Catch n' Shoot: May 6, 2011 -- Celtics in Trouble, Lakers in Deeper Trouble, Blake Gets His, Bill Russell

Catch n' Shoot: May 6, 2011 -- Celtics in Trouble, Lakers in Deeper Trouble, Blake Gets His, Bill Russell
  • Ron Artest was suspended for Game 3 because there's still a pubic hair between him and a total idiot (

  • OKC did a great job of taking Zach Randolph's space away and pushing his post-ups away from the basket and he still kept facing up (Sebastian Pruiti, NBA Playbook). This was weird to watch. I kept wondering why he wasn't making quick backdowns instead. Ronald Tillery added (The Commercial Appeal; h/t: TrueHoop):

    By their own admission, the Griz didn't handle the aggressive infiltration of their offense with the intelligence that's guided them to this point.

    Memphis watched film Thursday morning and the popcorn-less viewing only confirmed what the team already knew: Oklahoma City did nothing special.

    The Griz had poor spacing. They made bad decisions passing the basketball and settled for jump shots.

    "They packed it in on us and clogged the lane, but we worked on our spacing and ball movement," a stone-face Randolph said.

  • What's frustrating about Russell Westbrook to watch is that I can't figure out the method to his madness. At first, I thought I was the idiot. Next, I felt like a child screaming the emperor had no clothes. Then, I began appreciating him. Now, I'm about all three at the same time.

    Westbrookophile Bethlehem Shoals wrote (GQ): "If Derrick Rose was all jet propulsion and aerodynamic glide, Westbrook was his unhinged, angular counterpoint. I'll say it again: If Rose is money in the bank, Westbrook is like shooting craps in an abandoned missile silo. [nostalgia romanticized, nostalgia romanticized] Westbrook may have gone too far, but that doesn't mean he has to come back to Earth. It's not clear he ever lived here. Even if I want to think there was once a perfect hybrid of Westbrook's good and bad, or wacky and sentient, there probably never was. That's what makes him who he is, for better or worse, and it's what keeps us from having to brand him Stephon Marbury Redux."

  • Boston will finally erect a statue of Bill Russell. Ted Williams, Bobby Orr, and Red Auerbach are the only sports figures in the city with statues (h/t: Jeff Clark):
  • Isiah Thomas is reportedly recruiting Chris Paul to sign with the Knicks in 2012 (Mark Miller, Scoop du Jour). That said, Knicks owner James Dolan has reportedly assured president Donnie Walsh that Thomas won't be back "in any capacity" to get Walsh to stick around (Royce Young, Eye on Basketball).... Wait, why is this team's front office such news? Win a fuckin' playoff game. Then, maybe some attention is in order.
  • Dwight Howard was a "one-man wrecking crew and laid waste to everything in his path" and very "special against the Hawks," Eddy Rivera explained ( Though Orlando lost four of six games, D12 had 1.3 win shares. This is insane.
  • Grant Hill was only the seventh player at least 38-year-old to average 13+ PPG in a season. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Reggie Miller, Robert Parish and John Stockton are the other six. On top of that had a defensive season worthy of a lot of pride (Michael Schwartz, Valley of the Suns).
  • Meanwhile, Greg Oden is nowhere near returning to the court (Sean Meagher, Sad.
  • Pat Riley was named Sporting News Executive of the Year (Trey Kerby, The Basketball Jones). Don't worry, GarPaxophiles, this isn't the NBA award.
  • Kevin Durant has tattoos (Zorgon, Welcome to Loud City). Wait.... WAT?!?
  • Frank Vogel reportedly interviewed for the Rockets job on Thursday (Mike Wells, The Indianapolis Star). The Pacers still haven't lifted his interim tag.
  • Brandon Jennings will be part of a May 13-18 tour of India to promote the NBA (Don Walker, Journal Sentinel; h/t: TrueHoop). The hunt for The Pulverizing Punjabi begins.
  • No more Gus Johnson at CBS (Barry Petchesky, Deadspin). I find Gus annoying, but fully understand why people love him; and admit to being in the mood for him here and there. Reportedly, the choice to part ways was his. Speculation is that CBS  made it clear that he will never hit the top of their depth chart. I wish him the best and hope he's accessible on a big stage soon -- as long as it's only calling amateur sports, though.

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