- Beckley Mason, NBA
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It's near impossible to stop Chris Paul, but the trend around the league is to use a long, athletic swingman to smother the 6-foot point guard. That tactic has been effective for Golden State and Dallas, which used Dominic McGuire and Shawn Marion, respectively, to slow down Paul and the Clippers. But after reading this excellent post (with a great video of Paul discussing how he attacks taller players), I'm thinking that it takes more than one tall guy with quick feet to shut down CP3.
Something new on Jeremy Lin: a stereotype scholar explains how racial stereotypes worked both for and against the Knicks point guard.
Unexpected: John Hollinger says the Knicks are playing better defense when DPOY candidate Tyson Chandler sits. Expected: This has a lot to do with Chandler sharing the court with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. (Insider)
Brandon Jennings has the foot speed to be a disruptive defender, but coach Scott Skiles would like to see him be a bit more conservative: “The thing that Brandon always has to battle is going for a steal, 'cause he can steal the ball. He had [Lou Williams] all bottled up, six, five left on the shot clock and he went for a steal, Lou went to his right hand and shot a dotted line jump shot. He’s still working on it, he’s just got to battle the urge to gamble when it’s just keep my man in front of me.”
Is Chris Bosh better than LeBron James or Dwyane Wade? No. But he may be less dispensable to the Heat's offense. Brian Windhorst reports that Chris Bosh will return to the Heat lineup tonight after missing three games (two of them losses) following the death of his grandmother.
The Raptors are fighting hard for new coach Dwane Casey, but it's still important that they lose their fair share of games in order to nab a high lottery pick. So, according to Prospect of Raptors Republic, last night was a perfect game: "The Raptors were outmatched, undermanned, but still somehow managed to put in a scrappy effort and almost won the game, pleasing tank nation while still giving the home fans a reason to show up."
D.J. Foster on why the Clippers should be nervous about the postseason:"The best teams in the league force you to pick your poison, but the Clippers don’t really do that — Paul just administers the poison on his own and kills you himself. Eventually though, teams will start doubling Paul as soon as he crosses half court. We’ve seen it before in New Orleans — it’s not that crazy of a thought. They’ll get the ball out of his hands, and if they fail at that, they’ll collapse on him as soon as he moves towards the rim. Defenses will make anyone other than Paul beat them. A good portion of the time Paul will still beat them, but at times it will come down to things like this: Can Blake Griffin hit a mid-range jumper? Can Caron Butler hit the open 3 from the corner? Can Randy Foye make the right decision?
Jan Vesely wants in the dunk contest. Anyone whose nickname is "Air Wolf" gets my blessing.
Evan Turner's first start of the season didn't go so well. Should he be starting at all?
For GQ, Bethlehem Shoals writes that fans give Lamar Odom the benefit of the doubt because he's never been shy about showing an emotional vulnerability that is unusual for professional athletes, but pretty common in most humans.
The Charlotte Bobcats are making a legitimate run at being the worst team of all time. Related: Boris Diaw remains hopelessly out of shape, which may mean he's consuming calories equivalent to 200 White Castle burgers a week.
Zach Lowe takes on the impossible task of quantifying Rajon Rondo's trade value.
Plenty of people want to see Steve Nash get traded to a contender. But moving Robin Lopez might be more beneficial to the Suns.
A lot has already happened since the All-Star break. Here's a funny video recap of it all (and some made up stuff, too).