Tweet of the Night: Paul George tries politicking for more free throws

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Paul georgeThe Indiana Pacers, finally, brought home a big win.

During a two month slump that has caused the league, media, fans and Pacers themselves to question their capability, Sunday’s 102-97 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder should help them sleep easy.

At least for a night.

With the win, the Pacers positioned themselves to successfully claim home court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. Despite Friday’s crucial loss at Miami, because the Heat slipped up against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, the Pacers control their own destiny.   

Nowitzki, Conley, Dragic, Stoudemire key for NBA Teams Chasing Final Playoff Spots

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With one week left in the NBA regular season, the pressure is on for two Eastern Conference teams and four Western Conference teams fighting for the final playoff spots. Millions will intently watch what transpires over the next seven days as teams face must-win games, and the effort and intensity pick up.

Each of these half-dozen teams have a player who will greatly impact the fate of their clubs the rest of the way.

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PODCAST: How Will Adam Silver Put His Stamp on the NBA?

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SternLeavingThis is not David Stern’s NBA anymore.

The old commissioner is out of sight and out of mind, but his successor has been keeping a relatively low profile.

Sooner or later, Adam Silver is going to put his imprint on the NBA … it is just a matter of when.

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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Scotto: Knicks’ Season, Futures of Melo, Woodson On the Line — UPDATED

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knicksNEW YORK — For Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony, making the playoffs is all that matters.

The same can be said for coach Mike Woodson.

However, after a heartbreaking one-point loss to the Washington Wizards on Friday night, the Knicks find themselves one game behind the Atlanta Hawks for the final playoff spot — and two games behind in the loss column — with only five remaining games.

Anthony’s desire to reach the postseason is understandable. Since entering the NBA as part of the heralded draft class of 2003, he has never missed the playoffs. Not even the Big Three in Miami can say that.

If Anthony reaches the postseason again, he’ll have to do it with a strained right shoulder that “gave out” against the Wizards.

“Throughout the course of the game there was no strength on the passes, causing turnovers and things like that,” Anthony said. “But hopefully I’ll be alright.”

NYK_Woodson_MikeFor Woodson, however, making the playoffs means much more. His job is on the line.

“No playoffs, no Woody,” one league source told SheridanHoops.

“Without question he’s fired (if they miss the playoffs),” one Eastern Conference scout also told SheridanHoops.