Chris Paul

Tuesday And-1links: Chris Paul could be back this weekend

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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.

• The Clippers have lost seven of nine and need something to get them back to the potential contender status they were playing at the first couple months of the season… like the return of Chris Paul, for example. He has missed eight of those nine games with a bruised knee. That’s not a coincidence. As good as Eric Bledsoe is — and teams want to trade for him for a reason — the Clippers are 5-5 when CP3 sits and he starts this season. Good news for the Clippers is Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups could be back by this weekend, reports Arash Markazi at ESPNLosAngeles.com.

• Here is a great breakdown of what has gone wrong with the Clippers while Paul has been out.

• Speaking of returns, Andrew Bynum is still on target for sometime in February. I know, it’s vague, but it’s the best we can do.

• If you read one thing today, it should be the oral history (and watch the video) of the Costacos brothers poster/wall art empire.

Zach Lowe at Grantland with an amazing breakdown of how the Chicago Bulls defend the pick-and-roll a little differently than everyone else. And it works for them.

• Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament talks about playing pickup basketball. And how Kurt Cobain used to give him crap about it.

You want to own the blueprints for the Jordan statue outside the United Center? You can. If you have a cool $100,000 lying around.

• The league made Joakim Noah change the outfit he was wearing on the bench Monday night.

A Q&A with Nate Robinson.

• Utah’s Gordon Hayward is doubtful against the Bucks on Wednesday because of his shoulder injury.

• In Sacramento, Aaron Brooks is out of coach Keith Smart’s rotation.

• Finally, this baby has more trick shots than you do.

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).