Chat with Chris Sheridan
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, Chris Sheridan stops by to chat about the NBA season.
Sheridan has been covering the NBA full-time for the past 15 years. Since joining the ESPN.com staff in October of 2005, Chris has been providing in-depth reporting and commentary on the NBA and international basketball for all of ESPN's platforms. Follow him on Twitter: @csheridanespn.
Send your questions now and join Sheridan Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Chris Sheridan (2:00 PM)
Good afternoon from New York, where the Knicks have a head of steam (7str Ws) as we head into the final three days of the regular season. Preferred topics today are possible/actual playoff matchups, postseason awards votes and Panic Meter readings from Boston and Los Angeles (weird to have those two cities competing in that category). Please no draft questions. That is Chad Ford's specialty. Otherwise, anything goes ...
Jamar (New Jersey)
Who is your MVP for this NBA Season?
Chris Sheridan (2:02 PM)
I am voting for Derrick Rose. I have Dwight Howard second and Kobe Bryant third right now, Durant 4th and Manu 5th. (Yes, the Miami players are conspicuously absent). Ballot goes into the NBA office on Wednesday via e-mail, sadly, as the fax machine I used once per year (for this very purpose) has died.
Chris, what, in your opinion, is the greatest cause for the Lakers' struggles as of late?
Chris Sheridan (2:04 PM)
They don't care. They know they will be a monster in a seven-game series, and they are coasting. Any panic in L.A. is misplaced, IMHO. In Boston, the panic is a little more realistic. That team hasn't been the same since trading Pau Gasol's new BFF (not) Kendrick Perkins.
Who is your most disappointing player and team this year?
Chris Sheridan (2:07 PM)
The team is the Milwaukee Bucks, no question. The player would probably be Gilbert Arenas, who I thought would adapt better to a supporting role in Orlando.
Brian (Bay Area)
Yes, I'm a "The Sky is Falling" Laker fan, but humor me. If they get knocked off in the first or 2nd round, what does Mitch do in off season? Retool? Rebuild? Trades?
Chris Sheridan (2:09 PM)
The position they'd have to address (aside from head coach) is point guard, but they'd have to be value shoppers with their mid-level exception (provided such a thing still exists) as they were last year when they swung and missed on Steve Blake. If they had gone after Luke Ridnour instead, they'd be a better team. I do not believe they would trade Bynum unless they were geting Chris Paul.
In follow-up to your Boston panic meter reference, how do you think the Knicks stack up against the Celtics (assuming they're not playing possum)? As a NYK fan living in Boston, I think this city would implode if that happened... makes for fun playoff time!
Chris Sheridan (2:12 PM)
I have been saying in my Knicks chats that the Celtics would win the final 3 minutes of several of the games, which would win them the series. I still believe that, but not as much as before because I keep seeing Carmelo Anthony knock down daggers, last night in Indianapolis being the latest.
Lee (Bensalem, PA)
Can a healthy Shaq save the Celtics? If the Celtics fail to win the ring, where does Shaq go next to chase #5?
Chris Sheridan (2:16 PM)
The other O'Neal has given them mothing since his return, and it sure didn't look to me like Shaq merely tweaked something that one night he came back and played. Which makes me wonder a side point that few in Boston bring up. Why on earth did the Celtics trade Semih Erden (along with Luke Hanrangody) to the Cavs for a second-round pick? Erden (if healthy) would be challenging Krstic for meaningful minutes right now. I covered that kid in Turkey last summer, and he and Omer Asik were a huge reason why Turkey made it to the gold medal game. As for Shaq, he'll end up somewhere, and New York would make sense because the Knicks are only looking to sign someone to a one-year deal to preserve their summer of '12 cap space.
Does Phil Jackson still retire if he doesn't win another Championship? Everyone is saying he is done, but will he still want number 12 regardless of if it is a 3peat in your opinion?
Chris Sheridan (2:18 PM)
I take Phil Jackson at his word when he says he is retiring, so I do not expect him back next year in L.A. The only job I could see him taking in 2012 would be the Knicks job, and D'Antoni would have to flame out pretty hard in next year's playoffs for that to happen. And if D'Antoni gets the Knicks into the second round this year, I expect Jim Dolan to extend his contract.
Can Rose win MVP and Most Improved? He def deserves both
Chris Sheridan (2:20 PM)
I hear what you are saying, but guys who are drafted where DRose was drafted should be permanently ineligible for MIP. My ballot has Kevin Love, Kyle Lowry and Kris Humpries on it.
Better chance at first round upset: Memphis or Indy?
Chris Sheridan (2:24 PM)
Memphis. They beat the Spurs twice, they have the most underrated one-on-one defender in the league in Tony Allen to put on Manu, they force more turnovers than any team in the NBA, and they have a Gasol who could be a difference-maker in the series. Also, as weird as it is to type this, Zach Randolph is a more productive player at his position than Tim Duncan.
Chris, why is Dolan giving Mr. Walsh no love? I've heard that the decision is up to Donnie, but is that really true? Thanks!
Chris Sheridan (2:28 PM)
Dolan does not care what is written about him, and he does things on his own schedule. It is fishy to me that they have not picked up Walsh's extension by now, but when you factor in my opening statement, maybe it's a little less fishy. Dolan did say at the Carmelo Anthony introductory press conference that the matter would be dealt with at the appropriate time. I do know this: Donnie Walsh himself ABSOLUTELY wants to finish the four-year job he set upon nearly three years ago.
Is it premature to think OKC Thunder can win it all this year?
Chris Sheridan (2:33 PM)
No, not at all. That will be a hard arena for a road team to win a deciding game at in Round One (and maybe Two), and the move of Serge Ibaka into the starting lineup after the Jeff Green trade has made them so much tougher of a defensive team. Perkins also has the attitude of a winner, something be developed in Boston, and KD is the most tremendous player that casual fans have not get discovered.
Did you see gerald wallace take on artest in the game in on friday. I think he added the toughness this team needs to win a playoff series. What do you Think
Chris Sheridan (2:34 PM)
Rich Cho made the best trade of deadline day, narrowly edging Sam Presti. And yes, Wallace can be the x-factor that wins them a series.
James (los angeles)
that was a great game by the thunder last night. my bias towards the lakers won't let me believe the playoffs would look differently tho. how do you see a seven game series between the lakers and the thunder going? the thunder don't look at all afraid of the champs anymore and perk looks like just what they needed to push them over the edge. the thunder didn't have perk last year but the lakers didn't have bynum.
Chris Sheridan (2:35 PM)
For all the reasons you mentioned, James, that series is No. 2 on my playoff wish list behind Knicks-Heat.
When does the voting for DPOY go down? Any Chance my man Tony Allen can make Dwight Howard sweat it out?
Chris Sheridan (2:38 PM)
All votes are due at the NBA office by noon Thursday. Tony Allen was my preseason pick to win the award, but I have him second on my ballot right now behind Dwight Howard because Dwight impacts so many more possessions defensively.
Spurs fans that actually watch the games (SA)
Compare duncan and randolphs PER please, and minutes played. Then go and look at our two losses and realize that Tony Parker was out for one of the losses, and Tim Duncan was out for the other. I know its the popular pick for you guys to say the spurs are gonna be upset in the first round, but trust me, its not gonna happen.
Chris Sheridan (2:39 PM)
All I am saying right now is it is a tough matchup for SA. I have not picked anyone in any series yet. (Those picks and those of my ESPN.com colleagues will be up Thursday afternoon).
Drew (North Carolina )
How do you think the bulls will do in the playoffs?
Chris Sheridan (2:43 PM)
Right now I think they have what it takes to get past Orlando in the 2nd round and make it to the ECF.
What do you think the vitriol will be like at Heat playoff games away from home? I can't wait to see what the atmosphere is going to be like at these games. All good mannered vitriol that is.
Chris Sheridan (2:46 PM)
I don't think it will be much of a factor at all. They have grown accustomed to it. What WILL be a factor if there is a Knicks-Miami series is the amount of vocal support the Knicks will get in the Heat's building. It was that way in the late 90s when the teams played four consecutive years, and it has the potential to be unsettling for the Heat. And having been with the Knicks nearly every day since the Melo deal went down, I can see how much both Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire feed off the support the Knicks have been getting on the road. Anthony was even gabbing with a bunch of fans in Knicks gear in the third row in Indianapolis last night as he was draining six 3-pointers. He is playing with an astounding level of confidence.
Do you think Jared Jeffries will break Charles Smith's record for most consecutive layups missed in a playoff game? Seriously, who do you think will be the starter at center come game 1. I think Ronny is the best bet.
Chris Sheridan (2:49 PM)
Depends on the opponent. If it is Miami, I think it'll be Shelden Williams. If it is Boston, I think the Knicks will go small and start Shawne Williams.
Phill (Los Angeles)
Simple question. Who is your pick to win it all?
Chris Sheridan (2:49 PM)
I am still picking the Los Angeles Lakers.
Will the Lakers still be "disinterested" after losing in the first round? Or is there something deeper...like age, lack of depth, etc.
Chris Sheridan (2:52 PM)
The Celtics finished 27-27 last year after their outlandishly good start, and they were OK in the playoffs, weren't they? The Lakers will be fine, they'll lose a few playoff games here and there, but they have the best front line in the NBA and they have Kobe. I wouldn't bet against them.
Is there any guard that can keep Derrick Rose out of the paint?
Chris Sheridan (2:55 PM)
The no hand-checking rules changes a few years ago have made it hard to keep ANY point guard out of the paint. Indiana has no one that can guard Rose, nor do Atlanta/Orlando. If it's Lakers-Bulls in the finals, I imagine we'd see ex-Bull Ron Artest getting that assignment. That one would be a treat to watch.
So I assume you don't think the Bulls have a chance against either Boston or Miami in the ECF? Why not? HCA should help a lot
Chris Sheridan (2:58 PM)
I am not convinced that Boston or Miami will make it there. The Knicks are a legitimate candidate to beat either of those teams in the first round. That doesn't mean I am picking them. But same point as with Grizzlies-Spurs: Those are first-round pairings that would generate tremendous games, IMHO.
Is there a center that can stop Dwight Howard?
Chris Sheridan (2:58 PM)
Yes. He got traded to Oklahoma City.
If you could choose a player to give offer a 7 year contract to, who would be the most deserving?
Chris Sheridan (2:59 PM)
Grizz Fan That Actually Watches Games (Memphis)
To the Spurs fan... and those games the Grizz didn't have Rudy... Keep making excuses... Beware the Bear!
Chris Sheridan (2:59 PM)
A Tennessee touche!
Chris Sheridan (3:01 PM)
That is a wrap, folks. Thanks to all of those who have been Monday afternoon regulars in my chats.