Thursday Bullets

  • Lots of reasons why having Ricky Rubio stay in Europe would not be so bad for the Timberwolves. One concern: Jonny Flynn is good and has strong leadership qualities. Assuming he bonds with his teammates in a profound way ... wouldn't that make introducing a more mature and eager-for-playing-time Rubio kind of tough? New head coach Kurt Rambis has said he's skeptical those two will play much together.

  • A clever idea to discourage athletes from taking performance enhancing drugs. Basically, you give them a big bonus if they go their whole career without testing positive.

  • Behold, another Spur draft pick panning out: Tiago Splitter stars in the first day of the FIBA Americas tournament. Meanwhile, Gregg Popovich talked to reporters, and said this about Richard Jefferson (as reported by Jeff McDonald on My San Antonio): "Since Sean Elliott, he's going to be the first wing man we've had where you can post him up. You haven't seen us post up smalls or wings in a long time. Now we can do that. It adds another element to our team offensively." He also said Tony Parker is healthy, and Manu Ginobili is running some, but not playing basketball or doing anything that would stress his recovering ankle.

  • Jannero Pargo is back in the NBA. Here's what you can expect, Bulls fans. To me his greatest play to date was his reaction to being assaulted by a frustrated Jason Kidd. The Hornets had the game in hand. Pargo went down really hard, but broke his fall, did some kind of dive roll and literally came up clapping. No way his spirit was broken, and he wasn't about to let Kidd keep him from a great moment of Hornets basketball. The Hornets, of course, won the game and the series.

  • Evan from Cowbell Kingdom: "In tough times people aren't going to buy season tickets or renew current ones if the team is sleep walking through a season -- its just not worth it. Just look at the Kings and how many of their season ticket holders declined to renew this year. All of the top 10 drafting teams are looking to take big steps this year, and in the end someone has to fail. The Clippers have been reinvigorated by Blake Griffin. Memphis made a slew of trades and has added two big bodies down low to complement their pair of gunners. Everyone is having a love affair with Oklahoma City, and the T-Wolves also look to be the team they were last January for the whole season. Where does this leave the Kings? Without amping up the effort and taking their game to the next level they'll be left in the dust again."

  • Does this do anything to appease? How about: Tyreke Evans, busboy. He got a pretty good review, although was criticized for only being able to carry two glasses at a time.

  • Rob Mahoney of the Two Man Game comes up with a key number to watch in Dallas this year: 3-point percentage made vs. allowed: "Dirk Nowitzki made his name in the league with that very shot, Jason Terry kills at that range, Jason Kidd is an old dog with a new trick, and a number of other players on the roster shoot at a good clip. And yet the team shot just 35% from three last season, good (bad?) for 25th in the league. Youch. That mark is made even more painful by the 37% shooting that the Mavs allowed from three, a simply unacceptable mark for a team with such lofty aspirations. On paper, the Mavs have helped their cause by adding Tim Thomas, Shawn Marion, and Quinton Ross into the rotation, while losing Antoine Wright. That should at least boost the Mavs' three point attempts, but can they capitalize on the attempts given to them in the system?"

  • In a follow-up to recent talk of stat inflation, here's word that Kevin Durant gets way more assists at home than on the road. That's the profile of the kind of inflation that has been alleged.

  • The Sixers made very few 3s last season, but in the fourth quarter especially that was an efficient shot for them.

  • Spending Easter with a Hall-of-Famer who shall not be named.

  • A peek into the small print of Brandon Roy's contract. Winning a title could assure him a nice payday.

  • Houston's 11 mid-sized players is close to a record.

  • Dwight Howard posts video of his bus tour of Shanghai with Derrick Rose. The reporters have the widest mic-flags in the history of media.