The mistakes the Raptors made in letting Kobe Bryant get a good look at the game-winner last night. It wasn't enough that they let Bryant get to a spot he likes ... they also left him a pretty amazing plan B: Look at Lamar Odom in these still images of the play. Also, where was Jarrett Jack?
On Michael Lee's Wizards Insider blog, Flip Saunders explains how to play against Kevin Garnett, whom he coached for a decade: "That's what Garnett does, he talks. He's talked for his whole career. He tries to get into people. He gets more frustrated with guys like Tim Duncan that don't talk back. Guys that talk back, he feels like he's getting through to him and it kind of motivates him, gets his juices kind of flowing. One thing you don't want to do with a guy with a high motor, a high-energy guy like Garnett. You don't want to force them to go to the next level."
A look at ball movement and assists reveals that the Lakers may be missing Luke Walton more than you'd think.
An article points out that second-round NBA picks don't get guaranteed contracts. Which is only kind of true. Only first-round picks are guaranteed to get guaranteed contracts, if you see what I mean, but second-rounders can negotiate for whatever they want, and many get guaranteed money. Some get more than those drafted ahead of them in the first round -- which is a tidy little indication that the rookie pay scale is set at below market value. Why does any of this matter? 'Cause it's the time of year when players on the bubble start deciding whether or not they want to declare for the draft, and if you think you're headed for the high second-round, well, you could be headed for a good NBA contract.
In video and in stats, Andrew Bogut looked like a top overall pick last night in a potential playoff preview victory over the Celtics.
The people who made the NBA Jam video game don't offer Gilbert Arenas as a Wizard option next year.
Wayne Winston projects that the Nuggets, Mavericks and Jazz will each finish with 54 wins, making a logjam behind the Lakers in the Western playoff picture.
Kevin Arnovitz pointed out an amazing play from last night's Clippers-Magic game. About halfway through the third quarter, Baron Davis missed a layup. The Magic got the board. Everyone ran, as they do, to the other end of the court. Only as the camera tracked left, Davis was nowhere to be found. His man, Vince Carter, was not running so fast, but at least he was in the picture. Chris Kaman matched Carter stride for stride, until stopping at the top of the key to mark Howard. Carter's no dummy, and just kept jogging to the hoop, where he was ALL ALONE. Davis jogged into the picture about the same time Carter made the uncontested layup. That's not championship defense. Drew Gooden turned over his shoulder to see Carter make the uncontested layup, and held his head in is hands for a minute before heading upcourt.
Learn the name: Donetas Motiejunas. He's seven-feet tall, he can shoot, and he's projected to be a lottery pick this year.
Salt Lake Tribune beat writer Ross Siler is keeping a road journal: "How do I watch an NBA game? For starters, I take notes on every possession, regardless whether a team scores. You’re always on the lookout for the game-turning moment as well as the night’s trend. You keep track of fouls, substitutions, timeouts, lineup combinations, everything. You’re always watching for the back-to-back baskets that will turn into a 12-2 run. You pay attention to body language and the way players communicate with one another. And when you need a laugh, you just look over at whatever Kyrylo Fesenko is doing."
Dwyane Wade finds that punching Michael Beasley seems to motivate him, but he's not going to punch him a lot, 'cause one day he might punch back.
Brandon Roy's hamstring is still a concern. He tells Benjamin Golliver of BlazersEdge: "I kind of have good days, bad days, good plays, bad plays. Sometimes I'll tweak it and I'll stay off of it for a little bit. It's something I've got to play with and try to deal with it."
The Jazz hanmered the Bulls. Matt McHale of By the Horns: "Deron Williams was awesome. Williams had game highs in points (28) and assists (17) while shooting 11-for-15 from the field and 3-for-5 in threes. Derrick Rose couldn’t stop him. Kirk Hinrich couldn’t stop him. Williams dominated the game. Controlled it. Owned it. Forget the stats. Williams put on a virtuoso performance. Maybe it was his Booms Beard Lite. But it says something about him that he could so vastly outplay a fellow All-Star like Rose."
Zach McCann of Orlando Magic Daily e-mails: "After the Lakers lost to the Magic and Kobe Bryant bricked the potentially game-tying 20-footer at the buzzer, Bryant told the media, 'That is my shot. You give that to me 10 times and I make it nine times.' Actually, Kobe, one look at HoopData.com tells us that you make that shot four out of 10 times."