Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers

Wednesday And-1 links: LeBron, Kobe among the most clutch in the league

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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 Mark Cuban loves to tweak Phil Jackson….

• Does it really surprise you that a look at the best players in the clutch finds LeBron James and Kobe Bryant near the top of the list? Interesting to see Kyrie Irving there, however.

• Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford talk about the greatness of Tim Duncan and his resurgence this season.

• When teams face the Spurs in the playoffs, did the Heat give them the blueprint on how to beat them?

• Carmelo Anthony says the Heat can be beat. And he said that before he dropped 50 on them.

• What’s it like to watch JaVale McGee highlights with JaVale McGee?

• I’m not fully sold on Henry Abbott’s call for Erik Spoelstra as Coach of the Year, but his point about coaching less rather than over-coaching a team is spot on.

• Stephen Curry is really, really good at shooting the basketball.

• Along those same lines, here is a breakdown of the habits of the game’s best shooters.

• John Wall thinks Derrick Rose should sit out the season. Because everybody has to be asked about this.

• The documentary about Amare Stoudemire’s life is set to air on April 19, the night before the NBA playoffs begin. At least we know Stoudemire will be in the documentary.

• Knicks owner James Dolan did the whole “don’t you know who I am?” thing and fired a security guard that didn’t recognize him. But at least later had a change of heart.

Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins talks about the Rudy Gay trade and why the team is doing so well since it happened.

• The Pacers playoff losses to the Heat last year shaped the basis of their success this year.

Looking at the Pistons NBA draft lottery odds.

• And for fun, watch next year’s No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins throw down an impressive dunk at the McDonald’s All American dunk contest.

Stephen Curry gets fouled, hits crazy rainbow circus shot vs. Jazz (VIDEO)

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Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is a wizard when it comes to shots you don’t think can ever reach the iron. Each time he does something like this, he surprises you even though you should be used to it by now.

But I’m not. The Utah Jazz aren’t. Heck, maybe even Steph isn’t used to it by now.

As Curry was driving down the left side of the floor on Thursday, Shelvin Mack got out of position and wound up trailing the Warriors star. With Curry rounding the pick, Mack reached and earned a foul.

Thinking quickly, Curry then hoisted up a rainbow of a shot that gently kissed the net on the way down.

Curry would go on to make the free throw for the 3-point play.

Watch Karl-Anthony Towns blow by two defenders, posterize Jonas Valanciunas

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We’re 21 games into Minnesota Timberwolves C Karl-Anthony Towns‘ sophomore season and it already seems cliche to say that he has guard skills

But, like, he does have guard skills.

There was more evidence of that on Thursday night as the Timberwolves matched up with the Toronto Raptors in Canada.

With the ball near the top of the arc and with the Raptors defense collapsing on the Minnesota guards, Towns saw an opportunity to split the defense and run to the rim with the ball.

Toronto C Jonas Valanciunas slid over to meet Towns at the rim, but there wasn’t much anyone could do.

https://streamable.com/sixp

Spurs’ Pau Gasol goofs, heads toward Bulls locker room in return to Chicago (VIDEO)

Pau Gasol
AP
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Pau Gasol spent two seasons at the United Center with the Chicago Bulls, so it made sense that when he returned as a member of the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, he would know his way around. In fact, Gasol knows the bowels of Chicago’s home arena so well that he wound up walking toward the wrong locker room as a force of habit.

During the NBA on TNT’s coverage of the game, reporter Allie LaForce showed cameras following Gasol after he said hello to some folks in the tunnel.

Unfortunately, Gasol walked about 15 feet before realizing he was heading to the wrong side.

Maybe it was something of an indicator for the night, as the first few quarters of play between the Spurs and the Bulls were extremely sloppy.

Bucks fans chant “SoundCloud rapper” at Blazers star Damian Lillard

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AP
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Damian Lillard had the No. 1 hip-hop album on iTunes. Milwaukee Bucks fans still think he needed to get taken down a peg, so on Wednesday during a game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Bucks, fans in Milwaukee had a message for Lillard.

Well, it was more of a cheer:

Via Twitter:

If you can’t quite make out what Bucks fans are saying, it was pretty simple: “Sound-Cloud rap-per!”

Lillard famously began his rapping career as an NBA player by releasing songs on SoundCloud — a mostly-free online audio hosting site — but he’s now graduated to a big release with professional production and guest spots by industry legends like Lil’ Wayne, Juvenile, and Jamie Foxx. His debut full-length album came out in October and is called “The Letter O”.

The Blazers superstar also started his own label in November.

Still, the Bucks arena experience is pretty great considering the coordinated t-shirts, the Bandwagon Cam, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.