Wednesday And-1 links: Taiwanese animation explains Metta World Peace

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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.

• Well, that bit of animation from Taiwan should explain everything perfectly.

• If you’re looking for something a little more thoughtful and insightful on Metta World Peace, read Kevin Ding’s great piece at the Orange County Register.

• With World Peace out the Lakers are going to need more out of Matt Barnes — and he’s not healthy. His sore ankle has the Lakers already saying he will not play against Sacramento Thursday. You can bet Barnes will suit up for the playoffs but we’ll see how much he can give.

• Celtics center Greg Stiemsma admitted he is dealing with plantar fasciitis. The only real cure for that is rest this summer.

• Chris Paul suffered a mild groin strain. He’s going to have to play through it, the Clippers need CP3 at the top of his game if they are going to get by the Grizzlies in the first round.

• The Heat will get Ronny Turiaf back for the playoffs.

• The Hornets have shut Eric Gordon down for the season due to his back.

• Corey Maggette will have knee surgery after the season ends. Yes, we thought it was his Achilles, too.

• Why did the Wizards keep GM Ernie Grunfeld around? A guy who put together a team whose best winning percentage the last four years was .317? Because the owner trusts him and thinks he gets the big picture plan.

• A good story from Lee Jenkins on LeBron James in Sports Illustrated. Rounds him out as a person, not the caricature, the love-him-or-hate-him guy he is often portrayed as.

George Karl talks playoffs and admits Ty Lawson is the key, he and Andre Miller.

• A couple days ago J.J. Barea ripped his Timberwolves teammates for quitting on the season. Coach Rick Adelman has Barea’s back.

• Jeep is now a big sponsor of USA Basketball, and they have put together a new ad with Chris Paul.

• FIBA is about to apply to ICANN to be the body that controls the .BASKETBALL internet domain. The number of domains is opening up from .com, .net, .org and the other standbys. They say “If its application is successful, FIBA will be able to supply relevant and available domain names for people, entities and organisations with an affinity for basketball, that do not currently have any particular domain space catering to their specific needs.” Does anyone thing that will go smoothly and without a lot of politics involved?

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

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Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

AP Photo/Nick Wass
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.

Pacers president Kevin Pritchard likes tweets critical of Paul George trade

AP Photo/Darron Cummings
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Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard was widely panned – including by me – for trading Paul George for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.

Oops.

Oladipo and Sabonis are killing it while George has underwhelmed.

Upon George’s return to Indiana, Pritchard took the opportunity to gloat. The Pacers general manager recently liked these tweets (hat tip: Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation):

This is petty – and I love it. Pritchard earned the victory lap.

Report: Rival executives still expect Paul George to leave Thunder for Lakers

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Paul George has been pretty open about his plans.

He told plenty of people – including the Pacers – he planned to leave for the Lakers in the summer of 2018. Even after the Thunder traded for him, George spoke of the lure of playing for his hometown team.

Of course, George also left the door open to re-signing with Oklahoma City. He proclaimed he’d be dumb to leave if the Thunder reached the conference finals or upset the Warriors.

So far, Oklahoma City (12-14) doesn’t even look like a playoff lock, let alone a team capable of knocking off Golden State or reaching the conference finals. So, cue the inevitable speculation.

Sam Amick of USA Today:

Rival execs still expect Paul to head for the Lakers in free agency

Do these executives have inside information into George’s thinking, or are they just speculating based on already-available information? Some executives are incentivized to drum up the Lakers threat, because they want to trade for George themselves now. If these executives insist George will leave for Los Angeles regardless, they might pry him from Oklahoma City for less.

There’s also a theory George is hyping his desire to sign with the Lakers so a team would have to trade less for him. That got him to the Thunder for what looked like a meager return (but hasn’t been). It might get him to a more favorable situation before the trade deadline without hampering his next team long-term. Of course, this theory isn’t mutually exclusive with George actually signing in Los Angeles. It could just get him better options to choose from this summer.

Surely, the Thunder are trying to parse all this noise. If their season doesn’t turn around, they should explore flipping George rather than risk losing him for nothing next summer. But they should also be wary that he’ll bolt for Los Angeles at first opportunity just because rival executives predict it.