A pair of Pacific Division teams have turned their final roster spots over to experienced players, with the Clippers signing Stephen Jackson and the Warriors bringing on Hilton Armstrong. Doc Rivers says he wanted a player who’s been around, as Brian Robb of ESPN.com notes, and the 35-year-old Jackson, who’s played 13 seasons in the NBA, certainly fits the profile. Rivers also enjoys getting to make that kind of decision, as we detail in our roundup from the Pacific:
- The opportunity to coach as well as run the front office helped make the Clippers job appealing to Rivers, as he said on radio with Felger and Massarotti of 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston (link via CBS Boston).
- Soon-to-be restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe says he feels more confident and has a greater sense of freedom playing for the Suns this year as opposed to his time with the Clippers, observes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
- The Suns are 12-9, just a game and a half out of first place in the division, and the success is surprising even to members of the team’s braintrust, notes Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). Phoenix’s unexpected victories hurt the team’s chances of landing a superstar in the draft, but they don’t necessarily derail an ascent to contention, writes Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register.
- The Warriors made the right decision when they traded Monta Ellis at the 2012 deadline to free up playing time for Klay Thompson, and the move has worked out well for Ellis, too, as Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com argues in an Insider piece.
- There’s plenty of activity surrounding the Kings, as we passed along earlier today.