Thursday And-1 Links: Blake Griffin taps Chandler Parsons in the… watch the video

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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 like old ladies like to complain about how loud movies are now days (written sitting at a coffee shop overhearing a conversation after “Argo”)….

In my favorite player interaction of the day, Chandler Parsons tweeted the video above to Blake Griffin, and Griffin responded.

Is there anything colder than tapping a guy in the nuts then saying “I didn’t even see you there?” Ouch.

• Chris Paul has a new fragrance coming out, so if you want to smell like CP3 (and who doesn’t)….

• There is a lot of buzz that the Knicks James White has been invited to the All-Star weekend Dunk Contest. If I were a betting man, I would bet that is spot on.

• Since John Wall came back, the Wizards have been a good defensive team. Don’t just take my word for it, ask the Knicks after Wednesday night.

• The Pacers have been a defensive force this season, but will that carry over for them into the playoffs?

• After two 10-day contracts, Shelvin Mack is out in Philadelphia and Jeremy Pargo is in.

Watch a time-lapse video of a Blake Griffin/Red Bull mural going up on a downtown Los Angeles building near Staples Center.

• Zach Lowe of Grantland is one of the best basketball writers out there and this interview with Will Leitch is a great read if you are into basketball writing. Let me echo one thing Lowe says, and consider this a lesson to young writers — write about more than just basketball (or whatever your sport of choice is). The best basketball writers are the best journalists in the field, it’s that simple.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)

LeBron James blows wide-open dunk (video)

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J.R. Smith (slightly out of context): “We don’t start paying attention until after All-Star break.”

Report: Raptors’ Delon Wright out a month

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Raptors guard Delon Wright dislocated his shoulder, but at least he won’t need surgery.

Raptors media relations:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Raptors (11-5), off to a surprisingly strong start, are second in the Eastern Conference. They’ve bought themselves margin for error. All in all, a month-long absence for Wright isn’t so bad.

Wright had been a key part of an excellent all-bench unit that included Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby, C.J. Miles and Jakob Poeltl. Two-way player Lorenzo Brown has assumed Wright’s role, and Norman Powell – returning from his own injury – will provide a boost. Toronto can also stagger Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan more.

The chemistry of the bench mob was something to behold, but the Raptors should withstand this.

Report: Clippers PG Patrick Beverley out rest of season

AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker
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Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley underwent knee surgery – never a great sign.

The prognosis is about as bad as could be expected.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

This injury isn’t just a setback for this season. It could derail the Clippers’ long-term plan.

They’ve already lost nine straight, and Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic are injured. If they fall further out of playoff position, they could become sellers before the trade deadline, especially with DeAndre Jordan ($24,119,025 player option for next season) and Lou Williams ($7 million salary on expiring contract).

Health was always the major question with this team, and it won’t soften as Blake Griffin and Danilo Gallinari age through lucrative contracts.

The final year of Beverley’s contract is guaranteed for just $5,027,028 next season, and the 29-year-old will spend most of the summer recovering from this injury. That salary is probably low enough that the Clippers will keep him without hesitation.

Until then, down a couple point guards, the Clippers have no choice but to continue leaning more on Austin Rivers. That also means greater roles for second-round rookies Jawun Evans and Sindarius Thornwell. That’s just too many players facing outsized responsibility.

The Pelicans, Grizzlies, Jazz and any other team competing for the final playoff spots in the Western Conference ought to feel better about their chances. They’re still competing with each other, and it’s doubtful all three make it. But Beverley’s injury helps clear the way.

The Clippers, who didn’t want to take a major step back after Chris Paul‘s departure, must confront an even more uneasy reality.