Tag Archives: Pacers News

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

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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

The Last Two Minutes in Rhyme: Hawks vs. Pacers

An Ode to a 7-0 Run

All that remained was a shade less than two minutes (two-ahh)
With the Pacers down six, how could they get back in it?
It seemed another 4th-quarter collapse was inevitable
Paul George, suddenly normal after being impeccable

After 10 minutes of the fourth, the Pacers had merely 9 points
McMillan called a timeout and said stop stinking up the joint
Terrible cliche, yes, but it seems it was effective
As the former Hawk especially seemed determined to not be rejected

Teague quickly drove through the lane and cut the Hawk lead to four
And the Pacers defense would stiffen and allow Atlanta no more
Paul Millsap missed but the Hawks got the rebound
But the kid from Indianapolis  wouldn’t let down his hometown

On a switch, he ripped the ball away from Millsap
And after PG missed a three, CJ added two with a tap
Indiana suddenly down two with 33 seconds to go
My heart wanted to believe, but my head still said no

The Hawks milked the clock, but their dagger missed its mark
And with 8 seconds left, Teague grabbed the ball on the arc
Without calling timeout, he pushed the ball up ahead
Where he found Paul George trailing, “I’m open” he said

George drove through the lane but many Hawks converged
So he dished the ball out to CJ who quickly moved it to Third
The Slam Dunk Champ was wide open with the clock ticking down
No bigger fan than his father looking on in the crowd

The ball floated and spun straight through the net
GR3 gave the Pacers the lead with .6 seconds left
The Hawks missed their desperate shot at the end.
97-96. The Pacers. Win.

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.

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, SĂ©raphin 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):

Rumor Rundown: Paul George situation, Pacers trade targets

Larry Bird has been busy working the phones as the trade deadline approaches. While no deals seem imminent, lots of rumors have spread about the Pacers and what they’re looking to do before the deadline.

First, it was reported that the Pacers have been shopping their first-round pick to see if they can get a rotation-level player to help the Pacers push farther into the playoffs, and players like Brook Lopez and Jahlil Okafor have been mentioned in the past couple days.

The Indy Star reported just last night that the Pacers were still looking to add a rotational player and that Paul George would not be traded, which lined up with countless other reporters saying that the Pacers were not interested in dealing George. Nate Taylor said that his sources all told him they were looking to build around George, Jeff Teague, and Myles Turner.

Today, the Woj bomb dropped.

The Pacers are assessing the trade market for Paul George. What? What?? This hasn’t been in line with anything we’ve heard from many reliable sources in the past few weeks where the answer has always been that the Pacers were not taking calls on George or looking to trade him. But when Woj and The Vertical reports something, it makes you question everything.

Sam Amick of USA Today reported that George met with Herb Simon, Pacers owner, during the All-Star break over dinner and reiterated his position that he wants to stay in Indiana, but only if they’re contending for a title. This is something George has said since August, so it should be no surprise. George wants to be bigger than Reggie Miller, but he also wants to do that by doing the thing Reggie could never do: win a title.

The Indy Star’s Taylor says that the dinner was “celebratory and not George delivering an ultimatum.”

Even so, this has seemed to lead Bird to test the waters on what they could get for Paul George, but the deal doesn’t seem to likely to happen at the deadline according to multiple news sources seen in the tweets below. Still, it’s a big step from “untouchable” to “gauging the market.”

https://twitter.com/HPbasketball/status/834552178488520704

Meanwhile, the Pacers are still looking for options to add a rotational piece to the team for this season. Amick reported the Pacers are showing interest in Okafor, Aaron Afflalo of the Kings and Ed Davis and Allen Crabbe of the Trailblazers. Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee also reported of the Pacers interest in Afflalo.

Both Afflalo and Crabbe could help with the lack of wing depth on the Pacers, but Crabbe just signed a mammoth contract last off-season that has him making $18.5 million per season and Afflalo is a less-appealing get from the Kings than Ben McLemore. McLemore has the rest of this season left on his rookie deal and will be a restricted free agent next year, while Afflalo is much older and on a 2-year deal worth $25 million.

None of these players are likely to convince George that they’re ready to contend for a title this season, so the Pacers will be pressured this summer to further add to the team in order to be ready to contend as George approaches unrestricted free agency in 2018 when he opts out of his current contract.

If the Pacers don’t feel like they’ll be able to do enough during the off-season to get to the point where they are ready to contend by 2018, that may be when they start to look more seriously at trading George and rebuilding around Turner and Teague. Gauging the market now gives them some idea of what they’ll be able to get if that’s the road they choose down the line.

George did tell reporters after the Pacers first practice back from the All-Star break that he “would love to” finish his career in Indiana, he expects to be in a Pacers uniform after the deadline has passed tomorrow and that his sole focus right now is getting this team back on track for the rest of the season.

The Pacers will also have a lot of reasons for George to want to stay in he makes an All-NBA team either this year or next as he would qualify for the Designated Player Extension that would push a potential extension over $200 million. If he does not make the All-NBA team in the next two years, his max number would only be around $120 million. The DPE goes away if George is traded.

 

 

 

Rumor: Pacers targeting Jahlil Okafor

Another day, another Pacers trade rumor: Ramon Shelburne of ESPN reported this morning that the Pacers are targeting Jahlil Okafor of the Philadelphia 76ers. Yesterday, it was Brook Lopez being mentioned as a target of the Pacers.

Okafor has been the subject of trade rumors every so often basically since he was drafted by the 76ers thanks to their plethora of young centers in Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, and Okafor.

Okafor was taken third overall in last year’s draft and has plenty of offensive post skills. So far in his career, he seems like a player born into the wrong era. In 23 minutes per game this season, he’s averaging 11.4 points and 4.8 rebounds.

This would continue the trend of Bird acquiring players that can score without much thought as to how they actually fit in with the roster.

Shelburne doesn’t give any details about what the Pacers would be offering in this deal, but a best guess would probably be something like Al Jefferson and a first-round pick for Okafor. This would not seem to fix any of the Pacers existing problems however as Okafor seems to be a poor-man’s Al Jefferson when it comes to statistics at this point in their careers.

The hypothetical deal I put out there (Al and a mid-to-late round first for Okafor) might not even be enough for the Sixers to want to pull the plug on their top draft pick from just one year ago anyway. A deal that already looks questionable at best in terms of fit gets worse if they have to give up more than that (unless more is Monta Ellis and his contract).

Jefferson is a more efficient scorer in the post and Okafor’s not any better than Big Al on defense. Okafor has plenty of time to grow as he’s only in his second season in the league, but the trade seems a little too familiar to the Pacers getting another former high pick from the Sixers at the deadline that they were ready to give up on: Evan Turner. We all know how that worked out.

 

 

Rumor: Pacers trying to trade for Brook Lopez

Amidst all the DeMarcus Cousins craziness last night, another trade rumor popped up on Pacers fans timelines.

The rumored trade from Vecsey is that the Pacers would deal away their recently acquired Al Jefferson, the oft-injured Rodney Stuckey, and their first-round pick that they’ve been shopping around to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez.

pacers

The Pelicans were also in the running according to Vecsey, but it seems they will probably be out now that they’ve acquired Cousins. The Celtics are also interested.

Lopez wouldn’t cure everything for the Pacers, but he’s certainly a better player than Jefferson and would help the team’s rebounding and defense. It would also give the Pacers two centers that can stretch the court and shoot threes.

The real question would be how would Nate McMillan adjust the Pacers rotation if they were able to acquire Lopez. Does Lopez start with Myles Turner, who moves to the power forward spot like he often played last season alongside Ian Mahinmi? Does Lopez come off the bench as Thaddeus Young continues to start?

Or do the Pacers go with a super big lineup of Jeff Teague, Paul George, Thaddeus Young, Myles Turner, and Brook Lopez? This lineup is interesting on offense since they have so much size, but every player can also stretch the floor. Defense would be the concern here, but that’s already a major concern with the current Pacers.

If the Nets were more interested in Monta Ellis, the Pacers could also put him in the deal instead of Stuckey and it still works salary wise, though this seems unlikely that the Nets would rather have his more expensive and longer contract. The Pacers might be able to talk the Nets into throwing in a younger prospect like Sean Kilpatrick as it would still be a successful trade, but that may be hoping for too much.

This would be the second year in a row that the Nets would have the Pacers first-round pick in the draft if the deal goes through after the Pacers acquired Young before the draft from the Nets this summer for the 20th overall pick that ended up being Caris LeVert.

Of course, if the Nets were super interested in the deal, it may have already happened by now. We’ll have to wait and see if Larry Bird can find a trade partner before the trade deadline ends to get the Pacers going into the right direction coming out of the All-Star break.

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

Pacers sign Alex Poythress to training camp deal

The Vertical is reporting that the Indiana Pacers have agreed to a partially guaranteed deal with small forward Alex Poythress.

In what amounts to a training camp deal, Poythress is unlikely to make the regular season roster, but he will probably join the Pacers D-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, once the preseason games conclude.

Similar situation to how the Pacers signed Terran Petteway to a partially guaranteed deal last offseason, and Petteway joined the Mad Ants after being waived.

Poythress went undrafted in this year’s draft after averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds in his senior season at Kentucky. He missed most of his junior year with a torn ACL.

Poythress played for the Orlando Magic during the Summer League, where the Pacers got a chance to see him play in person during the week-long event.

Pacers waive Shayne Whittington, put roster at 15 players

The Pacers announced today that they have waived Shayne Whittington. Whittington’s contract would have become fully guaranteed on Monday, and this puts the Pacers back at the NBA roster limit of 15 players.

After signing Aaron Brooks, the Pacers were going to have to make a decision on getting rid of a player, it likely came down to Whittington or Rakeem Christmas who were rotating as the starting center during Summer League and both spent nearly the entire season together in the D League with the Pacers affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Christmas has a contract that is fully guaranteed for this season, so Whittington was in an uphill battle to show the front office and coaching staff that he deserved that final spot on the roster.

Whittington averaged 2.5 points and 1.5 rebounds while playing in only 27 games in his two seasons with the Pacers. He was signed as an undrafted free agent from Western Michigan.

Christmas stays on the roster and continues a transaction tree that goes all the way back to Dale Davis. 

Report: Aaron Brooks expected to sign 1-year deal with Pacers

Update: Shams now reports that the deal is done between Brooks and the Pacers : 1 year, $2.5 million and will be signed this week.

Continue reading Report: Aaron Brooks expected to sign 1-year deal with Pacers

Lance Stephenson considering a return to the Pacers

Born Ready may become Reborn Ready soon. Nate Taylor of the Indy Star reports that Lance Stephenson is considering a return to the Pacers as he mulls offers from multiple teams. Both sides appear to be interested in the possible reunion.

Stephenson has played for three teams since turning down the Pacers 5 year, $44 million deal just two years ago. After a challenging year with the Hornets, he was traded to the Clippers. The Clippers then traded him during last season to the injury-riddled Grizzlies where Stephenson started to find his groove as a player again. He averaged over 14 points per game while with Memphis, but the team declined his $9.4 million team option which made him an unrestricted free agent.  Continue reading Lance Stephenson considering a return to the Pacers

Pacers Summer League Game 2 Grades and Recap

In a sluggish, whistle-filled game, the Pacers Summer League squad lost to the Hornets 80-70. Glenn Robinson III and Shayne Whittington were the only double-digit scorers for the Pacers as the team seemed to struggle offensively against a more physical opponent than yesterday’s game. The first half was hard to watch as it was dominated by officiating. You know it’s a bad sign in the Summer League when the refs are a topic of conversation for the broadcast team. If you missed the analysis and highlights from Game 1, they are here. Much more positive notes to take from that game than this one.

Joe Young: 6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 0 turnovers in 22 minutes. (2 of 6 from field, 0 of 2 from 3-point range)

Grade: B-  Continue reading Pacers Summer League Game 2 Grades and Recap

ESPN reports Pacers, Kings have discussed Rudy Gay deal

Yesterday, there were some rumblings from unreliable sources and today Marc Stein of ESPN has reported that the Pacers and Kings have discussed a potential deal that would send Rudy Gay to the Pacers.

Continue reading ESPN reports Pacers, Kings have discussed Rudy Gay deal

Pacers & Al Jefferson agree in principle to 3-year, $30 million deal

The Indiana Pacers have made some noise in free agency. According to Woj, the Pacers have agreed in principle to a deal with veteran center Al Jefferson on a 3 year, $30 million deal.

Jefferson will immediately give the Pacers a post-scoring threat off the bench at the center position. Last season, the 31-year-old Jefferson averaged 12 points and 6 rebounds in only 23 minutes per game. Injuries have been an issue for him recently as he was limited to only 47 games last year. If you’re unfamiliar with Jefferson’s game, prepare yourself for a plethora of impressively effective pump fakes and slow moving post moves.  Continue reading Pacers & Al Jefferson agree in principle to 3-year, $30 million deal

Pacers Summer League Preview

The Indiana Pacers announced their roster for the Orlando Summer League earlier this week. The roster features many familiar faces including five players likely to suit up for the blue and gold next season and will be coached by Popeye Jones, Pacers assistant coach. The team will play five games that will run through the heart of the NBA free agency madness from July 2 through July 8 (Pacers schedule below). No one’s playing in the Summer League without something to prove and we’ll look at what some of the key players on the roster need to work on.  Continue reading Pacers Summer League Preview

Nate McMillan fills out coaching staff

Indiana Pacers announced who all will be on Nate McMillan’s coaching staff. Defensive guru Dan Burke and Popeye Jones both will return, while McMillan adds Bill Bayno as his top assistant. Bayno and McMillman worked together during nearly all of McMillan’s time as a head coach with the Portland Trailblazers.

“I was impressed with him then,” said McMillan on his time with Bayno in Portland, “and always hoped I would have the opportunity to work with him again.”  Continue reading Nate McMillan fills out coaching staff