Western Notes: Grizzlies, Harden, Kings, Carroll

November 17 2012 at 3:23pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Grizzlies staked their claim to a place among the NBA's elite teams this week with wins over the Heat, Thunder and previously unbeaten Knicks. That has the USA Today, and no doubt others, wondering if Memphis is the best team in the league. It's probably premature to anoint them as such after just eight games, but with Zach Randolph looking fully healthy again, they're certainly a squad worth keeping an eye on. Here's the latest on a few teams trying to catch up to them in the Western Conference standings.

  • Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game offers a contrasting take on the notion that James Harden only had an hour to decide on the Thunder's extension offer, writing that both Harden and his agent, Rob Pelinka, had been aware for four months that Oklahoma City was not going to give Harden the max (Sulia link).
  • Zach Harper of CBSSports.com details the woes of the 2-7 Kings, but Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee hears the team isn't planning on making any major moves and intends to hold on to Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and Jimmer Fredette for the time being (Twitter link).
  • Jazz forward DeMarre Carroll, who's on an expiring contract and hadn't seen meaningful minutes for two weeks, told his agent, "I didn't work this hard to be out of the rotation," as Bill Oram of The Salt Lake Tribune documents. His work paid off last night, when he went 6 for 6 and put up 17 points and five rebounds in close to 23 minutes.
  • New Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said his faith in his offensive system was reinforced by the time he spent coaching Jeremy Lin with the Knicks, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
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