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).
Sunday LeBron James scored 14 points, making it 400 consecutive games he has scored in double digits. That is eighth on the all-time list.
If Tom Thibodeau and the Chicago Bulls can get two more wins before another loss he will be the fastest coach to 100. His record is 98-30, the best is Avery Johnson at 100-31. Bulls record belongs to Phil Jackson at 100-42.
If you think your taxes are a complex pain in the behind, check out what NBA players and other pro athletes need to go through.
Ray Allen entered the NBA wearing size 13 shoes, he now wears a size 15.
Patty Mills is back in the league, has signed a two-year contract with the Spurs.
Mario Chalmers just purchased Drake’s old South Beach apartment for $2.6 million. I bet the walls there can tell some stories.
The Lakers are still starting Steve Blake at the point. Here are some good thoughts on why that doesn’t really matter.
If you want to know why Ramon Sessions matters to the Lakers, this tweet from Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register sums it up well: “Ramon Sessions has 10 foul shots in 20 minutes tonight. Derek Fisher had 53 foul shots in 43 games.”
One last Lakers note: Jordan Hill has been cleared to play and likely will get some burn soon.
Kirk Hinrich may stick as the starter in Atlanta.
St. John’s freshman forward Moe Harkless is hosting a press conference Monday and everyone expects he will go pro. DraftExpress has him going at No. 20 in the first round.
In an expected move, the Warriors waived T.J. Ford.
This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.
Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.
Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.
Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. Those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings, and with that team’s playoff chances have taken a hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers). Don’t be surprised if the Kings look to add a scorer at the trade deadline.
Gay was not happy in Sacramento and said he planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.
That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).