Beckley Mason of the New York Times examines the chemistry and cohesiveness that have galvanized the Trail Blazers this season, prompting LaMarcus Aldridge to call this the ‘happiest time in his career’: “Guys are playing so (unselfishly) — our team chemistry is unreal right now…Coach Stotts gives us the freedom to play loose and make plays, and guys aren’t abusing it.”
Veteran point guard Earl Watson also weighed in: “Everyone accepts their role, and the roles were never defined. It’s the truth of our team, the DNA of our team. The way we fit together, it’s like the perfect storm, so to speak.”
Here’s more out of the Western Conference tonight:
- Sean Meagher of OregonLive.com provides a roundup of the latest links coming out of Portland (including Mason’s piece).
- Andrew Bogut is well past the the talk of the Warriors’ efforts to acquire Dwight Howard this past offseason and doesn’t think it’s worth discussing anymore since he’s shown team brass the type of production that he’s capable of, says Carl Steward of the San Jose Mercury News.
- The 7th or 8th seed should remain a goal for the Mavericks, writes Tim Cowlishaw of SportsDayDFW, who adds that tanking wouldn’t really guarantee anything for them.
- Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (via Twitter) reports that the Thunder have named Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson as their NBPA team player representative and alternative player rep, respectively.
- Matthew Coles of the Associated Press discusses the notable difference that Trey Burke has brought to the table for the Jazz from a point guard standpoint (hat tip to The Detroit News).
- Paul Coro of AZcentral.com talks about the competitive Western Conference playoff chase that lies ahead as it pertains to the Suns.