Dwight Howard

Tuesday And-1 links: Dwight Howard not that influential. Apparently.


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.

• Dwight Howard and James Dolan — congratulations! You made GQ’s list of least influential people in sports. Apparently the people at GQ have never heard Dolan’s band play.

Which NBA teams have the most shout-outs in rap songs? You should be able to guess that.

• If you want to hear Kevin Durant’s new hip-hop track, follow the link.

• This is a really fantastic bit of writing by Jessica Camerato of CSNNE.com, detailing the Celtics Avery Bradley and what he has had to do to recover from shoulder surgery.

• If you read one thing today, Zach Lowe’s look around the NBA at Grantland should be it.

• Jrue Holiday thinks he deserves All-Star consideration. Holiday is having a fantastic season, the best of his career. But voters (and the coaches picking the reserves) chose not by position but rather two guards, which means he is in a conference with where he has to get picked in front of guards like Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson, Kyrie Irving (Derrick Rose happens to be out) it just seems unlikely.

• Stephen Curry talks about he changed his game since Monta Ellis was traded.

• In case you missed it, Marco Belinelli got a DNP-Coach’s Decision Monday. He is pretty much out of the Bulls rotation.

• Ricky Rubio is in a new “backyard wrestler” ad for Foot Locker.

• Lamar Odom is averaging 1.4 points per game on 21.4 percent shooting with a PER of 2.7. Yikes. Now Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said Lamar Odom knows he needs to play better and he is working to keep Odom “engaged.” Not good, Clippers fans. Not good at all.

• Better news Clippers fans — here is a Q&A with Chauncey Billups.

Here’s the video of the elbow Matt Barnes threw that got him ejected.

• Want to spend a day with Phil Jackson? TMZ camera crews following you around are not included, but you can ask him to tell you the real story about Jerry Kraus or Jim Buss. Just make a $10 donation through the Web site Omaze.com to the American Indian College Fund and you are entered in the raffle. The winner will receive airfare and accommodation for 2 to Los Angeles in addition to their day with Jackson. Sorry, also Jeannie not part of the package.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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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.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

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.