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.

Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah to be suspended 20 games for violating league drug policy

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Joakim Noah hasn’t set foot on an NBA court since Feb. 4, and his season was all but ended when he had knee surgery at the end of February. Last summer, Phil Jackson took a $72 million gamble on an aging Noah that has not worked at all, and left New York with an anchor of a contract for three more seasons after this one.

Tomorrow it will be official Noah is done for this season, but not because of the Knicks or his injury.

During his recovery, Noah violated the NBA’s drug policy and will pay for a 20-game suspension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

Noah tested positive for an over-the-counter supplement that is prohibited under the outgoing Collective Bargaining Agreement, league sources said.

Noah, 32, is expected to serve 10 games of the suspension to finish out the 2016-17 regular season and 10 games to start the 2017-18 season, league sources said.

The National Basketball Players Association’s investigation concluded that Noah hadn’t “knowingly or willingly” violated the policy and cooperated fully with the league’s probe, league sources said.

According to reports, this is not a substance banned in the new CBA that kicks in July 1, but was covered in the previous CBA. Over-the-counter supplements could be something put in his regular workout recovery drinks that he was unaware of, although we are unsure of the details.

Traditionally, the player has to be healthy enough to play before the league starts the suspension. Noah has been out for more than a month, but if a league doctor says he is healthy enough to play the then the clock on the suspension can start. The 10 games this season is no big deal for the Knicks, he wasn’t going to play anyway, but the 10 at the start of next season could sting (depending on how they plan to use him).

 

 

Devin Booker drops 70 points for Suns in loss to Celtics (VIDEO)

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Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.

Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.

His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.

Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon skies to finish amazing alley-oop (VIDEO)

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Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.

As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.

Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.

Former Hawk Pero Antic’s celebration accidentally punches teammate in face in Eruoleague (VIDEO)

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Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.

Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.

Maybe a little too pumped.

Ouch.

That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.

Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.

(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)