• A nice obituary for Jack Twyman, an early Cincinnati Royals great who helped Maurice Stokes, one of his teammates, survive financially and spiritually after a crippling head and brain injury. Twywan died Wednesday at the age of 78, and this obituary is a nice starting point if you’re not familiar with Stokes’ sad story.
• Shandel Richardson of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel with a nice profile of Mario Chalmers, providing a much-needed (and mostly consistent) boost to Miami’s offense since the Chris Bosh injury. The story has lots of good tidbits (and one killer Shane Battier quote), including this one on the relationship between Chalmers and his superstar teammates:
Last season Wade and James often spent practices roasting Chalmers about his unexpected appearance on the NBA All-Star ballot, drawing laughs among teammates. James still mocks Chalmers during interviews, questioning why the media would want to talk to him.
Moments later, James is waiting for Chalmers so they can grab post-practice lunch. It is that comfort that allows them to go from heated exchanges on the court to high-fives in one 24-second possession.
“It’s never personal,” Chalmers said. “We all want each other to be successful. If a person is slacking, you’ve got to let them know.”
Chalmers hit some huge shots against the Knicks, especially in Game 3, and quieted down in the first two games against the Pacers before erupting for 25 points in a Game 3 loss. In that game, the Heat ran more actions for Chalmers, including pick-and-rolls with Wade as the screener, “scrum” plays in which two Heat players set one monster high screen for him and other stuff. Chalmers used those actions to get in the lane for floaters and layups, and that has mostly carried over since. When he’s going well, Chalmers has inspired confidence in Erik Spoelstra. Miami’s coach will put the ball in his hands and allowing him to create.
And check the video of Miami’s comeback late in the fourth quarter of Game 2 against Boston on Wednesday. You’ll see a few big Chalmers plays, including a very difficult leaping-out-of-bounds touch pass to Udonis Haslem for a key jumper with about 2:50 to go.
• David Stern chats with Harvey Araton of The New York Times about the aborted Chris Paul deal, his anxiety over the possibility that the Hornets might win the lottery and all the nutty lottery conspiracy theories out there. It’s a must-read.
• Lang Whitaker and a camera crew go inside the draft lottery. Lots of fun stuff, including Kyrie Irving singing a little “Rent” for you.
• Andrew McNeil of the Spurs-themed blog 48 Minutes of Hell breaks down the Thunder’s blowout win. Among the one-liners here: “Milk carton: Danny Green.”
• Some good (and much-needed, I’m sure) non-basketball news for Oklahoma City owner Aubrey McClendon’s company.