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Thursday Bullets

(Strange doings. These were published before, twice in fact, but not properly. So here they are for real.)

  • A Sonic fan goes "Roger & Me" on Howard Schultz. And lookie here, Howard Schultz might have a new legal opportunity to save the Sonics. And in case you think he's buddy buddy with Clay Bennett, know this: in Bennett's email to David Stern, Bennett complained that Schultz had canceled the Starbucks involvement and season tickets.

  • Point differential is important. And by that measure, the Utah Jazz will win the West.

  • Lance Allred on TV, talking about growing up in a polygamist colony. (Via C-Notes, which rightly points out this is one awkward bit of TV.)

  • Vote for some Basketblog awards. And a funny chart of basketball blogs, organized by style. (Via Detroit Bad Boys)

  • Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress at the Portsmouth Invitational: "The most impressive player on the floor in both games, and really by a huge margin, was St. Joe's forward Pat Calathes. He came off the bench like a hurricane scoring 8 points and grabbing 6 rebounds in his first 8 minutes on the court, knocking down shots, showing a nice first step taking his man off the dribble, running the floor in transition, and looking extremely active crashing the glass. His incredible feel for the game was evident from the moment he stepped out on the floor, particularly with the terrific court vision he showed on a number of drive and dish plays or post-entry passes - often times bringing the ball up the floor and starting up his team's offense as their defacto point guard. He finished repeatedly around the hoop with his left hand, scored on catch and shoot 3-pointers or pull-up jumpers from mid-range, and generally did everything humanly possible to show just how versatile and skilled a player he is in this setting."

  • Vicki Friedman of The Virginian-Pilot: "Sixteen players failed to show for the annual showcase for college seniors that started Wednesday and concludes Saturday night at Churchland High School. Organizers say it's the largest number of no-shows in the tournament's 56-year history. Among the missing: Duke's DeMarcus Nelson, Arkansas' Darian Townes and Sonny Weems, Nebraska's Aleks Maric and the Kansas trio of Russell Robinson, Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson. ... PIT chairman Mahlon Parker said while players are often urged by their coaches to participate, as soon as the college season ends, agents who have their own agendas take over the decision-making process. 'The coaches aren't their daddy anymore,' he said. 'They listen to the agents and we can't do anything about that. But we always know we'll get some who will stand by their commitments.'" Game 1 Box Game 2 Box

  • BlazersEdge has posted part one of a very interesting conversation with Chris Bowles, Portland's director of player programs. This line, about now-Nugget Taurean Green, stuck with me, as a sign of Green's character: "A guy like Taurean Green. I met Taurean before we drafted him in Orlando at the pre-draft camp. It was just the 2 of us in an elevator and he introduced himself. I said, `Young fella, I know who you are, I watch college basketball.'"

  • Joakim Noah as quoted by Tim Povtak of the Orlando Sentinel: "... the most frustrating part has been the losing. I'm not a winner anymore. I'm a loser. We're losing games.'"

  • Talk of John Calipari returning to the NBA.

  • Janny Hu of the San Francisco Chronicle: "The unequivocal 'biggest game of the year' for the Warriors and Nuggets arrives with an odd touch: After dazzling fans all season with their high-scoring, high-flying offenses, suddenly, there's a clamor for more. Defense, that is. 'This game could very well be 160-150,' Warriors forward Al Harrington said of the final score. 'It's going to be whatever team decides to play defense who's going to win.' And good luck there. The Warriors and Nuggets, who are averaging 110.8 and 110.7 points per game, respectively, both score more points than the rest of the teams in the NBA. They give up more than the others, too."

  • If you could re-run the 2005, draft, who would you pick over Monta Ellis?

  • The Lakers have the most popular team site. Phoenix is second. Not a bad objective measure, I would think, of overall team popularity.

  • Mike Jones of The Washington Times: "In an attempt to get fans to boo loudly when Boston's Leon Powe was at the foul line, the scoreboard put up images of LeBron James, Kwame Brown, J.J. Redick in a Duke uniform and a Yankees logo."

  • Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic: "It has been four years since the Suns have had an impact rookie. And the wait continues."

  • Mike Wells of The Indianapolis Star: "Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy have played a combined 949 NBA games. Not one has been in the playoffs. The teammates have the dubious title of being the longest tenured current Indiana Pacers never to reach the playoffs. Murphy has been in the NBA since 2001 and Dunleavy has been in the league since 2002. They remain hopeful the streak will end this season. The Pacers were eliminated from the playoffs last season with two games remaining. Golden State, which drafted both players, traded them at midseason, then made the playoffs for the first time since 1994."

  • Ross Siler of The Salt Lake Tribune: "There's still four games left in the regular season, so Deron Williams felt the need to knock on wood Wednesday -- namely, the AmericanAirlines Center practice floor -- when the subject of playing in all 82 games came up. Both Williams and Paul Millsap h
    ave yet to miss a game this season. If he can get through the coming week unscathed, Williams will have played in 242 of a possible 246 games in his three-year career, a remarkable show of durability."