Pacific Division news and notes:
- The Lakers are getting ready to have their third coach of the season sitting in the head coach’s chair. They went 1-4 under Mike Brown and 4-1 under Bernie Bickerstaff as they flirted with Phil Jackson, hired Mike D’Antoni and are waiting for him to get off crutches.
- They are 5-5, Steve Nash has played 50 minutes all season, and the Lakers are averaging over 100 points per game. Kobe had a triple-double in the teams last victory over the Rockets. D’Antoni and these guys will love working with each other and the results will be entertaining.
- Marcin Gortat is growing frustrated with his role in the Suns offense. He played at a near all-star level with Steve Nash last season and hasn’t had the same opportunities this year with the ball going through Beasley, Scola’s inconsistency, and the lack of chemisty between him and Goran Dragic.
- The Clippers are getting it done a number of ways. But you can always count on DeAndre Jordan blocking shots, Jamal Crawford getting buckets, and Chris Paul and Blake Griffin doing everything else. This team scares people, but still doesn’t get respect when talking about the league’s elite.
- Warriors guard Klay Thompson isn’t having the breakout season some thought he would. He’s averaging 14 ppg on 35% from the field and 32% from deep. He’s getting the minutes and touches, just not being efficient with them.
- DeMarcus Cousins, despite the 2 game suspension, is playing some good ball again. The Kings, however, are 2-8 and already made changes to their starting lineup, inserting veterans John Salmons and Aaron Brooks. There is a different energy with this group, but the results are the same.
- Metta World Peace is scoring over 13 a game, the highest in his 3+ seasons with the club. No reason he shouldn’t keep that up once D’Antoni is on the bench and Nash is running things.
- The Warriors are 5-5. Andrew Bogut has yet to make an impact, they lost Brandon Rush for the year, Curry and Thompson have yet to get hot, and they’ve been starting rookies Festus Ezeli and Harrison Barnes. They should and probably will be an above .500 team and push for the playoffs.