Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Each weekday morning, BDL serves up a handful of NBA-related stories to digest with your tea.

Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: "Oklahoma City's home crowds have earned opponents' praise because of their volume and energy, though [coach Phil] Jackson thought the noise tended to peter out as the game progressed. 'They haven't quite figured out the NBA game, the length of it,' Jackson said. 'They get all fired up in the beginning, and it's a marathon. It's 48 minutes of basketball. It's not like college, where you can come out and get a 10-point lead or 15-point lead and you can win the game.' Thunder fans stand until the home team scores its first basket and have been compared to college crowds for their intensity."

Tim MacMahon, Dallas Morning News: "[Ryan] Hollins went so far as to provide some insight on how the Mavs could succeed as an 8 seed against the Lakers, whom he acknowledged were the team to beat. The key: Take advantage of Kobe's selfishness. 'Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the game, and I think sometimes he has issues trusting his teammates,"' said Hollins, who probably saw a lot of Lakers games while playing college ball at UCLA. 'Maybe we catch them off guard, kind of get Kobe into playing a little one-on-one or doing a little too much, I think we've got a shot at them definitely.' It seems like a player should have a minimum of one minute's worth of playoff experience before saying anything that could land on the bulletin board of the defending conference champions, doesn't it?"

Jeff McDonald, SA Express: "Milwaukee forward Charlie Villanueva recently drew the ire of Bucks coach Scott Skiles for posting a Twitter update from the locker room at halftime. Had Villanueva played for Popovich, a self-professed Luddite, he probably could have gotten away with it. 'I'm still on the fax,' Popovich said. 'I do faxes. Faxes and letters. Sometimes my daughter will check my phone, and there will be an e-mail, and it will be from last Christmas or something. You could Twitter me to death, and I wouldn't know it.'"

Doug Smith, Toronto Star: "Amid allegations that he's denied a former girlfriend financial support for an infant daughter the woman says he fathered, Chris Bosh came out in defence of his character yesterday and vowed to handle his parental duties. The Raptors all-star forward, on his 25th birthday, refused to comment on the specifics of a lawsuit filed by a former lover but said he would honour any commitments. 'All I can say is that I'm going to take care of my responsibilities like I've been doing in the past and in the future and keep respecting everyone,' Bosh told reporters. 'I love my daughter, I love myself and I respect her mother and I'll leave it at that.'"

Brian Hanley, Chicago Sun Times: "As Chicago beat Detroit on national television Tuesday night, Derrick Rose could only watch and learn. Rose was sidelined with a 'badly bruised wrist' and may miss Thursday’s home game against Miami as well. He will be re-evaluated on Wednesday. '[Trainer Fred Tedeschi] told me to sit out for a while, like two to three days and let it heal,' Rose said. 'I had X-rays and I had an MRI [Tuesday] morning. They said it's a bruised wrist. Trust me, I can take pain. But it really hurts. I can barely turn a door knob.'"

Colin Stephenson, The Star-Ledger: "Devin Harris looked good but the New Jersey Nets have no plans in playing him Wednesday in Cleveland. Harris — who is suffering from two separate left shoulder injuries — took part in Nets practice on Tuesday afternoon, launching corner three-pointers and some jumpers. But as much as the Nets need their leading scoring point guard back in the mix to stay alive for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, head coach Lawrence Frank isn’t ready to rush Harris back. 'He's not playing (Wednesday night),' Nets coach Lawrence Frank said when asked about Harris, who has missed four games with two left shoulder injuries. Harris has yet to participate in a full-contact practice but said he would take part in Wednesday’s shoot around. For now, Friday's home game against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers appears 'a more likely spot for Harris to return to action.'"

Real GM / Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: "Ramon Sessions, who excelled when first moved into the starting lineup, could move to Milwaukee's bench because of his recent play. Sessions shot just 10 for 33 in the final four games of the team's recent home stand, and committed seven turnovers on Saturday night against Portland. 'It's a maturation process,' coach Scott Skiles said of Sessions' recent woes. 'There finally becomes a book on you. You've played enough that people know what you do. They take it away from you, and you've got to make adjustments accordingly.' Skiles admitted that he has considered shuffling the lineup around, but point guard Luke Ridnour has struggled as well."

The Denver Post: "As the Nuggets get back to full health and players such as Kenyon Martin start to soak up more minutes, coach George Karl is going to have tough decisions to make about who plays and who doesn't. But Karl likes his options. 'You want to have the Renaldo Balkman problem,' Karl said of giving him minutes. 'You want to have a Chris Andersen problem. You want to have an (Anthony Carter) problem and a J.R. (Smith) problem. You want your bench guys to be playing so well. And then it comes down to the circumstances of how you want to coach the game and the matchups you're involved with. The more weapons you have, the more versatility you have, the more options you have, usually the better team you are.'"

McDonald, SA Express (again): "Nobody needs to remind Ime Udoka that his contract with the Spurs is up at the end of the season. He knows full well he is playing as much for his present as he is for the future. Udoka, a 6-foot-6 swingman, signed a two-year deal worth a total of just over $2 million in the summer of 2007. He makes no secret of the fact that he would prefer to re-up with the Spurs when it expires in July. Over the next few weeks or months, Udoka will make his sales pitch. His performance in the playoffs should go a long way toward determining his future. 'The way I've always approached it as a free agent in the past, I'm going to play hard,' Udoka said. 'You're not only playing for your team but for the rest of the league. At least, that's how I had to look at it in the past.'"

Howard Beck, New York Times: "Danilo Gallinari’s rookie season, a mix of anticipation and frustration, will probably end in an operating room. After consulting with several specialists, including three in his native Italy,Gallinari said on Tuesday that he was leaning toward surgery to alleviate his back pain. A final decision will be made in the next few days, after Knicks officials and team doctors confer with the specialists. All indications are that Gallinari will choose surgery, an outcome he has worked hard to avoid since injuring his back last July. He missed the first two months of the season while undergoing rigorous therapy, then played 28 games between mid-January and mid-March before deciding to shut himself down."

Press Release: "The Toronto Raptors today signed Erie BayHawks guard Quincy Douby, making him the 17th Call-Up of the 2008-09 NBA Development League Season and the first for the BayHawks in the team’s history. Douby joins fellow former NBA D-Leaguers Nathan Jawai, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Patrick O’Bryant on the Raptors roster. Douby, a 6-3, joined the BayHakws on March 11 and has played in five games, averaging 18.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 28.6 minutes. He scored in double-figures in all five games, including a season-high 23 points in a 107-98 loss at Albuquerque on March 21."

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