Monday And-1 links: Andrew Bogut did not practice Monday

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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 more than shopaholics love Black Friday…

• Andrew Bogut did not practice with the Warriors on Monday, despite reports he was expected to. This means the report he could be playing by this Saturday is in doubt. Which is not great for the Warriors, they could use him to help stabilize the defense.

• While we’re in the Bay Area, here’s a report discussing why the Warriors’ ownership’s goal of being in a new arena in San Francisco by 2017 is probably overly optimistic.

• Here are pictures people have snapped of Andrew Bynum around Philadelphia, getting gas and at a firing range. So, he does exist.

• Justin Bieber was hanging out, playing some late-night pickup With Amir Johnson and Drake. As you always suspected he did.

• The Kings Omri Casspi, the lone NBA player from Israel, discusses the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Zach Harper doing some good thinking/writing on why the Timberwolves are 0-2 since Kevin Love’s return.

• What is the buzz suggestion in Los Angeles on Monday among fans — moving Pau Gasol to sixth man and starting Antawn Jamison. If I were a Lakers fan I can see the appeal, but I need to make two points. First, Gasol has to buy in fully or it doesn’t work. Second, and more importantly, this does not solve the issue of how to space Dwight Howard and Gasol. And the Lakers need to figure that out. Even if Gasol doesn’t start he should be finishing games for the Lakers — as Manu Ginobili did off the bench for the Spurs, for example — and you’ve still got the same issue. Same in New York with Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, while we are at it.

• Is Omer Asik the best defensive center in the NBA? (I’d say no but he’s also a lot closer than most fans realize.)

• The Kings have a new starting lineup — Aaron Brooks, Tyreke Evans, John Salmons, Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins — and it is working very well, thank you very much.

• Ronnie Brewer is seeing decreasing minutes for the Knicks because his production isn’t there, which seems to tie back to his surgically-repaired knee.

• Lance Stephenson has signed an endorsement deal with AND 1 (which has not yet signed to sponsor this column).

• The Utah Jazz have assigned rookie guard Kevin Murphy to the Reno Big Horns of the D-League.

• Gary Forbes has signed to play with the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions in China.

John Wall scores 37 as Wizards down LeBron James, Cavs 127-115

Associated Press
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CLEVELAND (AP) John Wall scored 37 points, Bradley Beal added 27 and the Washington Wizards began a challenging road trip by beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-115 on Saturday night.

Wall scored 18 in the first quarter, when the Wizards shot 82 percent, and Washington held on down the stretch to avenge an overtime loss to the NBA champions last month.

James, who briefly wore goggles to protect an eye injury sustained Friday night, scored 24 and added 11 rebounds and eight assists. Kyrie Irving added 23 points and Kevin Love 17 for Cleveland, playing at home for the only time in a seven-game stretch.

Washington’s victory cut Cleveland’s lead in the Eastern Conference to a half-game over idle Boston.

Rudy Gobert calls out Jazz teammates after loss: “We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice.”

Associated Press
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Utah and the L.A. Clippers are almost locked into a first round, four vs. five battle in the Western Conference. The only question is which team will have home court, and the Clippers took a big step towards that beating the Jazz at home Saturday. While the Jazz still has a half-game lead, the Clippers have a much softer schedule the rest of the way.

After that loss, Jazz center Rudy Gobert was ticked off and called out his teammates. Via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“We’ve got guys that compete, but some of us don’t compete. Some of us just think about scoring. That’s what it is. … Coach keeps repeating it: We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice. Those guys, we know they’re going to get calls. We’ve just got to come out aggressive and ready to fight.”

Interesting comments for a team that is third in the NBA in defensive rating and 13th in offense.

Gobert is frustrated as Utah has dropped four of its last five, and the slump has been on both ends of the court. The defense has struggled, but if guys are looking to score too much they aren’t doing it efficiently because the offense has been worse.

This slide likely costs Utah home court in the first round, which could matter in what will be a tight matchup with Los Angeles. Utah needs to find its grinding rhythm again heading into the playoffs, at their best they can knock off the Clippers in the first round. Just not like they are playing now.

One thing to watch, Utah’s Gordon Hayward asked out of the game in the fourth quarter due to what is being called a bruised muscle in his leg. If he misses any time or if this lingers, it could be trouble for the Jazz in the postseason.

 

LeBron James starts game with protective goggles. That lasts about a minute.

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LeBron James suffered a scratched cornea Friday night when he went up for a layup late in the third quarter and Jeremy Lamb tried to contest and caught him clean across the face. LeBron got the and-1, but had trouble keeping his eye open in postgame interviews Friday.

Saturday he did play — wearing protective goggles. As you can see above.

That lasted about a minute.

LeBron was likely frustrated as the Cavaliers defensive woes had the Wizards up double digits much of the first half.

Kobe Bryant says he’s “only a phone call away” if organization needs his advice

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For the first time since he walked off the court in his final game, Kobe Bryant was back at Staples Center Friday night.

The reason was Shaquille O’Neal was getting a statue out in front of Staples Center (a building that may not have gotten built without the two of them). The two famed feuders sat next to each other and joked around through the ceremony. Time heals all wounds.

With the new management of the Lakers — specifically Kobe’s former agent Rob Pelinka as GM — there has been speculation Kobe could take on a role. He’s not looking for something formal, according to reports, but he didn’t say no, either, when asked.

I picture Kobe as a guy who someday buys a team, not a guy who wants to haggle with agents over the details of a contract. He’s not going to take on a day-to-day role, he likes the retired life and what he is building with the Kobe brand.

That said, the Lakers front office can use all the smart voices it can get as they try speed up a rebuild. They should give him a call every once in a while.