New Uncle Drew spot is out (we have it), Nate Robinson is in it and tells PBT about it

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Not a lot of commercials create a buzz, but the new “Pepsi MAX & Kyrie Irving Present: Uncle Drew Chapter 3” has had it for weeks. The series where Irving plays Uncle Drew, an old baller getting his team back together, going out to a park and schooling the “kids” is just classic. If in part because we’ve all been schooled by the old guy at pickup before and this just takes it to the next level.

Denver’s Nate Robinson is in the series now, too, and said this is about as much fun to film as it looks like.

“It was unbelievable,” Robinson told ProBasketballTalk. “It was a very humbling experience, I’m just glad I got the chance to team up with one of the best point guards in the game right now in Kyrie Irving as Uncle Drew, Mr. AKA Get Buckets.”

Robinson plays “Lights” Jenkins, one of Drew’s old teammates turned jazz musician.

“My name manifests by every time I get in the gym I’m shooting lights out,” Robinson said, sounding a lot like the Nate Robinson fans love to watch play because he is fearless about going up with it (the same Robinson that can make coaches cringe for the exact same reason).

As he told PBT, “I only know how to be Nate Robinson.”

Which is why he kind of got bit by the acting bug getting to dress up and play someone else.

“The fun part was playing and being in costume and being another person you can be, like you’re really acting,” Robinson said. “So I kind of felt like Eddie Murphy and Tyler Perry and Martin Lawrence as ‘Big Mama.’ I just really felt a real character.”

If you’re wondering, that is supposed to be his sister is Betty Lou Jenkins, who is played by WNBA MVP Maya Moore.

So how long did it take to get into all that makeup? Robinson said he showed up at noon to start the makeup, they couldn’t start shooting until it was well into the evening at the Chicago park, after closer to 11, and they didn’t finish the commercial until about 4 a.m.

It may have been a lot of work, but you have to love the product. Pepsi MAX & Kyrie Irving Present: Uncle Drew Chapter 3 lives up to the rest of the series.

(Check back with PBT later today for more from Robinson, talking about his career, bouncing around the league and the Nuggets this season.)

Celtics’ Kyrie Irving: “It was a nice streak. But it was time to come to an end.”

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The Celtics established themselves as one of the NBA’s elite teams, a contender for the Eastern Conference title, during their 16-game win streak.

However, that hot streak to start the season will matter as much as Thanksgiving leftovers in the back of the refrigerator in April by the time the playoffs roll around. This is a team that still has work to do.

Which is what Kyrie Irving was getting at in this post-loss quote from Friday night, via Israel Gutierrez of ESPN.

“There’s still a lot to accomplish going forward,” Irving said. “It was a nice streak. But it was time to come to an end.”

This team still needs to get better and more consistent. The Celtics had to come from behind in the fourth quarter in eight of the 16 wins, and while the team defense was impressive the offense still can be hit and miss. Al Horford and Kyrie Irving play well off each other, but this is still the 20th ranked offense in the NBA. They are taking more long midrange jumpers than most coaches want, but the bigger challenge is they have not been finishing around the basket.

Titles are not won in November. Irving gets that. Jayson Tatum will hit the rookie wall at some point (they all do) and he needs to prove he can break through. Al Horford is playing maybe the best ball of his career and needs to keep it up. The Celtics need to keep their defensive focus (the fundamentals are there to have a top five defense). I could go on but you get the point, and so does Irving — there is a lot of work for this team to do.

Boston is off to a fantastic start, but it’s just that.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich: I’ve never seen injury like Kawhi Leonard’s

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Gregg Popovich is a basketball lifer.

He’s the NBA’s most experienced active head coach. Before that, he was the Spurs’ general manager. Before that, he was an NBA assistant. Before that, he was a college head coach and assistant. Before that, he was a college player. Before that, he was a youth player.

The San Antonio coach has seen everything.

Except the right quadriceps tendinopathy suffered by Kawhi Leonard, whom Popovich said more than a week would return “sooner rather than later.” Yet, Leonard still hasn’t played this season.

Popovich, via Michael C. Wright of ESPN:

“Never, never,” Popovich said when asked whether he has seen such a condition hampering one of his players. “What’s really strange is that [point guard] Tony [Parker] has the same injury, but even worse. They had to go operate on his quad tendon and put it back together or whatever they did to it. So to have two guys, that’s pretty incredible. I had never seen it before those guys.”

“I keep saying sooner rather than later,” Popovich said jokingly. “It’s kind of like being a politician. It’s all baloney, doesn’t mean anything.”

The 26-year-old Leonard is one of the NBA’s biggest on-court stars. He might be the league’s best defender, and he has built himself into an offensive force. The Spurs (11-7) have fared fine without him so far, but they’ll need him to accomplish their main goals – this year and beyond.

Hopefully, Leonard’s health is better than it sounds here, because Popovich’s answer sure isn’t encouraging.

Tim Hardaway Jr. calls fallen ref safe rather than defend shot (video)

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The Knicks went on a 28-0 run.

They earned the right to showboat late in their win over the Raptors last night.

Tim Hardaway Jr. called a ref, who slipped on the baseline, safe rather than contest Serge Ibaka‘s 3-pointer. Perfection!

Luc Mbah a Moute sets modern record at +57 in Rockets’ win over Nuggets

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Luc Mbah a Moute is a quietly good player.

He’s an effective and versatile defender. Offensively, he shoots 3-pointers well enough to score efficiently and spread the floor. Most of all, the 31-year-old just understands how to play and plays within himself. His teams tend to perform better when he’s on the floor.

That’s an understatement for Wednesday night.

In a 125-95 win, the Rockets outscored the Nuggets by a whopping 57 points in Mbah a Moute’s 26 minutes. That’s the best single-game plus-minus in the Basketball-Reference database, which dates back to the 2000-01 season. It tops Joe Smith’s +52 in a 2001 Timberwolves win over the Bulls, a 53-point game that also produced a +50 for Wally Szczerbiak and +48 for Terrell Brandon.

Mbah a Moute’s traditional stat line was impressive, though not overly so: 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting with four rebounds, four steals and an assist. He played well, contributing to winning in all the small ways he often does, and the Rockets happened to play excellently around him.

Now, Mbah a Moute tops the leaderboard in single-game plus-minus since 2000-01:

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