George Hill

Pacers’ George Hill could miss season opener with sore hip

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After George Hill took control during the playoffs last year, the Indiana Pacers let Darren Collison walk and gave Hill the starting point guard job this season.

Except, he may not be able to start the season. Coach Frank Vogel is trying to remain optimistic he’ll be there, he told the Indy Star.

The Pacers will likely go through the entire preseason without their starting point guard. Vogel is not optimistic that Hill will play tonight after he didn’t practice Thursday. Hill’s absence raises concern about his availability for the season opener at Toronto on Oct. 31.

“It’s always a concern whether he’ll be in there or not,” Vogel said. “We feel like he’s going to be ready by then.”

In Hill’s absence, D.J. Augustin has been starting for the Pacers at the point.

Indiana should be right there with Boston fighting for the No. 2 seed in the East, but they need Hill to do it. Sounds like he is close to return, but even if he is back for the opener expect limited minutes his first few games after missing all of the preseason.

Markieff Morris flips off Suns fan (video)

Phoenix Suns' Markieff Morris reacts to a call during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
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Markieff Morris‘ frustrations last night didn’t end with his scuffle with teammate Archie Goodwin. They didn’t end with the Suns’ loss to the Warriors, either.

As Morris was leaving the court, a fan heckled him: “Markieff, you f—ing suck. I can’t wait until you’re traded.” Though Morris probably agrees with the second sentence, he flipped off the fan:

Though it’s difficult to confirm that video was from last night, it jibes with a previous report of the incident.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7

Morris will likely at least be fined. Considering his previous behavioral problems this season – he threw a towel at Jeff Hornacek – I wouldn’t completely rule out a suspension. But a fine seems most likely.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.