The NBA Dribbled Out

Some links before I start working again.

-This is—by far—the best piece of prose I’ve read about basketball and life in a long time. As part of the Classical’s “Why we watch" series, Yago Colás writes about Ray Allen’s jump shot, Nietzsche’s narrowing of purview when you’re focused on something, Henry Miller’s recognition of self in other’s work (which is also my definition of genius), and Williams Carlos Williams poem, "Spring and All." All told, this makes it the finest essay, possibly ever written for someone like me. The subject matter is near to my own heart, and I would be remiss if I didn’t share it with ya’ll. If you’re every wondering what I consider the apogee of basketball writing, this is it, and I hope I can reach it’s lofty levels of discourse at some point in my short, unadorned life of poverty and scholarship. [The Classical]

-Rick Telander with a great homage to short shorts [Slam Online]

-Ethan Sherwood Strauss talks to David Lee about that Kirk Goldsberry article that was all the rage at the Sloan Analytics Jack-Off Quant Cluster Conference* [Warriors World

-Charles Barkley on Dwight Howard, the Lakers, the Knicks, that DeAndre Jordan dunk that set Twitter ablaze (on both sides—hey Wojo!), bobsledding a other things you probably want to hear Chuck talk about [Sports Illustrated]

-Felix Huang tackles the myth that fast-breaking teams flounder in the playoffs myth or truism. I will not tell you what he finds, so go read it yourself. [Dime Mag]

-Derrick Rose’s absence grows more conspicuous by the day, and the Chicago Tribune hasn’t been quoted this much since Sam Smith’s The Jordan Rules came out. [Eye on Basketball]

-I loved this short post from Chris Perkins because if LeBron and Co. fail to win an NBA title this season like everybody and their mother expects, all of the things he writes will probably happen. People—generally—are stupid and reactionary. So am I. [Sheridan Hoops]

-Pick & Roll defense: the switch by Vantage

-So Dwight Howard is back in Orlando tonight as you probably heard. Lee Jenkins covered his return for SI, and SB Nation has a whole thread about it. [Sports Illustrated]

-The estimable Dan Devine talks about the mystery of Carmelo’s knee. No one seems to know what’s going on since there’s fluid pooling into the back of the knee. That’s a big problem, obviously. [Ball Don’t Lie]

-Rob Mahoney on the Boston Celtics’ defensive revival since Rondo went down. [The Point Forward]

-Jeff Caplan points out that the Spurs and Heat are at the top of the Western and Eastern Conference’s, respectively, and both got big wins over their possible rivals this past weekend (OKC & IND). But since Bosh, LeBron and Wade teamed up in the summer of 2010, the Spurs and Heat have only faced each other four times and never with the rotations or players that would go against each other if they met in the Finals this year. [Hang Time Blog]

*I deride because no one invited me :( Those are all good guys (especially the True Hoop bloggers) and analytics are important, as is watching basketball. Most people who write about the NBA professionally understand this, so don’t tell them to “watch more games,” because they do; they just use analytics to back up the eye test. You need both to write about the game these days. 

Some links for today as I put off some work:

-You should really check out the artwork at MettaWorldSheed.com, like the two pics above. Unfortunately, it’s a Wordpress account, but maybe RSS dat ish, and enjoy their hilarious illustrations when they post.

-Former Lakers equipment manager, Rudy Garciduenas, was fired by Jim Buss a couple years ago after serving in that role for the Lakers for 26 years. Now he’s a food truck driver, as Bill Plaschke writes in the LA Times. I wonder if Jim Buss realizes how much people dislike him?

-Matt Moore talks to Larry Sanders about his defensive prowess this season (h/t Bucksketball), and its important to note that the Bucks give up 7.6 fewer points per 100 possessions when Sanders is on the court (via 82games.com).

-Jose Calderone had some words of wisdom for John Wall after the Pistons escaped with a one-point victory a couple nights ago.

-The Grizzlies held the Mavericks to 5 points in the third quarter of their match-up Wednesday night, so check out this piece going through their defensive stops in the game, particularly that vigilant second quarter.

-Bob Kravitz doesn’t think the Pacers are ready to beat the Heat in the playoffs yet. He’s basing this off their loss to the Clippers last night, in Indiana. 

-I’m re-reading The Jordan Rules for the first time since high school, so here’s Sam Smith’s Bulls.com write-up after their win over Philadelphia last night. A lot of people don’t realize this, but Smith is the perfect definition of a beat reporter, and a courageous guy who stuck around in Chicago at the Tribune even after pissing everyone—including the GOAT—off with his book about the Bulls’ first championship season. Also, the book is not a behind-the-scenes hatchet job where Smith attacks players lives away from the court, like a lot of media outlets thought at the time (without ever having read the book). 

-Kobe dunked on Nikola Pekovic last night, but Pekovic had the last laugh when he got to meet, his idol, Zach Galifianakis after the game.

Pek and Zach

-Tom Ziller of SB Nation and Sactown Royalty on Kevin Johnson and Sacramento’s historic push to keep their beloved franchise. I really hope they get to keep their team and Seattle gets their own team.

Some quick links so you don’t forget you’re still following this specious basketball blog. 

-CNN has a bunch of photos of MJ up celebrating his 50th birthday, including the two you see above. I’m as tired as you are of the MJ paeans because he turned a nice round number that’s halfway to another nice, round number, but they’re cool even if CNN won’t let you save them.

-Dennis Rodman in North Korea. What could go wrong?

-The Celtics are “gritting” out wins without their mecurial point guard, but Father Time is still undefeated as Gary Dzen points out at the Celtics Blog. I would have given anything to see Danny Ainge and Kevin O’Connor switch places (a la Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy) on February 20th, but I’m probably* just ripping off a Twitter joke, so don’t think this is some original comment. 

-Henry Abbott and the surprisingly well-stocked True Hoop crew debate the NBA’s “All Watchability Team.”

-Dwight Howard—like a certain former sugar-addicted Laker before him—eats a lot of candy, which is bad for conditioning. I’m not a huge fan of candy, but if we’re talking about sugar, I prefer the Sixtoo Rodriguez kind.**

-The Miami Heat still call Ray Allen “Jesus” when he’s heating up (sorry). If you don’t know why, then you’re much, much, much younger than me, and I wish you a lot of luck in a millennium where it’s become increasingly clear people are reading on tablets and fiction is f__ked. 

-Kelly Dwyer goes through those poor NBA players that can ball, but aren’t getting any PT from the coach (whether because of the player ahead of them on the depth chart, or because the coach is a ninny). Somewhat unsurprisingly, Tomfey Mozgov is in the url for SEO purposes I presume. You know because of him getting dunked on (psst, he’s actually a halfway decent center). There’s no need to hyperlink that reference, either.

-David Aldridge, who, if you’ve been following for a while, you should know is a must read every Monday. He took last weekend’s all-star break off, but he was back yesterday to talk about the silent trade deadline and the new CBA that was likely the biggest reason why. 

-Zach Lowe on those exciting, and defense-averse, Rockets

Have a good one people.

*Maybe not, who knows?

**Good example of a parallel track more people have heard.

Some links on trade deadline Thursday, but only one having to do with trades. The links are brought to you by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s dunk on poor Greg Monroe.

-Here’s a link to all the trades you didn’t really miss today as we all eagerly followed Woj, Stein and even poor Broussard, who was always just a tad late with his “sources,” on Twitter, waiting to hear news of impending deals we’ve heard so much about leading up to the trade deadline. It was nice to be on Twitter for like 10 minutes before it wasn’t nice and felt like doing lots of methamphetamines without the equalizing effects of alcohol (or so I’ve heard). Anyway, Josh Smith, Dwight Howard, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Paul Millsap, (Big) Al Jefferson, and even Monta Ellis all stayed put. What Atlanta’s Danny Ferry, but more astoundingly, what Utah’s Kevin O’Connor were thinking not dealing their stars (who will be free agents this summer), I can only guess, but it was definitely the type of day where the phrase “blue balls” came to mind many times. But at least Slam Online called out Bleacher Report, so there’s that.  

-David Roth is an excellent writer, and you should really be reading his missives at The Classical and the WSJ, but he also writes for Vice, and here he takes on the legacy of, who else, Michael Jordan in his Mercy Rule column. I call mercy on MJ pieces after this week, but Roth is better than 98 percent of the writers on the Internet, so his words on as tired a subject as MJ are erudite enough to read regardless the ongoing narrative.  

-If you don’t know the NBA’s betting extradinaire, Bob Voulgaris, you should, and so here’s an excellent profile of him by Scott Eden for ESPN the Mag. Also, if you’re a Twitter person, follow him on Twitter; you won’t regret it, unless you’re like me and regret every wasted moment on Twitter. 

-Metta W____ P____ got woken up by the cops last night after he’d just finished watching Zero Dark Thirty (I haven’t seen it yet, so don’t spoil it for me by reblogging the ending. I really wanna see if we catch the bad guy at the end). It’s Metta, so the LA Times pieces features quotes from Metta like, I just got finished watching ‘Zero Dark Thirty’or whatever that movie is. I’m like, ‘I’m dreaming, I’m dreaming. Is there a terrorist in the building? Do y’all need my help?’” followed by information like this: After a brief conversation with the police, World Peace put on his Cookie Monster pajamas and accompanied them outside.” So go read the whole thing, you’ll be entertained because it’s Metta being meta. 

-You probably know about James Harden’s career-high 46 points against his old mates in OKC last night as he and Jeremy Lin combined to help the Rockets come back from an eight-point deficit in the final ten minutes of the fourth quarter to get the win. Andrew Sharp, at SB Nation, talks about Harden, the Rockets trade and what the Thunder lost. Morey fleeced Geoff Petrie by acquiring Thomas Robinson for Patrick Patterson and others last night, so it’s a good day to be a Rockets fan. It’s an even crummier day to be a Kings fan, and I wish all of you well (I hope KJ can keep the team in town, too). 

-The Lakers beat the Celtics at the Staples Center last night too, where before the game Kobe addressed the crowd and commemorated Jerry Buss, the late owner of the Lakers. There was a video tribute before the game, and then the Lakers went out and beat up on the Rondo-less Celtics. Dwight was unusually frisky on the cusp of the trade deadline, scoring 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting and grabbing 12 boards, 5 offensive. Anyways, this was just a really long way of getting to the link where Kobe says the Lakers can, and will, make the playoffs. We’ll see.

-Steve Novak rap!!!

And I’m out. 

Some links to clear out these tabs and cease procrastinating. 
-Zach Lowe sat down with Dirk Nowitzki and you should absolutely read the Q & A. [Grantland]
-Do you listen to The Basketball Jones podcast? You should. [TBJ]
-Chris Webber and Greg Anthony of NBA TV sound off on the Heat and Webber says [of LeBron] “Michael Jordan never did this.” [Sun-Sentinel]
-Bill Plaschke has written negatively about Dwight and Kobe and D’Antoni and Jimmy Buss, so now Nash is in his BB gun crosshairs. Hate read time, even if he’s right: Nash looks a lot older this year. [LA Times]
-Carmelo Anthony isn’t ready to give the MVP to LeBron even if everyone else has. [Daily News]
-Chris Paul is back in his groove for the Clippers. [OC Register]
-Doug Smith on that Raptors win over the Nuggets last night and one troubling sign to temper enthused Raptors fans. [Star-Tribune]
-Blazers players & beat writers are in awe of LeBron James [Oregonian]
-Russell Westbrook reacts to reporters silly question with predictable contempt. [Slam]
-Will Ferrell dressed up as a security guard at the Staples Center and threw Shaq out. [Dime]
-Tom Ziller on why the NBPA should have fought harder to eliminate the age requirements for the NBA draft in 2005. Nerlens Noel’s torn ACL while playing for Kentucky is a big reason why. [SB Nation]
-Where can Tyreke Evans fit in? [Shaky Ankles]
-Manu, Tony and Timmy will all suit up for the Spurs tonight. [ProBasketballTalk]
-Odds for All Star MVP this weekend. [Sheridan Hoops]
-On Kobe’s shocking 4 point night last night against Phoenix. [Hang Time Blog]
-Some NBA trade rumoers as we’re almost inside a week left before the deadline expires on February 21. [The Point Forward]
-Danny Granger was going to come back tonight for the Pacers, but the flu has him sidelined through All-Star Weekend. [NBA.com]
-Dan Devine on Rudy Gay’s second game-winner in three games for the Raptors. [BDL]
This doesn’t have anything to do with basketball, but I watched Searching for Sugar Man last night, and while you’re enjoying Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, you should also pick up Rodriguez’s two lost albums, or just purchase the soundtrack to the film like I did. The movie details the most bizarre, uplifting story I’ve heard in quite a while, and you’ll never complain about being poor after watching (even if you’re really poor like I am). Check it out if you have some time this weekend in between the basketball festivities.  

Some links to clear out these tabs and cease procrastinating. 

-Zach Lowe sat down with Dirk Nowitzki and you should absolutely read the Q & A. [Grantland]

-Do you listen to The Basketball Jones podcast? You should. [TBJ]

-Chris Webber and Greg Anthony of NBA TV sound off on the Heat and Webber says [of LeBron] “Michael Jordan never did this.” [Sun-Sentinel]

-Bill Plaschke has written negatively about Dwight and Kobe and D’Antoni and Jimmy Buss, so now Nash is in his BB gun crosshairs. Hate read time, even if he’s right: Nash looks a lot older this year. [LA Times]

-Carmelo Anthony isn’t ready to give the MVP to LeBron even if everyone else has. [Daily News]

-Chris Paul is back in his groove for the Clippers. [OC Register]

-Doug Smith on that Raptors win over the Nuggets last night and one troubling sign to temper enthused Raptors fans. [Star-Tribune]

-Blazers players & beat writers are in awe of LeBron James [Oregonian]

-Russell Westbrook reacts to reporters silly question with predictable contempt. [Slam]

-Will Ferrell dressed up as a security guard at the Staples Center and threw Shaq out. [Dime]

-Tom Ziller on why the NBPA should have fought harder to eliminate the age requirements for the NBA draft in 2005. Nerlens Noel’s torn ACL while playing for Kentucky is a big reason why. [SB Nation]

-Where can Tyreke Evans fit in? [Shaky Ankles]

-Manu, Tony and Timmy will all suit up for the Spurs tonight. [ProBasketballTalk]

-Odds for All Star MVP this weekend. [Sheridan Hoops]

-On Kobe’s shocking 4 point night last night against Phoenix. [Hang Time Blog]

-Some NBA trade rumoers as we’re almost inside a week left before the deadline expires on February 21. [The Point Forward]

-Danny Granger was going to come back tonight for the Pacers, but the flu has him sidelined through All-Star Weekend. [NBA.com]

-Dan Devine on Rudy Gay’s second game-winner in three games for the Raptors. [BDL]

This doesn’t have anything to do with basketball, but I watched Searching for Sugar Man last night, and while you’re enjoying Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, you should also pick up Rodriguez’s two lost albums, or just purchase the soundtrack to the film like I did. The movie details the most bizarre, uplifting story I’ve heard in quite a while, and you’ll never complain about being poor after watching (even if you’re really poor like I am). Check it out if you have some time this weekend in between the basketball festivities.