Bernucca: Feeling the Heat, Pacers Had To Make a Move

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Lance StephensonAll season, the Indiana Pacers have maintained that homecourt advantage for the Eastern Conference playoffs, and their chemistry will give them a great chance to dethrone the two-time NBA champion Miami Heat.

Are both slipping away?

In the last two weeks, Indiana’s grip on the East’s best record has loosened considerably. And the Pacers’  big move at Thursday’s trading deadline, acquiring Evan Turner, illustrated that their belief in chemistry may have been overstated.

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Scotto: Midseason Report Cards for Knicks and Nets

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knicks-vs-brooklyn-nets-at-barclays-centerBefore the season, championship expectations were attached to both the Knicks and the Nets.

The Knicks were coming off the team’s first season with at least 50 or more wins and a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals since the 1999-2000 campaign, when Jeff Van Gundy patrolled the sidelines, Patrick Ewing wrapped up his final season in New York and Allan Houston was in the prime of his career.

The Nets were coming off their first trip to the playoffs in six years and considered the winners of the offseason after landing future Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, along with Jason Terry, in a blockbuster trade with the Celtics.

However, neither team has lived up to the hype with the All-Star break now upon us.

With that in mind, it’s time to break down the season into four sections for both teams: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Future.

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Fixing the Knicks: Several Trade Ideas That Could Jump Start a Strong Rebuild

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Carmelo AnthonySources told Yahoo! Sports on Monday that there is “no chance” the Knicks trade free agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony by the Feb. 20 deadline.

Let’s face the facts: even with Anthony, the Knicks are a mediocre basketball team in a horrendous Atlantic Division.

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Scotto: Woodson Could be Fired by All-Star Break, Sources Say – UPDATED

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Mike Woodson and several assistant coaches on his staff fear they will be fired by the All-Star break, multiple league sources tell SheridanHoops.com.

Herb Williams is the leading candidate to replace Woodson on an interim basis for the remainder of the season as The Bergen Record first reported.

Sources say the All-Star break would be the ideal time for the Knicks to make a midseason change, if they elect to do so. The move would allow a new assistant coaching staff and Williams to become acclimated with each other while the team is off from Feb. 13-18.

On Friday, the Knicks crushed the Nuggets 117-90. On Sunday, the Knicks took a step back and fell to the Thunder 112-100.

New York returns home Wednesday to face Sacramento in the team’s final game before the All-Star break. Knicks management will then determine whether a new voice is needed to lead the team going forward after an underwhelming first half of the season.

SH Blog: Marion wants age requirement to be higher to enter NBA, Boozer unhappy with role

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SteveBlakeNashSH1The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the unluckiest teams in the league in terms of having to deal with an endless number of critical injuries, particularly to their list of point guards.

It’s one thing to miss your starting point guard. It’s another to then lose your backup point guard and your third string point guard. That’s precisely what happened to these Lakers, with Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar all going down with significant injuries. They became desperate and picked up Kendall Marshall from the D-League, which actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise for both parties. Fortunately for their list of injured guards (not so fortunate for Marshall), they are all looking to make a comeback as soon as Tuesday night, from Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles:

Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar all practiced Monday and will be available to play against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, barring any setbacks.

“They’re good,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I think they’re all ready to go.”

D’Antoni made sure to hedge a bit on the status update, however, and with as snake-bitten as his team has been, one could hardly blame him.

“It’s possible,” D’Antoni said. “We’ll see how everybody wakes up, but there is a possibility all three could play.”

The coach said he wondered if Nash, out since Nov. 10 with nerve root irritation in his back and hamstrings, would ever make it back to the court.

“With the age and how his back is, yeah, I definitely [wondered],” D’Antoni said. “Again, it just shows his perseverance to overcome whatever just to play. He wants to play, obviously. And he’s done an unbelievable job to get himself ready up to this point and we’ll see how it goes.”

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