Monday Bullets

  • A little quiz. The following players are (in no particular order) all currently in the NBA's top 20 for what statistic? Richard Jefferson, Shannon Brown, Josh Smith, Jodie Meeks, Al Farouq-Aminu, DeShawn Stevenson, Chris Paul, Carlos Arroyo and Arron Afflalo. The answer.

  • David Stern is the third most influential person in sports, per Sports Business Journal. Ted Leonsis makes a strong showing at 37, above just about every other NBA owner.

  • More cool NBA data visualizations from Hoopism. This 3-D picture shows you where opposing teams shot from, with color coding for how well they shot. So you can glance at a season's worth of data and notice things like "hell, we're giving up a lot of shots at the free throw line." That kind of stuff. Poke around, it's pretty cool. One thing I noticed was that some teams -- check out the Magic and Spurs, for instance -- are very good at forcing a low percentage on 3s from the corner. Only ... far better at one corner than the other. I wonder if this suggests there's one defender who's especially effective?

  • The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference makes an open casting call for geniuses.

  • A TrueHoop reader asked me why there has been no follow-up to an old report highlighting evidence of performance enhancing drugs in the NBA. I guess the answer is because it's damn hard to get answers to questions about that! But I'm interested, if anybody has insight.

  • Tom Haberstroh is here to tell you that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade can play together: "The Heat have reeled off eight straight double-digit victories in large part to James and Wade’s realization that they’re virtually invincible on the go. Whether it’s flying in transition or cutting to the basket off the ball, the two superstars have blitzed opponents through sheer velocity. It’s a stark change to their isolation-heavy offensive attack. It used to be that when LeBron had the ball in the half court, Wade and his defender would observe the two-time MVP go to work from a distance. But not anymore. The moment Wade’s defender gives LeBron his full attention, Wade has begun to cut back door to the rim, leading to some incredibly easy buckets. And in the full court, the two have orchestrated some of the most synchronized fast breaks of the season league-wide. We can see the synergy in the numbers as well. During an eight-game stretch in November ending with the Dallas loss, Wade was assisted on only six of his 45 made baskets, including four games in which all his buckets were scored without the passing help of his teammates. Since then? Wade has been assisted on nearly half of his field goals (39 assists on 81 buckets). James, too, has experienced a similar turnaround during the win streak."

  • Gregg Popovich leads the league in limiting key players' minutes.

  • Wow, this product is hilarious. It's basically a way to sneak a bunch of flat, warm, market-rate beer into your favorite sporting event, disguised as your choice of a gut, or boobs.

  • Kobe Bryant wants you go to Turkey, even if he has not been.

  • Most of us don't move like professional athletes, as evidenced by this cheerleader video.

  • Great James Harden dunk.

  • Joakim Noah and Dennis Rodman's mutual admiration society.

  • That Jason Kapono-for-Reggie Evans trade is looking pretty lopsided.

  • Charles Oakley tells ESPNNewYork about Landry Fields, Stanford and education: "You don't have to be at a big-time school, like North Carolina, Duke or Georgetown, to understand the game. I mean, when you understand books, sometimes books can carry over to the court, because it's all about knowing what you're doing, studying."