Monday Bullets

By Henry Abbott

  • Toni Sharpless, a single mother and a nurse, has been missing since August 23. One of the last places she was seen, according to police, was at a party at Sixer Willie Green's house. Police say Green had nothing to do with her disappearance, and are asking for help in finding her black 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix with Pennsylvania license plate DND-7772.

  • The Dallas Mavericks' defense, in fine video breakdown.

  • A big bunch of bullet points describing all the reasons not to like Clipper owner Donald Sterling.

  • Despite his age, and a trend in his own game in recent years, Kobe Bryant is getting more shots at the rim and free throw line -- evidence that off-season work on his post game is paying off.

  • Mark Cuban explains how Twitter is cutting Google out of the breaking news picture.

  • There are probably four zillion dorks online who will tell you they're NBA players. One of them, it turns out, really is Danny Granger.

  • A commenter on this story says that Glen "Big Baby" Davis needs to give up his nickname so Allen Iverson can have it.

  • How's Jeremy Tyler, the would-be high-school senior who's playing professionaly in Israel, faring? Pete Thamel of The New York Times: "His coach calls him lazy and out of shape. The team captain says he is soft. His teammates say he needs to learn to shut up and show up on time. He has no friends on the team. In extensive interviews with Tyler, his teammates, coaches, his father and advisers, the consensus is that he is so naïve and immature that he has no idea how naïve and immature he is. So enamored with his vast potential, Tyler has not developed the work ethic necessary to tap it."

  • Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star, on Tyler Hansbrough's first NBA game: "The stat that stood out was the 10 free throw attempts. Hansbrough's either going to get called for an offensive foul or he's going to get fouled when he goes up for a shot in the paint."

  • Tim Varner of 48 Minutes of Hell: "The Spurs’ early struggles owe themselves almost entirely to lousy defense, especially in terms of rebounding and contesting shots near the hoop. The problem is neither with schemes (the Spurs typically dominate the defensive glass) nor with the personnel (the roster has more than enough shot blocking and rebounding talent). The team simply needs to adjust the minutes within the rotation and feature more of its traditional bigs."

  • John Krolik of Cavs the Blog: "When Delonte West is on the floor, the Cavs are a +15.9 per 100 possessions. That’s the highest mark of any player on the team, including LeBron. Delonte needs more minutes. I get the off-court issues, but I still fail to see how bringing Delonte off the bench is worse for his mental health than starting him. However, I can definitely see how starting Delonte would make the Cavaliers play better basketball."

  • Brook Lopez, meet the low post.

  • Jeremy of Bucksbetball on Ersan Ilyasova, who has done an amazing job at being a really annoying defender: " Ilyasova has been one of the most productive players on the Bucks this year. What Ilyasova brings to the table is hard to quantify in statistics, advanced as they may be getting. While Ersan is frequently drawing charges (his three drawn rank him second to Bogut) it’s his maximum effort that really stands out. Whether he is grabbing a rebound, taking a charge or going to the hole, Ersan puts everything he has into each play. When Ersan sets a screen he gets as wide a base as any player I’ve ever seen on the Bucks. When he sees a rebound up in the air that he won’t be able to grab, he tips it and tips it until it’s either his or knocks it out to a teammate waiting on the perimeter. Ersan plays the pesky defense that opposing teams hate, constantly slapping at the ball when it’s exposed, trying to poke it away when it’s not; there is absolutely a reason he’s second on the team in fouls. The best way to quantify how productive Ersan has been is like this: he’s had a total of 23 stints in five games, in 12 of those stints the Bucks have outscored their opponent, in four they scored the same amount and in only seven have the Bucks been outscored. On the year Ersan’s plus/minus is plus 37, good for second on the team (behind Charlie Bell, sometimes these things aren’t perfect)."

  • On Cleveland.com, reader Yiannis submits Brian Windhorst a question I've often wondered: "Hey, Brian: Maybe it's just my ignorance, but why is Madison Square Garden considered the 'Mecca' of basketball? I looked up and saw that the Knicks have only won two titles. Furthermore, they showed a top-10 plays of MSG moments and I believe seven were from opposing teams." To me, it's in the biggest city in America, and that's a big deal. But the building and the teams that have called it home -- neither stands out in a major way.