Tuesday, April 26, 2011
By Henry Abbott
- The Lakers know how to slow down Chris Paul, but don't do it consistently.
- A judge's decision for the NFL players is widely seen as a win for NBA players, too. On the one hand, it gives players the opportunity to break up their union with the conviction that the legal system will likely have their backs. So, that could happen. More likely, to me, is that NBA owners simply adjust to the news that the players' position has grown stronger, which will inform the offer the league has promised shortly. Bottom line is that the players have a little more muscle than they used to have. Both sides will adjust to that.
- Jesse Blanchard of the Spurs blog 48 Minutes of Hell: "The smoke and mirrors of this series was never about a head coach hiding a terrible team, but a flawed one. The quicker tempo, the pick and roll attack, the three-point shooting. These were all illusions to mask the real fact that age has taken away the two Spurs players capable of looking this ferocious brand of defense in the eye and destroying it."
- Analysis of how, exactly, the Memphis defense has been working.
- The one play that has Spurs fans feeling the end is near.
- Haralabos Voulgaris is recurring figure on TrueHoop. He's in the Stat Geek Smackdown, and an expert on Tim Donaghy. Here he is on TV playing poker. In one instance, Voulgaris doesn't look at his cards before talking an opponent into a bigger bet, which is kind of fun. I learned about that TV show from the blog Negative Dunkalectics, where David Hill has penned a fascinating look into Voulgaris, and why -- after trying to make headway running an NBA team -- Voulgaris has gone back to gambling, which would seem to suit his temperment, based on this quote: "There is something inherently rewarding in knowing on a night to night, week to week basis that you were 'right.' Profit and loss is the ultimate way of keeping score, and I really missed the concrete right and wrong feedback that you get when you risk your money on an opinion. When you are risking real money on your opinion, you are stripped of delusion."
- Bill Simmons: "Here's what we know about the Maloofs. 1. They inherited a ton of money. 2. At some point, one of them said, 'We like basketball, we should buy an NBA team.' 3. At a later point, one of them said, 'We like gambling, we should buy a casino.' 4. They no longer have a ton of money."
- No player is great in crunch time -- even the best miss a lot. But when your enemy misses, that's not just a miss. That's a choke.
- Royce Young of Daily Thunder on Russell Westbrook: "It’s all about accepting what he is. It’s like the scene in Band of Brothers when Speirs tells that one guy crying in the foxhole, 'The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function.' Westbrook isn’t a 'true' point guard. He never will be. The sooner you accept that fact, the sooner you’ll be able to appreciate what he is. A darn good basketball player that still has some room to grow."
- A lot of what's great about the Celtics -- from Doc Rivers' ability to inspire, to Kevin Garnett's dedication to his teammates -- is in these few seconds of video.
- The Mavericks finally start playing zone, and it works.
- This is pretty funny, if old: Mario Chalmers seems to think he's on the radio, when in fact he's on TV. Great smile from him when he figures it out.
- Is that an angry drunk bear on your head?
- Analzying calcium in Bismack Biyombo's wrist for evidence of his true age.
- Wayne Winston says the Spurs have been playing Matt Bonner and Gary Neal too much. He also says, based on the competition they have faced and the outcome, the Thunder, Hawks and Grizzlies have performed the best so far in these playoffs.
- A peek into the Rockets' coaching search.
- CrossFit is an exercise regimen that involves constant and intense series of different workouts. Except when Charles Barkley does it, when it seems to involve a lot of hands on hips, gasping. I don't blame him, though. Looks hard as hell.
- Sometimes Thaddeus Young is the kind of player who can lead a good team.
- Joey Litman, Knicks fan and blogger, on Mike D'Antoni, as quoted on SBNation: "It is no coincidence that Kevin Love put up a 30-30 against the Knicks, or that anecdotally, seemingly any player capable of a big scoring night will have one against New York. Al Horford may not have meant this, specifically, when he said that no one fears Amar'e Stoudemire, but he struck at the Knicks' defensive ineptitude. There is little concern that the Knicks will make life hard for opponents. The relentless pace and elevated scoring may apply pressure to keep up, but that's the better kind of pressure. Who doesn't want to shoot more often? What the Knicks don't do is deny post entry; shove players who come through the lane; knock down guards with the temerity to come inside. These defensive elements are not constitutional components across the roster, and they certainly aren't practiced as a learned instinct. Blame for poor Knick defense starts with D'Antoni."