This is big. John Hollinger (Insider) trots out data showing that while it's hard to find evidence teams consistently perform well in crunch time on offense, there is much more evidence that their late-game defensive performances are not random. In other words, you might really be bad, and not just a victim of small sample size theater, getting late stops. Even more fascinating, one of this year's best defensive teams, the Sixers, is miserable playing defense in crunch time, and was last year too.
Rob Mahoney of the Two Man Game on Lamar Odom: "Lamar Odom was entirely reduced to being a spot-up guy. Not a spot-up shooter -- just a spot-up guy. He parked himself on the perimeter -- spacing the floor in theory, I suppose -- for entire possessions at a time, and didn’t get all that many touches as a result. I want so badly to take it easy on Odom, but this is getting ridiculous; Rick Carlisle has given him miles of leeway, and yet 43 games into the season we have yet to see any kind of sustained spark. Inconsistency is one thing, but Odom’s lack of effort -- in a matchup in which he had everything to prove, no less – is completely pitiful. I won’t fault another man for dealing with his problems in whatever way he wishes, but I will say that this particular man is playing a brand of basketball so apathetic as to be altogether disrespectful to an organization that had embraced him as one of their own."
Know where the Grizzlies got the inspiration to sign Gilbert Arenas? According to GM Chris Wallace on Chris Vernon's radio show, from this blog post from TrueHoop Network blog 3 Shades of Blue.
What a difference a point guard can make for the Lakers.
Royce Young of Daily Thunder on how the Thunder beat the Clippers: "It helps that the Clippers are a seriously poor defensive team. If you don’t like the Thunder’s defensive sense of urgency on the ball, then shield your eyes from the Clips. Because they seem to give you just about whatever you want."
The Spurs are fantastic. Consider yourselves warned, again.
There are all kinds of reasons to love Kyrie Irving's game. One of them has been that "... and he's only 19!" but that reason is going away with his birthday.
I have been wondering the same thing myself: Why does MarShon Brooks sit so much?
If you find yourself thinking of David Stern as anti-player, realize you are at odds with David Halberstam.
JaVale McGee wins a game for the Nuggets. Who's laughing now? A few points, though: It was almost illegal for McGee to touch that ball, which is a little crazy. An inch or two here or there, and he has to just watch it bounce around the rim. Surely, we prefer to watch him dunk the game-winner, right? Also, watch Greg Monroe, the Piston who was trying to keep McGee off the glass. What happened there? Something happened, that's for sure.
The Rockets are the opposite of tanking. Would be fun to see that work.
Paul Silas is bitterly disappointed in the departed Boris Diaw. But let's be honest, as a player who helped the Bobcats earn a ton of lottery balls, Diaw is, perversely, perfectly in keeping with the organization's longer-term goals. Sad but true.
The Bulls force the Raptors into a slew of long jumpers, and go on a decisive 20-0 fourth-quarter run.
Whole mess of Euroleague playoff highlights.
Mike Dunleavy is tearing it up. He plays for the Bucks, by the way.
Tristan Thompson likes the condensed schedule, because he is young and likes playing games.