Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference is looking into teams that are better in the playoffs than they were in the regular season: "The 2010 Celtics are the second-most improved playoff team ever, having tacked on +7.8 points of estimated efficiency differential to what you would expect their performance to be in the playoffs. However, that's a distant 2nd place behind the 2001 Lakers, still owners of the most improbable postseason run in NBA history: the '01 Lakers essentially went from a good but not great team during the regular-season to arguably the greatest team of all time during the playoffs!"
CBS Sports announces that Steve Nash, a soccer maniac who was born in South Africa, will produce a series of videos from South Africa's World Cup that will be on the CBS YouTube Channel. Also, his third-annual "Showdown in Chinatown" soccer game will be 6 p.m. June 23 at the Nike Fields in Manhattan's Sara D. Roosevelt Park.
What do you think about the NBA adopting soccer's rule, where fouls are ignored if, in the referee's view, they'll remove the fouled team's advantage. In other words, if you foul me to prevent a break, the break can continue anyway.
Oh wow, this is great. A quiz about the characters different NBA players have portrayed in the movies. If you can ace this thing, you know way too much.
The Nets had been gearing up for a future with John Wall, but then they got the third pick in the lottery. Which means ... what exactly? Well, not to state the obvious, but it sure increases the chances that Devin Harris is the point guard for the foreseeable future, as Mikhail Prokhorov has discussed.
The 2010 Celtics are a lot like the the 1969 Celtics, as pointed out nicely by M. Haubs on The Painted Area. For instance: they're old, they underperformed in the regular season but surprised everybody in the playoffs, they had contributions from a wide range of people (did you know this year's Celtics have not had the same leading scorer in consecutive playoff games?) and, most importantly ... they face the Lakers in the Finals. In 1969, Boston managed one final upset in the Finals.
Point guard draft prospect Matt Bouldin has a nice little asset: Deron Williams and John Stockton work out together in his local gym, and he has played with them.
They say performance enhancing drugs don't help in basketball. Well then why did this Romanian player and his team doctor get hefty suspensions for them?
The Timberwolves could really use someone who can shoot exceptionally well from long range. Is that Wesley Johnson?
When I was in Queens eating balut in a Filipino restaurant, I happened to bump into author and TrueHoop reader Rafe Bartholomew, with whom I have e-mailed many times. His book about basketball in the Philippines called "Pacific Rims: Beermen Ballin' in Flip-Flops and the Philippines' Unlikely Love Affair with Basketball," is out now, and he's going to be speaking soon at Gelf Magazine's excellent Varsity Letters reading series.
Some people are trying to drum up support for a "LeBron James to Portland" movement. In a poll on BlazersEdge, most Blazer fans say they're against that movement. So, in a weird way, if no one had done diddly to try to convince James Portland loves him, perhaps he'd feel more loved than he does.
David Berri's numbers say the Lakers will win, but he's picking the Celtics in part as a tribute to Jeff Ma.