I had a lot of fun watching both Thursday night games in a sports bar in Brooklyn with a posse of bloggers and writers. One thing that really surprised me: People were nuts for Houston! When Carl Landry threw down that dunk, the place got loud! If anybody in that bar was rooting for the Lakers, they were very quiet all night. And New York is not one of those cities where everyone hates L.A. Lots of New Yorkers have lived in L.A. and vice-versa. I'm wondering: What research can we do to find out if the Lakers have become one of those teams people like to see lose?
David Stern, as quoted by ESPN's J.A. Adande: "I'm a little disappointed that the competition committee hasn't been a little bolder in instant replay."
"Take the ball back. That's disgusting." Pretty funny Dwyane Wade line.
From Dan Patrick's SI.com blog, about when Denver last played in Dallas: "'I felt it crossed the line,' [George] Karl said. 'There was a racist mentality to it. There was a fighting mentality to it. It was to the point where blows I think could have happened. There wasn't enough security. There wasn't enough comfort for the fan who didn't want any part of it.' Karl said he heard the 'N-word' from people in the crowd directed at his players. Karl plans to address the situation with the NBA after the playoffs."
A really fascinating set of charts showing what happens to the Pistons' winning percentage when different players take different numbers of shots. Richard Hamilton's agent would really like you to see this.
Kurt from Forum Blue and Gold: "One thing I keep reading variations of in Lakersland is 'Gasol/Odom are making Scola look good.' No, Scola is good. Very good. He has a gold medal with Argentina as a key player. He was one of the best players in Europe before coming here. He is savvy on the court and is one of those guys who knows how to get his shot off in traffic. He is dogged on rebounds. He demands extra attention, it's just on a team with Yao he often gets overlooked. He shouldn't. And he doesn't need the Lakers to make him look good."
Gregg Popovich has talked about how the Spurs will one day need to replace a star with another star. What might that look like? And why would Manu Ginobili be the most likely candidate?
John Hollinger (Insider) on Orlando's defense: "Boston had 44 possessions in the second half and scored 29 points. I counted four open shots -- four. During a stretch of nearly 18 minutes in the third and fourth quarters, they had one, a layup by Glen Davis. The Celtics were seemingly inbounding the ball on the side after a deflection on every possession. Six times they either took a desperation shot at the end of the clock or had it run out on them. Even the baskets they made were tough. Rajon Rondo hit two jumpers off the dribble at the shot-clock buzzer and made a difficult runner over Dwight Howard; those are exactly the shots Orlando wants Boston to take. Rondo got another two points at the line after appearing to clear out Mickael Pietrus on a drive to the basket. And Paul Pierce made three straight contested Js to briefly give Boston a lead in the fourth quarter -- again, Orlando can live with that. That, the layup by Davis, two free throws by Pierce and a somewhat contested jumper by Eddie House off a second shot were the entirety of Boston's scoring in the final 18:56, a span in which they scored a grand total of 20 points in 35 possessions (Offensive Efficiency: 57.1) and took only four shots in the paint that weren't blocked."
David Falk's book in review.
If stat geeks ruled the world, Chris Paul would have been a first-team all NBA player. The third team was pretty different. But the first two teams were pretty similar to the actual ones.
Cavalier fans need games to talk about. Being discussed today, in the absence of basketball: If the Hawks had been healthy, would they have won one game?
County judge to former NBA player Corie Blount, regarding the 28 pounds of marijuana Blount was charged with having: "Cheech and Chong would have had a hard time smoking that much."
See you on Sunday, when there will be liveblogging of both Game 7s.