Monday Bullets

  • Phil Jackson says it was not Kobe Bryant's fault that he didn't score a bucket in the second half of the Lakers' season-ending loss. Thanks Kurt.

  • This isn't terribly new, but watch Howard Schultz on 60 Minutes.

  • Thank you for Rasheed Wallace.

  • The numbers say Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Michael Redd, Andres Nocioni, and Vince Carter improved for the playoffs. Carmelo Anthony, Mike Bibby, and Kobe Bryant were better in the regular season.

  • Basketball Jones podcast.

  • Steve Kerr says the Nets offense now sucks and consists mainly of four guys watching. And Mike Dunleavy gets credit for starting Corey Maggette, who drew Shawn Marion off Sam Cassell: "Maggette's size and strength forced Phoenix to commit a bigger defender to him, meaning Cassell was free to work against Steve Nash. Without the athletic, long-armed Marion hounding him, Cassell was able to be his usual aggressive self. And as an added bonus, Maggette dominated the glass with 15 rebounds to help the Clippers enjoy a resounding 55-37 advantage on the boards."

  • ClipperBlog on how Raja Bell scores a million: "The Clips double Nash off the screen. Nash, trapped on the perimeter, would swing it to Bell, who would then touch-pass it in the corner to Marion. Marion is explosive - and he intentionally dribbles left to draw Bell's man on the double team. And it works. The moment Bell's man (often Maggette) commits, Marion dishes it off to Bell for an open three. Seven times tonight, it worked. It's a beautiful thing, really. I mean, what's the alternative? Let Marion take Sam Cassell one-on-one in that situation? Where's Brand you ask? Well, Thomas has drawn him out on the weak side perimeter. Right now with the frame frozen, there are four Suns spaced perfectly on the arc - two at the corners, two at the sweet spots - and Diaw at the foul line. And the Clippers look like Linda Blair - heads turned 180 degrees around this way and that. And this is why Mike D'Antoni is my favorite coach. Is he the best coach in the Association? How the hell do I know? I'm just telling you how much fun I'm having watching this tape. It's fucking ballet."

  • The ups and downs of a series, by Eddie Sefko: It's like that every year," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "Honestly. Every year, every round. Even the Finals last year. We won the first two, and it was like Detroit couldn't play. The Spurs were a dynasty. Then after the next two games, we were the most worthless people that ever lived, the players should be traded and the coach should be fired."

  • Larry Brown, reportedly in line for a buyout of his $44 million, is already making some fat cake. Per Howard Beck and Liz Robbins: "Brown and Glass negotiated a $7 million buyout with the Pistons last summer. Then Glass negotiated a five-year contract for more than $50 million with the Knicks, with Brown making $11 million this past season. Including the $6 million in salary in his final year in Detroit, Brown has made $24 million in 18 months."

  • The Utah Jazz is another team that loses money.

  • Ben Wallace just went from I-don't-have-an-agent-so-I'm-definitely-staying-in-Detroit -where-I-won't-make-a-fuss-even-though-I'm-a-free-agent to: Hello, Arn Tellem!

  • Brian Windhorst: "I'm really, really tired of all this crap about the officials. For the most part they do a very good job and from watching hundreds of regular season and playoff games maybe one percent is decided by an official. Despite what people say, the game almost never comes down to one call. Deal with it people!"

  • Chris McCosky: "Hamilton forces the Cavaliers to switch their matchups. He is too big for Flip Murray to cover, so often point guard Eric Snow or Damon Jones was assigned to him. None of those players should be able to defend Hamilton for any length of time."

  • Party with Blog-a-Bull.