For the first time since the Atlanta series, the Magic broke through on their pick-and-roll sets. From Basketbawful (via ESPN Stats & Information): "According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Magic were scoring 28 PPG on 35 percent shooting when using the P&R during Games 1-3. In Game 4, Orlando finished with 47 points on 51 percent shooting with the P&R." Basketbawful also has a recommendation: The Not Vince Carter Twitter Feed.
The Nets must decide whether they want to pick up a player option on Chris Douglas-Roberts worth $$854,389 -- seems like a good value on a third-year player with decent potential. Yet the Nets already have Courtney Lee and Terrence Williams, and might look to fortify themselves at the wing in free agency. Then there's the matter of Douglas-Roberts' constant propensity to kvetch about minutes. Do they want the headache?
A playoff win often gets framed as the product of desire or determination, but basketball games are generally won because of more fundamental reasons. Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie: "Beyond the inspired nonsense, the Magic won because the defense returned, and the offense saw daylight for just enough time to put some points on the board."
Eddy Rivera of Magic Basketball: "From the start of the first quarter until the end of overtime, Nelson and Howard ran 1/5 pick and rolls against Boston and they had success doing so. When Nelson is at his best, he’s dribble penetrating into the lane and forcing defenses to collapse. That’s exactly what Nelson did in the pick and roll against the Celtics. Not only was Nelson aggressive looking for his own shot but he was actively looking for teammates around the perimeter, like Redick, and finding Howard in the paint for alley-oop lobs. Sometimes Nelson was too aggressive and out of control, which explained the six turnovers, but his ability to set the table for others is the main reason he finished the game with nine assists."
Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post on Howard's defense in the extra frame: "[Howard] ended 4 of Boston's first 5 overtime possessions with either a block or a defensive rebound, keeping his opponent off the scoreboard and giving his team a chance to gain its footing."
The Magic deployed more movement and action in their offense on Monday night -- rotating pick-and-rolls, east-to-west stuff along the baseline, staggers along the arc for Jameer Nelson. The added variables challenged the Celtics' defense more doggedly. Zach Lowe of Celtics Hub: "Nelson realized he needed to be more aggressive tonight, and the Magic put him in position to be more aggressive."
Drake University's women's basketball coach Amy Stephens applies basketball as a salve for young girls in Haiti (the story begins at the 5:52 mark).
Regarding the firing of Mike Brown, John Krolik of Cavs the Blog aptly points out that, when it comes to NBA coaches, the perception of performance is often more important than the reality of results.
Neil Paine of Basketball Reference compares the Suns' performance against the Lakers at Staples Center vs. U.S. Airways Center. The splits are baffling.
There's a certain strain of folklore that surrounds frontcourt prospect. If a big man has skills or plays a cerebral brand of hoops or doesn't scowl like Kendrick Perkins, he must be soft. That trope has started to swirl around Georgetown center Greg Monroe. Tom Ziller at Fanhouse examines the numbers and debunks that myth with regard to Monroe.
Rob Mahoney of Two Man Game wonders where Jason Terry fits into the Mavericks' future. Did you know that if Terry doesn't reach the 1,800-minute 1,500-minute threshold in 2010-11, only a portion of his contract is guaranteed? "Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban were able to turn Jerry Stackhouse’s similar contract — albeit with less guaranteed money — into Kris Humphries and a signed-and-traded Shawn Marion, which is pretty good return value on a player that had limited basketball effectiveness at the time and had only played in 10 games the previous season." In their efforts to retool the roster, would the Mavs entertain a similar deal for Terry?
Eight Points, Nine Seconds is up with Part Three of their stellar "What Does a Draft Pick Get You" series by Tim Donahue.
Zach Harper writing at A Wolf Among Wolves: "DeMarcus Cousins is seemingly brilliant if you ask me. I think he’s probably the most self-aware prospect I’ve ever seen come into the NBA. He knows what he is. He knows what he has been and he knows what he will be. There is no façade with him. There is no image he’s trying to portray. Cousins dances with reporters until he grows agitated by such tomfoolery. And yet, he’s toeing the line of letting his frustration get the better of him or keeping a cool head. It’s a fascinating look into a young man figuring out his professional obligations in real time."
A video compilation of every D-League call-up from the 2009-10 season, via Ridiculous Upside.
Did Carmelo Anthony have sufficient help this season from the Nuggets' complementary players? Andres Alvarez of Wages of Win explores.
In 2008-09, it was difficult to find a highlight reel of buzzer-beaters without Roger Mason's sweet stroke featured prominently, but 2009-10 was a different story for Mason and the San Antonio Spurs.