Wednesday And-1 links: There’s a little pressure on Klay Thompson now

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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 Chicagoans love their pizza (which is better than New York pizza, for the record)….

• The Golden State Warriors refused to put Klay Thompson in a trade for Kevin Love — now there is a mountain of pressure on Thompson.

• We’ve shown you before why this is so, but Kevin Love should be a fantastic fit in Cleveland.

• About that Kevin Love having never won a playoff game thing…

• While we’re breaking out “why Love will work” in Cleveland videos…

• How well have the Cavaliers handled the entire Andrew Wiggins/Kevin Love situation?

• Adam Silver and the NBA need to come down harder on domestic violence than the NFL has. (That said, Silver can’t really punish Greg Oden because he isn’t signed to a team (and likely will not be this season now).

• Legendary trainer Tim Grover on whether you should drink alcohol while on a training regimen. Come on, what did you think the answer would be? And do you think Michael Jordan followed this advice?

• Report that about a year and a half ago the Nuggets shot down a Roy Hibbert for JaVale McGee trade.

• Golden State’s Marreese Speights must appear in court for a DUI arraignment on September 16. Eventually he will get the standard two-game suspension for this (which is too light, frankly).

Interesting note in this story: free agent Emeka Okafor could miss the first few months of this season with his continuing neck issue.

• NBA 2K15 soundtrack, anyone?

• Fun read from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin on the USA Basketball fantasy camp.

A Q&A with Nerlens Noel.

• Congratulations to Zach Randolph on getting married.

• After he played well for them at Summer League in Orlando, the 76ers are expected to sign forward Ronald Roberts Jr., although how much of that deal is guaranteed remains to be seen.

• The Bucks are offering a ticket plan on selected seats next season where if you buy the 2014-15 season, you get the 2015-16 season at at discount based on how many games you attend — show up to enough and you get next season free. That is a heck of a deal, but after last season the Bucks need to do something to drum up sales.

• Josh Childress will play next season in Australia (and likely dominate there).

• The Kings have signed undrafted point guard Deonte Burton and invited him to camp, but this is a make-good contract.

• Suns second round pick Alec Brown plans to play for Obradoiro in the Spanish League next season.

• Finally, Tony Wroten dropping a guy at a summer run.

Kevin Durant responds to school handout telling kids to avoid being like him

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Kevin Durant is having a pretty good summer. He is obviously in a full on “I have a ring now” mode and is just battling everyone he can set his sights on. He’s confident, as he should be.

Durrant responded to critical comments conservative commentator and ex-ESPNer Britt McHenry made about the Golden State Warriors forward not wanting to visit the White House should an invitation come for the team.

Now, Durant has seen a handout that a teacher gave to kids in school comparing him and Michael Jordan. In the handout, it asks kids to refrain from being like Durant, asking them not to take the easy way out by cheating in class. Instead, it asks them to be more like Michael Jordan and not take shortcuts.

That’s not even a correct interpretation of the facts, much less a very good analogy. Nevertheless, when SB nation published an article on an image of the handout on Twitter, Durant responded.

Via Twitter:

Firing might be a little harsh but perhaps the person who wrote this handout could put their hardcore sports allegiances away for a minute? Things like this and up on the Internet, you know?

Stan Van Gundy talks up Pistons’ rookie Luke Kennard

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Luke Kennard came out of Duke with one of the best jump shots in the draft — he’s got a skill that translates to the NBA and will help the Pistons. The questions were about his defense and athleticism, but he started to answer those when he averaged 17.2 points a game in the Orlando Summer League. He hit threes but generally just looks like a guy who just knows how to get buckets.

So far, at the Pistons’ training facility and in the Orlando Summer League, coach and decision maker with the Pistons Stan Van Gundy likes what he sees from his rookie, he told the Pistons’ official website.

“Pretty much what we thought offensively, maybe even did a better job passing the ball than I thought,” Van Gundy said. “He’s able to make plays off the dribble , that nice change of pace, and things I hadn’t seen a lot of. He really has a great feel for the game and how to play in addition to clearly his ability to shoot the ball….

“We’ve seen that a lot. He’s got great mental toughness,” Van Gundy said. “The thing I have great confidence in is that as he runs into challenges in the league – and everybody does and he’ll be no exception – I just think he’s a smart guy who’s adaptable. I think he’ll figure out a way to combat it. I’ve got great confidence in his ability to do that….

“The thing I didn’t know that he showed me is he has the ability to move his feet defensively. Now, he’s still got a long way to go in terms of handling some of the other things, rotations and things like that. But he certainly showed that he can get down in a stance and move his feet. I did not have a good feel for that going into the draft, so that was a positive.”

Yes, you should take a coach talking up a rookie before a game is played with a grain of salt.

However, the comment about the potential to defend is good news. SVG is right that mental toughness, and willingness to put in the work, is what will allow Kennard to take steps forward, but he has to have a baseline to get there and Van Gundy thinks he has that. Kennard has challenges ahead of him but if he can keep hitting shots the Pistons will give him time to work out everything else.

Kennard is going to get plenty of run as the backup to Avery Bradley at the two in Detroit. In with a second unit of guys like Stanley Johnson and Anthony Tolliver, Kennard is going to get his chances to score. He could put up decent numbers for a rookie.

 

John Wall has a strong arm, can throw a tight spiral (VIDEO)

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If the Redskins need a quarterback should Kirk Cousins go down — he has played a full 16-game schedule the past two years, which is pretty remarkable — maybe rather than Colt McCoy Washington should look at the guy who makes the Wizards’ go.

John Wall showed on Friday he has a strong arm, can throw a tight spiral, and hit his man.

I love that Wall starts calling out Tom Brady after one good pass.

Michael Beasley had his truck stolen out of his driveway

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Michael Beasley will be getting buckets, shooting long twos, and playing inconsistent defense for the New York Knicks next season (the analysis is just based on recent history).

But first, he’d like to find his truck. Which was stolen.

Well, I did see a Dodge Ram 1500 on the road today, but since I’m on the West Coast and I have no idea what color/year Beasley’s truck is, I’m going to assume the guy I saw didn’t perpetrate the heist.

Still, that sucks for Beasley, even if he can easily afford to replace it.