Late Thursday Bullets

  • Joakim Noah, on ESPN Chicago, talking about his little spat with LeBron James: "Well I was actually on the bench, so I wasn’t really in his face. I just felt like it was situation where he was dancing, the game was over with and I just felt like it was a little disrespectful towards us. It doesn’t take away from his abilities as a player and what he does, but I just felt like it was a little bit too much. I was frustrated with the situation and I just let him know how I felt. That’s really all there is to say about that." (As transcribed by Sports Radio Interviews.)

  • OK, Celtics fans. What do you prefer: More and more wins to press your standings advantage over the Cavaliers and the rest of the pack in the East, or rest for your stars before the real season begins? An investigation into what matters. (Also, this is pretty cool. CelticsHub has a new message board.)

  • Why doesn't Andrew Bynum get more rebounds? He's like 100 feet tall, strong and athletic. Yet he had four boards against Utah, and three against Chicago and another three against Milwaukee. If I learned anything at Train Like a Pro, it's that a lot of players limit their rebounding by limiting their definition of which rebounds they should try to get. If you're on the left block and a ball is bouncing off the rim to the right baseline, you can get there. But you have to have that idea, and act on it, which most people don't do. Therefore, their rebounding numbers are limited to balls that bounce to their area, which is just not that common.

  • With Stephen Jackson in the fold, Boris Diaw has faded from view in Charlotte.

  • Andrew Bogut on Twitter last night: "If I am completely honest about certain things that pertain to tonights events, someone will steal $$ from me. Honesty is not cool anymore." Whatever could he be talking about?

  • John Krolik of Cavs the Blog: "I don’t know what it is about UCLA, but [Jrue] Holiday and [Luc Richard] Mbah a Moute are definitely two of the absolute standout perimeter defenders I’ve seen play so far this season. Could be Howland’s coaching philosophy. Could be evil dark magic obtained by the selling of one’s soul. I’m going to go with evil magic, personally."

  • Lamenting the fact that Sixers coach Eddie Jordan sat Holiday in crunch time, when he had been playing tremendous defense in a close game.

  • TrueHoop has been hard on the Goran Dragic draft pick in the past, so it's only fair to quote Clint Corey, writing on Valley of the Suns: "Dragic, in fact, let the game come to him all night finishing with a career-high 18 points, including 4-of-5 shooting from behind the arc, as well as having -- from a coach’s perspective and with all due respect to Amar’e -- the two plays of the game. The Dragic heroics started with 35 seconds remaining in the third with the Suns clinging to a five-point lead. Goran dove for a ball after a long rebound on a Jared Dudley miss at midcourt, outhustling Manu Ginobili to allow the Suns to retain possession on a brilliant hustle play that is all too uncommon in modern day NBA play. Finally, after San Antonio had clawed their way back to within 89-88 on a signature Tim Duncan bank shot with eleven and a half minutes to play, Dragic sliced through the lane on the next possession to make a little teardrop runner putting the Suns up three, extending a lead they would never relinquish."

  • Small note about last night's Bucks vs. Lakers game. You notice that Brandon Jennings sat for much of crunch time? Luke Ridnour was playing well ...

  • Kevin Arnovitz of ClipperBlog: "Marcus Camby has a 4 x 5 night: 10 points, 18 boards, 6 dimes, 5 steals. There are teams in the upper third of the league that would love to get their hands on a productive, user-friendly vet with an expiring deal. At some point over the next nine weeks, the Clippers are going to have to make a very difficult choice, because they’re simply a better team when Camby is holding down the defensive interior and making plays from the top of the arc."

  • Alex at BrewHoop busts out a new nickname for Ersan Ilyasova: "Turk Nowitzki." (Via Bucksketball) The only problem with it is that Ilyasova is remarkably quick and active for his size. Nowitzki? Not so much. UPDATE: Alex says credit where credit is due: that nickname comes from Sham Sports.

  • Two games in, Tracy McGrady is still playing D.

  • The Blazers, feeling sorry for themselves, visit a boys' home to get some perspective. On that note, Jerryd Bayless blogs about his friend Greg Oden: "I feel as if there's a fork in the road for Greg or anybody that has ever been in a situation facing some kind of adversity. Will you take the easy way out and relax? Or will you take the road where you will face the adversity and break it? Now, I can’t say what everyone who is reading this blog will do, but I do know what Greg will do. He’s going to look at that door of adversity and with his size 18 shoe, kick it down just like he’s done before! I can honestly say that I truly believe that not only will Greg come back, he will come back better than ever. It’s not part of his DNA to give up or let adversity get the best of him. Mark my words and have faith because the big fella will be back!!!!!!!!!"

  • Brian Kamentzky of the L.A. Times points out that Milwaukee might have considered sending an extra defender at Kobe Bryant. And he makes a great point about Phil Jackson's decision to inbound the ball in the backcourt, which gave Bryant lots of room to get where he wanted to go.