By Henry Abbott
Jeremy from Roundball Mining Company on the give and take of Carmelo Anthony: "Carmelo played two stellar offensive games against the Clippers and Bulls. He did not force shots as he had done earlier in the season, he was doing a good job of taking what the defense was giving him and he passed the ball well. He had four assists in L.A. and seven in Denver versus the Bulls. What I liked best though was seven of those 11 assists lead to layups or dunks. Anyone can get an assist on a swing pass to a hot shooter, but making a pass that leads to an easy score for a teammate is even more valuable. That is part of the nebulous ability great players have to make the men playing with them better. However, as well as Melo played on offense, he was just as miserable on defense. Against the Clippers he was at best disinterested in playing defense. At one point after getting a dunk attempt blocked, he may or may not have been over half court when Rasual Butler hit a wide open three. What I do know is he was not in the picture and he forced his teammates to play four on five."
Watch Kevin Garnett moments before hitting his game-winner, looking like he's making a flag football double-tackle on Wilson Chandler. TrueHoop reader Jonathan, on the handsy big man: "See how he puts both his hands on the hips of the Knick defending Paul Pierce, giving the Pierce the angle he needs to create the mismatch that leads to KG being wide open. How is this a legal pick? KG got called for several moving screens earlier in the game, but placing both hands on the hips of a player as he tries to stay in front of Pierce? That's gotta be an unstoppable play, but not a legal one."
Bill Simmons kind of stuck it to statistician Wayne Winston in a column about football that wanders into the NBA's Kevin Durant and Tim Thomas. Wayne Winston responds.
Pay attention, I won't get to say this often: Amazing video of the Clippers playing beautiful basketball.
You know how some people have freakish memories? For instance, they can count cards all the way through a game of poker, or rattle off every baseball player's batting average? Suddenly occurred to me that I'd love to see somebody who could remember an entire NBA basketball game. I'd love to see someone who could tell me one play after another, in sequence, all the way through. That would be a sight to see. I know this: I'm not that guy.
Frank talk about what it might mean for the Blazers if owner Paul Allen can't work because of his recent cancer diagnosis. His sister already runs many aspects of his businesses, and her mantra is profitability, which has not been the Blazers' strong suit -- although they swear they're getting there.
An oddity about language and sports. If you're cheering for someone, you say "go!" As in "Go Pistons! Go Lakers! Go Celtics!" But what does the word "go" really mean in that setting? In, say, a running race, the meaning is clear. Run! But in other sports ... it means something a little different than just moving. It means something like getting fired up, playing hard, being aggressive ... not a lot of which really has all that much to do with the strict meaning of "to go." Yelling "go" at a sports game means something else. During the game, you'd yell at a team to go. But after the game, would you praise the team that "went?" Not at all, right? In past tense, the sports application of the word "go" loses just about everything.
At the Meadowlands this weekend, the scoreboard said, at one point, that "IT'S ALL ABOUT BEING HERE." Only thing was, a couple of bulbs were missing from a key part of the "R" so it actually said "IT'S ALL ABOUT BEING HEPE." Yes, indeed. Whatever that means. They also, I should add, threw hot burritos into the crowd, which is so fantastic I'm thinking about doing that around the office.
Derrick Rose hasn't been scoring as well. Is his jumper off? Not exactly. In fact, he's hitting the jumpshot better than last season. The problem is really that he's just not getting to the rim nearly as much. That said, he is keeping his recent vow to be more aggressive.
Monta Ellis destroyed Brandon Roy with his defense.
Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm has never been a big Kobe Bryant fan. Then he read Chris Ballard's "The Art of a Beautiful Game" on a flight: "I put the book down as the wheels touched down in Chicago and sat back. What was this feeling? Respect? Understanding? Oh, no, that was just my head unclogging from the air pressure. But I walked away with whatever leftover hate I had for Kobe gone. James may be the better player in terms of what he’s able to do on the floor, but if you ask me who the best basketball player in the world is, and all that incorporates, I have no choice but to say Kobe Bryant. And I can’t hold anything against him any longer. After all, I can’t blame the snake for being a snake."
That circus shot is, of course, completely ridiculously amazing.
When the pace picks up, the Pistons lay down.
Andre Miller goes back to the bench, Blazers roll.
Jerryd Bayless, blogging about his parents, and offering insight into his intensity: "Now, I know you hear a lot of athletes say that their parents wouldn’t let them play or hang out after school until they got their homework done. My parents would take it to the next level -- not letting me earn more than one B on my report card without being grounded."
E. James Beale, on Philly.com, making the case that while Philadelphia may be a basketball town, it has never been an NBA town: "Basketball is this town is hyper-local: High-school tournaments are filled with adults, playground teams have cult followings and every team in the Big Five has a big following. To those who insist Philly is a hoops town, I'd probably say, yes, you're right. But when was the last time you were at a Sixers game?"
On Saturday, 2009 21st pick Darren Collison and 43rd pick Marcus Thornton played beautiful basketball as the Hornets beat the mighty Hawks. Both have been playing more in the last couple of games.
Rumblings about a return of Mike Dunleavy Jr. soonish.