Friday, December 10, 2010
- ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst on Erik Spoelstra: "His most impressive work, without much doubt, has been the past two weeks. After the Heat lost five of eight games, some of them in terrible fashion, Spoelstra not unexpectedly found himself dealing with rumors about his job security. It was especially trying when reports surfaced of player unrest. Actually, make that star player unrest. This is when slick salesman tactics are often useful. Spoelstra responded with some selling and did so probably the only way he knows how. On a Monday afternoon, before the Heat were to play a game against the Wizards, Spoelstra held a defining news conference in which he talked about welcoming conflicts. He didn't speak like a man who was afraid to be fired but rather like a coach who knew he was right. It was clear that Spoelstra had made the same statements behind closed doors. And it was clear he was unafraid and unfazed. There was a different vibe in the Heat locker room that night and it showed on the floor. The team hasn't lost since."
- Most underpaid player in the NBA: LeBron James.
- I could watch Kevin Garnett's alley-oop layup winner 100 times in a row. CelticsHub's Brian Robb takes a nice look at Doc Rivers' history of drawing up some beautiful crunch time plays. For the record, David Thorpe sees two errors on the Sixers' part -- switching the pick so Jrue Holiday ends up on Garnett (astute readers will note he was in favor of switching on a different crunch time play yesterday -- the difference is that was only a half-second left). But the main flaw he saw was on the part of Lou Williams, who should have protected the paint better, even at the cost of leaving Nate Robinson open. The reason: In the time it would take a pass to get to Robinson, he could have recovered. But a big man at the rim ... that's deadly.
- Healthy Kevin Garnett means everything.
- A friend asked me a ton of questions about the NBA's halftime shows. There seem to be so few of them, that repeat so often. The Red Panda, Quick Change ... are they booked ad hoc by teams, or do they have some kind of season-long deal to show up a zillion times all over the league? Well, I intend to get to the bottom of that, but my first step was to google a little, and then I quickly grew distracted watching YouTube videos of other halftime acts. I invite you to join me in getting less done today than you intended, by watching the ball-handling of the Alexandria Aces, the seriously good rope jumping of King Firecrackers, and whatever it is they do in the video I downloaded from the Flippenout website.
- Bill Bradley on the man Kobe Bryant is about to pass on the all-time scorer's list: "My game was running. But John Havlicek ran me."
- Fantastic bobblehead video.
- Howard Beck on Carmelo Anthony, whom many see as a potential Knick savior: “As for scoring, which is Anthony’s only elite skill, the Knicks have plenty. They are fourth in the league in offensive efficiency.”
- Mark Cuban and Mikhail Prokhorov, both unblinking in their death match for the "best owner to party with" title. This is impressive as they're also both total geeks, in their way. For instance, on the same day, here's Cuban out-geeking Google.
- Winona Ryder does not use the internet. Just so you know.
- Spike Lee and Ted Leonsis: buddies. Leonsis blogs that Lee will be at the Wizards game with him: "We share Brooklyn, filmmaking and sports in common. We are the same age as well. Spike was very generous with his time as I made my first film and I am grateful to him."
- Should we be worried about the WNBA?
- Your zone might leave that guy in the corner, but that's not the same as forgetting that guy in the corner.
- Al Horford is having an incredible year. What can opponents do about that? One thing to try is forcing him left.