Thursday Bullets

  • Trust me, you want to see Kyrylo Fesenko's "SPACE MOUNTAIN IS TERRIFYING" face.

  • Speaking with SLAM's Tzvi Twersky, Allen Iverson recalls his first game with Michael Jordan: "Like, you’re just out there with him, and he’s your idol. You look up to him; he’s the reason you play basketball. And, then, you’re just standing beside him, waiting for the jump ball. I just remember I couldn’t stop looking at him, like, the way he had his uniform on, I’m looking at his socks -- he didn’t have the NBA socks on, which we’d get fined for not wearing them (laughs). He didn’t have the NBA socks on, and I’m just looking at him. He didn’t even look real."

  • Here's how the Heat-Pacers regular season series went: Heat win in a blowout. Heat win by a little less. Heat win in overtime. Pacers win in a blowout.

  • John Hollinger (Insider) expects a competitive series between Miami and Indiana, at least when Roy Hibbert is on the court: "To see how much of a factor Hibbert might be, check out this stat: When LeBron James was on the court against Hibbert in the four regular-season games, Miami was plus-17 in 128 minutes -- not good for the Pacers, obviously, but manageable. When LeBron played and Hibbert didn't? The Heat were plus-30 in 31 minutes."

  • ESPN's Israel Guttierez brings you a series prediction from Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: "This next series I'm sure will feel like it's played in a cage rather than a basketball court. It will be extremely physical."

  • Chris Paul channels his inner John McEnroe.

  • At the end of playoff games, the Grizzlies are suffering from bad-shot fever. The only prescription is more Marc Gasol, writes Rob Mahoney on Court Vision.

  • Remember when JaVale McGee threw the game ball into the stands after Denver took down the Lakers in Game 4? He was throwing it to his Mom.

  • PopcornMachine gives us a look at what the Heat did to the Knicks at the end of the first three quarters of Game 5.

  • Arron Afflalo hasn't found his shooting stroke in the playoffs, but he's still making smart moves off the ball, writes Brett Koremenos.

  • Having won a title in the last five years is a surprisingly powerful predictor of winning another, as Stat Geek Smackdown champion Benjamin Morris has explained. On Skeptical Sports, he digs into why that might be, and suggests it could be the result of the playoff format conveying big advantages to the best teams, whereas the regular season is more random: "In stark contrast to other team sports, the NBA Playoffs are extremely deterministic. The best team usually wins (and, conversely, the winner is usually the best team). ... This is pretty much a function of design: A moderately better team becomes a huge favorite in a seven-game series. So even if the best team is only moderately better than the 2nd best team, they can be in a dominant position. ... On the other side of the equation, regular season standings and leaderboards—whether of wins or its most stable proxies—are highly variable. Note that a 95 percent confidence interval on an 82-game sample (aka, the “margin of error”) is +/- roughly 10 games. If you think of the NBA regular season as a lengthy 30-team competition for the number one seed, its structure is much, much less favorable to the best teams than the playoffs are."

  • Wizards blog Truth About It isn't feeling any regrets about letting JaVale McGee go

  • Scary times for Clippers fans. When Blake Griffin went down clutching his knee, lots of people didn't know how to react. After all, he has that habit of making fouls look worse than they are. Which is too bad, because Griffin has spent this series repairing his on-court image, in minds of many. He's attacked the rim fearlessly, shelved that herky-jerky jumper and accepted the thankless duty trying to push the Grizzly big men, all of whom are bigger than Blake, away from their comfort zones. And he's done it all with solemn intensity rather than theatrical scowling. Here's hoping he comes back strong in Game 6.

  • SI's Lee Jenkins on HoopSpeak Live, talking about the Lakers and Nuggets and how much George Karl enjoys not coaching Carmelo Anthony.

  • Michael Schwartz's thorough postmortem on the Phoenix Suns contains this gem: "The Suns were also significantly better offensively with Frye on the floor, scoring 107.7 per 100 with him but just 98.8 without him. If Channing were a team, he would have ranked second in offensive efficiency this season. Phoenix also shoots better from every distance and floor area with Frye in the game, pretty crazy considering Frye himself shot just 41.6 percent from the floor. One would not think that would be the case for a streaky shooter who was so bad to start the season, yet his spacing ability really is that important to the Suns’ offense, and it has been the last three seasons." (Via Valley of the Suns)

  • It's nowhere near Los Angeles, but Stephon Marbury has a statue before Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

  • Ryan Hollins joins McGee as an oft-ridiculed 7-footer making a difference in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Kevin Garnett is still the player who makes the Celtics great.

  • Like Star Wars? The commenters of Daily Dime Live (which starts tonight at 7 p.m.) will make you smile.

  • Anthony Davis, King of the Fry-o-lator.