Matthew Modine, prominent Knick fan, says there's "not a chance in hell" LeBron James would come to New York.
Rahat Huq of Red94 on Trevor Ariza: "Trevor’s resurgence has absolutely nothing to do with him now playing small forward. The '2' and the '3' are the exact same position. The words 'small forward' and 'shooting guard' are simply interchangeable, meaningless labels for the two wings that flank the point guard on the perimeter. A player’s duties on the court aren’t somehow delegated by title of position; they accord to his capabilities. The small forward doesn’t by definition handle the ball less than the shooting guard -- that’s absurd. It just usually works out that way as most guys with the assigned title of ’shooting guard’ have better handles than their small forward teammates. Tracy McGrady played small forward after the David Wesley trade in ‘05 and handled the ball even more than our point guards. Lebron James is a small forward. Paul Pierce is a small forward. The titles are meaningless and aren’t definitively reflective of roles. Ariza has come into his own simply because the presence of Kevin Martin has forced down his usage and forced him back into doing the things that earned him his contract. Because Martin can handle the ball and create off the dribble, he has now assumed the lion’s share of the complementary ballhandling duties. This has allowed Ariza to slash off of Brooks’/Martin’s penetration, spot up for 3’s, and run the floor. The results have been beautiful."
Yesterday, TrueHoop featured a quote from Daryl Morey, talking about how players who should be defending the 3-point line can get suckered into stopping the drive. TrueHoop reader Nick has a story: "The bit in your most recent post about defensive players getting suckered into helping out on a drive when they should be defending the three point line reminded me of one of my favorite young team vs. old team moments. It was a game between the Kings and the Jazz back when Jason Williams was in Sacramento. Jason Williams drives against the Jazz, who are up five late in the game. They essentially allow him a lay-up. The Jazz then inbound to Stockton who is fouled and hits one of two. Now the Jazz are up four. Jason Williams drives, and the Jazz allow him the layup again. The Jazz inbound and hit one of two free throws again (in my memory it was Hornacek who split the FT, but I suspect the game was this one -- in which case it was probably Eisley). The Jazz are up three. Sacramento run a play, gets off a contested 3-point shot which misses -- ballgame Jazz. It was just weird watching it unfold and watch the Jazz deliberately give up layups to Williams. I thought, 'there is a team that is willing to trust their strategy.' Even with the missed free throws they looked okay with the idea that they had a plan and they were going to stick to it. It was a memorable example of the fact that old teams really do play differently, sometimes, than young teams. Particularly when they have a strong coach."
A drill I learned about from "When the Game Was Ours": After the first practice of every season, Magic Johnson's high school coach would have the whole team run until there was just one guy left still running. That guy would be Johnson, but one year a teammate stuck with him for 45 minutes, until Johnson talked him into calling it a draw so they could both stop running.
Dave D'Alessandro of the Newark Star Ledger: "Kiki Vandeweghe flew from California to New Jersey last night, only to learn this morning that his mom, Colleen, died Wednesday morning at her home in Newport Beach. The Nets coach will stay on the job for a while, or until they work out the funeral arrangements. Colleen Kay Hutchins, who was 83, is survived by her husband -- former Knicks star Dr. Ernie Vandeweghe -- and two sons and two daughters." (Via Howard Beck on Twitter)
Piston fans are horrified their team lost to the Pacers. It has been a horrible season for the Pistons. But for what it's worth the Pacers have stuck it to the Thunder and Bobcats lately too -- and they came pretty close against the Cavaliers. Meanwhile, Joe Dumars says the team will spend the mid-level exception this summer.
Noam Schiller writing for Both Teams Played Hard: "I love Derrick Rose. Not only do I love Derrick Rose, but if you, by any chance, do not love Derrick Rose, chances are that I don’t like you as a person. ... All this, and more, does nothing to change the fact that Derrick Rose, as presently constructed, is overrated. Now, before I am stoned to death by angry Bulls fans, allow me to clarify what I mean by overrated. The word overrated is defined by the free online dictionary as 'to overestimate the merits of; rate too highly.' And yet, it is usually taken to mean 'absolutely terrible.' For example: I think Kobe Bryant, until this season, has been overrated as a clutch performer. What I mean by this is that Kobe, while a great clutch performer, had an overblown reputation as an absolute clutch assassin, before catching up to that reputation this season (and man, it’s been mind-blowing to watch). What most people probably see in that sentence is 'I hate Kobe Bryant and want him him to spend the rest of his life in Siberia without a coat.'"
In a new development, Denver fans get to start worrying about free agency. Carmelo Anthony could be a free agent in 2011.