- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “I assure you I have a perfectly legitimate reason for not listing this performance as the best of [Dwight] Howard‘s career. But before we get to that game, let’s first appreciate all Howard did on this particular night. Really. 45 and 19 is a heckuva line, even before considering the blocks. And he did it against Emeka Okafor, who rated 10th in the entire league in points-per-possession allowed that season, according to Synergy Sports Technology. And as the final score indicates, Orlando needed what he gave it that night. This game was close throughout, with Charlotte holding a six-point lead after the third quarter and neither team leading by more than nine points. In addition to scoring 11 of Orlando’s 27 fourth-quarter points, he gave the Magic something that didn’t show up in the stat-sheet: a bone-crushing screen on the Bobcats’ Gerald Wallace on the Magic’s final possession of regulation, which freed J.J. Redick to sink the game-tying three-pointer.”
- Why is Mickael Pietrus a bad free-throw shooter? Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook investigates: “The reason is because jump shooters spend all game shooting jump shots, that when they go to the line to take set shots, everything gets thrown off. After watching some clips of Mickael Pietrus shooting both threes and free throws, my theory was proved correct.”
- How will the 2011 NBA All-Star Game look?
- Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference takes a look at league continuity. It’s a fascinating read: “What’s the takeaway from this? Well, for one thing, the mid-to-late 1990s (and, to a lesser extent, the 2000s-2010s) were a great time for NBA job security and continuity among players. Both methods show that if you were an active player during that era, there was better than a 50-50 minute-weighted chance you’d be drawing an NBA playcheck 5 years later. As for the reasons why this was the case, anecdotally we saw stars enter the league earlier (often from high school) and enjoy more staying power thanks to modern medical practices that were absent from the league’s earlier periods. But perhaps the biggest factor was simply expansion: the NBA went from 23 teams in 1988 to 29 in 1996, providing nearly 100 new jobs to fill (and maintain) that didn’t exist in the past.”
- Trey Kerby of Ball Don’t Lie: “NBA teams love getting new arenas. Not only do they look beautiful, they also bring in a whole lot of money. Whether it be from fans wanting to check out the new digs or increased ticket prices, new stadiums are a serious revenue stream. Not to mention, state-of-the-art basketball facilities really help in free agent recruiting. Basically, a new stadium is baller status. However, when a team builds a stadium, there are a whole lot of moving pieces that need to be checked out. Imagine the home inspection on a new house, then multiply that by exactly 92,048. Quite intense, especially the bathrooms. Cool segue, I know, but if you put 20,000 people in a concrete box there better be a bunch of functioning toilets, lest things get zoological. The Orlando Magic understand all of this, so they’re putting together a really fun day for local children at their new Amway Arena.”
- Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse has more on the Orlando Magic’s “potty party promotion.”