Thursday Bullets

  • The man who was coaching at the time, John Lucas, says the Cavaliers tanked games to get LeBron James.

  • The Blazers won't rule out the possibility that Greg Oden could, theoretically, return this season. Meanwhile, Brandon Roy may miss some time with a hamstring issue.

  • Now way more effective around the rim: Rajon Rondo.

  • Police search Javaris Crittenton's home, reportedly don't find a gun.

  • Ricky Rubio, doing his thing, to music.

  • Are steals a sign of good defense? Or a sign of gambling on defense? Apparently they are valuable. One theory I have heard, which makes a lot of sense, is that players who get a lot of steals are players with good hands, or good hand-eye coordination, and those players help their teams in lots of subtle ways. Perhaps teams with those players get good results, but not necessarily because of the steals.

  • The five best LeBron James ads of all time. I'm 100% of the opinion that the ad ranked second here is the best.

  • Kobe Bryant's game-winning shots of recent weeks.

  • Rob Mahoney of the Two Man Game: "Kobe Bryant (10 points, two rebounds, one assist) was a virtual non-factor in the first half, as back spasms rendered him an observer on the court. The ball stayed out of his hands, and the Mavs failed to attack him when in the half-court offense. Bryant was matched up Marion, and while Shawn does not have an expansive offensive repertoire, would posting up Bryant be too much to ask? It’s hard for players with hurt backs to guard mobile opponents, but it’s also difficult for them to establish a base, bump, and contest down low. That should have been the Mavs’ primary directive early in the game, but Marion was hardly a factor in Dallas’ first quarter offense."

  • Basketbawful: "So, uhm, are we still supposed to believe the Mavs are contenders? The Lakers were playing on the second night of back-to-back road games, Pau Gasol was still out, and Kobe 'Broken Finger' Bryant hobbled through the game with back spasms."

  • Ray Allen isn't too sure about having fans pick All-Star starters.

  • Mike Schmitz of Valley of the Suns: "[Steve] Nash was setting up to take a charge, but [Earl] Watson led with his elbow and connected square in the mouth of MVSteve, causing his lip to bust open. Nash received seven stitches in the locker room and was back in the game at the start of the second half. The Nash injury, however, was only a sub-plot in an otherwise embarrassing display of Phoenix Suns basketball in the second half. After heading into the locker room up 68-52, the Suns, once again, laid an egg in the second half. When the third quarter hit, the Suns decided it wasn’t a good idea to guard anybody, and the Pacers took advantage, drilling three after three."

  • The Knicks played a lot of zone against the Sixers, yet shooter Jason Kapono stayed glued to the bench. If you're not going to play him then, when are you going to play him?

  • Good collection of gun-related thoughts, including all kinds of tough talk from Karl Malone, who is pro-gun, but strongly anti-athletes carrying around guns for self-defense.

  • It's a lot easier to be an efficient offensive player in Orlando than in New Jersey.

  • The real winner of the Kings' Dating Game is Donte Greene's eyebrows, which get a nice bit of alignment in Greene's introduction.

  • Antawn Jamison says the Wizards need Andray Blatche, who is a special talent.

  • Rahat Huq of Red94: "It’s become painfully clear by now that the Rockets go where Aaron Brooks’ right arm leads them. In wins thus far this year, Brooks is shooting 48% from deep. In losses, he’s shooting 33%."

  • Portland Roundball Society: "Kevin Pritchard, Tom Penn and other members of the Blazer brain trust were congregating in a different place than usual during early warm-ups: front-row, watching the Bucks warm up. As we all know, should the Blazers find a deal that makes sense, they'd love to pick up a big man. As the Bucks team headed back into the locker room, Pritchard and co. remained, as did Milwaukee centers Dan Gadzuric and Francisco Elson. The duo continued shooting for some time, working up quite a lather, in what could've been a defacto audition. Elson seemed to focus on his range, taking a number of deep twos and threes, though he certainly wouldn't have been considered spot on. In the real audition--if indeed it were so--Gadzuric faired much better. In 14 minutes he scored seven points and grabbed eight rebounds. Elson nabbed only the DNP."

  • Wayne Winston picks the Magic to win the East.