Trevor Smith of Hoops Addict: “For starters, it is clear that the total rebounding stats of teams like Los Angeles and Denver are a façade resulting from their faster pace and number of total possessions, which artificially inflate their total number of rebounds but do nothing to suggest they rebound at a higher rate. Further, teams like Boston and San Antonio (23rd to 12th) make such dramatic jumps as a result of their rebounding efficiency. Their slower pace and effective defenses mean that there are fewer total rebounds to be had during their games, but they are highly effective at collecting those few boards that are available, meaning they have an even larger proportion of the harder-to-come-by possessions in their slower games. One need only think back to the Finals and then look at the effect this stat has specifically on Boston and Los Angeles to understand its ramifications.”
Reid Cherner and Tom Weir of USA Today: “Over the years, Charles Barkley has enraged, entertained and managed to blow $10 million gambling. Now he’s ready to work on that God-awful golf swing of his — and the world can watch it unfold on an episode-by-episode basis. The Hall of Fame basketball player and TNT analyst tells USA TODAY’s Jon Saraceno that he met with Hank Haney, who is Tiger Woods’ swing coach, to discuss a show to be televised by the Golf Channel. Filming, he says, begins in a couple of weeks in Dallas.”
Ira Winderman of The Miami Sun-Sentinel: “It was a mostly overlooked moment in a mostly overlooked season. As the Heat prepared for 2007-08, Pat Riley decided he had one definitive leader. So Udonis Haslem was named the Heat’s lone captain. In fact, in his first five seasons, Dwyane Wade has never been a Heat captain. Never. If a return to health by Wade is paramount to the Heat’s recovery from the NBA’s worst record, an ascent to a leadership position is nearly as vital.”
Ross Siler of The Salt Lake Tribune: “The injury risk is probably overstated, although the broken foot Pau Gasol suffered playing for Spain at the 2006 world championships unquestionably changed the direction of the Memphis Grizzlies as a franchise. But I don’t think you can discount the effects of spending so much time so far away from home in an already short NBA summer, even if the Americans are staying at five-star hotels and having their meals cooked by a private chef. Once Williams and Boozer return home, they’ll have only 35 days to turn around and get ready for the start of training camp. It’s a given that they’ll sit out practices during two-a-days and play fewer minutes in the preseason because of their summer schedule.”
Denver Stiffs: “Sometimes GM’s will give players big contracts to scare away all other suitors, like the Nuggets did with Nene and the Warriors did with Andris Biedrins this summer. But with this strategy, you risk overpaying your player to the point that you cripple your salary cap flexibility. And with the Nuggets in a cost cutting mode, they clearly don’t want to throw a lot of money at Smith unless they’re forced to match someone else’s offer. The better strategy – and its the one being deployed by the Kroenke Cronies right now – is to publicly announce that you will match any offer thrown at your player. This, combined with Smith’s history of off court problems, seems to have scared other teams away from offering Smith a sizable contract.”
Craig Kwasniewski of The Association: Chris Bosh “going for the gold?”
At The Hive: An interview with Hornets.com contributing writer ‘Hornet Henry’: “My favorite current Hornet is probably Ryan Bowen, but I believe CP3, Tyson Chandler, Mo Pete, Melvin Ely, Julian Wright and David West have all also considered the possibility of serving me with a restraining order. I love Bowen because he doesn’t necessarily have an abundance of natural talent, but he will dive into the popcorn vendor to save a ball if that’s what it takes. And he has zero ego. This quote by him pretty much sums it up: “When I went to the University of Iowa, I was so excited to be able to play for Iowa, that when I got my chance to play, that’s how I played. I describe it as being like a huge fan. If you pulled a fan out of the stands and said, Hey, you get to play two minutes. What would you do (if you were that fan)? Would you loaf up and down the court, or would you be sprinting all over the place? That’s kind of what I did initially, just to get on the court.”"
David King of The Houston Chronicle: “A thing of beauty it wasn’t. Unless, of course, you’re a fan of Manu Ginobili. The team’s spiritual and scoring leader, the Spurs forward went on one of his famous runs in the third quarter of the game, putting to rest any thoughts of an upset. It started with 7:30 left, when he hit one of those backwards-leaning jumpers from the free-throw line. A minute later, a 3-pointer from the top. Thirty-two seconds later, another from the same place. Forty-eight seconds later, a three from the right wing. Thirty-nine seconds later, an assist to Luis Scola. Thirty-three seconds later, a three-point play. And with less than a minute remaining, yet another three from the wing. One quarter. Seventeen of his game-high 32 points. Goodnight, Iran, goodnight.”
Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic: “Dragic ended more than seven weeks of negotiations with the Spanish club by signing a buyout agreement Saturday night, his agent, Rade Filipovich, told The Arizona Republic on Sunday. Dragic is on his way to Phoenix with a verbal agreement that he will sign a four-year contract early this week with the Suns, Filipovich said. The deal’s fourth year will be a team option.Dragic, a 22-year-old Slovenian, is pegged to become the backup point guard to Steve Nash, 34, this season and the Suns brass sees him as the franchise’s point guard of the future. The Suns considered the idea of drafting Dragic with their 15th overall pick in June if Robin Lopez, their eventual first-round pick, was not available. They ranked Dragic second only to the top overall pick, Chicago’s Derrick Rose, among all point guards in the draft.”
Bud Shaw of The Cleveland Plain Dealer: “I mean, when is the last time you heard James so excited about a Cavaliers’ acquisition? Oh, right. “His numbers are huge,” James said, “but what makes him special is that he’s a creator and he’s willing to do anything, at anyplace, on the court.” That was James in the summer of 2005 and the player he spoke of was Larry Hughes. According to what Hughes told Sports Illustrated back then, James had courted him throughout the season whenever the Cavs and Wizards met. It intensified late in the second half of a game in which Hughes scored 31 in a Washington victory. “We talked about it that whole game,” Hughes told SI. “He kept saying, ‘Come play with me.’ And I kept saying, ‘Nah, I’m staying in Washington.’”"
Greg Stoda of The Palm Beach Post: “Wade, quite frankly, looks happier in Beijing than he has looked on any basketball court in a very long time. His own physical problems and the Heat’s demise, of course, have had more than a little something to do with Wade’s ennui. And it’s almost certainly a load more fun for Wade to be playing with James and Bryant and his other Olympic headliner pals than it was when he was trying to muddle along with the Heat and wilting in the suffocating presence of pouty Shaquille O’Neal in Miami the past couple of years. It shows. So does something else. There have been reports that Wade is enthusiastic about re-discovered strength in his legs, and he is obviously quicker in the open court and more powerful into his jumps. He’s oozing confidence.”
Brian Costello of The New York Post: “Mike D’Antoni has noticed a reaction whenever the topic of the Knicks comes up around the U.S. men’s basketball players. “They usually snicker,” D’Antoni said yesterday. “I don’t like that too much. That ticks me off.” The perception of the franchise is just one of several things on the list D’Antoni hopes to change. D’Antoni is here as an assistant under Mike Krzyzewski, and he’s made an impression on the players he’s coaching, many of whom believe he’s the right man to revive the Knicks. “I think you’ve got a long list of players that want to play for him, I’ll tell you that,” Kobe Bryant told The Post. “He’s just incredibly sharp. He’s a brilliant, brilliant basketball mind. He’s going to bring a system and now you just have to find players to plug into that system.”"