Memphis is leading the Southwest Division with a record of 41-16 and Jeff Green‘s seamless transition to the team has helped the Grizzlies remain in good position to make a run at an NBA title, writes Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders. “I don’t have to adapt,” said Green. “They just want me to go out there and be myself. Be aggressive, because if I’m aggressive that’s going to take a lot of pressure off of other guys, so we’re out there sharing the ball, just playing team basketball.” The Grizzlies are 15-5 since acquiring Green from the Celtics.
Here’s more from the Southwest Division:
- Coach Rick Carlisle has clashed with new addition Rajon Rondo, but his experience coaching Jason Kidd should help steer the relationship in the right direction, opines Fran Blinebury of NBA.com. Blinebury suggests that relationship is repairable and notes that Kidd had virtually the same issue with Carlisle that Rondo is having over ceding the play calling duties to the coach. Two seasons later after their power struggle, Carlisle and Kidd had established a level of trust and the franchise won its first NBA championship.
- Rondo isn’t a good fit for the Mavs and there is a chance he doesn’t remain in Dallas long-term, opines Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News. Cowlishaw names Brandon Knight and Goran Dragic as potential offseason targets if Rondo does indeed leave town. The Mavs have approximately $44.26MM in salary commitments for the 2015/16 season. That figure includes player options for Monta Ellis, Raymond Felton and Al-Farouq Aminu. I would speculate that Ellis declines his $8.72MM option in search of a more lucrative offer. Dallas may have to worry about a new contract for Ellis, as well as a contract for soon to be free agent Tyson Chandler. Knight and Dragic will both likely require near maximum salary contracts and if the team wants to retain the majority of its nucleus, the pair of point guards may be out of Dallas’ price range.
- Houston’s bench has become a strength for the team, opines Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle. Corey Brewer, who was acquired in a December trade with the Wolves, is enjoying his role. “For me it is all about winning,” Brewer said. “I love coming off the bench. I love having fun. I love giving starters a boost, love giving them that energy. That’s what it’s all about.” The Rockets have made quite a few changes to their roster since last season’s loss to the Blazers in the first round of the playoffs. In my latest poll, readers of Hoops Rumors were split on whether the changes will allow the team to advance further in the playoffs this year.