West Notes: Wolves, Rudy Gobert, Grizzlies, Ja Morant, Rockets


Don’t look now, but no less than the Timberwolves (16-4) have the best record in the NBA. The reasons are many — from shooting guard Anthony Edwards to forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns to center Rudy Gobert.Rudy Gobert boxes out Walker Kessler

Yes, Gobert, who’s having a career all-around season and remains perhaps the NBA’s top force near the basket.

“He’s been playing phenomenal for us,” Edwards told reporters of Gobert. “He’s the reason we’re where we’re at right now. We hope he stays healthy and continues to dominate.”

  • Not surprisingly, Wolves fans seem to be as loud and passionate as ever. “It’s fun to watch this crowd embracing us and it’s cool to feel it, because we’ve been through a lot of adversity last year,” Gobert said. “Came back this year, had a great training camp and we’re working hard every day.”


  • Star guard Ja Morant is now just five games away from returning, having served the first 20 games of his NBA suspension. Or Dec. 19 for those seeking an exact date.
  • Without a doubt the Grizzlies (6-14) could use him, especially to try to get some people in the door. Right now, they’re a miserable 1-8 at home.
  • Morant started to increase his reps at practice at the end of last month. “He’s frustrated like all of us,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said, via Drew Hill of the Daily Memphian. “He has openly talked to his team about how he wishes he was out there for them, and he wants to be out there for them.”


  • The Rockets (9-9) improved to 9-1 at home with Wednesday’s win over the Thunder. But that means they’re 0-8 on the road. But hey, if they can finish in the neighborhood of 41-41, most people will consider that a success under new coach Ime Udoka.
  • Dillon Brooks led the way with 23 points, and Aaron Holiday pulled a pleasant surprise by contributing 22 off the bench. “I think I am a pretty good shooter,” Holiday told reporters. “Every shot I shoot, I think it’s going in. Sometimes it just doesn’t, that’s the way it goes. For the most part, I think they are going in.”

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