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Rants, References and Revelations

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- The Nets struggle to score at the rim. Nets’ opponents score at the rim at a really high rate. In a very, very related note the Nets are 15-33 this season.

- The Clippers have a lot of defensive holes to fix if they are going to make the playoffs, let alone do any damage once they get there. Perhaps trying a strategy other than “out-talenting” their opponents might be a good place to start.

- Jeff Foster has retired from the NBA. Tim Duncan has not.

- Kevin Arnovitz is looking at lineups: “Just so we understand — the best defensive unit in basketball includes a 38-year-old point guard, an aging Carter (who, even in his prime, never cared all that much about D) and Nowitzki?”

- Trying to put together the floppin’-est five in the NBA, and Shane Battier talking about how to fix the problem.

- All that is Andre Iguodala.

- As you would expect the cutting edge of athletic training and maintaining healthy performance can be found in the Phoenix Suns locker’ room.

- The parameters of position can make it hard to accurately assess the value of a player. Does Russell Westbrook seem to have quite so many holes in his game if we call him a shooting guard?

- Staying on Westbrook, he’s one in a long line of players who earns their chops as a rookie with their defense, only to find it a less compelling aspect of the game later on. Darnell Mayberry called him out on it:

One last thing from me on Westbrook’s defense. Where is that effort every game? He showed tonight that he could, without a doubt, be the league’s best defensive point guard. But he’s been disappointing on that end pretty much all season, allowing opposing guards to have their way with him and, as a result, make things extremely tough on the entire team’s defense. I asked Westbrook how he can duplicate tonight’s effort on a nightly basis. “Easy,” he said. “Just come back and do it again.” Of course, I couldn’t let Westbrook get off that easy, because we all know that if it were that easy he would be doing it. And that certainly hasn’t been the case. (This is the part some of you might have caught on the post game broadcast. I didn’t know they were live.) “Oh, wait a minute, Darnell,” Westbrook said. “I’ve done it. (Tonight) was a good defensive game, but I wouldn’t say I haven’t done it all season. But I’m going to consistently try to do that.”

- A nice breakdown from Clint Peterson, of what statistical tools are available to evaluate defense

- As much as anything else, Jeremy Lin has used his time in New York to prove how incredibly confident he is in his own abilities.

- An awesome visualization of who’s assisting who in Milwaukee.

- A must-read from John Hollinger on crunch-time offense and defense.

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