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Tuesday Bullets

  • Zachariah Blott of Empty the Bench is concerned about how seldom LeBron James is called for fouls: "Through January 22, James played 1702 minutes and committed 77 fouls, good for one foul every 22.1 minutes of court time. Everyone else in the NBA logged 298,868 minutes and committed 26,473 fouls, good for one every 11.3 minutes. Comparatively, James is half as likely to be called for a foul than the other 300-odd players as a whole."

  • Will John Wall be the top pick in the NBA draft no matter who wins the lottery? Chad Ford's research (Insider) indicates yes.

  • Quick guards are the Lakers' kryptonite. Same goes for the Spurs.

  • This highlight of Derrick Rose dunking over Goran Dragic is probably seen as a low point of Dragic's young career, at least in terms of how the public acclaim. But I'll tell you what, it makes me like Dragic more. I'm going to steal a point from David Thorpe when I say that if you're an aggressive defender, you are simply going to get dunked on. Dragic tried hard to make the stop, and failed. Trailing a faster player on the break his only other option, and one a lot of players take, is to not jump (so as to stay out of the Derrick Rose poster, you know?) at all. But the point is, you contest that play hard a hundred times, you'll get some blocks, some tips, some altered shots and some misses. If you keep trying, you are more valuable to your team. And for the record, Dragic's next game after that one was the best of his young career. Rose meanwhile ... is he an All-Star, you think?

  • John Krolik of Cavs the Blog: "LeBron was almost the goat tonight. But Wade made some fluky mistakes, and LeBron was able to capitalize on them. ... With the Cavs down one and 41 seconds left, LeBron let the offense stagnate, fired up a three, and bricked it. Wade got fouled on a loose ball, and had two free throws to put the Cavs in serious trouble. He missed them both. What a break for the Cavs. On the ensuing a two-for-one opportunity, LeBron made just about the worst possible play, getting his eight-footer blocked and giving the ball to the Heat with 26 seconds left to play."

  • The Nuggets continue to tangle with J.R. Smith and his shot selection. I would point out that if he made more of these shots, no one would question them. But anyway, here's Jeremy from Roundball Mining Company: "To me the biggest storyline from the game was the decision not to suspend J.R. Smith after his antics against the Hornets Saturday night. Smith came out focused and he drained two threes, both within the flow of the offense after entering the game late in the first quarter. George Karl had talked about how the goal of whatever decision the team would make was to help J.R. play better and stop being such a three point chucker. After those first two shots it appeared the staff made the correct decision as J.R. seemed to have derived confidence from the team’s choice to play him. However, as the game wore on J.R. continued to shoot three after three and he finished the game having missed his final seven three point attempts. He did play hard on defense and did a nice job on the glass pulling down six boards and that is to his credit. However, the nine three point attempts were not a good sign. Karl mentioned that they needed to get J.R. less focused on threes and more focused on getting to the rim, drawing fouls and setting up his teammates, all things he can do. As long as J.R. plays as hard as he did tonight he will help the Nuggets. On the other hand if he keeps shooting threes at this rate he clearly did not learn much from the threat of being suspended."

  • USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt with the kind of David Stern quote that probably won't help Stern make money as a motivational speaker: "My management style is that I'm unhappy with everything we do and always look for changes." (Via Daily Thunder)

  • Euroleague donates ticket revenue from games Wednesday and Thursday to Haiti. More.

  • The Celtics barely beat the undermanned Blazers and Clippers at home. Now, consider their next four games: Thursday at Orlando, Friday at Atlanta (their kryptonite, against whom the Celtics are 0-3 this season), Sunday at home against the Lakers and Monday in Washington. Rare for a season-defining stretch of games to come in January, but with Kevin Garnett back it feels like the Celtics have a chance to prove something this weekend.

  • Should the Nets start Kris Humphries in place of Yi Jianlian? Short-term, it certainly seems like it would make the team better, but aren't the Nets' concerns all long-term?

  • The Wizards aren't beefing with each other anymore, but some of the journalists who brought us that story are.

  • By David Berri's math, in the first half of the season, LeBron James has personally been responsible for more wins than all the players combined on each of three teams -- the Pacers, Nets and Timberwolves.

  • Remembering when Kobe Bryant scored his first NBA basket.

  • Wayne Winston says Julian Wright has picked up his game.