1) The Suns recently complete a trade, shipping out a large portion of their core players to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for some role players. The day they played the Lakers, because of the logistics of the trade, they were short-handed, suiting up only nine players. The game was very close and the Lakers narrowly won; however, PJ said that he knew it would be a very close game because teams that are short-handed like the Suns always play with extra intensity, and thats what happened.
This ties in to what I read in a book by RJ Miller, where he said that teams of professionals can usually step up their game when they are short-handed, because everyone knows the game will be that much harder.
The second-level projection would be finding out when teams that are short-handed then have a drop-off in intensity. Essentially, when do they let down their guard? I think that would happen very consistenly amongst "effort-sports", such as hockey, basketball, and football.
I think that all people can maintain a sense of urgency and "extra" intensity for a set amount of time before they drop off to a level below normal levels as a result of the burned energy called forth during the time of crisis.
2) Coach Jackson said that no team from the West Coast would ever win 72 games because of the time-zone difference. Teams travelling from the West to East suffer because they lose two or three hours of sleep/travel time, whereas teams going from East to West get extra time to sleep and prepare.
The Bulls are from Chicago, which I think is in the Central Time Zone, (GMT -6).
3) An interesting thing I read from Don Nelson in a news article during the 07-08 season. He essentially said that the Warriors knew they would lose to the Pistons and said they conceded the game, throwing in the subs in the third quarter. Obviously, it would be great to know when the Coach and team "know" they will lose a game.
Also, it is interesting to note how easily he mentioned it and it sparked no real outrage or commentary, as far as I can tell.