Thursday Bullets

  • Isiah Thomas says he won't be making any trades, which Knickerblogger sees as bad news for the rest of the league: "Phoenix nearly became overnight winners after Thomas freed them of Marbury and Hardaway. Orlando is now an Eastern powerhouse since Steve Francis left. Chicago had success once Isiah took Crawford and Curry off their hands. Toronto is up and coming since Jalen Rose was shipped south. And the newest member of the 'Thank You Isiah' club is Portland. The Trail Blazers could improve by 10 wins without Zach Randolph. While Isiah has crushed any optimism for the 2008 season, the only positive thing New Yorkers have at this moment is that their younger players can turn into solid pros. The Knicks only hope is that David Lee, Renaldo Balkman, Nate Robinson, Wilson Chandler, and Randolph Morris will turn into solid pros. But that hope is meaningless if Isiah chooses to trade one of these players, something he has done in the past. Thomas sent 20 year old Trevor Ariza to Orlando in the Steve Francis deal, and he shipped Channing Frye to Portland after just his second NBA season. Ironically both players are doing well this year for a pittance. So Isiah's statement 'I don't see us being active at the trade deadline' is a big relief to Knick fans. This season has been a comedy of errors for the Knicks, and if Thomas' words ring true, there is one less thing to keep Knick fans up at night."

  • Ron Artest, Kevin Martin, and Mike Bibby are all out, and John Salmons takes over as the Kings win. On a team that has a hard time figuring out how to share the ball -- all three of those stars want to shoot it. First star back in uniform gets a free audition as an undisputed primary scorer. Martin has been quoted saying he'll be back in about a week. Meanwhile, fans in Sacramento love Beno Udrih, and see his emergence as a clear sign it's time to trade Bibby.

  • From a while ago, but some solid advice from Brian McCormick to Mikki Moore: "If you want to believe you're a great offensive player, make the play. Otherwise, shut up and rebound."

  • Scottie Pippen in a laughably terrible "Mr. Submarine" commercial. Pippen actually speaks this line: "This is one six-footer I can't handle by myself. Ladies, let's have a party." (Via PG-13 Howeva Files)

  • They say that playing in your hometown can add stress. Case in point, courtesy of the Oregonian's John Canzano: "Joel Przybilla, from Minnesota, spent his pre-game sitting in front of his locker hunched over, dividing up tickets and agonizing over where and how to seat 43 friends and family who were on their way to the arena. The poor sap looked like a guy planning a wedding by himself. Przybilla ended up with four fouls, and two points."

  • Hash of Golden State of Mind in the wake of losing to Dallas: "We here at GSoM may have allegedly poked, prodded and talked a little, well some may call it, 'trash,' to some of the Mavs bloggers out there. So in the wake of our defeat tonight, the GSoM crew proudly stands together to tip our caps to our boy Wes at Mavs Moneyball and Tim MacMahon at The Dallas Morning News. In addition, we shall now grab our forks to get down on some home cooked Humble Pie. (In case you can't tell, this ain't nothing new to us boys. We've been eating Humble Pie for years.) Just don't make the mistake of thinking we're going to talk any less trash next time around."

  • Basketbawful quotes Larry Bird, from a 1986 video, on education: "If I was spendin' time in high school readin' my homework, and readin' the books, and working on different things scholastically instead of thinkin' about basketball all the time, where would I be? I don't think I'd be making the money I'm making now, so I'm happy with what I'm doin'."

  • Dwyane Wade reportedly aggravates his bruised shoulder. It has seemed to me that he has clearly not been at 100%. At some point Wade has to decide that this season is going nowhere and it's time to take a few weeks off to get really healthy. I'd hate for his career to become a tale of injuries.

  • 2008 is the year of the Beijing Olympics, which hopefully will bring fantastic performances ... like the recent one from the wife of a Chinese broadcaster who recently took the microphone during an Olympic kick-off and trashed aspects of her husband and her nation on TV. On a serious note -- I wonder what will happen to that woman.

  • Matt from Blogabull is not at all happy that Ben Gordon is on the bench. He has a lot of ideas about it. I would love to see the world evolve in such a way that he got to have a little debate about it with new Bulls head coach Jim Boylan. That kind of basketball debate could make us all smarter.

  • The Pistons love Rick Mahorn. They just have a funny way of expressing it.

  • Corey Maggette as super-talented, but ultimately limited, player.

  • Nate McMillan on The Herd goes WAY out of his way to praise James Jones, especially on the topic of intelligence. And David Berri points out that Portland's improved play coincides with the arrival of a healthy Jones, who has been a monster in Wages of Wins stats. He's also leading the league in three-point field-goal percentage.

  • Free Euroleague tickets if you'll blog about the game.

  • The Globe and Mail's Michael Grange on his blog From Deep: "I've covered some bad basketball teams; I've played on some bad basketball teams; and now I'm running (putatively) a bad fantasy basketball team. I've done it all."

  • Minnesota coach Randy Wittman decried his team's inability to find outside shooters. Meanwhile, Britt Robson of The Rake points out that he played shooters Rashad McCants and Marko Jaric very short minutes, while giving bricklayers Sebastian Telfair and Corey Brewer plenty of floor time. "I would say to Wittman: If you want more accurate outside shooting, you might want to think a
    bout giving your accurate outside shooters more playing time."

  • Anyone see the end of Jazz vs. Sixers last night? The story will be told that the Jazz got a great win thanks to some clutch shooting from Carlos Boozer. But man, I watched and it made me nervous for the Jazz. Against mediocre defense their offense down the stretch was all long jump shots, and they gave away a decent lead. If the Sixers had saved an extra timeout or two to move the ball once or twice in the closing seconds, they might have fouled their way into a win. And I know Kyle Korver is "automatic" from the free throw line, but he missed a big one last night, and has missed big ones in the past.