Friday And-1 links: Video of World Peace taking his talents to bed

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Here is our daily 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.

• Metta World Peace posted that video on his Web site. I pass it along without snarky comment.

• Knicks center Tyson Chandler did not practice with the team Friday due to flu-like symptoms, and coach Mike Woodson said he didn’t expect Chandler to play in the game one against Miami. You want to bet on that? Still, Chandler not at 100 percent could be a problem for New York.

• Thursday could have been Ben Wallace’s last NBA game. Which would be sad. If it is he went out in a fitting way.

• Carlos Delfino has a “significant tear” to his groin muscle, which will require surgery.

• How LeBron James took his game to the next level.

• Celtics GM Danny Ainge says that Doc Rivers told him privately he thought this team could come together and contend.

• There were times in his youth Kevin Durant almost gave up basketball.

• Tony Allen is going to be key for Memphis against the Los Angeles Clippers, guarding Chris Paul for key stretches. Here is an interesting Q&A with Allen.

• Nets fans are looking for any reason to believe that Deron Williams will stay with the team. I’d be more optimistic if I were a Mavs fan.

• Shannon Brown wants a multi-year deal to stay in Phoenix.

• The Pistons new owner says his team is making the playoffs next year. The Pistons were the best of the NBA’s bad teams this year, but that is still quite a leap to the playoffs.

• Toronto picked up the option on the third year of coach Dwane Casey. Good move. He really got as much out of that Toronto roster as could be expected. I’ll say now the Raptors are a team I think takes a big step forward next season.

• Robin Lopez is looking at his options, he likes it in Phoenix but wants a bigger role (and the center role there belongs to Marcin Gortat).

• Don’t be surprised if the Cavaliers make a run this summer at Omer Asik, the Bulls backup center who is a restricted free agent.

• A 104-year-old Spurs fan sees her first game in person.

• Timberwolves GM David Kahn assumes he will make a trade or two this summer. You can write your own joke for that one.

• One of those Timberwolves trades could be for Kevin Martin.

• A Q&A with Golden State’s just demoted GM Larry Riley.

• Quietly, teams are already starting to line up players for their Summer League teams. Here are some from Orlando.

D’Angelo Russell drops 40 on Magic including shot that put Nets up for good

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D'Angelo Russell is playing like a guy in a contract year. And that’s just fine with Brooklyn.

Russell tied his career best with 40 points Friday night against the Magic, including hitting the shot that put the Nets up for good on the night with 27 seconds remaining. Russell was 16-of-25 shooting, including 8-of-12 from three, and he was an analytics dream — Russell took all but one of his shots either in the paint or from three.

The Nets — now 24-23 on the season and the sixth seed in the East — came from 21 back to get the win and that included their guards hitting the big shots at the end.

First up was Spencer Dinwiddie.

Then came Russell’s shot that proved to be the game winner.

With the Nets extending Dinwiddie during the season, it’s unlikely Russell returns to Brooklyn next season, but a number of teams are interested in him as a free agent (restricted, the Nets can match if the offer is low).

Report: Isaiah Thomas could return to Nuggets right before All-Star break

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The Denver Nuggets have shown off their depth this season. Three starters — Will Barton, Gary Harris, and Paul Millsap — have missed a chunk of time and yet until a few days ago the Nuggets were the top seed in the West, and they are still a clear second.

And all of that without Isaiah Thomas, their biggest name reserve. He has been recovering from hip surgery last March.

The Nuggets are hoping Thomas will make his debut next month, right before the All-Star Break, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Thomas has been gathering momentum in his rehabilitation process from hip surgery in March, and there’s hope among Thomas and the Nuggets organization he could return as soon as a Feb. 11-13 homestand against Miami and Sacramento, sources said.

There’s strong confidence that he will return no later than the first game after the All Star break on Feb. 22 in Dallas, league sources said….

The final hurdle for Thomas remains playing full 5-on-5 scrimmages. He is expected to start that process soon.

Thomas was playing well and playing through pain in Boston, becoming a fan favorite and pulling that team into the postseason, before his hip injury caught up with him. He tried to recover without surgery playing for the Cavaliers and Lakers last season, but that never really worked like he hoped. He had the surgery and signed a one-year deal with the Nuggets.

Thomas could provide a playmaking guard off the bench, although Monte Morris has filled that role for the Nuggets so well he gets mentioned as a most improved player candidate. Coach Mike Malone will need to finesse the minutes to get both of them touches and involved. How much Thomas can help the Nuggets in the playoffs depends on how he recovers (he has always been a defensive liability because of his size, which factors in as well).

If Thomas can show he would have value as a bench player he will have teams calling next July about a much bigger contract. He has motivation, and he’s popular around the league — people want to see him succeed. But is he fully healthy and does he still have the lateral explosiveness that made him so hard to stop on drives to the rim? We should find out the final couple months of the season.

Report: Kings’ Buddy Hield in 3-point contest

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Players who’ve attempted more than seven 3-pointers per game while making more than 40% of them this season:

Sharing company with only the greatest shooter of all-time will earn Hield a spot in the 3-point contest.

Carmichael Dave of KHTK Sports 1140:

Sacramento getting three players into the Rising Stars Challenge for the second straight year speaks to the team’s nice collection of young talent. Bogdan Bogdanovic (who won MVP last year) and De'Aaron Fox return to the game. No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley III replaces Hield, who ages out.

Hield has a chance in the 3-point contest, though the league is better from beyond the arc than ever. He’ll certainly have plenty of competition.

PBT Extra: Five players to watch heading into the NBA’s trade deadline

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It’s going to be a slow NBA trade deadline this year.

The reason it will be relatively quiet on Feb. 7 (the deadline day) this year is reflected in the five players to watch talked about in this PBT Extra. The bottom line: There are far more buyers than sellers.

Take Trevor Ariza in Washington, for example. A number of playoff teams are looking for wings on expiring contracts to help them out — the Rockets and Lakers are at the front of that line — but Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has said the team the team will not tank, so is Ariza even available.

Or, what about Terrence Ross in Orlando? Another wing a lot of teams have interest in, but is Orlando selling?

And while the Dallas Mavericks have made public overtures about reconciliation with Dennis Smith Jr., sources tell me the plan on both sides is still to find a trade, it’s just right now the offers are lowball ones (because the Mavs have no leverage and there will be good young point guards such as Terry Rozier and D'Angelo Russell available in July as restricted free agents, and teams like them better).

Still, there will be trades. These are the guys to watch.