Join NBA expert Travis Heath as he hosts his bi-weekly chat this Tuesday May 21 at 4 pm est!
1)Hey Heath do you think it is hard for a player with a gunner’s mentality to find a balance between not losing confidence in their shot and recognizing they are having an off night? When you watch guys like Kobe, JR smith, etc go 5 for 20 you can’t help but think “I’m glad you have so much confidence but at some point you have to realize it’s not your night (or in JR’s case, his series)”?
2) Why is it that Kobe’s the only player in the top 15 conversation derided for playing with another top 50 guy? A lot of people, including one of my fav writers Bill Simmons, act like his 3 rings with Shaq don’t count but you never here anyone discredit Kareem for only earning 1 ring without Magic and only having 2 finals MVPs. I think both clearly proved themselves as elite players without their legendary teammates yet only Kobe’s discredited?
1) 1) To me it’s not just whether or not a player keeps shooting. Instead, it’s what their body language says when their shooting. The act of shooting itself doesn’t guarantee confidence. For example, there were times (and by times I mean basically all six games) in the series against Indiana where it appeared as though JR Smith was shooting because that’s what he thought he was supposed to be doing and not because he was genuinely confident the next shot would go in. So it’s not just the behavior that is engaged in but how that behavior is engaged in.
2) I feel like folks go out of their way to make sure people know (in their opinion, anyway) that Kobe is not on the same level as Michael Jordan. Years ago I wrote a column about how it should be okay to seriously introduce other people into the greatest of all-time discussion without being called crazy. This was before social media and thank god because I’m sure people would have threatened to burn me at the stake. My point wasn’t to imply that Jordan was not the greatest it was just to say that the notion of encouraging substantive debate shouldn’t be considered blasphemy. Kobe is one of the greatest to ever do it. Everyone’s context is different. Why must players of different eras be pitted against one another in a debate that no one can definitively win? Why can’t we enjoy each unique player in his own context?
The mindgames have begun between Indiana and Miami, with Vogel trying to downplay the challenge, LeBron acting offended, and Vogel today running around to deny Indiana saw Miami as just another team or that he said anything that should rile Miami. Do these things really have an effect on the players? And if so, who “won” this exchange in your mind? It seems to me like Indiana (at least for now) want to avoid fireworks and emotion for this series while the Heat seems to want to turn up the intensity before a ball is tipped in anger!
Media exchanges can impact the psyche of a player, I think it just depends on what player and how he uses it. For example, guys like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are what I call “slight collectors.” They go around looking for something that might offend them to provide extra motivation. I haven’t necessarily noticed LeBron doing that in the past, but as guys seek to win multiple titles sometimes their motivational strategies have to adapt.
I believe you have a good read on the aims of both clubs. Indiana wants to avoid tugging on Superman’s cape, while Miami is looking for something to get them engaged early as to avoid a Game 1 letdown as happened against the Bulls. In this case, I think the Heat is just too good. Indiana can say whatever it wants, but the overall talent differential is just too great. If Indiana can take it six, that will have been a good run.
Whats the long wait on the pacers miami game? Nba wanting wade to recover from injury so miami could win and get ratings?
Don’t know for certain, but in the business of professional sport everything comes back to dollars… and ratings = more dollars. I don’t think it has anything to do with injuries. I will say that it struck me as curious that there was such a delay when the series could have been started last night, but I have to believe it comes back to the business of TV scheduling.
I’d like to see Sloan at the Clips. Would he be your choice or do you see someone else as a better fit for that team?
When I was asked to consult on a coaching search a couple of years ago, Jerry Sloan was my first choice. I think he still has a lot to offer. He would provide excellent structure on both ends of the floor, and he obviously has many years of experience in helping a one-four (point guard-power forward) connection work to its full potential. The one potential downside with Jerry is his age. You would have to be committed to trying to win big now, but I think the Clippers are at that point given Chris Paul’s contractual situation.
Some other names I like: either of the Van Gundy brothers and Warriors’ assistant Mike Malone. The Clippers could always try and scoop the Lakers by nabbing Phil Jackson, which I think would be a great move. Don’t see it happening, though.
It’s a cornerstone year for Jazz, and as a Jazz fan, i’m just wondering, which way is better for them:
1) Fill their roster with player like Nate Robinson, Corey Brewer, Matt Barnes, DeJuan Blair, Antawn Jamison, Ryan Hollins and try to sink deep enough in the lottery. And then rebuild via Draft 2014 and 2014 Free Agents class.
2) Using their huge cap space and trying to sign with players like Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans, J.R. Smith, Andre Iguodala, Josh Smith, Nikola Pekovic
I know first one is better for small market team, but with players like Favors, Hayward, Kanter and Burks maybe they wouldn’t sink deep enough.
As I was reading your first statement I had the same thought you went on to write in your second which is that I don’t think Utah would be quite bad enough to have a great shot at a top-three pick. Moreover, I’ve never been a fan of trying to tank.
I think Utah has to be careful not to overpay a free agent. I know Nikola Pekovic well and think he would fit in nicely in Utah given his skill-set at the right price. Tyreke Evans is still a player that intrigues me, too. However, the question becomes how much are you willing to pay for potential? Will either of those guys make the Jazz a title contender? Likely not, but try getting back to the playoffs consistently and then ponder the next move from there rather than hoping some ping pong balls bounce your way. If you legitimately try to produce a winner and it fails, then blow it up. Too early with this Jazz team. They have some interesting pieces.
Do you think players try to guide who drafts them in the pre-draft interviews? For example, if a player were thinking they might be in play to be drafted by Charlotte, and they value winning 30 games any time in the foreseeable future, do you think they would intentionally tank the interviews to disuade them from selecting said player?
Fact is, most young draft prospects aren’t that savvy. Has it ever happened before? Sure, but you never know how a draft might shake out for whatever reason. If you really wish to be some place, it’s usually best to let your agent orchestrate that. Front office and player personnel people talk, trust me. The last thing you want is a negative or even inconsistent reputation. My advice would be interview well every time with every team and let your agent be the bad guy if one is needed.
Is there one clear cut 1st overall pick this year? last year everyone knew well before that AD was going first, who could go this year?
Nerlens Noel seems to be the consensus, but he’s far from a homerun. Of course, I didn’t think Anthony Davis was necessarily the best player in last summer’s draft. I was telling folks prior to last year’s draft that if I had the first pick I would take Damien Lillard. People told me I was nuts at the time. I wonder if they still think so?
You don’t get a Tim Duncan, Shaq or Derrick Rose caliber player every year, and this is one of those years. Noel is coming off of an injury and still has much work to do. A guy who I scouted a number of times in person this season was Anthony Bennett. Really like his game. He has all the makings of a very good NBA player. If I had the first pick, I would strongly consider taking him.
A whole bunch of teams have reached out to Phil Jackson since he retired and hes rejected every single offer.
1. Is there a chance he could come back?
2. For what team does it come back for?
3. What does that team need to have/offer him to come back?
1) Always a chance.
2) Los Angeles Lakers
3) Tons of money, a little push from Jeanie Buss and a mea culpa from Jim Buss.
What happens to the Bulls in 2016. No Boozer (Thank God). What happens with Rose does he come back? Also I know Kevin Love shows extreme interest in the Bulls. With both Rose’s and his contracts expiring in 2016, how do we get them both here and keep a winning team around Noah and Deng? I know Joakim doesn’t care about the money but Luol’s making roughly 13 mill this season and I get the feeling he wont take a paycut.
I would be very surprised if Rose didn’t come back. The Bulls would be crazy to trade him unless they could get an elite point guard in return. A healthy Derrick Rose give the Bulls at least a shot against the Heat, and not a shot to just play a “hard and gritty” series but an actual chance to win. Kevin Love would be a very interesting fit for the Bulls, but as the Thunder found out, unless a team is willing to pay a ton of luxury tax not everyone can be kept in the fold. Moreover, the Bulls would have to clear the cap room to sign Love or execute a sign-and-trade. Fans love talking about the sign-and-trade, but it’s more difficult to execute effectively for both teams than most fans realize. So in short, I don’t see how the Bulls keep Rose, Noah and Deng and then also find a way to bring Love in. Something has got to give.
So the Dwight Howard saga continues. Do you think the clash with D’Antoni will influence his free agency? Will LA accomodate him by firing D’Antoni? What uniform do you think he is wearing in October?
No question that D’Antoni will influence Howard’s decision. I don’t know for certain how Dwight feels about D’Antoni as I haven’t talked to him about, but all the reports I hear are negative. If those reports are indeed true, I think there’s a very good chance he leaves. Houston is a destination I’ve heard mentioned more than once. I like James Harden, but I’m not in love with the rest of that roster. Somehow, the Rockets seemed to become the darlings of the Western Conference playoffs. I thought they were an average team at best with one very good player. However, it doesn’t always come down to just winning for players. In fact, for some players, winning isn’t even in their top three or four considerations (unbeknownst to the majority of fans).
If Dwight has a legitimate beef with D’Antoni, the only way you keep him is to fire the coach. Also, whatever team ends up signing Dwight will have to make him feel warm and cozy inside. That’s true for most big free agents, but history has taught me that Dwight wants to be told he’s loved. My top two are Houston and the Lakers.
Have there been studies examining how fans develop allegience to particular teams? If so, what were the results?
For myself, my favorite colors are blue and purple. Also, I find it easier to project myself into dream scenarios involving shooting, based on the premise that “anyone” could become a great shooter. Thus, when I became a fan, the first jerseys I bought were Dirk, Nash, and Peja.
Not sure there have been studies addressing specifically what you’re asking. I’ve seen studies that address in-group out-group dynamics in sports fans and also group identity, but nothing in terms of team colors or anything like that. I’ll do a little reading on the topic and see if I come up with anything.
Hi Travis, greetings from Macedonia,
Is there a possible trade scenario with Utah & a 3rd team, where the Thunder would get Big Al and unload Perkins (and because his market value is quite low, give up some of their future picks and young prospects like: Lamb, Perry Jones, Liggins …
In my opinion Jefferson is exactly what the Thunder need, a true and consistent low post scoring threat. He does have defense deficiencies, but they are not as bad as advertised and he will benefit from playing alongside shot blocker like Ibaka and the Thunder system and winning environment in general. What is your take on this ?
Thank you !
Al Jefferson would be an interesting fit in OKC, especially with Ibaka behind him to make up for his defensive inefficiencies. That said, I don’t think there is a big market for Perkins the way he played this season. Also, I’m not sure the young talent you mentioned will intrigue too many people quite yet because it has been virtually all potential and no production. I don’t think Perkins will be an asset until he gets into the final year of his contract in 2014-15. I believe he makes around $9.5 million that season, and that’s a fairly good expiring chip. So in closing, I would say the chances of the Thunder trading for Jefferson are slim, at least in a deal involving Perkins.
How do you think Derrick Favors seasonwill progress next year?
I’ve never been a huge Derrick Favors guy. I think if he can get to be a 14 and 10 player, that would be a great jump. Not sure he ever score much more than that (unless, of course, the Jazz can acquire an elite point guard). His offensive game is rather limited. Shows potential on the glass and defensively, but I don’t ever see him making that major jump.
Can Bradley Beal become a 20ppg scorer as soon as next season? Looking forward to Beal and Wall combo.
I think it’s possible, but scoring 20 a night on a bad team really isn’t that hard. Every team in the NBA is going to score in the neighborhood of 90 or so points per game, so someone has got to score. The Wizards play with a bit of tempo, so that increases his chances even more. But again, scoring 20 points on a bad team doesn’t show me much. Can the combination of Wall and Beal lead to more wins? That’s the more intriguing question to me, and I’ll reserve judgment on it until I can see them play more games together.
The Nugs had a great regular season only to dissapoint the fan base with an all to familiar playoff exit. How can the Nuggets get better? I personally think they should grab a big who can defend the PnR and utilize shooters it already has in Hamilton and Fournier…What do you recommend, Dr?
I recommend playing JaVale McGee regular minutes in the regular season to have him ready come postseason. The first start JaVale gets all year is in an elimination game? It shows you the coach knows he needs him but sits him to try and “send a message” throughout the regular season because he doesn’t play “the right way.” Well, Koufos plays the right way and got pounded when playoff basketball commenced. The most talented players on the roster have to be afforded the opportunity to play through their growing pains.
I agree that Hamilton can shoot the ball, but he’s limited in other areas. I see Fournier as a playmaker and scorer before just a straight shooter, but yes, both could stand to get a few more minutes. Ultimately, I think the Nuggets should look to acquire someone like Kyle Korver (as I’ve said for years).
Finally, the Nuggets need to find an elite player somewhere. Ty Lawson was the closest they had in the playoffs, but the moment was too big for basically everyone else. To me, Ty is a step below elite. To hear fans or media members say certain members of the team are untouchable is amusing to me. Really? A team that was eliminated in the first round as a three-seed has players that are untouchable? I would trade any player on the roster for Stephen Curry, for example, and I’m quite certain the front office would, too. If any combination of players can land the Nuggets with an elite player, they should pull the trigger.
Javale McGee has said that he was diagnosed in High School with ADHD but turned down medication. Is this something that can be addressed without medication? It certainly appears that focus is a major issue with his play.
Yes, there are a number of therapeutic approaches to dealing with ADHD that do not involve medication. Some people opt for medication, some for a combination of medication and therapy and some for just therapy. The side effect profiles for various drugs impact individuals very differently. For some, they can be life changing. For others, the side effects outweigh the potential benefits. It’s really important to manage each case specific to the individual patient’s experiences. But yes, there are some very effective behavioral strategies for helping people reclaim their lives from ADHD.
All in and all done. Thanks for playing along, folks. Feel free to hit me up 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