Western Notes: Lakers, Howard, Bell

During an interview at the Lakers practice facility today, Mike D'Antoni acknowledged that his job will be to compete for a championship this season and added, "I told the team if we're not averaging 110-115 points a game, we need to talk." Zach Harper of CBS Sports relayed a plethora of other notable quotes as the new Lakers coach touched upon the offensive freedom he plans to give his players, the promise he sees in the second unit, and the notion that maximizing the amount of possessions per game will help offset one bad shot or bad call affecting the final outcome. Here's more of what we've heard tonight out of the Western Conference: 

  • Dwight Howard told reporters that he is playing at about "75-80%" and still needs to get his explosiveness back to where he can sustain it over longer stretches of the game (Arash Markazi of ESPN LA tweets). 
  • Marc Stein of ESPN mentions that Raja Bell would naturally be a target for the Lakers to pursue at this point, but him still being under contract with the Jazz, Los Angeles' $100MM payroll and a full roster remain as the most significant obstacles in their way (Twitter link). 
  • The Suns approach to rebuilding includes stockpiling assets and being prepared for circumstances in which a good player may become available via trade, similar to how Houston was able to acquire James Harden from Oklahoma City, writes Sean Deveney of the Sporting News
  • Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group (Sulia link) reports that Warriors center Andrew Bogut has received multiple injections of Regenokine in his left ankle to help with his overall recovery process. 
  • Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside explains why a trip to the D-League for Scott Machado will be a golden opportunity for him to garner attention as a strong talent, something that would have been difficult without any significant playing time on the Rockets

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