Tuesday And-1 links: There was a time when Scott Brooks was a baller

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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.

• His players won’t believe it, but Thunder coach Scott Brooks could ball back in the day.

• The television ratings for Game 3 dipped a little from Game 3 last year, but overall this finals remains the most watched one since 2004 (the last year of the Shaq/Kobe Lakers). And starting with Game 5 is usually when you see ratings jump.

• David Stern is on an anti-flopping kick, but Matt Steinmetz at CSNBayArea.com says that flopping is just a symptom of the problem the league has with the charge/block call overall.

• The Knicks are having some conversations about bringing in Pablo Prigioni. Who is that, you ask? He is 35, has been an international star for Argentina, and has played most of his career in the Spanish ACB league. He’s got skills, but is he the guy you bring over now?

• If you’re looking for a point guard, Patty Mills has opted out and will be a free agent.

• Kyle Singler played last season in Europe but is returning and will try to make the cut with the Pistons this year. Expect to see him at Summer League.

• Tyson Chandler loves to wear capes. Walt Frazier must be giving him tips on how to dress in NYC.

• The Bucks traded Andrew Bogut at the deadline last year and now may be targeting Illinois big man Meyers Leonard with the No. 12 pick.

• In an interesting bit of synergy, the president of the New Orleans Saints will add on the same role with the Hornets. Both teams are owned by Tom Benson and this kind of consolidation is pretty common in corporate mergers, but will it work with different sports? Something to watch.

A Q&A with Glen Davis. You call him Big Baby.

• How the Thunder are starting to adjust to the Heat’s style of play.

• Finally, we bring you Lamar Odom in a Mike & Ike commercial. You read that right.

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.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?