Thursday Bullets

  • Dwight Howard blogs: "When I was growing up I was totally left-handed. I wrote left-handed, held a fork left-handed and shot the ball left-handed. But when I was in the eighth grade I tried to dunk on a guy and he undercut me and I landed on my left hand and broke my left wrist. After that, I taught myself to write with my right hand, eat right-handed and shoot the basketball with my right hand. Little did I know back then that something like hurting my wrist as a kid would help me as a NBA player. I made three straight left-handed hook shots on Tuesday against Milwaukee when the double-team came from the top side. Then, in the second half when they didn’t double team I could get to the middle of the lane and get to my right-handed hook shot."

  • What the Jazz looked like, in pretty video, when they destroyed the Mavericks in the fourth quarter on Monday.

  • John Hollinger has reams of statistics that say this player is good, or that player is bad. Angry people often accuse him, personally, of hating this or that team or player because of what those numbers say. But, of course, that's silly. He fixes the process to determine PER or the Playoff Odds before the season, when there's no way to know who will look good or bad. And then the teams do what they do and the numbers say what they say, without room for bias to affect it. Also, numbers don't have emotions. Or, at least, that's what I thought. Then I read Hollinger writing about New Jersey today (Insider): "The Playoff Odds also showed hope that it wouldn't get this bad for the Nets." Showed hope! That's game, set, match John. Admit it: The numbers are alive. And you're talking to them. Now that that's out in the open, do us a favor, if you will: Ask the numbers why they hate Kobe Bryant?

  • Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf is still playing professional ball, now in Japan. He tells HoopsHype about how the NBA lost interest in him, and why he moved to Atlanta: "I spent maybe five years or so in Mississippi trying to do things. Mississippi is a different monster. From minimum wage, education, health care… It’s always like on the bottom of the list in America. It’s real backwards. And I got children to think of. I’ve been there for five years. I was like, I can’t keep spending all of my money hoping people are going to change. I gotta go some place I think it’s better for my family. That’s one of the reasons I left. Also, my house was burned to the ground when I was there. Some suspect it was the Ku Klux Klan maybe because there was some Ku Klux Klan insignia that was left there when the house burned down. So when those things began to happen, I said… It didn’t work for my family here. Let me get on that hill. Y’all can have Mississippi (laughs). I’ma go somewhere else."

  • Ryan Schwan of Hornets247: "I gotta say I was rather irritated by the Thunder announcers when they were complaining about how Chris Paul got the Western Conference Player of the month over Kevin Durant. They just couldn't believe it. Paul went for 21 points, 12 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2.4 steals and his team went 12-5. Durant went for 32, 3, 8, 1.1 and his team went 8-7. I would think the last number in each of those lines may have swayed some people."

  • The Bobcats play amazing defense, but in the fourth quarter against the Lakers they didn't.

  • Testing the theory that the Bulls perform poorly out of timeouts.

  • John Krolik of Cavs the Blog: "Danny Ferry has done an absolutely masterful job of surrounding LeBron James with high-quality role players during his tenure as GM. That being said, thanks to LeBron getting too good too fast, Luke Jackson’s back, Dajuan Wagner’s intestines, Ricky Davis’ head, Larry Hughes’ everything, and the sins of Jim Paxson, LeBron’s never gotten a young potential superstar to grow with. (Mo Williams is great for what he is, but he’s no superstar.) This might be the Cavs’ chance to get LeBron a true running mate. There’s also something else. Iguodala’s a lock-down perimeter defender, both on the ball and providing weak-side help. He’s got off-the-charts athleticism and a Gumby wingspan. He’s not a natural shooter, but he can make shots when they’re open. He’s a good decision-maker and can make plays. This is borderline heresy, but it’s hard not to see more than a little bit of Scottie Pippen in Iguodala."

  • Mike Schmitz of Valley of the Suns on Amare Stoudemire: "Amare Stoudemire was everywhere. He pounded the glass, rotated on defense, and didn’t force anything offensively, en route to a 20-point, 17-rebound, two-block performance -- 18 and 14 of which came in three quarters. STAT has now gone for at least 20-10 in his last three games, averaging 27 points and 13.3 rebounds during that stretch. The trade rumors that Stoudemire admitted affected his play at first seemingly fueled the big man, not only tonight, but all throughout this road trip. As soon as the Suns hit the road, STAT went into beast mode. For every game that he goes for one rebound in 27 minutes, he has one of these nights. The inconsistency is painful, but there is no question how dominant he can be when his mind is in the right place."

  • Matt Hubert of D-League Digest: "D-League All-Star is a term that raises eyebrows. Casual fans hear the phrase as an oxymoron. How can someone be in the NBA Development League (read: not good enough for the NBA) double as an all-star talent? Is it even possible?"

  • LeBron James' decision to re-up in Cleveland comes next summer. But Cavaliers' season ticket-holders have to decide whether they want to renew in March. Everyone in Cleveland laughs off insinuations he's leaving, but those people are putting money on the line. It'll be interesting to see how certain they are.

  • Have the Bucks improved over the last year?

  • Mike D'Antoni sits Chris Duhon.

  • Tyson Chandler blogs about his coach, Larry Brown: "I'll shoot a hook shot or a short jump shot and I'll make it and he’ll come back and say, 'Oh Tyson, come on, you have to get the ball in your fingertips.' After he says something like that it feels uncomfortable. But then I'll shoot it and miss it and he'll say, 'great shot.' Your first reaction is to say: 'What are you talking about, great shot? I just missed that.' But I've come to the realization that he understands that it doesn't matter if you miss it that particular time. If you continue to shoot the ball the right way and you get to the point where you shoot the same way every single time, you're going to make a higher percentage. It works out better than if you're shooting half the time one-way and half the time another. It's just stuff like that that he's a stickler on. He's a stickler on you doing things the right way every single time. You have to have a team that's receptive to his coaching and his coaching style. Guys have to be willing to learn every day because he's not going to stop teaching. If you're the type of person that at some point wants that voice to go away, it's not. Every player I've talked to that has ever played for him says: "You're going to understand how great he is when you don't have him."