Thursday Bullets

  • Yao Ming should come off the bench. Daryl Morey says the center will play no more than 25 minutes per game as part of his injury recovery. Morey has said in the past that Yao is literally the most effective player in the NBA while the team is in the bonus. Well, they're never in the bonus at tip-off. Let his teammates -- who have been selected in no small part for their ability to draw fouls -- get some whistles going, and then bring him in like a closer. Also, TrueHoop reader Rob asks a solid question about this decision to limit Yao to two quarters of play: "I never know what to make of these kinds of decisions. Are there any studies showing a correlation between minutes played and injuries? Might it not be better to play 10 minutes a game, 16? Perhaps playing 40 minutes but always having a day off between games would be better? How likely is it that 50% of a game is exactly correct? Isn’t it great how human beings like 'medium' and like to cut things into half?"

  • Jeff Ma recently said that his numbers favored Kevin Durant over Greg Oden, even though the Blazers he advised at the time picked otherwise. This is not shocking, however. Durant's season at Texas was one of the most productive in NCAA history, and Oden played that season injured. Ma points out, in a new blog post, that it's silly to get excited over the news that statistics preferred Durant. (Also, it's worth noting that there are methods by which statistics can gush over Oden, too.)

  • Is it strange that I find the contents of Grant Hill's fridge fascinating? (Garlic in the fridge?)

  • Lakers bloggers fear the Celtics far more than the Heat. Let's revisit in May.

  • With eight new players, and five rookies, now do the Clippers have the personnel to run? D.J. Foster on ClipperBlog: "Once Dunleavy was let go and Kim Hughes took over, the big talk was that the Clippers were going to run more since they were freed from Dunleavy’s massive playbook. Baron Davis would finally be given the freedom to roam and run. The Clippers would play at a fast pace, it was said, because they had played too slow, too methodical in the past. So what happened? The Clippers turned into one of the worst defensive teams in the history of basketball in the second half of the season, and their offense devolved into a turnover fest, which was incredible considering there wasn’t a terrible amount of passing going on. Only a few games into his short term as head coach, Hughes himself admitted that the Clippers might not have the personnel to run. His adjusted assessment turned out to be correct."

  • The D-League was never just about developing players. Here's a look at NBA front office personnel, referees, and coaches who have made the jump.

  • Who is the team to beat in the NBA? The defending two-time champion Lakers? The SuperFriends in Miami? Michael Beasley nominates a third team: His Minnesota Timberwolves. I'd say that's the team to beat, all right. They'll get beat a lot.

  • The Heat will hold training camp at a military base. Who could whine about conditioning drills while surrounded by veterans of combat in Afghanistan?

  • Roger Mason was unbelievable two seasons ago, then kind of fell off a cliff. What happened? Mostly his 3-point shooting went a bit south. Part of the reason may be that he shot less from the right side -- where he has long been amazing -- and more from straight away, which has long been his kryptonite.

  • Adrian Fenty's decline as D.C.'s favorite local political star parallels Gilbert Arenas' decline as D.C's favorite local sports star.

  • Signing Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva has not been a homerun for the Pistons. But given their other options at the time, it wasn't the dumbest thing ever, either. Even saving the cap space for the 2010 free agent class wasn't a no-brainer. At that time, the salary cap was expected to be so low that they could not have been assured room to sign even one max player.

  • Ethan Sherwood Strauss on Warriors benchwarming big man Brandan Wright: "Despite much fan sentiment to the contrary, Wright has been good when in the game, doing the things that Warriors management doesn’t value -- because they haven’t valued value."

  • Remembering Larry Miller, Jazz owner and softball wizard.

  • There used to be a huge gap between the measurable happiness of black and white Americans. That gap, evidence shows, is closing.

  • Amare Stoudemire is not going to live in New York City. I think the Knicks made a huge mistake putting their practice facility in the exclusive suburbs. It's easier to be the city's team if the heroes are people of the city, you know? They're practically forced to live out by the Clintons and all those Wall Street titans. The Nets, on the other hand, once they're in Brooklyn, will be practicing, I have heard, in Brooklyn. If some of them live in Brooklyn, locals are going to love that and make the Knicks look aloof in contrast.

  • Kris Broughton at Big Think: "Make no mistake about it -- there is absolutely nothing 'amateur' about the NCAA, from the multi-million dollar salaries its top executives pay themselves to the billions of dollars in revenues from TV contracts, ticket sales, licensing and marketing deals that all rest on the strong backs of the players, players who they’ve have conned the public into believing should only want to compete 'for the love of the game.' I’ll believe that when head coaches at big-time NCAA schools start working for full professor salaries and receive only Heisman-like trophies in lieu of cash bonuses or incentives."

  • Get ye to the rim, Mr. Iguodala.

  • The Kiss Cam they have in a lot of stadiums is blatantly a product by and for heterosexuals. Would it be so hard to have a gay couple on there once in a while without having them as the punch line?