Mikki Moore looks to latch on to a contender

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Count Mikki Moore among the veterans looking for a home this spring. According to Chris Tomasson of NBA FanHouse, Moore’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, is pushing hard to clear the air not only about Mikki’s health (he’s currently rehabbing after heel surgery), but his timeline for full recovery and intent to sign with a contending team:

“He’s a veteran guy who’s got valuable playoff experience, and he can help a team,” Bartelstein said…Bartelstein wouldn’t discuss specific teams. But he said four to five
teams already have called about Moore, and he expects more will after
any players bought out are signed, leaving Moore as perhaps the top
remaining free-agent big man.

Well, “playoff experience” is one way to put it…as is “helping a team.” Moore was quite underwhelming when he was the centerpiece of the Boston Celtics’ late-season acquisitions a year ago. He hit an occasional jumper and provided another body to clog the paint, but Moore’s game just doesn’t entail the combination of skill and energy teams typically want out of their third center. He doesn’t really defend the paint, he’s not even an adequate rebounder for his size or position, and his offensive contributions are clearly defined and obviously limited.

I don’t mean to pile it on, but we all need to be completely realistic about what Moore can contribute to a contending team at this stage: he’s a positive force in the locker room, he can serve as an extra body in practice, and he’s an insurance policy in case a team really, really can’t do any better.

Kevin Durant reverses course: Playing Thunder ‘just a regular game for me now’

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Kevin Durant said last season playing the Thunder is “never going to be a regular game for me.”

Now, the Warriors star, who’s questionable for tomorrow’s game in Oklahoma City, is singing a different tune.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic:

Durant:

Just a regular game for me now. I learned how to tune out the crowd. I learned how to tune out the bulls— and just play. Just keep at basketball, and I’ll be alright.

Durant is entitled to change his mind, and maybe that’s all that happened.

But this strikes me as yet another chasm between how Durant actually feels and how he wishes he felt – all while facing immense public scrutiny.

Durant spent eight years in Oklahoma City. Many of his former teammates, including Russell Westbrook, are still there. Durant might want to move on, but how could there not be a different feeling when playing the Thunder, especially in Oklahoma City?

Tony Allen: Russell Westbrook flopped to draw DeMarcus Cousins

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DeMarcus Cousins got ejected from the Pelicans’ win over the Thunder last night for elbowing Russell Westbrook in the head.

Afterward, Tony Allen came to his New Orleans teammate’s defense.

Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript:

Did Cousins elbow Westbrook in the head? Yes. Did Westbrook create and/or embellish the contact? I don’t know.

Westbrook stuck his head in close, and he might have been baiting Cousins into a foul. But that doesn’t give Cousins carte blanche to commit a foul.

And even if Westbrook were baiting Cousins, the elbow still might have hurt. Westbrook’s reaction could have been genuine.

Did Cousins’ reputation as a flagrant fouler influence Westbrook’s strategy and how officials perceived the play? It’s much easier to convince me of that.

Ray Allen tells Orlando court he was ‘catfished’

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Retired NBA star Ray Allen believes he is a victim of “catfishing,” and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online.

Allen says Bryant Coleman “pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in” him. In documents filed Tuesday, Allen acknowledges he communicated with who he thought were those women and that he eventually entered into an agreement with Coleman to not disclose details of those conversations.

Allen says that agreement was violated.

It was not clear if Coleman has an attorney, and a working phone number for him could not be found. Coleman told the court in a filing Monday that Allen is stalking him; in Allen’s request for an injunction, he says “the reverse is true.”

Klay Thompson interviewed about scaffolding on local news (video)

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Man-on-the-street interviews are a staple of local news.

They just don’t usually include Warriors star Klay Thompson.

But here’s Thompson – in town for Golden State’s win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday – talking on Fox 5 New York about walking under scaffolding in the wake of a couple recent scaffolding collapses:

Thompson is the only NBA star who could do this interview so earnestly.