Tuesday And-1 links: Kyrie Irving will not play for Australia

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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).

Kyrie Irving is not going to be on Team USA in London in 2012, but he had a standing offer from Australia (he was born in a land down under while his father played professionally there so he is a dual citizen). After talking it over with Mike Krzyzewski, Irving has decided not to play for Australia in 2012 in hopes of playing for Team USA in 2016.

The Bulls are likely going to be without C.J. Watson for a few games due to his ankle injury. Great, just what Tom Thibodeau needs, an excuse to play Derrick Rose more minutes.

Tyson Chandler’s wrist is probably going to bother him for about six more weeks, but he is just going to play through it.

There are a lot of efforts to get Dwight Howard to stay in Orlando, but none funnier than this.

In case you missed it, both Nene and Danilo Gallinari were back on the court for the Nuggets last night.

Zach Randolph participated in a full scrimmage Monday, he is close to coming back.

Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles has put his home up for sale. He has another year on his contract and there have been no rumblings about his job being in jeopardy, so read into this what you want.

Legendary NBA photographer Andy Bernstein talks about his career, his favorite subjects and more. This is a great read.

Barack Obama said that Michael Jordan is the greatest NBA player ever. What did you expect the Chicago guy to say?

The Bobcats Reggie Williams had his knee drained and likely will not play Tuesday.

Al Horford is starting his rehab but is a month away from being re-evaluated.

Fifty photos of NBA players just being dads.

The fact Clipper Darrell and the Clippers are no longer tied to one another is just stupid. Bad for Darrell, and bad for the Clippers (both PR and opportunities missed). Watch this video, clearly this is hurting him.

LeBron James’ mom reached a plea deal in regards to her summer altercation with a valet.

Spurs guard TJ Ford is going to do a rehab stint in the D-League.

Steve Kerr on Mike D’Antoni as Coach of the Year, “He’s earned it.”

Associated Press
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There are some strong candidates for NBA Coach of the Year this season. Brad Stevens has built up Boston over the past couple seasons, and they are now the top seed in the East. The Wizards are having their best season in a long time, and the players there credit new coach Scott Brooks. Quin Snyder has done a fantastic job building a culture and strong team in Utah. Eric Spoelstra didn’t allow the Heat to let go of the rope in the East when they were 11-30, and now they are on the cusp of making the playoffs. Gregg Popovich needs to be in the running every year because he is the best coach in the game.

However, Houston’s Mike D’Antoni is probably going to win the award. Golden State’s Steve Kerr – who won the award last year — is good with that, here is his quote via ESPN from after the Warriors beat the Rockets Tuesday night.

“I think the fit with the roster and Mike’s philosophy has been perfect,” Kerr said Tuesday night. “What he’s so good at is really giving his players confidence and belief. They’re obviously having an amazing year. My guess is that he’ll get the trophy. He’s earned it.”

Rockets GM Daryl Morey deserves a lot of credit for how good Houston has been. Unlike the front offices in New York and Los Angeles, when Morey brought D’Antoni in he went out and got role players who fit with the coach’s style of play. If you’re hiring D’Antoni, you’re doing it to play up tempo and take threes, and he needs the right roster to win that way. Morey gave him that.

Still, D’Antoni is the frontrunner for reasons beyond he’s the coach of the team that most exceeded expectations this season. He truly trusted James Harden in the point guard role and helped the beard elevate his game to MVP levels. He got the role players to buy in. He also has the Rockets playing decent — middle of the NBA pack — defense, which is better than many people expected (at times this season the Rockets have played actual good defense, they just don’t sustain it).

Kerr is right, D’Antoni deserves it.

 

 

Lamar Odom regrets affairs, says cocaine helped end career

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lamar Odom says he’s “a walking miracle” after being found unconscious with cocaine in his system in a Nevada brothel in 2015.

Odom tells US Weekly he hid his cocaine use from ex-wife Khloe Kardashian for a while, but she found out about two years before their 2013 split. He also says that he regrets “having multiple affairs with different women” while married to Kardashian.

Kardashian filed for divorce in 2013 but delayed it after the incident at the brothel. He says Kardashian helped him regain his memory following the episode. Their divorce was finalized in December.

Odom blames cocaine for helping end his NBA career. He says “drugs killed my drive to want to train and be in shape.”

Odom says he’s sober now after finishing a rehab stint in January.

Here is some of the interview, however warning the language is not safe for work.

Warriors say Kevin Durant doing non-contact drills, could return before end of season

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Kevin Durant has been working out on the court before the last couple of Warriors road games, and people watching have taken note — he was moving well, shooting, and generally looking healthy for a guy coming off a grade 2 MCL sprain and a bone bruise.

Reports were out that Durant was on target to return before the end of the season.

Wednesday the Warriors confirmed that.

Teams are vague, realistically what is that timeline?

Durant likely would be on a minutes restriction for those game, but just getting to shake the rust off and work on his conditioning in a real game would help Golden State heading into the playoffs.

Not that they need much help, having won eight in a row. The Warriors have a 2.5 game lead over the Spurs for the top seed in the Western Conference heading into the game between the two Wednesday night.

Check out Lakers’ stretch of hitting 15 straight shots to end third quarter (VIDEO)

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The Lakers lost to the Wizards because they are young, inconsistent, and defend like traffic cones at times.

But that young Lakers core also has its moments.

Los Angeles strung together 15 straight made buckets to end the third quarter Tuesday night. Some of it was flukey, like Corey Brewer driving and finishing contested layups like he’s Kyrie Irving, but there were things Lakers fans should want to see such as D'Angelo Russell draining threes, Jordan Clarkson working hard off the ball and his teammates finding him, and Julius Randle just attacking.

After this run the Lakers led by 13 going into the fourth, but lost the game.