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Lowe: Pacers have a way to rid themselves of player options for Stuckey, Ellis

Zach Lowe of ESPN wrote a column on the Indiana Pacers earlier this week that highlights the Paul George situation and looks ahead to the very interesting summer that awaits the Larry Bird and the franchise.

One thing that Lowe said didn’t make his column that he shared to Ramon Shelburne on his podcast, the Lowe Post, was a unique situation that the Pacers have with three contracts currently on the books with player options: CJ Miles and Rodney Stuckey’s options for the 2017-18 season and Monta Ellis’s option for 2018-19.

Details at around the 47:00 mark if you want to listen. Explained below as well.

Lowe says that the Pacers could waive any of those three players before the regular season is over and their player options would go off their books for the salary cap next year (This would apply for next season for Ellis since his player option is for 2018-19). Lowe says that it’s believed that these are the only three contracts like this in the entire league where the player options essentially vanish if the players are waived before the regular season ends.

This means that if the Pacers desired they could waive Stuckey before the regular season is over, and it would essentially be like he declined his player option for next season. This only works if the Pacers waive him before the regular season ends, otherwise Stuckey gets to choose whether or not to accept his player option. If the Pacers actually waived him after the regular season ends, Stuckey automatically gets the $7 million player option and it counts against the Pacers salary cap.

Miles is on an incredibly cheap, team-friendly contract at just $4 million per year, so the Pacers won’t be looking to get out of his contract early by ditching one of few players currently on the roster that can space the floor, and Miles is almost guaranteed to decline his option and cash in in free agency this off-season. The Pacers would like to keep him, but it will cost much more than he’s currently making.

Lowe doesn’t think that the Pacers would release Stuckey before the season even though he said the Pacers would probably like to not have that $7 million on their books and even looked for ways to move him at the deadline (reports that a Stuckey for John Henson deal was discussed). Lowe’s main reasoning is that it wouldn’t look good to Paul George if the Pacers were getting rid of a rotation player before the playoffs.

Stuckey, however, was replaced in the rotation by Aaron Brooks during the Pacers’ last game after many straight poor performances from Stuckey, who has struggled playing backup point guard while paired with Ellis. If the Pacers like what they see from Brooks as the backup point guard for the rest of the season and Stuckey remains out of the rotation, Bird would probably be much more likely to consider this course of action.

Stuckey and Ellis have always been redundant to the roster as poor-shooting slashing guards and removing the possibility of Stuckey, who has also struggled with injuries while with the Pacers, returning next year and opening up an additional $7 million in cap space (Pacers will have about $20 million in cap room if Stuckey accepts his option) could help Bird tremendously as he tries to improve the roster into a contender this summer that will convince George to remain in Indiana.

The Pacers could be better off this year going with just a guard rotation of Jeff Teague, Miles, Ellis, and Glenn Robinson III and leaving out both Stuckey and Brooks completely as they both are poor fits with Ellis coming off the bench. The minutes that Brooks or Stuckey have been getting could easily be split among Robinson, Miles and George, especially as the starters get heavier minutes in the playoffs.

It seems unlikely that Stuckey would be missed this season if the Pacers let him go, but if George is a big fan of Stuckey, Bird could be hesitant to let him go before the playoffs. That $7 million would certainly help the Pacers this summer as they try to convince George to stay however. It is possible that Stuckey declines his option this summer anyway as $7 million is a relatively low total compared to the crazy deals players are signing in free agency now, but he seems to like the team and city, and it’s probably unlikely he would get more from another team this off-season. He may be able to get a similar yearly value, but more than just the one year he has remaining if he does decline.

Lowe thinks that it’s more likely that the Pacers could look to waive Ellis before the end of next year’s regular season if he continues to decline and if the Pacers aren’t very good next year. Monta’s player option is for $11 million for the 2018-19 season and the Pacers should be jumping at an opportunity to clear that contract off the books a year early. We’ll have to wait and see what Bird decides to do when the time comes for both Stuckey and Ellis.

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Two-Minute (Two-Ahh) Quick-Cap: Alternating W/L Continues with a W Against the Jazz

Stream of consciousness from the @Corner3Ross on tonight’s game.

Before Tipoff

-Nice standing ovation for George Hill and Gordon Hayward. First game back for GHill since the trade. Most fans must still have NCAA on the mind. GODAWGS! I mean PACERS!

-2nd game of a Back to Back which the Pacers normally lose, but, they lost yesterday to the Raptors and like to trade wins with losses lately so…

-A whole lot of Indiana talent on the court. GHill, Hayward, Teague, Trey Dog, Lyles… Only 2 stayed in state. Indiana schools missed out.

1st Quarter

-Aaron Brooks is the first guard off the bench after being out of the rotation most of the year. 2 things with this. Stuckey has really hit a funk and Joe Young really must be that bad at defense to not even get a crack.

-Gordon Hayward has been attacking the rim a lot more this year and it’s paying off. He’s got 10 pts out of the Jazz first 14. On the flip side, Paul George is held scoreless in the 1st…

-And yet, the Pacers lead 28-23 at the end of 1. I’ll take it

-Maybe the Pacers should seriously look into the Hayward Free Agency and not resign PG… nah.. or.. no.. stop it

-Myles Turner still looks hesitant to take a shot but, he’s playing stellar defense. Added a few to the #MylesHighClub already. Did I just hashtag in my head?

2nd Quarter

-Big Al playing over Christmas. Jeff Withey is one of the only bigs Al can play against and dominate still. Non mobile.

-It’s 39-32 middle of the 2nd and PG+Teague+Turner are 3-15 but the Pacers are winning. What is happening?

-CJ Miles has 13 pts on 4-5 shooting. And he’s a Free Agent this summer. Why? WHY?

-Halftime 51-46 Pacers lead. PG 2 to Hayward’s 18. OKIE DOKIE

3rd Quarter

-$20 isn’t bad for the Rik Smits mullet shirt.. oh! Back to the game

-Myles post up!

-Joe Johnson has been playing for 16th NBA seasons, 7 time all star. Feels like forever.

-Gordon Hayward is very very very good at this basketball thing. 30 pts through 3. His 11th 30 pt game this year.

-PG scored! Missed his first 9 shots. Phew.

-The Atlanta Hawks are currently losing to the Hornets. If they lose the Pacers are only a game back of 5th in the East playoff race.

-Jeff Teague is learning from Myles Turner with that chase down. JeffHighClub? TeagueLeague?

-Miss It For Biscuit. Still one of the best promotions in the NBA. Got to remember to run by Hardees tomorrow. Pacers up 80-70 end of the 3rd.

4th Quarter

-I kind of miss the old school NBA of post up when we could watch Albus Jefferson go to work each night often. Was he ever called Little Al?

-Jeff Teague outplaying George Hill tonight.

-Mark Boyle says Rudy Gobert’s father was Rik Smits backup at Marist College back in the day. #TheMoreYouKnow. Also I’ve just thought about the Dunking Dutchman twice in hour.

-Jazz are making a run. Gobert and Hayward leading the charge. Of course they are. Close this out #GoPacers

-My computer keeps wanting to change Gobert to goobers.

-Jazz coach Quinn Snyder looks like the Bank Manager at the start of The Dark Knight. ‘What do you believe in!’

-PG had a season high when the Pacers played in Utah earlier this year and tonight Gordon Hayward has a career high 38

-PG hitting BIG shots when the team needs it the most even when he’s been playing poorly. Yelling ‘This is my City’ while he does.

107-100 Pacers win. On to Boston!

 

Two-Minute (Two-Ahh) Quick-Cap: Raptors destroy Pacers

Pacers-Raptors is interesting for a few reasons: they knocked the Pacers out of the playoffs in seven games last year and, this year, they are five games ahead of the Pacers, holding the fourth seed.  

The Pacers play the Raptors three times in the final weeks of the regular season, and a three-game sweep of the Raptors could be huge for Indiana regarding playoff positioning.  

In the first half tonight, though, the Raptors were quick to remind us that winning in Syrup Country would not be easy.  They out-rebounded the Pacers 30-16, Serge Ibaka, their key trade deadline pickup, provided 14 points on 6-8 shooting, and the Raptors ended the first half up 17. I was so frustrated I almost…almost…wanted to never watch Jurassic Park again.

Despite a push in the third that had the Pacers down 12 with the ball, the Raptors responded and pushed the lead to 18 entering the fourth, a monumental comeback task—especially with a game tomorrow against the Fighting George Hill’s. 

In the fourth, Nate’s desperation for something, anything, to stop the Raptor onslaught meant Aaron Brooks entering the game.  He scored five points, but he also had a nasty turnover, passing out of a double-team to no one.  The plan did not work. 

With four minutes to go and IND down 21, the mop up squad was in on both sides.  Give Toronto credit–they hit shots and played hard.  Asked for comment after the game, Nate could only wink at the camera, saying “clever girl…” 

Pacers lose: Raptors a lot, Pacers much less.

Pacers have now won and lost in alternating games in a franchise-record 13 straight games.

Paul George’s signature shoe showing up everywhere

Paul George has joined exclusive company.  In Nike’s 44-year history, fewer than 1% of their endorsed athletes get their own signature shoe.  The PG1 sneakers debuted earlier this year but were not available for purchase until March 3rd.  Since the shoes released close to two weeks ago, they have received glowing reviews from his NBA peers.

Big props from Jared Dudley:

Superstar Dwayne Wade got his pair autographed:

Teammate Jeff Teague sporting his pair:

Players and fans have not been disappointed with the PG1’s.  Aside from aesthetics, have the shoes impacted George’s play on the court?  To the delight of Pacers fans, there is an uptick in the production of PG-13 since the sneakers were released on March 3rd.

Season Averages:  22.2 PTS – 45% FG – 38% 3PT – 6.4 REB

Since the sneakers:  28.3 PTS – 55% FG – 45% 3PT – 8.4 REB

In the 7-game stretch since the PG1’s were released, George’s numbers have a noticeable improvement.  The team however has alternated wins and losses, going 4-3 over the period.  Maybe everyone needs to rock the pair that PG gave each teammate. It certainly is helping former Pacers player Solomon Hill in New Orleans as he put up a career high 30 points wearing the shoes.

George Hill, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Jrue Holiday are other NBA players that have been wearing the PG1.

March Madness has seen a couple of college players lacing them up as well.

They were not good luck for the Villanova player, however, as they fell to Wisconsin and broke brackets everywhere.

Two-Minute (Two-Ahh) Quick-Cap: Pacers bounce back against Hornets

The Pacers bounced back from perhaps their worst loss of the season last night at Madison Square Garden with an impressive 98-77 win over the Charlotte Hornets, behind a superhuman performance from Paul George, who had 39 points while making a ridiculous 15 of 21 shots.

“I thought they responded tonight,” said Nate McMillan. “Everybody was all business.”

The Charlotte Horn-Bob-nets-cats have been difficult for the Pacers to contain, largely due to Kemba Walker and Nic Batum.  Tonight, Batum was out due to a migraine that is reportedly so bad he is getting a brain scan (good wishes to him), and the Pacers took advantage—sort of.

George and Turner were active in the first half, scoring 12 and 6 respectively, but most notably, Monta Ellis helped the Pacers hold a tenuous early lead, shooting 4-7 and registering an assist, a rebound, a steal, a block, zero turnovers and one foul.  At the half, though, all things were equal with neither team able to establish any (cough) consistency.

The Pacers wouldn’t repeat their 29-point performance from last night against the Knicks in the second half. George nearly matched that total with 27 points by himself in the final two quarters as hit nearly everything he tossed toward the basket.

“I think we showed what we can do when everyone is locked in and on the same page,” said McMillan.

Teague was on time and on target with his passing especially finding George coming off of screens. He flirted with a triple double with 8 points, 11 assists, and 8 assists.
Noted Pacers-killer Kemba Walker was held to a season-low 7 points as the Pacers defended him better than they have in the last two seasons.

“We did a good job of getting up on our screens in the pick and roll,” said McMillan. McMillan said the team overall did a great job in the second half of keeping the Hornets out of the paint.

Both George and McMillan mentioned that the team had a talk after the game last night but did not share the details. Whatever was said, it was effective–at least for tonight. In the Year of Our Inconsistency, no revelations seem to last long. We’ll see if this one will stick.

 

Two-Minute (Two-Ahh) Quick-Cap: Pacers vs. Knicks

If you have not listened to Run The Jewels 3, you should.  It is terrific. On that album, the track “Call Ticketron” repeats the line “Run The Jewels live at the Garden,” as in The Garden, where the Knicks reanimate Spike Lee’s fan-corpse for every home game. Knicks-Pacers is special, and tonight, despite the garbage fire that has been the Knicks season, the matchup between Myles Turner and Kristaps Porzingis was going to be fun to watch.

In the first half, both teams looked comfortable to a fault, neither with any sense of urgency, but the block party bumped with Turner and Porzingis registering 2 and 1 respectively. The Knicks scored 18 points. The Pacers bench held steady and the half ended with the Pacers up 10.

During halftime, the Pacers fell asleep, not taking my advice to listen to Run The Jewels 3. They scored 12 points in the third. The Knicks rejoiced. Still, despite a terrible quarter, the Pacers entered the fourth up two.  A scary moment for Knicks fans happened early, with Porzingis going down with a bruised thigh.  The Knicks took the lead midway through the fourth quarter without KP, and a classic will they win or won’t they win for the Pacers ensued.

They wouldn’t. With about 3:30 to go, the Pacers had gone 7-37 from the field in the second half: (busts out calculator) 19% and had just 20 total points in the half.  Along with cold shooting from almost everyone, PG was a second late on passes out of double-teams too often, leading to six turnovers—one short of Teague’s seven to cap off one of Teague’s worst performances of the season. Melo got hot in the second half and the Pacers…well…they got burnt with perhaps their most embarrassing loss of the season.  

Pacers lose: 81-87

Two-Minute (Two-Ahh) Quick Cap: Pacers vs. Heat

The Pacers managed to hold on for the win against the Miami Heat after a brief scare in the fourth quarter by a final of 102-98.

After the Pacers had a comfortable 6-9 point lead for most of the game, the Heat suddenly hit three straight 3-pointers, including one of the banked-in variety, and took a 1-point lead.

Banker’s Life let out a collective sigh like they’ve seen this story all before, and McMillan called timeout. The Pacers immediately retook control with a Paul George bucket to get the lead back and Myles Turner pushed the lead back to five points a few possessions later with a dunk after fighting for two straight offensive rebounds.

Paul George continued his hot play of late with 28 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Pacers. Hassan Whiteside had a monstrous 26 points and 21 rebounds, but late in the game Jeff Teague swatted his shot attempt after an offensive rebound that helped the Pacers keep their lead. 

Goran Dragic was out with a missing eye, and the Pacers won an important game that could have dropped them from 6th to 9th in the current playoff standings. 

The Pacers honored their 2000s teams with Jermaine O’Neal, Al Harrington, Jeff Foster, Austin Croshere, Derrick McKey, and Eddie Gill in attendance. Bobblehead honoree Danny Granger was unable to attend due to broadcast commitments.

Two-Minute (Two-Ahh) Quick-Cap: Pacers vs. Bucks

(Terrible-No-Good-Awful-Pun-Alert)

The game began the way a large truck might begin down a long and dark country road, steadily gaining speed, and instead of braking when seeing the buck lift its head, continuing its pace. The Pacers held a 16-5 lead halfway through the first quarter and were in control despite an early exit by Thad with two fouls.

Slowly, the Bucks dusted themselves off and cut the lead to five to end the half, thanks largely to Pacers sloppiness and cold shooting by Teague, Ellis, and Stuckey (combined 3-12 with 7 turnovers).The five point lead soon evaporated and the Bucks entered the fourth up six, outscoring the Pacers 29-18.

The game ended the way some videos of deer collisions end—with the animal kicking the good graces out of the driver.  The biggest plays were those the Pacers did not make: mostly good looks from 3, where after making their first two, missed their next 14. Pacers lose: 85-99

Two-Minute (Two-Ahh) Quick-Cap: Pacers vs. Pistons

When the Pacers lace up in Bankers Life, their energy and play level is simply different. If that energy when the ball tips could be bottled and chugged before every road game, this team could be a top seed in the Eastern Conference.  Stan Van Gundy, his gold chain surely glistening with rage sweat, made a quick lineup change to counter the Pacers early lead, bringing Tobias Harris off the bench, to keep the Pistons close. It helped, but the Pacers looked great against a Pistons team that has found some rhythm since the All-Star Break and, I thought, would prove more of a challenge. 10 different Pacers players scored in the first half.

In the third, the Pacers struggled to keep Andre Drummond off the glass and the Pistons bricked-to-offensive-rebounded their way to a small lead.  Pacers fans listening on Fox Sports, though, were blessed with two Quinn Buckner chuckles along the way to help ease the sting of losing a lead: one caused by a bad Jon Leur pass and the other by a backboard only free throw by Drummond.

The deficit was short-lived. By the end of the third, the Pacers were up by 17 and in control. They stayed that way as they didn’t need the starters in the final quarter. In the fourth, a Boban was spotted in the wild—someone who Chris Denari said “looks like an airplane.” Myles Turner had a near career high in assists (5) and Thad Young looked much more comfortable on his way to 18 points and 8 rebounds. Pacers win: 115-98

“Teague” Counter: 1/2

Two-Minute (Two-Ahh) Quick-Cap: Pacers vs. Hornets

37-58. If you had to guess which team put up 37 points in a half, would you choose the team on the second game of a back-to-back?  You would!?  You win the knowledge your favorite team would look a little flat. Jump shots slapped rims and defense was optional for this return trip to Albus Jefferson’s former banquet hall.  Along the way, though, the Pacers proved several maxims of basketball 101, all ending with you are surely losing:

  • If you have as many field goals as turnovers
  • If you allow a team to double your point total in the second quarter
  • If your star player storms off the court after the final shot of the half

The third quarter provided a nice salve for Pacers fans as the deficit became reasonable. 3s by CJ and PG, who finished with his second straight 30+ point performance, with some (finally) Teague baskets in between cut Charlotte’s lead to eight entering the fourth quarter.  Lineup alert: Brooks grabbed Stuckey’s minutes in the half, showing Nate’s growing penchant to roll the dice, hoping for sixes.

Brooks did fine, but team turnovers and a steady stream of long missed twos meant the Pacers were never able to threaten the Kemba Bobnets.  The Pacers shot only three free throws the entire game, including a massive zero in the second half. Nate kept most of the starters in through the final seconds, seemingly rubbing the team’s nose in a tough loss against a winnable opponent.  Pacers lose: 88-100.

“Teague” counter: 0

Two-Minute (Two-ahh) Quick-Cap: Pacers vs. Hawks

In the first half, Paul George was determined to keep the Pacers close and prevent the Hawks from taking the early, ever-so-common, demoralizing lead. Monta Ellis, seeing Paul George’s plan, attempted to foil his efforts coming off the bench, but was not in the game long enough to turn the ball over more than three times, giving the Pacers a chance. 

Soon enough, it was clear George was becoming his 2K avatar, going 9-12 from the floor to earn his season high for points in a half (24).   Myles Turner scored as much as you and had three fouls. Pacers not named Paul George went 10-28 and turned the ball over eight times. Toward the end of the second quarter, Nate McMillan could be seen scribbling intricate symbols on his clipboard, praying for otherworldly intervention to keep PG hot in the second half.

The ritual needed more time. PG was great through three quarters with 34 points, but as the Hawks clamped down and forced some nasty turnovers, he was scoreless in the fourth. With 1:43 to go, the Pacers were down by six points. With 1:38 to go, they were down by four points. With 33 seconds to go, they were down by two points. With .6 seconds to go, they were up one point after a huge corner three by Glenn Robinson III that came after the Pacers didn’t call a timeout on the final possession as Teague pushed the ball up the floor, Paul George drove into the lane and kicked it out to CJ Miles, who found a wide open GR3 for the win.

Tonight, my heart bounced back: 1-1.

*Because this needs to be praised, a running “Teague” counter per game will be added to all future posts. Jeff Teague scored one “Teague” (baited shooting foul beyond the three) tonight. He made all three foul shots.

Fort Wayne Mad Ants add Tyler Hansbrough and Marquis Teague

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Pacers affiliate in the DLeague) acquired two new players with Indiana connections this week in Tyler Hansbrough and Marquis Teague.  Both are trying to restart their careers by going through the Development League. 

First on March 1st: Tyler.

Pacer fans remember Psycho-T well when he was selected 13th overall in the 2009 draft and played four seasons in Indianapolis. After Indiana he made stops in Toronto 2013-2015 and Charlotte 2015-2016. In his first game with the Mad Ants, Tyler played 17 mins, going 1-6 from the field with 7 rebs and 8 pts. We’ll see if his crazy hustle can earn him a call back up to the big league at some point.

Then on March 2nd: Marquis.

Marquis is the younger brother of Pacers point guard Jeff Teague. He was drafted in 2012 with the 29th pick by the Chicago Bulls. He’s bounced around a lot with stops in the DLeague with the Iowa Energy, NBA with the Brooklyn Nets, back to the DLeague with the Oklahoma City Blue, then onto Europe. Most recently playing for the Israeli team Ironi Nahariya and the Russian team BC Avtodor Saratov. Like Tyler, we’ll see if his time back stateside will turn any NBA heads looking to shore up their backup PG spot.

Regardless, fans in the Fort Wayne area (or on an off Pacers night) should make the trek up I-69 and catch a Mad Ants game before the season wraps up. 

The Mad Ants are currently 2nd in the Central Division at 22-15 and on a 3-game winning streak. There are only five Mad Ants home games left this season and a lot of talent to see. Jarrod Uthoff has been turning some heads with his play lately and may earn a 10-day deal from someone before the end of the season.

 

 

Two-Minute Quick-Cap: Pacers at Spurs

When Gregg Popovich gets a technical foul in the first few minutes of the game, you are required to pay close attention to every play afterwards­—this is known as the “Pop’s serious” rule and to not follow it results in the karmic loss of basketball fan points.  Against Pop’s seriousness, though, the Pacers looked solid throughout the game with bursts of (dare I say it?) consistent play on both ends.  Sure, there were times when things looked bad—Stuckey dribbling the ball off his foot, Séraphin attempting to murder fans with a wild pass, Thad having maybe his worst game of the season as he seemed to be struggling with his wrist injury, some sketchy touch fouls (and a big late no call)—but this team is clearly playing better.

The second half had Pop call a timeout within the first minute after a pass by Thad found 3J wide open in the corner.  The next Pacers possession had Teague find 3J.  I imagine Pop’s seriousness was hurt. Spurs being the Spurs, defense and big shots eliminated the Pacers lead and a back and forth ensued through the game’s final seconds. 3J hit another huge 3 late in the fourth (this of the banked-in desperation variety), PG had a big steal in the final 90, but Ellis missed TWO free throws with nine seconds remaining and the Pacers up just one. This led to the Pacers leaving San Antonio with a loss following Kawhi’s game-winning shot over PG with 2.4 seconds remaining. Final: 99-100. My heart: 0-1.

Christmas in February: Pacers beat the Grizzlies, end losing streak

After an eventful (on Twitter anyway) trade deadline, the Pacers returned home after the All Star break with an un-changed team to play the Memphis Grizzlies and won by a final score of 102-92 as they ended their six-game losing streak.

Pacers fans showered superstar Paul George with cheers during his introduction, showing how glad they to see him still in a Pacers uniform.

George heard the extra cheers during introductions and appreciated hearing it from the fans.

George still was in a bit of a shooting slump as he made only 3 of 12 shots for nine points and added nine rebounds, but tonight it didn’t matter.

Thaddeus Young made his return to the lineup as well after missing eight games with a wrist injury, and man were the Pacers glad to see him back. His energy and hustle were a big difference maker that the team had missed during the losing streak. He finished the game with 10 points on 5-7 shooting with five rebounds, a block and a steal.

The game was close early but the Pacers took control in the second quarter and snapped their 6-game losing streak against the #6 seed in the West. 

After the game was tied at 29 – 29, the Pacers pulled ahead and led by 27 points at one point and never trailed again. They won the second and third quarters by a combined score of 64-42.

The biggest surprise/revelation of the game: the bench and defense. The Pacers bench scored 44 points tonight, led by Monta Ellis with 16 points and Lavoy Allen with a double double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Pacers defense held the Grizzlies to 41.7% from the floor while shooting 51.3% themselves.

The stellar bench play started with Rakeem Christmas, who had only played 23 minutes his entire season. Christmas came off the bench due to Al Jefferson being a late scratch due to ‘dental pain.’ Christmas played well in his 13 minutes, rolling to the basket (something the Pacers bigs are lacking) and attacking for rebounds.

Even though Rakeem only had four points and five rebounds, he was very active with his time of the floor. He’s still got to control his fouling issues, but he was a big boost to the second unit.

On a night when the top scorer was CJ Miles with 17 points, the bench play was a great boost. Maybe the Pacers didn’t need to trade anyone and just needed a kick in the pants (aka trade rumors) to get things rolling.

On the other side of the ball, the Grizzlies never established a game plan. Their leading scorer was Troy Daniels with 13 points. Outside of the occasional flash of Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, or Vince Carter, they didn’t seem to have the firepower tonight to overcome the Pacers.

Jeff Teague added a double double of 10 points and 10 assists. Myles Turner added 12 points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

The Pacers play again tomorrow night against the Miami Heat who are sitting in 10th in the East right now. This will be game one of a 5-game road trip for the Pacers. Miami is 8-2 in their last 10 and one of the hottest teams in the league. Hopefully the Pacers came come out and play a similar game plan Saturday night in Miami.

The Pacers win tonight clinches a Pacers winning home-record for the 28th straight season, which is the longest streak in the NBA.

This was the fourth Hickory Night of the season. A Hickory Night that had lots of Indiana High School history on the floor. For Memphis – Mike Conley (Lawrence North HS) & Zach Randolph (Marion HS) for the Pacers – Jeff Teague (Pike HS) & Glenn Robinson III (Lake Central HS).

George also introduced these shoes. (Count me as 1st in line once these come out):

Glenn Robinson III wins 2017 Slam Dunk Contest

Glenn Robinson III knew he wasn’t expected to win last night and tweeted about shocking the world in the weeks preceding the contest.

Mission accomplished: Glenn Robinson III won the dunk contest over Derrick Jones Jr., DeAndre Jordan, and Aaron Gordon.

Here’s a look at all of Dunk Dog’s slams and the other competitors top dunks in the contest last night.

Dunk Dog’s speciality was jumping over people. His first dunk was a nice display of showmanship as he faked like he was ready to go and then made it a little harder two times before going up and over two guys.


Robinson immediately showed that he was here to win as he looked to camera after this dunk as if to say, “What are you surprised?” The judges gave him a 50.


GR3’s next dunk was an underrated effort where he did a 360 windmill with a dab at the end (bit of a Dee Brown ode with the dab). The replays made this one better than it looked originally.


King Glenn III jumped over Paul George on his third dunk and probably least impressive of the night. Still earned him a 44 and after Jones Jr. failed to make his first dunk, GR3 had an easy path to victory.

Robinson finished off the contest as it should be with a 50 to crown himself as king.

He jumped over Paul George, Boomer, and a Pacemate and dunked the ball reverse. This was the second dunk where it looked like he was going to hit his head on the rim.

We’ll have an all-time Pacers dunks in a dunk contest ranking for you later on today. GR3 is sure to be on the list.

Dunk Contest Preview: Glenn Robinson III wants to shock the world

The NBA All-Star weekend’s premiere event is rapidly approaching on Saturday night: The Verizon Slam Dunk contest. The Pacers will be represented by Glenn Robinson III as he goes up against Derrick Jones Jr., DeAndre Jordan, and last year’s runner-up Aaron Gordon. Here’s a look at what each contestant brings to the table and their odds of winning:

https://twitter.com/TheCorner3Show/status/832237818705539073

DeAndre Jordan: The 6’11” first-time All-Star Center for the Los Angeles Clippers. Jordan continues the recent trend of having at least one big man in the field. (2016 Andre Drummond; 2015 Mason Plumlee).  Continue reading Dunk Contest Preview: Glenn Robinson III wants to shock the world

Jermaine O’Neal & Myles Turner make summer plans

Earlier today, former Pacers star Jermaine O’Neal sent a tweet to Myles Turner, offering to work with him this summer on his post game and gave some praise to the 20-year-old phenom for how he plays the game.

Myles Turner responded back with a resounding “Hell yeah!”

O’Neal said he’s looking forward to working with him and ended his last tweet with “#PacerForLife.”

This is great news for Pacers fans. Turner already has Al Jefferson to learn tricks from in the locker room and always seems to be eager to learn from others.

O’Neal is the best Pacers post player in their NBA history and can certainly teach Turner a thing or two in the mid/low post area. Turner’s bread and butter will always be that smooth stroke that goes beyond the 3-point line, but the more he improves in the post, the tougher matchup he’ll be. Maybe one day Turner will put up a 50-point game like JO’s 55-point night.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=s7_MOYSo6hQ

While O’Neal didn’t get the bobblehead night for the 2000s teams for the Pacers decade games this season, it can easily be argued it should have been him over Danny Granger. The Pacers still seem reluctant to celebrate anything about the teams from the brawl era, so it’s good to see that O’Neal still considers himself part of the Pacers family after all this time.

All-Star weekend will feature Glenn Robinson III and Myles Turner

The Pacers will have some representation at this year’s All-Star weekend events.

Glenn Robinson III has been selected to participate in this year’s dunk contest according to The Vertical, and Myles Turner will play for the U.S. squad in the Rising Stars game (formerly known as the rookie-sophomore game).

Last year’s dunk contest was one of the best of all-time, so GR3 will have to rise to the occasion to help match the incredible performances that Zach Lavine and Aaron Gordon had last year. No word yet on if those two will be among the participants this year.

Myles Turner said that playing in the Rising Stars game was one of his goals this year after being disappointed in not making it last season. Turner dealt with a thumb injury early in his rookie season which caused him to be overlooked for the contest last year. Now, Turner is being recognized as one of the best young players in the game while being part of a loaded draft class.

Paul George will likely join the two down in New Orleans as an All-Star reserve, but the All-Star teams have not been announced yet.

Paul George should be VERY happy with the new CBA

A new CBA agreement was tentatively reached last night between the NBA and the NBA Players’ Union. One new detail in the agreement will likely affect Paul George and the Pacers as they try and come to an agreement on an extension to keep George in Indiana next summer.

It will allow teams to designate one veteran player that has achieved certain criteria as a player (Zach Lowe reports that at least one of these will be making an All-NBA team) and offer that player a contract extension that is 35% of the Salary Cap in year one of the extension (30% if he leaves as a free agent with another team) and allows the contract to extend up to 5 years in addition to the one year remaining (4 years is max as a free agent with another team). It also allows the Pacers to increase the salary by up to 7.5% per season, while other teams would be limited to only 4.5% increases.

This amounts to a huge increase for Paul George and other star players like DeMarcus Cousins and Russell Westbrook that will be looking for new contracts in the near future.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders broke down what it would look like for Paul George if he signed an extension under this provision next summer and compared it to what a potential deal would look like if he choose to leave.

Home teams certainly have a lot more money to throw at stars to encourage them to stay and to avoid free agency with the extension now than they ever have. Here’s what Kyler reported George’s contract would roughly look like.

This is big news for small markets that are increasingly losing their marquee players in free agency, and it couldn’t come at a better time for the Pacers and their fans as Paul George is locked in for $19.5 million next season (2017-2018) and is expected to opt-out of his contract in the summer of 2018 to become an unrestricted free agent.

 

 

 

 

Paul George gets a banner outside of Banker’s Life Fieldhouse

The Pacers revealed a Paul George, Nike banner outside of Banker’s Life Fieldhouse today a few hours before the 76ers and Pacers square off.

“Shhhhh My Game Is Talking” is on the banner as well as “Come Out of Nowhere.”

Perhaps this banner will coincide with whatever Nike has planned for advertising George’s signature shoe that is rumored to be released sometime next year.

Our Paul George T-shirt sale ends soon! Get $2 off by using the links in these tweets!