Wednesday Bullets

  • Is crunch time really so damned important?

  • Darius Soriano of Forum Blue and Gold: "After the game, everyone had an opinion on Kobe’s ankle injury. Most of the Hornets players (plus coach Monty Williams) said that Kobe really wasn’t that hurt, essentially saying “did he look hurt out there?” And while Kobe was surely good enough to play, I thought he was noticeably moving gingerly early in the game and later on you could tell he didn’t have a lot of burst when moving off the ball. Plus, on defense, he didn’t have any quickness when trying to move laterally to keep up with guys off the dribble. Several times even Belinelli went right by him off the dribble when Kobe tried to close out. As for the dunks he threw down being evidence that Kobe’s not hurt, go back and review them. Notice that neither of his dunks came off his bum left leg. The Okafor dunk was a two-footed takeoff and on the left-hander he tossed in over Landry, Kobe jumped off his right leg. Neither required a lot of lift from his bad leg. Even when Kobe was driving he was pushing off his right leg a lot (something he does frequently anyway). Basically, I thought Kobe compensated for his injury well but that the plays he made last night don’t really erase the fact that he’s pretty banged up."

  • Why the NBA's labor situation could play out incredibly differently from the NFL's, even in the event it does follow the same playbook.

  • If you get way into that 5-hour energy stuff, and have a video camera, you could make something like this for your team.

  • The Wizards have their next star, John Wall, in place. How long 'til he can be part of a good team?

  • This matters for basketball. Humans are getting dramatically taller, at a rate that would make Darwin blush. A key factor is nutrition in the womb and in early life -- where nutrition is terrible, therefore, I suspect even taller humans can be expected to arrive, eventually, with better diets.

  • Keeping Chauncey Billups around gives the Knicks a contract that expires at the right time to make a play for Chris Paul or Deron Williams.

  • Rob Mahoney writing for the New York Times: "Indiana’s Paul George played remarkable, relentless defense against Rose, and showcased his potential for disrupting ball handlers of any speed or size. Rose’s late-game performances will dominate most retrospectives on the series, but it was George’s defense that made this a series to begin with; if not for George’s hounding Rose at every turn, the Pacers would have been eaten alive. This series was marked by not only George’s true arrival on the N.B.A. scene after a rocky rookie season, but also that of Frank Vogel, the Pacers’ interim coach for 38 games. Everything that George accomplished in this series was possible because of his coach’s insight, preparation and audacity. Vogel had the nerve to allow George, a rookie swingman who had played 61 games as a pro, and started just 19 times, to defend Rose, the league’s likely most valuable player. More important, Vogel didn’t overreact to Rose’s 39-point and 36-point games — both Pacer losses – to start the series, as he stuck to the game plan that had given his team a fighting chance. Desperation can act as a siren’s call to some, but Vogel was having none of it. Four of the games in this series ended in a coin flip as a result of Vogel’s strategic commitment, a great triumph for a No. 8 seed contending with what many thought to be the best team in the league."

  • Not sure I understand precisely what's happening here at this Stathead blog, but it could be cool.

  • How to get Pau Gasol more involved in the Laker offense, in video.

  • The Lakers are looking pretty serious about cutting costs. Don't forget that revenue sharing from teams like the Lakers and Knicks is no small part of what everyone is hoping will keep the NBA running in the years to come. And they're cutting the video guy?

  • Some in Ohio remember LeBron James for the Decision. For others, it's a good floor.

  • Great thing about exciting young teams is that they're exciting. All hail Russell Westbrook.