Wednesday Bullets

  • Ronny Turiaf as quoted by Monte Poole of the Contra Costa Times: "I'm just happy people give thanks for what they have. And I would hope they do that on a daily basis. Don't wait for Thanksgiving just because something happened on a particular day or because it is a holiday." Turiaf, survivor of a major heart scare and operation, knows thanks.

  • A simple rating system with a strong track record says the Lakers are an extraordinary team, and the clear favorites to win the title.

  • ESPN the Magazine's Shaun Assael on Derrick Rose and the tough Chicago neighborhood where he grew up: "Some in Englewood are beyond saving. Rose knows this first-hand. 'They see me doing good but they think hanging onto the street hustling will get them a better job,' he says. 'I got a couple of friends back there still like that.' But there is still a chance to make the younger ones see their neighborhood through those Rose-colored glasses. 'They just need to believe in themselves like I believed.'"

  • Most improved defense in the NBA so far this young season, based on points allowed per 100 possessions: The Milwaukee Bucks. Most deteriorated? The Detroit Pistons.

  • Davidson's Stephen Curry was the darling of the NCAA tournament last year, and he has only gotten better. Last night, he played Loyola, and they double-teamed him. There are different kinds of doubles. Some start on the catch. Some start when the star puts the ball on the floor. This one started at the opening buzzer. Just two guys, all night long. Curry did an amazingly mature thing: He simply stood in the corner, scored zero points, and let his four-on-three teammates whoop it up, having a field day. Davidson won by a country mile, and Loyola's coach Jimmy Patsos is quoted by the Associated Press saying: "We had to play against an NBA player tonight. Anybody else ever hold him scoreless? I'm a history major. They're going to remember that we held him scoreless or we lost by 30?" I'm not a history major, but I'll remember that Coach Patsos stuck with a crazy scheme long after it was proven to have been a crazy scheme, assuring his team a loss.

  • Geoff Petrie, assuring people he's not one foot out the door now that Jason Levien is on the scene.

  • Barack Obama is praised for his selflessness on the court in pickup games. Perhaps, the thinking goes, that tells us something about how he'll govern. But then we also learn that David Axelrod, one of his closest advisers, likes to take turnaround, two-handed 3-pointers from NBA distance. What do we learn from that?

  • ESPN's David Thorpe on Derrick Rose: "At Golden State on Friday night, Rose turned the ball over on a bad pass with 10:36 remaining in the third quarter. At that point he had hit just one field goal and looked out of sorts while playing cautiously. Twenty-one seconds later, he blew into the lane and made an "and 1" shot, plus the free throw. Suddenly, you could almost see the light come on as he realized that no one on the Warriors could defend him. On the next possession, he hit a 10-foot jumper in transition and dominated the action from there. He carried the Bulls on offense, making seven straight shots on his way to 25 points and a Bulls win. It's the same for all young players: Sometimes they allow their confidence to come from their current on-court success rather than their cumulative production. Rose will learn from that experience as he continues to find that few players can control him, even if he starts out cold from the field."

  • The Painted Area has a photo that shows the fragility of a borderline NBA career: "That's a photo from three years ago, when I was in Rome during Thanksgiving week, and caught a ULEB Cup game (it's similar to Euroleague, but with the next-best teams across Europe, much like the UEFA Cup in soccer) between Lottomatica Roma and Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem. That is Roger Mason at the bottom of the photo, with a headband, standing behind the three-point line. He played for Jerusalem and had a nice game that evening, with 22 points on 6 threes in 37 minutes. The point guard in the photo is Horace Jenkins, and he caught my eye at the game, not just because he's a D3 legend, but also because just five months prior to this photo, he had been sitting behind the Pistons bench during the NBA Finals, on the roster but inactive. I was just struck by what a thin line it is for guys like this, who are on the border of NBA rosters, between the glamour of the NBA stage (the biggest stage, in Jenkins' case) and the complete lack of fanfare of playing before 2000 people in Europe."

  • Another case of an American player getting violent on the court in Europe.

  • Caron Butler on his new coach, Ed Tapscott, to the Washington Post: "He's light-skinned. He has a law degree. He stands for change, he uses big words, he's new in the district and he's in control now, so shout-out to Obama. We won tonight, so we have hope."

  • Nate McMillan talks to Dwight Jaynes about Greg Oden: "I think he's further along offensively than we thought. His patience on offense is getting much better. He has the patience to pass out of the double-teams. He's learning the flow. He has trouble sometimes sensing the double-teams but that will come. Defensively, he needs to work on rotating and on playing big. He's still coming down (here, McMillan put his arms in the air and came down with them, as if trying to smother a shot attempt - which will get fouls called on you just about every time). He doesn't need to do that. Keep the arms straight and play big. But he's learning a lot from Joel (Przybilla)."

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder's Damien Wilkins, as quoted by Darnell Mayberry on NewsOK.com: "It's been bad, real bad to know that you're the laughing stock of the league right now. No one's saying that, that I've heard publicly, but I mean we're just not relevant besides in Oklahoma City. That hurts." (Via Bend it Like Bennett)

  • And inklings of progress towards a stadium in Seattle.

  • Thin plotline, played out over way too long. But nevertheless, a fairly funny LeBron James porn-themed shoe commercial. The very best part is the sound when they're putting the
    shoe on. Hilarious.