Southwest Notes: Alexander, Gentry, Aldridge

Rockets owner Leslie Alexander plans to be more active in the team’s offseason moves, according to Calvin Watkins of Alexander gave GM Daryl Morey a vote of confidence this week but said he will take a more hands-on role in overhauling a roster that produced a disappointing 41-41 record and the eighth seed in the West. “I think I will change a little bit,” Alexander said. “More scrutiny and what they’re doing. I was thinking about doing it anyway but after this season, definitely.” Among Houston’s decisions will be whether to retain interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who posted a 37-34 record after taking over for Kevin McHale in November. Alexander didn’t commit to keeping Bickerstaff, but did toss a compliment his way. “He’s got a winning record,” Alexander said, “which is good from where he started.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry is hoping for a fresh start next season after a disastrous first year in New Orleans, writes Justin Verrier of Gentry was hired to take the next step with the Pelicans after they claimed the final playoff spot in 2014/15, but the team was slowed by a long string of misfortune. New Orleans players ended the season with 351 games missed due to injuries and illness, the second-highest total in the past decade. Looking ahead, Gentry has a vision for the type of player he wants to acquire in the offseason. “I think we need that 6’7″ athletic guy that can also be somewhat of a facilitator,” he said. “As to names, I have no idea who that is, but I know that he’s out there. And so that would be obviously a priority for us.”
  • The Spurs became a better defensive team after trading Tiago Splitter and signing LaMarcus Aldridge, according to Matthew Tynan of RealGM. Splitter is considered the better defender, but Aldridge has more range and mobility, Tynan notes, which gives Tim Duncan the more natural role of rim protector.
  • Jae Crowder, who has emerged as a star in Boston, couldn’t wait to get out of Dallas, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Before being included in the 2014 trade that brought Rajon Rondo to the Mavericks, Crowder was frustrated by a lack of playing time, two trips to the D-League and Dallas’ signings of Al-Farouq Aminu, Chandler Parsons and Richard Jefferson.

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