It’s time for another edition of the Mail Bag Round Table. This is a tradition that goes far back in time, to an age where knights gathered around their round tables and read emails, tweets, and Facebook posts from fans of jousting and drawing/quartering. Back then, though, they’d have to post their responses on wooden posts after writing them with quill. Sometimes, if they were lucky, the town crier would shout the responses into the markets. But people would be so annoyed at him that he’d get drawn and quartered. Lucky for you guys, you can just read the responses on this here blog post. Sean, Jared, ParoxyIntern, Jordan, and Noam: take it away.
1) @TheNoizmaker on Twitter: Will Josh Smith be an all star?
Sean: I have no idea. Averaging 17 and 8 on the third-best team in the East could give him a boost, since per-game numbers and team record still factor heavily into coaches’ votes. His efficiency hasn’t been great, though. It’ll be pretty annoying if he gets the nod over Anderson Varejao.
Jared: Not if he keeps up his .307 eFG% on jumpers. I don’t care how good his defense is, you can’t be an All-Star with that kind of shooting. Not if I have anything to say about it, at least. (Note: I don’t have anything to say about it. This is a fictional All-Star vote in a mailbag on a blog).
ParoxyIntern: Yes, he will.
Jordan: I don’t see it happening. Though Smith is a highlight waiting to happen, his numbers are down nearly across the board this year, except for his three point shooting, which doesn’t seem sustainable. The greater obstacle, however, is the sheer number of quality front court players in the East: Melo, LeBron, KG, Noah, Varejao, and Bargnani (I kid, I kid). I’d even argue David West is more deserving than Smith of a spot on the East’s roster.
Noam: Never. The coaches hate him too much and the fans don’t recognize Atlanta’s existence. MOAR JOE JOHNSON
2) via my Canadian beer aficionado friends @BrewBrahs: What do you think about Mark Cuban’s stance on the NHL lockout?
Sean: I don’t know because I’ve actively avoided reading anything about the NHL lockout. Any mention of the phrases “revenue split,” “system issues,” and “decertification” trigger my PTSD from Fall of 2011.
Jared: Let’s just move half the teams to Canada. They like hockey more there anyway, and there shouldn’t be hockey teams in Miami or Phoenix. It’s ridiculous. Then we can give the Rangers all the good players so they can win the Cup again. Problems solved.
ParoxyIntern: Gotta love Mark Cuban. I watch him on Shark Tank every Friday night on ABC, so I pretty much I respect everything that he does.
Jordan: Cuban is a fantastic business and entrepreneurial mind. As an owner of an NBA team and having gone through a lockout recently himself, it’s not surprising he sides with his owner brethren. (OK, I realize I didn’t really answer the question, but I don’t watch hockey, so I don’t know enough about the situation to have an opinion on Cuban’s opinion).
Noam: I’m vehemently opposed to it. I couldn’t care less about the NHL and haven’t even read Cuban’s stance, but after Cubes and his homies nearly ruined a perfectly good basketball season, any time a sports owner talks about a labor situation I am on the other side.
3) @robsaunders1 on Twitter: We need to PROPERLY understand why the Knicks have become credible contenders and how the Lakers have not this season.
Sean: The Knicks have Sheed. The Lakers have found a way to put Pau Gasol in the doghouse.
Jared: Easy. Mike Woodson hides wizards in his goatee and the Lakers employ Chris Duhon.
ParoxyIntern: The Knicks play as a team. They also have much more balance than the Lakers with a scorer in Carmelo, a rebounder in Chandler, and 3 point shooters in Novak, Smith, and Wallace.
Jordan: The Lakers situation is pretty simple: they’re awful defensively. For the Knicks, it’s a combination of Carmelo Anthony embracing his world-destroying ability as a four, excellent spacing, Raymond Felton not being the Raymond Felton of last year, and Jason Kidd’s VETERAN LEADERSHIP.
Noam: The Knicks are making all of the threes forever and ever and ever. The Lakers have 4 good players on the roster, two of them aren’t playing, and the other two aren’t playing defense.
4) From Kirk: What’s your stance on sweater vests?
ParoxyIntern: I’ll wear them to school once a year. That is pretty much all I have to say.
Jordan: Either you can pull it off, or you absolutely can’t. There is no in-between.
Noam: I’m not opposed, but it’s hard for me to root for a sweater when it’s not a Mr. Rogers sweater. RIP.
5) @jasonhindle on Twitter: Why hasn’t Brian Colangelo been fired yet?
Sean: Because God hates Toronto. Hopefully Rush’s belated induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will start to turn their luck.
Jared: Somebody has to be around to keep the Joe Dumars’ name out of this question.
ParoxyIntern: I think the Raptors are going to wait until the end of the season to make a move like that.
Jordan: Though GM’s are responsible for assembling a team, they also have the greatest ability to deflect blame. They can point to the coach, who is failing to get the team to perform up to their potential. They can blame the players for not living up to expectations, or for being hurt, or for a multitude of other reasons. The last person they blame is themselves. Bryan Colangelo continues to use these excuses to cover his own mis-steps, though one has to think that that strategy can only hold up for so long.
Noam: At this point, firing him is pointless – he’s in the last year of his deal and just isn’t worth bothering with. As to why he wasn’t hired after the Hedo debacle, I have no clue.
6) Chris on Facebook: Is Andrew Nicholson not the greatest? DAT FOOTWORK!
Sean: Andrew Nicholson is, in fact, the greatest.
Jared: Sean wrote an excellent article about Andrew Nicholson. He apparently only takes corner 3s and layups, which is cool. When I watch the Magic, all I do is imagine JJ Redick on playoff teams and try to concoct trades in my head.
ParoxyIntern: Of course he is the greatest!
Noam: He most certainly is the greatest. Orlando’s rooks have been so much fun – Moe Harkless is a new-age cop who beats to his own drum, and Andrew Nicholson just wants to make his mid-range jumpers, get to the rim, and go home to his wife.
7) From Jordan: What will we do without PER Diem?
Sean: Lobby ESPN to adopt Netw3rk’s P.O.O.P.S. system instead.
Jared: Tony Allen and JR Smith are still on Twitter, right? Okay. The republic will survive.
ParoxyIntern: I’m not sure. Someone else is going to have to step up to the plate. I would like to congratulate Hollinger on the Grizzlies job, though.
Jordan: I’m devastated. PER Diem was my gateway drug for advanced metrics. Hollinger is not only a great basketball mind, but a great writer, with a superb ability to break down complex statistics in a way even the most casual of NBA fans can understand. His snarkasm has second to none. It’s a devastating loss or ESPN and those who enjoyed reading him, but it’s a tremendous pick up for the Grizzlies, a team that has publicly stated their desire to beef up their analytics department.
Noam: It’s definitely looking bleak. My only hope is that Hollinger starts a new blog under a pseudonym, where he constantly rips the Grizzlies front office, only to triumphantly reveal himself when new Memphis acquisition DeMar DeRozan lifts the Larry O’Brien trophy over his head.