Thursday Bullets

  • Bradford Doolittle notes that Kevin Garnett has been great since Rajon Rondo went down (Insider): "In the five games since his point guard went down, Garnett is averaging only one minute more per game, up to 31.2. But he's shot 57.4 percent during that span while taking more shots, getting more rebounds and handing out more assists. His offensive rebound rate, which over the season has easily been the lowest of his career, has nearly doubled. For the season, nearly one-third of Garnett's field goals have come from Rondo assists, most of them via the pick-and-pop. Over the last five games, that number is obviously zero. Instead, Pierce has assisted on 38 percent of KG's buckets. This is the way it was way back in 2007-08. We're not saying that this is going to lead to another title, but for now it's working well."

  • Three All-Stars whose teams have been better when they are off the court: James Harden, Luol Deng, Rajon Rondo. (via John Schuhmann)

  • The Wizards have had the second-best defense in the NBA in the 15 games since John Wall returned.

  • Brandon Roy can't play, so he's been giving his shoes to his teammates.

  • Thing you won't often see: an NBA player airball three straight shots.

  • Suspended director of the players union Billy Hunter defends his record to the New York Times and explains that he fired his family members from union staff because he "didn’t want that to be a distraction."

  • 18-year NBA vet Jerry Stackhouse talks to Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News about his desire for wholesale changes within the leadership of the players union: "With All-Star Weekend looming to shape up as Hunter's last stand, since it appears his ouster will come sooner rather than later, Stackhouse is making a trip to Houston to let his voice be heard. 'I plan on going to make my point. I won't be surprised if Billy was there, with all he's done he'll try to show his face and act as if business as usual,' Stackhouse said. 'The same thing with Derek. They can't operate as if business as usual. They've shown their flaws too much to still continue in their positions.' Stackhouse wants the current players to be educated about what's happening now, and is even taking a more extreme stance since he clearly believes in wholesale change. He wants the executive committee — which includes superstar Chris Paul — gone too. 'The important thing is, it's nothing pressing as far as collective bargaining,' said Stackhouse, as the current CBA isn't up for another five years. 'We should take this time and figure out the best direction for our union. I don't think the way it is set up now is really what it should be. Everything (should change).'"

  • David Thorpe makes a sharp point about the Pacers on TrueHoop TV. They're winning by playing harder and being tougher than their opponents, but that advantage becomes less important when everyone starts playing with more desperation in the playoffs. Seems like the same principle would apply to the Bulls.

  • Some great Hakeem Olajuwon stories from former NBA player Jim Petersen on HoopSpeak Live.

  • Rob Mahoney builds his dream dunk contest field and includes spectacular video evidence.

  • Brandon Jennings wants a max contract. Bucksketball's Jeremy Schmidt writes, "If he’s able to convince someone to sign him to that, more power to him. If the Bucks sign him to a contract that pays him that much, you might no longer have a Bucksketball to visit any more."

  • Toronto found some success with small ball Wednesday night. A shooting big man like Bargnani can be a nice complement to slashers like DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay.