Thursday Bullets

May, 17, 2012
5/17/12
4:55
PM ET
By Beckley Mason and Henry Abbott
ESPN.com
  • Mike Meister, founder and head coach at the Thunder Sports Institute, e-mails a question some stat geek may be able to address: "Looking at how the Thunder made their comeback reinforces what I teach my teams: Players love to practice halfcourt shots or running 3s, but mine get chewed out for it all the time. My experience with almost 70 teams and my own playing experience is that you win more games with layups and free throws than you will with jumpers, especially 3s. I don't have access to Synergy or Elias, but I scanned through articles and tend to find more instances of this trend. My question, which maybe will be something you would look into anyway, is: Are more NBA games won on free throws and layups than on jumpers? Especially deeper mid-range and 3s. I know overall for the game, yes, but just looking at crunch time scoring and maybe especially the last two minutes."
  • What can the Clippers do to slow down the Spurs offense? Perhaps they'll try to make Boris Diaw a scorer.
  • So Bill Laimbeer and Isiah Thomas walk into a diner ...
  • We noted on Wednesday that the Lakers and Thunder don't draw a lot of charges. (TrueHoop reader Michael's great point: Teams with quality rim protectors, like these two, don't have to resort to charges to stop layups and dunks.) Charges are not the same as flops. But they are prime opportunities to flop. And sure enough, there won't be a Flop of the Night today, for the simple reason that after a night of Sixers, Celtics, Lakers and Thunder, we can't find clear video of an obvious flop. Now, if history is any precedent, tonight's action, which includes the Heat, Clippers and Spurs, will feature plenty.
  • The Brooklyn Nets logo has roots in old New York City subway signs.
  • Has Sebastian Telfair found a home in Phoenix?
  • Grantland's Michael Kruse digs deep into why we don't have ads on jerseys: "Tradition is an incomplete explanation. That $370 million sits fat like a hanging curve. It takes a special kind of credulity to think owners of teams in major American sports who are so resolute in all manners of revenue extraction simply shrug their shoulders here because of some particular reverence for convention. Ads on jerseys will unsettle the fans? They will not. It'll be like new Facebook or something, when everybody bellyaches for about 10 minutes and then it's just Facebook. We'll get used to ads on jerseys, and fast, and the owners know this. Because we always do. Because we get used to things like the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl and extra points getting kicked into not just a net but an Allstate ad. That's a Coors Light Cold Hard Fact. So what's really the reason for this country's faux-prudish reluctance to put ads on jerseys?"
  • How one man learned to love the Spurs.
  • Chris Paul and Eric Bledsoe have been a tremendous combination in the playoffs, and were in the regular season too ... so why don't they play together more?
  • Rashard Lewis made $23,336 per minute of basketball played this year.
  • SI's Zach Lowe on James Harden's role in Oklahoma City's end-of-game offense: "Oklahoma City players attempted 120 shots in the regular season during games in which the scoring margin was three points or fewer in the last three minutes of regulation and overtime. Durant and Westbrook took 103 of those shots, per NBA.com. Harden took five. He made one. James Harden, Sixth Man of the Year and likely All-Star next season, made one basket the entire season in the last three minutes of a close game. He has already taken five such shots in six postseason games, compared to six attempts for Durant. This is a sea change happening instantly, a strategic switch so dramatic you almost wonder if Scott Brooks has been waiting all season to unleash Harden on unsuspecting defenses.
  • Thunder fans react positively to their Game 2 win. (Via @Okastro)
  • Wait, left-handed Greg Monroe is actually right-handed?
Beckley Mason is an NBA contributor for ESPN.com.

Henry Abbott | email

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