Hoopdata's Jeff Fogle: "19/21, 12/13, 13/15, 2/4, 6/7, 0/0. Those are Derrick Rose's free throw numbers in chronological order through the playoffs. The first five games are from the Indiana series obviously. The double goose-eggs are from tonight. Can you tell when he first injured his ankle?! That happened in the first quarter of Game 4. He played hobbled the rest of the way, and couldn't draw fouls because he couldn't explode at the basket."
Bret Lagree of Hoopinion: "The gold standard of Joe Johnson playoff performances has long been Game 4 of the Celtics series. Tonight's performance might have been better. Johnson's shot-making again drove his star performance but, just as impressively, he allowed the offensive system and his teammates to create easier scoring opportunities for him. The greatest frustration with Johnson has never been a lack of ability so much as his (and his coaches') stubborn insistence on making things difficult for himself."
Lots of talk about Kobe Bryant in crunch time. For the record, my beef with him has been taking too many difficult shots, for instance falling down, a yard behind the 3-point line, double-teamed and the like. In Game 1's crunch time, he actually used a screen (movement! teamwork!) to get reasonably open, which resulted in a miss and a turnover in key moments. But good players miss, or turn the ball over. The story this time was not something one can decide not to do. The story was not horrible shot selection, in other words. To me the bigger concern is that he just seems to be laboring -- not as mobile, athletic and zippy as usual. That's a lot of fumbling and bumbling and falling down for one of the world's most honed athletes.
It's time to try using Ron Artest guarding Dirk Nowitzki. And, the video shows Lamar Odom is a better choice than Pau Gasol.
Adidas celebrates Derrick Rose, YouTube-style.
The idea that the Mavericks will beat themselves in pressure situations is outdated, and contrary to evidence.
Playing around with the idea of Memphis Grizzlies, NBA champions.
Paul Pierce: "Sometimes players get caught in the hype of the games. Sometimes the refs do too."