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Posted: Wednesday December 23, 2009 12:26PM; Updated: Wednesday December 23, 2009 12:26PM
Paul Forrester
Paul Forrester>INSIDE THE NBA

Landry making most of his time (cont.)

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They said it

Gerald Wallace took his teammates to task for their lack of rebounding.
Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

• "Can you fix somebody's heart? That's a personal thing.''
-- Gerald Wallace questions the rebounding efforts of Bobcats teammates Tyson Chandler and Boris Diaw after a recent loss to Utah.

• "I think it's bull, personally. When you lose and play like we do, you can't say that someone else is the problem. I don't feel like we're good enough to point fingers.''
-- Chandler takes exception to Wallace's comments.

• "If a contract doesn't get done, it kind of makes me sad that I probably will have to be a businessman. Being a businessman means I'm a free agent, and I'm going to coach a good team to probably a lot of success. I prefer not to be a businessman. I'm not a very good businessman."
-- George Karl, on his efforts to sign an extension with the Nuggets.

• "I'm @ the raptors/nets gm & I'm telling u RITE NOW that I CAN PLAY 4 THE NETS!!!"
-- Buffalo Bills wide receiver Terrell Owens tweets an offer to help the Nets during New Jersey's 118-95 loss.

• "I don't give a bleep about money. ... I'd just like to have the ball in my hands and have an offense run through me. I'm not just a defensive player."
-- The Knicks' seldom-used Darko Milicic channels his inner superstar.

• "We can provide financial relief, we can provide players who can help you win now, we can provide players who can help you for the future -- so we're sort of like Target right now in that we can provide everything under one roof."
-- Houston's Morey, on the Rockets situation as trading season begins to heat up.

• "If they're unhappy with Dwyane, we could probably find a spot for him."
-- Magic coach Stan Van Gundy offers to help Miami amid reports that Pat Riley isn't pleased with Dwyane Wade's conditioning.

Required reading Could trouble be brewing over the leadership of the Lakers? Will this be Phil Jackson's final season?

The New York Times: The morning shootaround is quickly becoming an endangered species -- and that may be good news for the quality of play.

Miami Herald: Dennis Rodman talks about the pluses and minuses of being famous, and how he's used it to help some acquaintances. The good folks at Ball Don't Lie found this story detailing Charles Oakley's sartorial judgments of the current NBA.

Deseret News: Brevin Knight is preparing for a move to the broadcast table -- unless some team comes calling for a point guard.

Three points

You can learn a lot about a team that takes a 16-point lead into halftime yet loses by four to the Knicks, like the Clippers did recently in New York. Here are three reasons these Clippers may be one of the most puzzling teams in the league.

1. Their talent is greater than their confidence. With quick hands in the backcourt and plenty of length up front, the Clippers have the makings of a good defensive team, which they showed in limiting the Knicks to 25 percent shooting in the first quarter while registering six steals and three blocks. Yet this is also a team that can let a bad opponent shoot 61.9 percent in a quarter and slice into the lane at will (as the Knicks did in turning a 58-42 halftime deficit into a 72-all tie heading into the fourth quarter), a team whose habit of blowing big leads is on the minds of its players before the game. In short, a team that can picture losing more than winning. That's acceptable for a young group learning how to close out games; it isn't for a club led by playoff-tested veterans.

2. Mike Dunleavy has tried to meet his team halfway. Rife with reports that Baron Davis and Dunleavy didn't agree on how to run the team, last year's Clippers were a picture of disinterest. This year both players and coach have subtly moved toward the other's point of view. "It's a happy medium," forward Al Thornton said. "He's more open to the guys, seeing what guys think. Sometimes someone will say, 'Maybe we should run a play this way.' He'll look at it now." Yet he'll also call some curious plays, too, such as dragging Steve Novak into the game after 47-plus minutes of bench time or running a potential game-tying, late-game offensive possession with Rasual Butler as a top option.

3. This team is only as good as Baron Davis allows. A scout suggested to take note of how often the Clippers point guard passes the ball off a feed to him versus hoisting a shot, the point being that the more Davis keeps the ball moving, the better the Clips play. After shooting three three-pointers in the first half in New York, Davis squeezed off five threes in the third quarter alone in guiding L.A.'s offense into a rut from which it never recovered. It's a pity such a charismatic, intelligent player stubbornly refuses to change his style despite all the evidence a change would make him the type of winner sponsors love.

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