Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili has been among the team’s most accurate shooters, making 12 of his 16 shots from the field overall and going 5 for 7 on 3-pointers in four preseason appearances, and entering tonight’s game he was the team’s No. 2 scorer, at 11.7 points per game, a level of play that is even surprising the 39-year-old shooting guard, Mike Monroe of The San Antonio Express-News writes. “I am shocked,” Ginobili said about his level of performance thus far. “To tell you the truth I wasn’t expecting this but I am feeling great; healthy; making shots. I’m playing relaxed. I am really enjoying the experience. That is what I wanted to achieve, this mental state. It’s way easier to do it in preseason when everything is more relaxed but we’ll see how it goes. So far, so good.”
Here’s the latest out of the Southwest:
- Rockets first-rounder Sam Dekker has struggled with his shooting during the preseason, but the rookie feels that he is beginning to acclimate himself to the speed of the pro game, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “As a rookie there is that little growth process,” Dekker said. “I don’t think I’m anywhere near as comfortable as I’m going to be. I’m learning every day and trying to learn from the best and ask as many questions as I can. I’m trying to pick up as much as I can so I can help this team and learn every day and keep growing and get more comfortable.”
- The Pelicans need to find an effective power forward who can defend and score if the team wants to shift Anthony Davis to the center position, which is being considered under new coach Alvin Gentry, Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM writes. One target for next offseason who Tjarks suggests would be a good fit in New Orleans is current Rockets combo forward Terrence Jones, who will be eligible to become a restricted free agent at the end of the 2015/16 campaign. While Houston will most likely prefer to re-sign Jones, a substantial offer sheet proffered by the Pelicans could dissuade GM Daryl Morey from matching and bring Jones to New Orleans, Tjarks opines.
- Team owner Mark Cuban believes that if the Mavericks‘ top players can remain healthy, Dallas will deploy a potent lineup and have an excellent shot to make the playoffs this season, Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com relays. “We’re going to be fun,” Cuban said. “Our defense is going to be better, and we’re shooting the ball from three a lot more. And that’s with our young guys. Once the vets get in there, it will open things up more for them. … But we’ve got a lot of new, young guys that will be fun to watch. And then watching Dirk Nowitzki and Chandler Parsons and Wesley Matthews and Deron Williams, that’s going to be money right there. You know, that’s a [heck] of a top four.”