Orlando Magic v New York Knicks

Monday And-1 links: More Howard/Van Gundy drama. Great.

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

• The rumors are out there that there will be a coaching change in Orlando after the season — because Dwight Howard wants a new coach and Stan Van Gundy has had it with the circus that is Howard’s free agency. Believe whatever spin you want. My guess is that he is back next year, but we’ll see.

• Once you get past the top couple spots in both conferences, the playoff seedings are a jumbled mess. Here is a little breakdown.

• Thunder coach Scott Brooks on Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau: “I mean, the guy has no life. Even when he was young as an assistant, he never wanted to go out to dinner with me. He had things to do. He’s boring. He just wants to coach basketball.”

• A close look at what the Bulls are doing on offense without Derrick Rose in the lineup.

• In March Rajon Rondo broke an old Bob Cousy record for the most assists in a month by a Celtic. Well done Rondo, but the lockout and condensed schedule (17 games) should get some credit there, too.

• Nene is wearing a walking boot in Washington, battling a pulled fascia in his left foot. He’s not a guy with the rep for playing through pain in the first place.

• If you are wondering what is going on with the Warriors, know that their first round pick in this draft belongs to Utah unless it is in the top seven. Right now they have the ninth worst record in the league.

• Vinny Del Negro wants Nick Young to take more shots. That shouldn’t be a problem.

• Mickell Gladness has temporarily left the Warriors to deal with a family matter.

• In case you thought he was coming back anytime soon, Darko Milicic’s hamstring injury is serious enough he is not traveling with the team.

This ad — featuring Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal for a Ford dealership in San Antonio — is exactly why watching the broadcasts from smaller markets is sometimes so worth it.

• The Team USA women’s basketball squad for the Summer Olympics is starting to come together.

• The Grizzlies have recalled rookie Josh Selby from the D-League.

DeMarcus Cousins says Mavericks’ rumored interest flatters him, but he loves Kings

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) receives a blow to the head from Dallas Mavericks' Dwight Powell as Cousins works to get to the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.

Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News:

So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?

“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”

“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”

“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”

Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.

And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.

Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?

LeBron James dunks, struts past camerapeople and toward crowd, spooks fan (video)

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LeBron James is dominating, and the Cavaliers are rolling over the Knicks.

It’s almost as if something has LeBron particularly riled up. But maybe ease up a little? That cowering fan isn’t Phil Jackson.

Kevin Love drips snot all over his face, maybe into his mouth (video)

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Cameras zoomed in on Kevin Love at the wrong moment:

Need a sensory cleanser? Enjoy this fantastic outlet pass from Kevin Love to LeBron James:

Derrick Rose out for Knicks-Cavaliers with back injury, getting MRI

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22:  Derrick Rose #25 of the New York Knicks dribbles against the Portland Trail Blazers during their game at Madison Square Garden on November 22, 2016 in New York City.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Derrick Rose is missing the New York Knicks’ game against Cleveland because of lower back pain.

Rose left the Knicks’ victory over Miami on Tuesday in the third quarter with back spasms. Coach Jeff Hornacek says Rose still felt sore on Wednesday when he came in and met with team doctors, so they sent him for an MRI exam to make sure there was no structural damage.

Rose is averaging 16.7 points and this is the first game he’s missed this season.

Brandon Jennings will start in Rose’s place.