Clippers coach Doc Rivers cautions not to read too much into Lance Stephenson‘s brief cameo during today’s win over the Pistons, writes Justin Verrier of ESPN.com. Even with Chris Paul and J.J. Redick sitting out with injuries, Stephenson saw the court for just 1 minute and 42 seconds. Rivers said it was a “spacing” issue and he wasn’t convinced that Stephenson was “ready” during his brief appearance. Stephenson was dealt to L.A. in June after a disappointing season in Charlotte. He had started the Clippers’ first nine games, averaging 6.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists. Rivers said Stephenson handled today’s demotion well. “Lance has been great,” Rivers said. “He’s been in great spirit. He really has. Obviously, he wants to play. We want to play him. And tonight we chose not to. I thought he was the pro’s pro.”
There’s more news from the Western Conference:
- Mario Chalmers came to the Grizzlies in a bad mood, according to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. After seven seasons in Miami, the Heat traded Chalmers to Memphis this week in a deal aimed at reducing their luxury tax payment. Chalmers is upset about being involved in trade rumors all summer, then having his playing time cut to 20 minutes per game this season. “I’m definitely playing with a chip on my shoulder, especially with the way everything went down in Miami,” he said. “I’m just licking my chops at this new opportunity and I’m ready to help the Grizzlies start winning.”
- After matching Enes Kanter‘s hefty offer from the Blazers, the Thunder are happy with the early returns, writes Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman. Even though Kanter is being used as a backup, he’s justifying his four-year, $70MM deal with some impressive rebounding numbers. Kanter ranks sixth in the league in offensive rebounds and is third in rebounds per 48 minutes. He also provides scoring punch. With 27.5 points per 48 minutes, he trails just Jahlil Okafor and Brook Lopez among centers.
- The Spurs recalled forward Jonathon Simmons from their D-League team in Austin today. He made his first appearance of the season in tonight’s game against the Sixers.