Full Court Press

The bromantic Ezra Ace Caraeff writes hilariously about Martell Webster for the You Be The GM series.

Primed for a breakout year at the start of the pre-season, Webster came out stomping, and went out limping; a victim of a foot stress fracture that never seemed to properly heal. (Or heel. Get it? People, this is why I am opening for Carrot Top next month at the Luxor Hotel and Casino, and you are not.)

Much like your high school girlfriend on her graduation trip overseas, the Blazers wasted little time moving on, shacking up with the first young French guy they came across. 

JE Skeets and Tas Melas do TV. And they do it well.

A nice primer by Jonathan Givony for tomorrow's draft lottery.

Bethlehem Shoals and friends have started a new basketball blog at the Sporting News: The Baseline.

Massive must-read Tom Penn reaction from Canis Hoopus.

BTW: At this point, we here at Hoopus would like to one-up Bill Simmons' egotastic offer. We will run the team's personnel operation with a collective BasketWiki that will promote fan interest and interaction. We won't complain about McHale one bit. We will come on the cheap. We will do it for $40,000-50,000 and a 4% match on our 401k. Informed fans will get to vote on, scout, and opine on which players should come and go. You will be the first interactive franchise and you will get to keep your precious 86 Celtic. It's a win-win for everyone. Get-r-done.

Ric BucherBrian Grant has Parkinson's.

Grant is not allowing his announcement to interrupt his day any more than, as of this moment, he is willing to let Parkinson's decide where he goes and who he sees. He sits in his game room, surrounded by ESPN's lights and cameras, explaining why he has ducked so many appearance offers and skipped his sons' basketball practices lately -- and why he won't any longer. As he does, the tremors noticeably diminish.

"My greatest fear," he said, "is losing control of me. Having someone have to take care of me. But that was at the beginning."

Dwight Jaynes with a lengthy article on Rick Adelman, in case you missed it.

Later, on NBA TV during the post-game news conference, Adelman said, "It's about us. It's about playing our game. We just need to play our game and see what happens."

Somewhere, Jack Ramsay was smiling, I bet. That's was vintage Ramsay stuff. "Play our game," was his credo - and I don't know that people understand what that philosophy really does. It's something that not only binds a team together but gives it confidence. It's the glue that can give an underdog team the idea that it CAN win against any team playing with any style, as long as it sticks to the game plan.

Dwight also has an interesting rundown of the referee playoff assignments.

SJ from Rip City Project with a thorough look at  possible power forwards including...

Brandon Bass (unrestricted): He's in the same mold as Milsap and Lee but gets far less publicity if you ask me. He's played phenomenal in the playoffs, the kind of performance that would usually get a free agent overpaid in the off-season. Patented by Jerome James. The economy is probably going to X-nay that but still, you can't deny that Bass is emerging. I don't know how you can't like his game? He has toughness and enforcer-type qualities which makes him the anti-Channing Frye. Simply put, he does the dirty work in the paint, he's a difference maker off the bench. His energy and athleticism are something the Blazers could use backing LMA up. Could you imagine the offensive rebounding prowess of a LMA/Oden/Joel/Bass frontline?!?! Yikes. 

The Blazers put together a highlight reel of all of B Roy's best plays in honor of his 2nd team all-NBA selection.

Casey Holdahl does some interesting B. Roy related digging.

Of the players in NBA history to have won Rookie Of The Year, been named to two All-Star teams and at least one All-NBA team, all in their first three seasons, just two who are eligible have not been enshrined in the NBA Hall Of Fame. Only Walter Davis and Ralph Sampson, both of whom were befallen by unusual misfortune (Davis with drugs and Sampson with injuries), have yet to make the HOF after achieving this particular set of accomplishments in their first three seasons.    

Here's a list of prospects the Blazers will be scouting in New Jersey assembled by the incomparable Jonathan Givony.

Lester Hudson, Austin Daye, Omri Casspi, Darren Collison, Derrick Brown, Gani Lawal, Eric Maynor, Nick Calathes, Chase Budinger, Jeff Teague, A.J. Price,Terrence Williams, Wayne Ellington, DaJuan Summers, Damion James, Jrue Holiday, Sam Young, Danny Green, Greivis Vasquez, Marcus Thornton, Patrick Beverly, Taj Gibson, Jermaine Taylor, Tyler Hansbrough, Scottie Reynolds, B.J. Mullens, Jack McClinton, Luke Harangody, Josh Heytvelt, Jon Brockman, Tasmin Mitchell, Josh Shipp, Joe Ingles, Taylor Griffin, Dionte Christmas

Here's a nice James Harden profile written by Chad Ford.  

"He reminds me a little of Brandon Roy," another NBA executive said. "When you watched him in college, he didn't look like an elite athlete because he was using his knowledge of the game, not his athleticism, to get by people. Then he gets to the combine and does really well in all of the athletic testing and everyone was wowed.

"Harden's like that. He's got sneaky athleticism."

No wonder KP2 said on Prez's recent community podcast that he wants the "Thunder" to get Harden.

And for you DeJuan Blair fanboys, Chad Ford has a video.

An insightful interview with Steve Kerr about draft strategy by Stefan Swiat of Suns.com.

Wild guest lecture from Pasha Malla over at FreeDarko.

There's a weird tension between the celebration I associate with The Shot, which feels absolutely genuine, and the knowledge that I might have never known it happened. In retrospect, it's more than Michael Jordan's metamorphosis from showman to winner, but also from man to brand. And while lamenting the commodification of Jordan is a bit like standing in the Ganges and whining that you can't drink the water, there is still a precious purity to my fantasy about that fabricated replay-after all, Craig Ehlo taking a roundhouse to the temple isn't the version that's being played ad infinitum, as a promo for the league.

Tom Ziller has a nice response to the Malcolm Gladwell / Bill Simmons chat.

Ian Thomsen tries to find the best fits for the top-of-the-draft-board prospects.

Bust A Bucket is not as excited about this draft lottery as in years past.

Beyond Bowie (including the Blogfather) take up the Tony Parker for Nic Batum question.

Drop any other links you find in the comments. Thank you and have a nice day!

-- Ben (benjamin.golliver@gmail.com)

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