Omer Asik has not played up to expectations after he inked a five-year, $58MM last summer with the Pelicans and the center attributed his lack of performance to an injury and confidence issues, John Reid of The Times Picayune details. Asik said he feels healthier now after dealing with a nagging calf injury the past few weeks, per Reid. Asik is averaging only 3.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. As Reid points out, Asik has scored in double figures only twice this season despite playing in 36 games. Yet last season, Asik scored at least 10 points in 20 games.
Here’s more from the Southwest Division:
- By acquiring Josh Smith from the Clippers Friday, the Rockets have signaled that despite hovering around .500 for most of the season, Houston will still seek upgrades, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle relays. “There’s three teams that you can say are right, so to speak, obviously; San Antonio, Golden State, Cleveland,” Rockets shooting guard Jason Terry told Feigen. “They understand where they’re headed, what their mission is, what each guy’s role is to get it done. And you can see it. Every time they play, every night, it’s very consistent in how they play and what they do out there. Everybody else is trying to find their way, trying to get hot, trying to figure it out. Us, with the move we just made, is one of those teams. Will we get there? Yes. We’re very optimistic.”
- The Mavs have several strong players, but without a legitimate star, Dallas cannot be considered a title contender, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News opines in response to a reader’s question. The first name that would come to mind for many when thinking about how the Mavs can remedy that is issue is soon-to-be free agent Kevin Durant, but Sefko doesn’t see the superstar coming to Dallas.
- Chandler Parsons has shown signs of improvement with an uptick in scoring the last few games for the Mavs after undergoing knee surgery last May, Sefko writes in a separate piece.