Tuesday Bullets

  • John Hollinger (Insider) on how the Warriors can pick between trading Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry: "A fun little tidbit from the new stats gizmo at NBA.com: The Warriors are plus-15 this season when Steph Curry plays and Monta Ellis are on the bench but minus-119 when Ellis plays and Curry is on the pine. The season before, they were plus-23 with Curry and no Ellis but minus-191 with Ellis and no Curry. The season before that, the tally was plus-122 with Curry and no Ellis and minus-89 for the opposite. So, for the three seasons those two have been together, Golden State has outscored its opponents by 160 points when Curry plays and Ellis sits despite being badly outscored overall. And, in the opposite situation, the Warriors have been outscored by 399 points. In other words, if you're going to deal one of the two, you deal Ellis in a hot second."

  • Benjamin Polk of A Wolf Among Wolves: "On Monday, we wondered aloud about the consequences of losing Ricky Rubio for the season. We suggested that Rubio’s defensive skills–his “ability to create turnovers, disrupt the pick-and-roll game and conjure frenzied defensive energy”–might be even more keenly missed than his mystic passing. And, gracious, did that ever prove to be the case against the Suns."

  • Writing about the deal to keep the Kings in Sacramento, at great expense to the city, Dave Berri notes on the Freakonomics blog that 85 percent of economists agree that state and local governments should not subsidize professional sports. Then he explains that "professional sports in North America have evolved into a very odd industry. Typically we tend to think that firms need capital and labor to produce goods; and owners of the firm are responsible for providing the capital. But in sports, much of the capital is provided by the state (see the Baade and Matheson study for how much the public subsidizes professional sports arenas and stadiums). Given this trend, what are the owners providing? In other words, why does Sacramento need the Maloofs (the “owners” of the Kings)? It certainly doesn’t appear to be for managerial expertise."

  • The Thunder put on a clinic in literally serenading fans. Don't have to be good singers, but do have to laugh at yourself trying.

  • Gregg Popovich captured on screen begging for a caption contest.

  • David Robinson is seven inches taller than his football-playing son Corey, who still has a huge size advantage over a lot of those trying to stop him on the field. Damon Sayles of ESPNRecruitingNation quotes the elder Robinson on his high-schooler: "I was a late bloomer. Even after high school and into college is where my body started to fill out. I was never uncoordinated but I started to get that strength with my size and use it. In the next two to three years, I think [Corey] is really going to find himself. Right now, he may think he's starting to feel it, but just wait."

  • "I've gotta be the only superstar in the league," says Derrick Rose on ESPNChicago, "that's going through what I'm going through right now. But I can't say too much about it." Most important part of that to me: Hard to find anybody who doesn't think superstars are in a different category when it comes to calls.

  • Trevor Ariza's game-tying stuff gets Bismacked at the buzzer.

  • JaVale McGee does some head-scratching stuff (PG-13 for language). But if I were a coach, and that guy were available at a discount, I'd gamble on the idea that in the right system perhaps the longest high-flier in NBA history just might be able to help a good team. His continued underperformance ... it's on him, and it's on the coaching staff. Adam McGinnis of Truth About It on McGee against the Spurs: "He crashed the offensive boards early and was active around the rim all evening. He finished with 21 points on 9-for-13 FGs, 15 boards (seven offensive), and one block. ... The “let’s make fun of goofy McGee” crowd will ignore these plays and refuse to acknowledge his improvement by just linking the video where he got rocked in the face with the ball. He earned his rep, so he has to deal with the consequences. But from a basketball sense, games like this are a reminder why McGee is too talented for the Wizards to give up on, as well as the reason other teams are vying for his services."

  • Longer pants wouldn't hurt anybody in this photo.

  • Where not to shoot from. It's a bad spot because it's at the edge of the range for big men, as pointed out, but I'd argue also because guards who shoot from there tend to be pulling up off the dribble, which is much tougher than catching and shooting.

  • The Magic are determined to contend ASAP, and I'm worried that their urgency, combined with the high emotions of the Dwight Howard situation, and some recent poor roster choices, will all coalesce into a lot of pressure to do something, potentially something expensive. That kind of thinking tends to end in big, bad contracts and mediocrity.

  • The Raptors' James Johnson says asking to go to the D-League last season was one of the best decisions of his life.