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Wednesday And-1 Links: Is Serge Ibaka the NBA’s most improved?

Jan 2, 2013, 8:22 PM EST

Oklahoma City Thunder's Ibaka plays against San Antonio Spurs during their NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City Reuters

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.

Kevin Durant for NBA Most Improved Player? Over at Sports Illustrated, Rob Mahoney looks at guys who made big strides this season and says the already impressive Durant should be on the list. A more likely MIP candidate is Serge Ibaka.

J.R. Smith talks about how many tattoos he has… he lost count.

Dwight Howard has tried to fix his free throw issues by stepping about six inches behind the line, notes Kelly Dwyer at Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie blog. Sure, that’s going to work.

Russell Westbrook‘s shot 45.7 percent last season, this season that has fallen off a cliff down to 40.4 percent. Why? Royce Young at Daily Thunder does a great job looking at why Westbrook’s jumper has gone askew.

• Speaking of shooting woes, here is a look at Deron Williams‘ issues by Howard Beck of the New York Times.

• In what is a fitting and easy analogy, the Nets new home the Barclay’s Center had a number of bad bolts in it that could have led to serious structural issues.

Ranking teams on how well and often they shoot the corner three, which is one of the most important shots in basketball. Teams that are really good at it this season include the Heat, Spurs and Knicks, not so coincidentally.

• I’ve never believed that they do, but here is some statistical evidence that those players-only meetings do help teams.

• Gregg Popovich, praising what Tiago Splitter brings to the table.

• Pretty soon you’re going to start seeing more and more D-League call ups to the NBA. Here’s a fantastic primer from Mark Deeks on guys to watch for.

• Boston just called Fab Melo back up from the D-League but only did so to better treat a concussion he suffered.

• Denver’s Ty Lawson is questionable for Thursday.

• The Hawks’ Larry Drew and the Clippers’ Vinny Del Negro today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month for December. Del Negro was pretty much a no brainer as his team went 16-0 and didn’t lose a game all month (should Vinny have to share the award with Chris Paul?). The Hawks are playing well this season for Drew and were 10-5 in the month.

• Along those same lines, the Heat’s LeBron James and the Clippers’ Chris Paul have been named Players of the Month by the league. Again this is about as shocking as Democrats and Republicans fighting about anything and everything.

Latest Posts
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    Jan 27, 2015, 6:50 PM EST

    LaMarcus Aldridge AP

    Barring any setbacks with hand injury

  2. Paul Pierce on why trash talk is down in league: NBA2K

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    NBA 2K15 promo

    My gaming experience suggests you talk a lot of trash to the guy next to you.

  3. Wisconsin Governor plans for $220 million in state bonds to help pay for new Milwaukee arena

    Jan 27, 2015, 3:30 PM EST

    Scott Walker Getty Images

    It essentially uses increased jock tax revenue to pay off the bonds.

  4. Iman Shumpert mocks his own failed crossover (VIDEO)

    Jan 27, 2015, 2:40 PM EST

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

    Shumpert dribbled it off his foot against the Thunder, then tweeted the clip.

  5. Lakers’ players trying to adjust to Byron Scott’s random rotations

    Jan 27, 2015, 1:55 PM EST

    Byron Scott AP

    Players like a routine, a rhythm to games, and the Lakers are chaos theory.

  6. Kobe Bryant uses Super Bowl analogy to describe how he feels about season-ending injury

    Jan 27, 2015, 12:30 PM EST

    Los Angeles Lakers v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    This is the third consecutive year Bryant has had his season prematurely ended due to injury.

  7. Nets coach Lionel Hollins calls idea he doesn’t like advanced stats ‘dumbest thing I’ve ever heard’

    Jan 27, 2015, 11:50 AM EST

    San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Three Getty Images

    Hollins was reportedly not brought back in Memphis because of an aversion to the use of advanced statistics.

  8. UPDATE: Knicks, Langston Galloway agree to contract for this season and next

    Jan 27, 2015, 11:10 AM EST

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    New York doesn’t want to offer Galloway any guaranteed money for next season.

  9. Brian Shaw upset with officiating after not getting a call late in loss to Clippers

    Jan 27, 2015, 10:30 AM EST

    Brian Shaw AP

    Matt Barnes intentionally fouled Danilo Gallinari late, and Shaw believes free throws should have been awarded.

  10. How Nicki Minaj helped John Wall become an All-Star starter

    Jan 27, 2015, 8:30 AM EST

    106 & Park Getty Images

    She tweeted out a vote for him, and she has 18.8 million followers.

  11. DeAndre Jordan threw a block party and the Nuggets were invited (VIDEO)

    Jan 27, 2015, 8:00 AM EST

    DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Hawes, Alex Len AP

    Then he finishes it off with a dunk of his own.

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