Warriors backup center JaVale McGee will be rewarded with increased minutes, according to Monte Pool of CSNBayArea. The well-traveled veteran has impressed coach Steve Kerr with his play of late, maybe enough to form a “center by committee” with Zaza Pachulia and David West. McGee played 15 minutes Thursday in Denver, finishing with 10 points, three rebounds and two blocks. “He earned some extra playing time for sure,” Kerr said. “We’re still going through different combinations, but he earned the opportunity to play some more.” The Warriors signed McGee in September to a training camp deal that offered a minimum salary for one year with no guaranteed money.
There’s more tonight from the Western Conference:
- Kobe Bryant‘s retirement has been one of the factors in the Lakers‘ early-season success, contends Mitch Lawrence of Forbes. With Bryant gone, the team has gotten rid of its isolation offense and replaced it with a team-oriented approach. Also, the young players who were afraid of getting on Bryant’s bad side now have more freedom to play their games. Lawrence also credits the hiring of coach Luke Walton, who has already impressed the organization with his leadership skills.
- Anthony Davis has been spectacular for the 1-9 Pelicans, but free agent addition Solomon Hill says the rest of the team needs to step up, relays William Guillory of The Times-Picayune. Hill, who joined the team on a four-year, $48MM contract, is averaging 5.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. “Everything’s been going towards [Davis], but I think we need to find ways to get everybody else involved,” Hill said. “He’s going to score regardless. You can throw assistant coaches out there on the floor and as long as they get him the ball he’s going to score. We just got to find ways to do it collectively.”
- Mike D’Antoni is doing his best coaching job with James Harden, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Dempsey says the Rockets’ star, who is averaging 30.0 points and 10.0 assists per night, is the best fit ever for D’Antoni’s up-tempo system.