Rip Hamilton's birthday cake

Monday And-1 links: Rip Hamilton has a heck of a birthday cake

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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 more than old critics like slamming Seth McFarlane.

• Richard Hamilton may have had the best birthday cake I’ve ever seen. That’s it to the right (he tweeted the photo). It is real and it’s spectacular.

• Former NBA player Robert Swift had his home foreclosed, now he is just squatting there and refusing to leave.

• Former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley suffered a stroke recently after being at the NBA All-Star Game. We wish him the best.

• Raptors fans have taken to booing Andrea Bargnani. Who should be blamed for that? Try Andrea Bargnani.

• J.J. Redick admits he cried when he was traded.

• LeBron James and Kobe Bryant today are not surprisingly your Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week. LeBron averaged 23.5 points, 9.3 assists 7.8 rebounds and 2.25 steals a game for the Heat’s four games (all wins) last week. The Lakers also were undefeated also were undefeated last week and Kobe averaged 31.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 6 assists a game.

• How well is LeBron playing. Watch him make a one-handed, left-handed three-point bank shots just for fun.

• Great story on the best NBA gambler walking the face of the earth (he’s a great twitter follow, too).

• Here is another example of Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak saying they plan to keep Dwight Howard and make him the face of the franchise in a few years.

• Markieff Morris talks about getting to play with his brother now in Phoenix. It’s Jayhawk West.

• The league will not be suspending Carmelo Anthony for his hit on Spencer Hawes, according to reports out of New York.

• According to another report, the Sixers are still considering signing Chris Smith, J.R.’s brother. This seems a long shot.

• Bradley Beal chipped a couple of teeth last week.

• Playboy founder (and playboy) Hugh Hefner talks about his friend the late Lakers owner Jerry Buss.

• The Suns have cut loose Luke Zeller.

Reggie Jackson to return to Pistons lineup Sunday vs. Orlando

AUBURN HILLS, MI - APRIL 24: Reggie Jackson #1 of the Detroit Pistons tries to get around the first quarter defense of Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in game four of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Palace of Auburn Hills on April 24, 2016 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. 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 Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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The Detroit Pistons’ playoff dreams hinged on them being able to hang around until point guard Reggie Jackson got back from this thumb and knee injuries. They have done just that — the Pistons are 11-10 and would be the eighth seed if the playoffs started today.

And now they get Jackson back. Stan Van Gundy made the announcement Sunday at shootaround, before the team takes on the Orlando Magic.

It will take a few games to get his conditioning back, but this is huge for Detroit. Jackson running the pick-and-roll with Andre Drummond is at the heart of Detroit’s offense – the Pistons were 2.3 points per 100 possessions better with the ball in his hands. Ish Smith played well for the Pistons in his absence — 10.8 points per game, 6.4 assists, and he’s been solid. Move his playmaking to the second unit and suddenly the Pistons become a lot more dangerous.

Jakob Poeltl with huge poster dunk for Raptors. Yes, Jakob Poeltl. (VIDEO)

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The scouting report on Jakob Poeltl coming out of Utah said he could run the floor well and he was a good finisher around the rim.

But we didn’t expect this.

During the Raptors win Sunday against the stumbling Hawks, Poeltl filled the lane on the break, got the rock, and nobody was going to stop that finish. Least of all Tim Hardaway Jr., he just ends up in the poster.

Hassan Whiteside: “Portland was my second option”

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 28: Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Miami Heat looks on during a game against the Charlotte Hornets at American Airlines Arena on October 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. 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 Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Entering free agency last July, Hassan Whiteside said his first choice was to stay in Miami — then Pat Riley gave him 98 million reasons to stick around. While the Heat have been up and down this season, Whiteside has thrived as the franchise player in Miami.

Last July he also met with Dallas, but it turns out that was not his second choice. Here is what Whiteside told Erik Gunderson of the Miami Herald before his team fell to the Blazers on Saturday.

“Portland was my second option,” Whiteside said at the team’s Saturday shootaround in Portland. “I would have came here.”

Interesting. There were reports the Blazers chased Whiteside, but it didn’t seem that serious. Apparently, it was. If The Blazers got Whiteside, would they still have spent $70 million on Evan Turner? Probably not. And suddenly a lot of things look better in Portland.

For Blazers fans, watching their team try to outscore opponents while playing terrible defense this season — in part because of a lack of rim protection behind their undersized guards — it’s easy to imagine how much Whiteside would have changed the picture in the Northwest. But at this point, that’s just fan fiction.

JaVale McGee tries to inbound ball for wrong team, Warriors bench cracks up (VIDEO)

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JaVale McGree has become a solid contributor for the Warriors off the bench, giving them a needed shot blocking presence. He’s not getting a ton of run (seven minutes a night), but he’s efficient when he’s out there.

Still, there is his reputation as the guy most likely to end up on Shaqtin’ a Fool. He hasn’t done anything like that for a while… until Saturday night, when after a made free throw he tried to inbound the ball for the Suns for a second.

The Warriors bench was laughing under their shirts and towels.