Tuesday And-1 links: Zach Randolph is back at practice

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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).

Zach Randolph has been cleared by doctors for non-contact practices and is expected to return to the Grizzlies in early March. That would be huge for this team.

Jeremy Lin was named NBA Player of the Week for the Eastern Conference. Oh, yea, Russell Westbrook got an award, too (Western Conference version).

It wasn’t just pro scouts, college recruiters missed on Jeremy Lin, too.

LeBron James is killing it in the post this season.

Hornets coach Monty Williams joked Monday night that we should all just start blaming everything on LeBron James.

Kobe Bryant is still pissed at the teams that passed him up in the draft. Of course he is.

Last year Andre Emmett was playing in that one-on-one on Alcatraz event, now he’s a New Jersey Net. You can make up your own “trading one prison for another” joke about Jersey if you want.

In case you missed it, Stephen Curry had a slight roll of his ankle again last night, but he was able to return to the game and play through it. Still, concerning.

Clipper fans should like this: Blake Griffin said to put the blame on him for the team’s loss to Dallas Monday. He had a rough game, but you’ve got to like that he accepts responsibility for it.

Understandably, Manu Ginobili is having some conditioning issues upon his return.

Blazers coach Nate McMillan and Jamal Crawford had a long sit-down talk and video session about the point guard position.

Pacers coach Frank Vogel wants David West to assert himself more on offense. Good news if you have West on your fantasy team.

Shannon Brown wants more minutes in Phoenix. My suggestion: Shoot better than 39.4 percent and you may get them.

Good read on the Lakers roster problems, and how they are like whack-a-mole.

Roy Hibbert is happy to be an All-Star, happy he stayed in college for four years.

Nets guard Keith Bogans had surgery on his injured ankle, he is expected back for next training cap.

The Grizzlies have send Josh Selby down to the D-League.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry

The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.