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Western Notes: Bickerstaff, Prince, Carlisle

If the Rockets are able to clinch a playoff berth this evening, it would greatly enhance the chances of interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff earning the post on a full-time basis, Marc Stein of ESPN.com relays in a series of tweets. Houston does have interest in Scott Brooks and Tom Thibodeau, who are likely to be two of the more sought-after coaches this offseason, Stein adds. The Rockets are intrigued by the discipline and structure that Thibodeau could bring, but Brooks, who played for the Rockets, has an excellent familiarity with James Harden from their time spent together with the Thunder, Stein notes.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Wolves small forward Tayshaun Prince intends to play next season, telling reporters, “I’m not going to retire,” Kyle Ratke of NBA.com tweets. The 36-year-old, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent, appeared in 77 games and averaged 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds in 19.0 minutes per outing for Minnesota on the season.
  • Rick Carlisle, who is in his eighth season as Mavericks coach, has given the organization an uncommon stability during his tenure, Colin McGowan of RealGM writes. Carlisle deserves credit for making the most out of the talent he has been afforded, and the organization also deserves praise for sticking with the coach despite a few rocky seasons, McGowan adds.
  • Brandan Wright was limited to just 12 games for the Grizzlies this season, which likely diminishes his value as a potential trade chip and increases the likelihood Wright will be on Memphis’ roster next season, opines Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal. The big man inked a three-year, $18MM with the Grizzlies last summer.
  • The Pelicans will finish the 2015/16 campaign with 351 games missed due to injury and illness, the most in the NBA in the past six years, Justin Verrier of ESPN.com relays (Twitter link).

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