Southwest Notes: Davis, Smith, Howard

Anthony Davis would trigger the Derrick Rose rule for more lucrative salaries on the extension he signed with the Pelicans this past summer if he’s voted to start the All-Star Game, but so far, he’s only sixth among vote-getters for the three frontcourt positions in the Western Conference (Twitter link via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports). Davis can also earn the higher salaries if he makes an All-NBA team or is named MVP this season.

Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry praised the effort given by Ish Smith, who was dealt to the Sixers on Thursday, and indicated that the point guard was expendable because of the team’s backcourt depth, John Reid of The Times Picayune relays. “He was great for us,” Gentry said. ”He did everything I asked for him to do. Obviously with Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday coming off restrictions as far as minutes and Norris Cole being healthy, there wasn’t a lot of time for him. This is a good thing for him, too. I think he will play a lot of minutes in Philly. He is a great kid and I think he is going to be in this league a long time.
  • Dwight Howard hasn’t received his customary amount of shot attempts this season with the Rockets, which makes it difficult to judge if the center’s skills are beginning to diminish, Calvin Watkins of writes. “The more confidence I have on the block, the better I’ll be,” Howard said. “Each day I just continue to work on getting reps, so when I get in the game, I can get to my spot and just finish.” The big man does say that he’s healthy and is trying to limit the distractions any talk regarding his potential free agency next summer may cause his teammates, Watkins adds. “Actually, the last couple of weeks I’ve been feeling really good,” Howard continued. “I’ve just been trying to stay free and not allowing any of the noise from the outside, the crazy rumors and all that stuff to affect who I am with my teammates and what we’re trying to accomplish. My body has felt great. I think when you stay stress-free, your body tends to follow.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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