Thursday Bullets

  • Charles Barkley's second favorite nickname, after the "Round Mound of Rebound:" "The Crisco Kid." I think "Ton of Fun" is pretty fantastic, too.

  • Cub Buenning on SLAM's website, quoting Byron Scott about physicality: "This is so much watered down now. This isn't a physical game. I wish they would go back to the old rules."

  • Hands up anyone who expected Jamaal Magloire to be a factor in the 2009 playoffs. (He plays for the Heat, by the way. Or at least, sometimes he does.)

  • Orlando Magic Daily demonstrates that a blogger with a press pass can be a really good thing. A very nice post about the emergence of Courtney Lee, with a Louis Williams quote that Lee ought to keep in a scrap book somewhere: "We've got to start treating him like one of the big boys. It's not just about Dwight, Rashard and Turkoglu anymore."

  • Remember the cranky old dudes on the Muppets? (You do remember the Muppets, right? Or am I too old to make this reference?) Anyway, apparently they're running our new Blazer blog.

  • If you're trying to work out a buyout with a European club -- like the Kings might be doing with Ricky Rubio -- you could do worse than turn to Jason Levien. The former agent (and my roommate at David Thorpe's Train Like a Pro) joined the front office not too long ago.

  • Some statistics suggest that Glen Davis is not a good NBA player. A Celtics fan digs in and finds a more complex story -- namely that he was a terrible jump shooter, but has been improving, which helps everything.

  • If the Bulls shock the world and make it to the NBA Finals this year, it's possible one of their most prominent bloggers will never even get excited about it. They're heading home with an even money chance to knock off the defending champs. Matt from Blog-a-Bull is still 100% Eeyore, seeing big negatives in the Bulls, and perhaps even bigger negatives in the Celtics: "I don't think the Celtics have to fear the Bulls home court, they should fear their own depleted squad just not being good enough. Paul Pierce talked after game two about them playing at a 'C' level, but maybe that's the only level they can reach without their defensive anchor and leader (plus his productive backup) out. So far, it's two games to none in those terms. Should we never underestimate the heart of a champion? How about never underestimating the effects of age and fatigue? Not as catchy of a phrase, but it reminds me of what the defending champion Heat once found out about themselves."

  • Piston fans feeling ambivalent about Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace. Time changes things, huh?

  • When people write about Greg Oden, they really should acknowledge that he led the entire NBA in offensive rebounding rate this season, and was top ten in total rebound rate. If not for Kevin Love, I'd tell you rookies just about never do that. Yes, he's mostly a story about potential. But it's not like there aren't elite aspects of his game right now.

  • Somebody voted for Robin Lopez for rookie of the year.

  • Morris Almond was a legendary shooter at Rice (the nation's third-leading scorer), and a first-round pick of the Jazz. Now? Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune: "Morris Almond's lost season took another bewildering turn Wednesday night, when he did not play in the final 24 minutes of Colorado's 136-131 overtime win over the Utah Flash in Game 1 of the League championship series. Almond wasn't hurt. Almond wasn't in foul trouble. Almond and the Flash were simply struggling and, when coach Brad Jones took him out of the game midway through the third quarter, Utah began rallying from a 16-point deficit. Jones ended up sticking with the players who started bringing his team back, meaning the Utah Jazz shooting guard on assignment to the D-League stayed on the bench behind players like Andre Ingram, Bennett Davis and Gavin Grant."

  • Dick Harter, the king of making slow players into effective defenders.

  • An assistant coach spending time with him has totally changed Travis Outlaw's perspective. The point: As much as it's a man's league, and everyone has to be professional, great mentoring imcreases your chances of good results. I'm not sure every player gets that kind of hand-holding.

  • The downside of being Deron Williams.