Chat with Chuck Cooperstein
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPNDallas.com Dallas Mavericks reporter Chuck Cooperstein stops by to chat about the NBA season.
Cooperstein is in his sixth season as the radio play-by-play voice of the Mavericks for ESPN 103.3 FM in Dallas, where he has been since the station's inception in 2001. Cooperstein, a regular on the Dallas/Fort Worth sports scene since 1984, co-hosts the "Coop & Nate" show with Nate Newton weekday afternoons. His extensive sports broadcasting background includes play-by-play stints with TCU and the University of Texas football, as well as TCU, Texas A&M and SMU basketball.
Send your questions now and join Cooperstein Thursday at noon ET/11 a.m. CT!
Chuck Cooperstein (12:01 PM)
Well how about that! Time for the Mavericks to take care of some unfinished business. And time for your questions
Great game by the Mavs, but I think what's not given enough credit, is the Matrix's performance. Great D on Durant, and scoring 26 points, just like his old days in Phoenix huh?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:02 PM)
He's getting plenty of love. And he deserves every bit of it. This was the Phoenix version of "The Matrix." Spectacular stuff from him
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that the Dallas Mavericks will be NBA Champions?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:03 PM)
Yes I do. I don't think there is anything stopping this train right now, even with a significant impediment in the way
Eddie (College Station)
Even though it looks like the heat are about to win the series, which team out in the east do you think the mavs match up better with?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:07 PM)
It's close, but I think they actually matchup better with Miami, although with Asik now out of Chicago's lineup the Bulls lose a guy who really hurt the Mavs with his defense and rebounding as part of that energetic second unit. They have handled LeBron really well over the last few years. Wade hasn't truly gone off. No team played the Mavericks better this year than Chicago did, but Miami is playing great right now. In the end, to the Mavs, I don't think it really matters
It looked like Dallas was a little tired last night. Like their legs weren't under them. Was OKC that quick or was age catching up to Dallas? Do you see that as a problem in the next series (quickness) rather its Chiago or Miami? I know that Derrick Rose is quick but team wise. I haven't seen a team that as quick as OKC.Chicago has Rose and he's quick but they are not a quick team in my eyes. What do you think???? GO MAVS
Chuck Cooperstein (12:08 PM)
I don't think Dallas was tired at all last night. I think OKC did some exceptional things (Especially Westbrook and Harden driving it in the second and third quarters). And wouldn't being tied manifest itself in the fourth quarter more than at any other time? That's when the Mavericks were at their best
I feel we win the series if we can just figure out how to shutdown one of the big three, since they don't really have any bench supporting help. Whats your take?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:11 PM)
Again, assuming it's Miami, the Mavs do have a better bench, but they have to play better than they did against OKC for it to matter. Both Jason Terry and Peja struggled shooting it against the Thunder. They need to get it going so Dirk doesn't have to shoulder a heavier load. But kudos to JJ Barea for his play in the series, and Brendan Haywood, especially in the last two games going 10-14 from the free throw line. Absolutely huge in such tight games
I know, you have been answering questions about this over the entire finals run...but please, one last time- Does Caron have a chance to play after another week of rest for the team?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:11 PM)
Why do you keep asking when you know what the answer is? He's not playing
Wilmer (Puerto Rico)
How about more playing time for Brewer, if we face the Heat? Your thoughts
Chuck Cooperstein (12:12 PM)
Nope. He'll play if there's early foul trouble on Marion. That's it
John Goodwin (Jonesville, VA)
I just don't see Dirk going around the likes of Haslem, Bosh, or gulp, LeBron
Chuck Cooperstein (12:16 PM)
Nope, he won't be able to drop step around those guys (maybe Bosh) the way he did Ibaka. Instead, he'll just turn to the baseline and get off a sweet mid range jumper. Bosh, certainly isn't a great defender, and I'd be shocked to see Haslem get the minutes that Collison got in the WCF. Having said that, Dirk doesn't let the smaller guys get into him the way Haslem did at times in the 06 Finals
Alot of people are saying Dirk is at the top of his game, but I fell its only because there just now seeing this play on tv with the only nba game on at that time. Dirks been doing this game in and game out, do you agree or disagree?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:17 PM)
Agree. He's been an elite player for a long time. A player capable of carrying a heavy load. He's getting a little more help from his friends this time around. And the trust that Dirk has in those guys is taking this team a long way
Well, Dirk's better than Bosh, Kidd beats their point guard, TC is better than no center, but how do we match up with the other 2 heatles?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:20 PM)
It's not like Miami has been some type of offensive juggernaut. They're averaging just 94 points in the post season and shooting under 45 percent. Wade is in a major shooting slump right now. And I'm not sure just how creative their offense is. You'll have the same concepts that the Mavs used to try to slow down the Lakers and OKC talent. it's not one on one stuff. it's about the tea, concept. And having a big guy on the floor at all times is essential. We know what Chandler can do, and Haywood has given them quality backup minutes. Miami can't match that
Stephen (McGregor TX)
Is there anything Dallas can do strategically to help get Peja out of his shooting funk?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:21 PM)
I don't think so. He's getting great looks. Just not going in the last five games, the way they did in the Lakers series. The mavericks are not going to go away from him, they always believe the next shot is going in
Coop, You were right again. Less than 13 turnovers and Dallas wins......My Congrats to you. Also, Am I the only one that likes the fact that Dirk did not stay around to celebrate on the court. The man sure is focused!
Chuck Cooperstein (12:23 PM)
They're all focused right now. No confetti falling in the AAC after the win. There's only one time they want that to happen. And the 13 turnover number has become huge in the post season. The Mavericks are 10-1 when they have 13 or fewer in the playoffs. 2-2 when it's more.
If the Mavs win the title, is Carlisle a Hall of Fame Coach? Three different teams to the conference finals, one title is pretty impressive.
Chuck Cooperstein (12:26 PM)
I think Rick would have to coach quite a while longer in order to get there. But the accomplishment is more than just notable. I've talked a lot about how this team has a lot of really accomplished players who have one gaping hole in the resume. The same goes for the coach. He easily could have won a title at either of his stops had circumstances not conspired against him. I think we're all watching someone pretty special coach this team, and I'm not just saying that because the Mavs have reached this point. It didn't take long in his first few games to see that this guy is just a little smarter than the average bear
shareef, london UK [via mobile]
When is tha first game of the finals meant to start? And don't u think we should sign future all star shannon brown?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:27 PM)
The Finals will start on Tuesday if Miami wins tonight. Otherwise they will start next Thursday in either Miami or Chicago, both of whom had a better record than the Mavericks in the regular season. And why on Earth, should the Mavericks be interested in Shannon Brown?
Udonis Haslem (Miami)
I try to convince myself I can guard Dirk like 06', but Dirk didn't have that ridic one legged fade away back then.
Chuck Cooperstein (12:28 PM)
I always knew you, as a fellow Gator, were a smart guy
If the Heat advance, who on the Mavericks roster will guard LeBron James?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:31 PM)
Marion will start out. I'm sure Stevenson will get a turn or two (Remember their times against one another during those VERY contested Cleveland-Washington series a few years back). And who knows, especially with LeBron handling it out front as much as he does, maybe Kidd will take a turn or two. But again it's about the team concept of the Mavs. The combination of man and zone that they run that will hopefully carry the day for them
Heat have been playing a lineup with no point guard. How does Dallas match up with that? Who does Terry guard? Will this impact Barea's minutes?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:35 PM)
I think you'll see quite a bit of the zone in this series. At least until LeBron and/or Mike Miller show them that it's a foolish thing to do. I think Miami, if they play a big lineup will still have to find a way to keep JJ out of the lane when he plays pick and roll with Dirk. JJ got more minutes than usual. I think in the end, he and Chalmers wind up playing about the same number of minutes. And I'll take Barea in that match
Coop. How much of your calls are thought out before hand (like at the end of games), or is it all 100% off the cuff? Awesome calls man, the replays always give me chills.And do you agree, the way this has been going...it almost feels a little like destiny is on the side of the Mavs. We didn't have too many streaks of winning 9 out of 10, and we've done it in the playoffs against the Blazers, Lakers, and Thunder. Crazy.
Chuck Cooperstein (12:36 PM)
It's off the cuff. I don't believe in scripting anything because what I'm watching is totally unscripted. Why would I try to fight that? I appreciate your kind words.
What's this I hear about Lebron playing defense on Dirk and being effective? Is there any truth to this?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:39 PM)
I don't remember LeBron playing much on Dirk in the two games this year. But LeBron is playing some pretty standout defense. Mike Brown taught him well in Cleveland, and even if you go back to the Olympics, Coach K always lavished praise on his defense. As much as you may hate to admit it. The guy is still just 26 years old. Just entering his prime years in the league as a complete player. The Decision was ridiculous. It doesn't mean he's not great. He is.
Does Kidd guard LeBron or Wade at the end of games?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:41 PM)
Probably Wade. But who knows? Watching Marion put a stranglehold on Westbrook down the stretch last night tells me Rick Carlisle wouldn't hesitate to put him on Wade if he had to.
Albert Lai (Hong Kong)
Coop, I have been listening to you live at work (we are 13 hours ahead) great job, love your play by play. What are your thoughts on the Mavs not getting home court advantage in the finals?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:43 PM)
It's tough but not insurmountable. These are two two best road teams in the NBA. Both were 28-13 this season. Both have been tremendous at home in the playoffs. Dallas is 7-1 and Miami 8-0. But with the Mavs five game playoff winning streak and playing in some incredibly hostile venues like Portland and OKC, I don't thing the surroundings will intimidate them. I'm sure they're going to win once there, and wouldn't be surprised if they won twice on the road
Billy [via mobile]
My favorite part about Carlisle is the interviews! He always looks shocked and confused by the questions but everyone knows he's not
Chuck Cooperstein (12:45 PM)
Your questions to him have to be pretty precise. When they are you get great answers. Lesson learned after doing over 300 pre game interviews with him over the last three years
I actually prefer is matchup for the heat instead of the Thunder. Don't make the mistake of judging what you saw early on in the regular season between these two teams. Look at Boston and now with Chicago. You don't have Caron anymore. He was the leading scorer in the first game. Dirk has been phenomenal but you don't have the quality of team D like Miami does. Miami is much more athletic and frankly, at the end of the day, Miami has 3 superstars vs Dallas' 1. Heat in 5 or 6. If you think Dallas is winning this series, you are a dreamer...
Chuck Cooperstein (12:45 PM)
Let me dream
Badjoe43 (Greenwich Ct.)
Against the Heat, who do you think has the coaching advantage?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:48 PM)
I think that Carlisle draws the edge, but i don't think it will be as pronounced as it was in the last series. I think Spoelstra is a sharp guy and he deserves a lot of credit for being able to manage a team of huge egos and get them to play the way he wants them to. Frankly, it's the essence of coaching. But Carlisle is just so calm. His players have taken that from him. No situation, no matter how mad, seems too much for them to handle. Coach gets credit for that too
Considering how well Jason Kidd has performed in the post-season, how many years do you think he will be able to play effectively?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:49 PM)
He's got one more year on his contract. He can certainly play at the level that he is right now. Especially with how well his minutes have been managed. His game is what it is right now so I guess he can play for as long as he continues to enjoy it. Didn't John Stockton play until he was 41? Kidd could probably do that too if he wanted
Mavs have obviously been great at finishing throughout the playoffs this year (sans the aberration in portland). Do you think that quality translates to the bigger picture of finishing the season/playoffs by raising their game another level for the finals?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:52 PM)
Let's get something clear here. The Mavericks did NOT play great in this series. They had some rousing moments which carried the day, but their offense is in a bit of a slump having not shot above 43.9 in the last four games, and no better than 33 percent from three point range in that time. Their defense got better as the series went along, but it was not as good as it was in the first two series. They will have to be better at both ends in the Finals to win.
Miami has a much team defense than Oklahoma did, do you see the Mavs scoring above the century mark on them?
Chuck Cooperstein (12:53 PM)
It might be hard to because there will likely be fewer possessions. As far as pace goes, I expect this to look a lot more like the Portland series than either the Lakers or OKC
Gary Payton (Oakland)
When my boy J-Kidd gets that jewellery, he be the third best point to ever step on a b-ball court (after the Big O and Magic)!
Chuck Cooperstein (12:55 PM)
Mr. Glove-- You may be right about that, although I'm sure that guys like Nash, and Stockton might have a beef with you
Eric ((Miami) )
The heat is avg 94 ppg bc they've played against better competiton defensively. Outside of Collison, OKC had no defensive presence so anybody can score 100 points on them. Look, I know you are a homer but give it up, Dallas has no shot against the Heat. And for all the "if we play Miami people", yes you will have to face Miami. And yes, Dallas will lose again.
Chuck Cooperstein (12:59 PM)
Celtics defense wasn't very good at all. For that matter neither was Philadelphia. And you can't say they;re lighting it up against Chicago, although I think Chicago plays the best defense in the NBA. The Mavericks will be able to score against anyone because of the stuff they run. The issue will be for them to play better defense for a longer period of time.
Keith (Washington, DC)
I was surprised at how effective Collison was at times in denying Dirk the ball at his spots and staying in front of him when Dirk did get the ball. Can anyone on Miami or Chicago do the same?
Chuck Cooperstein (1:01 PM)
On Chicago, Gibson can (And has done it). No one on Miami can do that. Collison played Dirk about as well as I have ever seen anyone play him (And that includes Haslem in the 06 Finals). He has the right combination of height and width (Not to mention quick hands) to give Dirk issues
Matt R (Dallas)
Do you believe giving up offensive rebounds will be as big of challenge to Dallas as it was in the OKC series? We seemed to give up a lot of second chance points, and I do not like reloading the Lebron Gun over and over again?
Chuck Cooperstein (1:03 PM)
It's a HUGE challenge. Chicago killed them in both games this year in that area. Miami did not and does not rebound as well at that end.You can play good defense out front, but as Carlisle preaches, "The possession doesn't end until you grab the rebound."
Chuck Cooperstein (1:04 PM)
Lots of goof stuff today. Thanks for checking in. We'll do it next Thursday. Same bat time. Same bat channel