Monday And-1 links: Who is Lakers second scoring option?

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Welcome to 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).

Who is the Lakers second scoring option after Kobe? Well, Kobe Bryant says it’s Andrew Bynum.

Kwame Brown thinks he deserves some of the credit for Bynum’s success.

After the game Sunday, Lakers coach Mike Brown said Matt Barnes had won the starting small forward job with his play. He certainly is playing with a lot more energy than Metta World Peace right now, who got just 12 minutes against Memphis.

Steve Nash says he is not going to ask for a trade from Phoenix and the Suns say they are not going to trade him unless he asks for one. It’s the same dance they have done for more than a season now.

Stephen Curry is going back to the doctor who did the surgery on his ankle this summer so he can take a look at the impact of the recent sprains. I’m sure the Doc will be thrilled with what Curry has done to his handiwork.

Video of all seven times Stephen Curry has sprained his ankle. In case you’re feeling masochistic.

Jamal Mashburn wants to be part of the group that purchases the New Orleans Hornets.

In the new configuration of Madison Square Garden, the advanced scouts for other teams got kicked to the press box at the top of the building to make way for more pricy seats. The scouts don’t like it (they can’t hear the coach they are scouting call plays). So, other teams have kicked the Knicks advanced scouts up to the rafters, even though there are better seats. It’s getting worked out.

Ray Allen backtracks on his David West comments.

The Suns new floor is too slick and players are concerned. It is getting redone.

Watch Dwight Howard use the defibrillator on Big Baby (sort of):

Andrew Bogut remains out dealing with a personal situation (not health related) and should return to Bucks soon.

A dozen players who have shown real progress in their games this young season.

Gilbert Arenas’ knee still isn’t right. I know, we’re shocked, too.

Sunday night, Marreese Speights looked like he could be the guy who gets big minutes while Zach Randolph is out in Memphis.

What’s wrong with the Knicks? Here are a few answers. My one sentence summation: If you’re going to bring in Mike D’Antoni to run seven seconds or less, give him players to fit the system (for example, a point guard) not ill-fitting pieces.

Isiah Thomas thinks that getting Tyson Chandler was a mistake by the Knicks. James Dolan is taking that under advisement.

The Clippers want to get the ball into the hands of Caron Butler more. That makes some sense, except for the part where it takes the ball out of Chris Paul’s hands more.

The Kings are not trading DeMarcus Cousins, but ESPN reports eight teams calls to check the temperature: Boston, Detroit, Indiana, New Jersey, Washington, Portland, Houston and Utah.

The Lakers expect to get Josh McRoberts back this week. And there was much rejoicing.

In China, J.R. Smith put up 57 points on just 38 shots, but his team still lost by 15.

PBT Extra: What coaches are on hot seat? Alvin Gentry at front of list.

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This season, for the first time in 46 years, no NBA coach will be fired during the season (nobody is getting canned at this point).

However, once the off-season starts, there will be a few changes.

Alvin Gentry in New Orleans and Fred Hoiberg in Chicago are the names most mentioned, but there will be an unexpected firing somewhere around the league. Some GMs are on the hot seat also (Rob Hennigan in Orlando leads that parade).

I get into all of it in this latest PBT Extra.

Raptors’ Serge Ibaka, Bulls’ Robin Lopez each suspended one game for thrown punches

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It was obvious this was coming. Get in a shoving match “fight” in the NBA and you get a fine. However, actually throw punches and…

Toronto’s Serge Ibaka and Chicago’s Robin Lopez each have been suspended for one game by the NBA “for throwing punches at one another during an altercation,” the league announced. What that works out to is a $120,715 hit for Lopez and a $111,364 ding for Ibaka.

Also, Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire earned a $15,000 fine shoving the Bulls Nikola Mirotic and “acting as other than a peacemaker as part of the same altercation.”

This all came out of what seemed a rather innocuous play. Ibaka and Lopez were battling for rebounding positioning, it went on for a second after the ball went through the hoop, Ibaka caught Lopez with a little chicken wing elbow in the back, Lopez spun, and, boy, that escalated quickly. Lopez’s punch missed, while Ibaka’s caught Lopez in the hair more than the body.

Both men got technicals and were ejected.

Report: Sixers Joel Embiid “very likely” to undergo off-season surgery on knee

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When the Philadelphia 76ers formally announced they were shutting down Joel Embiid for the season, the team’s chief medical director Dr. Jonathan Glashow said:

“The assessment of Monday’s follow-up MRI of Joel Embiid’s left knee appears to reveal that the area affected by the bone bruise has improved significantly, while the previously identified meniscus tear appears more pronounced in this most recent scan.”

That meniscus may require off-season surgery, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

As described, this would be a minor surgery that likely has a 4-6 week recovery period. That said, you know the Sixers will bring him along slowly after this. Also, that’s just time Embiid is not on a practice court or in a pick-up game with Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, and the rest of the team’s young core. That’s the time the foundations of chemistry on a team are built.

Embiid averaged 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game despite a minutes restriction all season. He was incredibly efficient in getting his numbers — he had an All-Star level PER of 24.2 — and when he was on the court the Sixers outscored their opponents by 3 points per 100 possessions. He’s still likely a top three finisher in Rookie of the Year balloting despite playing in just 31 games.

Hopefully getting his knee cleaned up now means Embiid will be able to play in more games next season.

Report: Kevin Durant’s recovery going well, could return before end of season

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Back on Feb. 28, the Warriors’ leading scorer Kevin Durant suffered a grade 2 MCL sprain and a tibial bone bruise, an injury that happened when Zaza Pachulia fell into his knee. They planned to evaluate him at the end of the month, but this injury is often a 6-8 week issue, which would have him back around the start of the playoffs or in the first round.

The Warriors are optimistic it will be earlier than that, probably by the end of the season, reports Marc Stein and Chris Haynes of ESPN.

The Golden State Warriors aren’t scheduled to formally update the status of Kevin Durant’s left knee until next week, but there is cautious optimism within the organization that Durant — should he maintain his current recovery arc — will indeed be able to return to the court before the end of the regular season, according to league sources.

While noting that Durant is roughly at the halfway stage of his recovery journey, sources told ESPN.com that the Warriors are encouraged by the progress Durant has made in the 22 days since he suffered a sprained MCL and tibial bone bruise in his left knee on Feb. 28.

Durant was getting in some on-court work before the Warriors took on the Mavericks Tuesday.

The Warriors lost Durant at the start of their toughest schedule stretch of the season, and they stumbled some through that. However, after getting home (and playing some lesser teams in that stretch) the Warriors have gotten right, Stephen Curry is shooting well again, Matt Barnes and Patrick McCaw are playing well enough, and the Warriors have won five in a row. They are in the driver’s seat to be the No. 1 seed in the West (the biggest challenge to that is a road back-to-back in Houston and San Antonio next week, get a split there and the Warriors become tough to catch).

Between the end of the season and an easy first round — neither Denver nor Portland play enough good defense to slow the Warriors — the Warriors will have time to blend Durant back into the fold. If the Warriors can find their stride again with him, they are the favorites to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy in June.