Poland lost its head of state and several other top government officials in a plane crash over the weekend. Prior to the Magic's game at Cleveland on Sunday afternoon, Marcin Gortat wrote Polish President Lech Kaczynski’s name on the tape around his wrist, and the flight number on his shoes.
A smart recap of Sunday's Lakers-Portland game from Andrew R. Tonry and Portland Roundball Society. You'll find plenty of video reaction from key players -- including a Brandon Roy interview from the training room.
Kevin Pelton's has posted his picks for NBA All-Defensive team at Basketball Prospectus. Pelton implores you not to laugh at his selection of Brandon Jennings as his choice for second team at the point guard position, and offers up a solid defense of Jennings.
Some interesting data from Zach Lowe of Celtics Hub about Milwaukee's offense since Andrew Bogut went down: "The Bucks inside game has vanished without Bogut. The missing shot attempts have to go somewhere, and, to the surprise of no one reading this, they’ve gone out further from the rim."
The Thunder's offense has a tendency to cramp up in the closing minutes. Last night, Oklahoma City trailed Golden State by one point inside of three minutes. NBA Playbook demonstrates how Russell Westbrook was unable to get Kevin Durant the ball, even though Durant was being guarded by Monta Ellis.
Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside catalogs the NBA players currently averaging a double-double. Which of these names is not like the others?
John Calipari: Not a fan of NBA eligibility rules: "I think that one, kids should be able to go directly to the league if that’s what they choose to do and if they go to college, they should stay two years or maybe three."
Phoenix has been one of the standout teams in the league after the All-Star break, but there are a couple of red flags for Alvin Gentry's squad headed into the postseason. Kelly Dwyer watched the Suns-Rockets game last night and notes: "Houston was able to walk all over Phoenix's interior, and though the Rockets lost, it's clear that whoever the Suns meet in the playoffs is going to have a field day in the paint as long as Amar'e Stoudemire and Channing Frye are patrolling things."
Matt McHale of By the Horns: "I’m here to tell you Joakim Noah is a winner. He goes full tilt every night. He wants it as bad as anybody. The dude is like a lightning storm on the court. Noah has limitations, and there are facets of his game that still need to be improved and polished. But honesty, every team would like to have a player like Noah on their roster. Heck, probably a whole team of Noahs (which is a scary notion, now that I think about it). Somebody who will sacrifice their body for the good of the team and would walk face-first through a Kraken attack to win."
Mark Ginocchio of Nets are Scorching recounts some of his favorite Meadowlands memories, including Drazen Petrovic's inside-out exploits and Kenyon Martin being called a fugazi.
John Krolik appreciates that mummifying LeBron James in bubble wrap until next weekend might be the smart way to go for Cleveland, but he's about ready for some meaningful basketball.