anthony Davis

Karl Malone is a big Anthony Davis fan

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NEW ORLEANS — Right now it’s a serious debate about who is the best power forward in the game — LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love lead most lists, Blake Griffin is trying to muscle in on the list, but guys like Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki still have a say in the matter.

If five years it will not be a discussion, the answer will be Anthony Davis.

Among Davis’ fans is arguably the greatest power forward of all time, Hall of Famer Karl Malone.

“I see a young man that has just flourished here, he’s embraced it, he’s worked hard,” Malone said, speaking to media during All-Star Weekend. “I get to see the Pelicans play a lot, they being on T.V and me living in Louisiana. He don’t get too excited about things, he just goes out and plays the game. He plays hard.

“I’ll be the first to admit this… when they first drafted him I wasn’t totally for sure (sold on him) because I hadn’t seen how he played with his teammates. You can truly build a great team around this young man. I love to see him play and I love the way he keeps his composure and just plays the game.”

Malone’s game was a mix of physical play and great touch — he could pass, his mid-range jumper was deadly. He sees a little of himself in the current crop of power forwards.

“They’re shooting a lot better than I did,” Malone laughed. “Kevin Love, LaMarcus (Aldridge), Blake Griffin playing on top of the rim, to me they are power forward/small forwards with the things they can do. Like I said, I love to watch them. Tim Duncan, you can call him a forward or center, I just like to see him play, it don’t matter what position he plays.

“I think the power forward position is in good hands for a lot of years.”

He’s right. And in a few years it may well be Anthony Davis then everyone else at the spot.

Reggie Jackson to return to Pistons lineup Sunday vs. Orlando

AUBURN HILLS, MI - APRIL 24: Reggie Jackson #1 of the Detroit Pistons tries to get around the first quarter defense of Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in game four of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Palace of Auburn Hills on April 24, 2016 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. 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 Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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The Detroit Pistons’ playoff dreams hinged on them being able to hang around until point guard Reggie Jackson got back from this thumb and knee injuries. They have done just that — the Pistons are 11-10 and would be the eighth seed if the playoffs started today.

And now they get Jackson back. Stan Van Gundy made the announcement Sunday at shootaround, before the team takes on the Orlando Magic.

It will take a few games to get his conditioning back, but this is huge for Detroit. Jackson running the pick-and-roll with Andre Drummond is at the heart of Detroit’s offense – the Pistons were 2.3 points per 100 possessions better with the ball in his hands. Ish Smith played well for the Pistons in his absence — 10.8 points per game, 6.4 assists, and he’s been solid. Move his playmaking to the second unit and suddenly the Pistons become a lot more dangerous.

Jakob Poeltl with huge poster dunk for Raptors. Yes, Jakob Poeltl. (VIDEO)

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The scouting report on Jakob Poeltl coming out of Utah said he could run the floor well and he was a good finisher around the rim.

But we didn’t expect this.

During the Raptors win Sunday against the stumbling Hawks, Poeltl filled the lane on the break, got the rock, and nobody was going to stop that finish. Least of all Tim Hardaway Jr., he just ends up in the poster.

Hassan Whiteside: “Portland was my second option”

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 28: Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Miami Heat looks on during a game against the Charlotte Hornets at American Airlines Arena on October 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. 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 Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Entering free agency last July, Hassan Whiteside said his first choice was to stay in Miami — then Pat Riley gave him 98 million reasons to stick around. While the Heat have been up and down this season, Whiteside has thrived as the franchise player in Miami.

Last July he also met with Dallas, but it turns out that was not his second choice. Here is what Whiteside told Erik Gunderson of the Miami Herald before his team fell to the Blazers on Saturday.

“Portland was my second option,” Whiteside said at the team’s Saturday shootaround in Portland. “I would have came here.”

Interesting. There were reports the Blazers chased Whiteside, but it didn’t seem that serious. Apparently, it was. If The Blazers got Whiteside, would they still have spent $70 million on Evan Turner? Probably not. And suddenly a lot of things look better in Portland.

For Blazers fans, watching their team try to outscore opponents while playing terrible defense this season — in part because of a lack of rim protection behind their undersized guards — it’s easy to imagine how much Whiteside would have changed the picture in the Northwest. But at this point, that’s just fan fiction.

JaVale McGee tries to inbound ball for wrong team, Warriors bench cracks up (VIDEO)

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JaVale McGree has become a solid contributor for the Warriors off the bench, giving them a needed shot blocking presence. He’s not getting a ton of run (seven minutes a night), but he’s efficient when he’s out there.

Still, there is his reputation as the guy most likely to end up on Shaqtin’ a Fool. He hasn’t done anything like that for a while… until Saturday night, when after a made free throw he tried to inbound the ball for the Suns for a second.

The Warriors bench was laughing under their shirts and towels.