Paul George says his favorite rookie memory was when his coach got fired

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The Pacers got off to a dismal start in 2010-11, winning just 17 of their first 44 games under head coach Jim O’Brien before Frank Vogel took over as a midseason replacement.

With Vogel in place, the team finished 20-18 over its last 38 games, an improbable run that landed the Pacers in the playoffs.

All this went down during Paul George’s rookie season, and not surprisingly, he was much happier once Vogel took over and he was inserted into the starting lineup for the remainder of the year, which included five postseason games.

Somewhat ironically, George’s minutes per game were fairly similar under Vogel, but players believe a certain amount of cachet is attached to being one of the starters, and there may have been other reasons that George was less than thrilled with playing under O’Brien’s unsuccessful reign.

No matter the reason for George’s stance, we’re appreciative of what’s obviously a very real response. More and more players are beginning to speak their minds (at least now, in the middle of the offseason), and it only increases the overall entertainment value of the league, while revealing the competitive personalities of its players at the very same time.

[via 8points9seconds]

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.