Chat with Chris Sheridan
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, NBA writer Chris Sheridan will stop by to take your questions!
Sheridan has been covering the NBA for over 10 years. Since joing the ESPN.com staff in October of 2005, Chris has been providing in-depth reporting and commentary on the NBA scene for ESPN Insider.
Send your questions now and join Sheridan Monday at 3 p.m. ET!
Chris Sheridan (3:04 PM)
Good afternoon from New York, and Happy Buyout Day! Michael Finley and Mark Blount are newly minted free agents, as is former Marquette sharpshooter Travis Diener (FYI: current Marquette sharpshooter Lazar Haywood knocked down his first four shots from behind the arc yesterday in the Warriors' OT win at Seton Hall). Still awaiting word on buyouts for guys like Mike James and Tony Battie, and teams have until 11:59 p.m. tonight to waive a player while allowinghim to remain playoff-eligible for another team. Send in your quetions. Any and all topics are welcome. Off we go ...
Joe C. (Charlotte)
Thoughts on Bobcats? Will they make playoffs?
Chris Sheridan (3:06 PM)
Yes, I think they'll make the playoffs, but their big man situation is a mess right now with Theo stating, Nazr hour-to-hour with a bad back and Chandler now entering his 3rd month of not playing after being diagnosed with a 1-2 week injury. If they get Larry Hughes, he will help. LB likes having a player like him coming off the bench who can score, and he needs one to replace Flip Murray. It's a nine-team race in the East, and I don.t see the Bobcats as the team dropping out.
Wizards fans (DC)
Who is this guy playing PF for the Wizards? Not sure we've seen him before.
Chris Sheridan (3:08 PM)
You mean the monster otherwise known as Andray Blatche? Saw him put up his career-high last night at the Meadowlands, where the Nets kept defending him with Yi Jianlian instead of Brook Lopez. Quite the head-scratcher. Yes, Blathe has seemingly been around forever, but remember he came to the pros straight from high school, so he'd be a rookie if he had attended four years of college.
With it being reported that Marc Blount is being released by the Wolves, do the Mavs pick him up after the Big Z got cold feet on the Mavs and decided to stay with the lackluster Cavs?
Chris Sheridan (3:11 PM)
I had a team guy tell me today that he thinks Blount stands a better chance than Battie of getting signed, and that's if Battie indeed does a buyout. I find that hard to believe, given that Blount basically hasn't played in two years and has somewhat of a bad rep, whereas Battie was the guy Stan Van Gundy turned to, over Marcin Gortat, to play in the Twin Towers alignment alongside dwight Howard when the Magic was desperate in Game 5 against the Lakers. for more on Battie, see today's Daily Dime. I spoke to him, and he said he could be a "P.J. Brown type of player" for someone.
How do you think Shaq will fill in for the Cavs come playoff time, will it be an easy transition or will the team struggle with him being absent for such a long period of time? Do you have any thoughts on if this will actually strengthen the Cavs while learning how to fill in for the big man? Sure hope Z ends up back in Cleveland!
Chris Sheridan (3:14 PM)
Shaq is basically there to be used against Dwight Howard and/or Kendrick Perkins in the postseason, and I think his absence will actually benefit the Cavs over the remainder of the regular season because they won't have to switch up their game when he's in there. They still have enough size until Z returns, especially with Powe finally healthy. So I wouldn't worry too much about the Shaq factor if I was a Clevelander. Besides, Clevelanders already have enough to worry about. :)
Any thoughts on Jason Kidd drawing the foul from Woodson during the Hawks game? Was it 'cheap' or a great veteran move?
Chris Sheridan (3:16 PM)
I choose great veteran move. I can see where some would say it was somewhat bush league, but coaches have been straying too far onto the court for too long (Phil Jackson always used to complain about Jeff Van Gundy doing it during Knicks-Bulls series), and I think Kidd might ernd up being the person who indirectly puts a halt to it.
Justin G (DC)
I'm suddenly scared of Dallas. Look how many all star games their starting 5 has career wise. With Haywood having arguably the best year of his career, should LA be frightened as well?
Chris Sheridan (3:20 PM)
In terms of immediate success possibilities, they made the best moves of any team in the West (I still give the nod to Houston for reaping the most long-term benefits.) Seven straight wins is nothing to shake a stick at, but like every other contending team in the West, I ask myself if that team could beat the Lakers in 7 without home-court advantage? And the answer is always no.
Hey Chris - love your chats. What do you make of Shannon Brown's role with the Lakers? Is he a keeper? He seems to be a bit of a chucker, but when he gets the minutes, does ok. Help me - is he a part of the "plan"?
Chris Sheridan (3:23 PM)
He had a very nice stint when Kobe sat out around All-star, and the Lakers had been saying since trainijng camp how much they like him, it's just that the minutes weren't going to be there because he's pretty much a pure shooting guard. I think the next step for him is to get in the habit of making his first shot a good, high-percentage shot. Like you said, he tends to run hot-and-cold, so that first shot for streaky guys is always key.
Odds on the Cavs going small and running to the best record in the NBA, then trying to shoe horn Shaq and Z into a lumbering playoff rotation and getting tossed aside in the conference finals again?
Chris Sheridan (3:26 PM)
again, I think it may be a blessing in disguise, because shaq is not slowing them down now, and they're getting experience playing without him. Let's face it, they don;t really need him against half the playoff teams in the East. But against Orlando (and Boston), he is a HUGe key on defense. Anything he gives them on offense is gravy.
Tizzo (Brooklyn, NY)
Is it just me or do you like the Antawn Jamison trade more now that Shaq is injured? Assuming Big Z re-signs w/ Les Cavs, having another offensive weapon while Shaq is on the mend in crucial if Cle wants to fight off LA for the best record overall. They are going to struggle at the 5 for some time, but they may actually match up better w/ Charlotte (possible 1st round opponent) w/o Shaq in the line-up. Or am I just another dillussional Cavs diehard?
Chris Sheridan (3:30 PM)
If Charlotte has Nazr, Chandler and Ratliff all available and healthy in the playoffs, they can stick with the Cavs -- but they'll have to keep Varejao from being the game-changer on the boards that he usually is. They are an intriguing matchup for Cleve, probably the toughest of the bunch from the Tor/Chi/Mil/Cha/Mia fivesome competing for spots 5-8.
Who will be the best guard from this draft class in 5 years?
Chris Sheridan (3:30 PM)
Jordan P (Milwaukee)
Can the Bucks keep up their great play as of late? And where do you see them finishing in the East? Thanks
Chris Sheridan (3:33 PM)
I think they are better than both Toronto and Chicago, so I guess that means I have to say they should be fifth when it's all said and done. getting Salmons for nothing was a superb move, and Bogut has really been impressive through this recent stretch. They are also sneaky deep with ridnour and Stackhouse, and Skiles is sharp as a tack. So, yeah, I guess I can see them finishing fifth.
mike steele (strasburg ohio)
Do u think the Cavs will re-sign Z.
Chris Sheridan (3:36 PM)
Yes I do. He lives in Cleveland, has a wife and two young kids living there, and he bleeds wine and gold. I think it would take someone offering their entire mid-level exception (which, by the way, does NOT have to be pro-rated) to get him to change his mind (Atlanta still has its full mid-level, as does Utah, but the Jazz aren't investing $11.6 million -- salary plus luxury tax -- on Z), but I believe his mind is already made up and he'll be back with Cavs by the end of this month.
Is Gallinari all hype or just too wet behind the ears? I know the criticism re his play since T-Mac's arrival, but in general he has not been consistent.
Chris Sheridan (3:37 PM)
Looks like he's hitting the sophomore wall, which is akin to the rookie wall for Gallo cuz he sat out most of his rookie year. He's also having to play a lot inside on defense because the Kniks are so small, and I think the physicality down there is taking a toll on him.
who do u think will need to step up the most for the cavs with shaq now out?
Chris Sheridan (3:38 PM)
J.J. Hickson, because Anderson will play center, and Powe isn't ready to play extended minutes yet.
Whats up Chris, Follow up on the Blatche question. Is he a KG like talent? Hes extremely skilled for someone his size, tough, and competitive. Hits the Jumper, passes great for his size, handles the ball, and makes his free throws. Can he be that a franchise like player? And how much more attractive does his play make for a Free Agent thinking about coming to DC in the Summer?
Chris Sheridan (3:40 PM)
Tough to compare anyone to KG because you have to factor in the intensity level and ladership that Kevin brings to the table, qualities that I'm not sure Andray possesses. But put him up against Yi every night and he'd be battling for the scoring title.
Did you hear comments from the Celtics that they're "bored" with the regular season. Could they be reminiscent of the Spurs teams that coasted a bit in the regular season before turning it on in the playoffs? Seems like those Spurs teams finished the season strong, where as the Celtics just got whooped by the worst team in the league.
Chris Sheridan (3:43 PM)
They are certainly having their issues, and they haven't had much success integrating Nate Robinson. I found it incredible strange when I was up there Thursday night for Cavs-Celts that when Doc Rivers played Nate and Rajon Rondo together, he had Nate running the point and Rondo playing off the ball. But for all the panic that is running rampant in Boston, plz remind yourselves that Paul Pierce hasn't been playing. He's kinda good.
Josh (Lancaster, PA)
Ray Allen is 34 and is a free agent this summer. Paul Pierce is 32 and has one year left on his deal. Kevin Garnett is 33 and has 2 years left. What does the future hold for the Big 3?
Chris Sheridan (3:48 PM)
It should be noted that Pierce has an opt-out. and while it might be tough for him to walk away from a $21 million salary, it is not an impossibility. Anyway, the Celtics kind of rolled the dice when they got KG and Ray, figuring they had a three-year window, maybe four years. So we're nearing the end of that phase, but I wouldn't give up on the C's chances in the postseason if they're all healthy. Unless, of course, they face the Hawks. :)
Scott (San Antonio)
Would the Spurs do better if Jefferson got 15-20 shots per game?
Chris Sheridan (3:49 PM)
They have already figured out the answer to that question, which is why Keith Bogans is a starter in S.A. and R.J. isn't.
Nadim (NEw York)
Who will win the MVP?
Chris Sheridan (3:51 PM)
This debate is heating up, and I have a ballot with three names vying for the top three spots: LBJ, Kobe and Kevin Durant. I do not have them in any particular order at this point, because I think doing so in early-March distorts your perception prior to mid-April when you can judge them on a larger body of work. But it's a three-hoss race.
Jay Triano (Toronto)
Which teams have a chance of a S&T with Toronto when Bosh desides to bolt?
Chris Sheridan (3:52 PM)
When are you going to put Reggie Evans in the starting five so teams will stop treating you like patsies?
Why is all the talk in the West still LA vs. Denver. Why isnt Dallas getting the respect they deserve?
Chris Sheridan (3:54 PM)
Because until the trade the the current seven-game winning streak, they were a legit middle-of-the-pack team. And before all you Utahans start chiming in, I think they deserve a respectful nod, too. WC playoffs are going to be a treat.
Are you serious Chris?! The MVP is a one horse race. LeBron James is averaging a career high in assists to go along with his 30ppg and 7rpg. He's improved his FT and 3pt %s and he keeps improving on defense. Oh yeah and he's about to lead his team to the most wins in the NBA again, even with key injuries to key players. How is this even a question?
Chris Sheridan (3:55 PM)
Well, as I said Marco, I don't make up my mind on March 1. But if I did, I would adopt your argument.
Nadim (NEw York)
Will D'Antoni quit if the Knicks don't get anybody good this offseason? He seems miserable.
Chris Sheridan (3:57 PM)
He is not miserable. he is tired of the losing, but he knew this was what he was signing up for -- two straight throwaway years, followed by two years of rebuilding around a max or two max free agents. He's actually kept his good humor quite well.
If you could pick between the 2 to build a team around who would you choose, Deron Williams or Brandon Roy. Which is more valuable to his current team?
Chris Sheridan (4:00 PM)
DWill, because I've seen him perform under Olympic pressure. He has no flaws.
Chris Sheridan (4:01 PM)
That is a wrap, folks. The days are getting longer, spring is getting nearer, and so are the playoffs. In the meantime, enjoy Marquette's unlikely march to the NCAA championship.