Tuesday Bullets

  • Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are both "Scorers," while James Harden is a "Playmaker." That's according to David Thorpe, who has a smart breakdown of how traditional positions like point guard and power forward are less tied to actual roles on the court than ever (Insider).

  • A further distinction in the types of scorers: creative or opportunistic. The post applies to college players, but I think the terms are handy. (h/t Brett Koremenos)

  • John Hollinger forecasts addition by subtraction in Minnesota (Insider): "If the Wolves can just replace all the crappy players they used last season with average ones, they should have a really good team. It's pretty amazing how many minutes this team gave players who had no business being in a rotation, let alone prominently figuring in one. [Darko] Milicic started 23 games; [Wes] Johnson, unbelievably, started 64. That's not all. Go down the list, and you'll see [Anthony] Tolliver, Milicic, Johnson, [Wayne] Ellington and [Martell] Webster all had single-digit PERs, and those five players played nearly 5,000 combined minutes. [Michael] Beasley and [Derrick] Williams killed the Wolves with their shot selection, but they played another 2,500. That's 7,500 minutes devoted to nonperformers. To put that in perspective, it nearly quadruples Love's playing time."

  • Keith Smart is looking to get the Kings defense on track with daily defensive grades. As a former high school English teacher, I'm all for the power of authentic, regular assessment using an agreed upon rubric, but woe to the assistant coach who charts this highly-detailed report for every player, every day.

  • In GQ, a Jeremy Lin profile from Will Leitch includes this description of facing Miami's swarming defense: "'It's flattering—and terrifying," he says. "It's flattering because it's like, Okay, they actually care. They actually know who I am and I'm on their scouting report, which never would have happened before. And then it's terrifying because they're really good ... and it's so different for me to all of a sudden become the focal point of a team's defense. That's just uncharted territory for me. I felt like they were all like hawks circling me and staring. It was a learning experience.'"

  • A detailed breakdown of how Steve Nash has fit into the Lakers offense during the preseason.

  • Get to know Adena Andrews of Nets Are Scorching, host of a new video series called "Press Pass." In this installment she chats with Michael Lee about Andray Blatche.

  • On CBS NY, John Schmeelk is none too impressed with the New York Knicks Tip-Off Event, except for the unintentional comedy: "[Tina] Cervasio asked the older players how they are able to play at their age. Rasheed Wallace answered it was because 'they took care of their bodies.' Nearly all the players on stage started laughing out loud since Wallace is so out of shape that he can’t even scrimmage." (h/t James Herbert)

  • Oklahoma City beat San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals by being more Spurs-y.

  • Research based on Tivo viewing habits suggests that if you like the NBA more than college hoops, you're likely to vote Democratic.

  • Mavericks second-round pick Jae Crowder went off for 18 points in the fourth quarter last night.

  • Most agree he's an excellent young player, but would we look at James Harden differently if he were a starter?

  • There was once a time when being Ahmad Rashad's "Main Man" was high praise. Check out classic 90's highlights from Rashad's NBA Inside Stuff. Includes Allan Houston singing "My Girl."

  • Mixed preseason reviews of the Sixers backcourt.

  • Chicago's preseason offense has gone "from worse to worst."