Here is our daily 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).
Dallas’ Jason Terry says what we all already knew: Oklahoma City is the team to beat in the West.
Lou Williams and the art of the 2-for-1.
If you’ve got a player who puts up a lot of points, the other thing you want him to be is consistent. LeBron James and Kevin Durant have been that this year, Carmelo Anthony not so much.
What the Knicks are doing right on offense.
Kobe Bryant admits the Lakers will not be a top seed in the West, but thinks they’ll be dangerous anyway.
Miami’s marketing department sent out a clever email that backhands the Cavaliers. Some may be offended, I thought it was clever.
Timofey Mozgov talks about what it is like to become a verb — Mozgoved: To be dunked on — and how it feels to have Kendrick Perkins in the club.
Nicolas Batum’s knee injury has officially been classified as a bone bruise. In Portland, that’s considered a minor knee injury.
Dwyane Wade says it’s hard to play with a big lead on the road.
Jimmer Fredette got his first DNP-CD on Thursday.
Hornets coach Monty Williams heard Jarrett Jack complaining about his knee, so he pulled him from the lineup Thursday.
Lakers rookie guard Andrew Goudelock thinks he’s as good as everyone else in the last draft.
Joakim Noah meets competitive eating champion Takeru Kobayashi. It’s as odd as it sounds.
Charles Barkley rants about how the season is an embarrassment.
Marcus Thornton was back on the court for the Kings Thursday, after missing more than a week with a bad bruise on his leg.
Minnesota rookie Malcolm Lee is nearing a comeback from knee surgery and is expected to begin his rehab in the D-League next week.
The Magic made it official and have Ish Smith on the roster.
Andre Drummond had a breakaway on Sunday against the Boston Celtics. Fans in Detroit should have been in for a treat from their franchise center — a former NBA Dunk Contest participant — but instead they got something worth of Shaqtin’ A Fool.
Unfortunately for Drummond, the result of the one man fastbreak was a blown dunk, a ball that went sky high, and a sheepish look from the Pistons center.
The Dallas Mavericks traded Andrew Bogut to the Philadelphia 76ers at the deadline for big man Nerlens Noel. Bogut, 32, was never expected to stay in Philly and he should be bought out soon.
There has been some speculation about what contender Bogut might be looking to join, or which might come calling. Due to CBA rules, Bogut could feasibly re-join the Golden State Warriors. Instead, it appears Bogut is expected to head the other direction and sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Bogut would be Cleveland’s second center on the roster alongside Tristan Thompson, who slid over to the 5 full-time this season. The Australian big man would also be the second former Maverick to join the Cavaliers, as PG Deron Williams reportedly intends to sign with Cleveland as well.
Bogut has been less effective in limited minutes this season than he has in years past. While Bogut is still a good passer and rebounder, he has not been as productive on offense than prior seasons. That could largely be due to Dallas’ poor start, or because of nagging injuries. He suffered calf, knee, and hamstring injuries this season with Dallas, and it will still be a gamble for Cleveland to rely upon Bogut for a playoff run.
However, the Cavaliers could simply rest Bogut extensively, integrate him into their system, and have him ready for a second championship push through the Eastern Conference.
We’re still waiting for the move to be made official, but it appears as though LeBron James & Co. are bolstering themselves for the postseason.
Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic was whistled for a foul on Sunday night while trying to grab a rebound over PJ Tucker. That came as a surprise to Nurkic, who had actually lost two teeth on the play and went to point out that fact to officials.
The play came midway through the fourth quarter, with Tucker underneath the basket and Nurkic standing behind him in the paint. Toronto’s Patrick Patterson missed a long 3-pointer, leading to a battle for the ball down low.
Nurkic was called for a push in the back as the two went up, but Tucker threw his arm and hit Nurkic on the left side of his face. That knocked out two of Nurkic’s teeth:
The Blazers big man recovered his teeth — which were false and part of a dental implant called a bridge — and handed them to Portland head trainer Geoff Clark.
But have no fear: just a few hours after the Blazers lost to the Raptors, 112-106, Nurkic had his teeth put back in by a dentist.
Future NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett was known during his playing days for his exceptional conditioning. The athletic power forward was in a full sweat by tip-off, and constantly talking on both offense and defense.
So how did he do it?
According to JJ Redick, Garnett used to sing while running as a method of normalizing talking during a game. The practice was apparently modeled after Beyonce’s ability to dance and sing at the same time.
“One time I saw her working out, and she was doing her dances and she was singing while she was doing her dancing,” Garnett said to Redick. “So then I’m thinking to myself, maybe I should run and sing at the same time. So in the offseason, I would go to Malibu and I would go down to the beach, and when I run on the beach I would be like ‘Lalala lalala lalala,’ while I’m running. So then, when I get on the court and I’m getting back on defense and I’m talking on defense, I don’t get tired.”
That’s ingenious, and the kind of clever tactics you’d expect to come from a HOFer like Garnett.