Southwest Notes: Green, Doncic, McCombs, Morant

Jalen Green has improved his focus in his second season in the league, Rockets assistant coach Rick Higgins told Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

“From year one to year two, he’s a lot more locked in,” Higgins said. “The importance of it, the value of it, what he’s trying to accomplish with it. But he was always very intentional about trying to watch game film to get better, so that was always constant. The main difference is that he’s been more locked in on how it could help him play better each game.”

Green is averaging 21.8 points per game, up from 17.3 during his rookie campaign, though Houston reached the All-Star break with only 13 victories.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Luka Doncic enters the second half of the season as the league’s scoring leader and a top candidate for the Most Valuable Player. However, he’s much more concerned about the ultimate team goal, Jonathan Abrams of the New York Times writes. “I’d rather have the championship than MVP,” the Mavericks superstar said, “but if you win an MVP, it’s amazing, too.”
  • Former Spurs and Nuggets owner Red McCombs has died at the age of 95, Carmini Danini and Peggy O’Hare of the San Antonio Express-News report. McCombs owned the San Antonio franchise on two separate occasions, selling his stake the second time in 1993. In a league statement, commissioner Adam Silver said “Red McCombs brought the Spurs to San Antonio and was a driving force in creating the modern NBA.  He was an innovator and savvy entrepreneur who never shied away from taking risks.  We mourn Red’s passing and send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends and the Spurs organization.”
  • Grizzlies guard Ja Morant can always deliver a dazzling dunk, but he doesn’t want to do them on All-Star weekend. Morant reiterated over the weekend he’s not interested in participating in the annual dunk contest, Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal relays.
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