After a Thanksgiving Thursday that didn't feature any NBA games, the season resumes in earnest tonight, with 12 games on the slate. Perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the evening involves the Lakers, still finding their rhythm under new coach Mike D'Antoni, traveling to Memphis to face the Grizzlies.
Yesterday, I suggested that the Grizzlies, Clippers, and Knicks have all shown signs of being ready to make the leap and become legit title contenders this season. The poll results are still very tight, but for now, the Clippers narrowly edge the Grizzlies as your choice for the club most ready to take that next step.
Here are a few of Friday's updates out of the Western Conference:
- The Timberwolves signed Demetris Nichols and Troy Hudson late in October and quickly cut them, according to Mark Deeks of ShamSports (Twitter links). The purpose of the moves was to ensure that the T-Wolves' D-League squad could add Nichols and Hudson as "affiliate" players. Sure enough, both guys are currently on the Sioux Falls Skyforce roster.
- Chris Douglas-Roberts was another player whose D-League affiliate rights were acquired by the Mavericks toward the end of the preseason. Douglas-Roberts, who is now a member of the Texas Legends, Dallas' affiliate, spoke to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News about the D-League experience: "Sometimes, the NBA isn’t just about basketball. It’s about business and it’s about being in the right place at the right time and the right system at the right time. I feel I’m an NBA player. So instead of going overseas and chasing the money, I’m going to be here for however long I’m here."
- Kendrick Perkins still gets emotional when the Thunder head to Boston to play the Celtics, as Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe writes. "Going against guys that you played with for a long time, won rings, went through wars with, still brothers over there," Perkins said. "But at the end of the day, we're still trying to win games."
- Jake Appleman of the New York Times examines the future of the Kings in Sacramento.