Chat with Chris Sheridan
Sheridan's chat tips off at 7:15 p.m. ET so send in your questions now and join him right here for the answers.
Watch the NBA Playoffs on ESPN & ABC and the Finals on ABC.
Buzzmaster (6:06 PM)
Chris will be here at 7:15 p.m. ET to take your questions on the Celtics-Magic Game 7 as well as the Lakers finishing off the Rockets in the West!
Chris Sheridan (7:13 PM)
Good evening from Boston. First things first, especially to those of you in Espana: Bravo to Pau Gasol. He was a force today, came through huge after I had repeatedly and viciferously doubted what he'd do in the big game, based upon his recent history in the biggest of games. Ole! Bueno trabajo. Well, we've got a little less than one hour til tipoff of Magic-Celtics Game 7. Your referees will be Steve Javie, Scott Foster and Derrick Stafford. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:06 p.m. EDT. Your scapegoat might just end up being Patrick Ewing. I'll be in the chat room til 8:04, which gives me two minutes to get to my seat, but I'll make it. And now, to your questions ...
Kai (Eugene, OR)
Would the Celtics dare go back to Big Baby for a big shot at the end of Game 7? Or will it be Pierce and Allen all the way?
Chris Sheridan (7:16 PM)
If the had that same play, and a second defender came at Pierce, I think he'd have the confidence in Baby to get him the ball again. The celtics may have doubts about a few of their players taking the last shot (Scalabrine, e.g.), but not Glen.
derek, orlando FL
No one is talking about it Sheridan. But these are the two very best defensive teams going at each other these series. No other playoff team alive is going to give either the defensive problems they caused each other. Its a proven Hollinger statistic to back it another way too. Do you agree?
Chris Sheridan (7:16 PM)
No. Disagreee strongly. Cleveland is clearly the strongest defensive team in the league. Have been all year.
Why aren't we seeing more Courtney Lee?!?!
Chris Sheridan (7:18 PM)
Stan Van Gundy has made him the designated defender against Edddie House. I asked Stan about it tonight, and he sort of took offense that people were questioning his decision to stick with redick as the starter at 2 guard, saying Redick has been their best defender on allen. Now, that being said, I cannot see him sticking with J.J. as long as he'd been doing if J.J.'s first one or two shots don't fall. Also, Courtney will be in there at the end if it's a close game in the final 5 minutes.
You like the Lakers again after picking the Rockets in 7 over LA?
Chris Sheridan (7:21 PM)
I have picked the Lakers in 7 over Denver. I was very disappointed in the Rockets today. They blew it late in the first, in my opinion, after they started 0-for-11 from the field and found themselves down by only nine points. How many horrible, horrible possessions did they have? 25? How many times did they try to go to Scola in the low block in the first 9 minutes? Zero. Anyway, kudos g out to Chad Ford and Henry Abbott, the only two ESPN.com staffers to pick Lakers in 7. (I had Magic in 6 in this series, along with Denver in 5 and Cleveland in 4.)
How does Howard have to preform to see a win for Orlando?
Chris Sheridan (7:23 PM)
Just like last game, it's all about how active he is on the glass and on defense, and to get the ball when he's on the move on offense. When he gets the ball isolated against Perk in the low post, he is not all that good. Haven;t seen him use his one good move _ the drop step _ more than a couple of times all series.
Do you think Doc rivers will pull glen davis or Perkins right away if they commit an early foul
Chris Sheridan (7:25 PM)
Davis, yes. Perk, no. doc was just talking about that pre-game (he pulled Davis vry, very early in Games 5 and 6 when he got an early foul. His thinking is this: If Perk gets into foul trouble, he doesn;t want to hand the job over to Baby when Baby is sitting on two fouls. And since Doc apparently has lost all confidence in Mikki Moore, the apparent last line of defense against Dwight _ should Perk and Baby get in foul trouble _ is Brian Scalabrine.
Will LeBron leave Cleveland considering Cleveland wins the NBA Champion?
Chris Sheridan (7:27 PM)
Wel, Yash, I am of the opinion that if LeBron brings a championship (or two) the cleveland before the summer of 2010, it would actually make it easier for him to leave. Those poor folks in Cleveland have been without a title of any kind since 1964, and if he can end that drought, the fans will be more open to accepting a reasonable explanation from LeBron should he choose to leave.
Who has the better bench-Lakers or Nuggets?
Chris Sheridan (7:28 PM)
Nuggets with two potential game-changers _ Birdman and J.R. Smith.
Who's the X factor?
Which bench players do you see stepping up big on the game 7 stage?
Chris Sheridan (7:31 PM)
Hard to say for Boston. Changes game to game. Would probably have to say Big Baby, unless you want me to choose the obvious _ Pierce. for Orlando, I'll go out on a limb and say Gortat. He has been a better pick-and-roll finisher than Dwight, and if he can avoid getting outmuscled underneath, he can create enough second-chance possessions to make a huge impact when Dwight is out. (Or if Stan Van G chooses to play them together. I asked him about playing a Twin Towers prior to Game 6 in Orlando, and he said he would "eventually." when I protested that "eventually could mean two hours or two years, he replied: "Exactly."
Why does it seem like the media wants Lebron to leave Cleveland? Lebron and Cleveland are made for one another. I'm not a Cavaliers fan but I want Lebron in Cleveland or D-Wade in Miami. They belong there. Not counting the two years MJ was in Washington but MJ and Chicago were made for one another.
Chris Sheridan (7:35 PM)
The media really don;t care, Ed. The media simply report what the situation is, and look forward with as much foresight as reasonably possible. But let me ask you this: If you lived the first 25 years of your life in the same state, wouldn't it intrigue you to move your life to a different city and try something new? New York is full of folks like that, L.A., too, and Vegasm and Austin, Texas, and a whole bunch of places. So if LBJ wants to chase the brighter lights, it should be his choice, and his choice should be respected as long as he is forthright in explaining it.
Rodrigo (South Carolina)
If Ray Allen and Pierce get a strong game with 20~25points each, do you think that it will be a Celtic win?
Chris Sheridan (7:36 PM)
Yes, probably. But they'll need a third big-time producer, which Rajon Rondo has provn himself capable of being.
Justin (Mississauga, ON)
What do you think the Lakers need to be most concerned about, approaching their series against the nuggets?
Chris Sheridan (7:37 PM)
Themselves. If they bring the same on-agaon, off-again effort level as they did against the Rockets, folks in L.A. will be pulling their hair out again in two weeks as much as they were yesterday and after Game 4.
I see the biggest question mark of the night is going to be Rajon Rondo... it seems like when he can get the team up and down the court and take the ball to the basket the celtics are unstoppable, what do you think?
Chris Sheridan (7:39 PM)
I don;t know about him being a question mark. He;s looked pretty steady and outstanding to me. The only thing I'd question is whether he'll get off to a slow start. He didn;t arriv at the arena til 6:52 p.m.
Michael (Huntington Beach, CA)
Who provides Cleveland with more problems, the Celtics or the Magic?
Chris Sheridan (7:41 PM)
Magic. They have no one who can defend Dwight as well as Perk has, which means they'll be doubling on him more, which means their shooters will get more open looks. But I'm still picking Cleveland in that series if Orlando ends up winning tonight. In fact, I'm picking Cleveland no matter which of these teams comes out of tonight's Game 7.
David (Aarhus Denmark Europe)
Who do you think are the top 5 foreign players in the NBA
Chris Sheridan (7:42 PM)
That's a tough one, David, especially off the top of my head. But I'll go with Nowitzki, Ginobili, Calderon, P.Gasol and Yao\,
Felipe (Norwood, Ma)
The first couple of games Eddie House was shooting the lights out. He hasn't really been able to get his shot the last two games though. How do the Celtics get him going?
Chris Sheridan (7:44 PM)
With Eddie, you have to hope he hits his first one if you are a Celtics fan. When he gts hot, he just starts catching and shooting, doesn't matter of he's drifting one way or the other, and he can be utterly unstoppable. Sort of like J.R. Smith, except J.R. does it all the time and Eddie does it once a month.
Simon (Scarsdale New York(
Do you think Hedo or Lewis is gonna step up in the game?
Chris Sheridan (7:46 PM)
I thi nk they both have to in order for Orlando to win. Especially Lewis in the fourth, when the Celtics will be expecting Hedo to be the designated would-be assassin.
If Kobe Bryant does not win a championship this year, do you think there will be any changes in LA? would he re-demand a trade or ask for a better supporting cast than the one many believe is the best basketball tram in the world?
Chris Sheridan (7:49 PM)
One of this summer's biggest unknowns, Bizoo. Let's not forget that Kobe has an opt-out, though if h exercises it I'd expect him to re-sign with the Lakers for seven yars at max money. But with him, you never can know for certain what his master plan is.
Vince from Charlotte
Is there any chance that there could be a KG apperance tonight? Even if he suited up and played 10-12 minutes it would get the crowd in a frenzy and carry the C's to a victory.
Chris Sheridan (7:50 PM)
He is listed as inactive, so no chance tonight. As for the future, Doc Rivers said on the eve of the playoffs there was a "one percent" chance we'll see him. And as I said then, one ain't zero.
Off topic here but was wondering if there's any word on Allen Iverson's next location?
Chris Sheridan (7:52 PM)
Who knows. Mayube he'll be Patrick Mills' backup somewhere. Your countrymam Patty is faster, that's for sure.
Chris, who are you rooting for to win the championship.
Chris Sheridan (7:53 PM)
The team that provides the most entertaining stories. All I ever root for is a good game and/or a good story.
Jared, Orlando FL
Bottom line...who wins tonight?
Chris Sheridan (7:53 PM)
If the Magic are ahead by 15 with 5 minutes left, I like Orlando by 1.
what about Tony Parker ?? Better than Gino and Calderon at least
Chris Sheridan (7:54 PM)
Merci, Pierre. I knew I was leaving out someone obvious. Parker over Manu in My Fave Five Foreigners.
How much of an impact do you think Jameer Nelson would have made on this series had he been able to play? It seems to me, he would be the one to provide late game stability and scoring for the magic
Chris Sheridan (7:58 PM)
Agreed, sergio. We've all talked a lot about the Celtics being without Garnett and Leon Powe, but not as much about Jameer being absent for Orlando. If they had him and his 3-point shooting ability out there, the Magic would have advanced by now. Rafer's 0-for-15 start from 3-point range was a huge downer for them.
Lebron or Kobe? Who do you think is better?
Chris Sheridan (7:59 PM)
LeBron. And a question for y'all: Who can name the two-man band that plays the backup music in that Kobe-LeBron Vitamin Water commercial? First to submit the correct answer will get it posted.
Do you consider Rondo a dirty player or even the Celtics as a dirty team after what went on in the previous series and this round?
Chris Sheridan (8:01 PM)
No, and no. But what bothers me _ or at least it did last year _ is the way they jump out of their seats and yell at opponents who shoot 3s from in front of their bench. To me, that's a little unsportmanlike for players at this level. Under FIBA rules, they'd get a tech if they did that.
Juan from Iraq (US ARMY)
Why didn't the Lakers start Bynum fron the beginning of the playoffs to build his confidence?
Chris Sheridan (8:03 PM)
He's operating at like 50 percent _ or at least he was until today. Very hard to have a player get his game legs back while the playoffs are going on, but that's what they're having to do with Andrew.
Chris Sheridan (8:05 PM)
Time for tipoff. No correct answers on the backup music in the Kobe-LeBron commercial. The answer is Black Violin. Check 'em out. And enjoy the game, folks. Thanks for all the good questions.
Buzzmaster (8:06 PM)
Actually, Justin in Boulder and Nick in FL got it!
Justin (Boulder, CO)
It's Black Violin (in the commercial that is). I wish I had an NBA question...
The song is "Black Violin" by Fanfare.
Buzzmaster (8:07 PM)
Thanks for chatting, Chris!