Did Boris Diaw really improve, or did Atlanta just not let him do his thing? Mike D'Antoni, trusting players, the environment to succeed, and why youth coaches shouldn't be controlling like Larry Brown. Also from B-Mac: "Sure, it's great for the owner and coach to get along. But, I do not believe Adelman should have been fired because he didn't hang out at the Palms and I do not believe Whisenant should be the Kings coach just because he exchanges Christmas presents with the millionaire brothers."
David Berri: "And that is the tragedy of Kevin Garnett. Year after year he is the most productive player in the league. And year after year he plays with many players who are not only not average, but quite a bit below average."
Erin Podolsky: "Here's what I don't get: after the fifth time in the first half that Rip attempted to drop a pass off to McDyess after driving the lane (instead of just going up for the shot himself and maybe getting to the line) that was immediately batted away or flat-out stolen, why did he continue to do it?"
FreeDarko: "One thing that LB is capable of doing that not Flip or any other coach has done before: He knows how to stop teams who have Shaq. Larry is Kryptonite."
George Postolos resigns at president and CEO of the Houston Rockets.
Basketball writer projects Tyrus Thomas will go as low as seventh, and as punishment Thomas's agents reportedly ban the writer from a workout he had been invited to. Sports lawyer Michael McCann weighs in.
Thursday could mark the return of Raja Bell. Tonight we'll find out if he'll join a team that's down 3-1, or a team that's ready to slay another giant at 2-2.
First whispers about potential new locations for Ben Wallace: Chris Sheridan dangles Chicago and Toronto. Sheridan also explains he stopped believing in the Pistons when they won game six in Cleveland: "They looked scared that night, and they were lucky to get out of there with a win. That's when I gave up on them. Scared and lucky is no way to win a title."
Integrity alert! Chad Ford says Shannon Brown's dad, a cop, is paying for all of his son's workouts out of his own pocket to preserve his son's eligibility.You have to like that.
Ira Winderman: "When Rasheed Wallace was called during the second quarter for his third foul, he had the look of a player who wanted out."
Chris Broussard: "It may be too early for this, but I think Miami is going to beat Detroit and then go on to win the championship." He said it last summer, too, then backed off the claim mid-season. The first person I really know to have said Miami would win is this guy, a couple of weeks ago.
Winning the title is worth $150,000 or so per player in playoff bonus money. Steve Kerr: "Don't think it's not discussed among the players during the playoffs, either. Guys know there's not only a trophy at the end of the rainbow but a pot of gold as well."
Who's Who in International Players. A must-read as the draft approaches. For the record, I want that Sefolosha kid.
Banished to Asia, but not entirely silenced: NBA's Finest laments missing a lot of great NBA basketball.
Boris Diaw or Josh Howard. Pick one.
Michael Wilbon: "Once weakened and thin from treatments, nothing about Mourning appears vulnerable now..."