Tweet of The Day: Stephenson Pressing for All-Star Status

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Lance Stephenson

A reoccurring argument among NBA circles is the All-Star selection process. Should fans have all the say? Do coaches have enough power? Should the league ever intervene? Most importantly, who makes it and why.

Does the best player on a bad team deserved to make it, or does a good player on a great team deserved to make it, I think it’s the latter.

Lance Stephenson has been the Indiana Pacers third-best player all season. The shooting guard is pressing harder to make this squad than anyone since the Chris Bosh used car salesmen tactic.

Just last week he released this “Sir Lancealot” video trying to recruit the comedy vote.

Let me be the millionth to say he should be on that Eastern Conference All-Star team: here’s why.

In his past two NBA seasons he’s shown incredible growth as a player and as a person.

Who could forget the 2012 playoffs when his Pacers were playing the Miami Heat and Stephenson did a choking sign to LeBron James after he missed a technical free throw. He wasn’t a good player then, he was just a body on the bench who had no right to taunt the NBA’s best.

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Each day we see less of the old Lance Stephenson.

Now 23-years-old and in his fourth season, it’s his time to be there.

He’s averaging a career-best 13.9 points per game, he also has career-highs in rebounding at 6.8 per game and assists at 5.2 per game.

He is shooting over 50% from the field (incredible for his position) and about 35% from three. Each year his free throw shooting has improved. He’s now found a permanent home in the Pacers starting lineup and plays over 35 minutes a night.

His team is great, and not just because it’s in the East. With a 32-7 record, Indiana is legitimately a title contender.

That 21-year-old who averaged two points per game and was lucky to even see the court from where he was sitting on the bench is no longer. Make no mistake, this isn’t an accident, it’s a little thing called the determination.

Along with Paul George and Roy Hibbert, expect to see Stephenson in New Orleans.

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Brett Poirier is a contributor to Sheridan Hoops.

Bernucca: Can the Eastern Conference Even Field an All-Star team?

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AS14_NewOrleans_LogosheetAmid its myriad injuries, its dozen teams below .500 and its 44-98 record against the Western Conference, 159299855_Rondo_ASPortsthere is a looming question regarding the Eastern Conference:

Can the East even field an All-Star team?

A year ago, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Tyson Chandler, Kyrie Irving, Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday were among the East’s All-Stars. You can make the argument – irrefutable in some cases, strong in others – that none of those players should be invited back this season.

And a handful of the usual suspects with All-Star resumes – Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, Al Horford – won’t fill the void because they have been injured or awful.

Not even Rudy Gay – who at $17.9 million is the league’s highest-paid player who never has been an All-Star - can grab one of the spots now that he has been traded to the West.

So who will be filling the dozen spots? Lotsa Pacers, lotsa Heat and lotsa guys making their All-Star debuts.

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Bernucca: After slow start, the tank is rolling in Philly

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tankRemember back in October, when the handicappers in Vegas said the Philadelphia 76ers would win about 16 or 17 games?

And remember in November, when the 76ers started their season with three straight wins, beating the Miami Heat, Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls with Derrick Rose?

How are those 17 wins looking now?

Without the Hubble telescope, the Sixers can’t see them.

The small sample size of the season’s first week – three surprising wins, a rookie as Player of the Week – is a distant memory. All it did was momentarily delay Philadelphia’s inevitable descent to the bottom of the NBA standings.

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Tweet of the Night: Greg Monroe doesn’t appreciate Roy Hibbert’s “tmi” tweet

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hibbertIndiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert is not shy when it comes to sharing his thoughts or opinions. It has gotten him into some trouble in the past, but for the most part, his IDGAF attitude is quite entertaining.

After his team’s latest 99-94 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday, he was at it again on twitter. For anyone who wondered why Hibbert looked upset during the contest, he explained the reason behind his frown, and lets just say that it didn’t have anything to do with basketball plays:

PODCAST: Autopsy of Heat-Pacers; Why Did Kings Want Rudy Gay, and more

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This was NOT the scene in Indianapolis after the Pacers defeated the Heat, but it is a fitting approximation of the post-game mood at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

This was NOT the scene in Indianapolis after the Pacers defeated the Heat, but it is a fitting approximation of the post-game mood at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

What to make of the Pacers’ come-from-behind victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. Well, for starters, it provided some validation for Indiana after their scintillating start to the season. showing that they have the goods (and the composure) to compete with the two-time defending champs.

But when will REAL validation come? How about a week from now when the two teams meet in Miami?

In this interview on the Big O show on AM640 in Miami, Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops discusses how much of a threat this version of the Pacers are to the Heat — especially given the upgrades Indiana made in the offseason, but with the caveat that the return of Danny Granger could be a good thing or a bad thing now that Paul George has become to go-to guy in the rotation.

Other topics covered include the Rudy Gay trade, a gang member with face tattoos, and the effects of drinking too much cough syrup. Enjoy.

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