By Henry Abbott
Maybe Brandon Roy was never as good as we thought. John Hollinger and Chad Ford have dropped the Blazers from first to sixth in their future rankings (Insider), and here's why: "Although the Blazers' roster still appears formidable, virtually every player has underperformed expectations or given us reason to doubt him. Most prominently, the season-ending knee injury to Greg Oden requires us to treat the Blazers center as a high risk to miss more time in the future. The struggles of Brandon Roy hurt, too, as they make last season look like a possible outlier. Add in struggles of young core players Martell Webster and Rudy Fernandez as well as LaMarcus Aldridge's inability to progress beyond his current level, and Portland dropped from first to fifth in the players category -- accounting for the Blazers' decline in the rankings."
People want to know. Can you play ping pong to a porno soundtrack? You can if you're Rick Carlisle. Keep watching, there's also word of a ping pong tribute to Chuck Daly. Interestingly, on the same day, Carlisle is quoted talking about sex.
David Berri on Amare Stoudemire's All-Star campaign: "In spite of their impressive record, Phoenix is not dramatically improved over what we saw last year. What improvement we have seen can be linked to Nash and Frye reverting to form. And Stoudemire -- who really wants to be an All-Star -- is simply not as productive as he was in the past."
Michael Lee of the Washington Post: "After that one, all that I can say is that the Wizards are some creative guys. They really know how to script the most excruciating losses imaginable."
Watch about one-and-a-half minutes into the highlight reel here. Carmelo Anthony makes an amazing leftie layup after tearing the length of the floor as fast as he can. But do you notice he's surrounded by four blue Thunder jerseys? Where are all the Nuggets? This guy is taking one heck of a tough shot in traffic. Anybody thinking about rebounding, or providing some passing options? As the play unfolds, you'll see Chauncey Billups like a statue at the 3-point line, just watching. The rest of the Nuggets are in the background, decidedly not running. We're watching this video today and, I suspect, so are the Nuggets.
Allen Iverson update from Philadunkia: "Iverson scored 20 last night on 7-14 shooting, but what really impressed us is that he looked like he is finally getting his legs under him. He was quick, active and used his legs to go into his jumper instead of fading away. Getting his left knee drained twice may have helped and we’re sure having a couple days off did not hurt either."
One of the Celtics' key crunch-time plays does not involve Rajon Rondo. Is that a problem?
You might want to watch the highlights of Timberwolves vs. Jazz. Jonny Flynn has all the confidence in the world, which will be terrible some nights while he's young, but could also be the foundation of something special.
Chris Douglas-Roberts tweets that the Nets had a great team-building dinner.