Ask Sam Mailbag: 03.10.17

This is some season Isiah Thomas is putting together! Probably overshadowed by the seasons of Westbrook and Harden. I wonder if this was circa 2011, who wins the MVP – Rose or Thomas?
Andrew Robson

So what do you think is going on with Niko, and does he come back? He can be infuriating to watch and he's very inconsistent, but in three seasons here he actually comes across as one of the better players on the team (net rating, plus minus, PER, and whatever other advanced stats I know you don't believe in). But Hoiberg doesn't seem to like him. Will we see Niko next year in Houston or something like that?
Alejandro Yegros

True the game has evolved but how is that 6'3" guards are delivering triple doubles on almost nightly basis? I remember everyone being awed when Fat Lever (6'3) used to do that in the late 80's. Now it's gotten to a point where it's surprising when Westbrook doesn't get one. Elfrid Payton just did one on us and even Rondo used to get one pretty regularly or at least get close. Is it the pace of the game or are these guards just freakishly athletic nowadays? Then again, Rose is/was strong and extremely athletic but he's never been a high rebound or assist guy. Perhaps Brook Lopez should get some rebounding lessons from some of these guards.
Jay Choi

Darrell Walker got Clark College into the tournament (Division 2) when they were winning like seven or nine games before he went there.
Mike Sutera

I don't wish injury on people and I'm not glad Bogut got hurt. But this is what players who don't want to work hard deserve when they try to chase a championship by always running to the best team in the conference. It's lazy - like a college student who plagiarizes because s/he doesn't want to create his/her own paper. The point is that it'd be refreshing to see or even hear a player go to a challenger - not the reigning champ - and take on the attitude that Jordan had: "I'm going to take this team that never won (i.e. Memphis, Pacers, OKC) and turn them into a champion". That's what Michael did with the Bulls. And that point gets lost by many kids today - including Lebron.
LongGiang Le

Here's something that I find frustrating: "Obviously, we were right there with the score tied going into the fourth. I thought we played some pretty good basketball."
No, Coach, your team did NOT "play some pretty good basketball". They got outscored by twenty pts. in 3 Qtrs. They were out-rebounded by 11. They got beat 58-32 in the paint. They didn't defend. And they didn't run your offense after the 1st Qtr. I'm not saying this is all Fred's fault. For example, he has 5 point guards, and the only one who can pass is hurt. He also has a bunch of young guys who play differently every game (or every qtr), and no set rotation to speak of. But the least Fred can do is be honest - at least semi-honest - with us.

Silver and CP3 want to make the All-Star game more competitive so there is talk of a 4 pt shot being added? Does that make sense? If NBA ever adds a 4 pt shot to an NBA game, I am done.
Bob Ding