Good morning. Let's basketball.
HELLO BROOKLYN: Okay, Nets, we are paying attention now. Brooklyn continued its hot run by beating the Heat in Miami. None other than The Mother-F--king Truth Paul Pierce did the damage. The Nets are now in the No. 5 spot in the East, ahead of the Wizards. Brooklyn's 1.5 games behind Chicago and three games behind Toronto. They are 23-9 since New Year's.
#TYBG: Jake Fischer scored an exclusive with rapper/provocateur Lil B, who recently released a track humbly titled "F--k KD" and has been feuding with the superstar for years. The Based God talks about the curse he placed on the Thunder (and ultimately lifted), why he doesn't like watching Durant play and how a one-on-one game between the two would end up. Enormously fun read. I think. (I don't believe that I'm sufficiently BASED to be 100 percent on board.)
WHOA: Sam Presti -- who wrote the modern blueprint on what is commonly called tanking but would more accurately be designated as rebuilding -- spits hot fire in denying that tanking exists, is an epidemic and should be addressed by the league.
WHOA DANNY GRANGER EDITION: The free agent pickup is playing well, and he had a big role in the Clippers beating the Warriors in L.A.
SPEAKING OF THE BLAZERS: See you in Welpville.
MIKE. CONLEY.: The Grizz point guard may have hit the buzzer beater of the season. Just adorable.
MORE SCORES?: More scores. All of them.
TANK WATCH, IN AS FEW WORDS AS POSSIBLE: Philly lost again. The Kings won, leaving six teams with 22 or fewer wins.
DETR-OY-T: The Pistons defense is a total embarrassment. Need proof? Mike Prada has the screenshots and videos.
HAD YOUR PHIL, YET?: The Phil Jackson saga continues to devolve into exurban circus in a part-time Christmas tree lot status. NBA TV's Greg Anthony confirmed Jackson is joining the team.
Bleacher Report's Howard Beck proposes an optimstic reading of Jackson as "philosopher-in-chief" of the Knicks. (PHIL-osopher-in-chief huh get it huh?)
MEANWHILE: While New York is coming to terms with what it all means, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant are plotting to get Phil back with the Lakers. Amazing.
DAN ON FIRE: The 2014 NBA Draft is just the worst.
ALL-BULLSEYE TEAM: Five All-Stars who will be under a microscope in the postseason.
QUESTION: If you flop when making contact with your teammate, do you get a fine? Kelly Olynyk is our test case.
YIKESVILLE: Rex Chapman has a very obsessed fan.
WHIMSY: Street Fighter: The Movie should have been great. Instead, it was a total nightmare. A wonderful read by Polygon's Chris Plante for any kid who went to see Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile in the theater and left horrified and broken. (No, I'm not over it.)
Happy Thursday. See you next time.