* Things don't look good for Pistons coach Michael Curry. He felt compelled to defend himself in a phone interview with the Associated Press Monday. Now, beat writers are coming to his defense. These are not good signs -- nor is the fact that Detroit has lost seven of nine with the Celtics and Cavs coming to Auburn Hills this weekend. Things may have reached a boiling point in Auburn Hills.
* Vultures are circling in Chicago, trying to decide whether to feast on John Paxson or Vinny Del Negro first. Funny, the only reason Paxson still has a job is Chicago native Isiah Thomas, whom Paxson fleeced in the Eddy Curry trade a few years back.
* Speaking of Curry, Knicks president Donnie Walsh is giving him as much time as he needs to sort through the devastation of having his 3-year-old son witness the slaying of Curry's ex-girlfriend and her 9-month-old baby in Chicago. As he should. Nothing basketball-related takes precedence over something this serious. It has been an awful year for Curry -- unimaginable, really. From my experience with him, Curry has always been a kind-hearted guy who never has been able to harness his talent. At some point, we can get to the basketball side of this, as in Curry is one of two players (along with Jared Jeffries) that Walsh absolutely has to trade to have a shot at two big-time free agents in 2010. But not now. Now, Curry needs time to comfort his son. Simple as that.
* While we're on the Knicks, understand this about the Stephon Marbury situation. Walsh inherited a locker-room loser with a $20.8 millon expiring contract. In the NBA, that is known as an asset. It is Walsh's fiduciary duty to get as much for that asset as he possibly can. Walsh is a pro. He is as smart as they come, and he's traded the supposedly untradable before (see Artest, Ron; Harrington, Al (twice), and Jackson, Stephen). In this regard, I would have nominated Walsh for secretary of the treasury instead of this Geitner dude. Bottom line: No amount of Marbury interviews with the New York Post or supposed verbal agreements will compel Walsh to move off his negotiating position with respect to Marbury's buyout. He's still going to try to trade him, as he should. And worse assets have been and will be traded in the NBA. Walsh has always had all the leverage, and the more Marbury barks, the more leverage Walsh has.
* Thanks to TrueHoop for this link: Garry D. Howard of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is worried that Sen. Herb Kohl finally could be compelled to sell or move the Bucks. "Well, with the Bradley Center being close to the worst arena in the NBA as far as profitability is concerned and the economic landscape being what it is today, how much longer can Sen. Kohl keep up the charade that this city can afford an NBA team?"
* The Painted Area on why San Antonio, Denver, Detroit, Orlando, and New Orleans should be worried about their title chances. History says you need to outrebound your opponents by at least 1.0 rpg. The Celtics, Cavs, Lakers, and Rockets all qualify. "In the last 25 years, every NBA champion besides the two Rockets' title teams has had at least a +1 rebound per game margin in the regular season."
* The case for Danny Granger as an All-Star reserve. According to Real GM (via Ballerblogger), Granger is the 22nd-ranked player in the NBA measured by the Floor Impact Counter. LeBron James is the only small forward rated higher.