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Monday’s Layup Drill

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  • With five days between preseason games, how do you fill inches in the newspaper? With profiles on players who won't actually play, that's how! A. Sherrod Blakely has a piece on Cheikh Samb for MLive, while Vince Ellis has Will Bynum covered for the Free Press.
  • I saw Curry's comparison of Rasheed Wallace and Manny Ramirez on Friday, but PistonsNation's Photoshop work really completes the thought.
  • Big Nasty is a Hall of Famer ... in Arkansas.
  • I bowled last night for the first time in a very long time. It showed in my score: I rolled an 88. Chalk that down as one more thing NBA athlete can do better than me -- here's Chris Paul talking about his favorite pastime ESPN's Mary Buckheit (via DBB reader joejoejoe):

    If I get some downtime, you can find me at the bowling alley. It's funny, because so many people know me for bowling rather than basketball, especially on the NBA circuit. Whenever we play against the Pistons, right before [the] jump ball, Rasheed Wallace always tells me he wants to bowl against me. I need to see Rasheed bowl.

    Here's video of CP3 in action.

  • Earlier today, Kevin Sawyer theorized that Arron Afflalo's encouraging preseason numbers might be an indication for regular season success. Last week, Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus (via Ziller @ Sactown) examined the correlation more closely:

    Looking through the numbers, it looks like the biggest factor that works againsthis per preseason stats is not the uneven motivation and level of competition but instead the brevity of the schedule. Break down the numbers by category and the effort stats (rebounds, blocks, etc.) carry over closely into the regular season, while shooting percentages--more variable even season to season--have a dramatically lower correlation.

    In other words, it's a bit early to get too excited about Afflalo's new-found touch from beyond the three-point line. But speaking of sample size, Afflalo was a much better shooter over his three-year college career than he was as a rookie, so I'm still inclined to believe his improvement so far in the preseason isn't a complete fluke.

  • Would you have paid to see Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan play one-on-one back in their prime? Of course you would have. It almost happened.