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dirno2000
03-19-2007, 02:36 PM
John Hollinger: Greetings and welcome to chatland everyone. Before we begin, a moment of silence for my Wahoos, who were putting a beating on Tennessee until J.R. Reynolds turned his ankle, and with it the 'Hoos fortunes. Maybe next year.




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Brian (SF, CA): Tougher 2nd round opponent in the east, Miami or Chicago? Do you see Cleveland or Detriot, without Billups for a bit, getting home court?

John Hollinger: Yes, I think Cleveland and Detroit will have the home court in round 2, although the Cavs may pass Detroit if Billups is out longer than expected. As for the first question, I think Miami has much more of a fear factor, but it all depends on what condition Wade is in.


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elliott smith (silverlake): did you find rasheed's no defense comment about dirk funny, considering dirk owned him in the 4th?

John Hollinger: I was kind of wondering about that too. Not the first weird thing to come out of 'Sheed's mouth, and supposedly he was upset about Flip's lineup selectiion in the fourth (imagine that).


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Dan (Detroit): Think Cleveland has found a lineup to stick with with Hughes at the Point, Pavlovic at the 2 and LeBron at the 3 or does Sasha go back to being 6th man when Gibson returns?

John Hollinger: It's interesting because they're so big with that lineup that it creates some matchup problems. I'd be inclined to go back to Gibson and use Sasha off the pine, just because I think he provides more offense, but I don't think it's a clearcut case either.


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Seba (Fort Worth): Is the two game skid by Phoenix really a hangover? Did they overemphasize their victory over Dallas?

John Hollinger: Have to wonder given how badly they were beaten in both games. An alternative line of reasoning goes that Phoenix wasn't playing particularly well before that game either, so maybe the Dallas game was just an outlier in an otherwise bumpy stretch here for the Suns.


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Seba (Fort Worth): Did Nash hand back the MVP race lead to Dirk with the Sun's two game skid?

John Hollinger: Nash never had anything to hand back. This has been the year of the Dirk and it would have taken a lot more than a single dramatic OT game to change it.


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Walter (Los Angeles, CA): John, what are your thoughts on the possible first round match-ups of San Antonio vs LA Lakers and Phoenix vs Denver? Do either of those teams have a shot an upset given how well they have faired in the regular season with the Lakers winning 2 of 3 (the 1 loss being in OT) and Denver's recent rout of Phoenix?

John Hollinger: Well, it's not for sure that's how they'll pair up, as the battle for No. 6 between Denver and LA is very much in question. Basicallly, if I were either of them I'd be hoping for No. 7, because I just don't think Phoenix is as strong right now as San Anto, but I wouldn't give LA or Denver much of a chance in a seven-game series against either of them.


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Greg (Portland, ME): Was the Celts play this weekend as good as it seems with my green googles on?

John Hollinger: This was the team I was picking to win the Atlantic, with Pierce scoring outside and Jefferson scoring inside. Unfortunately, didn't come together until too late. Good omen for next year though, especially once you throw in the high lotto pick.


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Kevin (ATL): A beating on Tennessee??? What game were you watching? Tennessee got it done with team play, and no one else for the Wahoos could help out Reynolds.

John Hollinger: UVA was up by 11 and Reynolds had 22 in the first 16 minutes when he rolled the ankle. He scored four points the rest of the game. Through my orange-and-blue colored glasses, it seemed to me UVA was cruising until the injury.


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Chris (Cibolo, TX): Please explain, how Dallas leads in all but one category of your rankings and still falls behind the Spurs?

John Hollinger: 1) They're trailing in the most important category, season point differential, and 2) there's a category you don't see, home games vs. road games, that also works in San Antonio's favor.


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Mike(NJ): What do you think about the Nets chances if they sneak into the playoffs? I mean besides Detroit, I think the Nets could beat anybody in the east in a 7-Game series. Your thoughts?

John Hollinger: You mean in the wake of their riveting five-point win at home over the Clippers? Look, Jersey will probably make the playoffs, but for them to be any kind of threat to the likes of Cleveland or Detroit they'll need to raise their game a ton.


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Andy (Chicago, IL): Who is your favorite for Coach of the Year at this point?

John Hollinger: There's going to be a lot of momentum for Jerry Sloan. Personally, I prefer Jeff Van Gundy, because I think he's done a bit more with somewhat less. Avery Johnson and Sam Mitchell will also be popular choices, with good reason.


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Andre (CT): Looks like the Rockets and Jazz are a lock for a showdown in the first round. How do you see this match up playing out?

John Hollinger: This is the one first-round series I'm genuinely excited about. I really don't see the West's Big 3 getting challenged in the first round, and the way the East is shaping up it looks like Miami, Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago will all have a pretty easy time of things. But Utah-Houston definitely has Game 7 potential. If Yao and T-Mac are healthy I like Houston, but I wouldn't bet anything valuable on it.


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Ted, The SLC: John, can you talk me down from the ledge? An 0-4 East roadie for the Jazz last week and now, whenever I close my eyes, all I can see is LeBron jamming, and Dwight Howard jamming, and Shaq jamming...and Samuel Dalembert giving cheap shot hip checks...and LeBron jamming!

John Hollinger: A month from now you will have forgotten this trip ever happened, and it's going to have virtually no impact on your playoff seeding. By the way, that screen by Dalembert on Korver's game-winner was about the illegallest illegal screen I've ever seen, and it happened with a ref standing about 36 inches away.


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Marco (NYC): How about Mike Brown? He's single-handedly turned the Cavaliers from a terrible defensive team to a very good one. How come Mike Brown flies under the radar in the coach of the year debates?

John Hollinger: Because he's received as much criticism for the offense as he's received praise for the defense. Until Cleveland looks more fluid and organized at that end, respect will be slow in coming.


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Miller(Philadelphia): I realize that stats determine the MVP, but without Billups the Pistons don't win. Isn't that the true test of an MVP and should Billups be considered? The way they played Sunday proved Detroit lives and dies by Chauncey's game.

John Hollinger: I actually think that's a terribly misused way of awarding MVP - -the "without him they're nothing" argument. Basically, take the best player off just about any NBA team, and their winning % will go in the tank. Look at the Bucks without Redd, or the Celtics without Pierce, or countless other examples. Additionally, you chose an odd example to prove your point. Without Billups, the Pistons spanked Phoenix on the road (expanding their lead after he left) and then narrowly lost at Dallas. Does that sound like they collapsed in his absence?


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Brian (SF, CA): The wolves look atrocious right now. With Garnett having the ability to opt out after next year, is this summer the last chance they will have to get serious pieces back for him, or has the window already closed?

John Hollinger: No, they'll be able to get something good for him this summer, but they should have moved him a year ago. BTW, you have something to look forward to -- the annual T'wolf tank job in the last week of the season to assure they don't have to give their pick to the Clippers. Mark Madsen is already working on his 3-point stroke in anticipation.


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Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles, CA): 65 then 50. I am the most unstoppable player in the league. I am the MVP right?

John Hollinger: 82-game season, chief. Those were two mighty impressive games, but in the other 80 he hasn't been nearly as good as Dirk. Sorry.


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Andy (Chicago, IL): Just a correction here the Dallas Detroit game was at Detroit.

John Hollinger: Duly noted.


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Jason (nyc): Whether they get into the playoffs or not, the Magic are finishing up another disappointing season. Am I the only one who notices how much Jameer's game has slipped since last season? With major cap space this summer, what changes should Orlando make to become a legit team? Thanks.

John Hollinger: Yes, Jameer has taken a big step back. Not sure what to make of it. As far as changes, I think the organization as a whole has been WAY too complacent of late, with the stand-pat approach at the trade deadline and the promise to bring back B. Hill. I just don't get it. I think they need to add another shooter and another frontcourt body, and of course replacing/retaining Darko and G. Hill is another big challenge.


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John, Atlanta GA: Shouldn't the Magics start using Arroyo more and less Jameer

John Hollinger: Of late they've gone with the opposite approach -- benching Arroyo and playing Dooling as the backup PG. Should be noted that this is Arroyo's third coach since signing his contract and, despite decent numbers, he's played his way out of the rotation for all three of them. Makes you wonder.


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Chris (Miami): John- It seems like you have reversed field somewhat on Miami. You have been down on them all yeay, with good reason. What do you see different (besides the wins - you were still down on them last week, if I recall)?

John Hollinger: At this point, nothing the Heat did would surprise me, but Shaq has looked better than I expected and they're really tightened up the D of late, so that's why they've ripped off so many Ws. I still have a lot of doubts, but it seems at a bare minimum they'll get to Round 2.


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Ed: I think the Magic should do Hill and Nelson for Bibby and Thomas/Abdur-Rahim.

John Hollinger: Tough deal to pull off. The only Hill under contract in Orlando next year is Brian.


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Bob (NYC): Balkman ROY? Maybe Isaih has a draft gift, but can the Knicks get into the playoffs and make a run?

John Hollinger: OK, this wins the new award for "overreacting to the outcome of one game." Just to review, Balkman isn't ROY because he had a double-double last night, Kobe isn't the MVP because he had back-to-back 50-point games, and Nash isn't the MVP because the Suns beat the Mavs in OT last week.


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Jenson: (Indianapolis):: Jamaal Tinsley and Jermaine O'neal for Ray Allen, Earl Watson, and Nick Collison?

John Hollinger: Somebody's been having fun with the trade machine. I could see that type of deal helping both teams actually (probably need to sweeten the pot a bit for Seattle though). The biggest mistake Indy made was not getting a true SG after they made the Jackson-Harrington trade; a deal like this would rectify it.


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Chester Trout (Dallas): Simple question: Who's your Defensive Player of the Year at this point?

John Hollinger: I haven't made an endorsement yet and I still want to crunch a few more numbers before I go public with my choice. Hopefully I'll have something on the blog on this later in the week.


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Jon (San Francisco, CA): From one Jon to another: Any love for the Warriors? Wins over Dalls, Detroit, and all their 8th seed competitors in the past two weeks. Don't you want a Cuban-Nellie playoff series? As an aside, any chance Stephen Jackson's improve play helps the Warriors ditch his large contract this offseason? I'm thinking the Spurs...

John Hollinger: I think GS will get it as long as Baron and Richardson can stay in the lineup -- unfortunately that's hardly a given. As for Jackson, good luck trying to trade him. Only way is to take back somebody else's headache.


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Brian, LA: And Dirk is the MVP because he has the deepest team? the best coach this year? what specificlly Dirk has done this year different than last year? why all hate on Nash 2 trophies (possible 3)?

John Hollinger: Dirk had the league's top PER last year and could just as easily have been the MVP a year ago too. I'm really not sure why Nash won, to be honest. This year Dirk is #2 in PER, behind only Wade, who is injured, and his team has the league's best record, and he's hit a number of big shots. But apparently we should disregard all that and base our vote on the one game out of 82 that everybody watched because it was on national TV.


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Ben (Silver Spring, MD): So you don't think the Wiz have a chance to win a first-round series in the East? Even if Butler is only 80% by playoff time, they'd give any of those upper teams a run for their money...

John Hollinger: Unless their defense improves, I seriously doubt it. Wiz need the big 3 at 100% at a minimum, or they need Wade's shoulder to pop out of socket again (I'm presuming they get Miami in the 3-6 regardless of who wins the division)


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Ben (Eugene, OR): Any thoughts about when or where Adelman might return to coaching? He's a great, underrated coach and I'd love to see him back on the sidelines.

John Hollinger: I'll echo that comment. I was hoping Milwaukee would make a run at him but it seems Krystkowiak (is it alright to call him Coach K?) is their guy for the long haul.


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Pat (Fort Morgan, CO): You were wrong on the Warriors/Pacers trade. Admit it! Better to have Jackson's contract than Dunleavy's.

John Hollinger: What I wrote at the time was that I was expecting Indy to make a follow-up trade to get a shooting guard. They never did, and then Daniels got hurt, and it's killing them.


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Brian, LA: So the MVP is the Top Per? and the team to win the Top one of your power rankings?

John Hollinger: For some reason, I get this question a lot. No and no. But it's a useful guide. I endorsed LeBron for MVP over Dirk last year because he was close in PER and did some other things (big shots, long minutes, etc.) that I thought merited winning it. Really any one of four guys -- Dirk, Kobe, Wade or LeBron -- would have been great choices last year. As for this year, Dirk is No. 2 but he and Wade are miles ahead of the rest, and obviously Dirk has been available much more than Wade.


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Will (Ft Worth, TX): What amazes me is that most folks are saying Nash should win the MVP strictly because his front office won't get him a backup that can run their offense as well as him.

John Hollinger: Marcus Banks, please pick up the white courtesy phone. Marcus?


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Chris (Atlanta, GA: Why do the Hawks continue to allow Mike Woodson to coach the bunch? Atlanta needs some new blood, your thoughts?

John Hollinger: I think Woodson's done a nice job actually. They've had a ton of injuries and management did NOTHING for him this offseason (Shelden Williams, Speedy Claxton and Lorenzen Wright? Gee, thanks) and they've still managed to hold it together defensively.

John Hollinger: Folks, that's all the time I have today, but thanks again for the great questions and we'll do this again next week.

Dirkadirkastan
03-19-2007, 02:46 PM
Hollinger knows the word "outlier"??? :eek:

fluid.forty.one
03-19-2007, 03:00 PM
Wow he is backing up Dirk a LOT. And he should.

TheBlueVan
03-19-2007, 03:19 PM
that was a great read, seriously

jayC
03-19-2007, 04:16 PM
The year of the Dirk obviously. John Hollinger really promotes his ranking systems doesn't he. The team to beat is still Dallas.

Nash has been spectacular, but isn't it weird that the all-time assist leader John Stockton didn't win the MVP. The Stoudamire, Nash pick and roll is earily similar. I think Stoudamire made his case for MVP in that game. Amare was unstoppable against us.

TripleDipping
03-19-2007, 04:29 PM
Very un-ESPN like.

Flacolaco
03-19-2007, 04:41 PM
He raises an interesting point, indirectly...

I like Houston against the Jazz too like he said. I also don't see the Suns or Spurs getting challenged as he says.

Which begs a question we should start asking ourselves now maybe.... Is a second round matchup with Houston like the biggest trap series ever bc if the look ahead factor to the winner of the phx/SA showdown?

alexamenos
03-19-2007, 04:46 PM
Which begs a question we should start asking ourselves now maybe.... Is a second round matchup with Houston like the biggest trap series ever bc if the look ahead factor to the winner of the phx/SA showdown?

a fair question.....

...come to think of it, mavs didn't exactly look past the grizz last year, and I suppose there's no reason to think they'd be any lest focused in a 2nd round this year.

so put me on the no side of the ledger -- it ain't a trap in the makin'.

fluid.forty.one
03-19-2007, 04:49 PM
I dont think Avery will allow them to look past the freakin celtics, let alone one of the top 6 teams in the league.

Flacolaco
03-19-2007, 04:49 PM
a fair question.....

...come to think of it, mavs didn't exactly look past the grizz last year, and I suppose there's no reason to think they'd be any lest focused in a 2nd round this year.

so put me on the no side of the ledger -- it ain't a trap in the makin'.

the grizzle are NOT the Rockets.

We can say what we want about the Rockets and Tracy's a choker and blah blah blah but I couldn't say that I wouldn't be a little worried about having to see Yao and Tracy everynight. That's not fun.

I certainly think the Mavs are the far better team, but it would take more work than I'd like it to. The Jazz could beat them if they got their sh## together, but I don't know....

alexamenos
03-19-2007, 05:01 PM
the grizzle are NOT the Rockets.

We can say what we want about the Rockets and Tracy's a choker and blah blah blah but I couldn't say that I wouldn't be a little worried about having to see Yao and Tracy everynight. That's not fun.

I certainly think the Mavs are the far better team, but it would take more work than I'd like it to. The Jazz could beat them if they got their sh## together, but I don't know....

My point was not that the Grizz are the rockets. Instead, the mavs had no problem staying focused on the task at hand v. the grizz even tho the spurs loomed in the next round.

iow...i'm not saying that the mavs can't be beaten in the 2nd round, just that they won't be beaten because they're looking past their 2nd round opponent to the suns/spurs.

additionally....i've long held that Rockettes are a scarey team this year....I'm actually hoping that the jazz and rox have a grueling 7 game series which leaves the winning team near-comatose for the first couple of games v. the mavs.

DevinHarriswillstart
03-19-2007, 05:04 PM
yes, "the year of the Dirk", Cuban must be opening his pockets again hahaha.

DevinHarriswillstart
03-19-2007, 06:40 PM
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Brian, LA: And Dirk is the MVP because he has the deepest team? the best coach this year? what specificlly Dirk has done this year different than last year? why all hate on Nash 2 trophies (possible 3)?

John Hollinger: Dirk had the league's top PER last year and could just as easily have been the MVP a year ago too. I'm really not sure why Nash won, to be honest. This year Dirk is #2 in PER, behind only Wade, who is injured, and his team has the league's best record, and he's hit a number of big shots. But apparently we should disregard all that and base our vote on the one game out of 82 that everybody watched because it was on national TV.

Actually, you can make an argument that Nash won the MVP with the Phoenix/Dallas game. Too bad in that same argument he would have lost it two games later. So pretty much any way you spell it, Dirk's the MVP.

Thespiralgoeson
03-19-2007, 07:48 PM
His ranking system may be whack, but Hollinger is still by far and away my favorite NBA writer.

Dtownsfinest
03-20-2007, 01:38 AM
The year of the Dirk obviously. John Hollinger really promotes his ranking systems doesn't he. The team to beat is still Dallas.

Nash has been spectacular, but isn't it weird that the all-time assist leader John Stockton didn't win the MVP. The Stoudamire, Nash pick and roll is earily similar. I think Stoudamire made his case for MVP in that game. Amare was unstoppable against us.


Well the thing about Stockton is that he played in a completely different era. Some of the best players of all time played in his era. In Nash's era he's playing against great talent but the teams these superstars play for aren't nearly as good as they were in the 90's. AI, Kobe, Bron, etc.