Four of the five Southwest Division teams are in action tonight, including the Rockets, who have a key clash with the Blazers, the team sitting just one game behind them for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Rockets could be getting a boost from one of their lottery picks soon, as we examine along with other news from the Southwest:
- The Associated Press provides more of Hollins' comments, noting that the coach would have preferred the Grizzlies keep their core together (link via HoopsWorld). Ron Higgins of the Memphis Commercial Appeal adds even more. "Was I disappointed? Of course I was disappointed. … But that doesn’t mean I love Rudy Gay more than I love Zach Randolph. It doesn’t mean that I can’t go on without Rudy Gay."
- Royce White has passed a physical with the Rockets, and everything is set for him to join the team's D-League affiliate next week, reports Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston. White said there's no timetable for how long he'll stay with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, but added that he believes the Rockets want to make it a short stint.
- In a series of dispatches on his Twitter account, Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal shared remarks from Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, who insists he's on board with the front office and wants to return to coach the team next season. "I hope everything I say isn't taken as I hate management," said Hollins, who made earlier comments that appeared to indicate he opposed the Rudy Gay deal. "Am I emotional about the trade? Yes. But it is the business of basketball and i understand it."
- Australian big man Joe Ingles, currently playing in Spain, drew interest from the Grizzlies in the wake of last month's three-for-one trade. While a signing didn't materialize, the 25-year-old has long dreamed of joining the NBA, as HoopsHype's Jorge Sierra examines. Ingles' deal with FC Barcelona is up at the end of the season.