Here is our regular 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.
• Kendrick Perkins is convinced that the only place Kevin Garnett will play next season is Boston.
• A judge has thrown out Cuttino Mobley’s lawsuit claiming the New York Knicks forced him to retire after they discovered a life-threatening heart condition.
• Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol co-own a thoroughbred race horse that came in second by a nose over the weekend.
• A fantastic interview with Christian Laettner, including about his Dream Team experience.
• Likely top-3 pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist tweaked his back during his workout for the Bobcats Monday, but it is not considered serious enough to cause him to miss future workouts for other teams.
• UConn center and draft enigma Andre Drummond said he has dropped 22 pounds since the end of his college years as he prepped for the NBA Draft. You can take that one of two ways: Either he is serious about the draft and getting himself together, or you can ask why wasn’t he motivated in college and what happens when he gets a good payday?
• Perry Jones III says he is a more confident and ready player now than he was at Baylor.
• Austin Rivers talks about preparing for the NBA Draft, and says he’s confident not cocky.
• Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans thinks he should have the ball in his hands more. Stunning, I know.
• Celtics guard Avery Bradley is soon to have his second shoulder surgery. He should be ready to go when the season starts.
• The Celtics have reached kind of a hybrid agreement to have the Maine Red Claws as their affiliate. By the way, Maine Red Claws is easily my favorite D-League team name.
• Czech guard Tomas Satoransky — who impressed our own Brett Pollakoff at adidas EuroCamp — will remain in the 2012 NBA Draft.
• Disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy won his lawsuit against the publisher of his book.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.