Southwest Notes: Gasol, Harden, Mills, Powell

The Grizzlies are on a 10-game losing streak and Marc Gasol is admittedly highly frustrated, he tells Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. As he sees it, the NBA is about winning, not about getting more repetitions for younger players or player development, which, in Gasol’s view, should be left to the G League. In a piece for Yahoo Sports, Chris Mannix adds that head coach J.B. Bickerstaff acknowledges the frustration that Gasol is experiencing.

“A guy as competitive as he is, and a guy who every day matters to him, whether it’s practice, drill work, three-on-three, he’s trying to win… A guy who is so unselfish, he doesn’t care how many points he scores. The only thing that matters to him are wins and losses. I think we all understand and appreciate guys who are that way. There’s no doubt about it, it’s frustrating for him.”

Despite the frustration, Gasol is trying to improve different areas of his game, says Bickerstaff.

“He’s working on different parts of his game. The way teams are playing, you don’t see a ton of post-up opportunities any more, (so) he’s working on his face-up game, he’s working on a different array of shots, in the paint, how he gets to those spots, things like that. Playing from the perimeter, being able to attack off the catch versus other big guys. Those things we’ve seen him be able to implement. He’s been able to implement them quick. As soon as he puts his mind to it, he can add it that night.”

There’s more news out of the Southwest Division:

  • The Rockets have the best record in the NBA and are currently one game ahead of second-place Golden State in the loss column. FiveThirtyEight gives them the best odds (40%) of winning the NBA title. And as MVP-favorite James Harden sees it, “this is (Houston’s) year”, reports Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.
  • Spurs guard Patty Mills has replaced incumbent Danny Green in the starting lineup for now, reports Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. As is typical for head coach Gregg Popovich, he wouldn’t elaborate on the change, but Mills appears to give the Spurs a bit more offensive firepower in the first unit, while Green improves the second-unit’s defensive presence.
  • Mavericks big man Dwight Powell is making a case to be the team’s primary center moving forward, opines Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Averaging 14.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per contest over the last seven games, Powell excels at playing hard. “(T)he thing I like about Powell is you’re going to get unconditional, boundless energy and the highest of high-care factors when it comes to the team,” said head coach Rick Carlisle.
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8 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Gasol, Harden, Mills, Powell

  1. bravesfan88

    If I have to watch one more highlight of Harden making a shot, AFTER he pushes off his opponent, I’m going to go nuts!!

    How is it legal to push off your opponent, and then hop backwards and take a shot?? Heck, even I could get open if I did that when I played…

    The push-off NEVER gets called!! It is an offensive foul, why do regs refuse to call it??

    And again, I’ll say this, Harden should never win the MVP Award, until he starts actually playing defense!! Even playing defense at a mediocre level, would be a huge improvement for Harden..

    Even though, he’s figured out how to “legally” get himself open, and he’s a n excellent playmaker, he is far from a complete player..He should win the Offensive Player of the Year Award, but never the MVP…

    Heck, even Steve Nash’s pesky self played better defense than Harden…Apparently, today’s NBA just loves offense, and has completely given up on expecting their MVP’s to play and have a complete game…Just ridiculous..

    • yoyo137

      Just so you know, this whole comment makes you look soooo salty. You wouldn’t give the MVP to the guy you just admitted was unguardable? And his defense is such a liability that his team still has the best record in the league, let’s definitely not give him the MVP because of that. Because there’s no precedent for an offensive beast winning the MVP playing decent defense on the best team in the league recently, and if there was, let’s not mention that Harden’s 31/9/5 is better than that hypothetical former unanimous MVP’s numbers the year he hypothetically won.

    • CamFrost

      If you actually paid attention and stopped listening to old narratives you’d understand how dumb and wrong your comment was. You’re very upset over a “push off” that isn’t a push off. If it was it’d get called. You really think the officials wouldn’t call a foul on something as blatant as you’re saying it is? Stop being mad at James Harden and appreciate the game.

  2. Dionis

    Don’t worry Marc the Grizzlies will draft Doncic and get back in the playoffs next year. I think you should be more bothered by Parsons who’s goofing off in an elevator getting payed serious money and not contributing anything on the basketball floor.

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