Western Notes: Clippers, Green, Grizzlies

Chris Paul said the Clippers had a “healthy conversation” at halftime after the reserves let a big lead slip away Saturday, writes Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com. It’s a familiar pattern, although the Clippers rebounded to win by 20 points. “Early in the year, we probably would have splintered and fallen apart, but there’s going to be games like that,” Paul said. “… When that happens, you can’t try to figure out whose fault it is. You have to figure out a solution.”

There’s more from the West:

  • The improvement of Draymond Green has pushed the Warriors to a league-best 17-2 start, examines Michael Wilbon of ESPNChicago.com“He’s given us a new dimension … when your [power forward] can play pick-and-pop like that,” coach Steve Kerr said. “… He’s not the kind of guy you establish a game plan for … that you draw plays for.”
  • Many rolled their eyes when the Grizzlies shipped Pau Gasol to the Lakers and received younger brother Marc Gasol in return.  At the time, GM Chris Wallace took a lot of flack for the deal,Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald writes.  “It was tough trying to explain the long term value of a center who not only is playing in Spain at that time — which, despite the international nature of the game, the local fans and media don’t really follow the ACB as they do the ACC or the SEC — but the player also played high school basketball in Memphis,” said Wallace. “He came over [from Spain] with Pau, and let’s just say a lot of people who saw him play weren’t impressed. People would come up to me and say, ‘He couldn’t play at White Station High School. He had to transfer to Lausanne. I saw him there and all he does is shoot 30-footers and he’s out of shape. No way he’s an NBA player.’ ”  Years later, the deal makes much more sense from Memphis’ side.
  • A string of injuries has turned rookie Nick Johnson from an afterthought into a member of the Rockets‘ rotation, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle“I’m more confident,” said Johnson, who hit a game-winning layup against the Timberwolves on Friday, then helped close out a victory over the Suns on Saturday. “It’s a process, every game, every minute I’m out there I start to understand a little more.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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