Posted May 6 2010 12:38PM
NBA TV's Brent Barry answered questions from some of the nation's top basketball bloggers on Wednesday. Here is a transcript of that session:
• Andrew from www.waitingfornextyear.com
The Cavaliers are allowing more points per game than in the regular season despite holding teams to a lower FG%. Why do you suppose this is, and is it a concern that their defense is actually giving up more points in the playoffs as opposed to locking down as they have in past years?
Brent Barry: For as much talk about the playoffs slowing down the game, points start to show up in different ways. Those expected ways happen through plenty of fouling and plenty of trips to the free throw line. Those fouls lead to early bonus situations which all ending up being more points for teams.
I don't see it as a concern for Cleveland because I think they play better when they play small so there are going to be more possessions in the game for them, but no it's not a concern.
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• Jorge from www.hoopshype.com
What do you think of guys playing through real injuries in the postseason? Does it make any sense for Andrew Bynum or Brandon Roy, who rushed his return, to possibly hurt their careers long term for making the extra effort now?
BB: It's clearly a judgment call. It's always left up to the player to ultimately decide on whether he feels he can compete and/or contribute to his team in the playoffs. Every risk is taken under the advisement of coaches and medical staff but they leave the decision up to the player. There is risk involved in playing healthy, too.
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• John from www.scoresreport.com
Are the Magic better or worse than at this time last year?
BB: I think the Magic are better. They're deeper, they're tougher, and they're more playoff experienced. All those things help you win, but they don't make you win. They still need to go out and do that as a team.
• Jeff from www.celticsblog.com
On the Spurs, you won two titles two years apart, which is what the Celtics are trying to do. Do you see any similarities between your Spurs teams and the current version of the Celtics? (Obviously not a perfect match, but I can see some similarities between Rondo & Parker, KG & Duncan, Pierce & Manu)
BB: Besides them having Michael Finley? I think that they have what I would say is a chip on your shoulder watching another team win a championship the year after you won one, and thinking about maybe an opportunity lost. Knowing that you have a small sliver of time & a window of opportunity with which you can compete at this level, I think that sits and gnaws at them as they try to compete for another title.
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• Jeff from www.projectspurs.com
Who is the x-factor from the Spurs who will have to step up in the series against the Suns?
BB: Well the x factor for me is the same guy that was the reason for them beating Dallas in round 1. That's George Hill. I know he struggled last night to find a shot but I think he has to stop waiting and asking for Richard Jefferson to step up and start to be curious about George.
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• Ahmad from www.craveonline.com
Who do you think are some of the most underutilized players in the NBA right now?
BB: It seems like the league has gotten away from big guards being able to post up and taking advantage. Whether it's a guy that can dominate physically or a miss match with a smaller guard on him. I think big guards in the post can cause problems for teams. They can score, they can draw fouls, get to the free throw line, and they're obviously more adept at finding guys out of double teams.
Guys I would point you to watch like Jason Richardson in the Phoenix series when he had smaller guys on him, and possibly Vince Carter and Joe Johnson in the Orlando series. If there are some cross matches maybe they'll play some post up basketball.
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• Chuck from www.hoopsvibe.com
BB: You were a member of the Spurs squad that swept Cleveland in the '07 Finals. How have LeBron and the Cavs improved since then, and are those improvements enough to bring them a ring this year?
First of all, LeBron James, if it's possible, is about five times the player he was in his first time around in the finals. That probably helps. The Cavs have a much-improved supporting cast on the perimeter. Those guys don't need to do too much; they can hit open shots. Mo Williams, Anthony Parker, and to some degree Jamario Moon thus far in the playoffs have done that for them. I don't know if their size alone is the tipping point, but it makes them better
I'd say the tipping point for them is Antwan Jameson because he's such a dynamic scorer and such a tough match up for other teams. You're obviously giving away defense, but you have a guy that can cause some serious match up problems on the perimeter.
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• Don from www.with-malice.com
BB: What impact do you think the Lakers being a bit "banged up" will have? This in mind, can they still win this year?
Well I think they have to dig a little deeper, that's obvious. But the loss of Bynum in the series against Utah, I don't think is a huge factor. They definitely needed him against OKC. They're going to need him if they happen to play the Spurs in the next round, but for this series I don't think it's as big of a deal. From everything that I've seen, they still haven't traded Kobe Bryant so they still have a great chance to win it all.
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