Posted by Kevin Arnovitz
If you read one item today, make it Tom Ziller's "Vortex of Suck" exegesis. Ziller uses a few different variables -- the Potential, Performance, and Assets of the league's worst squads -- to determine "the Bleakest Team in the NBA," the Charlotte Bobcats.
CelticsBlog has mixed emotions about Tony Allen: "TA's physical talents allow him to do some very good stuff on a basketball court. He has the quickness and leaping ability to get to the basket and to earn trips to the foul line. Those same attributes as well as his boundless energy can help him toward becoming a lockdown defensive player. Playing hard is a good start. But playing hard needs to be coupled with playing smart in order for that hustle to be as meaningful as possible."
More High School athletes are turning to specialized Web sites to get their résumés and game tape to scouts and recruiters: "Now, do-it-yourself services have emerged that allow student athletes to showcase their abilities for a fraction of the price [of private consultants]. Aside from beRecruited.com, other sites include Prepchamps.com, TRUpreps.com (owned by CBS Corp.'s MaxPreps unit), ActiveRecruiting.com, Collegecoaches.net and SportsWorx.com. There are also numerous sport-specific sites."9
48 Minutes of Hell informs us that "San Antonio has a losing record against Milwaukee during the Tim Duncan era." Who knew? Timothy Varner and Frank Madden from Brew Hoop have a solid dialogue over at 48MoH about the inscrutable Milwaukee Bucks.
Matt Watson says that Michael Curry, who previously ruled out consigning one of the Pistons' perimeter players to the second unit, might be reconsidering: "Earlier this month I asked Curry if he'd thought about benching Iverson for Stuckey (which, to be honest, seemed more plausible than simply starting three guards and playing four players out of position) and he looked at me like I was crazy. But last night? He admitted in front of a dozen reporters and a couple of television cameras that it's not only a possibility but perhaps inevitable, at least so long as defense is a priority."
Michael Schwartz of Valley of the Suns says that while Shaquille O'Neal dominated Oklahoma City's anemic front line last night, he's still wary of making O'Neal the focal point of the Suns' offense: "So everybody agrees it was great to give Shaq enough touches to dominate tonight, but I'm still leery of slowing things down too much with Shaq down low on a regular night."
What Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind can tell you about the New York Knicks: "In the end scene of that film (that goes on for about a half hour), they do that awesome special effect where all the clouds boil together over one place, in that instance Devils Tower. In this instance, it's Madison Square Garden. This is a perfect storm of oversized combo forwards with no respect towards defense, underachieving shooters, uncoordinated big men, random hustle junkies, and Wilson Chandler."