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Friday And-1 links: What happened to all those draft picks the Knicks gave away?

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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 more than we love a good California Zinfandel….

What happened to all the Knicks’ draft picks the Knicks have given away over the years? This Bleacher Report story tracks them and… ouch. Just ouch. And the story isn’t over.

• LeBron James went on twitter and told The Rock he wanted a WWE championship belt. And because he’s LeBron The Rock sent him one.

• DeMarcus Cousins is a fascinating, complex person and that comes across beautifully in Jonathan Abrams must-read piece on him at Grantland. He’s a guy with and edge, and part of that makes him the player he is, but it can lead to frustration and mistakes on and off the court. He’s maturing, but it’s more than that. Go read the article.

• Sam Amick of the USA Today with a look at Cousins from a different angle.

• Speaking of the Kings, they purchased the land downtown (a former mall) that will be home to their new stadium.

• Powell’s in Portland is the best book store in America (in my opinion). Robin Lopez goes and hangs out there.

• Despite what some Lakers fans (and others around the league) think, Mike D’Antoni’s small ball system can work. Look at Miami (which modified it but used the basic principles). Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol don’t want to play that way, which is just part of the trouble in Laker Nation.

• Why is scoring up in the NBA this season? Pace is up.

• Kobe Bryant went and caught a Toronto Maples Leafs game when the Lakers had an off day north of the border, and Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri tried to show off for him.

• J.R. Smith helped a girl singing at a recent Knicks home game. Insert your own “first assist of the season” joke here.

• I’m a fan of the new NBA Radio channel on SiriusXM — I have it in my car and listen regularly. With that I’m looking forward to this: famed filmmakerr and Knicks superfan Spike Lee will host a show on the network. “Spike Lee’s Best Seat in the House” will debut Thursday, January 30 (7:00-8:00 pm ET) and air every other week. Lee will also host a non-sports show airing every other week on SiriusXM, one that doesn’t just dwell on hoops.

• It’s about to be the year of the horse. To celebrate, and broaden its global fan base, the NBA is increasing the number of live broadcasts to China to help celebrate the  Chinese New Year. Between Jan. 28 to Feb. 4 the NBA will have 23  live games broadcast and streamed in China and 10 teams will honor the holiday during games in their market.

Patrick Beverley shuts down Westbrook on final play, bowls through own coach (VIDEO)

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Twitter
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Houston Rockets G Patrick Beverley is known around the NBA for being a dogged defender. His skill set was on full display on Friday night, where Beverley shut down Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook on a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds.

It all started early in the matchup, when Beverley — notorious for getting under the skin of both Westbrook and other NBA opponents — flopped with some serious gusto just 36 seconds into the first quarter.

Via Twitter:

The game continued like this, but the real highlight of Beverley’s defensive night was stopping Westbrook — who dropped his 7th straight triple-double — on an isolation play with six seconds left in the fourth quarter.

With the ball on the left garden spot, Westbrook gave a couple of dribble hesitation moves to Beverley, then tried to rise up for the go-ahead bucket.

Beverley was right up on him, and forced an airball from Westbrook:

The Rockets guard was so happy about the stop and the eventual win that he celebrated a little too enthusiastically with Houston coach Mike D’Antoni.

Going for a chest bump, Beverley wound up blasting through his own coach:

Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan’s bromance continues after beating Celtics (VIDEO)

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Toronto Raptors stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are becoming one of the best duos in the NBA, on and off the court. They joked around in the locker room after their win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night, 101-94, but the comedy started before the two even left the floor.

In a postgame interview with CSNNE DeRozan was asked what the message was at halftime from coach Dewane Casey.

DeRozan — with Lowry looking devious in the background of the shot — was gracious.

“Just get [Lowry] the ball,” DeRozan smiled.

Pleased with the result, Lowry responded with a “That’s a good message right there!” before running off to the locker room.

The interview continued to be interrupted, with Raptors big man Jared Sullinger giving the camera a drive by “DeMar for President!”

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount even showed up to show DeRozan some love.

Kevin Durant gets fouled by Stephen Curry, officials whistle Joe Johnson instead (VIDEO)

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The Golden State Warriors are so talented, perhaps the officials are predisposed to blowing whistles in their favor. At least, that’s the only explanation you could give to a Utah Jazz fan after seeing what happened between Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Utah’s Joe Johnson on Thursday night.

As Durant came off a curl on the far side of the court, he used a screen set by Curry on Johnson.

With the ball in his hands, Durant rose to fire but found himself locked in arms with another player. Durant’s shot attempt helplessly bounced away as he shot, and officials whistled Johnson on the play.

Of course, a closer look reveals that the player Durant’s arms were tangled up with was … Curry.

Yes, Curry had arm locked what he thought was Johnson on the screen but was instead his teammate and MVP candidate.

It didn’t matter, as referees awarded Durant the free throws, of which he only made 1 of 2.

Perhaps that’s some solace?

Golden State beat Utah, 106-99.

DeMarcus Cousins trolls Joakim Noah on shooting form (VIDEO)

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AP
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New York Knicks C Joakim Noah has an awkward jumper and free throw technique, there’s no denying that. His two-handed, horizontal approach to shooting a basketball is ripe for criticism.

DeMarcus Cousins thinks so, at least.

During a game between the Sacramento Kings and the Knicks, Cousins decided to give Noah a little tongue-in-cheek trolling about his form.

Via Twitter:

Looks about right.