Southwest Notes: Hill, Bickerstaff, Lawson, Lee

Coach Alvin Gentry refused to directly address rumors that the Pelicans are interested in the Pacers’ Solomon Hill, according to John Reid of The Times Picayune. It was reported Friday that Indiana is making Hill available for a deal, and New Orleans is believed to be among the suitors. ”I’ve got enough problems coaching the team,” Gentry said today. ”We got really competent guys with [GM] Dell [Demps] and his whole group that handle all of the personnel part of it.When it comes time or a situation where they are going to do that, they always talk to me about it. As of right now, all my energy and everything is going towards trying to figure out how we can get this whole thing straightened out.”

There’s more news from the Southwest Division:

  • Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons believes J.B. Bickerstaff has a bright future as a head coach, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Parsons, a former Rocket, worked closely with Bickerstaff during his time in Houston and says the coach has what it takes to be successful. “The biggest thing with a coach is how to manage players, how to get along with players, how to manage egos,” Parsons said. “He’s going to have respect from his guys. X’s and O’s he was always great. Time outs when I had him he was always able to draw something up on the fly. I think he’s going to be a really, really good young coach in this league.” 
  • Kings coach George Karl says things will get easier for Ty Lawson in Houston, Feigen writes in a separate story. Karl coached Lawson in Denver and contends the point guard just needed to make it through the adjustment period. “Ty is one of these guys, he needs a comfort zone,” Karl said. “I don’t think he’s found it yet. Once he finds it, you’re going to see a much better player than you’re seeing so far.”
  • Courtney Lee has turned into a productive reserve for the Grizzlies, writes Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. After shooting 34% from the field and 19% from three-point range in the season’s first 10 games as a starter, Lee has improved those numbers to 48% and 31% since moving to the bench. “It’s part of being a professional,” said Lee, who will be a free agent next summer. “Throughout your career, everybody has a role either as a starter or they come off the bench. It’s just about how you handle it.”

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