The Western Conference's current seventh and eighth seeds face tough matchups tonight, as the seventh-place Rockets host the Clippers, while the eighth-place Trail Blazers play the Nuggets in Denver. Losses for one or both clubs could give the Lakers, who host the Bucks, a chance to pick up a game in the standings, as they attempt to claw their way back into the playoff picture. While we look forward to tonight's games, let's check out a few links from around the league:
- Dirk Nowitzki is glad to hear that the "Bank of [Mark] Cuban" will be open as the trade deadline approaches, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com writes.
- Following up on Cuban's comments, Derek Page of HoopsWorld wonders if Rudy Gay could be a fit for the Mavericks, and examines some of the Mavs' trade candidates.
- In a mailbag, Ian Thomsen of SI.com explores which NBA coach might be the next on the hot seat. Although Thomsen eventually lands on the Suns' Alvin Gentry, he argues that Gentry is not the problem in Phoenix.
- Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic looks at the potential consolation prize for the Suns' disappointing season, outlining which players could interest the club at the top of the 2013 draft. As our tentative draft order shows, Phoenix is currently in line to have a top-five pick.
- Replying to a Twitter question about whether Kentucky's Alex Poythress might remain a Wildcast past this season, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress says Poythress is "100% gone." ESPN.com's Chad Ford projects Poythress as a top-10 pick in June, though ESPN.com's Jay Bilas (Insider link) wrote yesterday that the young forward hasn't lived up to the hype so far.