After the injured Russell Westbrook played his last game, the Thunder were tied with the Blazers atop the Northwest Division at 23-5. Since then, Oklahoma City has opened a four-game lead, even though Portland has been largely healthy. While the Blazers defense could use a boost if they’re to catch the Thunder, it’ll have to come from within, since coach Terry Stotts doesn’t expect the team will make any changes at the deadline, as he tells Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Here’s more from the Northwest:
- Danilo Gallinari tells Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post that he thinks he could have played on his surgically repaired left knee this season, but he says it wasn’t fully healed and he feared he’d shorten his career if he tried it out. He instead opted for another surgery that sidelines him for the season, but he expects to be ready for camp this fall.
- There’s no consensus around the league about who got the better end of the Carmelo Anthony trade nearly three years later, observes Fred Kerber of the New York Post. Some are withholding judgment until after the season, when the draft choice New York still owes the Nuggets could become this year’s No. 1 overall pick.
- The Thunder have assigned Andre Roberson to the D-League, the team announced. That makes it a half-dozen trips to the Tulsa 66ers for the rookie power forward, who’s still managed to start four games for the big club.