ESPN's panel of prognosticators picked the Celtics to finish with 51 wins and the No. 3 seed, following a season in which they finished 50-32 and entered the postseason with the No. 4 seed. Given the Celtics' flourish in the 2010 playoffs, that prediction has some Celtics fans riled. Zach Lowe of Celtics Hub (who was on the panel) tells his brethren in green to simmer down: "[I]t is perfectly reasonable to predict the C’s will again proceed through the regular season prioritizing health and rest over win total. Why wouldn’t they? They did it last year and got to the Finals, and all they’ve done since is make an old team even older while the Eastern Conference has improved at the top and in the middle."
Don't like ESPN's predictions? Check out economist Ian Ayres' prediction tools that allow you to forecast everything from the price of Bordeaux to how long your marriage will last.
Kevin Love tells NBA.com's John Schumann that he feels more appreciated by Team USA than the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Drew Cannon's new positional system, which he unveiled at Basketball Prospectus last week, continues to generate interesting conversation. Cannon seeks to address the problem of designating specific positions to players who, increasingly, defy that kind of classification (think Stephen Jackson, Hedo Turkoglu or point guards whose defensive assignments are the 2-guard or even the small forward). Both Tom Ziller of Fanhouse, and Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game delve deeper into the discussion and expose some of the problems with developing a new model and throwing out the old designations like "point guard" and "center." Spend some time looking at Mahoney's revised model.
For a league that's reportedly struggling financially, we're seeing a host of suitors line up every time a franchise goes on the block. The Pistons are no exception.
Speaking in his native Lettish, Andris Biedrins tells Warriors World's Rasheed Malek that Don Nelson's comments about the young center's free-throw shooting bothered him: "When he said I should practice underhanded, I felt very disrespected. At one point I spoke to a psychiatrist who reminded me of some things, but it’s not so bad that they send you and try to brainwash you. It’s mostly about believing in yourself, because, before this season it was more or less OK."
Here's an impressive video compilation of Scottie Pippen's defense. When we talk about a player's versatility, we're usually referring to his offensive repertoire. We all know that Pippen displayed an uncommon range of skills on the offensive end of the floor, but this reel captures how incredibly talented Pippen was on the other side of the ball. He was both a pest to point guards, but capable of pushing guys like Charles Barkley off the block. With Pippen in close proximity, there was no such thing as an easy entry pass.
Steve Perrin of Clips Nation has a comprehensive and smart breakdown of the current 15-man Team USA roster.
Remember Ali Farokhmanesh, who hit the ballsiest shot of the 2010 NCAA Championships when Northern Iowa upset Kansas? He's headed to Switzerland to play for Massagno in the Swiss league (LNA).
Daily Thunder has your Serge Ibaka "Air Congo" t-shirt modeled by ... Serge Ibaka.
Slide over, Lamar Odom. Michael Beasley confesses that, among his other nicknames, "Skittles" took hold at a fairly young age: "You know growing up I ate a lot of candy, if you were at my dinners you would know that, you know but I eat a lot of candy so from eight to probably like 15, you wouldn't see me without a pack of Skittles." On the tart vs. chocolate debate, Beasley is very decisive: "I'm not a chocolate man. I'm skittles, anything made by Wonka, you know I like candy not chocolate."
Jefferson Boswell of Salt City Hoops recounts a nice story about his grandma and Karl Malone during a physical therapy session. What did Malone mutter when he stepped up to the free throw line? Only Grandma Alene knew.