Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five

Another report Kobe loves LA’s Princeton offense. So what?

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There is a legitimate question about Kobe Bryant and the Princeton offense. But that question is not “will he grasp it?”

Laker.com and Lakers broadcast sideline reporter (plus friend of this blog) Mike Trudell tweeted this out Monday.

Kobe Bryant has already had a few meetings w/Brown & Jordan about the Princeton. Jordan said he’d literally already picked it up in advance.

The mentioned Jordan would be Lakers assistant coach and Princeton offense guru Eddie Jordan.

That all sounds very Kobe — he pushed for the offense because it reminded him of the triangle with a focus on spacing and no set plays (you make an action then the next action depends on the defensive reaction, it’s a read and react offense). You knew he was into the idea. And nobody sane is questioning Kobe’s basketball IQ or work ethic. He’ll get it.

None of that was the real question.

The question is will he run the sets — or let Steve Nash control the flow of the offense — in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter? The Lakers become predictable and defensible when he tries to go isolation in the final minutes of games. He hits some big shots, but he misses plenty too, and the bigger issue is everyone stands around and things become stagnant.

The Lakers have a lot of weapons, they will have mismatches to exploit late in games. The key is to use the Princeton offense — or any set of plays — to go at those and not just devolve into easy to defend sets. That’s the question before the Lakers.

Boston’s Marcus Smart gets flopping warning from NBA

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 17:  Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the second quarter of the preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden on October 17, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Boston’s Marcus Smart is one of the league’s more notorious floppers.

He was at it again Monday night against the Houston Rockets — and the league called him on it and gave him a warning.

It happened on the game’s final play — you were probably focused elsewhere, wondering how Al Horford could miss the game-winning layup. But watch Smart as he gets in position for the rebound on that shot.

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The referees didn’t buy it then.

This warning is barely a slap on the wrist. If — in his case, when — Smart gets caught a second time this season he will get a $5,000 fine from the league. Smart is making $3.6 million this season.

Happy birthday Larry Bird. We celebrate with some highlights.

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Larry Bird — the Celtics legend, three-time NBA champion, three-time MVP, 10-time All-NBA — turns 60 on Wednesday.

We celebrate by looking back at his 60-point game March 12, 1985, against the Hawks (video above, and yes that game was played in New Orleans).

Want more Larry the Legend highlights? We got you covered.

Hawks’ Mike Scott sent to D-League on rehab assignment

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Mike Scott #32 of the Atlanta Hawks poses during media day on September 26, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Scott is expected to play at least two games in the NBA Development League as he comes back from a knee injury that kept him out of training camp and the first 18 games of the season.

Scott played 15 minutes for the Delaware 87ers in Tuesday night’s loss to the Santa Cruz Warriors. He scored four points on 2-of-7 shooting, missing all four of his attempts from 3-point range.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer says the D-League is the best way for Scott to get “meaningful, competitive minutes” after undergoing a non-surgical procedure on his left knee.

Scott has played three games for Atlanta since his return. In 28 minutes, he has two points on 1-of-9 attempts, to go along with eight rebounds and six assists.

Watch Kyle O’Quinn throw alley-oop to Carmelo Anthony

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Carmelo Anthony isn’t young anymore, but he had the bounce to go get this one.

These were your two best players for the Knicks in their win over Miami Tuesday. Kyle O'Quinn was forced into action earlier than expected when Joakim Noah went on a fouling spree in the third quarter, but O’Quinn played well in the role. ‘Melo dropped 35 on 27 shots — he’s not as efficient as he once was, but he can still get some buckets.

The Knicks picked up a needed win, because they play a back-to-back Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers and a ticked-off LeBron James (New York will pay the price for Phil Jackson’s “posse” comments with a motivated LeBron Wednesday).