Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks

Thursday And-1 links: Heat looking at Harrellson, Birdman

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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 like James T. Kirk loves green women.

• The Miami Heat need some depth up front. On Thursday former Knick and Rocket Josh Harrellson worked out for the Heat on Thursday. Chris Andersen also has let the Heat know he is interested in a deal. Any deal would be for the league minimum as that is all the Heat can offer this far over the cap. There also will not be a lot of minutes — Miami is going small ball with Chris Bosh at the five and likely playing Udonis Haslem there as well. But they want some size on the bench besides Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman.

• Lakers fans, watch this video from BBallBreakdown.com (love their work) of how your offense will look with Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol… then stop drooling. This is going to be a very good offensive team once they find their groove. For them (as it was in the last title runs) the question is will they defend well enough?

• Lakers fans, Kobe Bryant turned 34 Thursday. SLAM celebrated by picking out his 34 best dunks.

• Who were the most unlikely 50-point scorers in a game in NBA history? Here’s a pretty good list. I didn’t remember Tony Delk doing that at all.

• Here’s a link to a video of Jeff Green talking about his return to Boston.

• Wizards fans looking for a detailed scouting report on Martell Webster, here you go.

• Former Raptors head man Jay Triano is getting the job as the head man of the Canadian national team.

• Royce White is a writer. But the Rocket doesn’t write about basketball.

• Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren is on the Sixers radar as they keep looking for a new general manager for next season.

• Rodrigue Beaubois is working out with boxing this offseason.

• Who wouldn’t want a Manu Ginobili bobblehead?

• Maya Moore is leading the WNBA in jersey sales this year. She’s a star.

• Jumaine Jones signed to play with Bnei Herzliya in Israel.

• I loved this poll on RealGM of what NBA writers would make good GMs. First, happy not to be on it. Second, Jason Givony of DraftExpress.com with ESPN’s Larry Coon as the capologist might not be bad (Sebastian Pruiti will be a scout for them), but the rest of these guys… not moves a smart owner makes. With no offense intended to Woj.

• ESPN’s Bill Simmons should not be a GM, but he might be part of the ESPN pregame show (NBA Countdown) next year. And that could work.

One more look back: Top 10 clutch shots of season to this point

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The opening weeks of the season have seen some dramatic finishes — and for a Saturday night, why not watch a compilation of them? What else were you going to do? You’ve got 3:30 to sit through these.

Who got the top spot? Marc Gasol? Damian Lillard? Al Horford? John Henson? If we told you it would just destroy the surprise.

Like crossovers? Check out Top 10 handles of NBA season so far

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It’s not really fair if you ask Nemanja Bjelica to cover Stephen Curry in space, but it does make for a good highlight.

On a nice slow Saturday afternoon around the NBA, let’s take a look at the top 10 handles moves of the season so far, courtesy NBA.com. Of course, there is some wickedness from James Harden, Derrick Rose, and Chris Paul, too. But I’m good with Jordan Clarkson in the top spot.

Watch Giannis Antetokounmpo find Jabari Parker for the slam

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I want the Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker combo to work better than it does. The Buck get outscored by 2.3 points per 100 possessions when those two are on the court together, with neither end of the court working terribly well.

And yet, there are flashes — like the play above — where you think this could start to work. It just may need more time (and getting Khris Middleton back in the mix would help).

Antetokounmpo is having a phenomenal season, and is making plays.

Draymond Green fires back at league: “It’s funny how you can tell me… how my body is supposed to react”

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It’s not hard to find out how Draymond Green felt after picking up a flagrant foul Thursday night when his leg flew up after a foul and caught James Harden in the face. Just go to his Twitter feed.

Saturday at Warriors’ practice, Green expanded on the subject, here’s the video via Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News.

If you prefer to read are Green’s comments transcribed:

“I just laugh at it. It’s funny how you can tell me how I get hit and how my body is supposed to react. I didn’t know the league office was that smart when it came to body movements. I’m not sure if they took kinesiology for their positions to tell you how your body is going to react when you get hit in a certain position. Or you go up and you have guys who jump to the ceiling. A lot of these guys that make the rules can’t touch the rim, yet they tell you how you’re way up there in the air which way you’re body (is supposed to go). I don’t understand that. That’s like me going in there and saying, ‘Hey, you did something on your paperwork wrong.’ I don’t know what your paperwork looks like. But it is what it is. They made the rule. Make your rule. I don’t care. But if you’re going to say it’s an unnatural thing, an unnatural act, no offense to James Harden, but I’ve never seen nobody up until James started doing it that shoots a layup like this under your arm (sweeps arms in a demonstration). That’s really not a natural act either. That’s not a natural basketball play either. But, hey, if you’re going to make a rule, make a rule. But if you’re going to take unnatural acts out the game, then let’s lock in on all these unnatural acts and take them out the game. I don’t know. Let them keep telling people how their body react I guess. They need to go take a few more kinesiology classes though. Maybe they can take a taping class or functional movement classes. Let me know how the body works because clearly mine don’t work the right way.”

Two things.

First, Green should know that the ultimate hammer on NBA fines is Kiki Vandeweghe — former NBA player, two-time All-Star, who also coached in the league. You want a guy with a players’ perspective making the call? You already have it. And Vandeweghe played in a far more physical era than this one.

Second, the flagrant was not issued because of intent but because of the action — if you kick a guy in the face, it’s a flagrant foul. There’s no gray area here, and officials shouldn’t have to guess a player’s intent. When Green went up he was fouled by Harden, and to maintain his balance Green flailed his legs out, something he has done plenty and other players going back decades have done too. That doesn’t mean it’s not reckless. That doesn’t mean a player is still not responsible for his body. Ask soccer officials about this same issue — get your leg above the waist with other players around and it can be called a “dangerous play.” In the NBA, if your leg flies up and hits a guy in the face, it’s a flagrant foul. Whether or not you meant to do it.

Green knows the league is cracking down on this. He knows he’s a target. It’s on him to change. One would think the Finals would have taught him that lesson.