2012 NBA All-Star Game

Monday And-1 links: All-Star Weekend notes edition


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).

All weekend Deron Williams got asked about Jeremy Lin again and again — not his favorite topic, as you might guess — but he did reveal this one little nugget: other point guards are gearing up to go at him now. With all the attention, a lot of very prideful players have Lin specifically in their sights.

There are countless events and promotions that come to a city on All-Star Weekend. From my vantage point, with Orlando’s own Dwight Howard an adidas guy and the fact they have the clothing contract with the league, adidas gear seemed to be everywhere.

I was at the Carmelo Anthony party on Saturday — thanks for the hookup Brett — and Andrew Sharp sums it up pretty well.

Amway Center is a really beautiful building inside.

Neverest performed the Canadian national anthem on Sunday. When I asked the guys from The Basketball Jones — who are Canadian and live and work in Toronto — who the band was they had no idea. Never heard of them.

While the expensive suites and lower bowl seats were only lightly filled Friday (and even Sunday there were empty seats there) the upper bowl seats where the regular fans of Orlando sat was pretty much full every night.

TNT got big ratings the first couple nights of All-Star Weekend. The Rising Stars Challege on Friday was the most-watched telecast in the event’s history. The Saturday night events (three-point, dunk contest, etc) was tied for the second-highest rated NBA All-Star Saturday Night all-time (trailing 2009).

Ben & Jerry’s put out a “Taste the Lin-Sanity” ice cream, but had to stop productionwhen there were complaints they put fortune cookies in it.

While everyone else was partying in Orlando, Vince Carter hosted a massive fundraiser for Barack Obama.

Scottie Pippen says the current Bulls remind him of the Bulls teams he was on in the ‘80s.

Shaquille O’Neal is having a little tiff with a Puerto Rican radio station.

Mike D’Antoni is pretty confident the Knicks can figure out how to blend all that talent.

Andrew Bogut is not going to need surgery on his ankle. Which is good. But don’t confuse that with him being back soon.

Joel Przybilla has passed his physical and will be added to the Blazers roster in the next day or two, reports the Oregonian. Someone will have to be cut to make room.

Nets on Monday will sign Gerald Green of the D-Fenders of the D-League.

The Warriors will send Jeremy Tyler to the D-League on Monday.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.