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Posted: Wednesday December 16, 2009 5:49PM; Updated: Wednesday December 16, 2009 5:49PM
Paul Forrester
Paul Forrester>INSIDE THE NBA

Hornets in search of their lost sting (cont.)

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The 26.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3 blocks Anthony Randolph averaged in Las Vegas last summer are but a distant memory for the 6-10 forward reportedly now being shopped.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Anthony Randolph's future in Golden State. During the summer, Randolph was reportedly the Warriors' most important building block. Nowadays, he's received sparse minutes and is rumored to be on is way out of the Bay Area. Randolph is being cast as a difficult, mistake-prone player whose stock has fallen in the eyes of potential suitors. Last we checked, he was also only 20 years old and 6-foot-10. Isn't it a little early to be bailing on a player who dominated the Las Vegas Summer League? And if you have decided it's time to ship him out, there are better ways to smooth those skids than by already floating the excuses you'll need to justify any impending deal to your fans. All in all, another questionable move for a team making more and more of them.

Scout's take

Brandon Jennings has played his way to the lead in the race for Rookie of the Year. But with each game he plays, opposing teams gain insights into slowing the Bucks guard down. An NBA scout offers the early book on what challenges Jennings faces ahead.

"In shooting such a high percentage from three and as quick as he is, it makes him a tough cover. He can shoot behind picks if you go under him, because you're worried about his speed, and he can beat you off the dribble. But he's a slight kid, and people will put him in pick-and-rolls or run him off as many screens as possible to bang him up a bit. That would wear on anybody, but when you're 160 pounds, that'll really wear on you. It also will take him off the ball, where his quick hands are often involved. He'll still have some bursts because he can shoot threes but it's going to be hard for him to be consistent at the level he has played."

They said it

• "Let me ask you a question. What do you guys get out of asking me these questions? You guys get a better story? You guys feel better about yourselves asking me these?"
-- Nets swingman Terrence Williams rips into reporters asking about the rookie's increasingly regular spot on the bench. He later apologized.

• "I know every time I play, I've helped this team. Every single time. It's tough. Especially since -- and I hate saying this -- seeing these other guys [Steve Blake and Andre Miller] doing what they are doing. I know I can help this team. I know I can."
-- Blazers second-year rookie Jerryd Bayless offers a too much of his mind to The Oregonian's Jason Quick about his frustrations with playing time in Portland.

• "Sometimes I don't know what he's doing out there on offense, to be honest with you."
-- Lakers coach Phil Jackson expresses his frustration with Lamar Odom's play of late.

• "Why carry luggage when [you] can be the luggage? It is eye, big luggage man."
-- Shaquille O'Neal jokes with fans on his Twitter account after posting an image of himself wearing a Louis Vuitton coat.

• "No disrespect, but, Mikki Moore, he gets to start and I don't."
-- Elton Brand expresses his displeasure at being moved to the bench to Sixers beat reporter Kate Fagan.

Required reading Six writers, NBA-related and otherwise, explore and opine on Bill Simmons' Book of Basketball. The debate over the star's book is as fascinating as the book itself.

New York Times: No one stays young forever, which makes the lack of a pension plan in European leagues an increasing concern for those who bypass the NBA.

Orlando Sentinel: What sets elite teams, such as the Magic, apart from the others? A tireless video scouting department.

SLAM: Tim Donaghy offers even greater insight into his mindset/paranoia about why some news organizations have spent a lot of time trying to discredit Donaghy's claims.

Sacramento Bee: Reggie Theus doesn't look on the job Paul Westphal is doing with the Kings with envy. No, he regrets not finishing the job last season. And for that he's angry at one person, in particular.

Three points

1. Want to know why the Bobcats will never win in the playoffs with Michael Jordan running the front office? Because he's out on the golf course 20 times a month playing Lawrence Taylor, who revealed as much in a recent radio interview on WFAN in New York City.

2. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy earned a large chunk of his salary in keeping his cool when Rashard Lewis refused to enter a game in the second quarter last Thurday against the Jazz. Yes, Ryan Anderson may have been playing well, as Lewis argued in refusing Van Gundy's order, but that's not Lewis' call to make. To his credit, Van Gundy let the affront pass without a fuss, describing the incident as "no big deal" while explaining how strong his relationship is with Lewis. In a season as long as the one facing the Magic, there are bound to be many standoffs between the players and the coach. Letting a few of them go the players' way early in the regular season will earn Van Gundy the currency to win those battles when he needs to in the spring.

3. Shameless plug alert! But a worthwhile one for anyone interested in understanding what makes the modern NBA work. Rockets GM Daryl Morey will again gather most of the league's statheads for his annual Sports Analytics Conference at MIT in March. Now in its fourth year, the conference is wonky, to be sure, but also fascinating in revealing how antiquated traditional stats are for evaluating players.

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