Three of the five Pacific Division teams are in action today, as the Clippers and Warriors clash in a matinee while the Suns travel to San Antonio for a game tonight. Let's check the pulse of the Pacific:
- Matt Barnes is in the waning days of his two-year, $3.67MM contract with the Lakers, but his ability to step up while Kobe Bryant has missed games with a shin injury has helped keep the team afloat, write Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times and Mike Trudell of Lakers.com.
- Kings coach Keith Smart is trying to keep his players focused amidst all the arena-related upheaval in Sacramento, and speaks favorably of the progress center Hassan Whiteside made this year before getting knocked out for the rest of the season with a sprained right ankle, writes Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. The team must decide by July 15 whether to guarantee his $854K contract for next season.
- Ekpe Udoh was caught off guard when he found out from a television report that the Warriors had dealt him to the Bucks, reports Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. "Coming off the court in Sacramento, I will never forget seeing on TV that I had been traded," Udoh said. "It's surreal, really. But it's a business, and I got a firsthand glimpse of that. I understand that now, and now I'm with the Bucks, and I'm going to give it my all."
- Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News talked to a few Spurs players who are impressed with the way 39-year-old Grant Hill continues to perform as one of the league's top perimeter defenders for the Suns. Hill will be a free agent this summer.