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Point Forward

Short Corner: Scatterbrain thoughts on drama-free Pacers, unlikely jams and more

Indiana PacersLance Stephenson and Danny Granger have had no trouble co-existing. (Darron Cummings/AP)

Welcome to the Short Corner: A celebration of the NBA in the pithiest form possible. Below are a collection of notebook-style items from the week that was, laid out for your buffet-style enjoyment.

• It's amazing how ridiculous the Paul George/Lance Stephenson/Danny Granger non-issue seems in retrospect, given just how much of an accessory Granger has become.

• I'm not sure what kind of superlative to give reserve-turned-starter like Shaun Livingston, but the combo guard damn well needs one based on his importance to an increasingly weird (and increasingly successful) Nets team.

• A baffling disparity: Raptors forward Patrick Patterson has shot 45.9 percent from three-point range in the partial seasons after a midseason trade, and 31.4 percent in all other instances.

• Gotta love Paul Pierce's giant grin after having his layup attempt blocked cold by renowned defender Kyle Korver:

• At this point, I don't think we can totally rule out the possibility that Ersan Ilyasova has been body-snatched. It's as if some alternate being were trying to take over his basketball life while getting only cobbled clues from teammates, coaches and his own Wikipedia page as to how he typically plays.

• In a single season, Shelvin Mack has gone from overwhelmed Wizard to short-term Sixer to truly valuable member of the Hawks' rotation.

• One thing that has become very apparent over the last month or so: Brandan Wright is the sunshine in Vince Carter's life. I'd love to see data for how effectively Carter scores off Wright's screens compared to screens set by other Mavericks players; those sequences seem to bring out the best in both players.

• This moment of unexpected drama is one of my favorite things about the NBA game:

harden

In still form, there's not much to it; James Harden has beaten the Thunder's first line of defense, and while Serge Ibaka looms, the odds are still good that he'll be able to either finish with a layup or bait Ibaka into a foul.

Then this happened:

That ability to turn a seemingly unremarkable layup attempt into a vicious dunk is the kind of play only consistently feasible on the NBA level. What a freaking jolt.

• To second a point made by The Starters: There is no question in my mind that Russell Westbrook saves the most notable items in his wardrobe for national TV audiences.

• I ask this after seeing both the best (3-of-4 from three-point range en route to 13 first-half points) and worst (oh-fer with three turnovers in the second half) of him on Thursday night: How many third-string point guards are better than Aaron Brooks?

• The Thunder have a Derek Fisher problem, but fear not: They've brought back veteran flotsam Royal Ivey on a 10-day contract to cure all their ills. For such a sharp organization, OKC does some pretty strange things with the bottom of its roster.

Grizzlies forward James Johnson has registered two blocks or more in half of his games this season. That's some Josh Smith-level swatting from a fellow combo forward, and proportionally in the ballpark of Anthony Davis and Roy Hibbert in terms of multi-block performances.

• On a related note, this Johnson dunk attempt was one of the most impressive (and ambitious) misses of the season:

• When Houston's shooters are well covered (as was the case during the team's 19-point second half against the Thunder on Thursday), the Rockets might be more prone to three-second violations than any team in the league.

• A footnote on a merry Raptors season: Toronto ranks as the best transition defense in the league, per Synergy Sports.

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