Boston Celtics v Miami Heat

Friday And-1 links: Wade, LeBron and the pick-and-roll

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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.

• Miami is changing up some of its offensive sets to be better prepared for the slowed down, half-court style of play that comes with the playoffs. Specifically, the LeBron James/Dwyane Wade pick-and-roll.

• Is Tyson Chandler’s hand injury more serious than the Knicks are letting on?

• Former NBA player Loren Woods was arrested on DUI charges in Tampa after being pulled over and refusing a blood-alcohol test. Woods, 33, spent six years in the NBA.

• Taking a look at the legendary (at least in NBA circles) Phoenix Suns training staff.

• Looking at how John Wall attacks the pick-and-roll. He can be aggressive but sometimes is hesitant if you change looks on him. He’s still learning.

• A good read by Kelly Dwyer about the rebuilding challenges for the Trail Blazers. They aren’t rebuilding in the traditional way.

• Kendrick Perkins has 12 technical fouls now. One more and the Thunder center is suspended for a game.

• Michael Beasley hopes to return to the Timberwolves rotation this weekend, but says he is only at “70%-80%” because of his toe injury.

• Luke Ridnour also sounds a long way away from returning to the lineup.

• He didn’t have the highlights, but Pau Gasol owned Blake Griffin Wednesday night.

• Even with the Suns making playoff push, nobody expects Aaron Brooks to return to the team. He will be a restricted free agent this summer.

• LSU center Justin Hamilton says he is leaving school to go to the NBA. He is on nobody’s draft board and is going to have to earn a way on to a roster the hard way.

• Sometimes the Clippers remind you that even with great players, they are still the Clippers.

• The Dakota Wizards of the D-League may be moving to a slightly warming climate — Santa Cruz, California.

• The Nets have made official that Jordan Farmar is done for the season.

• The Raptors signed Alan Anderson to a second 10-day contract.

• Rockets have sent point guard Courtney Fortson down to the D-League.

PBT Extra: How did Thunder, Pacers move up in PBT Power Rankings?

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As they do every Monday during the season, the PBT Power Rankings came out and while the top three remained the same there were some climbers.

Specifically, the Thunder at No. 4 and the Pacers at No. 5.

Why they are there is the latest PBT Extra topic with Jenna Corrado. The simple answer is they are both excellent teams. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Paul George are all playing like Top 10 players.

PBT Podcast: We’re back talking Kobe, 76ers, Warriors, Pistons, more

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The ProBasketballTalk NBA podcast is back.

Sure we’re a month into the season, but we’re going to get this podcast rolling again and you can expect us on each Monday and Thursday, with a variety of guests talking everything around the NBA.

Today NBC’s own Dan Feldman joins Kurt Helin to talk Kobe Bryant‘s retirement announcement, and what that means both for the Lakers going forward this season and beyond, but also what that could mean for Byron Scott’s future as the Lakers’ coach.

We also delve into the “showdown” between the Lakers and Sixers on Thursday, talk about the job Brett Brown is doing there as coach (a good one), we talk some Warriors, some Draymond Green, Pistons, Spurs and Pacers to round it all out.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.


Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins probable to play against Dallas Monday

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It’s this simple: The Sacramento Kings are 5-5 when DeMarcus Cousins plays this season, 1-7 when he sits. (And that win number is a big misleading, they looked like they would have beaten Charlotte with him, but when he left with back pain they lost, they could easily be 6-4 with him.)

So it’s good news that Cousins is expected to return to the Sacramento lineup Monday night. Well not good for Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks, but good for the Kings, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea,com.

This season Cousins is averaging 27.9 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, he has a true shooting percentage above the league average (56.3 percent for Cousins) and he has a PER of 27.1 which is sixth best in the league.

Combine him with the numbers Rajon Rondo has put up lately the Kings become much more dangerous. They’d be even scarier if everyone stayed healthy and George Karl would settle on a lineup.

PBT Extra: Kobe Bryant understands now is time to walk away

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It was expected Kobe Bryant would retire at the end of this season.

It was not expected Kobe would make that official on Nov. 29 — it’s caught the media at Staples Center Sunday (of which I was one) and the fans by surprise.

In this PBT Extra, I talk with Jenna Corrado about the mood inside Staples Center Sunday.

More importantly, I discuss the sense I got that Kobe understands it’s time to walk away, and he is at peace with that.