Join NBA Writer and Columnist Moke Hamilton for his weekly NBA chat at 1:00 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 1. Answering any and all questions related to the association, the Atlantic Division and his Weekly Power Rankings.
Hi Moke, i am glad to be a regular participant in your chat, and cant wait to see whether in this new season 1. whether miami will 3peat 2. if heat is not representing the east, which team will be, 3. who will come out of west 4. any blockbuster trade, after what Washington and phoenix did. how do u like houston’s chances, r western conference semi final their ceiling?
Thanks to everyone for joining me here at my new chat time. Hope everyone is enjoying their Friday and hope that you have some scrumptious lunch to chow down on. I have a Jamaican Jerk Chicken salad in front of me, but I will try my best to not get any salad dressing on my keyboard. Let’s get it on…
Thanks for being a regular, Tim. Those are definitely some interesting things to watch as the season begins. I think the Pacers and the Nets both have a really good shot at beating the HEAT, mainly because of their size. Out West? If I had to choose right now, I’d probably take either the Clippers or the Warriors, but it is very tough to predict.
I think the Rockets will be very good but I think they are still at least one more impact player away from being a credible threat to win the West.
Ummmm…someone needs to tell Philly that they are going the wrong way about tanking, lol. This puts them one win away from the #1 lottery pick, lol.
Is MCW that good or did he just get lucky on his debut? I know he was showing a lot in the summer league, but how legit will he be for ROY?
Lol. I hear you, Aristotle and a lot of people have been saying the same thing. But come on, let’s pull back a bit here. The HEAT were coming off of a very emotional win over the Bulls and have to play the Nets tonight (their third game in four nights). The 76ers were playing their home opener… It had upset written all over it. The Sixers will probably be one of the worst teams in the Conference when it’s all said and done. But Carter-Williams did surprise me, big time.
He will certainly have a shot at the ROY award. He will get playing time and he will have the ball in his hands, that’s half the battle right there. Trey Burke and Victor Oladpio will be right there, though. It may be a tight race.
The NBA is still sending warnings/fines for flopping right? There were quite a few so far this week.
They are, but the thing to realize is that when the NBA announces a rule change or what have you, they tend to emphasize it a lot up front and then sort of pull back on it. We saw the same thing with the “respect the game” mandate from a few years ago when guys were getting slapped with technicals for sneezing at referees.
Ditto for the dress code. Guys were getting fined for violations and now, nobody cares anymore. Not to say they won’t still enforce the no flopping rule, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we began seeing guys get away with a bit more.
What have you thought of Paul George so far this year? Think that he and Stephenson could be a great 1-2 offensive punch?
I think they already are, Cain. The thing that I love about the Pacers, personally, is that these guys are the quintessential team. They do not care who scores the points and gets the glory. Some nights, it’ll be one of those two, other nights, it’ll be David West or Roy Hibbert. The season is still very young, but I think coming in, I expected both to continue to mature and help the Pacers achieve highly this season. I’ll tell you this, they are good enough to win the championship.
Be on the lookout for our Sunday Feature. Joel, Lang and I had a roundtable discussing who could dethrone the HEAT. I spoke at length about the Pacers.
I am a big fan of Bledsoe and Oladipo how good can they be?
Sky’s the limit for both. I wasn’t really a big fan of the Goran Dragic-Eric Bledsoe backcourt, especially during the preseason, but they both turned in impressive games, thus far. Bledsoe was highly coveted because of his potential and I think I had him as one of my guys to watch for Most Improved Player this year.
As for Oladpio, his activity level is simply amazing and the guy has some of the trademarks of a great NBA professional. I’m not sure how good he can be, especially since he’s only begun his career… But he looks very, very promising.
A lot of people have the Knicks ranked #5 [or lower] in the Eastern Conference and has somewhat sealed [Heat, Bulls, Pacers & Nets] in those first four slots. When this season set & done finished, where do you think the Knicks will be ranked?
Hi Tia. I’ve been getting that question since July and I think I change my mind every few weeks. I think the Knicks are a better team than they were last season but the other four teams that we expect to finish at the top of the East all got better, too. And they may have gotten “more better” than the Knicks.
I picked the Knicks to win the Atlantic Division and that is one pick I will not change. I think it is very possible for them to end up fourth, but maybe even third. The main reason why is that the Central Division is probably the toughest division in the conference and the Pacers, Bulls, Cavaliers, Pistons and Bucks will each play 16 games against the other four… Those losses will pile up and that’s before you even consider those tough Western Conference road swings.
I think it’ll be very tight but at the end of the day, I am beginning to lean toward the Knicks and Nets finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. It makes A LOT of sense and may even be the best case scenario for the Nets… But that’s a discussion for a later time.
is derrick rose overrated? He had more TOs than assists. preseason mvp dont mean anything as teams dont try.
Mues, come on, overrated? Derrick Rose is one of the most explosive point guards we have seen this generation and he also happens to be the youngest MVP in league history. Oh yea, he just missed a year and a half after tearing his ACL.
Overrated? Not even a little bit. He is properly regarded as one of this league’s brightest shining talents.
IS there a way Houston can make a play for Patrick Paterson from the Kings?Do they have to wait till the end of the season because I feel Houston cant match teams like Miami,NY and others that have SF playing 4.
Hey Sammy. It would make some sense for them to at least explore bringing him back. He gave the team good minutes and was shipped out in favor of Thomas Robinson. Robinson was then used to help sign Dwight Howard. The only thing with the Kings is that they would probably only be inclined to make a move for a clear upgrade and I’m not sure what the Rockets could offer in return to entice them to deal.
Anything is possible, but I won’t pretend like I have inside information here. This may be a better question for Steve Kyler’s Monday morning chat.
Moke, The Cav’s hope to keep Irving for his whole career, of course they do? Just as they hoped to keep LBJ his whole career.
I don’t believe in vodoo, but Cleveland is snakebite? They have 3 major league teams. Cleveland’s last championship was the 1950 Browns. Similar to LBJ, Art Modell took his Brown’s talents to Baltimore and the Ravens have won 2 since.
Miami with new money has won 7 world championship’s alone in the big three since the early 70′s?
I’m not bagging on Cleveland, it’s a hard working city. Just saying
Interesting question, Jim. Personally, I don’t believe in curses. Cleveland didn’t lose with LeBron because they were cursed. They lost with LeBron because LeBron wasn’t as good as he is now. They also lost with him because they made some pretty horrible personnel decisions and didn’t give him a team adequate enough to topple the Celtics or able to effectively stop Dwight Howard.
Did you know the Cavs could have had Amar’e Stoudemire but instead decided to go after Antawn Jamison? There’s backstory there, but still, my point remains… There’s no curse there (or anywhere).
The Cavs are in a good place right now and yes, Kyrie staying put would help a lot, but for a small market team to win a title, they must find a guy like Tim Duncan, Kevin Durant, Reggie Miller or Chris Webber (Kings version). That is, a guy who doesn’t mind sticking around in a small market, so long as he feels that he has a chance of winning the whole thing. The relationship with ownership is very important and the faith of a young superstar must be earned.
So no, no curses, just outside factors that are often difficult for small market teams to overcome.
With Ben Gordon not getting any minutes for the Bobcats, what is the best trade they can expect for him? He has a big expiring deal, any young players or draft picks?
Hi Mike. Again, probably a better question for Steve Kyler’s Monday morning chat, but I think the play for the Bobcats is to try to send him to a team like the Pacers… A team on the brink of contention that feels like it may be one or two pieces away. Look for another expiring contract in return along with a young player on a rookie deal and maybe a draft… It may be a lot, but the Spurs, Thunder, Rockets, Pacers and Nets could all use another scoring guard off of their respective benches…
I think that’s what the Bobcats should be looking for. Kyler may be able to give you some specific names, though.
Looking at how the Nets are currently constructed, I think their problem will be Deron Williams. He doesn’t make his team better,thoughts?
I can certainly understand that argument, James. I’ve been around Williams quite a bit since he made the move to the New York area back in 2011. Honestly, he isn’t much of a locker room leader from what I’ve seen and heard. The hope for the Nets is that Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce can fill that void.
He is a willing passer and when healthy and engaged, is very tough to stop in a one-on-one situation. So I do think he makes his teammates better, but I do agree that something seems to be missing from his game, at least recently.
I actually think the team’s biggest issue will be staying healthy. The Knicks were pretty old last season and they definitely broke down as the season wore on. The Nets have similar concerns and Williams and Kirilenko have entered the season with a few ailments. That’s definitely not a good sign.
They’d be well served to try to add another scoring combo guard to that bench, in my opinion.
Can the Nets, lakers, and the Celtics pull off a trade that sends Rondo to BKN, DWill to LA, expiring contracts and cap relief for boston? Of course multiple draft picks…..
Hey James. Without breaking out the Trade Machine, my collective bargaining agreement or my Excel spreadsheets, I am inclined to say yes, it is possible, but I would also be quick to say that it probably will not happen.
Deron Williams is the franchise in Brooklyn and one thing that franchise definitely believes in is loyalty. The Nets would be VERY hard pressed to trade Williams and they almost certainly would not do it after building such a phenomenal talent base around Williams.
As for Rondo, he expires after next season and that is probably when Pierce and Garnett will call it quits. Joe Johnson isn’t getting any younger… The Nets could be setting themselves up for another situation where they are basically trying to convince Rondo to stick around once he becomes a free agent… It’s not an ideal situation.
Anyway, to answer your question, yes it’s possible. In fact, as long as you are dealing with a team that has expiring contracts, young players and draft picks, most things are possible…
Hi Moke. I want to know the REAL reason why Andrew Wiggins is considered to be the next Lebron James or Kevin Durant and why he may go #1 overall in the draft next year?
I honestly haven’t seen much of Andrew Wiggins. Alex Kennedy can probably give you a better answer… But from what I have seen and heard, Wiggin’s athleticism is what people go wild over. He is already built like an NBA player in terms of his height and wingspan. He could stand to put on a few pounds, but he has immense potential.
Despite his height, Wiggins is pretty slippery and agile. He can escape defenders and rise over them and hit from midrange. He’s a decent passer and can play without the ball, as well. A comparison to Kevin Durant (though not as good a shooter) may be more reasonable. Again, consult Kennedy.
As far as I’m concern, though, the kid has the goods. It’s all about his potential, now let’s see what he does in college.
Is there anyway they can get rid of the “delay of game rule” when a player touches the ball after a basket. I understand the premise, but everytime I have seen it called, the players are either throwing it to the ref or setting it right down on the ground. These guys have been doing this their whole life. This really should be a subjective call.
There is a way, sure, but the league doesn’t usually do stuff like that. I actually think it’s a good rule. The rule is designed to disallow players from intentionally touching the ball after a score or between free-throws. Players often do that to gain a competitive edge or to try to thwart their opponent’s possible fast break. There is simply no need for a player whose team has just scored to touch the ball, so I like it, personally.
The problem may arise if players are penalized for accidentally touching the ball, but I’ve seen this happen a few times over the first week of the season and I didn’t see it called in those instances. The rule is here to stay, and I, personally, like it, Patrick.
On Wednesday night, Deron Williams did not play the last 17 minutes of the game due to a minutes restriction. The game was tied with a minute left and he still was on the bench. This shows me the Nets regard health as more important than wins and seeding. Is this a foolhearty approach?
It’s foolish if your focus is winning each and every game. It’s patient and smart if the Nets manage to win the Eastern Conference (like the Spurs did last season).
That’s why I picked the Knicks to win the Atlantic Division, Patrick. The Nets are not concerned with winning the division as much as they are with getting to the playoffs in good health. I agree that it shows their perspective, but it’s not foolish, at all. Titles aren’t won in October and November… It’s about May and June.
Whats your thoughts on this whole tanking thing? The sixers are getting killed by everyone for WINNING a game..just one game. Sports are meant to be competitive.. with all this talk about teams OPENLY tanking it is such an embarassment. I get the whole rebuilding thru the draft but man as a lifelong NBA fan this is pathetic for me to even think of. Just play the game, compete hard and see where the lottery balls fall.
I think it’s hilarious, Timburr and I share your thoughts.
It’s one game. Relax.
As far as tanking is concerned, it’s something that is just an unfortunate byproduct of the way the NBA does its draft lottery. Think about it… Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, LeBron James… If your franchise drafts one of those guys, you can enjoy immeasurable success over the course of 10-15 years. Tanking for the potential of getting one of those types of players, from an investment standpoint, makes so much sense… Anyone would do it.
The only solution would be to take a suggestion of Jeff Van Gundy… Take the teams that don’t make the playoffs and either give the first pick to the team that was the first team to miss the playoffs (in other words, the 17th best team in the league) or have the teams that did not make the playoffs compete against one another in some sort of round robin tournament to determine draft order.
The problem there, obviously, is that you would be giving the team with the worst talent based and even smaller chance of actually getting the first pick when they are the ones who, in theory, need it the most. There’s always an unintended consequence. As far as I am concerned, though, tanking? I completely understand it and I would do it if I had a chance at a talent that I thought could catapult my franchise to the next level, for sure.
Thanks for joining me at my new time, everyone. We’ll be back next week. Friday at 1 p.m. ET. Be on the lookout for my Power Rankings on Monday morning.
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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
Join NBA Writer and Columnist Moke Hamilton for his weekly NBA chat at 1:00 p.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 6. Answering any and all questions related to the NBA and his Weekly Power Rankings.
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