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Monday Bullets

By Henry Abbott

  • Delightfully simple. The second video on this page shows Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan working together to get a dunk. There's not a single unique skill on display. Chris Kaman fronts Tim Duncan, so Duncan seals him in front, protecting turf between himself and the rim. Ginobili recognizes the ploy, and drives baseline, giving himself a passing angle to Duncan. He leads Duncan nicely with a bounce pass, and lo and behold the Spurs get an uncontested dunk against a set defense. Every team in the NBA could do that once in a while.

  • Greg Oden had trouble with that kneecap a while ago.

  • Professional players in Europe don't have nice pensions like those who have played in the NBA for at least a season. This is an article about those missing pensions. But it might as well go deeper. They don't have a lot of things NBA players got by unionizing, including various kinds of insurance, recourse if players get ripped off by players or agents. The game has gone global. Will the Players Association?

  • Josh Howard is back, and spanking people. Really. Literally. Watch.

  • Watch video of Larry Hughes doing a nice job as the Knicks' backup point guard. Hughes is drawing doubles in the pick-and-roll, David Lee is drawing dunks on passes from Hughes.

  • Niall Doherty of Hornets247 on Chris Paul: "Since he came back from injury, he's been passing up shots he usually takes and making a bunch of mistakes we usually don't see from him. Apparently he also landed a little awkwardly at some point during the second half and came up hobbling a bit. When asked about it post-game, he said the ankle was fine."

  • Matt McHale of By the Horns: "Why isn’t Derrick Rose exploding to the hole? He’s a physical freak. He’s fast. He can jump out of the gym. But he has fallen deeply in love with his running, one-handed floater. Sure, Rose can get that shot anytime he wants, but is that really the shot he wants almost every time?"

  • John Krolik of Cavs the Blog: "And at the end of the third quarter, with the Cavs down six, LeBron went ahead and rolled off 10 points in 81 seconds, which helped. He hit a technical free throw, banged in a three off the dribble with the shot clock winding down, set up his next three by using an off-ball pick to get himself a catch-and-shoot three going to his left, and then said “you know what? I’m really good at this game,” and pulled up for a straight-on 26-footer. Say what you will about the heat checks (and I have, up to and including a paragraph ago), but when they work, it’s something to behold."

  • Did you also see LeBron James eating a fan's French fries?

  • Oh this is brilliant. Piston fans, wear your Jonas Brothers' shirts ("I'm a Jonas girl!") in honor of Jonas Jerebko.

  • You can make a strong case that Rajon Rondo is the MVP of the Celtics so far this season.

  • All the Wizards had to do was play defense for half a second. They could barely even get four players on the court, and lost the game.

  • Andrew Bogut auditioned Bucks fans to see if they were loud enough to sit in the 100 seats he buys to liven up home games.

  • The Nuggets switched screens a lot against the Suns, which gets you things like Ty Lawson guarding Channing Frye, or Chauncey Billups on Amare Stoudemire. Watch how it worked out. One thing you'll notice: Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson are feisty and that's a good thing.

  • Brian Kamenetzky of the L.A. Times asked Gregg Popovich if the development of Marc Gasol made the Pau Gasol trade look a little more even. "'Please,' he said with a sarcastic eye roll. 'Please.'"

  • Some Sixer lineups that have played well.