NBA Draft: Sacramento hosts draft workout clash of the titans

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Thumbnail image for cousins_no1.jpgWhile the bright lights of the NBA shine on the Lakers and Celtics, the real work of the league right now is taking place in practice facilities, with college players going at each other under the watchful eyes of scouts and general managers.

It is draft workout season.

This is where teams bring in a variety of players who may be available when they pick, and put them through their paces. Usually they invite a couple players of a similar size and position to the same workout, to get a side-by-side comparison.

One that would have been amazing took place yesterday, when the Sacramento Kings — they of the No. 5 pick — had Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins in. These are the two premiere big men in the draft at the same workout.

Favors likely will not be around when the Kings pick, the Nets are expected to take him at No. 3. Cousins is another matter, he is considered more talented than Favors but there are questions about his desire and work ethic. He showed up to the NBA Draft Combine looking heavy. Teams are unsure of the risk.

Which brings us to the Kings.

Our NBCSports mock draft has the Kings taking Cousins. Yes, they have Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson up front, but neither of them has the skill or potential of Cousins. If his head is on right, Cousins could be one of the better big men in the game. But there is that “if.”

The Kings might not have to make that choice. It would not be a surprise if the Timberwolves took Cousins at No. 4 (as DraftExpress predicts), leaving the Kings to select Greg Monroe out of Georgetown. Monroe can score, is the best passing big man in the draft and has a good basketball IQ. However, he’s not much of a defender and his motor can shut off on that end of the floor.

Sacramento got its up-close look at Cousins, but they are a franchise that plays things very close to the vest, it is not likely we will know what they are thinking until David Stern walks to the podium with their pick.

Kevin Durant gets fouled by Stephen Curry, officials whistle Joe Johnson instead (VIDEO)

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The Golden State Warriors are so talented, perhaps the officials are predisposed to blowing whistles in their favor. At least, that’s the only explanation you could give to a Utah Jazz fan after seeing what happened between Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Utah’s Joe Johnson on Thursday night.

As Durant came off a curl on the far side of the court, he used a screen set by Curry on Johnson.

With the ball in his hands, Durant rose to fire but found himself locked in arms with another player. Durant’s shot attempt helplessly bounced away as he shot, and officials whistled Johnson on the play.

Of course, a closer look reveals that the player Durant’s arms were tangled up with was … Curry.

Yes, Curry had arm locked what he thought was Johnson on the screen but was instead his teammate and MVP candidate.

It didn’t matter, as referees awarded Durant the free throws, of which he only made 1 of 2.

Perhaps that’s some solace?

Golden State beat Utah, 106-99.

DeMarcus Cousins trolls Joakim Noah on shooting form (VIDEO)

noah cousins
AP
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New York Knicks C Joakim Noah has an awkward jumper and free throw technique, there’s no denying that. His two-handed, horizontal approach to shooting a basketball is ripe for criticism.

DeMarcus Cousins thinks so, at least.

During a game between the Sacramento Kings and the Knicks, Cousins decided to give Noah a little tongue-in-cheek trolling about his form.

Via Twitter:

Looks about right.

LeBron James, Cavaliers Rick-roll intro video for ’80s night

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) shoots over Miami Heat's Rodney McGruder (17) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Associated Press
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The 1980s were back in Cleveland Friday night. Well, not completely, Bernie Kosar wasn’t leading the Browns to contention (although man, could they use him now).

No, the ’80s were back in the form of the throwback orange Cavaliers uniforms. And to complete the theme, the Cavaliers players dressed up and Rick-rolled the intro video — they did the complete “classic” Rick Astley hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” And it was awesome.

The Cavaliers won the game 114-84 over the Heat behind 28 from Kevin Love, but that was secondary to the intro video.

Best dunk from Friday night? Houston’s Sam Dekker. Yes, Dekker. (VIDEO)

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Second-year forward Sam Dekker is finding a comfort zone in the Mike D’Antoni offense in Houston. Healthy this season, he is coming off the bench for 18 minutes a night, and his game where he is quick and can also hit the three is fitting perfectly with Houston’s system, leading him to 6.7 points a game.

Also, he can run the floor. And finish.

As Enes Kanter found out when he hustled, got back in transition defense, and wasn’t going to stop Dekker from getting to the rim.

That’s a quality dunk.

The Rockets went on to win the game 102-99, despite Russell Westbrook‘s seventh-straight triple-double.