Western Notes: Smith, Rondo, Mavs

In order to make the team, Rockets rookie center Joshua Smith, who is 350 pounds, has to cut down on his tendency to commit fouls, notes Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com (ESPN Now link). Smith has committed 23 fouls in five games this preseason, spanning 90 minutes played, as Watkins points out. “It’s been OK, I can get a lot better, the foul trouble is one for me I got to correct,” Smith said. “It’s never good when your mom is telling you to stop hacking. I got to fix that.”

The Rockets have 14 players with fully guaranteed contracts for the regular season. Smith is on a non-guaranteed deal.

Here’s more out of the Western Conference:

  • Rajon Rondo does not believe he has to defend his reputation as a bad apple in locker rooms and contends that the perception of his character is the creation of the media, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee writes. Jones caught up with Rondo after reports that the Kings point guard is already butting heads with coach George Karl were taken seriously even though, as Jones points out, Rondo was only kidding. “When things are positive the media doesn’t make a big deal about it,” Rondo said. “When we go out here and do things for the community, we do things for charity events, it’s not a big deal. But as soon as you make a mistake or get a technical foul it’s running across the ESPN ticker. That’s the way the world is. You’ve just got to make a difference one day at a time and hopefully the media, well you have to do your job, but the world thrives on bad news.”
  • Mavs rookie small forward Maurice Ndour has suffered a stress reaction in left leg and is out indefinitely, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reports (on Twitter). Ndour has a fully guaranteed salary worth $525,094 this season.

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