Thursday Morning Links, Featuring Joe Johnson, Stephen Jackson, And Darko Milicic

It’s still morning for another 27 minutes, and that makes me happy for two reasons.  Firstly, it gives me that familiar feeling of technically being on time even though I may as well have not shown up.  Secondly, it means most of my work for the day is done, yet the day has just begun!  The weather is unseasonably beautiful here in Maine, and I’m going to take a few steps away from my newly-repaired laptop and go the hell outside.  In the meantime, you ought to check out the following links.  I think all 10 of ‘em are well worth your time.

Youtube: Joe Johnson may be paid like Bill Gates to lead his team to annual early-round exits, but he’s still a damn good ball player who tends to come up big in late-game situations. He out-clutched Kyrie Irving last night, despite Irving being characteristically awesome.

Star Tribune: Darko Milicic, the man once regarded as “manna from Heaven” by the T-Wolves organization, can’t even crack the rotation with Nikola Pekovic out of the lineup.  Head coach Rick Adelman didn’t pull any punches when he was recently asked about Milicic, stating that he’s out of shape and lacking drive.  To go from being drafted ahead of Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade to collecting Anthony Randolph’s bench splinters… man, it’s a good thing he doesn’t seem to care, because that would cause severe depression in most human beings.

Hoopsgrind: Observe some observations from a ten-game Wednesday evening.  Included are a Tyson-Chandler-related admission that I’m too stubborn to make, the return of Amare Stoudemire’s Amare Stoudemireness, and a guy named Edwin.

My San Antonio: How can anyone not love Stephen Jackson being back in San Antonio?  It’s so damn great that I’m not even sure I can hate the Spurs anymore.  As a matter of fact, I may have to root for the Spurs.  The fact that they and Stephen Jackson make up the most unlikely match in the history of sports completely overshadows my dislike of pretty much everyone else involved in the situation.

The Basketball Jones: What with Stephen Jackson’s return to San Antonio being so awesome, you should probably read the compelling story that details exactly how he ended up back home.  I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping Stack Jack makes a rap song out of all this.  Southern emcees aren’t known for their storytelling, but I think the Captain’s got what it takes.

Bucksketball: Mike Dunleavy has something in common with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, if only in the month of March in the year 2012.  How has he managed to join such company?  Well, according to the authority on Bucks basketball, he’s pump faking like Brad Miller.  Between Dunleavy’s surprising play, Drew Gooden’s reigning player of the week status, and the arrival of Monta Ellis, there are more reasons to be excited about the Milwaukee Bucks than there have been in quite some time.  I’d highly suggest tuning in for their match up with the Boston Celtics tonight.  They’ll be going for their seventh dub in a row, and trying to pick up another step on the aging Bostonians in the process.

Daily Thunder: Derek Fisher debuts, and the people of Oklahoma City approve.  I’m just glad he joined the Thunder, ’cause I already disliked them anyway.  Also, Fish tries (and fails) to defend his own defense, Russell Westbrook pulls a Javale McGee (and I’m not talking about hitting a game winner), and Blake Griffin has the worst game of his NBA career.

Youtube: Pau Gasol had an exceptional game last night.  He made 13 of 16 shots, scored 27 points, and grabbed 9 rebounds.  He also threw the lob that landed Kobe Bryant on every top 10 and knocked down his second triple in three games.  The three-pointer inspired Andrew Bynum to swag out like teammate Ron Artest, back when Ron Artest was a tiny bit cool.

Youtube: Andre Iguodala is an underrated All-Star who deserves three times the recognition he receives… until he misses a layup and airballs a jumper (not pictured, but it happened, again) late in a close game.  Not that any idiot who watches the Sixers didn’t see this coming, but I actually predicted it all on Twitter.  For this, and basketball reason(s) you should follow @NBA247OFFICIAL.

Sacramento Bee: Terrence Williams is happy.  This is noteworthy because Terrence Williams being happy happens about as often as a successful Derek Fisher transition layup.  Williams has signed a 10-day with the Kings, by the way, and I expect that he’ll be on Twitter pissing and moaning within the next 72 hours.  Says Keith Smart: “Right now I’ve just got to get to know the guy. He’s not going to come in here right away and take minutes from our guys.”

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