Wednesday Mini-Bullets

  • Some very interesting research suggests race does not appear to play a role in draft position. Also at the same link, with capsule descriptions of papers from the Western Economic Association: Evidence that NBA stars play huge minutes right up until the All-Stars are announced, and then instantly cut back to prepare for the playoffs. Seems like making the All-Star team is a bigger deal than most would let on.

  • Your phone knows where you're going to be even if you don't. Not sure what this has to do with basketball.

  • Jose Calderon does something that ought to be in the Guinness Book. Holy cow. Tough trick. But is it real? Trey Kerby, unquestioned master of physics, says it's physically impossible.

  • What can Caron Butler do this year? Charlie Widdoes of ClipperBlog with insight: "If it occurred to you that Butler had a disproportionate amount of success early in games, you were right. We all know that Chris Paul starts games with the intent to get his teammates going, and Butler was often the beneficiary. He took 40 percent of his shots this past season in the first quarter, and converted 45 percent of them. Like many NBA starters, Butler typically took his rest during the 2nd quarter, but for the rest of the game, he shot only 38 percent from the floor. This became his thing. If Paul is the Clippers’ closer and Blake Griffin is their middle-of-the-order power hitter, 32-year old Caron Butler established himself as their dependable, veteran starting pitcher."

  • Stat geek Andres Alvarez assesses ESPN's Western Conference summer predictions, and says the Mavericks do not belong in the top eight, while the Timberwolves are missing. "Losing Kidd hurts. Dirk has been wearing down. Chris Kaman was a terrible pickup. This team as constructed will not compete out west." He also says the West is "OKC and then everyone else."

  • All this hubbub over expensive basketball shoes reminds of some comedian talking about gay marriage. He said he was a little nervous about it, until he found out it was optional. You know what I mean? Some product out there you don't want? Cool. The cost of not getting it is zero, and life goes on.