Thursday Bullets

  • You don't have to read between the lines too hard here to see that the Kings are ready to deal Ron Artest.

  • More than a little involved with China: the NBA.

  • Baron Davis in New Orleans, as told by Ron Hitley of Hornets247: "3:21 left in the game tonight, the Hornets trailing by nine points. Baron Davis pulls up and sinks a long three over Jannero Pargo and Chris Paul. As folks start heading for the exits, I scribble down four words in my notes: Baron. Deep. Salt. Wounds."

  • A lot of NBA players look too heavy to me. Sure, those muscles are great, but if the guy you're supposed to check is shooting uncontested shots from a spot you're too slow to get to, what good is all that might? Case in point: Brad Miller lost a bunch of weight in the off-season, and last night he had, arguably, the best game of his career.

  • If this blogger coached the Blazers, he would have doubled LeBron James as soon as he caught the ball. Sounds great now, but I can't promise I would have done the same. Roy has had good results in that situation, and James passes more willingly than any superstar in history. A lot of these plays in the past have ended with Zydrunas Ilgauskas hitting a jumper. It's a tough call.

  • Royal Ivey creates a real new stats vs. old stats conundrum. He had a nice little 17 points and six boards, but his team was a spectacularly miserable minus 39 when he was on the floor. Philadelphia just destroyed Milwaukee. Look at the GameFlow: Milwaukee was not good for any single minute of this game. In the end, I think, he who played the most minutes for Milwaukee looked the worst.

  • On his NBA.com blog, Luol Deng said this of new coach Jim Boylan on January 4: "The one thing that has been so good so far with Jim is that he's been very, very positive. He knows that we're in a tough situation, that we haven't been playing well, and his way of getting us out of that is by being positive. He felt like a lot of us were under stress from the way we've been playing and that we were putting pressure on ourselves because we're competitive and we want to do better. Jim has just been real positive. Even in games when we have moments of not playing so well, he stays positive and believes in us that we're going to compete out there and do better. For this team, that's been the biggest factor right now." Mike McGraw of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald quotes the other side of Boylan, after last night's loss to the Timberwolves: "'I'm really disappointed in the way that we performed in the second half and the way some guys out there just seemed to shut it off,' Boylan said following an 83-67 loss. 'That was disappointing to see.' Asked what he meant by players shutting it off, Boylan added colorful details. 'Just shut it off,' he said. 'They stopped playing with energy; they stopped playing with focus. They went into their own little world, acting kind of childish at times, instead of doing what we know we need to do against a team like this.'"

  • ClipperBlog's Kevin Arnovitz has a memo for the game operations people: "I'll tolerate pretty much anything without complaint: Lose 60 games, put the practice squad onto the court, raise ticket prices. You'll still get my check every offseason. But for friggin' sake, do me this favor: Please maintain the time-honored the tradition of calling out a guy's school during opening lineups. Can you do that for us?"

  • Congratulations Nick Young, Malik Rose, David Harrison, Malik Allen, Al Thornton, Boris Diaw, Jeff Green, Aleksandar Pavlovic, Bostjan Nachbar, Jason Collins, and Andrea Bargnani: "Wages of Wins" calculations says you are the ten worst players in the first half of this season!

  • In 2010, LeBron James' Nike deal ends. Be very interesting to see what his next deal looks like. Brian Windhost of the Akron Beacon Journal says: "Based on everything I know, I don't think LeBron has yet been a good investment for Nike by the sheer balance-and-loss statment. His shoes and gear don't move like other $100 million guys like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan."

  • Dave D'Alessandro has his own four team trade proposal. Lots of big bad contracts swapping hands, and the Bulls get Jason Kidd.

  • In many parts of the globe, you just can't see a lot of NBA games. Oh well, that's how it always has been and always will be. Such is life ... HOLD THE PHONE! Carlos, a TrueHoop reader from Brazil, has an extremely solid question: "Now that the NBA has NBA League Pass Broadband for those living in the US or in Canada who have acquired the package, wouldn't there be any way to make it available to the rest of the world, too? I know I wouldn't mind paying for it, even if it turned out to be a little expensive. It'd definitely be worth it for me, and I'm sure the same can be said about many people around the world. Doesn't the league want to 'go global?' I think that would be a nice start."

  • Good look at how Yi Jianlian is impacting the total picture of the Milwaukee Bucks' franchise. I wouldn't be surprised if the massive international audience he brings could well be the difference between a franchise that loses money, and a franchise that makes money.

  • The case that Jackie Robinson was better at basketball than baseball.

  • New York's City Council is all over taking away Madison Square Garden's permanent tax break (most corporate tax breaks end at some point), but the mood in Albany seems to be pro-Knicks, even as both state and city could use the money. Supporters of the status quo say it's not right to single out this one corporate deal among many others. Fair enough, but no one's volunteering to review them all. Is that a good reason to keep every single one? And is New York really in jeopardy of not having any sports teams?

  • Al Iannazzone of The Record: "Fiscal responsibility is one of the reasons the Nets couldn't be big players in free agency, one of the reasons they're no longer championship-caliber. Additionally, the Nets never upgraded the center position, and didn't get athletes who would run with Kidd the way Martin and Kerry Kittles did. These are the reasons Kidd, who also is upset the Nets let former GM Ed Stefanski go work for Philadelphia, is down and eventually will be out of New Jersey. Kidd has had one fo
    ot out the door since the summer of 2004 when Martin left. Soon both feet of the Nets' best NBA player will be gone."

  • Bruce Arthur of the National Post: "For all their charms, [the Raptors] are a finesse team. They are, in the Mitchell family vernacular, the mom. We've been talking about it all year, and we'll keep talking about it all year. And when the Raptors land in the playoffs somewhere between third and sixth in the East -- probably, anyway -- the likely opponents include Cleveland, Orlando, and Washington. All can field building-topplers up front. And since this season is basically about winning a playoff round, all could be a problem. And that is the story of this season. 'Come April, if we're in that position, we're going to have to figure that out,' Mitchell said, nodding. 'Like I told our guys, there's no one going to walk through that door that I'm aware of, and there's no pill legally that you can take between now and then that's going to improve that. We've just got to figure out a way, and make up our minds, to do it."'

  • Clipper Darrell is going back for a second interview in Dallas. I guess they want to hear his "Let's go Mavericks, let's go" one more time.