Wednesday Bullets

  • Hakeem Olajuwon tutoring Dwight Howard, in extended video. They're in Olajuwon's gym, which is an amazing place, where nobody ever misses a shot. Also, the video reveals a particular and correctable problem with Howard's post game.

  • There is no Tony Parker without the teardrop.

  • Brendan Jackson of CelticsHub: "I was shocked when the Celtics cut Tony Gaffney. He has a defensive mindset. He showed in Summer League that he can guard NBA small forwards. He’s freakishly athletic. It just seemed as though Gaffney would have the advantage over the other guys the Celtics were and still are considering. Instead, the battle still rages and will likely to continue through the preseason. The Celtics are currently trying to decide between the underwhelming Von Wafer, practice favorite Mario West, and Gaffney’s fellow UMASS alumnus, Stephane Lasme."

  • Tom Thibodeau is showing that he's a contender in the "which coach gets after the referees most" sweepstakes. By going hard in the preseason he's showing a ton of potential.

  • John Krolik of Cavs: The Blog: "A year ago, I would have TOTALLY been freaking out over the fact that LeBron went 0-3 from the line in his first game. WHY DOES HE NOT SHOOT 700 FREE THROWS A DAY IN THE OFF-SEASON? WHY DOES HE NOT SEE THE VALUE IN THIS? Well, that’s not my problem anymore. So I’ve got that going for me."

  • Blake Griffin has some big statistical shoes to fill.

  • Should Serge Ibaka start?

  • A serious injury for a promising Piston.

  • What's Gilbert Arenas up to with his bizarre approach to the media? My best guess is that he's trying to let his play do the talking. It's a tactic that will make more sense when there are meaningful games.

  • Jamal Crawford wants to be paid, but the numbers argue against it. Bret Lagree of Hoopinion: "In his career year, the Hawks were outscored by a point-and-a-half with Crawford on the floor. As much as he helped the team's offense, his complete inability to play defense hurt the team significantly. The damage suffered on the defensive end was not entirely Crawford's fault. A disinterest in team defense was endemic to the 2009-10 Hawks, especially with regard to the second unit which, at times, had Crawford charged with defending the opposing point guard, Maurice Evans assigned the opposing small forward, and Joe Smith nominally defending the opposing power forward. If Larry Drew (despite being hampered by a lack of capable perimeter defenders on the roster) creates a culture of responsibility on the defensive end, teammates might mitigate Crawford's inherent limitations as a defender. However, it would take a massive improvement as a defensive team to off-set the decline Crawford will likely suffer offensively. It's highly dubious to assume that, without Woodson catering to his specific, narrow gifts, Crawford can again better his career eFG% and TS% by five percentage points or score at 121% of his career rate, much less do so at such a high usage rate. Crawford's coming back to Earth in 2010-11. The Hawks must not let that probability seriously hinder the team as a whole."

  • A Hornets fan, Ryan Schwan, reacts to news that NBA GMs voted Deron Williams the NBA's best point guard, over Chris Paul. He's half-joking: "One thing is very apparent from the survey, however. Chris Paul’s injury-marred season and rumor-marred off-season has harmed how he is regarded in the NBA. He slipped in many categories that he dominated last year. In particular, half of the GMs in the league rank Deron Williams as the best point guard in the league now. Oh yeah?! Well half you guys have losing teams. So clearly you should shut up!"

  • Surya Fernandez of Hot Hot Hoops noticed something that stood out to me, too: "Udonis Haslem may not have been the first or the second guy off the bench but nevertheless got his double-double anyway with an efficient 6-9 shooting for 14 points while grabbing 13 rebounds, 4 of which were on the offensive end." He only played 25 minutes.