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Southwest Notes: Williams, Randolph, Bairstow

Deron Williams has no issue with Rick Carlisle‘s desire to call plays from the bench, as Rajon Rondo did last season, and that’s led to a smooth relationship for a coach and player who seemed to enter the season with a strong chance of clashing, as Tim MacMahon of examines.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know him and working with him,” Carlisle said of Williams. “I’ve always had great respect for his game. Two months into this, he’s flat out one of the best players I’ve ever coached.”

Williams signed a two-year, $11MM deal with the Mavericks in the summer, but he can hit free agency again in 2016 if he opts out. See more from the Southwest Division:

  • The five games the Grizzlies played without Zach Randolph because of injury last month provided encouraging signs about the team’s ability to function with Randolph in a reduced role in seasons to come, writes Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal. Still, Memphis, which went 3-2 over that stretch, doesn’t have the caliber of wing players necessary to thrive without a fully engaged Randolph yet, Herrington posits. In the immediate future, with a shortage of big men, Herrington expects the Grizzlies to look to add a big if Brandan Wright‘s injury turns out to be a long-term affair.
  • The acquisitions of JaMychal Green, Matt Barnes and Mario Chalmers over the past 11 months were positives for the Grizzlies that represent a change in style toward more 3-pointers, fast breaks, steals and free throws, Herrington writes in the same piece.
  • The acclimation of Cameron Bairstow, who’s with the Spurs affiliate on D-League assignment from the Bulls, hasn’t been without a hitch, but it’s nonetheless an example of how the flexible assignment system benefits San Antonio’s affiliate, as Spurs D-League coach Ken McDonald detailed to Adam Johnson of D-League Digest.

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