Rodrique Beaubois just had a game any All-Star would brag about, which is a mind-blowing performance for a rookie stuck deep on the bench on a crowded roster. The story in nice video. Hollinger on Beaubois (Insider): "While the list of players who have torched the Warriors isn't exactly a select group, he's been providing spectacular offensive fireworks the entire month. Check out these March numbers: a Kobe-esque 31.1 points per 40 minutes, 58.9 percent shooting and 48.8 percent on 3s. He's been so good, in fact, that he now leads all rookies in PER. ... Beaubois has been under control, too, with only nine turnovers in 10 games in March, excluding last week's one-minute outings against Boston and Portland. (Insert sound of needle scratching across record.) Wait … one-minute outings? This guy? How?"
There is one heck of a public battle going on between some of those who cover the Lakers. On the one hand is the Los Angeles Times' Mark Heisler, and on the other is the guy who literally wrote the book on the Lakers, Roland Lazenby. They're calling each other out pretty viciously, even though on many of the basics they seem to now agree.
Still not a good shooter: Rajon Rondo.
John Hollinger's playoff odds are fascinating and tremendous. I know you've had the urge to look at the standings, and then look at each team's remaining schedule, and then factor in how well each team has been playing lately and all that. But do you ever really do that? Life's too short, right? Save yourself time, and do what I do: Check this thing obsessively all the time, and get a sense of why everybody should try to avoid San Antonio in the first round.
Noodling around with the idea that the Blazers might be interested in Rich Cho, Oklahoma City's assistant GM who is from Seattle.
Shaquille O'Neal's mom, Lucille O'Neal, in an excerpt of her new book, tells Newsweek about how she came to be pregnant with Shaquille at age 17, even though she knew everything she needed to know about birth control: "My childhood was filled with heartache, the biggest being my parents' divorce when I was 3. My brother, my sister, and I were separated from our mother, and what followed was years of self-doubt and low self-esteem. Throughout childhood I never thought I was good enough, or smart enough, or pretty enough—I was six feet tall when I was 12. Unfortunately, the adults in my life didn't understand my need for reassurance and validation. So I searched for validation and love in the wrong places. Though I was young, I knew the risks of unprotected sex—and the wrath I'd face if I got pregnant. But it happened anyway. Why? A part of me wanted something of my own, something I could love that would love me back unconditionally—someone who didn't care how tall or smart I was. A baby fit the bill."
Eric Wagman at Outside the NBA is a fan of every single Toronto Raptor, except one, and boy oh boy -- read the whole post -- does he stick it to that guy: "In real life work settings, no matter what our industry, job or pay scale, we all know some people who just drive us up the wall. The people who have seniority and don’t seem to ever do anything other than hang out by the coffee machine. The people who never get asked to do ‘special projects’, who seem to escape the criticism that accompanies the rest of the employees. The people that seem ‘untouchable’. The people who never seem to do anything, but when it’s job cutting time they always seem safe and when it’s pay raise time they always show up. And while they never show up with a bunch of coffees for the rest of us, they’ll be first in line when someone brings in a box of doughnuts. You know someone like this, I know someone like this, we all know someone like this. Well, the Toronto Raptors have someone like this. His name is Hedo Turkoglu."
Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook finds himself, for the second time in a short period, diagramming a late-game play where the Thunder don't get the look they wanted. The Blazers say they sprung a surprise on the Thunder, by checking Durant with Marcus Camby, which seemed to catch him off guard.
John Krolik of Cavs: The Blog: "At the 7:39 mark, the Cavs found themselves up a point when LeBron came in the game, just like they did against San Antonio. Against the Kings, however, LeBron and Co. did their thing to close out the game. LeBron came right in and followed up a punishing drive with the aforementioned spinning jumper, then found Jamison on a cut for a scoop shot to put the Cavs up seven. From there, a nice three by Jamison and a dagger three from LeBron were enough to put the Cavs up for good, even though LeBron freaking heat-checked with 1:23 to go in a seven-point game the next time down. I know there was like a 3% chance of the Cavs losing at that point, but yeesh. It’s like he needs to do something silly at the end of a nearly flawless performance so people won’t figure out that he is of another species."
Wayne Winston: "Duke has 40% chance to win tourney, Butler 29% , West Virginia 22% and Michigan State 9%."
Speaking of NBA dancers: Ouch.
Mike Woodson talks to the Starting Five's Michael Tillery about coaching the Hawks, and Tillery wonders why more games don't end on dunks and alley-oops: "Normally it’s in a player’s hands like a Joe Johnson, Kobe, LeBron, Wade ... guys like that. They are gonna decide the game. Ain’t gonna be no throwing a lob."