Thursday Bullets

  • A recap of the in-arena videos making fun of Shaquille O'Neal (in Dallas) and Mark Cuban (in Miami).

  • Mark Cuban, as a guest on David Letterman, appears to be taking credit for the rules changes that have made the NBA more fun to watch. Cuban, as quoted by Associated Press: "I've tried to make it more fun, but we've changed the rules around some. I really got involved to outlaw all the handchecking and all the beating up of guys on the perimeter, so now the game's gotten a lot smoother, so you've got superstars like Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki who can take the ball to the hoop without all of that old Knicks ball, the old Pat Riley stuff, where they'd just beat up on people."

  • Antoine Walker: "Now we know we can beat this team with playing bad." That appears to have been his plan all series.

  • At the moment, there is no favorite Miami is a two point favorite for tonight's game (and I remain incapble of consistently reporting accurately on betting lines--at least you know I'm not in this for the gambling.)

  • Shaquille O'Neal on his recent press: "I can't read anyway, so it doesn't matter what you write."

  • The Heat watched 90 minutes of video. Ira Winderman: "The tape session was pure comedy, everything from center Shaquille O'Neal passing the ball to a referee, to Wade going up in the air and then dropping the ball to his toes, to power forward Udonis Haslem tangling his feet during a key late possession."

  • DraftExpress has everyone's official heights and weights. Fun annual sport: print this list out and keep it, then in a few months compare it to everyone's official listed height.

  • Tyrus Thomas doesn't like DraftExpress, and makes himself look surly in the process.

  • Chad Ford, along with several GMs, meets and watches Andrea Bargnani. The conclusion? He's no Tskitishvili. He's much better. Ford quotes an NBA executive, after watching Bargnani earn 16 points, on 7-13 shooting, to go with five rebounds, three blocks, and several defensive mistakes in 25 minutes: "If you know anything about basketball overseas," one executive said, "then you know the type of pressure and competition that kid played against tonight. The players are better than college and the intensity is greater than just about anything you'll ever come up against. Do you know how crazy you all [in the media] would be going if an NBA rookie put up a performance like that in the Finals? He's going to be just fine."

  • Steve Kerr: "In my mind, the Mavericks lost the game not because they didn't attack Wade but because they stopped attacking, period. With a 13-point lead and 6½ minutes to go, Dallas tried to slow down and run the clock, and it was way too early to do so."

  • David Moore of the Dallas Morning News: "Miami's Dwyane Wade braced himself on the railing as he limped up the three steps to the podium to talk about his left knee Wednesday. 'It's very stiff and very sore,' said Wade, who injured the knee Tuesday night when Shaquille O'Neal fell into him during the third quarter of Miami's win over the Mavericks. 'The only thing I can continue to do is what I'm ordered to do, and that's a lot of icing and stimulation all day.'

  • Josh Howard, from the same article: "He's been saying he's been hurt all series."

  • CelticsBlog and LowPost.Net collaborate on a cool analysis of who rises and falls in the draft.

  • What if Mark Cuban suited up? It would look like this.

  • I recommend following this blog all day for Dallas news.