The Jazz finished off a win against Lakers that moved the Northwest Division 3-0 on a busy night in the NBA. That reverses an early-season trend, since the Timberwolves are still the only team in the division with a record better than .500. It's not the way the teams envisioned things going when they made their moves this summer. Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors has been reviewing the offseasons of a few Northwest Division teams this week, looking at the Trail Blazers, Nuggets and Jazz. Similar pieces covering the Wolves and Thunder are coming soon, but in the meantime, we have items about both teams and their division rivals right here.
- Kevin Martin was impressed with the greeting he got from Thunder GM Sam Presti and other team executives after he was traded to Oklahoma City, and the shooting guard has returned the favor with an impressive performance so far this season, as Sam Amick of USA Today writes.
- John Rohde of The Oklahoman examines the Thunder's bench, which has seen an overhaul since the end of last season.
- As for the Blazers' bench, it's last in the league in scoring, but coach Terry Stotts isn't concerned, according to Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. Offseason signee and backup point guard Ronnie Price has been hampered by a torn ankle ligament, as Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com explains.
- Blazers rookie point guard Damian Lillard is bound to see more double teams based on his hot start, but Stotts is OK with that, citing Lillard's nightly experience as the focal point of other teams' defenses at Weber State, notes Mike Tokito of The Oregonian.
- Nikola Pekovic of the Timberwolves may share a first name, position, and home country with Nikola Vucevic of the Magic, but the two took divergent paths to the NBA, as Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune details.