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Thursday Bullets

  • Rick Carlisle is like a broken record talking about all the offensive rebounds his team gave up. How did that happen? A video examination. One factor: Dirk Nowitzki can do a lot on the basketball court, but boxing out Joel Anthony is not high on the list.

  • The Mavericks usually don't give up those corner 3s. Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game: "If the Mavs’ zone was indeed busted in Game 1, it was Mario Chalmers who busted it. Dallas didn’t seem to have all that much respect for Chalmers’ offensive ability; whether by design or oversight, ‘Rio found himself wide open in the corners, a cue which led Chalmers to drain a pair of back-breaking three-pointers in the second quarter. Both makes were significant in terms of the game’s momentum, but more simply, they were incredibly efficient opportunities granted to a formidable opponent that needs no favors. To make matters worse, Miami’s success with the corner three went beyond Chalmers. LeBron James, too, found plenty of open space by spotting up in the weak side corner, as did Mike Miller. The result of those three players’ efforts was 5-of-10 shooting on corner threes in Game 1 alone, a completely unacceptable mark for a team that typically does a stellar job of limiting opponents in one of the most efficient zones on the floor. According to NBA.com’s StatsCube, the Blazers made just eight corner threes in six first-round games against the Mavs on 28 percent shooting. The Lakers made two corner threes in four games on 12 percent shooting. In the Western Conference Finals, the Thunder made just four corner threes in five games on 33 percent shooting."

  • Doc Rivers says the Heat can be beat, and he guarantees the Celtics are working on figuring that out right now.

  • Daily Thunder's Royce Young on the Heat: "Now look at them. Closing games like they’re Mariano Rivera. Amazing how talented people committed to their craft and willing to work hard can, you know, improve and stuff."

  • James Jones says he once made 115 straight NBA 3-pointers in practice. If you can do that at home, and you're 6-5 or taller and athletic, call me and I'll enter the agent business.

  • Shaquille O'Neal's peak five years were some of the very best of all time.

  • The Washington Post's Mike Wise on Shaquille O'Neal, with whom he once co-wrote a book: "If you’ve never had a 7-foot-1, 325-plus pound man make room for himself in the back of a small aircraft by basically draping his legs over yours until you cannot breathe in the middle of a humid central Florida summer, boy, have you missed out. 'This is agent Double-Double 34,' Shaq said as he slipped on headphones and the pilot began busting up in laughter. 'We’ve got a situation here. We’re going to investigate.' He actually hummed the theme from 'Magnum P.I.' as we buzzed swampland en route to some backwoods hunting preserve in Frostproof, Fla."

  • "If anyone is to blame for me becoming a Hornets fan," writes 42 of Hornets 247, "it’s Passionate Guy."

  • Zach Harper writes about Shaquille O'Neal at HoopSpeak: "People didn’t realize that you had to be more than seven feet tall with a 300-lbs frame and less than 6 percent body fat. You had to be a basketball player too and a damn good one at that. Back when I was in high school, I used to play basketball at my local gym. In my expeditions onto the parquet floor/aerobic studio, I used to play with this guy named Richmond. None of this is an exaggeration when I tell you he was 7’4” and over 350 lbs. He was the biggest human being I had ever encountered. He was fairly agile for his size too. He had a spin move off the block that made you want to run for shelter. He barely had to stand on his tiptoes to dunk the basketball and he had decent touch from 10 feet out. It was baffling to me that an entity of Richmond’s size wasn’t playing in the NBA. He was so much bigger than everybody and had to have a place in the league despite having creaky knees and apparent conditioning problems. And yet, his tale to all of us was he had tryouts with the Sixers in the early 90s, a couple season overseas and then came back to the U.S. because he couldn’t find a consistent gig in basketball." Same article has an amazing line about O'Neal. He wasn't just larger than life. "He was larger than fiction."

  • M. Haubs of the Painted Area: "Shaq could not be guarded one-on-one during that stretch. Not possible. I still remember commentators casually blowing off Indiana's Dale Davis in 2000 as simply too small to contending Shaq, and thinking it was kind of crazy: Davis was a big, tough, rugged, defensive-minded 6-11 player who was normally an enforcer, but he had no chance. Dale Freakin' Davis was too small. Then in 2001, Shaq made Dikembe Mutombo - the season's Defensive Player of the Year, at 7-2 - simply look like a little kid. Look at those 2001 Finals numbers again; those were posted against the Defensive Player of the Year. You couldn't even double-team Shaq conventionally at that time, with a guard coming down, because it was as if the smaller player wasn't even there. There was one team which had success slowing Shaq down a little in this period, and that was the 2000 Blazers, and here's what it took: 1. A 7-3, 290-pound man, Arvydas Sabonis, to lean on him as the primary defender. 2. An aggressive double from a long, elite defensive big, Rasheed Wallace. 3. The greatest perimeter help defender in basketball history, Scottie Pippen, lurking to cover the passing lanes. That's what it took to cover Shaq effectively in his prime: 14 feet and 500+ pounds of man in the primary role, plus the greatest help defender who ever lived as backup."