Chat with J.A. Adande
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com NBA writer, J.A. Adande, will stop by to chat about the NBA season.
Prior to working at ESPN, Adande was at the Los Angeles Times, where he started in 1997. He has been a frequent panelist on ESPN's "Around the Horn." He has covered every major pro championship, every major college bowl game, the Final Four, the Masters, Wimbledon and the Olympics, and his work has appeared in the "Best American Sports Writing" series.
Send in your questions now and stop by to talk with Adande at 3 p.m. ET on Friday!
J.A. Adande (3:00 PM)
Hello folks. Welcome to my first chat of the season. I've been to Lakers-Clippers, Suns-Clippers, caught Cleveland-Boston, Nuggets-Blzaers and Spurs-Bulls on TV. Also saw "This is It" last night, which is mandatory viewing for any Michael Jackson fan. Let's do this...
J.A. I wasn't that impressed with the Blazers at all in the opener. Brandon Roy is a stud, and they certainly have size. But what's the difference between this team and say the Atlanta Hawks? I think a lot of people are overrating Portland as a contender. I'm not sure they are one of the ten best teams in the league.
J.A. Adande (3:02 PM)
Well, the No. 1 difference is Brandon Roy. I'd take him over Joe Johnson or any other Hawk. But the Hawks can say they've won a playoff series, which this Portland group can't. And the Hawks can pretty much pick up where they left off last year, while Portland is still figuring out Andre Miller and having Greg Oden as a full-time starter. No, they didn't look great, but give them a little time. I love their depth.
HARRY (NEW ZEALAND)
You guys have never answered one of my questions!! people outside of america follow the nba aswell!. any way i read you article about amare stoudamire. Do you think there is any chance he gets traded to miami, chicago etc. he could be a great fit with d wade or d rose?
J.A. Adande (3:03 PM)
Ok, Harry. Now you can live as a satisfied man. I do think Amare could go to Miami. Nothing's imminent yet...you don't want to get stuck with him if he can't play the way he used to. But if Amare does well and the Suns don't, I think the Heat would be a good spot for him. I think they're thinking that too. (As Peter King might say)
mike (south bend, in)
if the bulls keep up such a balanced attack with tyrus thomas putting up decent and consistent but not huge all around stats, will it help him more than hurt him in his contract year if the bulls continue to win?
J.A. Adande (3:06 PM)
Winning always drives up your value. So does developing a jump shot, as Tyrus has. If they surpass last year's results it will put pressure on Chicago to sign him and keep the nucleus together.
Barry (Jacksonville, FL)
If the cavs trade Z for Jackson and Shaq stays healthy does Cleveland become the favorites to win the NBA championship?
J.A. Adande (3:07 PM)
Jackson wouldn't change the Cavs' limited offense. Or help them defend both KG and Sheed if they play Boston. He would be an asset, but wouldn't single-handedly change the landscape in the Eas.t
Sean (City of Angels)
JA -I thought Reggie Miller made a fantastic point the other night on the Lakers. He said the Lakers are the only team in the NBA that have 5 guys who can post up on the block (Pau, AB, Kobe, Lamar, Artest) and create easy shots for themselves or someone else. He said most teams in the NBA have 2 if they are lucky 3. Watching the Spurs last night I feel like the Lakers would DESTROY them. If TD play Pau, AB is going to go nuts and visa verca. The Lakers are so deep and have 5 guys who can create. No team can say that! The only team that can beat LA is LA! Scottie Pippen has it right. This is a special team
J.A. Adande (3:09 PM)
I'll use this question to get into the Denver queries I'm getting. Like a lot of people, I thought Denver would slide back this season. Someone has to if other teams (i.e. the Spurs) move up, right? Bt if SA is going to get limited production from Parker and Ginobili as they did last night, and Carmelo is going to be unstoppable as he was last night, then Denver can get back to the WCF
J.A. Adande (3:10 PM)
I can't wait for the first Lakers-Denver game. The Lakers had Denver completely solved in the last game and a half of their series. I want to see if that continues. Also, although Carmelo can score on anyone, I didn't like Portland's defensive matchups on him last night.
It might be only one game into the season, but the last time Jermaine O'Neal had as many points and rebounds in the same game was with the Pacers in 2007. With Beasley dropping 20 points for his sixth straight consecutive game and a possible JO-2.0, could Miami be a possible sleeper in the ECF?
J.A. Adande (3:12 PM)
If JO starts dropping 20 and 10 it changes everything down there. I still couldn't see Miami getting past Boston, Orlando or Cleveland to get to ECF, but second round of playoffs, yes.
Herman (LA, CA)
Thoughts on Artest so far? I don't care how well he fits on offense, LA doesn't need scorers. As much as I love Ariza, I think Artest changes the dynamic of the team for the better, regardless of his numbers. Watching the last preseason games against Denver, I noted how Melo looked frustrated that HE was being pushed around by Ron, whereas last year Bron, PP, Melo attacked Ariza (his help D and steals were his strength, not guarding big 3's 1 on1). With Artest, I don't think other teams face LA and think "these guys are soft" (of course, winning the title changes that too).
J.A. Adande (3:14 PM)
One of the biggest changes Artest has made is that they can post him up, which they didn't do with Ariza. By the design of the offense, it forces him to pause and look around when he gets the ball there, as opposed to starting dribbling. They were worried about him "stopping" the ball when he got it, but so far that hasn't been an issue. And if you check Carmelo's stat splits, some of his worst numbers were against Ron and Houston last year.
I know the Cavs falling to 0-2 is the bigger story, but Bargnani lit it up with 28 points, Bosh played big and added 16 rebounds, and the Raptors looked terrific on offense and defense (holding the Cavs to an awful shooting % with mostly contested shots). What will it take for the Raps to get some love? A win against Orlando on Saturday perhaps?
J.A. Adande (3:15 PM)
I thought coming in that it just might click for Toronto. Had them in the playoffs. And, Efrivela, that's when love is earned. No rings for wins in October.
J.A, should I be concerned with Millsap's body language in the Nuggets game? He seemed pouty and like all he cared about was offense, not the hustle that we've grown to love from him. Am I in for a long season with the Boozer/Millsap situation?
J.A. Adande (3:16 PM)
I think every Utah fan should be concerned until this Boozer thing is resolved. That's why I had Utah slipping out of the playoffs. I love D-Will and Sloan, but that's a strange situation there...and it doesn't make financial sense.
Daniel (Los Angeles)
I have so many questions and comments and concerns about the Clippers' season, but I'll try to just sum it up this way: What do you think about their start so far, and to what extent has/will Blake's absence affect this team?
J.A. Adande (3:19 PM)
Their energy is much better, Baron Davis is far more active, they're playing defense...but one the game becomes a matchup of half-court offense they fall apart. They didn't have the discipline to work for the best shot down the stretch vs. Phoenix, and couldn't get stops. Their frontcourt depth will help them absorb the loss of Griffin, but they could use his energy...and the team needs the hype of the No. 1 pick on the court.
Nick Spadafore (Syracuse NY)
JA! whats going on? Any chance the Nuggets could move K MART in a trade that would send him to GSW, GSW send Jack + Turiaf to CAVS and then BigZ and Hickson to Nuggets? It seems like my Nuggets are 1 back up big guy away from getting over the hump of the Lakers and Blazers twin towers affect....your thought?
J.A. Adande (3:21 PM)
I think Den would be better off with the scoring of Jackson then bringing in another big. Remember, they lost Kleiza. Love me some Ty Lawson though.
Do the Suns have any chance of sneaking into the west race this year or is Nash just too old?
J.A. Adande (3:23 PM)
Nash still had enough to get his squad by the Clippers, but this team is no longer superior in any one area. They used to get away with their defensive issues because they had a much more efficient offense. But they were getting outshot by LA most of the night. They don't have enough shooters, can't get enough easy baskets to just overwhelm teams with O anymore.
Who is the player added this off season that puts their team over the edge? Rasheed Wallace, Ron Artest, Richard Jefferson, Vince Carter, Shawn Marrion? Notice I didn't put Shaq.
J.A. Adande (3:23 PM)
I think Rasheed is the single biggest difference-maker.
The Magic and Stan Van Gundy both looked like they were in midseason form?? Your thoughts???
J.A. Adande (3:25 PM)
It's not Stan Van's midseason form I'm worried about. He's one of the best coaches in the league from October-to-April. Will he make the right moves in the playoffs? That's the issue. He had a bad FInals. But he has more options this year, so maybe it will lead to better (or can't-miss) decisions.
Nathaniel Maund (Shaker Heights, OH)
What do you make of the Cap'n Jack to Cavs rumor? First, how likely do you think it is to go down, and second, would Jackson (and his contract) be worth it for the Cavs?
J.A. Adande (3:27 PM)
It's one of those rumors that just won't go away, that has not been shot down by either of the particulars, so there's something to it. It's a lot of money to take on, but I think any expense is worth it if it makes it more likely that LeBron stays.
Will the Iverson trade go down as the NBA equivalent of the Herschel Walker trade- energized one team and hurt another?
J.A. Adande (3:29 PM)
It's different in that the Herschel Walker trade helped stockpile the Cowboys with talent, will Billups' arrival in Denver changed the culture. The Cowboys were able to lay a foundation for the future with the players they acquired. Billups is more about right now.
A lot of noise in the off season about the Cleveland Cavaliers and the acquisition of Shaq. Should the Cavs be worried? We all know Lebron needs to dominate the ball to be most effective. Thoughts
J.A. Adande (3:31 PM)
Concern yes, panic no. Shaq can be as difficult to adjust to playing with as he is to play against. So let them work that out. The main issue is how LeBron-dependent they've been. That wasn't supposed to be the case this year. He can't keep playing 45-minute games.
The Cavs didn't start out great, but they have the best player in the game, and if things don't work out they have 30 million dollars in expiring contracts (Shaq+Z). Isn't it a bit early for people to write them off?
J.A. Adande (3:34 PM)
Yes it is too early. But the expiring contracts don't factor into this season, and all the cap space in the world won't help if they lose LeBron, because there isn't another LeBron out there. Even if they brought in Wade, it's not the same as LeBron.
Can Ty Lawson be a potential darkhorse to win rookie of the year? Once JR Smith is back Karl has to play Lawson over Carter, right?
J.A. Adande (3:36 PM)
If Lawson gets more minutes with the first unit it means more minutes with Carmelo, who will (and should) be dominating the ball. So I don't think Lawson would get enough of a statistical bump to vault into a top ROY pick.
J.A. Adande (3:37 PM)
Here's what I don't get: weren't people complaining about Cleveland's offense last year? So how much could Kuester's loss hurt?
J.A. Do you see any of the 2010 Free agent class (Outside of Amare) becoming trade bait early if their teams start out slow?
J.A. Adande (3:38 PM)
Chris Bosh...but the Raptors didn't exactly start slow this week, did they?
Do you see Marcin Gortat getting trade and if so for who/
J.A. Adande (3:40 PM)
One of the justifications for matching that big contract offer was that they could always use a quality big man as a trading piece. But if they're going to play this well it doesn't make sense to break up the squad.
Baron (Los Angeles)
We put in a lot of work this summer, we got Blake, Zach's gone, and now we promise to have an improved season in which we're competitive. But if we fail miserably again, am I the first to go? Is this team going to get blown up?
J.A. Adande (3:43 PM)
If the Clippers go south Dunleavy will be the first to go. Easiest move to make. Camby would be the easiest to trade, although they'd like to move Kaman.
Does Baron Davis looke like a Teddy Graham?
J.A. Adande (3:44 PM)
More like Teddy Pendergrasshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pGrB_ebzJE
Thoughts on Anthony Randolph? Ive heard comparisons to KG, TMAC and Josh Smith (per your own John Hollinger). Your thoughts and have you seen him in person yet?
J.A. Adande (3:47 PM)
I loved Randolph since I first saw him in summer league last year. I've seen him live in the summer more than the regular season, since Nellie didn't play him that much when GS was down in Staples Center. (Thanks Nellie). But he has more range than KG, he's taller than TMac, more versatile than Josh Smith.
Paris Hilton (Beverly Hills)
So I see Shaq's applying to be a sheriff in CLE. Maybe he should like, I don't know, concentrate on basketball? Agree or disagree?
J.A. Adande (3:49 PM)
There's only so much basketball to be played. Would you rather he spend his off time driving around in a squad car or hanging out in the clubs?
How about K-Mart for Ilgauskas? Others would need to be involved for cap reasons but this gives the Cavs a better match-up against Sheed/KG and let's the Nuggets move Nene to his natural PF position.
J.A. Adande (3:50 PM)
I think Z would slow down Denver. wouldn't be a good fit.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
I think Washington has the depth and a driven star like Arenas to make it to the ECF, your thoughts?
J.A. Adande (3:51 PM)
I know they've matched up well with Boston in the past, but I don't see them beating the Celts in a 7-game series. Can't see them getting Orlando or Cleveland either.
Antwan (San Diego)
Why haven't the Charlotte Bobcats improved over the course of their existence?
J.A. Adande (3:53 PM)
Lack of luck (no Franchise Players there for them in the draft) and lack of loot. Hard to win when the ownership isn't spending money to upgrade the team.
James (Los Angeles)
Do you think the Spurs are over-hyped at all? Especially the R-Jeff pickup. I've never seen him as a great defender, and he seems to be batter in faster paced, uptempo offenses (like the Nets w/ JKidd).
J.A. Adande (3:55 PM)
Of all the teams that bear waiting out, San Antonio is the one that deserves the most patience. You really think Pop is sweating an October game in Chicago? So don't bail on them yet.
J.A. what's your thoughts on the possibility of a huge NBA Free Agent Summer? Is it going to happen or is just a lot of talk? And if so, where do you see some of the bigger names going?
J.A. Adande (3:56 PM)
I think it will wind up being more talk than action. When it comes down to it, how many of the big names will be willing to give up some $30 million to sign with another team? How many teams with cap space won't be good enough to attract a big free agent? But I do think you'll see a "secondary break" -- trades by teams with cap space who didn't land a big FA.
What are you dressing up as for Halloween?
J.A. Adande (3:57 PM)
Had to give a tribute to the greatest entertainer of our lifetime and buy the Thriller getup
J.A. Adande (3:57 PM)
red jacket, not the white suit from the album cover
Is Carmelo quicker and more explosive this year? Sure seems like it.
J.A. Adande (3:58 PM)
He does look leaner, doesn't he? Meaner, too. I like that.
JA whats your thoughts on rose? looks to me like he is satisfied with being a facilitator and maybe just knocking down some shots/taking it to the hole when they need some momentum.
J.A. Adande (3:59 PM)
Exactly. they have plenty of guys who can score. But they don't have plenty of guys who can completely reverse field and make Tony Parker look foolish, like DRose did in the lane
For the record, that is 6th Cavs question so far. That's a lot of attention for a team that hasn't earned any of this respect.
J.A. Adande (4:04 PM)
Sorry, but the Cavs are THE story of the first week. Team had best record and best player in the league last year, made a trade for one of the biggest names of this generation and drops first 2 games...with the biggest free agency market in 14 years looming? Most interesting team of week 1 by far, in what has actually been a fascinating opening
J.A. Adande (4:04 PM)
For the record: Wiz looking good, Carmelo looking dominant, Orlando clicking early, Jonny Flynn's good start, return of Jermaine O'Neal, all fascinating. But Cleveland's the story.
"expiring contracts don't factor into this season?" Do you follow the NBA? Teams are desperate to shed large contracts, especially since the salary cap continues to decline and more teams face the possibility of having to pay the luxury tax. Expiring contracts most certainly will come into play come February, and the Cavs have 30 million to offer some cash strapped team(s).
J.A. Adande (4:06 PM)
You really think the Cavs will be better off if they spend a half season adusting to Shaq, then move him at the deadline and drastically retool their team? Does that sound like the formula for winning a championship?
Hey J, you hear about JJ Reddicks supposed Rap debut coming soon? Given his poetry, can it be worse then Ron Rons cds?!
J.A. Adande (4:07 PM)
In retrospect, THAT is the story of week 1. JJ Redick, aspiring rapper
J.A. Adande (4:08 PM)
Gotta run, folks. Thanks for all of your questions. See you next week.