Wednesday Bullets

  • Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook: "With the Rockets-Wizards game tied at 92 with 33 seconds left, the Rockets had a tough decision to make. With 22 seconds on the shot clock, they had to figure out if they wanted to go quick to preserve the two-for-one opportunity, ensuring that they will get the ball back, or if they just wanted to take their time, get the best look possible, and give the Wizards the final shot." The Rockets chose to be quick, and Pruiti will show you how they won.

  • Michael Pina, on Hardwood Paroxysm, with motivational material for the Spurs' locker room wall: "To watch Duncan play right now is heartbreaking. It’s (almost) like staring at an old picture of a polio stricken Roosevelt, curbed to his wheelchair. Or, for a more athletically appropriate analogy: Willie Mays batting .211 in 66 games as a 42-year-old New York Met, Michael Jordan overshooting the rim on a dunk attempt while in Washington or Pedro Martinez donning a Phillies cap for one last hurrah in Yankees Stadium. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, 'Tim Duncan made only 2 of 11 field goals, 18 percent, in the Spurs loss on March 24. It’s the third time in his last 19 games that Duncan had made less than 20 percent of his shots from the floor, something he did only six times in 947 games to that point in his career.' Not one to overreact with a small sampling of statistics, but when those stats disparage a player who’s great claim to fame has been remarkable consistency, then it’s at the very least worth noting. If this is the end for Tim, I just want to say thank you."

  • Ten years old is usually too young to know what you'll want to do in life. For some people, twenty is too young. So, here's a nice story about a ten-year-old who seems to be very well-loved and smart, who works his butt off to be a great basketball player and student. What if he decides at some point in the next few years that he'd really like to be an astronomer or a web designer or a teacher or a blogger? Does his family have too much wrapped up in hoops to let him follow his bliss beyond hoops? They seem pretty cool. But that's one of the things I worry about when I see a ten-year-old talking about having a professional's dedication to his craft. Odds are you don't even know what your craft is yet!

  • A trophy for the Nets. But in case that's not enough, the Nets are talking about catching the 'Wolves. My main thought is to quote a friend, who once wisely said: "People need projects." Meaning, it's no good to be working on nothing. So if you're the Nets, you work on that, I guess.

  • Jerry Sloan is rooting for Butler in the Final Four.

  • Anticipating yet another showdown of Chris Kaman vs. Reggie Evans, which is exciting ever since "the incident."

  • From a Lapchick Study press release: "The National Basketball Association (NBA) remains the industry leader on issues related to race and gender hiring practices according to the Racial and Gender Report Card for the National Basketball Association for the 2008-09 season. The NBA has had the best grade among the men’s leagues for race for two decades. The NBA had an A+ for race, and a B+/A- for gender for a combined A." The release explains that the makeup of the League office's staff was a major factor.

  • Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace and Glen Davis are all known to be able to shoot. But for various reasons only Garnett is consistently taking and hitting the open mid-range jumpers that result from one of Boston's most common sets.

  • If Kenyon Martin can't play, and Johan Petro picks up a lot of minutes, a statistical analysis on Johan Petro's website reveals that Petro -- lately he has been shooting and rebounding at better rates than Martin -- might be able to help.

  • M. Haubs of the Painted Area has been scouting high-schoolers, including Perry Jones: "The clear comparison which jumped out at me was that Jones seemed like a 6-11 Tracy McGrady, not just in terms of pros and cons, but also physical resemblance in body type -- Jones has great length and he can sky, and his shooting form is strikingly similar to T-Mac's. The WOW play of the night when I was in Duncanville was a full-court fast break on which Jones went behind his back to elude one defender in the backcourt, dropped a wicked crossover to beat another, and then displayed great court vision in whipping a one-handed bounce pass to a teammate for an assist. We remind you: Perry Jones is 6-11."

  • Matt McHale of By the Horns: "Well, so much for Derrick Rose owning Steve Nash. On paper, last night’s matchup of rising star versus former MVP looks kind of even. Rose finished with 23 points (7-for-16 from the field, 8-for-9 at the line), 5 rebounds, 10 assists and a steal. Nash had 22 points (8-for-20, 2-for-3 on threes, 4-for-4 from the stripe), 4 rebounds, 10 assists and 2 steals. The battle wasn’t so close in terms of their plus-minus stats, where Nash was +12 and Rose was -3. And, of course, the final score went in favor of Captain Canada. But numbers don’t really tell the story of how Nash almost single-handedly stole this game down the stretch."

  • John Krolik is on fire at Cavs: The Blog. Just some of what he's serving up today: "One completely random note: the 'gooseneck' and '3-3-0' gestures LeBron does have been called satanist gestures. I don’t think there’s anything malicious going on when LeBron and the rest of the Cavs make those hand signals. However, when Lady Gaga makes those same gestures in her music videos (full disclosure: I kind of think Lady Gaga is awesome. Again, I’m sorry), I’m fairly sure she is trying to make references to satanic culture, if only to mess with people. This makes embracing the 'gooseneck' thing that much more complicated for me. ... Putting up 20/10 lines for an imploding Clipper team always was Drew Gooden’s destiny. ... I’ll elaborate on this when it becomes a legitimate possibility, but I really like Nazr Mohammed as the center of the future for the Cavs. He does have an ETO that would make him a free agent this summer. Something to think about, perhaps.

  • Rob Mahoney on Hardwood Paroxysm: "While San Antonio’s salary situation is actually quite flexible on paper (the only committed salary in 2012-2013 goes to Blair and likely Hill, and the only additional players on contract through 2011-2012 are Duncan, McDyess, and possibly Malik Hairston), their reality is a bit more complex. I don’t think it’s going out on a limb to say that Duncan doesn’t want to play for a losing club. Even if he’s the farthest thing from a troublemaker, that could be a problem. I don’t see him rousing rabble, but the only way the Spurs can approach their plans for the future with any certainty as to whether Duncan is a part of that future is to hold on to Parker and Ginobili. It all starts this summer, and though clinging to the past hardly seems like the best way to usher in a new era, the safest bet for San Antonio might be to proceed with a similar roster but a renovated approach."

  • "Anything is possible when your man smells like Mavs Musk ... I'm on a horse." See for yourself, and maybe it'll make more sense.

  • It's a fair point. If all of that sex-in-the-backseat, harassment trials and Isiah Thomas craziness didn't do it ... what do the Knicks have to do to get a movie made about them?