A little peek at the standings, where the Magic are a game ahead of the Celtics in the loss column, the Bobcats are fading at just the wrong time, and the teams seeded second through ninth in the West have this many losses: 24, 26, 26, 26, 27, 27, 28, 31. Close enough for you? That 31 feels a bit charitable, but it's Phoenix, with one of the best closing schedules, and a six-game winning streak.
Killer idea from TrueHoop reader Sean: "Maybe for struggling teams a new ticket pricing scheme is in order. Perhaps another class of season ticket that is more expensive than the upper bowl but less expensive than the lower bowl, where you get random ticket assignments. So for some games you would be sitting near courtside, and others you could be sitting nosebleed, etc., depending what's available ... Similar to airline tickets where you have slightly more expensive seats, that if the opportunity arises you can take the option to be upgraded to better seats for a combined smaller fee than the lower bowl tickets. Because the story is that people want to be able to sit in those lower bowl seats without paying a ton, and the organization wants those seats filled. Wouldn't this be a way to accomplish that?"
Video of a cat throwing down some alley-oops.
I've heard from some Pistons fans who point out that by losing to the Magic, the Celtics have increased the likelihood that Orlando will face the Pistons in the first round (although the way the Pistons are playing, they could also be facing the Cavaliers, or the lottery). The Pistons have swept all three games against the Magic this season.
David Lee takes a video licking for not leaving his man to protect the rim. Although, in this case, his man is Dwight Howard.
John Krolik of Cavs the Blog: "In the fourth quarter, LeBron went for 8 points on 6 attempts and accounted for 13 points on 5 passes, with no turnovers. That's 21 points on 11 possessions used. 100% efficiency would be 22 points. And this all comes with the game on the line. IF THIS ISN'T A KILLER INSTINCT, I IMPLORE YOU TO INFORM ME AS TO WHAT IS."
Shaquille O'Neal reviews several other NBA centers. Geoffrey Arnold of the Oregonian quotes him saying: "I don't think there is anybody like Yao, someone who can take over a game and change the game. Yao is a great center. With his height and his ability, he can shoot the jumper or post-up."
If you wanted a photo to embody how the Mavericks feel about the Warriors...
Michael Jordan somehow sneaks into a list of the 50 most stylish men. Is Hanes a style?
Nets Daily has English translations of Yi Jianlian's Chinese blog: "I actually can't remember how many times I've been to LA. I was trained here before and I came here for games a couple of times. Compared to NJ, these two cities are very different. One is on the east coast and one is on the west. One is cold and the other is hot. Many things are very different. It's like the Southern and Northern China. However, I stay at home most of the time. I haven't been to a lot of places in NJ. Today a female journalist asked me if I'd been to the biggest outlet in NJ. I felt embarrassed that I haven't. Last time my parents went there I didn't go with them. I don't even know what that place look like. That's a very famous shopping mall. I need to go take a look someday."
Basketbawful reviews a Zach Randolph action figure. It's coming out next month ... and featuring Randolph in a Knick uniform. Basketbawful writes: "... while the face isn't nearly round or doughy enough, I will admit that the tiny manikin is virtually indistinguishable from Zach on defense: Stiff and unmoving."
Something funny going on involving some people posing as the Jazz.
Score one for zone defense. Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune: "It was probably a combination of the two factors, but the Jazz collapsed in the fourth quarter when Carlos Boozer and Ronnie Brewer replaced Mehmet Okur and Kyle Korver with 7:38 remaining, the same time the Suns switched to a zone defense. Boozer was 0-for-3 in the fourth quarter, including one shot that was blocked by Grant Hill. The Suns got out on the break after each of Boozer's shots, as well as a missed three-pointer by Mehmet Okur and a block/strip of Brewer. Boozer played only 4:20 of the fourth quarter. Deron Williams hit two three-pointers against the zone to keep the Jazz in the game, but Jerry Sloan was not happy with the way his team handled the defense. 'The zone was very effective against us,' Sloan said. 'We didn't have enough patience to play against it, and we just took one pass and a shot so many times instead of trying to execute. We've always been very good [against] a zone, but we never did really solve it the way we thought we should be able to. But give them credit for being able to use it and we couldn't do what we wanted to do.'"
I have no idea what the future holds for Chris Douglas-Roberts in the NBA, but have always just loved how he talks about his job.
Gilbert Arenas says he's retired from blogging. But if reading Gilbert Arenas' blog has taught us anything, it's that Gilbert Arenas says a lot of stuff.
UPDATE: Kevin Pelton with a classy summation of the state of basketball stats.
UPDATE: Celtic fans, be glad it's not 12 years ago.