Tremendous first sentence, from Lee Jenkins' Sports Illustrated profile of Lamar Odom: "The happiest Laker is the one whose father was addicted to heroin, whose mother died of colon cancer when he was 12, who attended three high schools, had his first college scholarship revoked before the fall semester of his freshman year, became a subject of three college investigations, declared for the NBA draft, tried unsuccessfully to pull out of the draft, was picked by arguably the worst franchise in sports, violated the league's antidrug policy twice within eight months and after finally getting his life together, went home to New York City for an aunt's funeral and wound up burying his 6½-month-old son, then getting robbed at gunpoint."
Niall Doherty of Hornets247 notices one of the essential conundrums of the Golden State Warriors -- neither players nor coaches appears to be doing everything they could: "In Corey Maggette and Stephen Jackson, they have two guys that can get to the free throw line anytime they want to, but they seem far more content to settle for those long jumpers. To be fair, they really only fell into that trap in the second quarter, but that proved to be the difference in the ballgame. Had they stayed focused and attacked the basket in Q2, they would have given themselves a great chance to win this game. ... By the way, does anyone know what was up with Don Nelson chilling on the bench all game, preferring to let assistant Keith Smart work the sideline? Is that how Nellie usually runs ship?"
My NCAA picks have me ranked #2,167,290 out of all those signed up for ESPN's Tournament Challenge. Somehow that performance gets me in the 53rd percentile. Wow. There are a lot of people playing this game. Meanwhile, just two rounds into the tournament, not one single person out of those millions has a perfect record.
Matt Guokas admits he indulges his inner stat geek at the TrueHoop Network's Knickerblogger.net.
When twins Jason and Jarron Collins, or Brook and Robin Lopez, retire from the NBA, I know how they can make a lot of money: German criminal masterminds. Twins have very similar DNA to each other, which makes it very tough, at least under German law, to convict either one by DNA evidence. And sample could possibly be from the other one, and is this disallowed.
One thought about NCAA vs. NBA basketball: You notice all the college players wear the same shoes as their teammates? In the NBA, every player wears whatever shoes they want. That's because in the NCAA, they care so much about the impressionable young players. Those college coaches and universities have thoughtfully shielded those players all that dreadful sneaker industry cash, selflessly offering to keep it all themselves.
Is Rick Adelman in the Coach of the Year conversation now? Second in the tough west without Tracy McGrady?
The book on Zach Randolph, per Kevin Arnovitz of ClipperBlog: "When you have a power forward who isn't in the business of back line or help defense, you're going to give up a lot points in the paint. There's a reason the Clippers defended the interior so well during the Brand era, and why teams are gorging themselves underneath against the Clippers over the past few weeks. Randolph plays 18 minutes during the first half today. During the 11 Toronto possessions that Zach is not on the court, the Raptors score only 5 points [0.45 PPP] on 2-13 FGA. During the other 41 possessions, they score 49 points [1.20 PPP] on 20-39 FGA. These observations of Randolph aren't a product of any vendetta, fixation, or prejudice. In fact, they date back a couple of years. So until proven otherwise, I'll continue to insist that a team cannot succeed defensively so long as Zach Randolph is getting heavy minutes. The power forward position in the NBA simply doesn't work that way."
Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel: "When Dwyane Wade looks at the rest of this roster, what is compelling enough to make him say, 'This is a place where I want to stay?'"
Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune: "I told [Jerry] Sloan somebody was now imitating him on Twitter and he asked if it had something to do with farming." Siler adds that the purported Kyle Korver Twitter feed is a fake. Korver tells Siler he isn't into MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, or anything else like it.
Things are a little salty in Indianapolis. Consider this report from Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star: "Coach Jim O'Brien shook things up Saturday when he moved Ford to bench, slid Jack over to the point and put rookie Brandon Rush in the starting lineup at shooting guard. 'We had lost five in a row,' O'Brien said. 'T.J. and I both talked and he's not playing at the top of his game. I decided to shake things up to see if we can get a jolt.' You can't argue with the move at the moment. Jack looked like he was playing that video game 'NBA Jam' the way he was on fire against the Bobcats. He had 31 points on 13-of-14 shooting in just 32 minutes. The Pacers also ended their five-game losing streak. Jack didn't go into any details about his argument with Ford during the third quarter against Dallas on Friday. 'Things happen,' Jack said. "I don't think it's to the point where it's uncomfortable or anything. We talked (after the game Friday) about general stuff. The reason I got sent to the locker room had nothing to do with me and T.J. It was two separate things." Jack said they've moved on from the incident."
Nets executive Kiki Vandeweghe, as quoted by NetsDaily, on whether or not he would have fouled, up three against the Clippers, like Nets coach Lawrence Frank did: "If you're gonna foul, you have to look at the team you're playing. They hadn't scored much in the fourth. I think they were 1-for-7, their last seven possessions. So I think I would have taken a chance that they score two with little time on the clock and you just play it out. But look, there's also a school of thought and a lot of great coaches foul very quickly and they play the free throw game. We had a good free throw shooter there in Jarvis Hayes. I think had we had to do it over again, we pro
bably would have fouled, but probably would have let a little more time go on the clock which would have changed things dramatically."
Rumblings that Gilbert Arenas will be back in a Wizards uniform on Saturday. Tremendous first sentence, from Lee Jenkins' Sports Illustrated profile of Lamar Odom: "The happiest Laker is the one whose father was addicted to heroin, whose mother died of colon cancer when he was 12, who attended three high schools, had his first college scholarship revoked before the fall semester of his freshman year, became a subject of three college investigations, declared for the NBA draft, tried unsuccessfully to pull out of the draft, was picked by arguably the worst franchise in sports, violated the league's antidrug policy twice within eight months and after finally getting his life together, went home to New York City for an aunt's funeral and wound up burying his 6½-month-old son, then getting robbed at gunpoint.