Wednesday morning one liners

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Our morning look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT).

If you want to be the smartest NBA fan on the block — or the virtual block — order the new Basketball Prospectus preview book that just came out. This is some of the smartest basketball writing you are going to find anywhere.

Samuel Dalembert is very close to landing back in Sacramento.

Catch a live stream of the Derrick Rose press conference where he rakes in the big bucks by following this link at noon eastern.

The Nets are in talks to land DeShawn Stevenson. That would be another nice short-term get.

If you can’t wait until next summer, here are your top free agents for 2012.

Baron Davis is keeping the beard in NYC. As he should.

Chris Paul’s debut with the Clippers set an NBATV ratings record for a preseason game. But yea, no way fans are coming back after the lockout.

Fewer people watched, but Richard Hamilton had a nice debut for the Bulls — 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting. I watched half of this game and Hamilton provided spacing the Bulls need. On one play the ball went into Joakim Noah in the post, Hamilton slid over to be an outlet and when his defender sagged off Noah hit Hamilton and a quick three was up and good.

Our line of the night goes to the Kings center DeMarcus Cousins: Six points, 10 rebounds, three steals — and nine turnovers.

E’Twaun Moore is making fans in Boston.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks hints James Harden may start this season, not be the sixth man. About time.

Corey Maggette is back practicing with the Bobcats, which is good for their offense since he is pretty much it.

What if, like with the English Permiere League, we let the free market determine where NBA teams can be located? (via TrueHoop)

It wasn’t all bad news Lakers fans, rookie PG Darius Morris looked good.

Robert Horry is not really fond of people calling him “Big Shot Bob” (or Rob), but he was cool with Barack Obama doing it.

Memphis has officially put in an offer sheet on Dante Cunningham.

Jannero Pargo is officially a Hawk. That should change everything.

Jerome Randle is making quite a push to get his way on to the Mavericks roster.

The Trail Blazers waived Earl Barron.

Former UConn star Jeff Adrien has signed a two-year contract with the Rockets. The first season is partially guaranteed, the second not at all.

Iranian Hamed Haddadi is expected to rejoin the Grizzlies, once his work visa is approved.

Father trolls son with signs at NBA games saying he will join dad when grades improve

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As a father who has threatened to take things away from my daughters if some behavior/school situation didn’t change (then felt bad when I had to follow through on the threat), I appreciate parents willing to follow through on what they say.

But this guy is taking it to a new level.

This father showed up at two nationally televised games this week with a sign and a message for his son.

Good on Dad for following through and not caving and taking his kid to the games, but the signs are a kicker.

As Matt Moore points out at CBSSports.com (who gets the hat tip for finding this, he better never do this to his son), how much time does this dad have, he was in Charlotte for the Cavaliers game, then in Houston. Did he spend a Spring Break traveling the country to go to NBA games and troll his kid? (It makes you wonder if it’s real.)

Steven Adams, Enes Kanter with another Russell Westbrook for MVP video

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I don’t know if Russell Westbrook is going to win the MVP award this season — Sunday night’s showdown with James Harden didn’t clear up the picture. This year’s four-way race (also with Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James) is one of the most interesting and even ones in decades.

If Westbrook doesn’t win, don’t blame Steven Adams and Enes Kanter.

The Stash Brothers, the roommates, are doing their best with videos to promote him. And take subtle jabs at Westbrook’s fashion sense.

Dennis Schroder insists reeling Hawks OK despite seven-game skid

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ATLANTA (AP) — Dennis Schroder insists the Atlanta Hawks will be fine when their three injures starters return.

The point guard also believes the Eastern Conference playoff standings are too tight for the Hawks to wait for Paul Millsap, Kent Bazemore and Thabo Sefolosha to return from their injuries.

Schroder said the Hawks must snap their seven-game losing streak with their current limited roster, which will be without the three starters for at least one more game.

“I’m saying now we have to change something,” Schroder said Monday. “We can’t wait until they come back. Maybe it’s too late then.”

The Hawks are in a three-way tie for fifth in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. They are only 2 games ahead of eighth-place Miami, which currently has the final playoff spot, and 2 + ahead of ninth-place Chicago.

The Hawks see they could drop out of the playoff standings if they don’t quickly end the losing streak.

“The NBA isn’t easy,” Schroder said. “You’ve got to win games to make it in the playoffs.”

Coach Mike Budenholzer said Millsap, the four-time All-Star who has missed five straight games with left knee tightness, and the other two injured starters will not play in Tuesday night’s home game against Phoenix.

Bazemore, who has missed four straight games with a right knee bone bruise, said he hopes to return for Wednesday’s game at Philadelphia.

Sefolosha, held out against the Nets with a right groin strain, was seen working on an elliptical machine at the portion of Monday’s practice open to media. There is no timetable on Millsap’s return.

Before the losing streak, which matches the team’s longest of the season, the Hawks were competing with Toronto for the fourth seed in the East and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Home-court advantage is now a distant dream.

Atlanta is tied with Milwaukee and Indiana for fifth following Sunday’s 107-92 loss to New Jersey, which owns the NBA’s worst record.

The latest ugly loss left Atlanta in what Bazemore described as “a dark time.” Even so, he insists the players’ spirit is not broken.

Bazemore pointed to players taking extra shots after practice and said “My teammates are still laughing. … We’re still alive and kicking.”

Budenholzer’s message is for players to avoid trying to do too much to fill the void left by the injured starters.

“I think to some degree we’re all pressing,” Budenholzer said. “Coaches pressing, each guy individually. It comes from actually a good place. They want to win. They want to have success and it’s just remembering that the best way for us to have success is to do it as a group and do it together.”

Budenholzer said rookie Taurean Price, who had 17 points, six rebounds and three steals in his first start against the Nets, likely will remain in the lineup against Phoenix.

Ersan Ilyasova and Tim Hardaway Jr. combined to make only 8 of 30 shots against the Nets. Atlanta’s depleted bench was outscored 46-7 by the Nets’ backups.

Budenholzer said Bazemore is “very close” to playing and could be cleared after “another good day.”

Bazemore said has done “pretty much everything” on the court in testing his knee, including change-of-direction drills.

“I’m starting to feel good,” Bazemore said. “… Things are trending in the right direction.”

Sixers’ Ben Simmons throws down impressive dunk in pregame workout (VIDEO)

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Consider this a look at what might have been this past season. Or a look into what will be next season.

Philadelphia has shut No. 1 pick Ben Simmons down for the season as they wait for the Jones fracture in his foot to heal properly, but he is traveling with the team and working out on its current road trip. Before the game in Indianapolis, Simmons got in a workout on the court.

Then casually threw down a between-the-legs, off the backboard self alley-oop.

What does that mean? Nothing. Other than next season in Philadelphia could be a lot of fun.