Western Notes: Pachulia, Thunder, Thompson

Zaza Pachulia is producing the best season of his career in his first year with the Mavs and his intangibles have endeared him to his new teammates, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com relays. Pachulia responded well to a trade from the Bucks and he is a significant reason why the Mavs are one of the top teams in the conference, MacMahon adds.

“I know it’s surprising for a lot of people, but honestly, I feel like I was just born,” Pachulia said. “I don’t want to say anything bad about the places I’ve been, but this is the greatest situation I’ve been in during my career. Starting with the coaching staff and the players, the experienced players I have, the winning mentality … With my previous team, it was all about building. Rebuilding, starting from scratch. This is a different situation for me, where this team is all about the winning, all about the success. I think that’s part of the reason why my numbers are that way. I’m just thankful for the opportunity. I’m thankful for the situation I’m in right now.”

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Thunder second-year power forward Mitch McGary emerged late last season and despite capable offensive skills, he is having a hard time cracking the rotation this season, Anthony Slater of of The Oklahoman writes in an interesting profile. Injuries have played a part in limiting McGary’s playing time and statistics show that Oklahoma City is not efficient when McGary and Enes Kanter are on the floor together, Slater adds.
  • Warriors reserve center Jason Thompson, who spent his first seven season in the league with the Kings, still has fond memories of his old stomping grounds and he is glad Sacramento’s fans will have a new arena next season, Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle details.

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