Andre Iguodala hates playing in nationally televised games

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When you are a team that draws eyeballs — like the Golden State Warriors with Stephen Curry — you end up on national television broadcasts a lot. For Golden State, it’s 17 times this season — that’s more than 20 percent of their games. And that’s fewer than the Heat, Lakers (despite their play), Thunder and others.

Andre Iguodala hates those nationally televised games.

Yes, hates. His word, not mine.

The Warriors were on national television again this past Monday night (a loss to the Pacers) and Iguodala told the San Francisco in no uncertain terms what he thinks of those games (hat tip to SLAM):

“I hate (national) TV games,” the Warriors’ starting small forward said after Monday’s shootaround. “TV games can play tricks on you. You want to play at a high level every night, but you can kind of see how some guys may get up a little bit more for TV games, and that might mess with the flow. Guys want to show the world what they can do, and it should be more than that.

“You should want to play well as a unit on national TV. When you have young guys, guys might shoot a couple of extra shots that they normally don’t shoot, so TV games are dangerous. They can be trick games.”

Maybe that’s why Gregg Popovich benches Tim Duncan and Tony Parker for national television games, so they don’t blow the team’s flow. (Read that sentence to yourself again, this time in a sarcastic voice.)

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Iguodala’s point is a valid one, particularly on a younger team like the Warriors where guys are trying to carve out their space in the NBA. Those guys know they will get paid big money with their next contracts and want to make sure those paydays are coming. That can mess with the flow of the game.

That said, his comment might raise a few eyebrows in the Warriors’ locker room. This is one of the locker rooms with the best chemistry in the Association, and Iguodala is a leader there so he can get away with it, but this is interesting.

The good news is with 17 nationally televised Warriors games this season they should be plenty used to it by the time the playoffs roll around (when every game ends up broadcast nationally).

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.

Report: Hornets rookie Miles Bridges to compete in dunk contest

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
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Want to see more dunks like this and this?

Watch the dunk contest during All-Star weekend.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

Miles Bridges, the No. 12 pick in last year’s draft, has quickly proven himself as belonging in the Hornets’ rotation. He’s active, capable of getting to the rim and picks up defensive concepts quickly.

But like most rookies picked in the middle of the first round, he hasn’t yet earned a national profile.

The dunk contest will be his opportunity to change that.

Bulls’ Wendell Carter reportedly out 8-12 weeks following thumb surgery

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Wendell Carter Jr. has had a strong rookie season in Chicago: 10.3 points a game, 7 rebounds, showing real strength and touch inside and getting 67 percent of his shot attempts in the paint. The advanced stats like him: He’s got an above average PER and Value over Replacement Player, something very rare for a rookie. He looks like a key part of the future in Chicago.

And he’s out for the next two-to-three months.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune first reported that Carter might have ligament damage in his left thumb requiring surgery, and that coach Jim Boylen said Carter was seeing a specialist. Shams Charania of The Athletic took it to the next step.

That’s a blow to his development but doesn’t really change the trajectory of a Bulls team that will pick high in next June’s draft.

This does not change the Bulls’ plans heading into the trade deadline — big man Robin Lopez is still available (but likely will end up a buyout candidate) reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Bobby Portis will get more run with Carter out.

The young Bulls have been hit hard by injuries this season.  Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Portis have all missed time, and Denzel Valentine has yet to play a game for Chicago this season.

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis: ‘We will never, ever tank’

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Before the season, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis stated his goals: 50 wins and the conference finals.

Washington is 19-26 and 11th in the Eastern Conference.

Time to shift priorities?

NBC Sports Washington:

Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington:

The Wizards are too talented to tank right now. Led by Bradley Beal, they have a roster of capable veterans. They just traded for Trevor Ariza, making that even more true.

As bad as they’ve been, the Wizards are just 2.5 games and three teams out of playoff position. They will likely miss the postseason, but there’s no alternative better than trying to get there. They’re too far down the road toward winning now to simply pivot into a rebuilding.

But what about if the Wizards get eliminated from playoff contention with games left in the season? They won’t tank down the stretch to improve their draft position? What’s the point of that?

And what about future seasons? Washington will have a tough time building a satisfactory winner after signing John Wall to a super-max extension that kicks in next season. That difficult-to-move contract almost mandates the Wizards prioritize the present. A healthy Wall is good enough to ensure Washington can’t bottom out – for now.

Wall be 32 in the final year of that deal. The Wizards could be in ruins by then. Taking the option to tank off the table would be a mistake.

To be fair, I’m not totally sure Leonsis is doing that. Owners almost never admit to tanking. Most deny it.

But this goes a level beyond. This is far more forceful than Leonsis had to be, which makes me believe it’s actually his plan.

That’s fine right now. Eventually, it could make a futile situation far worse.