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).
Zach Randolph is aiming to be back in the Grizzlies lineup next Tuesday against the Lakers. He has been out since Jan. 1 since tearing a ligament in his knee.
Randolph being back is just part of the crazy playoff picture in the West. We know that the Thunder are the team to beat and after that it is wide open. Here is a great breakdown from Zach Lowe at Sports Illustrated.
ESPN’s Ric Bucher keeps trying to sell that the Lakers are looking to trade Pau Gasol. That is pretty much the opposite of what I am told — if you want to give them Dwight Howard or another top 8 player the Lakers will talk Gasol, if not he stays.
The asking price for point guard Ramon Sessions is a first round pick. My guess is the Lakers are going to break down and pay it (they can take him into their Odom trade exception). But like everyone, the Lakers are waiting to see what happens in Orlando before making any other moves.
Carmelo Anthony doesn’t want Jeremy Lin to lose confidence.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau says that Richard Hamilton is still “a ways away.”
Adding to the Bulls injury woes, Luol Deng’s wrist is bothering him again.
Orlando’s Jason Richardson sprained his ankle Thursday night and while X-rays were negative he will likely miss a couple of games at least.
Orlando’s Hedo Turkoglu protested a call Thursday night by walking over and putting his hands on the shoulders of a referee to get his attention. Touching a referee is a big-time no-no — Turkoglu got an instant technical and can expect at least a fine if not a suspension on Friday.
Andrea Bargnani had a full practice on Thursday and is close to returning to action for the Raptors.
Portland’s Elliot Williams dislocated his left shoulder during practice Thursday and will miss a few games.
Television ratings for this NBA season continue to be stellar — ESPN reports ratings up 14 percent over last year at this time, ABC games are up 11 percent. Lockout shmockout.
There is a Jeremy Lin book coming out. Of course there is.
Clippers ticket prices are going up next season, not a shock since they actually have a product people want to see now.
The Miami Heat worked out free agent forward Shavlik Randolph.