Bernucca: Have Pacers Lost Belief in Themselves?

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Believe it or not, there’s someone out there who doesn’t think the Indiana Pacers are coming apart at the seams. Lance Stephenson

“Everybody goes through this,” Spurs guard Tony Parker said last week after San Antonio manhandled Indiana, 103-77, on the Pacers’ home court. “I’m not worried about them. They’ll still make it to the Eastern Conference finals and they’ll still play Miami.”

Parker is somewhat right. From time to time, every championship contender has a stretch during a season where they look ordinary. Addled. Even awful at times.

Last month, the Miami Heat lost three in a row and seven of 11, including a home contest to Denver and a visit to New Orleans after which Chris Bosh plainly said, “We suck.”

The Oklahoma City Thunder welcomed back Russell Westbrook as they came out of the All-Star break and immediately lost three straight and five of eight, including a home loss to Cleveland and a road setback to the L.A. Lakers. The Houston Rockets were a pedestrian 8-8 in December, losing at home and on the road to Sacramento, at Utah and being blasted at Oklahoma City and Indiana.

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Tweet of the Night: Jason Collins calls out Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant for signing a bill that could discriminate against homosexuals

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Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins felt the need to call out the foul play of Bryant on Thursday, except it wasn’t towards the Bryant you may be thinking of.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill that essentially prevents the government from doing anything to put strong burden on religious practices. That could potentially include anti-gay discrimination, something Collins could not believe the governor would allow:

Collins became the NBA’s first openly gay athlete earlier this year and has since gained immense attention around the country. He is recognized as an inspirational figure of sorts at this point, so it isn’t to anyone’s surprise that he would openly speak against those in power who won’t do their part in helping the country become more accepting of a person, regardless of sexuality.

Tweet of the Day: Dwyane Wade Jamming In The Car

Tweet of the Night: Ekpe Udoh reacts after getting posterized by LeBron James

James Park is the chief blogger of Sheridan Hoops. You can find him on twitter @SheridanBlog.

Scotto: Nets Want Raptors, Not Bulls in Playoffs

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1909fuhgeddabouditThe Nets and Bulls are on course for a potential rematch of last year’s first-round playoff series.

Is this the ideal scenario for Brooklyn? As they say in the borough, “Fuhgeddaboudit!”

It’s been a frigid winter in Brooklyn, and a trip to the “Windy City” could dampen any hopes of the Nets springing ahead to the next round.

SH Blog: Stoudemire wants to win multiple championships with Knicks, Nash ready to play on Friday

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amare_stoudemireFor power forward Amare Stoudemire, the past few years in New York have been nothing short of a dreadful nightmare.

After reviving the New York Knicks with dominant play in his first season and leading them to the playoffs for the first time in a decade, it has been just about all downhill for the former All-Star.

To recap some of the things that have gone wrong since that glorious year: he nearly destroyed his hand after slapping a glass casing surrounding a fire extinguisher out of frustration during a playoff series, has suffered through multiple knee surgeries, became a backup to – gulp – Andrea Bargnani, has seen limited playing time due to medical restrictions, and never truly got comfortable playing alongside Carmelo Anthony. 

SH Blog: Parsons says he would boo Howard if he was still a fan, Woodson says Knicks still have a shot

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Dwight-HowardThe clip above is what the Orlando Magic decided to show in the second quarter of the game against the Houston Rockets when Dwight Howard came to town on Wednesday. It was a short tribute video for all the marvelous years Howard gave to the franchise.

The question is, why in the world would the Magic do this?

Were they really looking to honor and thank Howard for his time with the team? If that was truly what they had in mind, that’s certainly a silly way of showing their appreciation, as the crowd showered the arena with boos through the entire video.

The Magic know that fans in Orlando are going to boo the hell out of Howard until the day he retires. Showing a tribute clip and having the crowd booing it all night is a great way to mock what he did for them (not thank him), and Howard certainly isn’t going to shed any tears over it with the crowd reacting that way. Perhaps the result was the actual intent, in which case, bravo.

Here is a cleaner version of what the tribute video looked like:

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