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Western Notes: Ellis, Smith, Lee

Monta Ellis has no regrets about his relationship with the Warriors, the team he spent his first seven seasons with, Tim MacMahon of writes. “I don’t live in the past,” the Mavs guard said. “I mean, the situation was best for both of us. Me being in Dallas is a great situation for me. Them going with him to be with the face of the team and franchise worked out good for them. And it’s working out good for me. I don’t live in the past. I always go ahead.” There is some belief that Ellis will reportedly opt-out of the third year of his team-friendly deal given his level of play this season.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Josh Smith insisted he has moved on from his tenure with the Pistons before he had eight points and seven rebounds for the Rockets Friday night in his second game facing the team that released him, Brendan Savage of MLive writes. “It’s water under the bridge,” Smith said. The veteran forward who’ll be a free agent this summer, signed a one-year deal with the Rockets after the Pistons surprisingly waived him.
  • Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy has been impressed with how well Smith has played with the RocketsJenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle writes. Smith is hitting 44.1% of his shots since arriving in Houston, compared to the 39.1% he logged this season in Detroit. “I think when they moved him to the bench, he has played very well in that role for them,” Van Gundy said. “Coming off the bench, he is helping them offensively and rebounding the ball. His shooting percentage has gone up.”
  • It’s been easy for David Lee to accept his role as a reserve because the Warriors are winning and his replacement Draymond Green is playing well, writes Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders“It’s not frustrating at all. It’s just a role change,” said Lee, who missed 24 of the Warriors’ first 25 games due to injury. “If we were losing a bunch of games I probably would be saying to Coach [Steve Kerr], ‘Hey maybe we should try something different.’ But the way we are playing as a group and the way Draymond is specifically playing, this is the way it’s supposed to be right now.”

Will Joseph contributed to this post.

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