Wednesday Wizards

By Henry Abbott

They're not bullets today in honor of Abe Pollin.

  • Several Wizards, on video, talking about Pollin. A terribly sad tale of Pollin's two children who died of heart troubles.

  • Now that Allen Iverson is on the shelf, Monta Ellis is emerging as the NBA's mini-gunslinger of note -- with the mentality and skill to overshoot his team into or out of any game. When he has it rolling, look out. He also had 11 turnovers! But who cares, the miserably short-handed Warriors won in Dallas, just like they blew out the Blazers on Saturday. He has a tenacity about him these days that, if you could bottle and share, would be worth millions.

  • Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, talking on WHBQ in Memphis, and via Sports Radio Interviews, on drafting Hasheem Thabeet: "Every year people can say that all those guys who were in the top 15 in the draft or the top 10, discussed about where we were or who we should take, Brandon Jennings was probably the least talked about because he had been overseas and hadn’t played very well. But everyone thought that Tyreke (Evans) was going to be a good player, and Jonny Flynn. You had (James) Harden. All the guys who were up there drafted were discussed and debated. With our team the way it was last year, we felt we needed to add some wing players and we needed to add some defensive players. Hasheem was the guy who was blocking all the shots in college and we felt like he would be able to do that in the NBA and still feel that way."

  • Jonathan Lemire and Larry McShane in the New York Daily News: "Knicks Hall of Famer Willis Reed remembers Dean Meminger in the Boston Garden, locking down a torrid Jo Jo White in a deciding seventh game back in 1973. A far different Meminger, now 62 and plagued by years of drug addiction, was recovering Tuesday in a Bronx hospital after a fire possibly started by a crack pipe. Meminger, a key backup on the 1973 championship Knicks, was found unconscious near the bed in his room at a dilapidated SRO on Sunday night. Several crack pipes were found in the room and the hallway of the building on Findlay Ave. in Claremont, FDNY sources said. The drug paraphernalia remained the suspected cause of the four-alarm blaze, although fire marshals were still investigating."

  • Channing Frye explains his ability to shoot 3-pointers.

  • The Hawks have John Hollinger talking about a big four teams in the East, instead of just a big three.

  • The Lakers are doing just about everything well, except perhaps playing garbage time last night. Also worth considering: Kobe Bryant's 3-point shooting has been miserable at 19% so far, but that's surely an aberration. If he'd been making his career average he would have made 11 of his 32 shots from downtown (instead of six). That would have been 15 points essentially for free, for a team that's already 11-3. (And yes, I know that rhymes.)

  • A fascinating and strong case that if he took a minimum salary to join a super team, LeBron James would not just win a lot of titles, but also make himself a fortune with a sky-high public image.

  • This is hilarious. Cavs the Blog has always had all-lowercase headlines. I thought that was John Krolik's way of being a certain brand of cool. Turns out it always just some software error, which has been fixed.

  • Kyle Weaver was in the D-League playing preseason this time yesterday. Then last night he steps into the Thunder's regular season rotation for 15 minutes and ends up with seven points on three shots, to go with an assist and three blocks in 15 minutes. That ain't bad, for being on the edge of the D-League.

  • Philadunkia: "Eddie Jordan finally played rookie Jrue Holiday for extended minutes. The result, 11 points, 6 rebounds and a block as Holiday led the Sixers comeback that cut the Wizards lead from 14 to a single point."

  • Eric Gordon is due back soon, which is tremendous news for Chris Kaman.

  • Kobe Doin' Work is coming out on DVD, and Spike Lee advises other NBA players to buy it as a tutorial in how to play the game.

  • Tim Donahue of Eight Points Nine Seconds: "After [Jim] O’Brien made a lineup change specifically designed to address their pick and roll defense issues, the Pacers opened the game by — wait for it — being torched twice on successive pick and rolls."

  • Nate McMillan explains his team's use of zone defense. NBA coaches don't use a ton of it, and how and when is often a mystery. This sheds some light.