The Pacific Division's top two teams are both in action at Staples Center today, and if the first-place Lakers get upset by the Hornets the afternoon and the Clippers beat the Jazz tonight, there will be a tie atop the division. Here's the rest of the news from the West Coast:
- The Kings picked up DeMarcus Cousins' $3.88MM option for 2012/13 this past offseason, and the investment looks smarter as the center matures and develops, writes Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee.
- Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com criticizes the Warriors' approach to the season, reasoning that the caliber of player the team is likely to get in the draft probably won't be enough to make Golden State a contender.
- Suns GM Lance Blanks blogged about his trip to China to see Aaron Brooks for Suns.com. Blanks' comment that Brooks is "eager to get back home to the States, see his family and begin his off season training to prepare himself for a return to NBA" seems to indicate that the point guard will not play in the league this season, and instead test restricted free agency this summer. The Suns hold the right to match any offer Brooks gets.
- The Clippers have started winning again, but the heat is still on coach Vinny Del Negro, writes Sam Amick of SI.com. Amick says Del Negro has been told to heighten the team's offensive pace, get them to play more aggressive defense, and regard stars and role players with the same level of scrutiny.
- The Kings, who've signed Terrence Williams for the rest of the season, have quickly come to trust him in the 10 days he's spent with the team, giving the former 11th overall pick key fourth-quarter minutes, notes Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.