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

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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).

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:

 

Manu Ginobili leads Spurs over Warriors

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Although the San Antonio Spurs were outmatched against the Golden State Warriors, Manu Ginobili was an integral part of the Spurs staving off elimination against the reigning champs on Sunday. San Antonio beat the Warriors, 103-90, to put the series at 3-1.

The 40-year-old wingman scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter in San Antonio as Ettore Messina logged a playoff win at the helm of the team. Gregg Popovich, who sadly lost his wife this past week, did not coach.

Ginobili was 5-of-10 off the bench, adding five assists and three rebounds in the win. LaMarcus Aldridge led all Spurs scorers with 22, notching a double-double with 10 rebounds.

Meanwhile, the only Warriors player to score more than 12 points was Kevin Durant, who rose above all scorers with 34 points to go with 13 rebounds. Klay Thompson shot an embarrassing 25 percent from the field, scoring just 12 points.

Ginobili put the dagger on the Warriors with 90 seconds to go, hitting a spinning flip shot over Draymond Green to give San Antonio a 10-point lead.

The series heads back to Oakland for Game 5 with the Spurs trailing, 3-1.

Kevin Durant on Giannis Antetokounmpo: ‘I would tell him to play for himself’

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Kevin Durant was once the big star in a little city. The former Oklahoma City Thunder star now plays for the Golden State Warriors, and has a championship ring to his name after making a switch in 2016.

So Durant has at least some experience similar to that of Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak is currently leading the charge for the Bucks against the Boston Celtics in the first round, and he’s seen as the future in Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo signed a 4-year, $100 million contract in the summer of 2016, so presumably he’ll be in Wisconsin for some time.

Meanwhile, Durant had some advice for Antetokounmpo, should he ask for it. In a feature on ESPN, Durant was quoted as saying he felt Antetokounmpo should be sure to have fun, and to play for himself.

Via ESPN:

What I would say to him, I would tell him to play for himself,” Durant said. “Because he’s the one out there putting in the work, he’s the one out there getting up in the morning staying committed to the game. Obviously [the comments about staying put] sounds good to the fans in Milwaukee and to the ownership, because he cares so much about wanting to please them and play well for them, and I get it. But his career is about him; it’s about whatever he wants to do and however he feels is right for him. And what type of basketball does he want to play? He’s not going to stay in Milwaukee if he’s not having fun playing the game.

That’s some pretty good advice, although factors surrounding Antetokounmpo will likely weigh the same as they did on Durant in OKC. The Bucks presumably need a new coach once their season ends. They’re currently helmed by interim coach Joe Prunty, who took over when Jason Kidd was fired earlier this year.

The Bucks also need to fill out their roster and find a way to stay healthy. The Thunder famously had roster issues (read: the James Harden trade) and eventually the lack of playoff success drove Durant to switch teams.

Milwaukee doesn’t seem close to that kind of juncture, although eventually things will flip for the young Bucks and fans and management will expect some kind of production in the postseason.

Giannis Antetokounmpo beats Celtics with late-game tip-in; series tied 2-2

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It was an exciting finish in Milwaukee on Sunday, where the Bucks took home a win on their home court to level the series against the Boston Celtics, 2-2.

The game came down to the wire, with 2016-17 NBA Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon giving the Bucks the lead after a corner 3-pointer with just 33.5 seconds left. The Celtics responded with a sideline out of bounds play that resulted in Al Horford tying the game with free throws.

On their final possession, the Bucks again went to Brogdon, who missed on a layup driving to the left side of the floor. Luckily, Giannis Antetokounmpo was there to follow with the tip-in with just five seconds left.

Via ESPN:

Boston was unable to convert on a final play, and Milwaukee grabbed the win, 104-102.

Game 5 will be in Boston on Tuesday.

Report: Ime Udoka, Ettore Messina, David Fizdale to interview for Hornets job

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The Charlotte Hornets have a new GM in Mitch Kupchak. Upon taking the helm, Kupchak made short work of firing head coach Steve Clifford.

Now, the Hornets need a new coach and they have quite a few names to choose from.

According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Hornets will be interviewing current San Antonio Spurs assistants Ime Udoka and Ettore Messina along with former Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale.

Via Twitter:

All three have extensive coaching experience under their belts. Udoka played in the NBA for seven seasons and has been an assistant coach in San Antonio since 2012.

Messina is a four-time Euroleague champion as a coach, and a two-time winner of the Euroleague Coach of the Year award. He’s coached abroad and in the U.S. since 1989, and he’s been with the Spurs since 2014.

Fizdale coached the Grizzlies for two seasons. Before that he was a longtime assistant coach with the Miami Heat under Erik Spoelstra.

Hornets star Kemba Walker said that who the team chose as GM would influence his decision to re-sign after 2018-19. Walker loved Clifford, so who Charlotte picks as coach could carry significant weight with Walker as well.