1. West Playoff Forecast: Thunder In, Spurs Out
ESPN analyst Tim Legler is a regular contributor to the Daily Dime.
2. What's About T-Mac In N.Y.?
Brandon (RVC, NY): Do you see the Knicks making a move for Tracy McGrady? Motivation would appear to be present on both ends, and the knicks have expiring contracts to match up. Thoughts?
Chris Sheridan: I see the motivation on the Knicks' part -- I have always said McGrady is their panacea, if they can get Houston to take on Eddy Curry/Jeffries in such a deal -- but I think the Rockets would be silly to take either of those bad Knicks contracts unless what came along with it was too good to pass up, and I can't see N.Y. putting together a package of anything -- unless you start throwing in multiple future No. 1 picks -- that would make the Rockets bite.
To read the entire Sheridan chat wrap, click here
3. Daily Dime Live Recap
ESPN.com writers and TrueHoop Network bloggers chatted with fans and gave their in-game opinions throughout Monday night's slate of games -- all in Daily Dime Live.
4. Grizz Producing Up Front
The Grizzlies' Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph each scored at least 15 points and shot better than 50 percent from the floor in Monday's game. It was the second time in less than a week that all three starters in Memphis' frontcourt did that, after not having done so in more than two years.
Al Thornton, Clippers: Goes for 31 points and 10 rebounds in a 91-87 win over the Wolves. Don't hack Al, either. He was 9-for-9 from the stripe, helping deliver win No. 200 to Mike Dunleavy as Clippers coach.
Baron Davis, Clippers: The Good: His one hoop sealed the win over the Wolves, and assured his streak of 468 consecutive regular-season games with at least one field goal was intact. The Bad: His first nine shots, all misses, made that hoop necessary.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"I'm not saying my game is where it should be, but when I can get good deep post position and overpower people and get good shots up, I definitely want to use my strength."
-- Greg Oden, who was the first pick of the 2007 NBA draft.
When Matt Bonner's on the court, the Spurs usually have the advantage (See Box 8).
7.NBA Video Channel
8.Bonner Is A Plus Again
It's not that the plus-26 isn't impressive, because it is. It's just that it's nothing new for Matt Bonner, who led the team in adjusted plus/minus last season at +8.85. And this season brings more of the same: Bonner currently leads the team with an APM of 15.66.
Bonner's adjusted plus/minus numbers provide a helpful window into a difficult-to-quantify area of team success: the value of a well-spaced court. So long as Bonner makes .426 percent of his 3s, opposing opponents have no choice but to shadow Bonner with one of their bigs. This, in turn, creates driving lanes for Tony Parker and allows Tim Duncan to operate one-on-one in the pivot or pass out of a double-team to an open shooter. It's a formula that works for the Spurs.
For his part, Bonner's postgame evaluation skipped the complicated stuff and kept it simple.
"It was one of those nights when everything was falling. My teammates did a great job of finding me when I was open, and I wish I could have just kept on shooting."
Bucks guard Charlie Bell, however, clearly sees Bonner's shooting as more than a great stroke. "Matt is one of those players that when he gets the ball and he's open, you may as well count the points. It's a tough task when you have Tim Duncan in the post ... and then you have Matt shooting the way he was tonight. It is very tough to guard."
To read more, check out Varner's TrueHoop Network blog, 48 Minutes Of Hell.
9.Don't Bury Hornets Just Yet
Rumors of the Hornets' demise have been greatly exaggerated. New Orleans may have lost to Miami on Sunday thanks to an unplanned bank shot from Udonis Haslem and a final play that seemed equally unscripted (unless the play was called "exchange blank looks and confused pointing"), but this was a very strong week from a team that was supposed to be roadkill without Chris Paul.
To read the entire Hollinger column, click here