Suns interim head coach Earl Watson has no qualms about pairing up centers Alex Len and Tyson Chandler in the starting lineup, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Watson wants to utilize Len as the team’s primary offensive target the rest of the season and foster his development, Coro continues. “Who’s playing two 7-footers any more?” Watson explained to Coro. “We have this trend of playing small ball and we know the greatest small ball team is the Warriors. We’re not going to catch them. Let’s create a new trend. Let’s let Alex Len get experience.”
In other developments around the Western Conference:
- Swingman Jabari Brown, who played with the Lakers last season, is joining the team’s D-League D-Fenders after returning from China in recent days, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweets. Brown, who appeared in 19 games with the Lakers as a rookie, was the last player cut in training camp when the club decided to keep veteran Metta World Peace.
- A coaching change that’s produced only an 11-6 record so far and the inability to land Joe Johnson are among the problems that ail the Cavaliers, as TNT’s David Aldridge examines in his Morning Tip for NBA.com. Internal carping from players about their respective roles, shots and ability to mesh on the court with LeBron James has also been a factor, Aldridge hears.
- Point guard Brian Roberts, whom the Trail Blazers recently acquired from the Heat, believes he’ll land an NBA job next summer when he enters the free agent market, Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders reports. Roberts passed through the Heat organization via the Hornets after he was included in the three-team deal that sent Courtney Lee from the Grizzlies to Charlotte. “I feel like I’m a guy that whatever opportunities I get I’m going to make the most of it,” he told Brigham. “I’m reliable, and that’s what it comes down to in this league. If you can be dependable every night, you’ll have a job.”
- Pelicans power forward Ryan Anderson will be a prime target for the Mavericks in free agency, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News opines. Anderson’s ability to stretch the floor would make him a very good fit but he’ll be in heavy demand, Sefko notes.
- The Grizzlies recalled rookie power forward Jarell Martin from the Iowa Energy, the D-League club tweets. Martin, a first-round pick, averaged 18.3 points over three games in his latest assignment there. He made his fourth appearance with Memphis on Monday night.
- The Bucks recalled small forward Damien Inglis from the D-League’s Westchester Knicks, Milwaukee announced through its website. Inglis played 13 games for the Knicks’ D-League affiliate, averaging 9.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 21.4 minutes.