Monta Ellis

Wednesday And-1 links: Some rumors, Shaq, flu game talk


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).

Those rumors of a Monta Ellis to the Nets for Brook Lopez trade? Not much to them.

Milwaukee will apparently listen to trade offers for Andrew Bogut. Not sure they will get anything near what they think he is worth.

The Timberwolves called the Nets to see if Anthony Morrow was available, but the answer was no.

In an interview with VIBE, Shaquille O’Neal says Steve Nash should not have two MVPs. I agree, and I also agree there is no way Shaq should only have one.

Speaking of MVP, who do you think should get it this year? Vote here at NBCSports on our MVP tracker.

The Knicks are seeing a big boost in online traffic since Jeremy Lin became the show.

Phil Jackson talks about his memories of Michael Jordan’s flu game.

Hornets coach Monty Williams says not to compare the Derrick Rose Bulls to the Jordan Bulls yet. I’m not sure why people need to be reminded of that.

Kobe Bryant in a Nike ad made to look like a ‘70s Italian crime film.

Wizards coach Randy Wittman had enough with the mental lapses on Tuesday night — when JaVale McGee fouled Drew Gooden on a three-point attempt, he benched McGee for the rest of the game. He said they are done using youth as an excuse.

Danilo Gallinari said he could be back with the Nuggets by the end of the week.

From the twitter account of TVSportsratings: Between ’02 and ’12, median age of NBA All-Star audience dropped from 38 to 33. Between ’01 and ’11, MLB grew from 46 to 52.”

Breaking down what has gone on with Amare Stoudemire’s game.

Ekpe Udoh is an enigma — he doesn’t do much on the court, but his +/- numbers are amazing.

Nicki Minaj apparently makes fun of Chris Bosh crying in her latest song. After suffering through her All-Star Game performance, I’m pretty done with her and whatever she says.

Joe Johnson missed the All-Star Game but may not miss any more Hawks practices or games due to tendonitits in the knee.

Manu Ginobili went through what Gregg Popovich described as a “partial practice” on Tuesday. So I guess no contact. Either way, don’t expect him for a few days.

Zach Randolph practiced but did not go through any contact with the Grizzlies Tuesday.

Ronny Turiaf is meeting this week with doctors to see if his hand is healed and he can get cleared to return to the Wizards.

Interesting article about bringing wifi into sports arenas for the fans to use.

One of my favorite things from All-Star Weekend in the arena caught on tape — inflatable mascots. I’m not sure why, but they are always funny. Check out the video:


Byron Scott isn’t thinking about next year’s draft

Byron Scott

A month into the season, the Lakers the only team in the Western Conference that can absolutely be written out of any hopes of playoff contention. They’re in an awkward position with the upcoming draft: they still need talent long-term, and they owe their pick to the Sixers if it’s outside of the top three. Not surprisingly, Byron Scott isn’t thinking about it at all.

Via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

With the Lakers fielding the NBA’s second-worst record, how much effort will the franchise put in retaining its top-3 protected draft pick?

“I don’t think about that whatsoever,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “I probably won’t until April. That’s something I can’t control.”

The Lakers are in a precarious position. They appear likely bad enough to lose a lot of games. But will they lose enough to land in the top three? Otherwise, the Lakers owe Philadelphia their first-round pick as part of the Steve Nash trade.

“It’s impossible to think about the team, try to get our young guys better, the team better and also thinking about a pick,” Scott said. “That’s six months away and you might not even get it.”

Given Scott’s mentality, it’s not at all surprising that he isn’t thinking about the draft. But with his insistence on playing Kobe Bryant and Lou Williams more crunch-time minutes on this dismal Lakers team than D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, it’s pretty laughable that he talks about wanting to develop their young players.

Scott may not be thinking about the draft, but with the position the franchise is in and the likelihood that they lose their pick, he should be.

Report: Jahlil Okafor stopped for driving 108 MPH three weeks ago

Jahlil Okafor, Derrick Favors

Jahlil Okafor‘s first month in the NBA has been eventful for all the wrong reasons. Early Thanksgiving morning, he was caught on video getting into a fight with a heckler in Boston. Then, a report surfaced of another altercation from October, in which Okafor apparently had a gun pulled on him. Now, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Okafor was recently pulled over in Philadelphia for driving 108 miles per hour:

Four sources independently confirmed to The Inquirer the 76ers center was pulled over on the Ben Franklin Bridge around three weeks ago for 108 miles per hour. Anything over 40 m.p.h. is considered reckless driving.

108 miles per hour in a 40-mile zone isn’t a minor speeding infraction—it’s incredibly dangerous. It might be possible to write off any of these incidents by themselves—particularly the one where he had a gun pulled on him, which doesn’t seem to have been his fault at all. But together, the Boston incident and this speeding report aren’t a good look at all for Okafor. He’s had a solid start to the year for the Sixers, but off the court has been another story.

Harrison Barnes could be out “a few weeks” with ankle injury

Harrison Barnes
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The Warriors’ Friday night 135-116 win over the Suns was bittersweet: Harrison Barnes suffered a sprained left ankle in the third quarter and left for the remainder of the game. He missed Saturday night’s blowout win over the Kings as well, which extended the Warriors’ best-ever start to the season to 18-0.

Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton didn’t have an answer for how long Barnes will be out, but he said it could be a few weeks.

Via’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss:

“He’s being evaluated [Saturday]. We haven’t gotten the results back yet,” interim head coach Luke Walton told reporters before Saturday’s game. “It’s all speculation. It could be a few weeks. It could be a week.

“We’re not going to rush him back because we want to be healthy for later in the season and we don’t want lingering injures, so we’ll have him take his time.”

Losing a starter is never good news, but the silver lining for the Warriors is that they have enough depth and enough of a cushion to be able to take their time and not rush Barnes back. Saturday night, Walton opted to keep Andre Iguodala in his usual sixth-man role and instead start the little-used Brandon Rush in Barnes’ place. Rush responded with a 16-point performance, shooting 4-of-5 from the three-point line. If they can keep getting that kind of production out of their reserves, the Warriors will be able to withstand the loss of Barnes just fine.

Emmanuel Mudiay with the no-look, behind-the-head assist (VIDEO)

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Emmanuel Mudiay is still a work in progress on the court — he’s a rookie, what did you expect? — but he has the court vision and flair you cannot teach.

As evidence, I present this pass from Saturday night, where in transition Mudiay goes with the no-look, behind-the-head dish to Darrell Arthur for the dunk.

The Nuggets dropped this game to the Mavericks 92-81 and have lost six in a row.