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.

Rockets owner appears to leave seat, yell at refs during matchup with Thunder (VIDEO)

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The Houston Rockets are in control of their series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and were up 3-1 heading into Tuesday night’s Game 5 in Texas.

That did not stop what appeared to be Rockets owner Leslie Alexander from complaining to NBA referees. During gameplay. While standing directly next to an official, some 20 feet from his courtside seat.

Via Twitter:

Congratulations are in order to Bill Kennedy, the official in question, for keeping his cool. Or perhaps he just was so surprised by some dude yelling in his ear from right next to him he didn’t know how to react.

Brandon Jennings no fan of the NBA’s new Awards Ceremony event

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Come June 26, Drake will be on stage in New York City, handing out the NBA’s awards — Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and so on. (We need to set an under/over on the number of players Drake hugs that night.)

The NFL does it. The NHL does it. And the NBA has decided to follow suit with a broadcast awards ceremony where everything — except the All-NBA Team — will be announced that night. It’s happening because the broadcast partners want it.

Brandon Jennings is not a fan. Here is what the Wizards’ point guard Tweeted:

Jennings took down a Tweet that said if he had won the award he would have wanted to get it with the organization and his teammates around him. (And no, he knows he’s not winning the award. If you were going to put that in the comments be more creative.)

There’s something to what Jennings is saying. The NBA award roll out was awkward at times in previous years, but it gave the fans a chance to celebrate the awards with their favorite player. Now, everyone will watch it unfold on television from a ballroom in NYC. That feels a little colder. Also, we will get to see the reaction of those who don’t win (particularly this season, where several players can make a strong case for MVP).

It will be interesting to see how this first year goes, and how the league tweaks it going forward. The more than two month gap between the end of the regular season and the awards could feel a bit awkward. But we’re not going to knock the idea until we’ve seen it in action.

Portland GM makes it official, Festus Ezeli will not be back with team next season

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This season the Portland Trail Blazers found their center of the future (and the present) in Jusuf Nurkic.

Which makes the next step fairly obvious: Portland will not pick up the option on Festus Ezeli for next season, GM Neil Olshay confirmed at the team exit meetings Tuesday.

Portland signed Ezeli on what they thought was a great contract (one-year, $7.4 million, with a team option for the second year) because he was coming off knee surgery last summer. However, Ezeli was never healthy, needed a second surgery, and never got on the court. After taking it slow over last summer he practiced with the team twice in mid-October, there was more swelling, so he pulled back.

This summer Ezeli will not draw any guaranteed money from teams, but some teams may take a look at him. Athletic bigs get a lot of chances in the NBA.

Gordon Hayward will play for Jazz in Game 5 without minutes restriction

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Gordon Hayward has averaged 20.5 points a game in these playoffs — and that includes a 40 point outburst in Game 3 — but what has been more impressive is he has done it efficiently, with a true shooting percentage of 61.1. While Joe Johnson and others have stepped up, Utah will need Hayward’s shot creation if they are going to win this series.

They will have it Tuesday night in Game 5.

After missing the second half of Game 4 due to food poisoning (he tried to play but was ineffective in the first half), he is back and ready to go this time around.

So is Rudy Gobert. The Jazz will be at full health, while the Clippers remain without Blake Griffin for the remainder of the playoffs.

Having those two back is a boost for the Jazz, they need to score more consistently against the Clippers, but the bigger key will be defensively trying to deal with Chris Paul on the pick-and-roll. He has been masterful this series, and the Jazz need to keep him in check to give their offense a chance.