Southwest Notes: Bickerstaff, D-League, Gee

Rockets interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff believes that the team has become more orderly in its approach since Kevin McHale was fired as head coach last week, Mark Berman of FOX 26 relays in a series of tweets. “Our attitude has changed over the last week and a half. We’ve taken a more serious approach to what we’re doing,” Bickerstaff said. “Guys are more disciplined in what we’re doing and they were hungry for that. That was the first thing they were calling for, some more discipline, some more structure, some more rules.

Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Mavericks intend to use their D-League affiliate to help get their younger players minutes this season, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes. Discussing Justin Anderson and Salah Mejri, who had been assigned to the Texas Legends recently, coach Rick Carlisle said, “It’s a positive to be able to send guys there to get game action. We’re going to do more of it. It’s a positive tool for our franchise and for those guys. It’s a win-win. In this instance they were able to play in the game last night and we got them here [Saturday night].
  • Despite Alonzo Gee only averaging 3.5 points in 21.1 minutes per contest this season, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry considers the small forward a vital part of the team due to his defensive prowess, John Reid of The Times Picayune writes. ”I know my role on the team and I try to focus on my role,” Gee said. ”You can’t really coach effort. I try to be the hardest-playing player on the floor. I’ve glad to be in that situation. That’s why I wanted to come here, I felt like it was an opportunity to play.
  • Jazz camp cut Bryce Cotton, who currently plays for the Spurs‘ D-League affiliate in Austin, hopes to return to the NBA this season, and he believes that hustle and effort are his tickets back to the big league, writes Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News. “Being called up last year and being blessed to finish the season [in Utah], I still didn’t feel like I could kind of sit back and coast,” Cotton said. “I still felt like I needed [to prove a lot]. I wanted to work as hard as I could, but unfortunately it just ended up with me being waived. The biggest thing that I’ve learned is just continuous emphasis on remaining professional on and off the court, always having a great attitude and being a great teammate.

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