Before too long, I know I'm going to have to guess at which team will win the NBA title. And when I do that, I'm going to have to really stare into my soul and wonder: Do I believe in New Orleans? That team was magnificent last year, and ought to be getting better. Hard to see them losing a lot. Ryan Schwan of Hornets247 used some guesses at playing time, and some Wages of Wins numbers last year to make a pretty darned accurate -- if unlikely at the time -- prediction of 50 wins. Using the same technique this year, the numbers suggest 61 wins. One big worry he has: "[David] West is actually my biggest worry for an injury risk, not Peja. West has alternated good years with injury-plagued ones, and his injuries are notoriously slow to heal. Over his five seasons, he's averaged only 61 games."
TrueHoop reader Brendan e-mails: "When I first saw the Oklahoma City Thunder logo, I thought it reminded me of something, then I realized, it looks just like the logo for the WNBA's New York Liberty. The Shape of the logo and the color scheme, the main difference being the statue of liberty holding a basketball torch. Wouldn't the owners want to pick a more original color combination at least? Being a Knicks fan, it almost looks like they'll be using close to the same colors."
Author Sherman Alexie e-mails: "I am having fantasies that I pre-copyrighted about 10 or 12 possible OK City mascots ... and Thunder would have been on the list ... and sat back while the OK City guys had to approach me to get the copyright. And I would have scheduled a press conference to talk about honesty and honor and then gave them the copyright for free ..."
The Warriors' mascot, who is featured in the team's official logo, is still called Thunder and nobody at the NBA seems to think that is weird. Also, this same report includes word that if the Warriors were to change their official logo, they'd have to pay the NBA a half-million dollars. For what? Instead they introduced a secondary logo they use all the time instead.
Slow news day: Wondering why the Cavaliers bought an ad honoring LeBron James' gold medal. My thoughts: To be nice. To make sure everybody knows they do not dislike his commitment to the national team. And maybe to associate the Cavaliers brand a little bit with that gold medal.
Jamal Crawford, blogging a litle on Newsday's website: "I HONESTLY feel like I can make every shot that I take. You have to understand that's how I feel when I play. Some nights it happens but a lot of times it doesn't. And I believe this along with WINNING is the difference in me being a good player and a great player. I'm going to continue to get better at it...I know you're probably thinking, 'he's in his ninth year, if it hasn't happened already, it won't.' There's some truth to that, but to me, I don't believe it. Like I said I'm going on my ninth coach in nine years and each had a different philosophy on how they wanted to use me. But through it all I've gotten better each year I've been in the league. And the best is still yet to come ..."
The Spurs and Pistons topped the league in deep rotations last year, according to something called the Herfindahl index. There may be a test later, so pay attention.