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Tag:Indiana Pacers
Posted on: March 8, 2012 6:46 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 7:04 pm
 

Blazers, Pacers talk Jamal Crawford trade

Jamal Crawford could be headed out of Portland just months after he arrived. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver  

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported Thursday that the Portland Trail Blazers were seeking a first round pick in a trade package for guard Jamal Crawford. Potential suitors included the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers. Add to that list the Indiana Pacers.

A league source with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com later Thursday that reported talks between the Blazers and Pacers are "legitimate" and have included a scenario that would send Crawford to Indiana for guard A.J. Price and a 2012 first round pick. Indiana has sufficient salary cap space to absorb Crawford's contract without matching salaries. 

The Pacers were first linked to interest in trading for Crawford by ESPN.com and reportedly had interest in Crawford's services back in December, before the Seattle native elected to sign with the Blazers after also considering the New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings. Crawford's name has surfaced in rumors since shortly after he became trade-eligible on March 1.

Indiana, the source said, is hesitant to part with a first round pick, given the quality and depth of this year's draft pool as well as Crawford's contract situation. Indeed, trading for Crawford and his $5 million salary amounts to a low-risk 2-month rental. 

Crawford's player option for 2012-2013 -- and the uncertainty that goes with it -- could be hurting his value during early trade talks. 

"The first team to give Portland a first round pick for Crawford will have him," the source predicted.

Crawford's Portland tenure hasn't worked out as expected. The Blazers are currently in the Northwest Division basement and Crawford has seen his role change and playing time vacillate due to Nicolas Batum's promotion to starting two guard and the ongoing struggles of point guard Raymond Felton

There are links between Indiana and Portland executives. Indiana's director of player personnel Kevin Pritchard previously served as GM for the Blazers, before being fired on the night of the 2010 NBA Draft. Pritchard's hand-picked director of college scouting, Chad Buchanan, is currently serving as Acting GM for the Blazers, after previous GM Rich Cho was fired in May 2011.

Crawford, 31, is averaging 14.3 points and 3.8 assists in 26.8 minutes per game for the Blazers this season.
Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:15 am
Edited on: March 6, 2012 2:22 am
 

Report Card 3.6.12: Celebrating revenge

The Bulls did some celebrating of their own in a beatdown of the Pacers. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Bulls second-half defense The Bulls' win over the Pacers in a "revenge" game for celebration-gate earlier in the month was close in the first half. In fact, the Pacers lead. It was going well. The pace was how the Pacers want it, and the Bulls offense had resorted back to "Rose dribbles around and then passes to Noah in the pinch post who holds it for too long until passing it to someone for a mid-range jumper which misses. Then the third quarter happened, a 33-13 cannibalistic raid which started with the Bulls attacking the Pacers dribble furiously to create turnovers then running out for dunks and transition threes. It was like Chokeholds in Seven Seconds or Less and it turned a great battle into a rout before the Pacers could figure out they were hit.
OKC defense The Thunder won the free throw differential, again. The Thunder had some bizarre offensive possessions again. But when the Thunder absolutely needed to shut down the Mavericks, they did. The defense for OKC has come miles in the last three weeks. They blanketed Dirk and disrupted Dallas' playsets enough to completely block out any chance of a miracle tying bucket. They allowed too many Dirk Nowitzki threes early in the fourth, but their recovery down the stretch was championship level.
Orlando Magic/Toronto Raptors The Raptors have no center, no real power forward, and are playing Jamal Magloire and a series of tweeners. And yet outside of Dwight Howard's dominant 36 points, the Raptors hung with the Magic. That says a lot about both teams. The Magic needed a clutch J.J. Redick three to finish them off and this team simply had no frontcourt to defend Orlando with. That's a problem loss.
Sacramento Kings Essentially, twice against the Nuggets, all the Kings had to do was avoid the exact thing they wound up doing. Don't foul Arron Afflalo on a desperation three-pointer at the end of regulation. Don't miss free throws. Don't let Lawson go ISO with space. And yet they did all these things, twice blowing leads that seemed safe and tossing away a game they had every chance to win.
Clippers composure Kenyon Martin gets T'd up needlessly inside the final three minutes. Blake Griffin gets a technical for a bad fall into Luke Ridnour, then missed both of his free throws for the fouls which started it. Chris Paul misses a tying free throw. For whatever reason, the Timberwolves turn the Clippers into toddlers with buckets on their heads, running into walls and down stairs.



E FOR EFFORT
Dwight Howard (36 points on 20 shots, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks in 26 minutes)
Al Jefferson (25 points on 16 shots, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks)
Kevin Love (39 points, 17 rebounds, huge shot after huge shot in the win)
Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:01 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 1:03 am
 

Report Card: Brook Lopez dominates in Big D

Posted by Royce Young

 Brook Lopez definitely grabbed some attention Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.


Brook Lopez
Probably about halfway through Tuesday's New Jersey game against the Mavericks, Billy King called Otis Smith and said, "Hey, just wanted to make sure you're watching this." Because in his third game after returning to the floor after a foot injury, Lopez was dominant. He finished with 38 points on 17-28 shooting leading the Nets to a one-point win over the Mavs in Dallas.
Minnesota Timberwolves
On a night where Kevin Love scored just 10 and Ricky Rubio only two while Blake Griffin had 30 and Chris Paul 27, you'd assume the Clippers handled the Wolves with ease, right? Wrong. Instead it was a big 109-97 win for Minnesota. So how'd they do it? Behind a career night from rookie Derrick Williams who finished with 27 points on 9-10 shooting and Michael Beasley who had 27 on 11-15 shooting. That's right, 54 points on 20-25 shooting. That'll get it done.
Middle-of-the-pack Eastern teams
Both the Pacers and 76ers limped a bit into the All-Star break, revealing some issues. But both came out roaring with the Sixers topping Detroit by 29 and the Pacers whipping the Warriors by 24. Good start to the second half for both.
Derrick Rose
The Bulls made it far closer than it should've been against the Hornets, but Rose came to the rescue for Chicago, scoring 32 points, including the last four for the Bulls. He hit a big jumper with 19 seconds left to put Chicago up two, then picked up a block on a Jarrett Jack drive that would've tied it and then hit two free throws to seal it.
Boston Celtics
Boston ended a five-game losing streak with a win over Cleveland, but still, it's obvious there are problems. They look slow, old and have problems scoring. Rajon Rondo was outscored by Kyrie Irving 24-0 -- that's right, zero points for Rondo -- and outside of Ray Allen's solid game, the Celtics weren't very good. It's not that the Celtics are disappointing anymore, mainly because expectations are constantly being lowered.
Chicago Bulls not named Derrick The bench combined for only 18 points and the other four starters only had 49. Without Rose in the game, the Bulls blew an 11-point lead and had to be rescued by the MVP in the last couple minutes.
Dallas Mavericks
It's one thing to blow a game to the Nets at home, but the Mavs' failure in the last minute to execute was just bad. Jason Kidd's heave to win the game was off a horrible set that exploded in Dallas's face. And Dirk Nowitzki -- you know, the guy that's seven feet tall and as clutch as it gets -- didn't take a shot in the Mavs' last two possessions.
New Orleans Hornets
The Bulls won a game they were supposed to, but the Hornets made it tough on them. So why an F? Because they had it. After a 13-0 run to go up 95-91 with 1:30 left, the Hornets watched the Bulls close on an 8-0 run. Here were their possessions: turnover, blocked shot, blocked shot, turnover. Derrick Rose hit a big shot, but the Hornets really showcased exactly why they have such a horrendous record.

Posted on: February 28, 2012 5:14 pm
 

Paul George on dunk contest: 'It was a joke'

Even Paul George wasn't a fan of the dunk contest. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

The 2012 Dunk Contest? Not exactly a smashing success. Kind of hard to be when pretty much everyone is using it in a sentence with words like "worst" and "ever."

Kevin Durant sounded off saying stars need to participate as well as a bunch of other players saying things about how rough it was. One person that maybe you didn't expect to say it wasn't great though? One of the participants. But here's what Paul George told the Indy Star:
“(Not to) take nothing away from the dunk contest, (but) it was a joke,” George said. “I guess whoever had the biggest celebrity involved in their dunk was going to be the winner. I guess I should have tried to reach out to some people.

“If you leave it up to fans, they probably wouldn’t have known who Larry was. I think I was destined to lose it.”

George only used one gimmick in the contest, and it was a pretty good one. His human glowstick dunk was creative, original and pretty spectacular. For the others, he jumped over 7-2 Roy Hibbert and put a sticker of Larry Bird on the backboard.

His frustration stems from the winner, Jeremy Evans, using comedian Kevin Hart in his Mailman dunk. Evans won the contest despite having maybe the worst dunk in contest history, one that used a camera and was completely boring.  

George agreed with Durant too:

“I agree, you have to have the faces of the league come back and get involved in it,” George said. “That’s what really made it big back in the day when you had Jordan and Dominique going at it. That was the All Stars and the guys that were the men in the league. That’s what fans want to see.”

I wouldn't mind seeing George again. If he had made that sticker dunk, he would've had a solid night. Coming up with three inventive dunks isn't easy and we're all way too critical of the contest. But I agree -- get the celebrities and stuff out of it. It's a copout instead of using creativity and skill.

Via I Am A GM
Posted on: February 27, 2012 6:36 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 8:10 pm
 

Baseline Award Predictions for the season to come

Derrick Rose will play big minutes in the second half and could steal a second MVP from LeBron James. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore 

As the NBA catches its breath after a hurried rush to the season and a whirlwind All-Star Weekend, we turn our attention to the NBA's stretch run, the second half. We're at the point with the trade deadline looming two weeks away where teams will begin to make moves to either ramp up for a playoffs run or bottom out in rebuilding projects. Will the Heat keep up their pace? Can the Bulls finally get healthy and if so, how good can they be then? Are the Thunder legitimate title contenders? Are the Spurs "back" once again?

So many questions, so little time.

A huge element in the second half of the season is going to be minutes. The best teams will rest their players while desperate teams will have to play to the bone. The Bulls are somehow a great team and a desperate team. They want every advantage including homecourt advantage, and below we'll tell you how that could impact the MVP race.

So we present the Baseline Awards second-half predictions, focused on who will be taking the various trophies for the second half of the season.

Projected Eastern Conference Player of the Second Half: Derrick Rose

LeBron James is the runaway MVP leader, the best player on the planet, and was nearly flawless in the first half, despite the end to that All-Star Game. So why isn't he here? Because the Heat will have a top-two seed locked up by early April, and then you're going to see James take more and more games off as the Heat rest him for the playoffs. What he does between now and then will determine is MVP, but in the meantime, Tom Thibodeau plays his players 35 minutes a game even when they're hurt. Assuming that the All-Star rest helped Rose recover from the back and leg injuries that hampered him this season, he'll get the minutes, he'll get the production, he'll get the win. I expect big things from the reigning MVP in the second half.

Projected Western Conference Player of the Second Half: Kevin Durant

It's terrifying that a kid, a 23-year-old kid, can lead the league in scoring two years in a row and then make the leap. But that's what Durant has done. Everything is better. His efficiency. His productivity. His team. His leadership. His clutch play. And his defense. It's a phenomenal streak the kid's on and there's zero reason to think he'll slow down in the second half. The West is just competitive enough for the Thunder to keep Durant playing nightly and yet not good enough to challenge the Thunder for the top spot in the West (though San Antonio's making a good show of it).

Most-Likely to Succeed: Miami Heat

They have it together. They have no discernible weaknesses, outside of "Can LeBron James succeed in the clutch?" and that's not a regular season concern. The offense is clicking, their chemistry is good, they've had fewer distractions, they're playing at an elite level on both sides of the ball and their injuries haven't been significant. It may be sickening, but it doesn't change the fact that this is the baddest team in the land until further notice.

Least-Likely to Succeed: Charlotte Bobcats

Here's the worst thing about the Bobcats. They don't even have anything of value to firesell. Tyrus Thomas is having a terrible season, Corey Maggette has been injured, D.J. Augustin is just good enough to be their best player and not good enough to draw huge offers on the market. Gerald Henderson may be their best asset and he's too good to move. If they keep this team, they'll be horrible. If they sell off the parts for future components, they'll be terrible. If the lottery doesn't help this team, it's going to be classified as negligible cruelty.

Best Dressed: Indiana Pacers throwbacks

These jerseys are awesome. (Getty Images)


Those blues and yellows are just sharp as all get out.

Worst Dressed: Memphis Grizzlies throwbacks

This, not so much a crime against fashion as a crime against humanity. (Getty Images)


Let us never speak of these again.

Class Clown: JaVale McGee

Runs the other direction, denies things he's said into tape recorders, goes for triple-doubles in blowouts, makes ridiculous goaltends and has somehow failed to get better with John Wall on his team. McGee is funny. But someone really needs to get into his head and straighten things out or a world of potential is going to be lost.

Projected Defensive Player of the Year: Luol Deng

Andre Iguodala deserves it, but Deng may end up winning it simply based on reputation. If Deng is healthy, he's the best perimeter defender in the league. Dwight Howard has struggled at times and hasn't been as dominant. If the coaches really vote this one right, Deng should win as long as he continues to get healthy and Tom Thibodeau doesn't run him into the ground.

Smoke and Mirrors Award for False Relevance: Atlanta Hawks

Always a top-six team in the standings, never a top-six team in the conference. The Hawks have managed to survive a drop-off from Joe Johnson and the injury to Al Horford. The team is supremely in need of a complete makeover but none seems imminent. So they will continue to drift through the season, winning games and getting no credit, losing games and getting hammered, never going up or down. Consistency in this league is often heralded as success. But with the Hawks, it's always seen as evidence of either a mediocre student over-achieving or an excellent student never living up to potential.

Most Likely to Blow It Up: Boston Celtics

The holes have not been plugged. They have not rounded into shape. They have not righted the ship. The experience has not come through. The casual approach to conditioning has not yielded the results they want. They did not coast, they stumbled. They did not cruise, they crashed. They are alive only because of Rajon Rondo and the weakness of the Eastern Conference. The time has come to end this and move on. Sentimentality is not worth wasting time, because if the big free agents get re-aligned and the Celtics have nothing to move forward with, they'll be back in the stone age they were in before the Big 3 arrived.

Carmelo Anthony Award for MeloDrama: Dwight Howard

"I want a trade! But I love it here! But I want more input on decisions in the front office! But I'm just trying to play! I'm not talking about free agency! Except to talk to you about how much I'm not talking about it! I love my teammates! But I love Deron Williams! I love New York! But I love Orlando! I love my mom! But I make my own decisions!"

It's like watching a teenage girl decide between four boys while the one she's with can't figure out what he did wrong.

Projected Rookie of the Year: Kyrie Irving

Ricky Rubio's a nice story. Neat passes. Irving should have been an All-Star and is going to be an elite player in this league over the next decade. Cleveland's rebuild is on its way, just 19 months removed from "The Decision."

Most Likely to be Traded: Stephen Jackson

Steve Nash could go. Dwight Howard might go. Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Josh Smith, Rajon Rondo, Jose Calderon. But Jackson is owed a lot of money, the Bucks don't need him, and he and Skiles hate each other. He's a bad fit in the locker room and a bad fit on the floor. It's .50 cents on the dollar time in Milwaukee for CapJack.

The 2012 Version of the 2011 Memphis Grizzlies:

The Houston Rockets. I'm starting to buy into Houston as a surprise team. Memphis used team play, star power from Zach Randolph and a unique matchup with San Antonio to get into the second round. Houston has a Should-Be-All-Star in Kyle Lowry and world of versatility in lineups they can deploy. Throw in the work that Kevin McHale has done and the fact they're 4-4 this year against division opponents (three of which are likely playoff teams) and you've got a great shot at Houston making a surprising, if ultimately futile, run. Hurray, another mid-first-round lottery pick!

Most Likely to Hit the Rookie Wall:

MarShon Brooks. Brooks is going to be a terrific scorer in this league for a long time. He's got an elite set of offensive skills and tremendous length. He can play in an offense, too. But his game is predicated on shooting percentages and that's the kind of thing that can drop off when it hits the rookie wall. I full expect to have jinxed Brooks and he will now go out and win Rookie of the Year. His play in the win over the Knicks last week was superb.

Most Likely to Make Himself a Name by Season's End: Paul George

Should have won the dunk contest. Played Rose great last year. The Pacers are better than last year and are primed for a playoff run. Getting them out of the postseason is going to be a serious job, and George is going to be a huge part of it. More versatile on offense, better on defense, athletic, explosive, with range. George isn't going to score 40. But he's going to be a part of a lot of playoff wins for Indiana and is going to be that guy in the playoffs that make sports bars of opposing teams groan "Not that guy again!" time and time over. By the way, I've started calling him Mega-Man because it seems like every game he picks up a new ability he didn't have before.
Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:15 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 2:09 pm
 

Reggie Miller leads Hall of Fame Finalists

Reggie Miller leads the 2012 Naismith Hall of Fame class of finalists. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

The 2012 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame candidates were announced Friday at an event during All-Star Weekend. The candidates are as follows: 

Reggie Miller: Last year's big exclusion. Miller held the record for all-time made three-pointers until Ray Allen broke it last season. Miller should be in by a mile. Miller finished his career as a 47 percent shooter despite being a three-point expert, where he was a 40 percent career shooter. He averaged 18 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds during his 18-year career. 

Mo Cheeks: Played eleven years for the Sixers and is currently an assistant with the Oklahoma City Thunder after head coaching stints in Portland and Philadelphia. Another logical nominee, Cheeks was a four-time All-Star, a four-time NBA All-Defensive Team member, an NBA Champion in 1983 with Philadelphia, and lead the league in field goal percentage in 1975. 

Bernard King: Four-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA, finished second in MVP voting in 1984. Averaged 23 points and six rebounds on 52 percent shooting during a fourteen-year career. 

Bill Fitch: Two-time NBA Coach of the Year, NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics in 1981. 25 years of coaching in the NBA, including 944 wins, one of the true legends in coaching circles 

Dick Motta: NBA Champion in 1971 with over 1,000 victories at various levels of play. 

Don Nelson: Nelson is also not going to have any trouble, considering he has the most wins of any coach in NBA history. A .557 winning percentage over 2,398 games across over three decades in the league? Yeah, I'd say Nellie's good to go. 

Hank Nichols: Long-time official and "rule architect." 

Rick Pitino: Well, this is an NBA blog, so we'll leave that one alone and leave it to our Eye on College Basketball brethren

Jamaal Wikes: Four-time NBA champion, three-time All-Star, two-time All-Defensive team (second team). Career averages of 16 points and six rebounds on 50 percent shooting. 

Ralph Sampson: Three-time Naismith Award and National College Player of the Year Award winner. His work at Virginia is the stuff of legend. Three-time NBA All-Star. 

Katrina McClain: Two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time FIBA gold medalist. Two-time USA Basketball female athlete of the year. 

All-American Red Heads: The female version of the Globetrotters, basically. 


Many worthy candidates this year, but it also looks like the process for induction will be different next season. More on that in a bit. 
Posted on: February 15, 2012 2:36 pm
 

Magic the leading suitor for J.R. Smith?

Are the Magic the top suitor for Smith right now? (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

J.R. Smith will be returning to the United States sometime this week and he's already eyeing a few teams. Smith changed his Twitter bio to say, "NYK? LAL? LAC? CHI? ORL? IND?" recently so that should give you an indication the directions he's looking.

But according to HoopsWorld, The Magic might have the inside track to get the erratic scorer. The report says Smith is looking for more than a veteran minimum deal and that the Pacers are not interested back in Smith. And if Smith wants more money, that would eliminate the Clippers and Lakers as well as they can't offer more than the vet minimum.

That puts the Knicks with the ability to offer the $2.5 mini-mid-level deal and the Bulls who can offer a $1.9 bi-annual exception. The Magic though can offer the most -- about $4.9 million -- but don't necessarily have a spot for Smith, especially if he wants to start. Orlando already has Jason Richardson and J.J. Redick while Smith could likely start for the Clippers, Bulls (depending Richard Hamilton's health) or Knicks.

Earlier in the week via ESPN LA, Chris Paul said he likes the Clippers' chances of nabbing Smith.

"I think our chances are very high," Paul said Monday night after the Clippers' 96-92 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

[...]

"Who knows J.R. better than me?" Paul said of Smith, his teammate for two seasons with the Hornets.

Referring to Kenyon Martin and Billups, both of whom played with Smith in Denver, Paul attributes his optimism to "my relationship with J.R., Kenyon's relationship with him and Chauncey's relationship with him."

"Also he knows he'll have the opportunity to play here," Paul said. "He can only make us better."

Acquiring Smith really could almost be like a good deadline trade, but without having to give up anything. He's going to make an impact on the court, but it's just a matter of where he chooses. He's got teams ready for him, but it's up to Smith to go for money, a contender or a prominant role. There really isn't an ideal fit in that regard right now, at least in terms of teams Smith is interested in.

But a decision should be coming soon. So hang tight.
Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:43 am
Edited on: February 15, 2012 9:11 am
 

Report Card 2.15.12: Devastating fun

LeBron James produced a lot of points in not a lot of minutes vs. the Pacers. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore
 

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Miami Heat You were expecting Linsanity, weren't you? A buzzer-beater over the Raptors with 8 turnovers won't get you an A around these parts. But absolutely demolishing the Pacers, being up 20 in the second quarter on? Yeah, that'll do. The Heat were in full-on Flying Death Machine mode Tuesday night. They just ran the Pacers out of the building and out into the night, never to be heard from again. LeBron James 23-9-7 in 33 minutes in the win.
Jeremy Lin I want to give Lin an A as much as you probably want me to. But eight turnovers are eight turnovers, and 9-20 shooting is 9-20 shooting. It's not bad. It's just not great, and that, with the turnovers and the struggle with splitting the double renders us unable to give him a top grade. Something tells me he'll take it. But seriously. What a shot.
Memphis Grizzlies The Rockets were exhausted on a road game at the end of a long stretch of games, Kevin Martin was scoreless for the first time in a long, long time, and yet this was a five-point game under five minutes. The Grizzlies did enough to win, and they get the credit that goes with it. But they don't get much more than a passing grade
Phoenix Suns The Suns were chewed up by the Nuggets inside, torched from the perimeter and ran ragged. They're wholly unprepared at the worst times this season and it doesn't seem like there's much of a chance they recover this season. Steve Nash deserves better.
Portland Trail Blazers A home loss to the Wizards. I need no further justification for this grade, regardless of the health of LaMarcus Aldridge who left the game with an ankle injury.



E FOR EFFORT
LeBron James (23 points on 15 shots, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals in 33 minutes. Destroyed Indiana and got to rest.)
Jeremy Lin (27 points on 20 shots, 11 assists, 8 turnovers, one huge shot)
Jose Calderon (25 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, brilliant for 45 minutes)
DeMarcus Cousins (28 points on 20 shots and 17 rebounds in a loss to the Bulls)
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com