Friday Bullets

December, 16, 2011
12/16/11
2:31
PM ET
Abbott By Henry Abbott
ESPN.com
Archive
  • Oregonian beat writer Jason Quick on Brandon Roy: "I'm not ashamed to admit this. At the end of our interview, I told Brandon I love him." Here's that moving interview, where Roy admits that the first time he made the All-Star team he ran around his house screaming "I'm an All-Star!" Also worth reading through this unbelievable outpouring of Roy love from fans in Quick's feed.
  • Chris Paul once made Tyson Chandler look like a great offensive player. He can do the same for DeAndre Jordan.
  • David Thorpe always says the most essential part of being a good defender is wanting to be one. It's a huge point! Rip Hamilton has been on great defensive teams. And, at other times, less enchanted with his team, he has been a pretty bad defensive player. (Related: "Rude, conniving and fake." Remembering Rip Hamilton in Detroit.) Now Hamilton's talking like he wants it again, which is huge. Also ... John Hollinger's profile of Anderson Varejao tells this same story a different way: "For the season Cleveland gave up 3.17 points per 100 possessions less with him on the court, according to basketballvalue.com. Synergy rated him as the league's third most effective center, albeit in a limited number of minutes. Even with a bunch of Cavaliers 'helping' him, Varejao held opposing centers to a 13.3 PER according to 82games.com. The reason why is obvious when you watch him play: Few big men are as nimble laterally as Varejao, and even fewer are as passionate about defense. He's the best big man in the league defending the pick-and-roll and, despite lacking overwhelming strength, is a darned good post defender too. He doesn't block a ton of shots but he takes charges willingly, and he does it all while rarely fouling."
  • Carmelo Anthony, point forward?
  • Collin Murphy writes for HoopSpeak about life on the Caltech basketball team during finals: "This last one is one about program reasoning, a product of my toughest class this term. There are three questions that need to be answered. After grabbing dinner, I start up at around 8 p.m. After four hours of solid work, only the easiest of the three problems has been completed. Five hours after that I get part of the next one done. I give up on the last problem at around 7 a.m. and turn it in with a little over half the set done. I just could not stay up any longer. Pan, my roommate, has to drag me out of bed for practice. There are five of us in that class and we were all barely awake for practice. After our first bit of running, my eyes are revolting. Coaches are explaining how to run the drills and my eyes are shutting. How did my eyelids gain weight? While working, I forgot to grab any food so I haven’t eaten in what feels like days. While going to get water after another drill, a couple of us joked that it was tough to tell what we wanted more -- sleep, food, or water."
  • What do fans want to hear? They want to hear this.
  • Could the Rockets sue the NBA for the damages that resulted from not completing their big trade? A lawyer says yes, and speculates the biggest relevant damage would be the loss of Chuck Hayes, whose contract Houston could not match during the uncertainty. Key legal question, though, to me, is did the Rockets really believe Dell Demps could make that deal without Stern's say-so, even though the Rockets would have presumably known that the NBA's board of governors had charged Stern with signing off on such things? In other words, did Stern kill a trade in bizarre fashion, or just not approve one in normal owner fashion?
  • Related: On Wednesday a reporter asked Stern how it played out that everyone thought a deal was done when it really wasn't. The question was to David Stern or Dell Demps. Stern answered it, oddly, with insight into Demps' thinking, saying: "Dell never thought the deal to be done, and those who said that, all for attribution off the record, were trying to force him to make that deal. But Dell came to us in the normal course. He was presenting lots of different options and opportunities. He then presented this one to Jac and me, and we said that we weren't ready to sign off on that one at that time. He said, okay ... let's see what else we can do." Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles' report has reaction from someone close to Laker owner Dr. Jerry Buss: "Buss took exception to Stern's characterization of what went on behind the scenes before the trade was vetoed. Stern told reporters on a conference call Wednesday night that New Orleans Hornets general manager Dell Demps never believed the trade between the Lakers, Houston Rockets and Hornets was finished before Stern stepped in to kill it. 'That's a flat-out lie,' said the source with knowledge of Buss' thinking."
  • David Thorpe on things to watch for this season: "I still can't believe what I saw from LeBron in June, when he disappeared in clutch moments in the Finals. I'm not sure he can either. And I'm sure it's buried away somewhere deep in his mind, a dark and scary place he never wants to revisit. But what if he has a bad fourth quarter on Christmas Day in Dallas or in any other 'must-see TV' game later in the season? Will doubts creep back into his head? It's fair to wonder how he'll respond, because it's likely going to happen -- every player has bad quarters, halves or games. Will he ever be the same postseason player he was prior to the Finals? Probably, but it bears watching."
  • Kevin Durant should set more picks, as a way to get himself more open.
  • The Wizards used to lead the league in hilarity. Not anymore.
  • There's basketball tonight. NBA basketball. Preseason, but still ...

Henry Abbott | email

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