Monta Ellis

Mark Jackson says Monta Ellis trade changed Warriors culture. In a good way.

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The trade made sense on paper for Golden State when at the 2012 trade deadline the Warriors sent Monta Ellis to the Bucks for Andrew Bogut — Golden State got an inside presence they need and they could give more run to then rookie Klay Thompson.

But it did more than that.

Warriors coach Mark Jackson said the Warriors culture changed in a good way with the trade. From NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper, via Sulia.

“It helped change the culture. Obviously it was easier to pull the trigger because we knew what we had in Klay and it was time for him to be a starting two-guard. And he does everything right.”

How did that trade change the culture? Jackson paused four seconds.

“It helped change the culture,” he finally said.

Anything specific?

“You know.”

If you don’t know, you may want to ask Larry Sanders about it.

Monta Ellis is owed $11 million next season, or he can opt out of that contract and get the security of a longer-term deal at whatever price the market will bear. But it will be interesting to see what teams would make offers to Ellis, a shooter whose style is losing popularity in a league focused more on efficiency. And then there will be the chemistry questions.

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.