Sprung: With Paul George and solid core, Pacers are East’s most secure franchise

George

With wing extraordinaire Paul George signing a max-level, five-year contract with the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, a legitimate argument can be made that the Pacers have the most secure medium to long-term future of any Eastern Conference team. At just 23 years of age, the 6-8 small forward already is one of the top five defenders in the NBA, as evidenced by his regular season advanced numbers, and is quickly developing a really strong offensive game.

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Atlantic Division 2013-14 Team-by-Team Previews

Garnett

This summer included a war of words between the Knicks’ hot-shooting, weed-smoking(?) Sixth Man of the Year, J.R. Smith, and a new rival from across the river, Paul Pierce, who will be wearing a color other than green for the first time in his career. Can’t wait until Kevin Garnett and Metta World Peace get in on the trash talk, because both are better spoken than their aforementioned counterparts. The signing of a Russian (Andrei Kirilenko) by a Russian (Mikhail Prokhorov)

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SH Blog: Pierce Fires Back at J.R. Smith; Tony Parker Leads France; JaVale’s New Website

J.R. Smith vs. Paul Pierce

After a seemingly endless dead period of NBA news, the 2013-’14 season is lurking right around the corner. Training camp is in sight, and players are starting to reappear back on the map. And with that, let’s get right to it. Here’s today’s latest from around the NBA. We’ll start in New York, which will be home to this seasons hottest rivalry: Knicks vs. Nets.

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Evening News: Kobe progressing nicely; Knicks-Nets rivalry heating up; Dirk off to a healthy start

Kobe Bryant

In today’s NBA news, Kobe Bryant is healing nicely from his torn Achilles, the Knicks-Nets rivalry is quickly gaining steam, and Dirk Nowitzki looks to be healthy heading into training camp. Black Mamba right on track According to the Los Angeles Daily News, future Hall-of-Famer Kobe Bryant has been running at 75 percent of his body weight on a treadmill, and looks to be a few weeks away from advancing to full-weight bearing running. This is music to the ears of all Lakers’

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Evening News: J.R Smith suspended five games; Rodman meets with Kim Jong Un again; Rondo return date uncertain

JR Smith

On a slow news day, you have to give thanks for people like J.R. Smith and Dennis Rodman. They break up the mundane — not that the mundane has to be boring (Case in point is the latest of our team previews, this one on the Oklahoma City Thunder. For all published team previews, click here.) Here is the lowdown: Smith gets five game ban J.R Smith has been suspended five games by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. Due to the length

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Knicks’ J.R. Smith suspended 5 games

J.R.-Smith-after-going-under-the-knife.-Photo-via-teamswish-on-Instagram

New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith has been suspended five games by the NBA for violating the anti-drug program. The NBA made the announcement Friday, continuing a string of off-court news for Smith, the reigning Sixth Man Award winner. Two days after winning the Sixth Man Award, Smith was suspended one game for elbowing Boston Celtics guard Jason Terry in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series. Upon his return, he shot just 29 percent (34-of-117) – including 13-of-50 from 3-point range

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