Recent Knick media policies would lead you to believe that James Dolan would like every journalist to write nothing but pro-Knick puff pieces. Now Dolan's Cablevision is the corporate parent of the
Daily NewsNewsday. The New York media is waiting to see how this might affect the coverage of the Knicks in the Daily News.
A very satisfying little compilation of Alonzo Mourning blocking shots.
Second-guessing the voting for the All-Rookie team. Me? I say so what. One guy didn't put Kevin Durant on his first team. Corey Brewer got a vote. I say you can't worry about the outliers. In general, the system worked. (Even if David Berri is making the case that the second team could beat the first team.)
Something to watch for tonight: LeBron James has played in Game 5 three times in his life, and each time he has made a key play down the stretch, Last year against the Pistons he hit a game-winning lay-up with 2.2 seconds left in the 2nd overtime. A year earlier against the Pistons, he hit Drew Gooden with a pass for the winning basket with 27 seconds let. Also in 2006, he made a layup with less than a second left in overtime for a 121-120 win. UPDATE: "He also had a Game 5 against the Nets last year," e-mails Dave, "where he was 5-for-14 and the Cavs lost and a Game 5 in the First Round this year when he missed a lay-up on Cleveland's final possession and the Wizards won."
Ron Hitley of Hornets247: "One low blow: that dude with the life-size Eva Longoria cutout behind the basket when Parker was shooting free throws in the fourth quarter. I laughed at the time, as did everyone in the Arena (damn you, mob mentality) but in hindsight that was just way too personal. We're better than that, New Orleans." For the record, Parker missed two free throws late in the fourth.
An attempt to concoct a formula to decide who should get their jersey retired, and who should not.
ESPN's J.A. Adande: "A question that hasn't been asked in Lakerland this season -- is Kobe shooting too much for the team's good? -- resurfaced again. This was an issue we thought had been addressed already, placed in storage, finished. And now it's back. Kind of like 'Sex and the City.'"
Clipperblog's Kevin Arnovitz has been watching Russell Westbrook: "It might very well be a function of playing together over the course of a season, but Westbrook demonstrated an ability to get his big men the ball. In their blowout of Cal at Pauley toward the end of the season, Westbrook managed to find Luc Richard Mbah a Moute three times on the block for easy shots once in a beautiful transition series, where Westbrook does some of his best work. While it may be pollyannaish to suppose a guard can translate good sense and patience into an NBA-caliber brand of point guardhood, Westbrook displays the instincts to read the court and move the ball where it can best help his offense. Defensively, I'm not sure there's a better collegiate guard in the nation. Can he pressure the ball? About as well as anyone. But he also defends the pick-and-roll with a pro-style proficiency and confidence. He can squirrel around screens, give a big man pause off the switch, and trap with the best of them. Moreover, he knows exactly when to employ each tactic."
Anyone besides me disappointed in Orlando's offense down the stretch last night? (Highlights.) No one created a shot for anybody else. Almost nobody could get to the rim down the stretch. We had, essentially, Keith Bogans or Rashard Lewis hitting threes, or the occasional Hedo Turkoglu drive. And when the ball went to Dwight Howard, the Pistons just took it away. It was hard to watch. Most of the credit surely goes to the Pistons' defense, especially that majestic Tayshaun Prince shot, but I'm thinking that team needs a ball-handler who can create opportunities under duress.
This is not how people usually sell sneakers in the U.S., but maybe they should.
This is a very interesting tool to map relationships between different groups and individuals. I have long wanted to map the relationships between various NBA agents, executives, players, and the like -- I think it would tell a powerful story -- and maybe this tool would be the best way to do that. Something to play with. Via Boing Boing.
Something I have been wondering: When is the best time of year for NBA fans? By the Finals, almost everybody's teams are out, and there are lots of days without games. In the first round, a lot of the games don't seem all that important. I have a feeling that the sweet spot of the season might be right about now. Seven teams still kicking, champions and favorites on the ropes in big games, with the chance of elimination games day after day, more or less all over the country. And no one, I think, feels all that confident any more about who is going to win the title. All seven have a shot.
UPDATE: J.J. Redick still wants a trade.