May, 4, 2012
By Beckley Mason
- The Thunder are doing a great job of locking up Jason Terry.
- I'm not sure it's possible to look tough when you're in Mickey Mouse ears, but the Pacers make a good effort.
- Tom Sunnergren of Philadunkia has some important advice for Jrue Holiday and the Sixers: "In an admittedly small sample, [Jrue's] shooting 70 percent in this series when Rose isn’t on the floor. In a larger one, he’s scoring 21 ppg in five games against the Bulls this season. Get to the basket, Jrue. Challenge Watson defensively: Derrick Rose only averaged 1.8 personal fouls per 48 minutes in the regular season, his backup committed 4.3. Use that. Most of all, though, the Sixers can’t relax for a minute. The Bulls are wounded, but don’t take them lightly, guys. You’re liable to get your hand bitten."
- Things I didn't know before reading this Mark Murphy feature on two of the unique talents in the NBA: Rajon Rondo introduced Josh Smith to Smith's future wife, and that the two crashed a prom together as high school seniors.
- What happened to Devin Harris? The picture at the top of this post says it all.
- The NBA playoffs are showcasing the guile of the Gasols.
- SI's Zach Lowe looks for ways the Nuggets can turn things around against the Lakers. Solving this issue is going to be a doozy: "The Nuggets have struggled to defend the Bryant/Sessions pick-and-roll, a play that has really flummoxed the league since Sessions arrived as the true dribble-drive threat Blake and Derek Fisher -- also occasional partners on this play -- could never be. They switched a ton in Game 1, leaving poor Lawson to try to defend Bryant. They tried to avoid switching in Game 2, in part by having wing players (Gallinari and Brewer) defend both Sessions and Bryant. Denver was better, but still inconsistent; perimeter defense and over-switching have been an issue for much of the season in Denver, and finding a workable solution to this simple play -- one that doesn’t involve defense-breaking rotations elsewhere -- is going to be hard."
- Is Lamar Odom really ready for a comeback?
- Chris Paul said this about Marc Gasol to the Clipper bench: "I'm going to knock him out." I'm sure the 2011-12 Pacific Division Sportsmanship Award winner was talking about knocking him out of the playoffs.
- A look back at some players who should have been in the All-Star Game.
- Some who hoped Oklahoma City would develop a "system" on offense have voiced frustration. But heed this, from Rob Mahoney: "The Thunder are so tremendously good at utilizing the secondary break -- a stage of semi-transition that has long been good to the Mavericks as well. The only difference: Westbrook, Durant, and Harden all put so much pressure on opposing defenses in the initial transition stage that shooters are subsequently open almost as a default."
- Vince Carter says he can still do a 360 windmill dunk. Dallas would make due with more scoring of any kind.
- One of my favorite things during the postseason: David Thorpe's postseason MVP rankings (Insider). According to Thorpe, the guy at No. 5 "may be the most dangerous offensive force in basketball today." This list always contains a few surprises, including ... Nick Young?!
- Congratulations to Ryan Anderson, the 2012 Most Improved Player. This award may represent an improved public profile more than actually improved play, because a look at the numbers shows there are some far more deserving candidates. Ryan Anderson was really good last year; he just didn't play nearly as much.
- Kevin Durant had a shooting night that was reminiscent of what Dirk Nowitzki did to the Thunder last year.
- The Pistons want Kyle Singler to come back to the Detroit. But it sounds like he's having a jolly time living and playing in Spain. Can't say I blame him.
- Tacking on a couple Kobe-related points to Henry Abbott's post on why the Lakers should give Andrew Bynum more late-game touches.