We have 30 days until a lockout and Ken Berger of CBSSports.com says there’s momentum, but not much real progress: “As for comparing this to the NBA’s ’98 or ’05 negotiations, the NBA is in a different place than it was then. In ’98, salaries were out of control and the game was about to embark on the uncertain journey of life without Michael Jordan. In ’05, owners were looking for tweaks to the ’99 agreement. Now, they are looking to permanently and dramatically alter the landscape of the sport.”
Berry Tramel, like all of us, is worried about how a lockout would affect OKC: “But in Miami, Year 2 of LeBron? In Dallas, coming off, at worst, its second West title ever? In Orlando, for what could be Dwight Howard’s final year in the kingdom? In Chicago, where homegrown Derrick Rose holds court? In Memphis, where after 10 years in town the Grizzlies have been discovered? In Oklahoma City, where watching the Thunder 99 nights a year quickly became standard operating procedure? Say it ain’t so. A season we wish could start early appears to be dead set on starting late, if at all.”
Wayne Winston writes that Nick Collison is an elite player: “These numbers show how well Thunder played per 48 minutes (adjusted for strength of opponent) in different situations. For example, looking at the Durant column we see with Nick and KD in Thunder played 13 ppg better than average and with Nick out the great KD in OKC was only 4 points better than average. With Collsion [sic] and KD out OKC was a horrible 17 ppg worse than average and with Collison in and KD out OKC was +6 ppg. You can see that putting Nick in invariably made the Thunder better. Overall with Nick in Thunder were +10.6 ppg and with Nick out only +1.4. While Adjusted +/- may be fairly noisy over the course of a season, these numbers show that during his time on the court Nick is an elite player.”
Ryan DeGama of Celtics Hub writing about the importance of shot creation: “If championship teams almost always require two superstar players, it seems increasingly crucial to have at least one of those two be a shot-creating scorer with a great handle. That’s not, by the way, an argument for late-game clearouts for your scorer to go one-on-one (or one-on-five), but a reflection of the difficulty of generating good looks against elite NBA defenses that routinely choke off individual offensive stars.”
The Dallas Morning News on the announcing during the playoffs: “Bulletin: According to Mel Bracht, who patrols the sports media highway for Oklahoma City’s Oklahoman newspaper, viewers in his market complained the ESPN broadcasts were tilted in favor of the big-market Mavericks. It happens in every playoff series in every sport. It happens to Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, et al., after almost every NFL game. Hometown viewers believe their team has been slighted by the national broadcast.”
Nick Collison: “I always worked hard in the weight room. I’ve had that since college. Over time, the accumulative affects of that make a difference in your body. My body fat is lower than it was in college, which is strange for a 30-year-old guy. It’s about forming habits and it becomes easy because it’s your habit now. You live and take care of your body.”
This is my first time in Miami. I do not fit in.