Western Notes: Mavs, Hornets, Gordon

A year ago today, it was not only Christmas Eve, but also the eve of the first games of the NBA season. On December 25th, 2011, the Thunder and Clippers each got their seasons underway with opening-day victories — a year later, both teams are tied for the NBA lead with 21 wins, as the 21-6 Clippers trail the 21-5 Thunder by a half-game for the league's best record. As the Clips and Thunder prepare for tomorrow's games, here are a few updates relating to their Western Conference rivals:

  • Mark Cuban said recently that his Mavericks aren't considering a full rebuild, but head coach Rick Carlisle did acknowledge that Dallas is in a rebuilding mode of sorts: "We’re rebuilding a championship team," Carlisle said, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com.
  • The Hornets will play in Orlando on Boxing Day, and Ryan Anderson is looking forward to facing his old Magic teammates, as he tells Jim Eichenhofer of Hornets.com (Twitter link): "It'll be great to see them. At the same time, I want to kick their butts."
  • Eichenhofer also has an injury update from Eric Gordon, who says it's just a matter of improving his conditioning and working into game shape before he returns (Twitter links).
  • Since falling to 9-14, the Lakers have won four straight games, but the team shouldn't be satisfied yet, according to Steve Nash. Nash tells Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com that he hopes the club continues to play with a desperation and a sense of urgency.

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