Mar 9, 2012, 11:20 AM EST
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).
Randolph being back is just part of the crazy playoff picture in the West. We know that the Thunder are the team to beat and after that it is wide open. Here is a great breakdown from Zach Lowe at Sports Illustrated.
ESPN’s Ric Bucher keeps trying to sell that the Lakers are looking to trade Pau Gasol. That is pretty much the opposite of what I am told — if you want to give them Dwight Howard or another top 8 player the Lakers will talk Gasol, if not he stays.
The asking price for point guard Ramon Sessions is a first round pick. My guess is the Lakers are going to break down and pay it (they can take him into their Odom trade exception). But like everyone, the Lakers are waiting to see what happens in Orlando before making any other moves.
Orlando’s Hedo Turkoglu protested a call Thursday night by walking over and putting his hands on the shoulders of a referee to get his attention. Touching a referee is a big-time no-no — Turkoglu got an instant technical and can expect at least a fine if not a suspension on Friday.
Andrea Bargnani had a full practice on Thursday and is close to returning to action for the Raptors.
Television ratings for this NBA season continue to be stellar — ESPN reports ratings up 14 percent over last year at this time, ABC games are up 11 percent. Lockout shmockout.
There is a Jeremy Lin book coming out. Of course there is.
Clippers ticket prices are going up next season, not a shock since they actually have a product people want to see now.
The Miami Heat worked out free agent forward Shavlik Randolph.
- The Extra Pass: The shot that won’t fade away, and Thursday’s recaps 0
- Thursday night NBA Grades: Mike Woodson is allowed to exhale 4
- Knicks snap nine-game losing streak by crushing depleted Nets 5
- David Stern issues statement on passing of Nelson Mandela, players take to twitter 6
- Kobe Bryant sounds close to return, will not offer specific date 5
- LeBron says Wade is “getting that Kobe deal” in next contract. Should he? (64)
- The Extra Pass: Our awards at the quarter pole, plus Monday recaps (42)
- Michael Beasley finding a role, groove in Miami (41)
- Kobe Bryant dunks, looks good in Lakers practice; Friday return possible (38)
- Dwight Howard frustrated with Rockets’ effort in recent losses (36)