Tony Allen agrees to four-year deal to return to Grizzlies

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Over the last few seasons in Memphis, Tony Allen helped transform the Grizzlies from an aimless franchise to one with an identity embraced by both the team and the city alike.

Heart, grit, and grind.

Allen’s toughness and skill on the defensive end of the floor is every bit as important to what the team does as the contributions of Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol. The Grizzlies realized Allen’s value, and rewarded it with a multi-year deal to keep him in Memphis.

What was first reported by the Memphis Commercial Appeal has since been confirmed by multiple outlets — Allen has agreed to a four-year deal worth $20 million to remain a part of the Grizzlies. But Allen himself scooped everyone with the news.

There was interest in Allen from other teams, of course, including most prominently by the Milwaukee Bucks. But in the end, Memphis did the right thing by retaining one of the better perimeter defenders in the game, and a player who just happens to be at the core of the identity of a team that just finished its best season ever in reaching the Western Conference Finals.

Grizzlies’ James Ennis fouls out then hits half-court shot (video)

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Against the Pacers last night, James Ennis missed all three of his 3-point attempts… that counted. And he makes this one after fouling out?

Mike Conley more than picked up the slack to lead the Grizzlies to victory.

Pelicans’ Dante Cunningham jumps on scorer’s table, Anthony Davis jumps on him (video)

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The Pelicans are effectively out of the playoff race, but Dante Cunningham and Anthony Davis are still competing — even if it looks a little silly.

That tone and a big game from DeMarcus Cousins (29 points, 16 rebounds, six assists) led to a 121-118 win over the Mavericks.

Goran Dragic puts alley-oop pass through rim (video)

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Goran Dragic is very good at alley-oops.

Too good.

With a “shot” like that falling, the Heat trounced the Knicks, 105-88.

Hawks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. kneed in the groin while defending 76ers (video)

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Since trading for him, the Hawks have gotten Tim Hardaway Jr. to buy in defensively.

After this help defense on 76ers center Richaun Holmes cost him dearly, I wouldn’t blame Hardaway if he gave up on the endeavor entirely.