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  1. Thursday And-1 links: J.R. Smith is among NBA’s injured

    Oct 18, 2012, 7:41 PM EDT

    New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith reacts after hitting a three-point shot against the Dallas Mavericks in the first half of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York

    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 like most of the country likes watching the Yankees lose. • Already without Iman…

  2. Rivers says new 90-second “handshake” rule hurts coaches

    Oct 18, 2012, 6:51 PM EDT

    Doc Rivers

    You’ve seen players complain about the NBA’s new “90 seconds from intros to tip off” rule, saying the fans love their pregame handshake rituals. You’ve seen the media complain that the NBA fun police are out, taking cues from the NFL. Now you can add a coach to the list of those who don’t like…

  3. NBA season preview: Golden State Warriors

    Oct 18, 2012, 5:36 PM EDT

    Stephen Curry, David Lee, Andrew Bogut

    Last Season: The Warriors hope that last season was one where the decisions the franchise made put the team in position to compete for years to come — starting now. First year head coach Mark Jackson didn’t have much to work with, and Stephen Curry‘s ankle problems that allowed him to play only 26 games…

  4. Video: Another big dunk from Wednesday… Jonas Valanciunas

    Oct 18, 2012, 4:33 PM EDT

    Raptors' Valanciunas looks on during a break in play against the Pistons during their NBA presseason basketball game in Toronto

    Ladies and gentlemen, Jonas Valanciunas. This is the Raptors rookie, the No. 5 overall pick from 2011 who is about to debut in the NBA this season. He’s looked a bit raw at times, he needs to get stronger, but he does have a move or two. And he can finish. Raptors fans have high…

  5. Cuban wants the same team back next season… if they win

    Oct 18, 2012, 4:16 PM EDT

    Mark Cuban

    The NBA is a bottom line business. As in it’s all about the money. The lockout made that painfully obvious. But winning can help the bottom line, plus it’s just more fun than losing. Mark Cuban gets the bottom line, but for him that includes winning. He has spent wildly in the past to try…

  6. Kevin Garnett has found himself a pupil in Jared Sullinger

    Oct 18, 2012, 3:41 PM EDT

    Italy Celtics  EA7 Emporio Armani Basketball

    Jared Sullinger is the kind of rookie who fits in on a veteran Celtics team. He’s not a guy who came in with a big ego, he’s not a guy who came in with a high-flying game. He’s more old school, lots of moves below the rim. That’s why Kevin Garnett likes the guy. That…

  7. Kevin Love broke hand doing knuckle push ups. Ugh.

    Oct 18, 2012, 2:41 PM EDT

    Kevin Love

    It was like some kind of Rocky movie training montage gone bad. And without the John Cafferty “Heart on Fire” soundtrack. Kevin Love broke his hand doing knuckle pushups, according to the Timberwolves (as reported by Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press, among others). He was working out with a trainer at his condominium complex…

  8. Del Negro says Odom will work way into shape “eventually”

    Oct 18, 2012, 2:18 PM EDT

    Lamar Odom, Caron Butler

    The Clippers needed depth along the front line and signing Lamar Odom, just a couple years removed from being the Sixth Man of the Year, seemed like a good fit. That is, if his head was in the right place and he wasn’t lost like he spent the last year with the Mavericks. Apparently his…

  9. Could Lakers be planning to make 2014 run at LeBron?

    Oct 18, 2012, 1:22 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers

    It’s a series of coincidences… or are they? • In the summer of 2014, LeBron James can opt out of his deal with the Miami Heat and become a free agent. (So can both Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.) • While the Lakers have geared up for an expensive two-year run at a title, in…

  10. Stackhouse out at least a week with sore knees. Stunning.

    Oct 18, 2012, 1:01 PM EDT

    Jerry Stackhouse

    Jerry Stackhouse is going to be out seven to 10 days due to sore knees, tweets Howard Beck of the New York Times. In other news, we checked this morning and the Vatican reports the Pope remains Catholic. Also, we can report sun rose in the East and experts at JPL continue to predict it…

  11. It’s his life: John Wall doesn’t know who Jon Bon Jovi is

    Oct 18, 2012, 11:58 AM EDT

    From John Wall's Instagram account

    The Washington Wizards were in Toronto last night — and so was Jon Bon Jovi. The New Jersey rocker was at the Air Canada Centre and that means those attending the Raptors preseason win were subjected to a lot of blaring Bon Jovi music — “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “You give love a bad name,”…

  12. Chauncey Billups targets November return to Clippers

    Oct 18, 2012, 11:41 AM EDT

    Chauncey Billups

    Chauncey Billups timetable for return just keeps moving up. He suffered a torn surgery left Achilles’ tendon — a tough injury to recover from at any age — but had the surgery and promised a comeback. His original optimistic timetable was December, but he has recovered to the point he is practicing with the team…

  13. Video: Another day, another CP3 to Griffin ally-oop dunk

    Oct 18, 2012, 10:53 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers' Paul celebrates with Griffin after Griffin scored against the Memphis Grizzlies during their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles

    What does it say about us as fans that this kind of play between two of the league’s superstars is so routine as to make us think “that was nice, but they’ve done much better?” Anyway, here is Chris Paul‘s ally-opp to Blake Griffin in transition from Wednesday night against the Jazz. Monster jam. Yawn.…

  14. Kings draw delay of game for taking too long with handshakes

    Oct 18, 2012, 10:23 AM EDT

    DeMarcus Cousins, Harrions Barnes

    When David Stern puts in a new rule because television executives tell him to shorten games he is not messing around. Wednesday night’s Kings/Warriors games started with the Kings getting a delay of game warning for not being ready for tip-off 90 seconds after the intro ended because the players were still going through their…

  15. Video: Meyers Leonard with impressive dunk, weak celebration

    Oct 18, 2012, 8:42 AM EDT

    Meyers Leonar, Metta World Peace, Antwon Johnson, Pau Gasol

    That is Blazers rookie center Meyers Leonard showing he has hops and can finish around the rim. He’s going to get the chance to prove himself, he’s going to get the run this season. Hopefully we see more of that — now that’s how you close the sale. The “flex” celebration afterwards… not so impressive.…

  16. With Love out what’s next for Minnesota? Nothing. Yet.

    Oct 18, 2012, 8:00 AM EDT

    Sprite Slam Dunk Contest

    Derrick Williams, hope you’re ready for your close-up. Kevin Love has broken two bones in shooting hand and is now out for at least six weeks. Meaning we’re talking a return around Thanksgiving at the very earliest, probably more like the first week of December. That is in addition to Ricky Rubio being out from…

  17. Cuban isn’t all that worried about Nowitzki’s knee

    Oct 18, 2012, 2:23 AM EDT

    Mark Cuban, Dirk Nowitzki

    Dallas fans should be a little worried — maybe more than a little worried — about Dirk Nowitzki’s swollen knee and if he needs surgery. Because without him Dallas pretty much becomes the O.J. Mayo show, and no matter what you think of him this preseason that movie has been pretty ugly in the past…

  18. Video: Jeremy Evans with the block on one end, dunk on other

    Oct 18, 2012, 1:33 AM EDT

    Matt Barnes, Jeremy Evans

    If you’re looking for the “play of the preseason” I think this may be your winner. The human pogo stick Jeremy Evans is freakishly long and can jump out of the building, which makes him good at blocking shots and dunking. (It’s the other stuff that holds him back.) Here he gets Ronny Turiaf twice,…

  19. Jordan Crawford has simple (and wrong) definition of a good shot

    Oct 17, 2012, 10:16 PM EDT

    Tyler Zeller, Jordan Crawford

    What is a good shot? One that is not contested. Statistically, the highest value shots are dunks/layups followed by corner threes. A good shot is a player getting tho his comfort spots on the floor — Tim Duncan with the 15-foot wing bank, Kobe Bryant from the elbow. The Wizards’ Jordan Crawford has his own…

  20. Steve Nash was “very close” to being a Raptor

    Oct 17, 2012, 8:29 PM EDT

    Steve Nash of Canada poses with his new jersey at a press conference to announce his signing with the NBA basketball team Los Angeles Lakers in El Segundo

    Only three days after the NBA free agency period began, a bombshell was dropped on the NBA landscape when it was announced that Steve Nash would be a Laker via a sign and trade with the Phoenix Suns. Shock spread around the league with everyone wondering how the Lakers could pull the deal off and…

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