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NBA Chat With Tommy Beer 4/17/17


Join Basketball Insiders Senior NBA Writer Tommy Beer for a chat session on Monday at 2:00 p.m. EST.

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  1. Bruni

    Have the Knicks finally hit rock bottom!??!?!

    • Tommy Beer

      C’mon buddy – you know there is no such thing as rock bottom when it comes to the Knicks!!

      Just when you think they can’t possibly get any lower, they find a new low…

      I thought Phil’s press conference was abhorrent, alienating players (and future players) and fans alike. The calling out of Melo was unnecessary, as it doesn’t benefit anybody. Melo already had a small number of teams he would accept a trade to – the Knicks admitting they desperately want to trade him, only decreases their leverage.

      In addition, I thought it was foolish for Phil to compare his triangle system to the Spurs and Patriots approaches. Coach Pop and Bill Belicheck handle things far differently. I plan to write about that in depth this week, actually.

  2. brazil

    Are the Celtics in trouble?? what about the Raps? Could we see the 2 of the top 3 seeds eliminated in round 1 in the east??

    • Tommy Beer

      Definitely an interesting and intriguing way to kickstart the 2017 postseason.
      Yeah, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say the Celts are in trouble. All of sudden, Game 2 Tuesday night in Boston is essentially a must-win. The whole series is complicated by the incredibly sad and unfortunate passing of Thomas’ sister. I think we’re all rooting for IT4 at this point.

      And the Raps obviously have their back against the wall as well. Lowry’s inexplicable first-round struggles continued on Saturday.

      One thing these series have in common (as well as all other series): The team with the best player is winning. Giannis is developing into a legit superstar right before our very eyes and dominated Game 1 in Toronto.

      And while Thomas had a terrific MVP-caliber regular season, Jimmy Butler is the best player in the BOS-CHI series. If the Bulls do end up knocking off the top-seeded Celts, have to imagine it will sting that much more for Celtics fans, knowing they could have possibly had a chance to trade for Bultler back in February.

  3. brazil

    Fantasy question: Any guys you think may be undervalued and you will be looking to draft in fantasy hoops leagues next season??

    • Tommy Beer

      A couple of young guys that probably fit that criteria would be Caris LeVert and Willy Hernangomez.

      The Nets love LeVert and assuming the Nets don’t sign a high-priced free agent this summer (such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope), LeVert will likely enter next season as Brooklyn’s starting shooting guard. And with a year of experience under his belt, he should be relied upon to shoulder more of the offensive load.

      Hernangomez was quietly been one of NBA’s more efficient and effective rookies this season. In the 22 games he’s started, Willy averaged 11.6 points and 9.3 rebounds, while shooting over 50 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the free throw line. Hernangomez became the first NBA rookie to average at least 16 points and 13 rebounds per-36 minutes since Shaquille O’Neal in 1992-93. And, with Joakim Noah suspended for the 12 games of the 2017-18 season, Willy will have an opportunity to start at center over the first few weeks of the season.

      A couple of other guys: Kris Dunn (if Rubio is traded)… Willie Cauley-Stein and Bubby Hield in Sacramento…
      Also Ish Smith. The Pistons will have a tough decision to make this summer. Reggie Jackson is owed $51.1 million over the next three seasons.and is dealing with knee tendonitis. Even before Jackson was shut down, the Pistons often played better with Smith on the floor. With the franchise in turmoil after another disappointing season, the Pistons will likely consider trading Jackson this summer in an attempt to shake things up. Smith is the far better value, earning just $6 million per season. If Jackson is moved, Smith will be reliable fantasy point guard next season.

  4. Chris G

    I’m seeing some similarities to what the Bulls went through in 2012 when Derrick Rose tore his ACL in game one of their playoff series with the 76ers and what the Celtics are going through now with the tragedy in Isaiah Thomas’s family. Even though that Bulls team was still talented enough to be the 76ers, even without Derrick, their mental approach just didn’t seem to be there anymore after the injury, and it cost them the series as a #1 seed. This is a bit different, given Isaiah is playing (and playing well, considering the circumstances), but how do you see the rest of the series playing out? Some viewed the teams as pretty much equal before the accident. Now, with game one in the Bulls favor, can the Celtics bounce back?

    • Tommy Beer

      yeah – I think it’s a good point.
      Even though Thomas played well, it was obvious he was playing with a heavy heart. Of course his teammates want to pull out the victory for him and his family. But sometimes that adds pressure, which will already be ratcheted up in a must-win Game 2…

      One benefit for the C’s is that they are a very well coached team. Brad Stevens won’t panic. They’ll get back to what they do best. There is also a lot of time inbetween games. Game 3 isn’t until Friday. And then Game 5 is that following Wednesday. With that much time, the team with the better coach does have an advantage. In addition, I think the Bulls have to be a bit content (even subconsciously) after getting – at worst- a split of the first two games. We shall see how it plays out. I think Boston wins big in Game 2 and helps them regain their equilibrium.

  5. G

    What does Minnesota have to do to start contending in the West next season? They had a load of talent as well as a good coach yet they surprisingly still struggled this year.

    • Tommy Beer

      yeah – coming into the 2016-17 season, the Wolves were a team that many had picked to surge and be a playoff squad. Instead, they took a step back.

      Obviously, there is still a lot to be hopeful about heading into the future, starting with Karl-Anthony Towns. He has about as impressive a season as could have possibly been imagined for a 20-year old in his second NBA season.
      Wiggins is a stud scorer. Dieng is an underrated big. We’ll see how LaVine bounces back.
      Thibs is a proven, quality coach. And one benefit of a bad season is another high lottery pick.
      I think a big question that needs to be answered in Minny is the PG spot. Ricky Rubio was phenomenal over the second half of the season. Dunn was a bit disappointing. Do they still consider moving Rubio and handing over the reigns to Dunn??

  6. omar

    What NBA job do you think will open up? Who do you think is on the hot seat in the NBA?

    • Tommy Beer

      Amazingly, this was the first season in two decades where not a single head coach was fired during the year.
      As we head into the offseason, a couple of coaches are on the hot seat.
      Alvin Gentry in New Orleans can’t feel too secure.
      The Hornets took a step back this season – might charlotte look at moving on from Steve Clifford?
      New York is a circus, so can’t put anything past the Knicks – is Jeff Hornacek’s seat kinda warm.

      It’s crazy, but at this time last month – most everyone would have agreed that the coach most likely to be fired was Fred Hoiberg. What a difference a month makes, huh?

  7. Ray

    I know its only game 1 but can the Bulls pull off this 8 seed upset?

    If this team goes further in the playoffs does that solidify Hoidbergs and Gar/Pax’s jobs?

    • Tommy Beer

      As I discussed in earlier questions – I think the Bulls def have a legit chance to take this season.

      And, yeah, I think if they pull the massive upset – it all but guarantees Hoiberg and Gar/Pax stick around for at least one more season.

      ***

      That’s it for me. Have a great week everybody!

      Thanks,
      T