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Motiejunas Proving Himself in the Rotation

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That chance came with Omer Asik’s injury, with (Donatas) Motiejunas showing enough and improving enough to remain in the Rockets’ rotation even when Asik returned. Playing time has increased, with McHale trusting Motiejunas more in the Rockets’ defensive coverages. When the Rockets and Phoenix Suns battled to the final seconds on Sunday, Motiejunas played most of the second half, sinking the final free throws.

“It just showed the coach trust in me,” Motiejunas said. “He believes in me. He knows I will make a right play when it will be a time.

“If you hang in there, things will go your way,” (Rockets Coach Kevin) McHale said. “The problem with these guys is every day of their lives, someone told them how great they are. Then they hit adversity… They’re like, ‘what’s this?’ It’s called the NBA. It’s not perfect. It’s not always great. Sometimes when you’re a 20-year-old kid, you have to earn your time. He worked hard. Now, he’s reaping the benefits.”

via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle

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Sources: Hawks Fire Lloyd Pierce, Nate McMillan to Serve as Interim Head Coach

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Atlanta has dismissed Lloyd Pierce as coach, sources tell ESPN.

ESPN Sources: Nate McMillan has accepted the interim head coaching job with the Hawks. McMillan has a 667-591 (.530) record in 16 seasons as head coach with Seattle, Portland and Indiana.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Joakim Noah to Retire

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13-year NBA center Joakim Noah — a two-time All-Star and former Defensive Player of the Year winner — is effectively retiring from basketball, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.

Plan is for the longtime Chicago star to eventually retire as a Bull.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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Sources: Victor Oladipo Turned Down Extension from Rockets

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Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo recently turned down a two-year, $45.2 million maximum contract extension, the most the franchise could offer him before the end of the regular season, sources told ESPN.

As expected, Oladipo is pursuing a longer-term deal, sources said, something that the collective bargaining agreement doesn’t allow the Rockets to offer him until the offseason.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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