Monday And-1 links: Trayvon’s father thanks Heat players

2 Comments

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) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.

• The father of Trayvon Martin thanked the Miami Heat for their support.

• The Knicks are dreaming big — over each Knicks locker is a picture of the Larry O’Brien trophy. Dreaming may be the key word in that first sentence.

• Stephen Curry is off to see another ankle specialist. I’d be shocked if we see him again this season.

• The Timberwolves will be without center Nikola Pekovic — you know, the guy who looks like “Non” from Superman II — for most of this week due to bone spurs in his right ankle.

• Speaking of little-discussed injuries, Monta Ellis seems to have something going on with his finger in Milwaukee. He’s not supposed to miss any games, but it’s something to watch.

• In case you missed it, Iranian born center Hamed Haddadi had 10 points for the Grizzlies Sunday night in just 13 minutes of play.

• Here are some interesting thoughts on the first episode of Mad Men this season.

• Come on Memphis, if Marc Gasol gets switched on to Chris Paul, you’ve at least got to be there with rotation help. This just ends poorly for Gasol.

Cool video of Orlando blowing up the old Amway Center. Not so cool: A guy two blocks away got hit with shrapnel from the blast.

• Here’s the risks to playing in Europe — Sonny Weems says he can’t get his team to properly treat his injury, and from the photo it’s a bad one.

• Memphis’ Gilbert Arenas says he is back to being his old self.

• DeMar DeRozan’s ankle kept him out Saturday night — the first game he’s missed in about two years.

• Andrei Kirilenko may stay in Europe next season, but he will listen to offers from the NBA.

Here’s a Q&A with the latest Clipper Nick Young.

• Or, if you prefer, here is a Q&A with Gerald Green.

• If you missed how the OKC crowd welcomed Derek Fisher, here it is.

• The Warriors have assigned Chris Wright to D-League.

Kawhi Leonard returns Tuesday on minutes restriction

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Spurs have been the Spurs this season, going 19-8 with an elite defense and offense that’s good enough to get them wins, thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge playing at an All-Star level.

Starting Tuesday, they add Kawhi Leonard back to the mix.

He will return to the lineup against Dallas, but will be on a minutes restriction, coach Gregg Popovich said on Tuesday. He would not say how many minutes, although around 20 seems a logical starting spot.

Leonard is one of the five best players in the NBA (and that may be selling him short). He averaged a career-high 25.5 points a game last season, he’s arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA, and he finished third in the MVP voting last season.

However, there are going to be adjustments. LaMarcus Aldridge has been the focal point of the offense, but he could see fewer touches, particularly in crunch time. Kyle Anderson could see fewer minutes, and Rudy Gay may as well because Popovich liked some small-ball lineups last season with Leonard at the four. A lot of players will see their rotations change.

That said, it’s the Spurs. Do we really expect them to be anything but an incredibly good regular season team? One that is about to get better?

 

 

 

Pelicans’ Tony Allen out 3-4 weeks with fibula fracture

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The injuries just keep hitting the Pelicans. Guys like Solomon Hill and Alexis Ajinca are out for extended periods of time. Anthony Davis has missed four of the team’s last six games and is questionable for Wednesday night due to a left adductor injury.

Now comes the news that reserve guard Tony Allen will be out three to four weeks due to a nondisplaced left proximal fibula fracture, the team announced Tuesday. This is the part of the bone near the ankle.

Allen has played a limited role for New Orleans off the bench this season, averaging 12.4 minutes a game, and averaging 4.7 points. His reputation is that of a defensive stopper, and when he is on the court this season the Pelicans’ defense has been 5.6 points per 100 possessions better. However, father time has started to catch up with him and he is not the defender he once was.

Expect the minutes to bump up for Jrue Holiday and E'Twaun Moore with this injury, which is not a bad thing as they have played well (they were knocking down threes against the Rockets Monday like they were named Curry), plus Ian Clark could get a little more run.

Watch Kawhi Leonard chop boards ‘karate styyyle’ (video)

AP Photo/Eric Gay
1 Comment

Kawhi Leonard, enabled by the Spurs’ no-nonsense culture, is probably the NBA’s most boring superstar.

He’s widely recognized as the league’s best defender, and he has worked himself into an elite offensive threat. He has already won a Finals MVP, and regular-season MVP could eventually be in the cards.

But Leonard is notoriously reserved. For someone who has been on this stage for so long, we know little about him.

Except we now know he apparently likes karate.

Leonard:

Gonna chop y’all up. Look at all of us. Karate styyyle.

If “karate styyyle” doesn’t become Leonard’s catchphrase, I don’t even know what we’re doing.

Leonard will finally have the chance to chop up an NBA opponent tonight, when he makes his return from injury.

Michael C. Wright of ESPN:

Kevin Durant brings fan to tears with autographed shoes (video)

2 Comments

Kevin Durant has become a villain to many.

Clearly not to this Warriors fan, though.