California Notes: Mann, Kawhi, PG, Green, Russell

Clippers reserve guard Terance Mann is adjusting to his new gig behind starting point guard Russell Westbrook, writes Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. Having replaced Reggie Jackson, Mann had been the team’s starter at the point until Westbrook joined the club.

“It’s all right,” Mann said of the change. “Kind of reminds me of the position I had (before). I think I’ve been here before earlier in the year. Same sort of role if I can recall. But it’s been going all right. Just figuring it out. New unit. New voices out there. Different looks. So just sifting it out, sifting through it.

“… You know, they just want me to go out there and bring energy,” Mann continued. “I think I can do a way better job defensively than I had been doing. But just bring energy on the offensive. Make shots and play defense. And I think that’s going to be my role on this team, from here on out.”

There’s more out of California:

  • Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue is counting on star wings Paul George and Kawhi Leonard to help the team hone its defense in the home stretch of the season, says Law Murray of The Athletic. “The last two days, we challenged our team to be better defensively, and I thought tonight with [George] setting the tone early, I just thought our defense tonight was really good,” Lue said. “I thought we really got into the ball. We were physical… I thought PG and Kawhi really set the tone early, and everyone else I thought was really good defensively.”
  • Ahead of Wednesday’s Golden State/Memphis game, Warriors forward Draymond Green took to his podcast via The Volume and launched into a lengthy tirade against Grizzlies small forward Dillon Brooks, who had previously talked derisively about Green, writes Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “This idiot said, ‘I don’t know what Draymond does out there, I just don’t like Golden State,'”  Green said said. “I, quite frankly, wouldn’t like a team that beats me all the time, either.”
  • Lakers starting point guard D’Angelo Russell is expected to return to action on Friday for the team’s game against the Raptors, reports Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link). McMenamin adds that Russell will immediately move ahead of Dennis Schröder, who had been starting while D-Lo was hurt.
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