Sprung: Patience, Patented Defense Has Pacers in Playoff Picture

PacersPlane

Indiana’s win in New York on Saturday night epitomized the current trajectory of the team’s season. It was a slow and ugly start, but the team persevered through strong defense and playoff-tested experience. The team’s slow and ugly start began actually began nearly eight months earlier, on a sultry Friday July evening in Las Vegas with Paul George’s horrendously gruesome leg injury. The bad luck and misery continued when rotation stalwarts David West, George Hill and C.J. Watson missed the beginning of the season with

Read more...

Bernucca: Handicapping the Leastern Conference Turtle Race

hill

We don’t blame you if you haven’t been paying attention to the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race. The West obviously has been far more interesting. While Golden State looks secure in the top spot, the next six teams are all playing better than .600 basketball and separated by just seven losses. And Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Phoenix – all vying for the eighth and final spot – are within two games of each other. The East? Well, the top

Read more...

Scotto: Lance Stephenson Vows To Take Charlotte’s Offense Into His Own Hands

Lance Stephenson

NEW YORK – Three games into the Lance Stephenson era, the star free agent signee is not pleased with his role in Charlotte and vowed to make a change. “I didn’t let the game come to me,” Stephenson said after Charlotte’s 96-93 loss to New York. “I just tried to make something happen. I let the game come to me the last two games and I ended up doing nothing so I’ve got to just play more aggressive, be in attack

Read more...

Five Things To Watch: Indiana Pacers

Larry Bird

Although the departure of Lance Stephenson has been seen as a crucial loss for the Indiana Pacers, the team was prepared to move forward without him. Was the five-year, $44 million deal scoffed at by Stephenson more of a calculated play by Larry Bird and the front office than an irreversible blunder? The takeaway from Stephenson’s departure was the team believing, to a certain degree, that Lance was a bigger factor in Indiana’s dysfunctional quasi-collapse following last season’s All-Star break than Paul

Read more...

SH Blog: GMs see Dallas/Parsons contract helping more restricted free agents swap teams; Pacers extend Vogel

CParsons

Could the unique contract structure arranged by the Dallas Mavericks and owner Mark Cuban to pry Chandler Parsons from the Houston Rockets become a template for freeing future restricted free agents? Multiple league GMs think it could, according to a new report from ESPN‘s Marc Stein. The Parsons contract, which is almost-max-level over three years and includes a player option after Year 2 and maximum 15% trade kicker, proved difficult for the Rockets to match on several levels, even though they fully intended

Read more...

Tweet of the Night: Paul George Answers Fans

Paul george

Everyone on the internet loves A.M.A.s (“Ask Me Anything” question-and-answer sessions). Who doesn’t want to get to know more about their favorite celebrities? Indiana Pacers All-Star forward Paul George took to Twitter to engage his fans Friday night. He opted to take 10 questions, most of which help to paint the picture of what he likes. From his favorite NBA players while growing up to his current celebrity crush, the subjects were pretty broad.

Read more...

SH Blog: Vogel staying with Pacers; Stephenson might not

Lance Stephenson

After last night’s debacle, the Pacers’ season is mercifully put to rest. What started out with them looking like the first serious contenders to the Heat’s throne atop the East in years turned dramatically south and ended with an All-Star center looking like he’d never played basketball before, a budding superstar getting lost in the shuffle, and Lance Stephenson blowing in LeBron’s ear. The message was obvious: the Pacers didn’t think they could hang with Miami. Now it’s time for the

Read more...

Sprung: Why can’t the Pacers beat the Heat?

James

We waited all season for an Eastern Conference finals between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers. Yet when the time came for the two talented teams to finally meet in late May, only Miami showed up.Indiana finds itself down three games to one, and more blame is being passed around than a Benghazi hearing on Capitol Hill. A lot of that blame is being placed on the referees, an easy target since Miami took twice as many free throws

Read more...