Thursday Bullets

  • Forbes: Michael Jordan still earns $80 million per year.

  • David Thorpe goes in-depth to break down whether LeBron James or Kevin Durant is better (Insider). His analysis of James' defense includes this: "If a team wants to run a shooter off multiple screens, LeBron is the best guy in the league to defend that action. Watching hundreds of his defensive possessions shows something else: He is far more disciplined than most defenders at knowing when to help and how much to commit. He rarely risks fouling guys he knows are unlikely to make the shot they're taking, and he intuitively flows to where he thinks the top threat is, rather than just to the guy with the ball."

  • Watch the video of Kawhi Leonard's game winning 3. Dion Waiters, moments after hitting a tough jumper to put the Cavs up 2, is watching Tony Parker's drive and standing completely upright, 18 feet from Leonard. Waiters is not really helping on Parker and he's not taking away the pass to Leonard. Rookie mistake.

  • Bradford Doolittle ranks Joakim Noah as the league's best center (Insider), and notes how much the position has changed: "The numbers certainly suggest that Noah has been the league's most valuable center this season, and he does it with an overstuffed tool belt of skills. However, one of them is not low-block scoring. According to Synergy Sports Technologies, Noah has posted up just 84 times this season. That's fewer than Arron Afflalo."

  • A picture of how Matt Barnes treats his hand injury conveys 1,000 words about the marvels of modern medical science.

  • Magic rookie Andrew Nicholson is playing some great basketball -- at least on offense -- since Glen Davis got hurt.

  • The margin of error for injury-plagued Minnesota is small, and unforgiving.

  • Jeremy Schmidt takes an uncompromising look at the Bucks: "If you think the positive results of the first half are replicable in the second half if the Bucks don’t make significant changes to their process, I’d love to make a wager with you. Letting 40% shooters control an offense can only work with a fantastic defense. Without Larry Sanders, the Bucks do not have a fantastic defense and no one seems sure when he’s coming back. There’s been very little evidence that the Bucks know what they do well on offense and can keep doing it well. The process is not there folks. And with Milwaukee’s second half schedule, wins could be hard to come by at some point. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news."

  • Are Rudy Gay's game-saving shots a sign he's Toronto's savior?

  • The Bulls held the Celtics to 71 points ... and still lost. Chicago needs a break.

  • Before and after video reveals the improvements Jeff Teague has made. Now if only the Hawks would play a little faster!

  • Appreciating David West's excellent offense from the high-post.