NBA expert Travis Heath hosts his weekly chat this Tuesday at 4 pm EST!
The Black Mamba and D12 will both likely start in the allstar game. The Lakers are on pace to miss the playoffs. Using the “Kobe system”, Bryant is on his way to the scoring title and deserves the selection but Dwight who has been banged up and struggling all year doesn’t. What do you think of a rule that limits a team out of the playoffs to a maximum of 1 allstar? (if your team truly has multiple All-stars they should be in the playoffs) This would help limit some undeserving All-star snubs. Thoughts or any other ideas?
Welcome in everyone. Let’s get rolling…
Don’t get me started with the All-Star game. I believe fan voting should be eliminated completely, or if not completely, fans votes should only count for a small percentage of the overall vote. I think players and coaches should vote, and that those votes should be weighted most heavily.
In addition, I wish they would play an All-Star game like a real basketball game. It has gotten to the point now where it’s virtually unwatchable.
It’s amusing to me how everyone always says the All-Star Game is about the fans. If that were true, then they should play hard, compete and actually engage on the defensive end. If you’ve ever seen videos of the 1992 Dream Team practicing, those battles were far more compelling than any All-Star Game. Why? Because they were competing and trying to demonstrate their superiority over one another. That’s what an All-Star game should be. If not, why play it at all?
What do you think Paul George’s potential is? Can he be a 20ppg and elite defender?
I liked Paul George a lot when he came out in 2010. I thought it would take him some time, but I believed he would develop into a good pro. That said, I think people pronouncing him a star based on what he’s done for the last month is a little premature. I want to see a larger sample size. Not saying I’m not impressed with what I’ve seen of late, but I just want to see it sustained and consistency over time. He can definitely score the basketball, and I love his length on defense. He does some good things defensively, but he doesn’t do it all the time. Also, I think fans tend to think of players that fill up the stat sheet with steals and blocks as being good defenders. That isn’t always true. He’s got all the physical tools, so I think 20 ppg should be no problem. The elite defender part of your question is a bit more tricky because a lot of time when guys start scoring more, they stop defending. Time will tell.
Is there any chance for the Lakers to go to the 1st round for this year’s draft by dealing a high-value player??
Sure, there’s a chance. I wouldn’t say there’s a very high chance. The Lakers have always been in the business of winning titles, and it’s hard to imagine them dumping salary for draft picks. There are scenarios where that might actually be the smart move, though. For example, if they believe Dwight might walk, it would be silly to not try and deal him and get some return on that investment.
So far this season the arrogance and ego of some of the folks up top in Los Angeles has gotten in the way of doing what’s right for the franchise. The owners have to remember that no one is paying to see dudes that wear suits in luxury boxes. The NBA is about players and coaches and not about the egos of rich cats who own the team. Guys employed by these owners don’t want to say that out loud, but it doesn’t make the statement any less true.
Hi Travis, I haven’t asked you a question in a while! I hope you’ll have time to answer this one
Let say if the LAL misses the playoffs this year, will we see the return of the Zen Master? And also, I am still not sold that McHale is the right man to coach the rockets despite their impressive record so far. Harden is a great player. He needs a Great coach.
The Lakers should have hired Phil as soon as they fired Mike Brown. Folks trying to spin it otherwise have some sort of personal agenda or are trying too hard to be contrarian. As I alluded to in the previous question, egos got in the way of hiring the right guy. The right move would definitely be to hire Phil this summer, but the question is whether or not ego and stubbornness will again get in the way of making the right basketball decision. All too often in the NBA, it does. This isn’t just a Laker problem. Also, at this point the Lakers already owe a bundle of money to two coaches. That very well could be a factor in what they do moving forward, although it probably shouldn’t be given the new TV deal and all the financial advantages the Lakers have.
To your second question, I have to give McHale props for what he’s done with the Rockets, and obviously it has been a tough year because of the death of his daughter. It’s hard to imagine how painful that must be. On the basketball side, I have to admit that I have never been sold on McHale as a coach. The way things are going though, I think you have to let the season play out and see if the Rockets can make the postseason. If they do, no question you have to let McHale captain the ship moving forward.
It was pointed out to me tonight by my teammates that I have a little routine when getting ready to play in our weekly comp. I realised this is due to a lifetime of being superstitious and how it’s become a natural habit. I’m curious what is the logic of why sportspeople do this? From weekend warriors like us to the superstars of the professional game…why do we???
What happens is people create causal explanations when there are truly none there. For example, “We won because I wore my lucky socks.” Or, “That free throw went in because I tapped my wrist band twice.” Logically, we know there is no causal relationship between these things. However, what superstitions can do for athletes is create a sense of safety and routine. When this happens, some athletes are able to let go of anxiety and/or increase focus. My feeling is that if the superstition is not harmful in any way, go for it. Now, I’m talking strictly about superstition in sport. Applying this to other areas outside of sport is a different conversation and one to be had in a different space. For example, basing public policy on superstition is troubling. But I digress…
Seems like the Jazz/Raptors our perfect trade partners. Jazz need an upgrade at pg, Raptors with there Bigs. Jazz trade Millsap, Burks, g.s. pick for Lowery, Bargnari
That’s an interesting proposal. I don’t have time to check to see if it works financially, but from a talent standpoint, I like it for both sides. Usually proposals from fans are extremely one-sided, but this one makes pretty darned good sense. Personally, I would rather have Millsap than Bargnani, but Millsap is obviously in a contract year. If the Jazz don’t plan to pay him, this deal isn’t a horrible one. Also, I scouted Burks closely for two seasons in college and like his game a lot. I think he has a chance to be a good pro down the road.
Hypothetical question: If the NBA fines Mark Cuban for comments regarding officiating and he fails/refuses to pay, what penalties can the NBA impose on him (aside from increasing the amount of the fine)?
That’s a good question that I don’t know the answer to. I would imagine that fines would continue to increase and possible sanctions could be taken against the organization, but I don’t know what those might be. You’ve stumped me. I’ll ask some folks and see if I can find out.
Who wins the 3 on 3 tournament sponsored by hoopsword and hosted by mr.heath
Lbj wade bosh
Kd westB ibaka
Cp3 bg32 djordan
Kobe d12 mwp
Wow. That’s a tough one. 3-on-3 is such a different game. I definitely want guys who can create their own shots and an athletic big who is also skilled. Give me the Heat trio, but not by much. I don’t think you could go wrong with any of those squads.
When the miami 3 first bolted in they were saying to win not 1 not etc. Recently lbj gave an statement saying he is at his prime now and aint sure about the coming years. From your knowledge about a persons psychy what does this tell u? My 2.Cents is saying competition and reality is coming to him that he aint type a persona type. I never heard mj or shaq admitting they are at their prime. I just saw them working to get the next ring.your thoughts?
Honestly, I think you might be reading too much into his statement. I haven’t read it, so I can’t comment directly. Very generally I’ll say that many folks will feel somewhat content having achieved a high level of success. To a certain degree, that’s human nature. The greatest competitors in the history of sport always find ways to stay motivated. Take guys like Michal Jordan and Kobe Bryant, for example. They will take words and twist them to create a slight, thus providing additional motivation. I have no reason to believe that LeBron isn’t in this same mold, but only time will tell. I don’t know the guy well enough to get inside of his personal psychology.
OKC sends J.Lamb and it’s own 1st rd pick to PHX, Perkins to BOS. BOS sends Bass and J. Collins’ expiring contract to PHX. PHX sends Gortat to OKC. Everybody wins, right?
No, the Thunder win in a landslide. That’s a great deal for OKC. I’m a huge fan of Gortat and feel like he is one of most undervalued commodities in the league. Not a huge fan of the deal for Phoenix because the pick they will be getting won’t be a good one since OKC will presumably finish with one of the best records in the league. If you can construct a way the Suns get one or more lottery picks, that’s a different discussion. Not a bad deal for the Celtics.
Any chance the Spurs go after Pekovic in FA? If they don’t resign Ginoboli and let Splitter go, they should have money to offer a sizeable contract.
Perhaps. He would certainly fit the mold of what San Antonio has been about in the Popovich era. As your question implied though, coming up with the cap space will present the biggest challenge.
It’s nice to have you back after these few years so we can talk Nuggets basketball again. I was looking at the disparity between the team’s home and away records and I keep thinking there are a few teams in the league, like Denver, that are good at home and quite poor on the road. Is there a widely accepted explanation as to why certain teams are so poor on the road year-in and year-out? I know Denver has the altitude thing going for them, but they aren’t the only ones. Utah, Detroit, Sacramento, even Boston are notoriously bad road teams. You’d have to think it’s a mental thing, right? Is there any specific preparation for road games that any team does that you are aware of?
Very interesting question as the road-home splits have long befuddled coaches and fronts offices. Some teams have started tinkering with sleep trying to help the players a) get enough sleep and b) maintain as close to a structured sleeping routine as possible. Obviously, this can only be done with a certain degree of strictness.
There is certainly a mental aspect to it, as you noted. I’m a proponent of the Jerry Sloan approach, which is to not whine about anything you can’t control. If coaches are whining or complaining about the schedule in the media, this absolutely affects players – even if just unconsciously.
Finally, I would propose that veteran teams are better road teams. I don’t have empirical evidence to support this assertion available offhand, but I imagine if you run an analysis of teams that have more veteran guys that have traditionally been winners, you will find a positive correlation with higher road winning percentage.
I am having a difficult time understanding the reasoning behind people’s take on the MVP race this year. If one were to vote for this award unbiasedly based on statistics and impact to team – then there is only one answer. PER is #1 in the league, averaging 26 points, 8 boards, and 7 assists on a team that leads the Eastern Conference. To argue for someone else is simply not taking this into account or has the need to not vote for the frontrunner. I understand he burned bridges and the media loves storylines (ex. Derrick Rose) and do not want to give the same guy the award year after year. But if a media member wants even a little credibility – there should be a unanimous winner – its not close. So why are we arguing otherwise? To make it interesting? Not the King’s fault he is by far the best player in the game. Agree or Disagree? And who would you personally vote for given the chance.
The problem with MVP voting is that there is not established criteria for how one is supposed to vote. One voter may lean heavily on stats while another relies on the eye test. Until a set of criteria are established and weighted, there will always be subjectivity. We heard similar arguments last week with regard to the MLB and Hall of Fame voting. I don’t think the NBA has a problem with the subjective nature of the voting because it’s good fodder for talk radio and columnists, thus keeping the NBA in the news.
All that said, LeBron and Kevin Durant are at the top of my MVP voting. I would probably give the nod to Durant based on how his team has performed. But, of course, I arrived at this conclusion based on my own subjective criteria for what I believe an MVP should be. You may not share that same criteria in your assessment.
What do you think about that trade:
Kings: Tyreke Evans and Francisco Garcia
Memphis: Rudy Gay
You have to adjust salaries a little bit.
Garcia has a team option for this summer so Grizz could cut him to make run. Evans is a player that fits in MEM and Rudy Gay is what Kings need. Who says no?
I would say no if I was running the Kings because I don’t believe Rudy Gay is the type of player who helps put a team over the top. He’s a better player right now than Evans, but Evans is younger and has more room to grow. Rudy Gay is who he is at this stage of his career. The Kings need young players who will grow over time unless they can make a trade for a guy who makes them an instant playoff team. I don’t think Rudy is that guy.
Let me also add that I wouldn’t move Rudy just to move him. I think the Grizzlies have a fairly solid core intact. All of these trade rumors coming out of Memphis are a bit confusing. Don’t get me wrong, I would trade Rudy in the right deal, but I wouldn’t be looking to dump him just to dump him.
Why would James Dolan spy on Carmelo Anthony? What was he thinking?
I think the way this has been reported makes it sound more salacious than it actually is. Teams across the league are always monitoring their players, especially superstar players. Now, the fact that this allegedly involved a video camera makes it somewhat different, but to think that teams don’t keep close tabs on superstar players is naive. To me, this is just the New York media getting a hold of something that they could write up in such a way that it would generate attention.
I like your hair cut in your hoopsworld picture.
Thanks. My hair is always the subject of much conversation… both good and bad.
How do you see the Bucks approaching the remainder of the season? Is it a mistake not trying to get Jerry Sloan in now to coach up this young team?
I’m a big fan of Jerry Sloan. I would try to get him, but I don’t know the particulars of what the Bucks are looking for. The flip side on Sloan is that he’s 70 years old, so he’s not going to be your long-term solution. Perhaps the Bucks are looking for a younger coach to come in and take over the program who can provide stability for the next several seasons. There’s is certainly validity to that line of thinking, too.
What has been the key for the Nuggets on their current 5-game winning streak? Is Ty Lawson finally coming around and getting comfortable with his game this season?
Ty Lawson has been integral in the Nuggets success of late, absolutely. When he’s aggressive, the Nuggets are a good team. When he’s not, the Nuggets are below average. Notice that when he attacks the glass and misses, it still opens up follow-up attempts in the lane. I can think of at least three occasions where that happened on Sunday. I’m not convinced he has the mentality to do this consistently, however. I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that Ty has started playing better when the Nuggets have fewer road games.
I have also like the Nuggets defense during this win-steak. They haven’t played 48 minutes of defense yet, but they go through stretches where they defend really well. This is crucial because it jump starts their fast break and leads to easy baskets.
Finally, it’s huge when Igoudala and Galo are knocking down shots. This helps keep defenses honest and really opens up the court. Again, I’m not convinced that both will continue to do that consistently as the season progresses.
I heard the Miami Heat are interested in Mozgov and that Denver wants to get rid of him. I think the Chicago Bulls should use the TPE to get him as they need a big to back up Joakim Noah and also to screw over the Heat. Agree?
I can’t imagine the Nuggets giving away Mozgov for the TPE. I think there’s a better than 50% chance Mozgov gets moved, but true 7-footers are hard to find in the NBA. As such, I think the Nuggets can command much more than just a TPE.
After what you’ve now seen from the Nuggets through 39 games, now what are your realistic expectations from the Mile High crew?
I said 53 wins before the season. I’m thinking it might be closer to 50 now. What’s key for the Nuggets is cashing in this month where they leave the state only three times, if memory serves. So far, they are doing that.
The bigger question is whether or not 50 wins will get the Nuggets a top-four seed. I’m not convinced it will. And without a top-four seed, I don’t see how the Nuggets make it out of the first round.
Wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Nuggets make a move prior to the deadline that catches some folks off guard, just as the deal for McGee did last season.
Do you see D12 walk away from the Lakers after this season? So which jersey will D12 put on next season?
It’s always possible, but to do so would mean he’d be leaving a sizable sum of cash on the table. I think the more likely option, should Dwight want to leave, is he informs the Lakers of that and they work out a sign-and-trade that is mutually beneficial.
Personally, I would do whatever it takes to keep Dwight. He has never been 100-percent healthy this season, and I can’t think of a worse coach than D’Antoni for a more “traditional” back to the basket center. True centers are so hard to come by in today’s NBA, which makes him such a unique asset. Furthermore, look at how many of the championship teams in the NBA over the last three or so decades have had dominant big guys. It’s not every one, but a whole heck of a lot of them did. Dwight is an incredible chip to build around.
Alright, that’s all the time I’ve got this go-round. If I missed you, we’ll catch up in the future. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter @DrTravisHeath for more conversation.
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Join NBA expert Dr. Travis Heath for his weekly chat this Wednesday at Noon EST!
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