→Celtics coach Doc Rivers eliminated 20 game-day shootarounds last season, preferring early afternoon walk-throughs in a hotel ballroom for selected road games. Rivers said it helps a veteran team’s legs and allows players to sleep in for additional rest.
→Denver made a season-altering move after three games last season when it traded Allen Iverson for Chauncey Billups. Will the Nuggets once again make a bold early season move? They have a $7.4 million trade exception that expires next week (Nov. 3). →A sign the economy will be a factor is the Heat will use a curtain to cover balcony seats at American Airlines Arena for selected games this season when ticket demand is the lowest, trying to create the feel of a fuller arena. →Greg Oden is creating a buzz in Portland after he led the Trail Blazers in rebounding (9.7) and blocks (1.3) and was second in scoring (14.2) in the preseason. Oden, playing with confidence, has been a force inside. →If LeBron James doesn’t sign with the Knicks, and they can’t convince Chris Bosh or another big-name free agent to play in Madison Square Garden, one rumor is they might be interested in trading for disgruntled Warriors guard Monta Ellis next summer. →The Warriors explored possibly trading guard Stephen Jackson to Cleveland for center Zydrunas Ilgauskas but the Cavs feel the 7-foot-3, 260-pound Ilgauskas is valuable even with Shaquille O’Neal on the roster. →With the swine flu a concern for all teams, some players are consulting with team trainers when they get sick. Two common decongestants, Pseudoephedrine and Ephedrine, are viewed by the NBA as masking agents for steroids.