Jason Williams set to re-up with Orlando, securing a three-deep PG rotation

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jason_williams.jpgUPDATE 1:36 PM: According to Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse, Williams’ deal with the Magic will be a one-year affair for the veteran minimum ($1.36 million).

11:24 AM: Jason Williams was a fine backup for the Magic last season, albeit one who completely disappeared in the playoffs; his three-point shooting percentage dropped from .380 to .250 in the postseason, while his overall field goal percentage sank from .444 to .342. Considering that Williams can also be a bit turnover-prone and isn’t a plus defender (though his defense was better than anticipated for Orlando last season), those shooting marks made his nearly 15 minutes a game during the Magic’s playoff run almost painful.

Still, he’s a good player, perhaps just not one built for full-time backup duties over the course of an entire season. That’s why the Magic will re-sign Williams to solidify their point guard rotation in ’10-’11, this time behind Jameer Nelson and the recently acquired Chris Duhon.

Players don’t want to be demoted, and even those that are amenable to the idea are often accepting their fate more than embracing the role of a benchwarmer. Yet this is where Williams makes the most sense, and by sharing the backup responsibilities with Duhon, Williams can hopefully keep his legs for the playoffs and offer a point guard alternative with experience running the Magic offense.

Orlando’s decision to sign Chris Duhon earlier this summer was criticized by many, and it still seems to be a curious use of their limited free agent spending power. This signing, though? Quiet, smart, safe. This is the kind of move that makes Otis Smith a quality NBA GM, even if other signings come with more flash.

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.