Steve Nash says Sixers Jrue Holiday should be an All-Star

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Is Jrue Holiday an All-Star player?

Holiday wants to be and after he dropped 26 points and 10 assists on the Lakers Tuesday night Steve Nash told the Los Angeles Times he thinks Holiday should be. (Insert your own joke about playing like an All-Star against Steve Nash’s defense here.)

“Obviously they’re a different team with him. We beat them at their place by 20 without him,” Nash said (the margin was actually 13 points in the December meeting, 111-98). “I think he gives them obviously a very talented players but he also makes guys around him better. He makes it more difficult for you to guard [Evan] Turner, [Jason] Richardson and the other guys on the perimeter….

“He’s a terrific player,” Nash said. “He’s an All-Star this year.”

Holiday is having the best year of his career, having to take on a lot more offensive load with Andre Iguodala in the Rockies and Andrew Bynum in a rehab facility (or bowling or wherever). It’s not just that he had to take on more shots, it’s that he’s hitting them at a higher percentage than ever (45.4) and getting to the line more often. He is scoring 17.6 points a game and dishing out 8.9 assists per contest. His PER is a career best 18.7.

But All-Star in the East?

It’s close. There will probably be five or so backcourt players on the East roster and the fans are voting Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo in as the starters (Holiday is eighth on that list).

After that who do you put in? I would probably go Kyrie Irving, Monta Ellis and Holiday. But I could be swayed another direction. Is Holiday better than the slumping Deron Williams? What about Raymond Felton (who should be back from his broken finger around the All-Star Game)? Lou Williams has been playing well in Atlanta. Kemba Walker is putting up numbers as a Bobcat.

It’s tight. But Holiday is close. And he got one big endorsement.

Carmelo Anthony leaves without speaking to media, will probably get fined

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Lately, Carmelo Anthony has parsed whether the Thunder are frustrated or angry and said he’s going through the roughest stretch of his career.

It didn’t get any better last night.

Anthony scored 11 points on 12 shots with three turnovers, and Oklahoma City got outscored by 21 points with him on the floor in a home loss to the Hornets. The Thunder have now lost two of three, falling to the lowly Nets and Hornets and needing overtime to beat the freefalling Grizzlies.

Royce Young of ESPN:

Anthony today:

I’m sorry. My bad. I had a FaceTime session with my son, so I skipped out on you guys yesterday. I apologize. It’s true, though. That’s true. It’s true. He had a school night.

The NBA’s media-access rules state: “All players must be available to the media for a minimum of five to 10 minutes during the postgame media access period.” It’s been a while since someone got punished for violating the policy, but Kevin Garnett was fined $25,000 for not speaking to the media after Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals.

I’m sympathetic to Anthony wanting to speak to his son, who’s still in New York. But the league tends not to take these personal concerns into consideration, which is probably for the best. There’s a rule. Anthony violated it. Assessing which personal calls should supersede the rule is a can of worms not worth opening. Besides, Anthony probably could have returned to the locker room for an interview after concluding the call.

Anthony earns a lot of money. If he wanted to risk a $25,000 fine to speak with his son, I have absolutely no problem with that. But that’s probably the choice he made.

In my experience, Anthony has been forthright with the media. He spent years as the face of the Knicks, dutifully answering for problems created by James Dolan and Phil Jackson. Because he was available nearly daily while his superiors avoided interviews, Anthony was the grilled by the New York media.

I bet he expected a reprieve in Oklahoma City. Instead, the spotlight has shined on him as a problem with the underwhelming Thunder.

It’s understandable he’d rather talk to his son than reporters. But it’s also understandable the NBA wants to promote its business through the media, and the league has power to enforce its rules.

Grizzlies fan absolutely owns kids halftime scrimmage (video)

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The Grizzlies lost for the 15th time in their last 16 games, a 25-point drubbing at home against the Heat, last night.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom in Memphis.

This young fan – while playing in the halftime scrimmage – stopped his dribble, stepped on the ball, whipped off his youth jersey to reveal a Marc Gasol jersey, flexed, re-started his dribbled then drove for a basket.

Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation:

The Grizzlies don’t deserve this hero.

DeMarcus Cousins pushes Trevor Ariza after whistle, gets technical foul (video)

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For better or worse, DeMarcus Cousins is moody.

Just after getting dunked on by Clint Capela, Cousins showed his frustration by pushing Trevor Ariza after a whistle. The Pelicans center got his NBA-leading ninth technical foul – automatic suspension triggered at No. 16 – but I’m surprised this didn’t escalate beyond just that.

Paul George floors Jeremy Lamb with crossover, hits step-back 3-pointer over him (video)

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The Thunder suffered a rough home loss to the Hornets, but at least Oklahoma City produced a couple fun highlights.

Not only did Russell Westbrook have this powerful dunk, Paul George put the moves on Jeremy Lamb.