The Nets may be in money trouble, and in need of shedding salary. But don't be confused: They already have a low payroll.
Niall Doherty of Hornets247 wonders, if you could have Dwight Howard or Chris Paul, who would you take? "On ESPN's NBA Shootaround before the game, Stuart Scott, Avery Johnson and Jamal Mashburn were debating which player is more import to their team, Chris Paul or Dwight Howard. I recall Avery going with with Dwight (and had a great line to defend his choice: "Chris Paul, I'm still angry with him. He got me fired!"). That debate got me thinking about which player I'd rather start a franchise with, Paul or Howard? I've decided I'd go with CP for one main reason: he has no obvious flaw in his game. Dwight obviously does have a pretty big one, as we saw tonight when the Hornets decided to foul consistently and dared him to beat us with his 60 percent free throw shooting. Now of course that tactic doesn't work all the time or Howard wouldn't be a top-five MVP candidate or even an All-Star. But it works often enough for me to take Paul, who can hit from any distance with such accuracy now that he's damn near impossible to stop. Try double team him and he'll just beat both defenders with the dribble or find the open man. Sometimes he'll beat both defenders, then find the open man, just for kicks."
No, I won't let this Jose Calderon, pig farmer thing drop. Not yet! (Actually, a thought that has stuck with me: A goal for 2009 is to try some of Calderon's ham. Not sure how to make that happen, but I'm going to work on it.) Anyway, here's a fascinating and long video look at the kind of ham Jose Calderon loves. Keep watching, and you'll see food's equivalent of Moneyball, too.
Allen Iverson on charity, being a role model, and religion. Did you ever think we'd get to see one of the liveliest humans on the planet this wistful?
The Lakers, already a big man down, traded Chris Mihm to Memphis for a pick. Cost-cutting, in tinseltown, in a year of title contention. Gatinho of Forum Blue and Gold on one of yesterday's stealthiest trades: "I really wish things had worked out better here for Mihm. In the first year after the Shaq trade, Mihm was maybe the second best Laker, not in terms of talent but in terms of nightly effort. He cared and tried. Unfortunately, injuries robbed him of his legs and after missing two seasons with injuries he has been able to do little this year, and has had trouble getting off the bench on a deep team. We wish him well, and hope he gets some run and his game back in Memphis."
TrueHoop reader Ben e-mails: "Western Conference big men: keep your distance from Ime Udoka. He has a weird knack for being involved in injuries. Tyson Chandler's toe? Udoka. Dirk Nowitzki's leg? Udoka. Joel Przybilla's hand? Udoka. Oddly, Ime was not really at fault in any of these collisions. Chandler tripped over him getting back on defense, and Nowitzki and Pryzbilla were hurt trying to block his layups." The recurring theme here: Ime Udoka is made of iron. This is not news.
Skill curves. Tidy little graphs that -- through means that are unclear to me -- show how a players offense is affected by his usage rate. If Kobe Bryant has the ball more, does he tend to be more or less effective with it?