I don't conjure Pau Gasol when thinking of Rasheed Wallace. But according to Jim Cavan at the NYT's Off the Dribble blog, the two could soon have something of a symbiosis: 'Whether or not they end up dealing Pau Gasol before the trade deadline, the Lakers need to light a flame under their visibly unnerved power forward. Who better than Wallace, the emotional and spiritual cornerstone of those boringly fantastic Pistons squads, and the guy who nearly helped the Celtics overcome substantial odds and stifle the Lakers in 2010?'
You often hear that roster stability helps a team win, but does anyone actually parse whether this is true? Devin Kharpertian attempts the difficult feat over at Nets Are Scorching. The current upshot: 'However, while there’s a strong correlation between roster stability and winning percentage, there’s essentially none between team/roster stability and increased winning percentage from the previous year.'
This picture of a, um, jolly Michael Sweetney is all the rage.
Yes, the Lakers are aging, on the downslope, fading, waning, whatever you want to call it. But Darius Soriano is searching for ways to teach an old dog new tricks -- though the roster stability concern is actually raised here: 'The same arguments for how changing/adjusting the schemes has potential to disrupt the team can be applied to making roster changes. Chemistry amongst players and how quickly guys can make the needed adjustments to new roles in a new city with new teammates are intangible variables that can’t accurately be measured before a trade is made. For every Pau to the Lakers that is seemless and successful, there can be an Odom to the Mavs that doesn’t go smoothly at all.'
If you haven't read the New York Times piece on the life of a 10-day contract player, please do so. Brett Kormenos of HoopSpeak riffs magnificently, finding fault with the development structure itself: 'Despite the reality that many teams (contenders or otherwise) struggle to field productive nine-man rotations, the NBA virtually forgoes any attempt to control the development of the athletes that could potentially fill roster spots 7-12. In theory, the D-League presents a great a chance for young up-and-comers to hone their craft under the watchful eye of a parent club. In practice, it’s a much different story.'
Speaking of (former) D-Leaguers...Ian Levy of Hickory High attempts to find a comparison for Jeremy Lin, even trying on James Harden for size: 'However, the most glaring difference between Harden and Lin is their ability to score efficiently in the pick-and-roll. These numbers are somewhat misleading in that Lin is doing much more shot-creating for his teammates than Harden does, but the fact that he’s scoring just 0.78 points per possession in those situations is a limiting factor.'
You've likely heard that the Kings have reached a tentative deal to keep the team in Sacramento, a deal that was priority number one for Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson. Jonathan Santiago of Cowbell Kingdom brings you KJ's hero's welcome.
Apparently someone other than Steve Nash overachieved for the Suns. Bassy Telfair? Not so much.
Paging @HoopIdea! 3Shades of Blue has ideas to improve All-Star Weekend. Wait, who uses a pager anymore? Anyway, I like this dunk contest tweak: 'Instead of multiple freestyle dunks, the players must do the same dunks for the first three dunks. The best two are decided by a panel of past slam dunk winners. The finalists then get one final dunk to show their stuff and let the fans vote for the winner.'
Lob City seems like a lot of fun, but the road ahead is not so peachy.
This is paid-for content, but I would be remiss in not sharing Kevin Pelton's examination of the one, the only, "Udoh's plus minus." From Kevin's piece: 'Over the course of the season, the Warriors are 19.6 points better per 100 possessions, per BasketballValue.com. Only Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers (+22.9) has a larger net plus-minus in the league this season. If this is an artifact of the statistics, it's a remarkably consistent one. As a rookie, Udoh had a +11.7 net plus-minus. Therefore, despite his limited minutes, Udoh's adjusted plus-minus is becoming more statistically significant all the time.'