Thursday Bullets

Posted by Royce Young

  • Brett LaGree of Hoopinion on the "malfunction": "On one hand, the Hawks' behavior on this possession is fairly typical of their second half possessions as a whole. That the Hawks were initiating their halfcourt offense relatively late in the shot clock was not, in and of itself, unusual. None of which negates the fact that the officials should have noticed a ten-second discrepancy on the shot clock, that the shot clock should have reset, or that the Hawks should have noticed and said something (or called a timeout) at the time rather than one possession later."

  • Video breakdown of three crucial possessions in the Clippers-Blazers game including two big 3-pointers by Steve Blake. Kevin Arnovitz adds this note: "Baron, like a lot of point guards, spends most of his time playing the ball and is less instinctive defending off it. He’s drawn to the ball, but his man, Blake, functions as a wing on this set. I suppose you could say that, as a defensive unit, you can never have too many bodies between Roy and the basket given the personnel out there for Portland. But the better play by Baron here is to squeeze Blake and, at the very least, make it a much tougher pass."

  • Michael Schwartz of Valley of the Suns says Phoenix may have gotten its swagger back after the big win over Boston: "A couple months down the line when we look back on the Dec. 30 game on Phoenix’s schedule, “Suns 116, Celtics 98” will look much better than it was in real life. The game notes say the Suns joined last year’s world champion Lakers as the only teams to sweep a season series from the Celtics before the Big Three joined up prior to the 2007-08 campaign. But anybody who watched this game knows that the Suns beat a woefully undermanned Boston team missing Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce that wouldn’t contend for the eighth spot in the East with the lineup they threw out there."

  • If you haven't checked out Hoopdata, you should right now. Like stop reading and check it out. You can spend hours just staring at the awesome advanced box scores. Tom Haberstoh had an interesting piece yesterday about how the Lakers give up the most shots at the rim: "The Lakers allow 29.9 shot attempts per game from at the rim but opponents only convert 57.5 percent of these shots, which ranks the sixth lowest in the league. So while the Lakers give up a lot of shot attempts at the rim, they are not necessarily easy buckets. Instead ... the Lakers defend the hoop by not fouling close to the basket and forcing opponents to shoot over trees in the form of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. In all likelihood, the Lakers utilize their length by standing tall to alter shots in the paint as opposed to overtly swatting lofted balls into the stands, given their league-average block rate, league-leading at rim shot frequency, and second-lowest opponent free throw rate."

  • David Berri tries to explain the incredible disappointment that is the Washington Wizards. Cliff notes: Play better. He makes it sound so simple.

  • Basketbawful noticed an interesting quote from Doc Rivers about the Celtics' 1-3 road trip. Said Rivers: "'The lesson that's learned on this trip is not from tonight. The lesson that we should learn on this trip is when you give away a game with the Clippers when you're healthy, then you do it again, then when you're injured you need those games back.' I love the fact that he singled out the Clippers and not the Warriors."