Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers

Wednesday And-1 Links: Jordan Hill wants out of L.A. if D’Antoni returns


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.

• Jordan Hill doesn’t want to return to the Lakers next season if Mike D’Antoni is still the coach. As a side note, Laker management isn’t going to work that hard to keep him.

• Speaking of the Lakers, Andrew Kamenetzky hits the nail on the head here — there is going to be a civil war next season between Lakers fans and Kobe Bryant fans. And make no mistake, those are two different groups just with some overlapping interests.

Paul Flannery of SB Nation has a fantastic look at Doc Rivers and what he has brought to the Clippers. It is a must read.

• Speaking of great read’s the Boston Globe’s post on analytics in the NBA is something you should sit down with and check out.

• One more long form read worth your time — Zach Lowe of Grantland on Anthony Davis.

• Andrew Kamenetzky hits the nail on the head here — there is going to be a civil war season between Lakers fans and Kobe Bryant fans. And make no mistake, those are two different groups just with some overlapping interests.

• Basketball-Reference’s Andrew Bynum practice shooting charts were the best of the NBA April Fools jokes.

• Chris Hansen, the guy behind the Seattle bid to buy the Kings and move them to the Pacific Northwest, said he and his ownership group are still looking at NBA possibilities. Which is tough because the next team with a lease up that could be up and the team sold and moved is Milwaukee — and that is a couple of years away and the owner is working to find new local ownership.

• In case you missed it, Heat and Pacers fans got in a fight when the two teams played.

• Looking at the connection between an older roster and success in the NBA.

• The Pelicans do not plan to sit Eric Gordon down for the rest of the season, if his knee will let him play he will play.

• John Salley says the New York Knicks will be in the NBA Finals next year. No pressure, Phil.

• If you want more of the Mark Jackson saga with Golden State, check this out. He is seriously coaching for his job right now.

• Some unintended consequences of the new CBA.

• Damion James will reportedly sign a 10-day deal with the Spurs.

• The Spurs are trying hard to make “frogging” the new thing. I wish I were making that up.

• Anthony Davis was on the Pete Holmes Show:

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry

The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.