Rockets.com's Jason Friedman spends decent time deciphering this quote, from Daryl Morey's right-hand man, Houston Vice President of Basketball Operations Sam Hinkie: "I'm probably pretty boring to watch a game with because I'm all about expected values. I don't even care if it goes in or not, I'm all about it, 'Should it go in?' I can live with randomness. I mean, if it's a close game in the end, yeah, I'm just like anyone else. But I just want us to play the odds all the time." It's the 2008 version of Larry Brown's "Play the Right Way."
This looks like a Nets preview, but really it's a sophisticated expert talking at length about what makes a championship team.
How about when Greg Oden did, briefly, play. Was he any good? Dave from BlazersEdge: "I thought Oden's game wasn't bad ... what we got to see of it anyway. 5 rebounds and a block in 13 minutes is OK. He looks slow out there but recall again the story I shared ... I saw Amare Stoudemire recovering from his knee surgery at Summer League and he looked horrible. He was slow, heavy, and couldn't jump an inch compared to normal. He's pretty darn good now."
Now that Coby Karl isn't on the Laker roster anymore, his dad George muses about giving him a shot in Denver.
Matt from BlogaBull on Tyrus Thomas: "41 minutes for Tyrus Thomas! I bet out of habit Skiles tried to take him out of the game before realizing he wasn't coaching him any more. He had 8 FTAs (missed 3, which is actually a percentage below what he'd been doing in the preseason) and drew several more fouls. The man is a foul-drawing machine, and the entire team did a very good job getting the Bucks in the penalty. (You can tell Skiles is taking over the Bucks defense by first getting them to foul a lot...eventually the refs will get sick of calling it and it'll morph in to 'tough defense'.) He makes so many plays where you say there's no power forwards who can do that, or stop that. He's such an instinctive passer and his jumpshot has improved to the point where defenders are running at him. The one 'old Tyrus' part of his game was the 2 goaltends (plus an offensive basket interference), but if you let him play it's usually a net positive. And then some."
Basketbawful says that Brian Scalabrine getting a ring for bench-warming last year "reminds me of the time I got a free t-shirt because one of my buddies managed to finish off an eight-pound steak without throwing up."
The Canadian export podcast The Basketball Jones becomes the Canadian export video cast The Basketball Jones.
Brian Robinson of Save Our Sonics: "As a business owner I have a lot of employees, all of whom I consider valuable in some shape or form. Valuable enough to at least cut a check for every two weeks that is ... Every once in a while a situation will arise whether it be a family leave, sickness, vacation, temporary side job, whatever that one of these employees leaves for a period and then returns. In each of these occasions I have to warn people that you want to be cautious. What happens if the person leaves and we don't miss them? What happens if, during the period they are gone things not only don't fall apart, but there is little discernable negative difference? When we stumble upon this type of occasion I always know in my heart of hearts that the relationship is over. It may take several months, I may fire them or they may quit, but somehow things are never quite the same when two people realize they can live without each other just fine. I have to ask former Sonics fans, and fans of the NBA, what the risk to the league is in our valuable market. What if we simply don't miss them? What if we fail to get it done this year and then decide not to spend more effort on it going forward?"
UPDATE: Sources tell Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News that Stephen Jackson for Tayshaun Prince talks have been scuttled by Jackson's imminent large contract extension.
UPDATE: Spurs big man Fabricio Oberto will reportedly miss some action with the same heart ailment that sidelined him briefly in 2007.