The teams at the top of the Eastern Conference have begun to close the gap on the West, as Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal observes in his latest “Pick and Pop” column. There are as many teams with winning percentages of .700 or better in the East as there are in the West, and the top four Eastern teams have all won at least eight of their last 10 games. The Blazers are the only Western team that can boast that. Imbalance still exists farther down the standings, where the 18-14 Suns cling to the last Western playoff spot while the 14-18 Heat lay claim to eighth place in the East. Here’s the latest from around the conference that still reigns supreme:
- Flip Saunders said the Timberwolves are looking at “all kinds of options” and said the team hasn’t reached a deal with anyone amid conflicting reports of an agreement with Miroslav Raduljica, notes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (Twitter link). Still, Saunders acknowledged there’s “no question” that the team needs to add size, as Zgoda tweets.
- Warriors coach Steve Kerr doesn’t expect his team will make significant changes anytime soon, as he said on NBA TV, notes Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group (on Twitter). “I don’t anticipate us doing a whole lot,” Kerr said. “We’re doing well. We like our team. We’ve got good versatility and depth.”
- The D-League affiliate of the Lakers acquired the rights to Jarvis Varnado in a trade with the Grizzlies D-League affiliate, the L.A. D-Fenders announced (on Twitter). That sort of move usually coincides with or precedes a signing, though it doesn’t appear as though Varnado has a contract with the D-Fenders just yet. Varnado, who was in camp with the Sixers this past fall, was one of a half-dozen players without a deal to play pro basketball after inking an NBA 10-day contract last season, as I noted earlier.
- Former Jazz camp invitee Kevin Murphy has left Utah’s D-League affiliate to pursue a deal overseas, reports Gino Pilato of D-League Digest (Twitter link). The swingman was briefly with the Jazz during the preseason before the team cut him October 10th.