While it's not uncommon for several members of a team to butter up an opponent before a game, Knicks coach Mike Woodson delivered a theory on the success of the Spurs in advance of their matchup on Friday, as Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express News documents. "So when young guys or any new player comes on their team, they have to buy in because those banners are up there for a reason," Woodson said. "So I think the transition for a lot of the players that come here is easier." The praise of San Antonio seems warranted as they sit on top of the Western Conference at 7-1. Here's the latest on a few of the teams trying to knock them off that pedestal.
- An agent who is trying to get his player on the Wolves believes the team is trying to make some kind of trade, Darren Wolfson reveals via Twitter. Minnesota is looking for help on the perimeter, and Hoops Rumors readers have so far identified them as the team most in need of a new wing player.
- HoopsWorld's Bill Ingram calls Nikola Pekovic "the best young traditional center in the NBA," and details his growth as a player as he takes on double-teams with so many of his Wolves teammates out with injury.
- Phil Jackson's desire for significant organizational power was the stumbling block that kept him from becoming coach of the Lakers, just as it prevented the Knicks from pursuing him last spring, writes Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
- The Lakers put Mike D'Antoni in a no-win situation by reaching out to Jackson, thus forcing D'Antoni to deal with being seen as Plan B in addition to the heightened expectations that already surround the team, opines Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.
- Deveney, in his wide-ranging piece, also questions the bargaining power of Royce White while noting the success of several other 2012 draftees.
- Matt Moore of CBSSports.com has been supportive of White in the past, since they suffer from the same anxiety problems, but now Moore takes the rookie to task for his playing-time demands and Twitter outbursts.