Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

Clippers’ Jamal Crawford awarded NBA Sixth Man of the Year in close vote

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Jamal Crawford can flat out fill up the bucket — when he came in off the bench this season the Clippers’ offense, already the best in the NBA, didn’t lose a beat. Crawford averaged 18.6 points a game and the Clippers outscored opponents by 6.1 points per 100 possessions when he was on the court.

That was enough to win Crawford the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award. This had been expected and is well deserved.

Taj Gibson of the Chicago Bulls finished a relatively close second in the voting (26 points back), Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs finished third.

This is Crawford’s second Sixth Man of the Year award, he won in the 2009-10 season as a member of the Atlanta Hawks. Crawford is only the fourth two-time winner of the award joining Kevin McHale, Ricky Pierce and Detlef Schrempf.

Crawford came in off the bench for the Clippers in 45 of the 69 games in which he played, and he brought with him the ability to create his own shot and knock down the jumper (36 percent from three). He provided another level of depth to what was statistically the best offense in the NBA this season.

Here is the voting on the award, with their point totals (first place votes in parenthesis).

Jamal Crawford, L.A. Clippers (57) 421
Taj Gibson, Chicago (49) 395
Manu Ginobili , San Antonio (9) 138
Markieff Morris, Phoenix (5) 85
Reggie Jackson, Oklahoma City (4) 49
Vince Carter, Dallas (1)12
D.J. Augustin, Chicago 6
Enes Kanter, Utah 3
Dion Waiters, Cleveland 3
Nick Young, L.A. Lakers 3
Chris Andersen, Miami 2
Marco Belinelli, San Antonio 2
Andray Blatche, Brooklyn 1
Tim Hardaway Jr., New York 1
Patty Mills, San Antonio 1
Timofey Mozgov, Denver 1
Greivis Vasquez, Toronto 1
Mo Williams, Portland 1

To answer your question, Enes Kanter got one second place vote, it came from Jason Kosmicki, the radio voice of the Denver Nuggets. Vince Carter’s first place vote came from Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. You can see all the votes here.

Report: Celtics, Cavaliers talking Kevin Love trade; could include Knicks, ‘Melo

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love holds the ball away from Boston Celtics' Amir Johnson during the second quarter of a NBA basketball game in Boston Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Associated Press
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The Celtics are looking for an elite player to improve their deep cast of role players. The Cavaliers are looking for depth. And Carmelo Anthony may just be looking to win.

All of that has talks between the Cavaliers and Celtics on a potential Love deal progressing, with the possibility of the Knicks as a third team also in the mix, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.

The Daily News has learned that the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers have discussed a blockbuster trade centered around Kevin Love. There were very preliminary discussions about expanding the deal to include the Knicks and Anthony, who would have to waive his no-trade clause in order to facilitate a deal to the Cavs.

The Knicks would receive draft picks and players in return. One of those players is believed to be Timofey Mozgov, who five years ago was traded by the Knicks to Denver in the Anthony deal.

This is a longshot, but the report has some legs.

It’s not clear how far along these talks are. The trade deadline is Feb. 18 (next Thursday) and conversations tend to move past the theoretical/value judging phase and get real come All-Star Weekend, when many GMs and decision makers are in one place (and nobody can go outside because it is too cold in Toronto). This trade works for the Cavaliers if they get a quality stretch four in return — Kelly Olynyk? — plus some depth and a quality pick. The question for the Cavs is simply how much can they get back — this is a win-now team and Love helps that, so how does a trade make them better?

Would Danny Ainge move the unprotected Brooklyn Nets pick to get Love? Jae Crowder? How much would Boston surrender to get an elite star, especially one under a reasonable, long contract?

Carmelo Anthony wants a ring, if he could end up playing with LeBron and be much closer to it than he is now, he would waive his no-trade clause.

That said, this trade sounds like a longshot. At least at the deadline. Next Summer… who knows?

Watch Kevin Hart be Kevin Hart at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

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Kevin Hart has a movie to promote decided to come out of retirement to play in the NBA All-Star Friday Night Celebrity Game.

And, he did what Kevin Hart does.

Well, except win MVP of the game, that went to Win Butler (the Canadian lead singer of Arcade Fire). Butler led Canada to a 74-63 win over Hart and the USA.

Drake to introduce players for All-Star Game Sunday

Drake stands in front of Canada's bench before the Celebrity Game, part of NBA basketball's All-Star weekend, in Toronto on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
Associated Press
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You knew Canadian hip-hop star Drake was going to be involved directly in the All-Star Game in a way more than just having his back-and-gold OVO owl gear sold at the Air Canada Centre. Now we know how.

Drake will introduce the NBA All-Star players Sunday.

Drake has experience with this, he has introduced the Raptors — for whom he is a “global ambassador” — before.

This works for me. However, just to be clear, Drake is going to be introducing the players and Sting will headline the halftime show Sunday. Because nothing says NBA and millennials like “Fields of Gold.”

LeBron James says he’s undecided on 2016 Rio Olympics

US forward LeBron James celebrates after
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TORONTO — LeBron James has played in three Olympics, won two gold medals (and a bronze), and has done his duty representing his country internationally.

But it’s why he might skip this summer’s Rio Olympics that turned heads in the last couple days — he is reportedly pissed that Kobe Bryant will not be making his farewell with another gold on the international stage.

As you might expect, LeBron was asked about that during All-Star media day Friday in Toronto. Also, as you might expect, he dodged the question, saying he doesn’t know what he’s going to do this summer.

“Well, for me, I haven’t quite decided if I’m on the fence of going or not,” LeBron said. “But I’ve always loved representing my country. I’ve been playing in the Olympic games since 2004. So, no, I haven’t made a decision yet.”

My guess is LeBron’s body would love him to take the summer off — he’s played in five straight Finals with an Olympics in that mix — but his brand managers (and Nike) would love to see him play.

With him, the USA will win a gold medal. Without him, the USA will win the gold medal. The Americans are clear and away the best team in the world and only they can beat themselves. LeBron’s leadership can help make sure that happens, but it’s not required.

In the end, LeBron needs to do what’s required to bring a championship “to the ‘Land.” The playoffs, and how he feels after them, will likely determine where LeBron is in early August more than anything else.