Monday Bullets

  • Michael Jordan talking to LeBron James, in a mashup of internet videos.

  • A movement, among Cleveland fans, to laugh at LeBron James when he comes to town on Thursday. And a Cavaliers' season ticket holder (about five minutes into the podcast) says that James' return to Cleveland will be no big deal, as it has always been a football town. He adds that his tickets to Thursday's game are not getting any bids as he tries to sell them online.

  • Garbage Time All-Stars imagining what Tim Duncan thinks as his Spurs ascend to the head of the NBA pack: "Keep speaking of my age, insects. I am the mountain. I am the tides."

  • The Pacers, it's worth noting, have one of the NBA's best defenses. Once they start having the lucky bounces needed to win close games, their record could quickly get even better. Jared Wade of 8 Points 9 Seconds on beating the Lakers: "They smacked the champs in the mouth. Shot-making and execution are different things. They didn’t do a lot of the former this evening. But they did a lot of the latter. And while shot-making is fairly erratic and any given night can play out oddly on that front, execution breeds consistency. Once it becomes habitual, so does winning. Looks like Indiana might be forming a habit."

  • Splendid: Word clouds showing the players who have played the most, all-time, for your team. LeBron James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas are titans of Cavalier history.

  • Referee stats show home teams should be happy to see Eli Roe show up. He was high in the rankings last year, too.

  • The Kings may be trying to acquire a point guard, but Zach Harper says that's because there are good point guards to be had, not because Tyreke Evans has failed at the one.

  • Erik Spoelstra, as quoted by the Heat Index's Tom Haberstroh: "Sometimes it will get testy. And that’s good. Especially when people have a pure heart and mind about getting better, that just shows that the sides want to make it right. I’m going to demand. I’m going to push and prod. And a lot of times, players don’t know what is needed for a team to break through. The guys have been good about it. They understand they need to be coached, they need to be pushed, and that this is a process. We do need to do this together. But we need to get better."

  • Erik Spoelstra's challenge -- blending the insights and opinions of a dozen or more people, not to mention the front office and all those with opinions Spoelstra values ... it's hard to know how much of that his helpful and how much of it is just distractions and noise. Kanye West, for one, accepts a ton of input and seems to do pretty well with it.

  • The Bulls' defense is already much better than last season. And they have this crossover.

  • Look how Roy Hibbert got a crunch time dunk against a good NBA defense.

  • DeJuan Blair is starting for the Spurs, but then sits after a few minutes and never returns. What's that about? Tim Varner of 48 Minutes of Hell says the problem is that Blair is poorly suited to play alongside Tim Duncan: "Tim Duncan’s natural position is center. Everyone on earth knows this, with the possible exception of Tim Duncan. The Spurs know this. This is why DeJuan Blair spent his summer trying to develop a jump shot. And from what we gathered from the Spurs coaching staff, Blair put in the time and worked hard. He’s not lazy. He gets after it. But it just hasn’t come together for Blair, which is obvious to all those who’ve watched the Spurs this season. Because of his height and girth, Blair is a poor defensive match up against long bigs such as Pau Gasol and shooting fours such as Rashard Lewis. And without a jumpshot, he doesn’t work well alongside Duncan, who, as we noted, plays best at center. Again, the adjusted plus/minus numbers bear this out."

  • Bob Cousy is the patron saint of pizazz, but tells SLAM's Alan Paul it's not really him: "The first time I dribbled behind my back, it won a big [Holy Cross] game against Loyola, and it caused a huge sensation. I honestly had never done it before, but the situation called for it and I just responded to the moment. Because I was the only one doing that stuff, it got a lot of attention, which turned to exaggeration. Ninety percent of my game was bread and butter. I am a very conservative person by nature."

  • Russell Westbrook as Plastic Man. I swear his arm gets longer as the dunk progresses.

  • LeBron James vs. the Wizards, in a series of wacky and telling images portraying bad blood that has been running on and off for a while.

  • Yes, Carmelo Anthony shuffled his feet oddly before making the game-winner against the Bulls on Friday night. But, as the ball left his hand before he picked up his pivot foot, he did not travel.

  • An open letter from Kris Humphries to LaMarcus Aldridge. Hilarious, and poignant.

  • Tom Liston of Raptors Republic digs deep into the theory that Andrea Bargnani's game was cramped by playing alongside Chris Bosh: "While Bargnani’s scoring average is up, his effectiveness is not. Bosh created space for Bargnani by drawing double teams. Couple this argument with lower blocks, higher turnovers, less rebounds etc and we will conclude (so far) Bargnani was not 'held back' with Bosh in the lineup."

  • Tom Sunnergren of Philadunkia walks between Doug Collins and the Sixer fans who would blame him for everything: "People, as a general rule, don’t like things that remind them of their mortality. The fact that we’re all slowly dying is a downer and people hate downers (I guess Percocet is an exception). This is, in part, why it’s so painful to watch the decline of a veteran athlete as his body breaks down and betrays him: It doesn’t take a huge imaginative leap to understand the same thing is happening to us. There are worse betrayals though. That’s just the physical, white collar folks can convince themselves, a man is much more than that. What offers no quarter for rationalization though is a much more complete, much more ghastly, and only slightly less inevitable sort of fall; a mental one. The point where the accumulation of rich experience and the wisdom it affords ceases to offset the natural loss of neurons that come invariably with age and you just get … well, you get dumber. And that, I’m starting to sense, is the sort of fall people think Doug Collins has taken."

  • People who used to play for the Pistons, and are playing well now.