Tuesday And-1 links: Jason Segel was a high school teammate of Jason Collins

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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 Stephen Curry loves the three ball.

• Jason Segel — you know him from “How I Met Your Mother” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and, frankly his best work, “The Muppets” movie — was a high school teammate of Jason Collins. Segel was a big off the bench for Harvard-Westlake… although when you’re an average high school big man off the bench behind two future NBA seven-footers (Jason and his brother Jarron) you don’t get a lot of quality minutes. Still, impress your girlfriend with that trivia later.

• Here’s a report that Jeff Weltman, an assistant GM in Milwaukee, is the early favorite to become the Suns new GM.

• For the second straight year, Jason Kidd won the NBA’s Sportsman of the Year award.

• Former NBA All-Star Chris Gatling (yes he was in 1997) is facing criminal charges for being a squatter in an Arizona home.

• We told you before the Toronto Raptors were considering making a run at Phil Jackson to take over as president of their organization. ESPN says they are going to make their pitch this week. Jackson will listen and think it over. But accepting it is another matter.

• Pau Gasol says he would prefer to be back with the Lakers next season. Kobe Bryant says he wants Gasol back. Yet Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak was clear on Tuesday that he’s going to look at trades.

A ranking of the NBA arenas… with San Antonio’s AT&T Center on top of the list.

• J.R. Smith takes some just terrible shots, but he makes them more often than other NBA players.

• Smith is also on this list of bad shot takers/makers from SI, as is Carmelo Anthony.

• Paul George’s sister is better at basketball than you are.

• The U.S. Attorney’s office is going after a company that allegedly defrauded the NBA Players Union of $3 million.

• A great look at Andrew Bogut, Ty Lawson and four guys quietly impacting these playoffs by our man Rob Mahoney at SI.

Who are the next Shane Battiers of the league?

It’s not about the shoes: Kevin Durant loses his, blocks two shots anyway

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Shoes? Kevin Durant don’t need no stinkin’ shoes.

Early in the second quarter of the Warriors win in New Orleans Friday, Durant came out of his shoes on a layup in the lane. He then picked up his shoe, carried it to the other end, flipped it to the bench, and played defense without it, and while he got moved out of the way allowing an offensive rebound for the Pelicans he then proceeded to block Tony Allen twice at the rim.

Durant — after deciding to play the rest of the game in shoes — had seven blocks on the night, to go with 22 points.

Joel Embiid frustrated, wants more post touches, to play back-to-backs

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Joel Embiid remains a frustrated man.

He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.

Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said.  “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”

I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.

His second frustration came from the loss to the Celtics on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”

He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. That will work especially well against teams going small (for example, the Cavaliers with Kevin Love at the five), although Friday night Boston had big man Aron Baynes starting at center (in part because of Embiid, in part because Marcus Smart was out injured). Still, Embiid can score on Baynes.

Take a look at Embiid’s shot chart from Friday night.

Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.