After the game, the Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry wrote:
… Cole didn’t do anything to quell everyone’s desire to see him. He wasn’t great. But he just knows how to be active and make his presence felt in ways Perk and Naz don’t seem to do. The thing that shocks me is how much more athletic Aldrich makes the center position look compared to Perk and Naz. Unfortunately, that says more about Perk and Naz than Cole.
Brandon Rush (Golden State Warriors) and his teammates had an off-night on Friday, as the Warriors lost 110-87 to the Oklahoma City Thunder. As a team, Golden State shot just 34 percent from the floor. Rush hit just one of his six shots — a three-pointer — and two foul shots for five points on the night. He also had two rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block in 18 minutes (full stats here).
Drew Gooden (Milwaukee Bucks) stayed in Milwaukee on Friday while the Bucks traveled to Orlando to face the Magic. Gooden is recovering from wrist and knee injuries and is not on the Bucks’ road trip, which lasts through the weekend. Milwaukee lost to Orlando, 94-85 (game stats here).
Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics) made just 6 of 16 shots on Thursday as the Celtics lost to the Chicago Bulls, 89-80. Pierce finished with 14 points, two rebounds and three assists in 35 minutes (full stats here). The game marked the continuation of a slight mid-February slump for Pierce, who has averaged just 11.3 points, 3.8 assists and 1.3 rebounds in his last four games. Pierce had averaged 21 points, 7.1 assists and 6.7 rebounds in the 10 games before that.
Brady Morningstar (NBA D-League - Tulsa 66ers) scored nine points in a 119-114 overtime victory on Friday. Morningstar was 4-for-8 from the floor and hit 1 of 2 three-pointers. He also had three rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes (full stats here).
Josh Selby (NBA D-League - Reno Bighorns) struggled with his shot on Friday and had 13 points on 15 attempts as the Bighorns lost, 106-92. Selby grabbed eight rebounds, dished out five assists and hit 2 of 5 three-pointers, but he went 4-for-15 overall in 37 minutes (full stats here).
Marcus Morris (NBA D-League - Rio Grande Valley Vipers) put up 18 points in 26 minutes, but the Vipers allowed the Canton Charge to make 19 of 33 three-pointers and lost 136-113 on Thursday. Marcus did his part on the offensive end, hitting 8 of 14 shots. He also pulled down six rebounds and hit a three (full stats here).
Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) was “drafted” by Shaquille O'Neal on Thursday for the All-Star Weekend Rising Stars (read: rookie-sophomore) Challenge. Markieff was Shaq’s fifth pick, and he’ll get to play with point guard sensations Ricky Rubio and Jeremy Lin next Friday at 8 p.m. on TNT.
The entire rookie-sophomore selection show, including Shaq mispronouncing Markieff’s name (at 7:40), below:
In Nick Collison’s latest GQ.com blog, the Oklahoma City Thunder forward gave advice on “How To Survive in the NBA When You're Not a Superstar.”
In the post, he wrote:
The hard part is being able to have the focus to do it over and over again, knowing you aren't going to get a lot of credit. Doing a great job of talking on defense won't get you any high-paying endorsement deals. Nobody is making a YouTube mix of all your badass screens with a Rick Ross track playing over it. (I'm not saying I would complain if someone did this for me.)
And, wouldn’t you know it, the Internet delivered:
7 p.m., Brandon Rush and the Golden State Warriors vs. the Memphis Grizzlies
9 p.m., Kirk Hinrich and the Atlanta Hawks vs. the Portland Trailblazers
2:30 p.m., ABC, Mario Chalmers and the Miami Heat vs. the Orlando Magic
5 p.m., Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics vs. the Detroit Pistons
6 p.m., Drew Gooden (wrist injury) and the Milwaukee Bucks vs. the New Jersey Nets
7 p.m., ESPN, Nick Collison, Cole Aldrich and the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the Denver Nuggets
7 p.m., Markieff Morris and the Phoenix Suns vs. the Los Angeles Lakers