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Thursday And-1 links: “Linsane in the Membrane”

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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).

“Linsane in the Membrane” — Jeremy Lin gets the Cypress Hill treatment. And it works. Best Lin song yet (via PBT’s own @HPbasketball)

Here is your Jeremy Lin sign of the night from Madison Square Garden, via the twitter of CNBC and NBC Sports Network’s Darren Rovell.

Jeremy Lin is impacting betting lines on the Knicks a lot.

The Nets honored the late Whitney Houston (a New Jersey native) by playing her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” from the 1991 Super Bowl before their game Wednesday. Nice touch.

Chinese league playoffs update: Wilson Chandler’s team will play Stephon Marbury’s team in the first round, which should be interesting. (Thanks to NBA247365.com for the update.)

On the Friday night of All-Star weekend there is a celebrity game (you can catch it on ESPN) and this year Dwight Howard and Kevin Durant will be the coaches. Participants include J. Cole, Common, Vinny Guadagnino (Jersey Shore) and Penny Hardaway. Yes, that Penny Hardaway. I expect Durant to go Tom Thibodeau on those guys.

Every time the Knicks public address announcer called the name of Sacramento rookie point guard Isaiah Thomas Wednesday night, Knicks fans booed. Loudly. Knicks fans still hate that other Thomas, with good reason, but at least Spike Lee warned this kid what was coming.

Magic fans have been booing Glen Davis, but his Magic teammates have risen to Big Baby’s defense.

In case you missed it, Jason Terry was out for the Mavericks with a strained quad. Nothing serious, but they will miss his points.

Sixers fans, don’t expect to see Spencer Hawes back on the court until after the All-Star Game.

Stan Van Gundy talks Jeremy Lin, players he might have overlooked and what bugs him about the media (the short version of that answer).

Michael Jordan got rejected on the court… well, in a court of law by a judge. But either way, Jordan lost this one.

Wizards’ owner Ted Leonsis smacked around the Wizards blogs a little. Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie rightly smacks around Leonsis a little for that. Team bloggers are hard-core fans by definition, not the base you should be pissing on.

Clippers assistant coach Howard Eisley got slapped with a $15,000 for yelling at the referees during the Clippers loss to the Mavericks. He must have used some pretty impressive language.

The Hornets are reportedly close to signing Lance Thomas to a second 10-day contract.

Watch Spurs’ Dejounte Murray throw off-the-backboard alley-oop to himself in pickup game

Washington guard Dejounte Murray, center, dribbles the ball past Mount St. Mary's center Taylor Danaher (50) as Washington forward Marquese Chriss, right, watches duirng the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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Just a suggestion for rookie Dejounte Murray: Don’t do this in front of Gregg Popovich. You may not like his reaction.

That said, the Spurs needed to get more athletic this off-season — landing Pau Gasol certainly didn’t help that cause — so enter first-round pick Murray, who pulled this off in a recent pickup game.

Murray is going to be brought along slowly in a backcourt where Tony Parker and Patty Mills will be splitting time at the point. Murray is more of a combo guard and is going to have to shoot a lot better than he did in college (28.8 percent from three) to get some run. But this is a situation where the Spurs can groom him, bring him along slowly, and see if they have another draft steal.

He’s certainly got the athleticism.

Corey Brewer: “James (Harden) is going to play defense this year”

HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 18:  James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets walks across the court during their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Toyota Center on March 18, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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James Harden‘s defense is not as bad as its reputation.

Well, at least it wasn’t two seasons ago — his near MVP season he was in good enough shape that he could put in a respectable effort on that end and still handle his massive offensive load. There were still some mental lapses, but his focus was better and his improvement lifted the team defense. Last season, he regressed back to youtube “highlight” defense Harden — his conditioning was not where it needed to be, he didn’t expend as much effort on that end, and it showed.

Harden got a massive contract extension this summer, and Dwight Howard is Atlanta’s problem — now Harden has to lead the Rockets. By example. Corey Brewer told ESPN you’re going to see that on defense.

“I think this year he’s going to play better defense, We’re going to let the past be in the past. It’s the future of the Rockets, man. James is going to play defense this year.”

We’re all Missourians on this one: Show me.

Remember that the Rockets will be out and running — Mike D’Antoni is the coach now, and Daryl Morey is going to get the up tempo ball he wants (which Kevin McHale had them doing, but Harden didn’t like him so…). D’Antoni’s teams in Phoenix played better defense than their reputation — points per possession they were middle of the pack — but that has never been his focus.

Will Harden be able to run like he needs to on offense and still defend at a reasonable level?

If he can, it’s a big step toward the Rockets being a dangerous team in the West because if he does it others will follow. Otherwise, every Rockets game will be a shootout, which is entertaining but not going to get a team deep into the playoffs.

 

Watch Drake hit a half court shot while doing a situp

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 26:  Singer Drake celebrates after Terrance Ross #31 of the Toronto Raptors sinks a 3-pointer in the second half of Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Indiana Pacers during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on April 26, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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I can see the questions on Twitter/in the comments already so let me save you some time.

Because it’s summer.

Because it’s Drake (he’s a celebrity and an NBA hanger-on with some quasi-official position with the Raptors).

Because Stephen Curry did it, too.

Because what other hoops are you watching on a late August afternoon?

And besides, you clicked on it. You know you want to see it.

So here it is, Drake, hitting a halfcourt shot while doing a sit up. Enjoy.

FOR THE KIA!!!!! @highlighthub @bleacherreport

A video posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

Mario Chalmers says he’s cleared to play

Memphis Grizzlies guard Mario Chalmers moves the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, in Washington. Chalmers was ejected in the first half. The Wizards won 100-91. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
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Mario Chalmers was thriving with the Grizzlies after a midseason trade from the Heat when a torn Achilles ended his season.

Not the way Chalmers wanted to enter free agency.

Still unsigned, he says he’s progressing.

Chalmers:

Can he go 100%, though? If not, when?

A few teams could use another point guard. If Chalmers shows his health, he belongs in someone’s rotation. But that might require taking a low-paying deal and working his way up from the third point guard spot – or even just onto the regular-season roster.