Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

NBA Mailbag: Answering Your Burning Questions

The NBA Mailbag is back for the 2023-24 season, ready to tackle all your basketball-related inquiries! Have a question for Jamal? Look no further, as we’ve got you covered right here at’s NBA Mailbag. Let’s dive right in!

Who Has the Most Effective Offense in the NBA Right Now? And Can They Be Stopped?

Noah from Great Falls, MT wants to know which team currently boasts the most effective offense. While the numbers may say otherwise, our take is that the Denver Nuggets take the cake. Led by the unique skills of Joker, who acts as a point-center, the Nuggets’ offense is a force to be reckoned with. Their combination of precise cuts, fluid movements, and unpredictable reads make it incredibly challenging for opposing defenses to contain them.

Can the Clippers Be Considered True Tier 1 Title Contenders?

Landon from Washington wants to hear Jamal’s opinion on the Los Angeles Clippers’ chances of being bona fide title contenders. Jamal believes that the Clippers have what it takes to compete for the championship. Their style of play is tailor-made for the intensity of playoff basketball. The decision to bring Russell Westbrook off the bench has brought balance and cohesion to the team. Additionally, having a player like Kawhi Leonard, who is known for stepping up in the postseason, gives the Clippers an edge.

The Most Disappointing Team of the First Half?

Michael from San Antonio, TX is curious to know which team has been the most disappointing in the first half of the season and how they can improve. Jamal points to the Los Angeles Lakers as the most disappointing team. Considering their strong performance in the previous season and the offseason acquisitions they made, their slow start is certainly underwhelming. To turn things around, the Lakers need to find their rhythm and capitalize on the talent they have at their disposal.

Can Trae Young and Dejounte Murray Play Well Together?

Andre from Colorado wonders if Trae Young and Dejounte Murray can thrive on the court together and what adjustments they need to make. According to Jamal, it is absolutely possible for them to have a successful partnership. The key lies in strategic planning and staggering their minutes. By allowing each player to have time as the primary ballhandler without the other on the floor, they can find their rhythm earlier. Once in the flow of the game, they can seamlessly transition into playing off-ball, unlocking their potential as a duo.

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Will Ja Morant Bounce Back from His Injury?

Owen from Phoenix, AZ is concerned about Ja Morant’s recovery from injury and wonders if he will bounce back. Jamal has full faith in Morant’s abilities and believes that he will not only bounce back but also come back even stronger. The injury will undoubtedly fuel his hunger for the game and push him to reach new heights in the upcoming season.

How Long Until the Spurs Become Championship Contenders?

Nancy from Charleston, WV is eager to know how long it will take for the San Antonio Spurs to develop into a championship-caliber team. According to Jamal, the Spurs have the necessary foundation in place, with Coach Popovich leading the way. Building around their transcendent talent, Wemby, will take time, but before discussing championships, the team’s first goal should be reaching the playoffs.

What Should the Detroit Pistons’ Priorities Be?

Michael from Detroit, MI wants to know what the priorities should be for the young Detroit Pistons squad and if they should be active at the trade deadline. Jamal suggests bringing in experienced veterans to guide the young players. Surrounding the young core with veteran leadership sets the foundation for their development. Identifying the players they want to build around and then targeting veterans who can mentor and teach them will be crucial in shaping the team’s future.

Toughest Player to Guard in the NBA Right Now?

Vincent from O’ahu, Hawaii is curious to know who Jamal would find the toughest to guard in the NBA today. For Jamal’s position, he believes that players like Ant Edwards and SGA pose the biggest challenge. Their combination of relentless energy and electric playstyle keeps defenders on high alert at all times.

Is Giannis the Best Cutter in NBA History? And the Greatest Power Forward?

Josh from Australia has two questions for Jamal. First, he wants to know if Giannis is the best cutter in NBA history. Jamal acknowledges Giannis’ exceptional cutting abilities but emphasizes that it’s his overall energy and effort on the court that make him special. As for being the greatest power forward, Jamal believes that while Giannis has the potential, he still has more to accomplish before claiming the title.

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Which Player’s Bag Has Surprised Jamal in the Last Couple of Years?

Lucca from Chicago, IL is interested to know which player has surprised Jamal with their skills in recent years. Jamal is particularly impressed with SGA’s performance. He notes that SGA’s ability to consistently deliver on both scoring and distributing fronts while involving his teammates sets him apart.

Who Will Win 6th Man of the Year?

Ben from State College, PA wants to hear Jamal’s prediction for the 6th Man of the Year award this season. With half the season left and many contenders in the mix, Jamal mentions several players who could potentially take home the title, such as Tim Hardaway Jr., Malik Monk, or even a big man like Naz Reid.

Hardest Part About Being in the NBA for 20 Years?

Armand from Houston, TX would like to know what Jamal found to be the most challenging aspect of his 20-year NBA career. For Jamal, the constant travel was the toughest part. Despite establishing a routine for rest, nutrition, and film study, waking up in different locations was disorienting.

Favorite Point He Ever Scored?

Mason from Arizona wonders which of Jamal’s points is his personal favorite. Jamal highlights his first points with Brooklyn in the bubble as a particularly memorable moment. After being sidelined for 16 months, it felt incredible to be back on the court.

Experience on the Bench and in the Locker Room After DeAndre’s Dunk?

Brian from Portland, OR is curious about Jamal’s experience on the bench and in the locker room after DeAndre Jordan’s iconic dunk on Brandon Knight. Jamal explains that it was an exhilarating moment, especially since he had recently made a memorable pass to Blake Griffin. Seeing Brandon called for a foul on the play added an unexpected twist to the excitement.

LaMarcus Aldridge’s Mid-Range and Overall Post Game Skills

Sebastian from California wants Jamal’s insight on LaMarcus Aldridge’s mid-range and overall post game skills. Jamal holds Aldridge in high regard, praising his automatic mid-range shots and his ability to dominate on the court. He also mentions that Aldridge was not only a phenomenal player but also an incredible teammate and a close friend.

Tracy McGrady’s Legacy if He Had Won a Championship?

Nathaniel from Chicago wonders if Tracy McGrady would be considered an all-time great had he won a championship. Jamal believes that McGrady is already regarded as an all-time great, as evidenced by his induction into the Hall of Fame. However, winning a championship would have further solidified his legacy and allowed more people to appreciate his immense talent.

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Current Players Looking for Calls Too Often?

Quinn from Illinois raises the issue of players frequently seeking fouls from referees. Jamal agrees that in today’s game, offensive players have the advantage, making it harder for defenders. As a result, players are conditioned to look for calls, contributing to the abundance of points being scored.

Hardest Move to Defend at the NBA Level?

Fernando from Buenos Aires, Argentina wants to know which move Jamal finds the most challenging to defend in the NBA. Jamal believes that it’s not a specific move, but rather a well-executed change of speed that poses the greatest difficulty. The unpredictability of an offensive player’s pace makes them incredibly challenging to guard.

Favorite/Easiest Way to Get Open Against a Defender?

Max from New York inquires about Jamal’s favorite or most effective method to get open against a defender. Jamal reveals that his go-to strategy was the hang dribble. By utilizing this move, he had multiple options at his disposal, allowing him to keep the defense on its toes and create opportunities for himself.

Best Exercise to Increase Vertical Jump?

Landon from the United States wants to know the best exercise for a 14-year-old who wants to increase their vertical jump. Jamal recommends using weighted vests during explosive jumping and speed workouts. Additionally, building a strong core contributes to better balance and aids in achieving a higher vertical jump.

How to Improve a Ugly and Inefficient Jump Shot?

Jacob from Palm Harbor, FL is seeking advice on improving a “ugly and inefficient” jump shot. Jamal suggests starting closer to the basket and focusing on form shooting. By developing a solid foundation and gaining comfort with your shot, you can gradually extend your range. Mastering your shot and feeling confident in its execution is essential for improvement.

Summer Drills to Make the JV Team Next Year?

Gabe from Long Island, NY is determined to make the JV team next year after being cut and asks for summer drill recommendations. Jamal advises Gabe to train with the varsity players. Learning from older, more experienced teammates will accelerate skill development and improve basketball IQ. Training with better players can provide a fresh perspective on the game and boost confidence.

Thank you for submitting your questions to’s NBA Mailbag! Stay tuned for more editions throughout the 2023-24 season, where we’ll continue to answer all your burning basketball inquiries.