David Thorpe is expecting things to be pretty different in Game 2. The Orlando Magic couldn't figure things out at the offensive end of the floor. But if they had been scoring at all like they did in the last series (shooting 15-53 inside the arc), and the game had been close, then Kobe Bryant's 34 shots would be seen as Bryant once again doing too much. Thorpe also points out that Bryant didn't get the most efficient opportunities -- nothing from downtown, and very little at the line. But the Lakers rolled, and Bryant looked like a genius. But that doesn't mean a similar approach couldn't be used in a win.
Jim Boylen, former NBA assistant and current college coach, explains to Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune how he'd run Magic practice today: "What I've done with my team before is shown them the open shots we missed and say, 'Guys we did something to get that shot, we just didn't make it.' As much as it's a negative to lose, they're going to say, 'Holy smokes, look at that open shot. Look at that, look at that, look at that. Guys, we're good enough to play with them and beat them, we just didn't make shots.'"
Speculation about Kurt Rambis as the Kings' next coach. John Hollinger pointed out a couple of days ago that if Rambis takes another job, it could be a sign that he expects Phil Jackson to stay on in L.A. for a while. If Jackson is nearing retirement, presumably Rambis would stick around for the prospect of that job.
Rasheed Wallace may have less value than ever. But he can guard Dwight Howard better than most, which could be a key skill in the Eastern Conference.
Ricky Rubio is the mystery man of this year's draft. But he's not the only one. Not to be overlooked is Brandon Jennings, and I have heard NBA sources floating the idea that Jennings has the potential to eventually become the best player in this draft. The Painted Area digs in.
Andrei Kirilenko, astride a jet ski, avec pig.
Pro Basketball News at the moment has a tremendous headline for their Jameer Nelson analysis: "Half Nelson."
In February, when the economy was at a low point, the Lakers traded Vladimir Radmanovic for Shannon Brown and Adam Morrison. it was seen as the Lakers saving some money. But Brown has played well, and Radmanovic? Not so much.
John Hollinger (Insider): "Might we see more of J.J. Redick in Game 2? He was the one Magic player to play reasonably well in the opener, though his minutes came in garbage time. He did a respectable job defending Kobe Bryant and his shooting could certainly provide a boost on a night when so many of his teammates couldn't convert from outside."
There is strategy, and there is randomness. The best strategy wins more often, but the randomness ensures it doesn't always win.
Mickael Pietrus' shoes are a tribute to that lost Air France flight.
A suggestion that an NBA age limit for those older than 18 may violate state laws.