Q: What did you think about Rubio's debut? Is he the new Nash? - Raphael Lacerda
A: It was a good debut. The playmaking skills were always there, although he didn't display them as much as you would have liked with FC Barcelona. The Wolves looked better with him running the team and it was good for his confidence that he actually scored in his first game and didn't finish with another 0. As for the Nash comparisons, I think they are way off. Nash has shot 90-50-40 (from the free-throw line, overall field goal and from beyond the arc, respectively) several seasons during his NBA career. Those are percentages Rubio can only dream of. Besides, Nash shot with great percentages while shooting a lot, which Rubio doesn't do. Another difference: Rubio will be a more accomplished defender in the league. We can compare the court vision, but not the overall game. Rajon Rondo would be a more accurate comparison to me.
Q: Curious on your thoughts on the Jazz, specifically the logjam at 4 and 5? - Dallas Sawyer
A: The Jazz are not in win-now mode so there is no need to rush for judgment. They are unlikely to make the playoffs this year. Why not use these four months to evaluate their bigs and make a decision the next offseason. Why would you trade Paul Millsap now without finding out first if Derrick Favors is making significant progress? Why not have Enes Kanter learn from Al Jefferson before moving him? What if Kanter is a bust? Utah has good management. I don't think they are going to rush the decision.
Q: Why can't the season start at this time every year? - Brodie Glenn
A: That's 33 home games from every team as opposed to 41. Anyway, I think we've all gotten used to the 82-game schedule.
Q: Does Wilson Chandler or Kenyon Martin make sense for the knicks? - Rich Healy
A: Forward is not a position of need for the New York Knicks. They probably have the best frontcourt in the league already. I could see Kenyon Martin being a fit, though, if he's OK playing 15-20 minutes during a playoff run. Maybe he could get additional time when Tyson Chandler gets in foul trouble, which often happens. Wilson Chandler is starter material in the NBA. Don't see how he would return to the Knicks as currently assembled.
Q: How long is Mike Brown gonna last in LA? - Nate Klemm
A: Longer than Rudy Tomjanovich, not as much as Phil Jackson. I don't think Mike Brown is one of the NBA head coaches that make teams better. He's going to look just as good as his personnel is. He has good material to work with, but it's no longer top-notch. It's going to be interesting to see what the Lakers do. It sure feels like they have taken a step back to take two steps forward later. Will Kobe Bryant buy into the plan when he's already approaching the final part of his career? If he doesn't, there's going to be a lot of headaches for Brown his first year in Los Angeles.
Q: Even though they lost, I saw some nice flashes from Celtics' second unit yesterday, especially Brandon Bass. How good can they be? - Jose Llamas
A: They are good for a first-round win, in my opinion. But that's all. Chicago and Miami are going to be very tough to beat in the East unless they are hit by injuries. Anyway, if there's one team in which injuries should take a toll, that's Boston. They are old.
Bass looked terrific, by the way. Always thought he would excel in a bigger role off the bench. The Davis-Bass trade off could make Danny Ainge look smart in the end. (Although I believe Glen Davis has some marginal All-Star potential and Bass does not).
Q: What is happening with Dallas? - Acarlo Basketball
A: Looks to me like they are in transition and waiting to reload. Probably they understood the championship team had run its course and they wouldn't be able to win again with the same pieces. I tend to agree with that. I believe they caught fire at the right time last season, but that success wouldn't have continuity this year bringing back everybody... Rebuilding on the fly is a tough thing to accomplish, but they did it once already. I would give them a vote of confidence. The management is very good and the owner has deep pockets. That helps a lot.
Q: OKC is ready to go to the Finals? - Rob
A: They are everybody's favorite to win the Western Conference right now. There's no question in my mind they have the most talented group in the West. Youth is no excuse anymore.
Q: Everybody looks thinner. What's going on here? What kind of lockout was that? Where are the fatties? - Enrique Santiago
A: I saw that coming. NBA players, I believe, are much smarter than they were in 1999. They take care of business in ways they didn't before - and their body is a big part of their business. There's always going to be a level of craziness that's inherent to the NBA, but all in all I think players are better equipped from the neck on up than they used to be.