Baseline to Baseline recaps: Think Doug Collins is glad he came back to coaching now?

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What you missed while trying to snap up McDonald’s Happy Meals before they all get banned

Kobe being Kobe was part of the Lakers beating the Bulls in our Game of the Night.

Wizards 116, Sixers 114 (OT): If Doug Collins were to call up some executives at TNT to see if they would take him back right now, it would be hard to blame him. The Sixers had this game in the bag and just flat out blew it with stupid plays and execution you can be sure Collins didn’t coach.

Philly was up three with 8 seconds left when the Wizards fouled Evan Turner. The No. 2 pick has the chance to ice it, but he misses both. The Wizards get the ball to John Wall who starts racing up court — and Collins has called for a foul, the idea being give them two free throws but don’t let them take the three. Sound strategy with one little (okay, not so little) rule — do not foul in the act of shooting.

Jrue Holiday starts running at Wall to foul him long before Wall is over half court, and Wall sees him coming. As Holiday gets close Wall picks up his dribble and goes into a shooting motion and Holiday reaches in and fouls anyway. Three shots for fouling in the act. Wall drains all three and the game is headed to overtime.

You can guess what happened. Although the Sixers were up one in overtime with 15 seconds left but Evan Turner watched the ball and not Nick Young, who cut to his spot for a wide open three in the win. Also in this one, Elton Brand had an ugly flagrant two foul on JaVale McGee and Brand will be lucky if he gets off with only a fine.

Nets 107, Hawks 101 (OT): The Nets won this one by attacking inside. That meant Brook Lopez with 32. That also meant the Nets drew fouls and shot 33 free throws the Hawks 13. The Hawks have now lost 7 of 9.

Pacers 101, Cavaliers 89: This was over at halftime with the Pacers were up 62-37 (nice win carrying over the moment f. Cleveland got 32 points from its starters and 57 from its bench. This has been too consistent a problem, the Cavs need to get some scoring in the lineup.

Knicks 110, Bobcats 107: This was going to be about tempo — the Knicks play at the second fastest pace in the league, the Bobcats and the controlling Larry Brown play at the league’s third slowest pace. The Knicks won the tempo battle — the 98 possessions are right at New York’s season average. Really balanced scoring for the Knicks with six guys in double digits.

Mavericks 88, Pistons 84: It was the Dirk Nowitzki show as he dropped 42. This is why you want to have superstars, they can win you a game or two every season.

Report: Lakers ‘longshot’ to sign LeBron James

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
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Preeminent NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski called it “likelyLeBron James would sign with the Lakers or Clippers next summer. The Clippers have since been somewhat debunked as a LeBron destination. There’s circumstantial evidence linking LeBron to Los Angeles.

Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

So imagining James’ last act coming in purple and gold isn’t without basis. But as of now, it’s also a longshot, according to league sources.

Shelburne and Windhorst are highly credible. I doubt they’d report this without connected sources.

LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, and manager, Maverick Carter, have recently publicly downplayed the importance of Los Angeles to LeBron. That felt like a coordinated attack on the LeBron-Lakers rumors, and this fits as a continuation.

But why wage that campaign? To keep the Cavaliers focused while LeBron still plays for them, even if he might leave after the season? To lower expectations among the Lakers’ massive fan base, so as not alienate those people (potential customers of the many LeBron-connected brands) when LeBron inevitably signs elsewhere? Both could be true, but there’s obviously a difference between each driving LeBron’s camp.

DeMarcus Cousins barrels in for powerful putback dunk over Bucks (video)

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When DeMarcus Cousins builds up a head of steam like this… poor John Henson (and kind of Khris Middleton).

This helped the Pelicans pull away for a 115-108 win over the Bucks last night.

Enraged Jason Smith restrained from Mario Chalmers (video)

AP Photo/Nick Wass
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During the Wizards’ win over the Grizzlies last night, Mario Chalmers tried to stop Jason Smith from shooting after Smith had been called for travelling. It’s a fairly common tactic, one pioneered by Kevin Garnett. Players don’t want their opponents to gain confidence by seeing the ball go through the net, even after play stops.

But Chalmers held onto Smith’s arm, and Smith took umbrage.

NBC Sports Washington:

I think it’s more likely, after halting Smith’s shot, Chalmers was trying to hold up Smith rather than yank him down. But I can’t know Chalmers’ intentions, and holding up a falling person by his arm isn’t very effective.

The double technical foul called seems about fair.

PBT Extra: Two months from trade deadline watch DeAndre Jordan and… Paul George?

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The NBA trade deadline got moved up this season to Feb. 8 so the league can avoid the spectacle of DeMarcus Cousins being traded during the All-Star Game and then doing an uncomfortable press interview afterward where he had to be told of the situation.

That means we are less than two months away from the trade deadline, and in this PBT Extra I look at the big names that could be on the market.

The Clippers seem likely to move DeAndre Jordan, the only questions are where and what will they get back? But three other teams have big decisions to make about their stars: Oklahoma City with Paul George, New Orleans with DeMarcus Cousins, and Memphis with Marc Gasol. Right now none of those guys are on the market, but that could change.