Bobcats use “Big Al’s Paint” to promote Al Jefferson for All-NBA Teams

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If you’re the Miami Heat, you don’t really need to promote LeBron James for the All-NBA teams. Same with Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City.

But much like the “for your consideration” campaigns studios undertake to get their movies an Oscar nomination (or an actual Oscar), near the end of the season teams will run campaigns to promote their star player that they believe should make the cut.

The Bobcats are doing that with Al Jefferson — and it’s pretty clever.

Check out kit the Bobcats are sending to media members voting on the All-NBA Teams — the Big Al’s Paint starter kits. (The Bobcats posted all this on twitter.) It’s a great tie-in with the post game of Al Jefferson, who is averaging 21.6 points a game, has taken 59.6 percent of his shots in the paint and shot 59.2 percent on those shots.

There’s the paint can with Jefferson’s face on the lid, a paint brush, and the paint swatches are a nice touch.

And there is a matching Web site.

Good work, Bobcats PR. Jefferson missed out on the All-Star Game and was probably the biggest snub out of the East. After a 20 and 10 year leading the Bobcats to the playoffs, he deserves legit consideration for the All-NBA Teams.

Did Reggie Jackson distract Jimmy Butler into missing game-tying free throw? (video)

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With the Timberwolves trailing the Pistons by three and 6.2 seconds left, Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer.

Butler made the first two free throws then, just before he got the ball for the third, Reggie Jackson interrupted to talk to Stanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit won 100-97 after an intentional foul.

Butler said Jackson didn’t affect him, but Butler’s side eye during the delay at least appeared to speak loudly.

Bulls’ Kris Dunn dunks on T.J. Warren after savvy/explosive halfcourt drive (video)

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Kris Dunn had a nice weekend – 39 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as the Bulls beat the Hornets and lost to the Suns – punctuated by this dunk in Chicago’s 113-105 loss to the Suns last night.

T.J. Warren paid the price for Tyler Ulis overplaying a Robin Lopez screen Dunn cleverly never used.

Orlando Magic will no longer host summer league

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Orlando Magic has decided to end their annual summer league.

Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said Sunday the trend of NBA teams playing in the Las Vegas Summer League led to the decision end Orlando Pro Summer League. Orlando’s Summer League, which showcased rookies and young players, began in 2002.

Las Vegas will host all 30 teams for the summer league beginning in the summer of 2018. The Orlando Pro Summer League began as a 10-team tournament but there were just eight participating teams this past summer.

The summer league in Orlando, which is played in the Magic’s practice gym, was the only one of three summer leagues that did not allow fans to come in to watch.

Kevin Durant misses game vs. Nets with sprained ankle, status vs. Thunder in doubt

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Not that the Warriors needed him with Stephen Curry going off again, but Golden State was without Kevin Durant on Sunday in Brooklyn due to a sprained ankle.

Durant is officially day-to-day, but that brings up the question of whether he will be ready to go Wednesday night when the Warriors travel to Oklahoma City to take on his former team. Chris Haynes of ESPN asked Durant about it.

While some blowhards will talk about him dodging the Thunder, the Warriors course here is obvious — they do not want to rush him back for any game in November. Even one against Russell Westbrook. Ankles with stretched ligaments are easy to re-injure if not fully healed, and the Warriors don’t want this to be chronic and last through more of the season.

Durant is averaging 24.9 points per game, 7 rebounds, and 4.7 assists, and — with all due respect to fellow former MVP Curry — he is the best player on the Warriors. Maybe the best player in the world right now, period. Durant can score at will, and he had become a key part of the Warriors’ fifth-ranked defense blocking 2.2 shots per game (their offense is No. 1 in the league).