By Henry Abbott
Kevin Garnett tops a list of NBA defenders, as measured by a Dean Oliver-inspired metric that extracts individual accomplishments from play-by-play data. Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Marcus Camby and Gerald "20 rebounds last night" Wallace round out the top five.
Don't look now (and in this sample size, it literally does not matter) but just for fun ... the plus/minus numbers show the Nuggets are better when Carmelo Anthony sits. This is very different than the Kevin Durant situation, however. Durant's story is one of two years of his team being better without him on the floor. Anthony's is three games. Statisticians disagree on the value plus/minus at all, but they agree that bigger samples are much more significant. I think we can all agree, though, that at some point or another good players ought to be helping their teams play better than the competition, right?
True or false: Robert Parish scored more career points than Larry Bird. True or False: Allen Iverson has scored more career points than Kobe Bryant. Answers.
True or false: One game into his career as a Grizzle, Allen Iverson is super bitter about playing time. OK, that's too easy. Twitter, by the way, is abuzz with more people chastising Iverson for growing his cornrows back.
From a press release about a new club that is opening in the highest level of the Staples Center: "Modeled after its famed predecessor on Sunset Boulevard, the $1.3 million Hyde Lounge is designed by interior design firm Studio Collective, with ledge seats overlooking the bowl and a masculine yet warm design of rich cascading fabrics, serpentine leather furnishings, edgy hand-carved finishes and ceilings trimmed with onyx, mirror and gold tile. Special events and tableside bottle service thrive in almost 4,000 square feet of space, featuring 3 bars, two salons, a dancehall and a private ‘great room’ replete with rosewood walls, curated art and floating LCD TV screens." There's something about that "masculine yet warm" line that fascinates. In wondering what that means, I'm trying to think of something else that's masculine yet warm. An overcoat? A ski lodge? A not-too-enthusiastic hug? UPDATE: Fanhouse editor Rob Peterson excels at this game: He suggests a nice bowl of hearty beef stew, or this sweater. UPDATE: On Twitter, @nerdliness crushed this one with an Empire Strikes Back reference. What's masculine but warm? "Crawling into the belly of a dead tauntaun." Wonder if that's what they had in mind in designing the Hyde Lounge.
Scary news for the League: Chris Paul has been shooting really well. (Ryan Schwan of Hornets247: "I also wanted to point out that Paul's jumper, if he's given only a little room, has been automatic so far. Until a forced three at the end of the shot clock in the third, he'd hit every three-pointer he'd taken this season, even the three-quarter's court heave he put up just after the buzzer to end the half tonight.") Scary news for New Orleans: The Hornets still aren't that great.
The Bobcats have made 18% of their 3-pointers so far. To which the Bulls, hitting just 16%, say "cry me a river."
Shane Battier was the "no-stats All-Star" last night. Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm: "You cannot outwork Houston right now. You just can’t. You can bust your ass all you want, they’re going to work harder, be smarter, make every single small play that you need. Teams with potential and no focus always wonder where those little plays are. The answer, as I tweeted last night, is that the Rockets have stolen all of those plays from your team and are keeping them for themselves. Shane Battier was +36 against a predicted playoff team last night. They have no star power! This isn’t supposed to happen! Even if they were to put together a fight and a few wins against overlooking teams or on back to backs, they weren’t supposed to come out and look like a team that could beat anyone, anywhere, any time."
The Nets appear to be a mess. Lawrence Frank's basketball knowledge is unquestioned, but the mix on this team is not working right now.
The Timberwolves, says Kevin Arnovitz of ClipperBlog, "don’t demand any coverage along the perimeter, which allows opponents to sag at will." It's clearer than ever why they say they want to run ...
David Berri says that Rajon Rondo is a bargain at $55 million, but predicts that as his teammates age, and the team starts losing, he'll keep being one of the best players in the NBA, but people will stop valuing him as much because he's not a scorer.