Southwest Notes: Benson, Carlisle, Assistants

It's intriguing to note that even with this year's lockout shortened schedule, the Spurs haven't finished a season with less than 50 wins since the 1998-99 season (which only had 50 games). Following a Game One win last night against the Clippers, it's one game down and three more wins to go for San Antonio in their quest to advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2008. With about 26 hours until tip-off for Game Two, here's what we've heard out of the Southwest Division in the meantime: 
  • Tom Benson cleared another hurdle in the process of assuming ownership of the Hornets, as the Federal Trade Commission signed off today on his $338 MM purchase of the team, writes John Reid of The Times Picayune.   
  • Not every coach in the league experiences the same pressure of working for a candidly passionate and fanatical owner like Mark Cuban, but Rick Carlisle believes that those traits bring along a constant effort to provide the necessary resources to compete. Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas recorded more of Carlisle's thoughts on his confidence in management along with the work cut out ahead for the Mavericks this summer.  
  • Tom Ziller of SBNation gives his power rankings of the NBA's top assistant coaches who deserve a shot at a head coaching position. Dave Joerger of the Grizzlies is slated at number four, while Mike Budenholzer of the Spurs tops the list at number one.  
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