Monday And-1 Links: Luke Walton wants another shot in NBA

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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.

• Luke Walton spent most of last season on the Cleveland bench (he got in 50 games) and, when he couldn’t get picked up for this season by anyone, landed a gig as a studio analyst on the Lakers broadcasts. Not bad. But he told ESPNLosAngeles.com what he really wants is to get back in the NBA.

“I want to play still,” said Walton, who has already met with the Lakers’ D-League affiliate, the L.A. D-Fenders, to discuss fulfilling a player development role that will allow him to work out with the team along with his TV duties. “I’ve trained all summer as if I was going to get a call. The call never came, so, I’m going to keep working out … If nothing happens this year, then I’ll probably admit that it’s officially over.”

• J.J. Redick, who has missed all of training camp with a bruised left quad, was back on the practice court for the Clippers Monday. Good sign for that team.

• In other news the Clippers waived Brandon Davies. Their roster is down to 15 now.

• The Clippers are going to be part of the NBA’s opening night — and TNT is going to broadcast its pre/post game show that night from the streets of New York City. Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson will broadcast live from Flatiron Plaza on opening night, part of a promotion with NBA 2K14.

• This is a fantastic look by Zach Harper at the impact of stretch fours on a team’s defense. Some are better than others. As you would expect LeBron James and Dirk Nowitizki fare well in the comparison, but Steve Novak and Metta World Peace do as well.

• Speaking of quality NBA writing, J.A. Adande hit the nail on the head talking about Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and loyalty.

• Another story, and a good one, about the fall of former Georgetown star Victor Page.

• An entire tumblr dedicated to people yelling at Mario Chalmers.

• As expected by everyone, the Pelicans picked up the options on Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers.

• Utah Jazz rookie center Rudy Gobert may be a 7’1″ Frenchman, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t look good with some sparkly nail polish… that or he’s getting hazed by the team veterans. Probably the latter.

Watch Hassan Whiteside beat the Pistons at the buzzer with tip-in (VIDEO)

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The Miami Heat took until the final moments on Tuesday night to beat the Detroit Pistons, but it was worth it. With just a handful of games left to play, the Heat need to stave off the Chicago Bulls for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Thanks to a tip at the buzzer by Hassan Whiteside, they’re one step closer to achieving that goal.

The play came with just seconds left in the fourth quarter. James Johnson missed a shot with six seconds to go, and the Heat grabbed the rebound. Goran Dragic then tried his hand, but he couldn’t get it to go, either.

That’s when Whiteside came back with a tip at the buzzer that ended the game.

Via Twitter:

Miami now sits at 36-38, a game above the Bulls for the No. 8 seed.

Whiteside, meanwhile, is never going to wash that hand again:

Kobe Bryant says LeBron James has earned the right to take a rest (VIDEO)

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Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was a pretty consistent player in the NBA. Save for his final injury-laden seasons and the lockout year of 2011-12, Bryant played in no fewer than 65 regular season games in a single season.

Coaches also had no reason or want to ask Bryant — a notorious worker — to sit out in order to rest. That wasn’t really on the menu, and Bryant knew that.

Speaking to ESPN’s First Take, Bryant said no coach really asked him to ever take a rest, “I’ve never been approached by a coach and asked to rest.”

Bryant remarked that he took queues from Michael Jordan during tough stretches of the season — back-to-backs or four games in five night scenarios — where he could switch his game up, floating from perimeter to post, in order to save energy during those matchups.

Bryant also said during the same interview that he understands the complexity of the modern game, and that players like LeBron James deserve to take a rest if they’ve earned it.

“LeBron has done so much for the game. He’s earned the opportunity to take a rest,” said Bryant.

The debate on this subject will continue, it seems.

Phil Jackson’s reaction to Kristaps Porzingis getting turned upside down feels about right

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New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis is the future of the franchise, so any time he’s upended and nearly lands on his noggin it’s a cause for concern. To say the least.

That’s what happened on Monday night, as Porzingis got turned upside down during a play near the basket during a game against the Detroit Pistons.

Porzingis was OK on the play, and Detroit big man Andre Drummond did his best to help catch him so nothing too scary happened.

Still, Knicks president Phil Jackson had a pretty hilarious reaction to the whole thing. I guess that’s what happens when you watch your basketball life flash before your eyes.

Porzingis was unhurt and played a full 37 minutes. New York beat Detroit, 109-95.

Jimmy Butler won’t pick LeBron over Durant as toughest matchup in NBA, and for good reason

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Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler is a smart dude. He’s spent years of offseason work turning himself into a max-level player, and that shows he knows not only how to work but how to attack the game of basketball.

He’s also smart enough to know he shouldn’t go poking the bear when it comes to two future Hall of Fame players in LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

When asked whether the Cleveland Cavaliers star or the Golden State Warriors scorer was the toughest matchup in the NBA, Butler made sure he wasn’t adding any kind of blackboard material to rile up either player.

Via Twitter:

The best way to defend LeBron or Durant: don’t make them angry.

Smart move, Jimmy.