Jordan Hamilton mistakenly thinks he can lead all rookies in scoring

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I love Jordan Hamilton’s confidence.

Not sure he’s very familiar with the coach and situation he will find himself in once the lockout ends, but love that confidence. Don’t ever lose that.

The first-round draft pick out of Texas finds himself in Denver and sounds as sure of himself as ever — particularly his ability to score — in an interview with Hoopshype.

I don’t know. I think I can bring some scoring in, and as a rookie I think there’s the possibility I can be the leading scorer next season among rookies. I think I’ve got the confidence enough (to do it).

The confidence? Sure, he has that. The minutes? Well that’s another thing. First, we are talking about George Karl here, not a guy known for leaning heavily on rookies. And with this Nuggets team he will not have to — at the small forward/swing spot they can put Danilo Gallinari, Al Harrington, Gary Forbes and maybe Arron Affalo if they want to go small. And that’s not even counting J.R. Smith, who could be re-signed. Good luck finding a bunch of minutes in there, Hamilton.

All of which is to say, Jordan Hamilton is going to have to play good defense and really earn his minutes. Prove wrong your rep as hard to coach (remember that slide down the draft board?), keep your head down and fit in. Scoring helps, but do it within the offense. Do that and you’ll get your chance.

Just don’t try to impress George Karl by shooting a lot rookie. Trust me on that one.

Warriors pose for photos with Jahlil Okafor’s dad’s ‘FREE JAH’ shirt

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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Jahlil Okafor‘s father has not been shy about speaking out on his son’s behalf. NBA players are advocating for the 76ers to grant Okafor, who’s out of the rotation and on an expiring contract, his desired trade or buyout.

When both join forces…

Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry appear to really enjoy Chukwudi Okafor’s shirt. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily calling on Philadelphia to do anything. But they hadn’t to know how it’d be perceived.

It’s easy to predict free agents will avoid the 76ers as a result of the Okafor situation, but few anticipate getting stuck similarly. Players overwhelmingly value money, winning, role and location. If Golden State’s stars are applying any external pressure, it shouldn’t really move Philadelphia more than anything that has already been said and done.

A couple of Lonzo Ball’s triple-double assists look dubious (video)

Harry How/Getty Images
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Lonzo Ball draws outsized attention because his father, LaVar Ball, lures onlookers and because the rookie plays for the high-profile Los Angeles Lakers.

So, when Lonzo gets a triple-double – like his 11-points, 16-rebound, 11-assists game against the Nuggets yesterday – it draws scrutiny.

Mo Dakhil of The Jump Ball:

The NBA defines an assist as a “pass that directly leads to a basket. … An assist can be awarded for a basket scored after the ball has been dribbled if the player’s pass led to the field goal being made.”

I wouldn’t describe either of those passing as leading directly to a basket. Ball’s teammates each hold the ball for a moment after receiving the pass then take two dribbles against set defenses.

But assists are subjective, and the Lakers aren’t alone in offering a home-court scorekeeping advantage.

Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice

So, criticize/laugh at the Lakers. But your favorite team probably manipulates assists in its favor, too.

Robin Lopez and T.J. Warren exchange contact, heated words (video)

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Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.

Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.

Lakers blow 5-on-1 fastbreak (video)

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Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.

Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.

But at least the Lakers won.