Thursday And-1 links: Fun with Amar’e Stoudemire fouling out

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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.

• When Amare Stoudemire fouled out of Game 5 in Miami Wednesday, the Heat PA announcer in the building said “He has been extinguished from the game.”

• Notice on that same play, Stoudemire fouled out by running over Shane Battier. After the call Stoudemire walks over the prone Battier, extends his hand to help his opponent up, then just pulls it away and walks off.

• A look at which teams are getting the most free throws attempts per possession in the playoffs — or, who is getting the calls. Memphis tops the list with the Heat second, the Hawks and Bulls are on the bottom. What can you take away from this? The teams that pound the ball inside and attack the rim get the calls, the teams that settles for jumpers do not. Same as it ever was.

• The NBA is launching official Pinterest and Tumblr accounts during the playoffs. Got to say that the NBA gets social media.

• Remember when Kobe Bryant put up his plastic mask for auction to raise money for charity? Someone paid $67,000 for it. Yes, you read that right.

• Don Nelson, the 71-year-old Hall of Fame coach, will get his college degree this week. And I thought it took me a long time to graduate.

• Coach Scott Brooks is looking for ways to keep the Thunder from getting bored while waiting for the next round. I sense a Fruit Ninja contest coming….

• The Hornets Jarrett Jack was supposed to be down for a couple of months back when the team shut him down April 9.

• Mickael Pietrus has a connection with the fans in Boston.

Dan Gilbert thinks his Cavaliers can make the playoffs next season. Stop laughing, he means it.

• Expect Earl Clark to pick up his option with the Magic.

“Where the Wild Things Are” as read by Christopher Walken. 

It’s not about the shoes: Kevin Durant loses his, blocks two shots anyway

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Shoes? Kevin Durant don’t need no stinkin’ shoes.

Early in the second quarter of the Warriors win in New Orleans Friday, Durant came out of his shoes on a layup in the lane. He then picked up his shoe, carried it to the other end, flipped it to the bench, and played defense without it, and while he got moved out of the way allowing an offensive rebound for the Pelicans he then proceeded to block Tony Allen twice at the rim.

Durant — after deciding to play the rest of the game in shoes — had seven blocks on the night, to go with 22 points.

Joel Embiid frustrated, wants more post touches, to play back-to-backs

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Joel Embiid remains a frustrated man.

He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.

Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said.  “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”

I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.

His second frustration came from the loss to the Celtics on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”

He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. That will work especially well against teams going small (for example, the Cavaliers with Kevin Love at the five), although Friday night Boston had big man Aron Baynes starting at center (in part because of Embiid, in part because Marcus Smart was out injured). Still, Embiid can score on Baynes.

Take a look at Embiid’s shot chart from Friday night.

Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.