Chat with John Hollinger
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, NBA columnist John Hollinger will stop by to share his thoughts on all of the NBA news.
Send your questions now and join Hollinger Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
John Hollinger (2:06 PM)
Greetings from behind the grassy knoll. No, seriously; that's where I'm staying this week. Better yet, the view from my room looks out at a huge billboard of -- you guessed it -- the TMobile 4G girl.
What's your call? Heat in 6? If Dallas wins tonight, does that change your pick of the Heat (hopefully it changes the 'in 6' part)?
John Hollinger (2:07 PM)
I had Heat in 6 before the series started. Obviously the odds have increased somewhat of the series going 7. I still have a hard time seeing Dallas actually win this, but stranger things have happened. Heck, even in series between these two teams, stranger things have happened.
Cameron (Raleigh, NC)
Biggest surprise of the series so far?
John Hollinger (2:07 PM)
The bricks. Thought we'd have a lot more offense than we've seen thus far. And last game it was just shabby shooting more than defensive grit.
Is there an athlete in the history of sports as criticized as Lebron has been in the past year?
John Hollinger (2:08 PM)
Go back and look at what was written about Jordan before he won his first title. Adande and I were talking about this before Game 4 -- the criticism LeBron has faced is nothing compared to what the arrows shot at Jordan before he won his first title.
Fair to say if Dallas wins tonight they win the series?
John Hollinger (2:09 PM)
Given that Boston did the same thing a year ago and DIDN'T win the series, I'd say that's a major stretch. I think it's more accurate to say this is a must-win for Dallas, but one that guarantees them nothing.
What is the best Nash trade scenario for the Suns?
John Hollinger (2:10 PM)
As I've stated before, they need to trade him to Portland for Miller and Batum. Nash is at a point in his career where access to independent book stores and bike lanes are more important than a championship, and based on the Suns recent personnel decision history I'm sure they'd be happy to do this trade.
A) Isn't it completely unfair to question the heart of a 2-time MVP, who took less money to win? B) Should he play some 4 in game 5?
John Hollinger (2:10 PM)
A) No and B) Yes.
There has been a rumored Igoudala for Kaman trade. I think this trade would be amazing for the Clippers if it actually happens. Igoudala is exactly the kind of defensive stopper the Clips need. Do you think this trade will actually happen?
John Hollinger (2:11 PM)
I agree it would add a missing link for the Clippers, but I'd be shocked if it happened without the Clips sending more back Philly's way -- picks, kids, something.
Kareem (New York)
Without the awards and titles, do you think that Lebron is better than Jordan was at age 26?
John Hollinger (2:13 PM)
Nobody in the history of basketball was better than Jordan at 26. So, no, not LeBron either.
Isn't Iguodala is being underrated. Not sure any of these deals help the Sixers get better. Hedo? Monta? Kaman (not healthy)?
John Hollinger (2:14 PM)
It's more for tomorrow than today certainly. Idea is that Iggy's contract is OK now but could very well become an albatross in another year or two.
Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)
Has that trade even been thought about by Suns Mgmt or is that purely hypothetical?
John Hollinger (2:16 PM)
I know the Blazers have kicked the tires on a Nash deal in the past, but I have no idea how much interest there is from the Phoenix side. They still haven't committed to the idea of trading him at all, despite the rather gentle suggestion made that way by Nash's agent earlier this spring.
Ryan (San Mateo, Ca)
find any good craft beers in Dallas?
John Hollinger (2:17 PM)
I've always been partial to Shiner, which I'm not sure is technically a craft beer but goes down well in this heat. But the big surprise of this trip has been Modelo Especial -- I usually don't like my beer that light but with a plate of TexMex down here it's great.
Jared (Atlanta, GA)
Win or lose, Dirk has completely transformed his legacy in these playoffs, right?
John Hollinger (2:18 PM)
Which is crazy, because he's not really doing anything differently. It's just that the team around him is achieving more so people are noticing.
The T-Mobile girl's name is Carly Foulkes...
John Hollinger (2:19 PM)
Thanks, but you're about 48 hours behind ...
lone star beer!
John Hollinger (2:20 PM)
Another decent Texas brew. The thing about being here is that you can't possibly drink the thick, hearty beers like in the Pacific Northwest because it's 100 degrees every day. So a lot of the light, watery stuff that you'd dismiss in more northern places goes down really well in this climate.
Evil Chad (Grand Rapids, MI)
If the Mavs don't win the series, is it safe to say they should have traded Butler's expiring to Detroit for Prince? A rejuvinated Prince would have helped with defense AND corner 3s
John Hollinger (2:21 PM)
Remind me again why Detroit was going to agree to that?
too young to know what was said about Jordan before he won his first ring, could you fill me in?
John Hollinger (2:22 PM)
He was just a gunner, he didn't make his teammates better like Magic and Bird did, he'd never have their understanding or acumen, he couldn't deliver in big games like those other guys, yadda yadda yadda.
Ryan (San Mateo)
not a question, just wanted to say the TrueHoopTV segements you do w/ Abbott are great. Keep doing them!
John Hollinger (2:23 PM)
Thanks. Hopefully Doris Burke's back doesn't hurt too much from carrying us the other night.
Dusty (Hill, TX)
Do you see anymore tricks that Carlisle potentially has up his sleeve? Seems like throwing JJB in the starting line up is about it given that Peja is old Peja and Roddy B is new Roddy B (wears suits instead of basketball uni's). anything I missed?
John Hollinger (2:25 PM)
Only two cards left in the deck that I can see. One he almost certainly won't play is springing Roddy B on them. The other one that's left is playing Dirk at the 5, which strikes me as more palatable than letting Cardinal or a wounded Haywood on the floor. Wondering if we'll see that tonight, especially if Chandler gets fouls.
Paul (Columbus, OH)
Do you think Dwayne Wade's ridiculous finals performances are being unfairly ignored?
John Hollinger (2:25 PM)
Which team is Wade on again?
Jason Kidd's goose egg the other night: effective play without scoring, or just another sign that his time is running out?
John Hollinger (2:26 PM)
Kidd was awful. He had one of the lowest scoring rates in basketball this year, so he's not going to get points unless Miami doubles Dirk and gives him 3s. But the killer for me is the careless turnovers. Kidd has been prone to this throughout his career, but he's had some real howlers in this series.
Dwyane Wade (South Beach)
Doris' back?? What about mine from carrying around our 275-lb small forward?
John Hollinger (2:27 PM)
Well played. Wade has been fantastic, although partly by design -- he's had the more favorable matchup and Miami has played through him more.
RoytheBoy (Cleveland )
If Kidd wins a championship, does he move ahead of Nash on the list of all-time PGs?
John Hollinger (2:29 PM)
Why don't you go ahead and just stab Marc Stein in the chest? ... actually I don't know that a ring this year would change the calculus much unless Kidd actually contributes a bit more to it. It strikes me as a bit like discussing Mario Chalmers' legacy if the Heat win it.
Ryan (San Mateo, CA)
in today's PerDiem you touched on the two types of fatigue that could be affecting James. Even if it's type B, he can't play much worse than game 4, which is one of the reasons you have to favor Mia going forward, right?
John Hollinger (2:30 PM)
Two reasons to favor Miami. One is the reason you mentioned. The other is our Tom Haberstroh's discovery that Game 4 was Miami's worst outside shooting game of the entire season, and many of those were on clean looks. Can't imagine they miss so many again tonight.
John Hollinger (2:33 PM)
By the way -- tonight's officials are Joey Crawford, Mike Callahan and Bill Kennedy. I knew I could squeeze in one more Kennedy game before the end of the season. I'd set the over-under on double-techs at 3 with Crawford and Kennedy working the game.
Cory (St Paul, MN)
Since you're listing reasons Miami should win tonight, I thought I might throw out a reason the Mavs should win: Dirk won't have a fever. Is there anything else working for them?
John Hollinger (2:33 PM)
Dallas will shoot better too, and Haywood may be in a position to contribute more. I think we'll finally have a high-scoring game tonight; perhaps it will take a hundred to win.
Ouch...you just found a way to compare a future hall-of-famer with Mario Chalmers. I don't know if there's any way you can insult a PG more. If Jason Kidd reads this, you might expect a tearful response.
John Hollinger (2:34 PM)
there is -- I could have compared him to Bibby (rim shot). Man has he been awful.
Hi John. With Rubio signing, Rambis' changing the offense, and moving the second pick to get an established vet...do Wolves fans have even a small reason to be optimistic?
John Hollinger (2:35 PM)
It's worth a shot. They don't have any games scheduled for a while anyway, you might as well feel good in the mean time. Seriously, ponder this thought -- the NBA is rigged to allow any team, no matter how badly managed, to eventually escape the shackles of incompetence by repeatedly picking ahead of everyone else in the draft.
David Kahn (MN)
John Hollinger (2:36 PM)
Although there is still the KAAAAHN factor.
Steve (Mobile, AL)
Last week you said the thing you'd be looking at most in game 1 would be Dallas's ability to keep Terry on the floor. Through 4 games what's your assessment of how that question has been answered?
John Hollinger (2:37 PM)
Hugely positive for Dallas. Kidd has struggled to check Wade, but everybody does, and it hasn't been the kind of consistent, avert-your-eyes abuse that would force a lineup change.
Rian (Los Angeles, CA)
If The W's draft Biyombo, how much will their defense improve? Will they make the playoffs?
John Hollinger (2:38 PM)
W's defensive improvement will depend more on coaching staff than draft, but I wouldn't rule them out of playoffs next year. And I almost want them to get Biyombo just to see how many points they score when he and Udoh are in the frontcourt together. The only time they'd score is when a pass deflects off Udoh's hands close enough for Biyomobo to dunk it.
In your opinion, is Derrick Williams a 3 or a 4?
John Hollinger (2:39 PM)
I think he's a 4. Even if a 6-9 guy can play some 3 in his early 20s, by age 25 almost all of them have to play 4 full time. So you're evaluating his career path as a 4.
True or false, if Haslem didn't come back to play against Chicago, the Heat aren't even in the finals right now.
John Hollinger (2:40 PM)
I think that's probably true, yes.
What should the Thunder do this offseason? I dont think Presti's the guy who would dramatically overhaul the team i.e. trade Westbrook? Get a bench scorer and wait for Perk to get healthy?
John Hollinger (2:41 PM)
Correct -- anything OKC does will be around the edges. I expect them to extend Westbrook, either re-sign Nazr or get a similar inexpensive big to round out the rotation, and try to sign a long-range shooter to upgrade Cook. Oh, and I think they'll trade Nate Robinson.
Marissa (Las Vegas)
John, who's going to win the Stanley Cup?
John Hollinger (2:42 PM)
Dunno but looking forward to some pucks on the off night in Miami. Still coming to terms with the fact that somebody named "Tim Thomas" can be such a warrior.
Doesn't Durant play SF and he's 6'9. What gives?
John Hollinger (2:42 PM)
He's 84 pounds. Williams is a more typical build.
If the LeBron comes out tonight and scores 30+ is that a winning formula, or does that cut out D-Wade too much?
John Hollinger (2:44 PM)
"winning formula" -- is this Erik Spoelstra? Seriously, the Heat have shown that LeBron and Wade can both score big in the same game. They don't need James to dominate the ball on every play, but he can't shrink and hide like he did in Game 4 either.
Any chance the NBA returns to Vancouver within the next 10 years? What is the perception of Vancouver within the league?
John Hollinger (2:45 PM)
I would describe that as highly unlikely but NOT impossible. There is an arena, a large metro, and at least a tiny resorvoir of interest. Plus, it would receive an enthusiastic reaction from every writer who covers the league.
Brandon (New York)
How do you feel the officiating has been this series? I have watched every game and feel like, other than a few great flops the calls have been pretty good the whole series. Do you think LeBron's new aggressiveness will earn him calls or are his flops hurting him?
John Hollinger (2:47 PM)
Game 3 was horrible; Derrick Stafford shouldn't be working a Finals game. It was horrible in a way that was fair, but it was definitely poor. Other three games were fine.
Mike Bibby (Dallas)
Is there a reason I am still getting minutes?
John Hollinger (2:47 PM)
I argued in my PER Diem today that Miami should just start Chalmers and relegate Bibby to the same seat his former Kings teammate Stojakovic had for all but 2.5 seconds of Game 4.
Next years finals Grizzlies/Heat??
John Hollinger (2:48 PM)
I'll go Thunder-Heat at this point, but it's early. Still waiting to see what moves the other contenders make in both conferences.
Josh (Knoxville, TN)
Were the pronouncements that James is the best defender this side of Howard premature? Or were the breakdowns against Terry an aberration? I guess there's an in between option, as well.
John Hollinger (2:49 PM)
James really is an amazingly good defender, but asking 6-9 to stay with 6-2 is a tough assignment. I wonder if they'll put Wade on JT and give LeBron a little more rest on D tonight.
Lance (Pdx )
Hey John, I do think C Brewer needs some minutes, 8-10, put him on Wade for a stretch in 1st/2nd half, why not?
John Hollinger (2:51 PM)
If DeShawn is making his jumpers there's not much daylight for Brewer. He'll help Dallas next year but I'm not sure he has a role in this series unless there are foul issues. The one exception might be if the Mavs try to go small in late 1st or late 3rd and need both DeShawn and Brewer on court to pull it off.
Eddie House (Dallas)
Any chance Coach Spo dusts me off tonight? I could take some of Bibby's minutes right? Maybe I heat up?
John Hollinger (2:51 PM)
I would have said no chance at the start of the series. I'll upgrade the odds to 25% that we see House in the final three games.
Why not throw Z in to spread the floor some? He also is excellent rebounding the ball.
John Hollinger (2:52 PM)
Too great a defensive liability. Heat were getting rolled with him as a starter. Miami spotting his minutes verrrrry carefully these days.
Natalie (Moose Jaw)
The Raptors win 29.5 games next season. Over or Under?
John Hollinger (2:54 PM)
Man, I just realized how much it sucks being a Raptors fan. I'm sorry Canada. The NBA is usually a lot more fun than this, I swear.
According to 82games.com, the Mav's best 5 ranked 2-6 in per-48 plus-minus in the final 5 minutes of games and overtime this year. It's about time they started getting more credit for the job that THEY can do and not just blame it all on the Heat?
John Hollinger (2:55 PM)
Look, I agree that Dallas's closing 5 is a very strong unit and that has played into their comebacks. But Miami's offensive execution has been off-the-charts awful, and if you look the Heat's closing 5s had some real strong #s coming into the Finals too. That's why the Heat's failure is the bigger story.
Ring Tech (Houston)
This Mavericks team with a healthy Caron Butler doesn't make it back to the finals next year?
John Hollinger (2:57 PM)
Obviously they're going to be in the mix, especially if they have Butler or a reasonable replacement (we'll see what new cap rules let Dallas do). But if you compare the ages of the two teams, I mean ... you gotta think OKC's odds improve, right?
why isn't coach spo playing james jones? i think he'd be very effective for the heat.....
John Hollinger (2:58 PM)
Jones has a foot injury and I think it's more serious than they're letting on. Although weirdly they still dress him every game.
Do you see the heat getting Dalembert with the MLE next year? Of course if the cba allows it.
John Hollinger (2:59 PM)
I think he'd make an excellent target, yes, and between the lure of a winner and Miami's huge Haitian community I'd have to think the Heat are at or near top of his list.
Enjoy the rest of your time in our city!
John Hollinger (3:02 PM)
Thanks to everyone in Big D... and on that note, it's time to end this chat so I can visit the barber (no wisecracks please) and have a clean dome for TrueHoop TV tonight ... in the meantime check out all my in-game thoughts on Twitter at @johnhollinger and we'll do this again next week.