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). We’re trying out a bullet-point format to help the look and feel, tell us what you think of it.
• Conan O’Brien got a pair of Guinness colored Nikes. I’m not a sneakerhead, but I might buy a pair of those.
• Kevin Love leads the NBA in scoring in March, averaging 30.3 points per game.
• Brian Grant talks openly, honestly about his fight with Parkinson’s disease.
• Sports Illustrated follows the Dallas Mavericks around on a back-to-back to show the wear and tear of this season.
• Kevin Durant is about to sign with agent Rob Pelinka, reports Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal. Pelinka is the agent for Kobe Bryant and James Harden, among others. (Durant left Aaron Goodwin a while back.)
• There is no timetable on Richard Hamilton’s return to the Bulls. He can’t even lift his arm over his head yet.
• Watch Gerald Green almost hit his head on the backboard while making a block.
• On the other end of the spectrum, watch Markieff Morris make two of the worst passes you are going to see. Back-to-back.
• Nene says the future is bright with him in Washington.
• Nick Young talks about the Wizards and his transition to the Clippers.
• The Heat beat the Magic the other day in part by using Orlando’s own favorite play against them.
• Some good thoughts on the gray area of “clutch performance” and why that is so hard to define.
• Check out this Pau Gasol portrait. Interesting.
• Xavier Henry has been sent by the Hornets to the Iowa Energy of the D-League.
There was a scary moment during the matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. During a change of possession, Houston’s Trevor Ariza and and Golden State’s James Michael McAdoo got tangled up and fell together on the floor.
McAdoo was under Ariza and wound up getting his head slammed into the hardwood. He was immediately taken off the floor and sent to the locker room.
The NBATV broadcast said McAdoo received stitches but did not test positive for a concussion. He is averaging 8.7 minutes, 2.9 points, and 1.7 rebounds per-game for the Warriors.
Jusuf Nurkic did not enjoy his time as a member of the Denver Nuggets. His trade to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Mason Plumlee was a welcome change of scenery.
On Tuesday night, Nurkic got to take on his old team with huge playoff implications at stake. Portland beat the Nuggets, 122-113, moving a game ahead of their rivals in the race for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and giving them the best tiebreaker between the two.
Nurkic was impressive, blasting his old squad with 33 points on 12-of-15 shooting, adding 16 rebounds, three blocks, and two assists.
Nurkic was interviewed in the arena after the game, and he was obviously happy he helped his team while also sticking it to Denver. Speaking with Portland reporter Brooke Olzendam, Nurkic took one last shot at the Nuggets, telling them to enjoy their summer.
Nurkic quite possibly sent the Nuggets packing for the year with the game at the Moda Center on Tuesday, so he might have been the guy who helped start their summer.
Still, that is ice cold.
Miami Heat forward James Johnson is one of the NBA’s best in-game dunkers. On Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons, he yammed down a huge one-handed slam that embarrassed Marcus Morris and drew gasps from the crowd at the Palace.
The play came midway through the fourth quarter with Johnson at the top of the key. After a quick pass over to him, Johnson gave a quick hesitation before driving to his left and past his defender.
With the quick step, Johnson’s only remaining opponent at the basket was Morris, who was unfortunate enough to find himself between the high-flying Heat and the rim.
This is what happened next:
Morris was whistled for a foul on the play.
The Miami Heat took until the final moments on Tuesday night to beat the Detroit Pistons, but it was worth it. With just a handful of games left to play, the Heat need to stave off the Chicago Bulls for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Thanks to a tip at the buzzer by Hassan Whiteside, they’re one step closer to achieving that goal.
The play came with just seconds left in the fourth quarter. James Johnson missed a shot with six seconds to go, and the Heat grabbed the rebound. Goran Dragic then tried his hand, but he couldn’t get it to go, either.
That’s when Whiteside came back with a tip at the buzzer that ended the game.
Miami now sits at 36-38, a game above the Bulls for the No. 8 seed.
Whiteside, meanwhile, is never going to wash that hand again: