San Antonio targeting token shooter/defender James Jones

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The three-point shooter/defender is an NBA staple, but for the Spurs it’s embedded even deeper into the team’s overall structure. San Antonio has such productive and intelligent stars that often all a role player has to do is camp in the corner on the offensive end, ready to fire, and play solid defense. Bruce Bowen is the classic example, but San Antonio has cycled through a number of guys since that have filled in similarly.

Next in line (or at least in the Spurs’ sights): James Jones, According to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News, San Antonio will turn their attention to Jones after striking out on signing Raja Bell. Jones would obviously be a good fit for the Spurs; he’s a better shooter than Richard Jefferson (and a number of other role players SA has had over the years), a good — but not great — defender, and understands his role in both offensive and defensive systems. Discipline is so important in playing for San Antonio, and Jones isn’t the type to go rogue in his assignments on either end.

The Spurs won’t be alone in their pursuit of Jones, though. The Heat are no doubt interested in bringing him back, and the “one shooter away” mentality that seems to guide most NBA GMs could give him a landing spot just about anywhere in the league. James won’t break the bank, but he’ll get a decent deal for a few years (maybe with the Spurs, maybe not) to shoot and defend.

Al Horford shows he still has hops dunking on Solomon Hill (VIDEO)

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That’s just nasty.

Atlanta’s Al Horford gets the ball out high, but within his range, so when he pump fakes Indiana’s Lavoy Allen goes flying by. That opens up the lane and Horford attacks it, Solomon Hill tries to cut him off, but Horford just finishes threw him.

Pacers and Hawks played an entertaining, close game Friday night.

Dwyane Wade shows he still has hops with dunk on Hornets (VIDEO)

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Dwyane Wade still has some springs.

In what may be his best dunk in recent memory, he shoulders Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to create space in transition, then gets up and throws it down before Nicolas Batum can get there for the block.

Not sure even Wade saw that one coming.

Reigning dunk champ LaVine: ‘I’ve got tricks up my sleeve’

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is heading back to All-Star weekend to defend his slam dunk title. And he says he has “a few tricks up my sleeve” after dominating the event last year.

LaVine will compete against Detroit center Andre Drummond, Denver swingman Will Barton and Orlando forward Aaron Gordon in Toronto next weekend.

LaVine was one of the breakout stars of All-Star weekend last year with his electric performance in the dunk contest. He says he debated about coming back and made his decision after strong encouragement from his fans.

If LaVine wins, he will become the fourth player in the 31-year history of the event to repeat as champion. Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson are the others.

Report: Blake Griffin has second procedure on hand, timeline remains unchanged

Blake Griffin
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Blake Griffin will still return to the Clippers some time in March (barring any setbacks).

That said, he had a second procedure this week to repair the boxer’s fracture in his right hand, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a second procedure this week on his broke right hand, sources told ESPN. The procedure was a part of the original surgery last week, so sources said the 4-6 week timeframe for his return remains unchanged.

This might help explain why Griffin’s hand looked so swollen and scarred this week. But to be clear, this was a planned second procedure, not a setback.

Griffin suffered the fracture punching a Clippers’ equipment manager while everyone was out to dinner in Toronto recently, while Griffin was still sidelined with a quadricep injury. The Clippers have moved on, but it is likely the league will tack on a couple of game suspension for Griffin upon his return to health.

And no, the Clippers are not looking to trade Griffin in spite of this. So stop asking.