Southwest Notes: Holiday, Aldridge, McGee

Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday has made sufficient progress in his recovery from the surgical procedure he underwent in May that the team expects him to be cleared to participate in basketball related activities when training camp begins, John Reid of The Times Picayune writes. ”What I think we’re trying to do is not push him anywhere,” coach Alvin Gentry said. ”We’re going to monitor obviously his practices. I doubt there will be a situation where we’ll let him go two-a-days. It’s just doesn’t make sense right now.” Holiday has missed a combined 90 games over the past two campaigns because of recurring problems with his right leg. The NBA had ordered the Sixers to pay $3MM to the Pelicans last season for not fully disclosing the extent of Holiday’s injury prior to shipping him to New Orleans.

Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Rick Barnes, who coached LaMarcus Aldridge at the University of Texas, doesn’t think that his former player will have any difficulty adapting his game to the Spurs‘ system, Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News relays. “What he wants is to win an NBA championship,” Barnes said. “He’ll do whatever he feels he has to do to make that happen.” Aldridge had expressed some level of concern to San Antonio assistant Ime Udoka about him being more of a scorer than the Spurs typically feature during the team’s recruitment of him, McDonald adds. “He’s a tremendous teammate. He’s a team player,” Barnes continued. “He knows he’s a franchise-type guy, but he also has to have people around him. Credit to him for wanting to be part of something special.
  • Mavs big man JaVale McGee believes that his athleticism will set him apart from the other centers on Dallas’ roster, Earl K. Sneed of writes. “Well, I definitely feel like we’re different players, the centers that we have, so it’s definitely going to be good competition,” McGee said. “But that’s what basketball is for, competition, so it’s definitely going to make us all better. It’s definitely a positive thing, being a leaper as I am and a shot blocker and a dunker, so that’s definitely what teams need. I’m just somebody who keeps it simple, who dunks the ball, blocks shots and is just a presence in the paint. … [coach Rick Carlisle] just wants me to keep it simple, and just play as hard as I can and be a presence in the paint.

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