Join NBA expert Travis Heath for his weekly chat this Tuesday Dec. 4 at 4 pm est!
what do you think about the rockets getting demarcus cousins, lamarcus aldridge, or a andrew bynum, are any of those realistic? what notable players do you think have a shot at being rockets?
Welcome in basketball fans! Let’s get rolling…
Cousins is so talented, but he also looks like he’s always two seconds away from doing something crazy. If he implodes and demands a trade or something of that nature, perhaps the Rockets would have a chance.
Andrew Bynum is a free agent at season’s end and looks to be damaged goods. He will still get paid because bigs are in short supply in the NBA, but I have to believe the Rockets (among a number of other teams) could make a push for him should they choose do so.
Don’t see the Blazers moving LaMarcus Aldridge.
Pacers fans were expecting a breakout year from George and it looks like we got it, it was the other George (Hill) however. How will the trio of Hill, Granger and West stack up in the East?
I’ve always liked George Hill’s game, and to be honest, was very surprised when the Spurs moved him. Not surprised he’s playing the way he is.
However, I don’t like the Pacers’ chances unless Roy Hibbert starts playing better basketball. I never thought he was worth a max contract, but was not surprised he got one given the market for bigs. If Hibbert can start playing like he did last year I think the Pacers could crack the top-four out East. Even then, though, I don’t see how they beat Miami, Boston, and perhaps even the Knicks or Nets the way those teams are playing in the early season in a seven-game series.
Hi Dr. Heath. What’s your take about the NBA fining the Spurs 250k for sending their players home?
I think it’s crazy the Spurs were fined. I witnessed Popovich sit Duncan, Ginobili and Parker in a game in Denver back in March of 2009. I don’t remember the NBA caring about that. Was it because the players sat in suits on the bench instead of getting sent home? Call me cynical, but I think it’s because the Spurs were playing the Nuggets that night in Denver and it wasn’t really on the league’s radar. However, since the Spurs were playing the Heat on national television last week different rules applied.
Look, I have no problem with Popovich sitting his guys. Coaches should be allowed to do whatever they think is in the best interest of their ball clubs. If I’m a fan of a team that is playing the Spurs on a night where Popovich sits his main guys I’m happy because, theoretically anyway, it gives my favorite team a better chance to win.
The real issue here is the NBA schedule. I’ve been on record in support of Phil Jackson’s idea of limiting the regular season to 60 games and removing all back-to-backs. This would produce a better product and produce less wear-and-tear on the players. This would also limit a coach’s desire to sit his players. That said, it’s become clear the NBA cares far more about television dollars than they do about the product every night on the floor.
If I were playing in the NBA, what advice would you give me to cope in the NBA?
Without knowing you and what makes you tick, I cannot advance a good answer to this question.
What made you become a psychologist?
An almost pathological curiosity as to why human beings behave the way they do along with the opportunity to help people in a great deal of distress. I love that psychology often works different than medicine does and that there are not really clear-cut answers to psychological conundrums. This forces me to use creativity and think on my feet on a daily basis. No two days are exactly the same.
People who know me well will tell you that my biggest fear in life is boredom. Being a psychologist is the ultimate antidote.
Are you disappointed by the Nuggets start? Maybe we can re-think that Melo trade and say the Knicks got the better end of it perhaps? What’s your take?
Well, the Nuggets didn’t really have a choice. Melo forced their hand by demanding a trade. I think Masai and Josh did a remarkable job given the circumstances. I think what you’re seeing right now is how difficult it is for a team to go from a pretty good team to a true championship contender. That leap is the most difficult in all of professional sports.
Good day. Does my Spurs have good pieces to land Varejao? Will Blair, Mills, Anderson and picks do it? Just asking. Thanks.
No way I would do this deal if I were running the Cavs. Varejao has far more value.
Hey, Travis. Your thoughts on this, please.
T-Mac at his prime is better than LeBron at his prime.
Are you with me? Thanks.
Absolutely not. Look, LeBron is the best athlete to have ever played in the NBA. He’s the same size as Karl Malone and has the ball skills that equal any great point guard in the history of basketball. One could make an argument that in his prime T-Mac was a better jump shooter than LeBron, but that’s about it. There’s not a thing on the court LeBron cannot do. He’s a GREAT defensive player, which is something T-Mac only did on the rare occasions he felt up to it. I could go on, but there’s really no comparison to me.
Hi Travis. Chris Palmer of ESPN said Kobe is better than MJ was. Thoughts? 6 rings, 6 Finals MVPs (i.e. best/most important player on 6 NOT 2 title teams), 5 MVPs, never lost in the Finals, never quit on his team in the playoffs (*cough Phoenix), a Defensive Player of the Year, etc… This Chris Palmer guy is a real putz.
These debates about the greatest of all-time are circular because they are inherently subjective and no one can win conclusively. They also draw eyeballs in this internet world we live in where page views and advertising dollars drive everything. That said, I won’t copout and will actually answer your question.
If I have to make a choice between the two I’m taking Michael. What I will say, though, is that people who act like Kobe isn’t in Michael’s class are just as crazy as you are implying Chris Palmer is. Kobe is the closest thing I have ever seen to Michael Jordan. Is he better? I cannot say that, but he is definitely in the same class.
Also, I can’t think of a greater spectacle in sport than if we could somehow stage a one-on-one basketball game between Kobe and Jordan each in their prime. Guess we’ll have to rely on the digital world of NBA 2K to solve such debates.
I read the Minnesota T-Wolves placed a Dec 12th return date for Ricky Rubio. Any insider news you can share about the injury? Is he actively running / full out practice with the team? Should we expect around that start date or do teams tend to set optimistic return dates and more realistically we shouldn’t see him till the New Year. Your thoughts/opinion.
Teams often set optimistic returns dates. Trust me, Ricky will not play until he’s 100-perecent ready. The franchise has too much riding on him to do anything to the contrary.
If he’s ready by the 12th, he’ll play. My guess is it will be later than that. This isn’t a hand like Love’s injury. You don’t want to mess around with a knee.
You always seem to have strong opinions so I ask you this:
Do you agree that Kobe is one of the most if not THE least respected top NBA legends who is also considered a top 5 or top 10 player all time?
I’m talking almost exclusively about his perception among fans and media.
1)First he gets discredited for playing with Shaq. No other top 10 player (Duncan/Robinson, Magic/Kareem) gets criticized for this outside of Pippen, but I don’t think Pippen’s in the same tier/discusssion with Magic,Kareem, Duncan, Kobe. Kobe also had the blessing curse of Shaq being in his prime (28) still (Robinson and Kareem were 32). (I have other arguments, but I’m not here to argue, but to ask a question).
2) Then people always complain about his career FG%. (45%. Product of taking too many 3pters but being good at it.)
3) He was in the unlucky group of NBA legends to have spent a good portion of his prime on lowly teams. (i.e. post Shaq-pre Gasol)
I tend to agree that Kobe gets hammered a bit more than other elite players, but you can’t take a player out of the context of his time. By that I mean he has played most of his career in the internet age. He has played the second half of his career in the social media age where anyone with a device in his or her hands can advance a critique. My point is, there are many more platforms for critics to make their views public. People tend to forget how much criticism came Jordan’s way while he was playing, it’s just that you couldn’t comment at the bottom of every article written about him or send out real time Tweets as he was making mistakes on the court.
Also, after players retire there tends to a sort of romantic remembrance of that player’s career overlooking many of his flaws. For example, where I live in Denver you would think John Elway never lost a football game during his career. However, while he was playing he used to get torn apart by the media. My guess is that once Kobe has retired he will receive less criticism.
I’ll end by saying this: there are no other Kobe Bryant’s in the league right now. I’ll miss seeing him play when he retires, and I think a lot of folks will be disappointed that they didn’t take the time to appreciate watching such a great player play nearly as much as they should have.
Nice “Write-up” on Royce White. Insightful. No team was ready to deal with Royce, as you pointed out. I’m not saying anything bad about Royce. Mental health is as serious business as physical health? Believe me, my younger sister nearly went to Prison in Denver for “Munchhausen’s Syndrome by Proxy” at a Jewish Children’s hospital, about 15 year’s ago…an autistic child.
Thanks for the kind words, Jim. And my best to your sister.
To be honest, I had no idea the article would blow up in quite the way that it did. I am happy that it has served as a way to initiate important conversations about mental health that we have in our society far less frequently than we should. I have gotten literally hundreds, maybe even thousands, of emails and tweets about the piece.
In retrospect, it seems that many folks wanted an even more scientific look at treatments for anxiety disorders. I would have been happy to do that, but I didn’t want to beat people over the head with the science of it. My goal was to tell a more personal story.
I think Kevin Martin and the Thunder have adjusted well to a new 6th man?
A few hiccups early, but…they might even be better? Number Zero is playing more under control… IBaka is a gem?
KD is about to take another step…I think? Those long limbs are in stride…rounding his game out, kinda like LBJ has? I call him Kevin “Box-Score” Durant.
I agree with you about Martin. Lost in all the Harden drama was the fact that Kevin is a very solid basketball player. I’m not prepared to say that the Thunder are better with him as opposed to Harden, but as I said since directly after the deal went down (in previous chats and on Twitter), I fully expect the Thunder to be one of the top-two seeds out West and compete again for a title.
Hey Travis, how are you? Are you of the mind that A’Mare will prove to be more of an liability to the Knicks rather than an asset? Thanks for your time.
Yes. I said as much in my chat last week. My biggest fear if I’m a Knicks’ fan is Amar’e returning and disrupting the chemistry the Knicks have going. And I don’t mean that Amar’e is a bad dude, I just don’t think his game meshes well with Melo’s.
I have said from the moment the Knicks acquired Melo that he and Stoudemire would not fit well together, and I said it with 7 years of watching every game Melo played and being around him on almost a daily basis during the basketball season during his time in Denver.
The problem is the Knicks likely won’t be able to move his contract in the near future. I’m very interested to see how this all plays out, and I don’t envy Mike Woodson’s position.
Even though I think the Lakers should wait for Nash before they hit the panic button and trade Gasol I have a feelng he will be traded by the deadline if there not winning games because he’s there only valuable trade chip. I think they should trade em to the Raptors for Calderon, Bargs and Pietrus by February. This adds insurance for Nash in case he gets hurt plus Blake is out another 6-8 weeks. Calderon is on an expiring contract plus spreads the floor with his 3 point shooting and is a great pass first point guard. I think Bargnani is a more natural fit alongside Dwight with his floor spacing abilities. Much like how Ryan Anderson thrived with Dwight. Adding Pietrus would also add another shooter and solid defender off their incredibly poor bench. I think Gasol in Toronto makes a lot of sense too. I know Casey isn’t too high on Bargnani with his lack of interest on defense. Calderon is leaving at the end of the year due to Lowry’s emergence anyways so might as well get something for him. Gasol would be a great veteran leader especially for Davis and Jonas. They would definitely be a playoff team next year if not this year. There record doesn’t do justice for how competitive they have been this year. They have been in many games but just can’t close them out. Gasol would also move back to the low post where he thrives and could drive up his trade value going into next year’s deadline if Toronto wanted to add pieces. Thoughts?
This is the longest question in the history of chat questions.
My thoughts are that Gasol is a much better player than he has looked to be in the past couple of weeks. I would be very careful pulling the trigger and trading him so quickly for a player like Ryan Anderson who is very one-dimensional. If I were in charge, I would hold on to Gasol at least up until the deadline so I could see all of the potential deals on the table. I also wouldn’t be afraid to hold on to him if the right deal failed to materialize.
But one thing you know about the Lakers this season is that they are in no mood to be patient. I would definitely be looking over my shoulder if I were Gasol.
Dr. Heath, a question on K-Love. I know he puts up amazing stats, and no disrespect, but I don’t see those as translating into Ws. Last season, despite Love, once Rubio went down the team tanked. This year, getting him back, the record is 2-4. After calling out the team in the offseason, is it time for K-Love to find a way to translate his talent into wins?
I think it’s a little too early to say that his numbers don’t translate to wins, but I won’t dismiss your assertion as totally crazy, either. I think sometimes Kevin’s ego gets a little too bloated, but that certainly doesn’t make him unique in terms of good young players in the NBA trying to make their marks. He’s such a rare talent that I would not trade him unless I absolutely had to. I think what’s in Kevin’s best interest is to just play basketball and keep his mouth shut.
I’m from Australia and I don’t fully understand how contracts work in American sports so this may be a little naive on my part but how is it the Lakers are paying $100 million in salary this season? I know there’s exceptions and what not but being able to pay $42 million over the permitted salary cap kind of makes the whole thing redundant..
I think many NBA executives in small and mid-level markets would agree with you in that it seems absurd that a team can go so far over the cap. In other words, why have a cap at all then, right?
However, in the NBA there is a more prohibitive luxury tax for teams that exceed the luxury tax threshold than there was in the past CBA. Simply put, what this means is that in future years the Lakers are going to paying a lot more than what their salary figure indicates if they keep their payroll this high because of luxury tax penalties. So the way the system is now, a team can take on a ton of salary but not without paying a substantial monetary fine. Whether or not that stops teams like the Lakers from dropping a ton of coin in the future remains to be seen, especially given their new TV deal.
By the way, I’ll be coming to Australia in March spending time in both Sydney and Adelaide. Feel free to drop me some knowledge about where to go and what to see.
Which rookie are you excited to watch this season and do you think drummond is going to be a bust?
I love Damian Lillard. Loved him since his freshman year at Weber State and have the scouting reports to prove it. Dion Waiters has also had his moments. I’ve been disappointed with Austin Rivers. Not impressed with Drummond thus far, but way too early to be calling anyone a bust.
Should Twolves look to trade DWill for a SG? If so which one do you go for between Tyreke Evens, Courtney Lee, JJ Redick, Wilson Chandler, Other?
Perhaps, especially since Brandon Roy might not play again. I’ll tell you this: if the Kings would move Tyreke Evans for Derrick Williams, I would do that deal so fast you might need a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport to see it happen.
Hey Travis, quick question for you. Given the recent play of Jordan Hamilton and the depth that the Nuggets have on the wings, do you see Denver moving Wilson Chandler sometime this season?. Thanks, hope all is well man.
Yes. I have said since the start of the season that I believe Chandler was the Nuggets player most likely to be moved. I don’t see where he fits in the rotation. Quite simply, he’s a player that could start on a number of teams and it will be hard for the Nuggets to get him 25 minutes a night. Right now it works out okay since he’s still working his way back from injury, but one he gets right the Nuggets are not going to be able to have all of these wing players on the same roster and have them coexist peacefully in the long-term. Also not sure they will be able to pay Mozgov what he wants next summer and be where they want to be financially, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they moved him, either.
What is the reasonable ceiling for Hasheem Thabett?
Serviceable NBA back-up center.
Derrick Williams for Wilson Chandler. Nuggets get a 4 with some serious upside, TWolve get the wing player Roy was supposed to be. Thoughts?
I would consider this if I were running things in Denver simply because of Williams’ talent, but not sure where he fits in long-term with Faried on the roster. From the Wolves’ perspective, a wing player is needed. Not sure Chandler is the guy I want, though.
is the NBA rigged? Can we agree in the 2002 WCF the kings deserved to go to the finals. Same with the mavs in the NBA finals. MAvs should have 2 rings not one. And i hate david stern dont you?
Listen, there are plenty of areas where reasonable criticism can be directed at David Stern, and I already have in this chat with regard to the fine he levied against the Spurs. However, to say the league is rigged is a wild conspiracy theory that resides somewhere on a planet that I have never visited.
Hello Travis, Would you recommend the MAPP program at Penn. I am interested in psychology but do not have the resources for an entire bachelors degree. Thanks, Sam.
If you are truly interested in positive psychology, I cannot think of a better place to go. Of course, Marty Seligman is there and he is sort of the “father” of positive psychology. I will admit that I am biased, but I think the field of clinical psychology will continue to be influenced quite substantially by the research emerging in the field of positive psych. I would try to hop on that wave early before it gets too big.
This is, of course, just my humble two-cents.
The “killer instinct” as it pertains to sports is a crucial aspect to team chemistry. Last year no one would shut up about lebron not having it, and then the playoffs happened and they finally did. But it is important to have at least one player who wants that last shot. My question is, do you think Damian Lillard has the killer instinct? Lamarcus has demonstrated that he does not.
Yes, I do. I have done a lot of research on Lillard over the last two years as part of some previous consulting gigs. I absolutely love the kid. He had star written all over him from the first time I saw him during his freshman season.
One thing I’ve always loved about Lillard is that he always seems to play within himself. I remember scouting him at one point last season and he never forced his offense even with 30 NBA scouts sitting on the baseline (you might be surprised how many kids do the opposite in these situations). He let the game come to him and I looked up and he’s got over 20 points and something like 8 assists late in the second half. To me, that’s the mark of a great player. They produce in big ways and you hardly even know they are doing it. He makes very difficult things on the basketball court look easy.
This is just one story. I could give you many others, but in short, I love the kid and expect him to be a big-time clutch player for the duration of his career.
Alright, that’s it for me. Thanks for playing along. Feel free to get at me on Twitter @DrTravisHeath
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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