Western Notes: Rockets, Asik, Lakers, Kelly, Kobe

The latest from the Western Conference..

  • Rockets center Omer Asik has been vocal about his displeasure with taking a backseat to Dwight Howard, but for at least one night, he’ll still have a starting role.  Both big men will be in the starting lineup for preseason action against the Mavericks.  Even though it sounds like he’ll be a key part in the rotation this year and could even see some time as a starter, he doesn’t seem any less disgruntled.  Asik refused to comment on Kevin McHale‘s beefed up lineup idea, writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
  • Matt Moore of CBSSports.com looks at the best and worst case scenarios for the new-look Rockets this season.  Expectations will be high for Houston and they could realistically win 55+ games and set themselves up for a title run in their first year together.  However, if their role players don’t contribute and Jeremy Lin disappoints, Moore says they could be a one-and-done six seed in the West.
  • Ryan Kelly is still fighting for a roster spot with the Lakers, but Pau Gasol might know something that we don’t as his comments tonight inferred that he’ll be on the squad, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.  “We’ll have to see how much Mike (D’Antoni) is going to use (Ryan Kelly) during the season,” said the Spaniard.
  • D’Antoni wasn’t wild about Kelly’s performance in preseason action in China, but he sounded optimistic about his skills overall, writes Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News (Sulia link).
  • When asked if he had a timetable for Kobe Bryant‘s return, coach Mike D’Antoni said that he has “no idea,” tweets McMenamin.
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