The teams with the best records in the NBA are hosting the only two games on the schedule tonight, as the 21-6 Thunder, facing the Mavericks, will look to bounce back from a Christmas Day loss, while the 22-6 Clippers set sights on their 15th straight win with the Celtics in town. As we look forward to those contests, let's round up a few odds and ends from around the NBA:
- While many people around the NBA believe that LeBron James is considering an eventual return to the Cavaliers, SI.com's Ian Thomsen doesn't think that would necessarily be the best move for LeBron's career.
- Ex-Knick Renaldo Balkman appears on his way to play in the Philippines in the new year, according to agent Sheryl Reyes (link via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando).
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel looks back on 12 months of drastic change for the Magic.
- Within his preview of a few 2013 NBA storylines, Tom Ziller of SBNation.com focuses on the big decisions coming in Los Angeles and David Stern's last full year as NBA commissioner.
- Michael Scotto of RealGM.com talks to Paul Millsap about his contract situation, and speculates about possible suitors for the power forward next summer in free agency.
- Russell Westbrook's five-year extension kicks in this season, and The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson argues that his ability to overcome lapses is the key to the future for the Thunder.
- Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game takes to Sulia to explore why GMs like the Rockets' Daryl Morey receive more praise than less media-friendly GMs with comparable track records like David Kahn of the Timberwolves.
- Dwight Jaynes of CSNNW.com warns Trail Blazers fans not to get too attached to J.J. Hickson, suggesting the team's best move may involve moving him before the trade deadline. We rounded up a few rumors relating to Hickson and the Blazers this morning.