With the playoff picture out west very much unsettled with 10 games to go, let's check in on the Western Conference to catch up on the latest news and happenings.
- Mavericks owner Mark Cuban hopes making Lamar Odom inactive for the remainder of the season is addition by subtraction in his latest comments on the issue, reports Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com. While Cuban admitted he knew Odom was a fragile entity given how upset the player became in the wake of almost being sent to the Hornets in the Chris Paul trade that never materialized, the Mavs owner was confident he could get the most out of the former Rhode Island star. "Do I feel let down? No. But am I disappointed? Yeah," Cuban said. "I wanted it to work. We worked hard to make it work, but I failed. I couldn't make it work so we moved on. I failed; my business, my company, my team. When we (mess) up, I'll take responsibility."
- Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman defends Blake Griffin against the growing notion that the former Oklahoma star has developed into a "villain" in the NBA. After being the toast of the league just a year ago, Griffin's reputation has taken a hit for reasons that truly shock new teammate Chris Paul, who has nothing but good things to say about the second-year star. Carlson suggests some of the criticism stems from the highlight-reel dunks Griffin has thrown down this season and how Griffin responds in the wake of them.
- The Clippers are heading toward unfamiliar territory as they are on track to secure the fourth seed in the Western Conference thanks to completely overhauled roster, writes John Rohde of The Oklahoman. Upon clinching their birth, the Clippers would be adding some substance to their not-so-illustrious playoff history. Making the playoffs this season would mark the team's third appearance since 1998 and fifth since 1977 when the team was known as the Buffalo Braves.