By Rob Mahoney
• I remain convinced that Vince Carter is the greatest NBA dunk contest competitor of all time, and above you can see one of his finest contributions to the contest -- a dunk so vicious and fluid it's actually indescribable -- from every angle imaginable. (via Danny Chau)
• On a somewhat related note: Good news for fans of the dunk contest, as New York's James White is rumored to be in the field for this year's competition. I nominated White this morning for my dream group of contest dunkers among active players, and he's sure to amaze if he is indeed chosen to compete.
• Beckley Mason put together a list of smart observations regarding the Grizzlies' offensive operations over at TrueHoop. Among them:
The second unit runs a lot of double pick-and-roll action early in the shot clock in which the point guard, either Tony Wroten or Jerryd Bayless, comes off two screens in the middle of the court. One of the screeners will pop for a 18-footer, the other will dive to the rim. This movement takes advantage of one of the fundamental principles of basketball movement: You have to go away from the space you want to use. For most teams, and certainly in Memphis' case, that space is the paint. Sets that begin with both bigs away from the paint might sacrifice some offensive rebounding opportunities, but they also create space to post up for the big who rolls to the rim. This is a dynamic the San Antonio Spurs take full advantage of, even when they play Tiago Splitter and Tim Duncan at the same time. Neither can shoot 3s, but they are so disciplined in their spacing that they keep out of each other's way.
• Brandon Jennings switches agents, and is now apparently looking to get a max contract this summer. Jeremy Schmidt of Bucksketball responds with an appropriate guffaw.
• The trickle-down effects of John Wall's return have -- unsurprisingly -- translated to huge improvements on both sides of the ball for Washington.
• ESPN.com's Kevin Arnovitz checks in with former colleague John Hollinger, who's still getting used to having a rooting interest as the Grizzlies' vice president of basketball operations.
• Tiago Splitter: coming on quietly, but coming on strong.
• Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn explains his usage of analytics to Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post, and draws a clear line internally in terms of the way the findings from that data are communicated:
Vaughn favors an approach that combines statistics with his own observations. "I look at 'em [the stats]," Vaughn said, "but I also base my ideals off of instinct and feel and when you watch the tape and you see where shots are coming from and who's getting shots and at what time of the game. So you can do it with numbers and feel."
Vaughn says the stats he consults are for "coaches only" because players don't show much interest in them. "Players arent concerned about... they're concerned about numbers, but different numbers [....] A little different than plus-minus and other jargon like that."
• A reversing trend
-- and a glimmer of hope -- in the jump-shooting performance of Tyreke Evans