• NBA Commissioner Adam Silver raised the topic of playoff reform again over All-Star weekend as the league seeks ways to ensure the best 16 teams make the postseason and the best two meet in the Finals. One idea: A four-team tournament in each conference that includes the seventh- to 10th-place teams playing in for two playoff spots.
“I think we have a pretty good thing going,” Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “… Adam’s a pretty open guy. If it makes sense for the league, I’m sure they’ll take a look at it. It sounds like the picking up some steams is the play-in. That could be good. I’m all for more teams being in.”
• The Wolves lost their first three games against Houston and its three-point shooting circus this season by 18 points each.
While they try to find ways to slow the Rockets’ barrage, Wolves veteran Jamal Crawford was asked if the rate at which Houston shoots threes is the NBA’s new normal.
“It’ll turn back at some point,” Crawford said. “That’s just how life is. Gold went out for a while, too, and platinum came. Now people are wearing gold again. It goes full cycle, but right now I can see this for the foreseeable future.”
• Something of the forgotten man in last summer’s trade, Chicago rookie Lauri Markkanen has impressed Kris Dunn by making eight three-pointers at New York and coach Fred Hoiberg as well because he’s more than just a shooter.
“He’s got a chance to be an absolute superstar,” said Hoiberg, whose team acquired the No. 7 overall pick in the Jimmy Butler trade. “Some of the things he has shown, he has got a chance to be really, really special.”