Kurt Helin

Watch Marc Gasol nail game-winning three, do dance you will (not) want to copy

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Let’s talk about the dance/walk first, we’ll get to the game-winning shot later:

What was that, Marc Gasol? There was no consensus in the NBA Twitterverse, although the leading candidate was it was the Conor Mcgregor octagon walk. My first thought was it was a bad Bernie Lean.

Whatever it was, we know the one thing it was for sure: Full of swagger.

Marc Gasol earned that dance and that swag. He can call it whatever he wants.

It was a great play design, Mike Conley had the hot hand all night for Memphis, they ran him off a high screen to get the switch of J.J. Redick on to him, then he just drove left, got even (or ahead slightly) of Redick, and forced DeAndre Jordan to make a choice between protecting the rim and giving Gasol a clean look at a corner three. Jordan chose the rim and Gasol made him pay.

Memphis ends up with the 111-107 road win.

This was a fantastic victory for David Fizdale’s Grizzlies and his vision — he wants to up the pace, space the floor, and they did it and did it well against the best defense in the NBA this young season. It was a fantastic effort by the Grizzlies and the kind of win that can help them take a step forward.

Carmelo Anthony is great in new Foot Locker ad

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Foot Locker has a number of ads hitting the airwaves to promote its Week of Greatness sales event.

Carmelo Anthony had the best one, a little dig at his critics while pimping the store.

The future Hall of Famer — and make no mistake, he is that — talks greatness in this ad and it’s kind of funny. And true.

PBT Extra: Phil Jackson’s “posse” comment another sign he’s stuck in past

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Phil Jackson is not a racist, he’s a man who has both spoken out about and walked the talk on civil rights.

But he is a 71-year-old who can be stuck in the past — from how he views players and them taking more control of their brand and affairs, to how to build an NBA team for the modern era.

That’s what I discuss in this latest PBT Extra, talking about Jackson’s “posse” comment about LeBron James and the reaction from LeBron, Carmelo Anthony, and others. It’s just a sign of who Jackson is now.

Best Wednesday night showdown: Russell Westbrook vs. James Harden

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James Harden is averaging 30.3 points, 12.6 assists, and 7.9 rebounds a game, with a true shooting percentage of 65 and a PER of 32.1.

Russell Westbrook is averaging 32 points, 9.9 assists, and 9.7 rebounds a game, with a true shooting percentage of 56 and a PER of 31.6.

The former teammates have become two of the of the biggest stories in the NBA this season as virtual solo acts — they are first and second in the league in time of possession this season, and they are second and third in the league in touches (behind Damian Lillard). Harden is the point guard of Mike D’Antoni’s whirlwind of an offense and has looked at home as a playmaker and scorer; angry Westbrook is just powering through defenses and nobody can stop him.

Wednesday night is the showdown: the 6-4 Rockets head north to take on the 6-5 Thunder.

There are going to be highlights and a lot of points.

I’d say Harden has been the slightly better player this season, but the winner of the showdown will be the one that gets the most help.

The Thunder have lost four in a row and are 20.2 points per 100 possessions better when Westbrook is on the court. The last few games the second unit for the Thunder have been destroyed when Westbrook sat, and the defense that got the team early wins has gone into hibernation. The Thunder are going to count on Andre Roberson to contain Harden — and not get in foul trouble, like he did against DeMar DeRozan recently (once Roberson had to sit DeRozan went off).

The Rockets have a pretty simple scouting report on OKC.

The Rockets are 36.7 points per 100 possessions better when Harden is on the court, and their offense becomes anemic when he has to rest. Surprisingly, they are not running as much as you expect from a Mike D’Antoni team — they are 15th in the NBA, the Thunder play faster. That may change tonight. The Rockets are going to need to find some defense from Trevor Ariza (with Clint Capella protecting the rim behind him) and get offense out of Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson and the rest.

Could we see two guys get triple-doubles in one game? Maybe.

But the one we see get help will get the win.

Watch David Blaine freak out Stephen Curry, Jimmy Butler, by coughing up frogs

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If you enjoy watching celebrities freaking out, you need to invite illusionist David Blaine to your next party. And a bunch of celebrities.

Blaine was the star of the show “Beyond Magic,” which aired ABC Monday night, where Blaine pulled out some illusions while surrounded by stars such as Stephen Curry, Jimmy Butler, Drake, Dave Chappelle (who killed it on Saturday Night Live last week), and others.

The one illusion that really freaked everyone out — Blaine coughing up small frogs. The video is above, and Chappelle’s face when he is handed the glass with the first little amphibian is worth the price of admission alone.

Also, that’s a waste of some really good champagne, it looks like.

(Hat tip NBA reddit)