<
>

Friday Bullets

  • We've been waiting a long time for this Greg Oden vs. Kevin Durant matchup. And here's how it's going to go: Durant will have the better stats, but Oden will get the win. The Thunder have to be drained after this close game with Denver.

  • Among Bernard Madoff's victims may be the former ABA owners who have the sweetest money-making deal in all of sports history.

  • Oh, that's a deflating feeling. At All-Star Weekend, they won't be playing H-O-R-S-E. Thanks to a sponsorship, they'll reportedly be playing G-E-I-C-O. And in the dunk contest ... did you hear? Instead of using basketballs, they'll dunk Dunkin' Donuts brand muffins. I know, weird. UPDATE: Upload video of your H-O-R-S-E shots.

  • There was always that debate: What made the Suns more than the sum of their parts?: Mike D'Antoni or Steve Nash? As New York continues to be OK with a miserable roster, and Phoenix continues to be OK with tremendous roster (and as it happens, miserable), I'd say it's advantage D'Antoni at the moment.

  • Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar. "I drove down a road, to get to school," says Charles Barkley. "That's about as close as I'll get to being a Rhodes Scholar.

  • Rudy Fernandez as communist revolutionary, the t-shirt.

  • Andrew Bogut, on his blog, says that now he is out for two months with a back injury, he'll be playing a lot of poker, instead of basketball: "The only positive to come out of all of this is that I finally know what I have wrong with me. On the other hand I am frustrated to a point of no return. If you have followed our season you will know I have sat out and come back from this injury on three separate occasions. We thought it was just muscle spasms as a MRI showed nothing back in early January. Obviously this was not the case and I soon realized that I wanted every test possible. Why? 3 times coming back from the same injury and having the same painful symptoms after playing one game, that's why. On Monday morning I had a bone scan and a CAT scan. I had dye injected into me to make the old bones a bit better and smile for the camera. Smack bang, I saw the scans myself and could see the fracture. I didn't know what to think or say. I was pissed off, I can't explain to you all in words how I feel about missing games. I was a little relieved because I was beginning to think I was crazy. I was being told I had no major problems with the back and the MRI showed this a while back. So it was playing on mind that maybe it was nothing that bad and I should just get through it. Works out it was bad, that's the only problem. After 8 weeks, I will have the same scan I just had on Monday to see if the bone has healed. Fingers crossed. As far as rehab, there is not a whole lot you can do, besides some light massage to free up the areas around my back and drinking as much milk as the old stomach can hold. Bones have their on schedule on healing times. Time will tell."

  • A rock band made entirely of former NBA dancers. They're called Sweet 88, and I'm a little worried that number may be a year of birth for some or all of them? And if so, I feel old.

  • The Lakers had a foul to give, and Derek Fisher gave it, with three seconds left in overtime. And then ... did you see that? Kobe Bryant, screaming angry. Anybody know what the story was there? I know the commentators speculated he didn't think they had a foul to give. But what really happened?

  • Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog says Gilbert Arenas was horsing around practice, wearing a hotel Do Not Disturb sign around his neck. Then he played H-O-R-S-E (or GEICO or whatever) against Nick Young. (Young won, and should be in the All-Star Weekend event.) Young then demonstrated that Arenas' diva behavior is starting to wear thin. "Then he played some one-on-one with Nick Young. That was off limits for the media, but Young discussed the game after he left the court. "He cheats all the time," Young said. "You never get a chance to really finish the game because of all the controversy, you know?" Young said the games break down into about 50 percent playing and 50 percent arguing, and that Gilbert "plays little mind games" and then mobilizes teammates to endorse his version of history. "You know, it's about being in the League so long," Young said. "So [I could be] up, and if I don't give him a call, he says 'I quit,' and then nobody wins. And then he ends up winning like that somehow."

  • Look, Golden State Warriors ... smiling!

  • Least deserving All-Stars of recent years. Isiah Thomas gets some attention.

  • ClipperBlog's Kevin Arnovitz: "About five minutes into the game, there's a sequence that's the perfect three-second embodiment of Zach Randolph's defensive career: Randolph guards Howard a couple of steps off the mid-left post. He faces up on Zach, pounds a single left-handed dribble into the floor, then takes a stride along the baseline, then goes up for a stuff.That's it. Howard doesn't freeze Randolph with a deceptive jab step, or execute some pretty footwork to get himself free. He merely uses Zach Randolph against Zach Randolph."

  • Britt Robson of Secrets of the City: "The bad news is that this squad is still full of holes. Love should have been starting over Smith two months ago, but that begs the question of what you do off the bench. As a fervant opponent of smallball, it bugs me to see Jason Collins, Mark Madsen and Calvin Booth all in uniform and ready to go and all DNP-CD. Then again, banging the drum for Collins, Madsen and Booth is like panhandling in the skyway--decent folks scurry by casting looks of fear and disapproval and pretty soon a security guard appears and leads you back out into the cold. If a tall rendition of the Three Stooges is your most viable strategic solution, well, what's the harm in playing the kids, Love and Smith. Such common sense retorts leave me muttering to my inner phantoms as I head down the street. In other words, as I've said before, the Wolves need a legit big, preferably a hulking center, to get in a three-man rotation with Jefferson and Love. They don't have one. So that's a hole."

  • Danny Granger has a bad knee, and may finally be willing to re
    st it a bit.

  • Late game, tough schedule for players ... and beat writers. Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune: "Deron Williams talked at 11:47 p.m. Thursday -- he was receiving treatment forever -- and my deadline is 11:50." However long Deron Williams was getting treated, I bet Jason Terry was with the trainer for even longer. He had to have ankle pain after this.

  • Excellent stuff! Some Europeans (and TrueHoop readers!) save for years for a dream vacation in ... Detroit! Rasheed Wallace will save the global economy! Natalie Sitto was one of their guides, and writes about Vienna's Vladan Katanic and Martin Monitzer for the Pistons' website. They have their own blog documenting the trip. For instance, this Welcome-to-Detroit moment: "After a while we went to the Palace of Auburn Hills. Our cab driver didn't talk much until he saw IT -- the best booty he has ever seen. He called it a perfect 10 and drove slowly behind the woman walking next to us on the sidewalk. That woke him up. Funny guy."