Chris Grant would you have selected Tristan Thompson & Dion Waiters these past 2 drafts? I’m not hating on either player, they both seem to have decent potential but why not roll the dice on Jonas Val & Harrison Barnes instead? Regardless of the buyout & contract issues Jonas had in Europe, Cleveland was gonna be bad anyway & could afford to tank one more season for a high lottery pick. The hype surrounding the big Lithuanian seems legit. I think Grant will look stupid for passing on both options
Very hard to try and play revisionist history with the draft. In 2011, Knowing what I know now I may have selected Kawhi Leonard before Tristan THompson, Biyombo, Vesely, etc … Maybe even Klay Thomspon to pair with Kyrie Irving …
In 2012, it is tough to say until these guys actually play a full season.
Also, Valanciunas may be the real deal … or he may be dud. Too early to tell … he hasn’t played an official NBA minute so I don’t think Cleveland has any regrets right now.
if Rondo was your center piece and you could bring any players to build your perfect team who would you bring you can bring anyone you want it would be your fantasy team… Thanks for being writer at HW… Go Hawks! I hope they build around Josh
Anyone? This is too easy …
C Dwight Howard
Hi Lang, I’m a Tennessee Volunteer fan (Go Vols!!) & was happy that Tobias Harris was selected in the first round this past summer. Have you had a chance to see his game at all? Do you feel he has good upside at the pro level, and will he get minutes this season to start proving himself? Thanks
Bucks have a number of guys they have to just let play … Harris is one of them. So is Larry Sanders. The thing is, Milwaukee hasn’t really come to the belief they are in rebuilding mode. They still see themselves as a playoff team and if that’s the case the youngsters are usually forced to sit and observe …
Hi lang, it feels like there is pressure in the thunder’s roster and management. Pressure can be a good or bad thing. If the team breaks and fold badly. Do u see harden or westbrook gone? Lastly, can jordan win 6 if the bulls didnt draft pippen and rolled with their original player polynice if im correct and would pippen be the pippen we know if he didnt play with mj?
I think OKC holds on to their core until they believe the ceiling has been reached. No need to panic just yet … still plenty of time before punitive tax kicks in.
MJ doesn’t win 6 titles without Pippen … Pippen doesn’t go down as one of the game’s “All-Time” best without Jordan. They both gelped each other’s star shine brighter … MJ helping Pip more so of course … but don’t underestimate the value of what Pippen meant to MJ’s legacy.
There’s been a question being asked by one of the readers here concerning how Russell Westbrook would do on his own team. My question is, what separates Westbrook from Durant? I think most people would agree that a Durant-led team would be better than a Westbrook-led team, but not necessarily better than, say, a Chris Paul-led team. So is it just pure skills? Or leadership? Or “greatness”?
Those who read my bag know how high I am on Russell Westbrook … and the reason is the kid’s self belief. His inner confidence is the reason why he’s competing for championships and winning gold medals while we’re still wondering if Brandon Jennings and John Wall are ever going to make an All-Star leap.
Westbrook could definitely lead a team to the playoffs … but Durant’s starpower shines a bit brighter. There aren’t many guys in the history of the game like Durant … Dirk had the shot and offensive skill but lacks the quickness and athleticism. I mean Durant is 6’11 or so and is stroking three’s like Reggie Miller and Ray Allen.
NBA history is littered with guys like Russell Westbrook … so that’s why the edge goes to KD … but I think Russ is a franchise player in his own right.
The Western conference looks brutal (again) this year. I’m a Dubs fan & remeber 08-09 when we had a 48-34 record and missed the playoffs!
Will the 8 seed have to win 50 games to get to the dance this season? Even the scrub teams seem decent this year
I say the bar is at about 44 games to be in the discussion … 46-47 to lock in a spot. IF you’re not winning in the 43-45 game range in the West this season it is time to prepare for the lottery.
why all the hate on jeff green with people lately? he is a decent rebounder good defender and has allstar potential . thnx man
I think people want to see Jeff Green start producing like a borderline All-Star instead of people writing it … if you know what I mean … time is ticking.
Hi Lang always enjoy your chats.
I’m a huge Celtics fan and was wondering who you feel will be the one player to watch on their roster this season and why?
Thanks very much
Courtney Lee was a huge addition to the team. Watch him. He gives a veteran team young legs and will ensure the team doesn’t miss Avery Bradley who is likely out until December.
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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
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