Associated Press

Timofey Mozgov says he misses playing for Cavaliers, “everything was special”

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Timofey Mozgov saw his role shrink in Cleveland last season, but he was still there in the end when they won a championship ring. He may have wanted to stay, but when the Lakers came calling with a four-year, $64 million offer that nobody else was going to match, well, what did you expect him to do?

That doesn’t mean it’s not a shock to go from contender to team on pace to win 29 games (and give its high lottery pick to the Sixers, but that’s another story). Mozgov admitted he missed playing for the Cavaliers to 60smol.com (via Eurohoops.net).

“To be honest I miss that place,” said the Russian big guy. When asked what made it so special, he added, “Everything was special.”

As for the current Lakers, Mozgov said.

“So far we got some tough losses. But I think we’ll soon play the same as played in the beginning of the season. Be together and enjoy the game. We’ll be good.”

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Mozgov. Part of the reason the Lakers offered him such a massive contract, beyond providing a big presence in the paint this season, is as a trade chip for the future. The Lakers have their young core for the future, but they will need the right pieces to go around them, and Mitch Kupchak/Jim Buss brought in some trade chips to give them options. The Lakers aren’t expected to make a move at this trade deadline, but in a year or so, who knows.

Adrian Wojnarowski: Knicks firing David Fizdale ‘inevitable’

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Knicks president Steve Mills is reportedly laying the groundwork to fire coach David Fizdale.

One step: Mills and general manager Scott Perry addressing the media after Sunday’s loss to the Cavaliers while Fizdale was still in the locker room. Mills and Perry stressed that the team wasn’t meeting expectations, seemingly a veiled shot at the coach.

Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN:

The dismissal of David Fizdale is inevitable, and there was, I think, a bond broken between management and their head coach with how they handled things after that loss Sunday night.

Coaches are hired to be fired, but this sounds far more urgent than that.

As long as Fizdale has his job, he has a chance to save it. If the Knicks start playing better, they could keep him.

But that seems unlikely with this underwhelming roster.

Which is why New York is reportedly also considering a front-office change.

Austin Rivers calls for Doc Rivers to get technical foul (video)

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When Doc Rivers coached Austin Rivers on the Clippers, accusations of favoritism ran rampant. Playing with the Rockets against the Clippers tonight, Austin showed where his loyalties lie.

Not with his father.

The Clippers were letting the game (an eventual 102-93 Houston win) get away from them when Doc argued a call. Austin stood nearby and urged the referee to call a technical foul. The official eventually obliged and ejected Doc.

That’s when Austin really hammed it up – waving off Doc then making the call-me gesture. The disrespect!

Ja Morant hits game-winner in Grizzlies-Hornets (video)

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Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant has had a game-saving block and game-winning assist.

Now, he has the glory of a game-winning shot.

Morant sealed the Memphis’ 119-117 win over the Hornets with a driving scoop in the final second tonight. He led Memphis with 23 points and 11 assists.

P.J. Tucker misses open fastbreak layup, trips on stanchion (video)

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I want to give P.J. Tucker a break. He’s the Rockets’ most (only?) reliable defender. He has such a heavy burden covering for James Harden, Russell Westbrook and just generally undersized lineups.

But this missed layup was so bad. And that stumble over the stanchion really seals the goof.