Monday Bullets

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
3:27
PM ET
By Henry Abbott and Beckley Mason
ESPN.com
  • Carmelo Anthony dives into the stands one moment then drops a vicious spin move on Thad Young the next. That's real hustle -- most times when a player ends up in the stands he takes care to protect himself a lot more than Anthony did. By the way, he's doing great stuff when actually on the court, too.
  • Not a joke: Seven minutes into his season, Rasheed Wallace leads the NBA in points per minute, and is on track for nearly 21 rebounds per 48 minutes.
  • Neil Paine puts Kobe Bryant and Rajon Rondo on this list of the NBA's most overrated defenders (Insider): "In 2004-05, Kobe logged 40.7 minutes per game for one of the 40 worst defensive teams in league history, with the Lakers' defense somehow getting 2.4 points worse when he was on the floor. That touched off an eight-year stretch over which Bryant still garnered seven All-Defense selections despite the Lakers being little more than an average defensive team -- and actually playing one point per 100 possessions worse defensively with Bryant in the game."
  • Tyshawn Taylor describes the night Hurricane Sandy hit his Hoboken home for his NBA Rookie Diary: "My building was surrounded by five to six feet of nasty water on all four sides. My family lives about four blocks from me in the housing projects where I was raised. They don’t have power, and they had flooding, too."
  • I need more Sam Cassell in my life.
  • On HoopSpeak, Ethan Sherwood Strauss writes that Daryl Morey has assembled a promising core in Houston by ignoring widespread biases against players who come off the bench (James Harden), aren't drafted (Jeremy Lin), or specialize in defense (Omer Asik). Here's Strauss on Asik: "I swear, it sometimes seems like this league is in a price fixing conspiracy against its defenders. Unless you’re a big man with soft hands, good luck getting paid for defensive brilliance. Asik was a big man, but his hands were made from WD-40-soaked apple jugs. Asik struggles to catch the softest of passes and gets thwarted at the basket more than Yogi Bear. The cherry on top is that .480 on free throws. He also happens to play the kind of defense that can cripple an entire offense. Mobile, long, and smart, Omer protects the rim while hounding ball-handlers on pick and roll. Since frontcourt D matters disproportionately, this is no small value. When people scoffed at his $25 million contract, I wondered, 'Why isn’t defense worth that much money?'
  • Charles Barkley sounds bored with his work.
  • John Hollinger (Insider) says a few games is enough to prove the Magic are better than expected: "We're already close to making some definitive conclusions about the Magic. The expectation here was that they would be awful, as I'd pegged them for 17-65. Even two games tells us that forecast may be wide of the mark. The odds of a 17-win team winning consecutive games, even at home, in a truly random sample that the start of the season provides (as opposed to a cherry-picked two-game stretch from anywhere in the campaign), is south of 10 percent. That's to say nothing of the impressive margin of victory in those two games. Thus, even with a sample this small, we have pretty strong evidence that the Magic won't be as bad as I thought."
  • Conrad Kaczmerek wonders about all the assumptions, many from non-medical professionals, regarding Dwight Howard's back.
  • NBA player movie reviews, in which Evan Fournier confuses the film Cloud Atlas, part of which takes place in a distant post-apocalyptic future, with a true story.
  • Research suggests that the way that NBA players miss free throws and snow flakes have a lot in common.
  • Ray Allen got a new phone number, and Danny Ainge doesn't have it.
  • Greivis Vasquez, like Jason Kidd before him, proves that being tall is a fantastic asset for a pick-and-roll point guard.
  • What's going on with Denver's sputtering offense?
  • The Nets and Lakers offer strong examples of how teams can benefit from inverting the offense and posting up their guards.
  • The Miami Heat talk politics on the eve of our national election.
  • Daily Thunder ranks Kevin Martin as the team's second best player through week one.
  • The Sacramento Kings can't hit shots, even when they're right next to the hoop.
  • Sean Singletary, former Kings second-round pick now playing in the D-League, has a question for the ages.

Henry Abbott | email

TrueHoop, NBA
Beckley Mason is an NBA contributor for ESPN.com.

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