Keon Clark smiles

Wednesday And-1 Links: Former NBAer Keon Clark sentenced to 8 years in prison

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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.

• Former NBA player Keon Clark has been sentenced to 8 years in prison, as reported by the News Gazette out of Illinois. Clark “faced 10 weapons, drugs and driving-related charges stemming from one 2012 case and four 2013 cases” according to the report. He is going to spend that time in a Department of Corrections-run drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility near Chicago as part of his effort to kick his additions. Clark was the No. 13 pick out of UNLV and played six seasons in the NBA with Denver, Toronto, Sacramento and Utah.

Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report wrote about Derrick Rose and said “the surgeon was able to preserve “100 percent” of the torn meniscus in his right knee.”

• If you’re a team that is only going to pay the luxury tax for a couple of seasons when you can make a run at a ring, when do you pull that trigger?

An appreciation of Jeff Teague’s game. He is having his best season as a pro by far.

Are the Trail Blazers for real? (This is behind ESPN’s pay wall.)

• Carmelo Anthony’s high school coach talks about his former star.

• Updated odds on the NBA championship from bovada.lv showed a few interesting things. The Indiana Pacers were 9-1 before the season but are 4-1 now and the second choice on the board. The Thunder are third at 6-1 and the Spurs have gone from 14-1 before the season to 7-1 now. On the other end of the spectrum, the Clippers were 9-1 to win it all before the season and they are 14-1 now. The thing that didn’t change is Miami is now and remains at 2-1 and the favorite to win it all.

• The Bulls let Mike James play on a sprained knee, which is kind of a trend with the Bulls team doctors. And you wonder why Derrick Rose took his time getting back.

• The Bulls have sent Marcus Teague to the D-League for seasoning.

• Will Forte has a really gross Clippers superstition.

• When asked about George Karl’s comments that he was doing some bush league things during the playoffs last year, Jackson took the high road.

• One of my favorite tweets of the season from Tuesday night:

• The Hawks have sent rookie point guard Dennis Schroder to the D-League. I think Schroder could be something special, but he needs time on the court and he can get that in the D-League.

• Former Suns point guard Kendall Marshall is now a member of the Delaware 87ers of the D-League draft.

• Finally, Grant Hill talks about the potential of Duke freshman phenom Jabari Parker.

Spurs demolish Thunder to take Game 1 of second-round series

SAN ANTONIO,TX - APRIL 30: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs scores over Steven Adams #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during game one of the Western Conference Semifinals for the 2016 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 30, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
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The second round was supposed to be when things got exciting. Instead, the San Antonio Spurs put on an absolute clinic at home, blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-92 to take a 1-0 series lead.

Just about everything went in for San Antonio, particularly for LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 63 points. How dominant were they?

Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.

It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.

Hawks get another playoff shot at King James and Cavaliers

at Philips Arena on April 1, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.

Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.

Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.

The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.

Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.

Report: Warriors to replace Luke Walton from outside the organization

MILWAUKEE, WI - DECEMBER 12: Interim Coach Luke Walton of the Golden State Warriors talks on the sideline during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center on December 12, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.

Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.

Report: Luke Walton’s Lakers contract is for 5 years, $25 million

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 13:  Interim head coach Luke Walton of the Golden State Warriors leads the team against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on January 13, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Warriors 112-110. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.

This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.