Wednesday, November 18, 2009
By Henry Abbott
- Magic Johnson vs. the credit crisis.
- The Chicago Bulls vs. the 1980s' last shreds of musical dignity.
- How not to guard Brandon Jennings, in still-frames of Monta Ellis and Mikki Moore. Operative quote: "This is wrong." And, in the wake of that whipper-snapper Jennings' arrival, the suggestion that Michael Redd may no longer be a necessary Buck.
- Derek Fisher, president of the players' union, says he thinks players understand the economic realities of today, and will work to avoid a lockout.
- It's a no-brainer that Gilbert Arenas has the potential to be a Twitter machine. The Gilbert Arenas-on-Twitter dossier.
- Chauncey Billups' agent would like you to watch this video. Chris Bosh's agent would like to destroy that video, especially for the key play (via John Schuhmann on Twitter).
- Acknowledge that the Thunder are good. Sure they lost to the Clippers on Sunday. But before that they won in San Antonio fair and square, and then last night they won in Miami, a team that had been 7-2. Royce Young of Daily Thunder: "I’d say everybody gets a game ball, but once again, Thabo Sefolosha was the stud of the evening. Miami relies on mainly one guy to provide their scoring. And that one guy was held to 22 points on 6-19 shooting and turned it over six times. Thabo on the other hands had just two points, but grabbed nine boards, dished out four assists and had four steals. He’s a wrecking crew." Also worth noting is that this game was a little chippy. UPDATE: John Hollinger (Insider) on Sefolosha: "He's already harassed Kobe Bryant (9-of-22, seven turnovers), Brandon Roy (5-of-17) and Kevin Martin (5-of-19) into rough nights, helping explain why the Thunder rank a healthy fifth in defensive efficiency. It also explains why the Thunder were so willing to ink their long-armed Swiss stopper rather than let him test restricted free agency in the summer of 2010."
- Hoping for less Devin Brown and more Darren Collison in New Orleans.
- Dan Feldman of PistonPowered: "After last night’s 106-93 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Jonas Jerebko went up to Kobe Bryant and congratulated him. Bryant look up, saw who it was, looked the rookie in the eye and said, 'Good game.' It’s funny, but I think Kobe was serious. Last night’s game turned for the worse when Jerebko began guarding Kobe Bryant. Bryant, who missed his first four shots, looked at the rookie and seemed to think, 'He’s guarding me?' All of a sudden, Kobe’s nagging groin injury and his cold shooting stroke disappeared. Bryant scored 40 points and added five rebounds, five assists and three steals. He controlled the game, and there was nothing the Pistons could do about it. That’s OK. Not many teams can do anything to slow Kobe. But it was encouraging the Pistons kept playing hard -- including Jerebko more than any other starter."
- If Austin Daye played for say, the Bulls, people would call him "the Bulls' version of Tayshaun Prince." But he plays for the Pistons. So does Prince. So I guess they'll have to call him Austin Daye.
- Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm's headline on the idea of Andres Nocioni in Boston: "The Celtics Have A Coupon For Average Combo-Forwards And They Would Like To Use It"
- Isiah Thomas's Florida International team won a game.
- You know how the Rockets have been trying out the idea that Trevor Ariza can be a star? I get it. I support it. I like Ariza. But at this early point in the season, it seems to me that he's great most of the time, but almost never when he's acting like a star. When he gets to dribbling, and hunting shots ... it tends to end ugly. Maybe that evolves over time.
- Derek Fisher tells the Kamenetzky brothers of the L.A. Times about Ron Artest and the triangle: "Ron (Artest) is the only that still has a lot of questions about how to respond or what happens if we call this or do this, and that's to be understood. But what would make his life a lot easier is if the other four guys would do the thing right, because there's only one place for him to be, if the other four guys are in the right spots. We're slowing down his learning curve by not paying attention to the details, and that's not fair to him and it's not fair to the team. Regardless of the win and loss record, we could just be playing much better."
- The king of the "and-one."
- D.J. Foster of ClipperBlog: "Everyone in the arena except for Baron realized he wasn’t a threat from outside tonight. The Clippers essentially have no chance to win when Baron reverts back to the shot happy, poor decision making version of himself that he was last year."
- Matt McHale of By the Horns: "The league’s leading rebounder -- which apparently isn’t good enough to get you onto the All-Star ballot these days -- finished with 15 points (5-for-8 from the field, 5-for-8 from the line), 14 boards, an assist, a steal, 2 blocked shots, 47 chest thumps and countless hustle plays. When Chicago’s sloppy play and poor shooting in the fourth quarter started to let the Kings back into the game, Noah stopped the bleeding by tipping in two misses by Kirk Hinrich and then adding a couple free throws. And forget the numbers. Noah’s energy and intensity is swinging games. It’s happening. Joakim’s transformation into a very special player began at the tail end of last season and it’s continuing now. The people who put together the All-Star ballot may not have realized it, but the people of Chicago are starting to. Noah has been the Bulls’ MVP so far this season. It may sound crazy, especially considering his limitations and the fact that Derrick Rose is the team’s franchise player, but it’s true."
- Must be some kind of record: The Cavaliers' J.J. Hickson books his third-straight career high in scoring.
- Portland fans are stressed out about a loss in Atlanta, the reality that wings Travis Outlaw and Nicolas Batum both seem to be out for a very long time, and owner Paul Allen is fighting Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. But the sunny side of Blazer fans' minds are focused on the fact that John Hollinger and David Berri, who often do not walk in lockstep, both call the Blazers one of the West's two best teams so far.
- Roy Hibbert needs the ball more.
- Marc Stein wants to make certain you saw this.
- The Nets are winless, but coach Lawrence Frank remains upbeat.
- UPDATE: Ron Artest on chucking Trevor Ariza's shoe off the court.