LeBron James, Tony Parker named conference players of the month

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LeBron James and Tony Parker were named conference players of the month for games played in January, the league announced via official release.

It was the third straight player of the month award for James, and for Parker, while his numbers weren’t necessarily dominant, he led his team to a Western Conference best record of 12-3 in January.

Here are a few of the more noteworthy performances from the pair that helped earn them this honor.

LeBron James, Miami Heat

Jan. 2 vs Dallas: Recorded 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists in a 119-109 overtime win over the Mavericks.
Jan. 17 @ L.A. Lakers: Scored a season-high 39 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists in a 99-90 road victory over the Lakers.
Jan. 27 @ Boston: Finished with 34 points and a season-high 16 rebounds in a 100-98 double overtime loss to the Celtics.

Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs

Jan. 2 @ Milwaukee: Had 23 points and 11 assists in a 117-110 road win over the Bucks.
Jan. 19 vs Atlanta: Scored 23 points and dished out 12 assists while committing only one turnover in a 98-93 win at Atlanta.
Jan. 23 vs New Orleans: Collected 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the floor to go with a season-high 13 assists in a 106-102 win against the Hornets.

Other players considered included Brook Lopez, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Kyrie Irving, Danilo Gallinari, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, LaMarcus Aldridge and Emeka Okafor.

Report: With his knee not progressing as hoped, Kyrie Irving to get second opinion

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Kyrie Irving has missed the last three Celtics games — two of them losses — due to a sore knee. This is the same knee where he fractured a kneecap in the 2015 NBA Finals, and GM Danny Ainge admitted that in the next few years Irving may need a maintenance surgery to keep the issues down.

Now comes a report that just time off has not yet had the desired effect on Irving’s knee, so he will seek a second opinion, Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports broke the story and Brad Stevens of the Celtics confirmed it (with some more details by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports).

There is no timetable for Irving’s return, but he will not be on the Celtics’ four-game road swing through the West that starts Friday.

Getting a second opinion is the smart move. NBA team doctors are very good at their jobs, but as with any serious medical issue, a second opinion is a good idea (plus, team doctors are paid by the team, which can create a conflict of interest). Most likely the second doctor says “rest is all you need,” but better to be safe than sorry.

Boston is going to be ultra conservative in bringing Irving back. The simple fact is that in the wake of injuries to Daniel Theis and Marcus Smart (who maybe could return in the second round of the playoffs), it’s unlikely the Celtics get out of the Eastern Conference this season. They lack a high-level secondary playmaker on offense after Irving (Boston’s offense is eight points per 100 possessions worse when Irving is not on the court this season) and with the injuries their defense can’t carry them far enough. Boston has always played the long game with this rebuild, and they will do it with Irving as well.

Jordan Clarkson says he believes dinosaurs were pets of bigger people

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Kyrie Irving debuted his flat-earth beliefs on Channing Frye‘s and Richard Jefferson‘s podcast.

Now, another Cavaliers guard is following in those footsteps with another zany theory.

Jordan Clarkson on Road Trippin’:

I don’t believe in dinosaurs, either. Well no, I actually do. I believe that – this is gonna get a little crazy, alright? I’m gonna take y’all a little left on this. OK, so y’all know how we got dogs and stuff, right?

So, I think it was bigger people in the world before us, and, like, the dinosaurs was their pets.

How big were these people? Clarkson:

Oh, you look at a dinosaur. They got to be three times bigger than them.

I too have seen The Flintstones:

Stephen Curry cleared for return by Warriors doctors, Friday vs. Hawks likely date

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For the second half of their last game, a loss in San Antonio, the Warriors were without all four All-Stars — Kevin Durant (ribs), Stephen Curry (ankle), Klay Thompson (thumb), and Draymond Green (hip contusion).

Starting Friday against the Hawks at Oracle Arena, at least one of those guys should be back — Curry.

This was expected. If this had been the playoffs, Curry would have returned last weekend,  but considering his multiple ankle sprains this season and his importance to the team, the Warriors decided to be extremely cautious. They will do the same with Durant, Green, and Thompson, with the goal of having them all healthy at the start of the postseason.

Curry is averaging 26.3 points and 6.2 assists per game, shooting 42.4 percent from three this season. The Warriors offense is 14 points per 100 possessions better this season when Curry is on the court.


Kevin Love on back slide: ‘I don’t know what the hell that was’ (video)

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

In the Cavaliers’ win over the Bucks last night and his first game back from injury, Kevin Love fell while shooting then very oddly slid up court on his back.

Rob Perez:

Love, via Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com:

“I don’t know what the hell that was,” Love told a private group of reporters while being shown the video at his locker. “I was just having fun.”

When I saw that, I was having fun, too.