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Thursday Bullets

  • At a fine arts event in Boston, President Obama thanks the city for "giving" Tom Thibodeau to the Bulls.

  • "The Wire" gets a little too real ... the convicted murderer who played a murdering drug dealer in the show is arrested as part of a real drug sweep in Baltimore. Even more Wirish, it's all reported by the Baltimore Sun.

  • Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN's Heat Index on Chris Bosh: "The Heat's talented but distressed power forward picked an interesting time to kvetch about not getting the ball down in the low post. On Thursday night when he calls for the ball down low, he'll encounter one or more of the Lakers' three towering big men."

  • Al Jefferson tips in a winner, while the Raptors will be doing box out drills. Yeah, it was lucky, but it's hard work to give yourself a chance to be lucky. He doesn't get a hand on that ball, it has 0 percent chance of going in. He gets a less skilled hand on it, it might have a 5 percent chance. But he did what he did -- which is damned hard -- and gave it a 30 percent chance, let's say. That's lucky, and a little bit heroic.

  • Basketbawful points out that, despite Phil Jackson's pointers on when and where to cry, Lakers cry, too. Humans cry. What's the big deal? We can pretend they don't, or live in the real world. Also, I'd point out that Jackson is a member of the Positive Coaching Alliance which, you'd think, would keep him from publicly ridiculing players for being human.

  • The new Celtics are still learning the defense. And Celtic bloggers like Hayes Davenport of CelticsHub are still learning too: "How weird did it feel tonight to watch Carlos Arroyo lift up a shot, experience a reflexive sense of disgust, then realize you’re supposed to hope it goes in?"

  • Devin Harris traveled, by lifting his pivot foot then putting it back down. As a side note, Rob Mahoney's video inspection of Utah's key play raises another good point: After pivoting, can you take one more step? I have discussed this with NBA officials, and my impression is that when you're pivoting, you might be tempted to then step towards the hoop, as Harris did. Very effective! But careful: when you take off for the hoop, you need to jump off both feet simultaneously or it's a travel.

  • Twitter limitations in action. This morning I noticed that Vegas odds favored the Lakers over the Heat tonight, even though the Heat won big last time they played, and were now home. That struck me as a sign that big money was betting the Heat were falling apart. Then someone noted that Vegas bettors weren't entirely saying that ... the Heat were still the favorites to win the East, he said. So, wanting to pass along that insight (although, upon review, the Celtics are the favorites in the lines I have seen, followed by the Heat and then the Bulls), I retweeted him saying the Heat are favored in the East. And ... a whole bunch of people attacked the idea that the Heat were the favorite, as if it were some personal opinion we ought to debate. But the whole conversation was always just about betting favorites. Anyway, here it is explained in a few lines in the bullets, and hopefully fairly clear. But in 140 characters or less, this was an exercise in confusion.

  • Basketball Reference's Neil Paine is clearly brilliant, praises the hell out of the TrueHoop Network's recent work and does a nice job rounding up coverage of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference coverage.

  • Pat Riley has declared Erik Spoelstra the man in charge of the Heat. It's about time. Because it's hard enough to lead superstars. It's nearly impossible when those superstars have to wonder if you're really the one they have to deal with.

  • The NBA is getting serious about concussions. You know what's funny? Calls to crack down are calls for, essentially, regulation. As in the league bossing the teams around, saying no you can't play that guy. In general, I'm against that kind of intervention. The league is too bossy on too many things already. I'd much prefer that the teams exercise their own caution. But if, instead, they're encouraging players to play who ought to sit out, or if the proper experts are not being consulted ... that's shameful, and they'll leave the league no choice but to step in.

  • Maybe it's just wrong to want to assemble lots of superstars?

  • The night of crunch time.

  • Relentless goofball: Dwight Howard plays reporter.

  • David Stern says he is sad that Stan Van Gundy doesn't think Stern allows multiple opinions. Poor Stan ... now he's a prime target for a big ol' public Stern hug.

  • Danilo Gallinari's agent does not want you to see this. (Via Outside the NBA)

  • Yesterday we discussed Zach Lowe as Blake Griffin. Today he counters that if he's Griffin -- which he humbly denies -- then Kevin Arnovitz is Mike Dunleavy and I'm Donald Sterling. How did we get so far off course?

  • Here's a fun little lottery predictor tool where you can pick your team and see the odds of getting each pick.