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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SH Blog: Pacers sign Andrew Bynum; Bennett wouldn’t mind a D-League assignment

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Right now, the whole basketball-watching world is in Bash the Cavs mode. They took Anthony Bennett #1 overall, and for the production he’s given them, they might as well have taken Nerlens Noel. Kyrie Irving, depending on who you want to believe, either can’t wait to get out or just hasn’t made that decision yet. Dion Waiters went at #4 last year and this year he’s been linked with every team needing help at shooting guard. Tristan Thompson changed his shooting hand.

Derrick Rose does not have another torn ACL but does need surgery

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bulls small logoFirst, the good news, Derrick Rose does not have another torn ACL.

Now, the bad news. Rose does have a medial meniscus tear in his right knee that requires surgery and is out indefinitely.

The superstar guard of the Chicago Bulls somewhat dodged a bullet Saturday as an MRI taken in Los Angeles revealed torn cartilage but not a torn ligament. The difference could shorten his absence considerably.

Evening News: Gortat traded to Wizards, Lowry to wear splint on finger; Hinrich cleared to play

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In today’s NBA news other than the big Wizards-Suns trade, Raptors guard Kyle Lowry will be forced to wear a splint on his left ring finger for about 6 weeks, and Bulls backup point guard Kirk Hinrich has been cleared to return from his concussion. 

Tweet of the Night: Luol Deng Concerned About Injuries

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With the NBA regular season just nine short days away, players and teams are turning it up a notch to prepare for the first meaningful games since spring.

Chris Paul dropped 40 last night. Kevin Durant 36 two nights before.

Luol_DengLuol Deng doesn’t bring that type of offensive firepower to the table, but he’s still more than ready to get back on the court with the Chicago Bulls, a popular favorite to dethrone the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference.