Thursday Bullets

  • The Allen Iverson documentary "No Crossover" is called one of the best ever.

  • Eddie Jordan's time with the Sixers, in a chart of oddities.

  • Clark Matthews on Daily Thunder, getting his playoff game face on: "In a way, it is a perfect scenario. Any movie written about a ragtag bunch of misfits who pull together and achieve more as a whole than ever could have been expected of them always ends with a matchup against a team like the Lakers. Whether it’s the Indians finally taking down their nemesis Yankees to win a one-game playoff, or the Permian Panthers coming up short against Dallas Carter … the climax is always the same scenario. Some book called The Bible also played on the same formula when some meek sheep herder slayed a freaking giant. For the Thunder, that giant is Kobe, and his running mates represent just as much evil as those Philistines. Their glitz, braun, and riches are cheap methods of winning meaningless championships that can be tossed in their trophy case like Scrooge McDuck flipping a nickle into his money silo. And just as David’s confidence and guile was the standard which the ancient Jews wanted their people to aspire, the Thunder’s brand of chemistry fueled basketball is what true fans of the NBA should hope takes the series. While I hate to jinx it, I believe Oklahoma City has a fantastic opportunity to do just that."

  • I know we're all concerned about big things like match-ups, or maybe even bigger things like global warming. But seriously, it's all child's play if the universe is not at all what we thought it was. Playoff rosters were set as of 3 p.m. E.T. this afternoon, by the way.

  • Laker fan panic tonic: When Andrew Bynum is healthy, the Lakers are much better.

  • Don Nelson had just four healthy players. The referees needed a fifth. He proposed to insert a fouled out player instead. The referees refused. So Nelson came up with a creative solution that served everybody's needs, especially his own need to mock the powers that be. (He also kind of has a point: By what logic is it OK to force an injured player to play?) Dwight Jaynes reacts: "If you can actually do what the Golden State Warriors did last night, it has a chance to change basketball as we know it. The Warriors were able to use Devean George after he had acquired six fouls -- and paid such a small price for it, a technical foul. Think about it. LeBron James or Kobe Bryant fouls out -- hey, I’m not going to go along with that if I’m coaching that. I’m going to take a technical foul and -- hell, the other team could miss the free throw and it would cost my team NOTHING -- and put him right back on the floor."

  • Zach Lowe of Celtics Hub on how close the Heat vs. Celtics series could be: "The Celtics’ average per game point differential is +3.6; Miami’s is +2.3, but the difference can be almost entirely explained away by Boston’s early-season 23-5 rampage. Since then, their point differentials have been about the same. Boston’s Pythagorean record (a Bill James-ian stat Basketball-Reference uses to predict record based on points scored and allowed): 52-30; Miami’s: 48-34. And remember: If not for that incredible Paul Pierce to Rajon Rondo inbounds lob that tied Miami at the buzzer on Jan. 6 -- a game the C’s went on to win in OT-- Boston would have finished with 49 wins, Miami with 48. On paper -- on paper -- this is not a walkover."

  • Wayne Winston says the Spurs are underrated, and likely to beat his former employer, the Dallas Mavericks.

  • Students of journalism ethics are going to be talking about Vinny Del Negro for a long time. Student of coaching are less likely to invoke his name.

  • Basketbawful (PG-13) on the Suns: "They replaced Shaq, who was an All-Star in 2008-09, with a combination of Channing Frye and Robin Lopez and finished this season as the third seed in the West. When the book is written about Shaq's career, I want this chapter included please."

  • Roland Lazenby says Kevin Durant has already lost round one, merely by letting Phil Jackson into his head.

  • David Thorpe (Insider) on the things college coaches -- who can make millions from the wins they can get by keeping NBA-quality players around -- tell draft-eligible players: "I love to joke that in the current draft year, there are 60 likely second-round picks, but next year there are 90 first-rounders. This time of year, some coaches tell their players, 'You're a likely second-rounder, at best, this year, but one more year of school and you'll definitely be a first-rounder.' They repeat this mantra until just before the deadline to remain in the draft rolls around, when it switches to 'teams tell me that you are a lottery pick next year.' What makes things difficult for the player is that typically, the coach is not lying. Well, not exactly. Often, coaches cherry pick the people they get information from, talking to their NBA friends who tell them what they want to hear, or avoiding guys they know to covet their player. I even know of an instance where a college coach asked a friend in an NBA scouting department to invite his player to a workout, and then, no matter how the player did, tell the player how crazy it would have been for him to turn pro."

  • The Jazz have a lot of work to do. They were dreadful against the Suns, and now they're going to try to integrate Andrei Kirilenko. But they're still taking the day off today.

  • These guys have to be the best in the world at creating electronica from sneakers.

  • People have always underestimated Joakim Noah's power to help a team not just with his play but his amazing ability to inspire teammates.

  • Bret LaGree of Hoopinion on what the Bucks are likely to be doing on offense: "Regardless of who (if anyone) steps up to replace Bogut, Milwaukee's first offensive option in the series will be John Salmons. He appears to be the only Buck guard capable of both getting into the lane and finishing there. I have Salmons scoring 28.1 points per 100 (estimated) on court possessions since his trade to Milwaukee. As a point of comparison, Joe Johnson averaged 30.3 points per (estimated) 100 on court possessions this season. Jamal Crawford averaged 31.3. Salmons, though, was more efficient, posting a 58.1 TS% versus 57.3% for Crawford and 53.8% for Johnson. Salmons also earned fewer assists and committed fewer turnovers per 100 possessions than both Johnson and Crawford."