Zach Lowe of Celtics Hub explains how you assemble a strong 21st century defense. The recipe for success? Focus on the two areas in the half-court where opponents put up the highest effective field goal percentage: The 3-point line and the immediate basket area.
Capologist Larry Coon at the New York Times' Off the Dribble blog says that if Eddy Curry is willing to leave some money on the table, he's imminently buyout-able. The sticky point? Curry's player option.
A pessimistic Jeremy Schmidt of Bucksketball sizes up the state of the Milwaukee Bucks as we head into 2010. Among Bucksketball's revelations: Contrary to popular belief, there's no evidence to suggest Scott Skiles hates rookies.
Sports Media Watch lists its five biggest NBA stories of the decade. At first blush, the list that seems a bit dated in current context, though it's easy to forget how much both the game and the league's persona has evolved over the past ten years.
Rob Mahoney of Two Man Game enumerates all the reasons why Dallas' road win over Denver last night was extremely satisfying. Not only did the Mavs overcome Dirk Nowtizki's off night, but the Dallas defense brutalized one of the most potent offenses in the game. More than anything, though, when you watch Dallas you see a team of grown-ups that knows how to execute its stuff on both ends of the floor.
John Krolik of Cavs the Blog elaborates on how LeBron James deployed his emerging post game against an undersized Rockets team.
Rahat Huq sounds the alarm on Trevor Ariza: "I just don’t understand what is going on with Ariza. I don’t want to just criticize; I want badly to just understand the rationale behind what is taking place. I just can’t think of any logical explanation as to why this player is being allowed to frequently attempt feats which he has absolutely no hope of achieving. It’s become mind boggling at this point. I have said many times that I am all for experimentation and player development. But these have to be within certain limits of realism. You play David Andersen despite his defensive troubles because he will improve. You live with Jermaine Taylor getting blocked at the rim because he will learn from it and adjust his shot. These are areas where players improve from in-game experience. Trevor Ariza cannot compensate for his complete and total lack of skill and body control with in-game experience. It just won’t happen. Letting him take in-game reps at creating off the dribble is completely counterproductive – he just can’t do it. Maybe he’ll improve over the summer, but affording him such a leash during the season is simply hurting this team."
Knicks highlights and lowlights from the decade, courtesy of Knickerblogger. Needless to say, the latter outweighs the former.
Philadunkia poses that age-old conundrum for underachieving teams whose seasons appear over: At what point do you throw your rookie point guard into the deep end to see if he can swim rather than stick with your unexceptional, but proven veteran? Jrue Holiday and Willie Green are the respective players in questions.