BREAKING: Paul George Traded to Thunder

By Darreck Kirby
Project Shanks Creative Director

In a stunning move just hours before the opening of NBA free agency, the Oklahoma City Thunder made waves in acquiring the 27-year-old superstar. As with any trade, there are at least two outlooks moving forward. So let’s break down this blockbuster piece by piece, shall we?

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Project Shanks NBA Preview: Central Division

By Matthew Carpenter
PSDC Writer

NBA CENTRAL DIVISION PREVIEW

(Projected Order of Finish)

1. Cavaliers. Let’s state the obvious: This is the most talented team in the Eastern Conference. There are seemingly limitless possibilities on offense when you add Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to the best player on the planet. LeBron James is also likely to get guys like Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters overpaid at some point in the near future. But while shiny and new, these are known quantities. I’m most excited to see how new coach David Blatt employs his bounty. Basketball insiders love him but he’ll be under a ton of scrutiny for a first-time NBA coach.

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Say ‘Hello’ to: James Jones. LeBron and the Floor Spacers. Jones and Mike Miller reunite with LeBron . Wave the towels from the bench. The open looks are sure to follow. [Read more…]

Here’s The Thing – Teams Of Substance Know Einstein

By Stephen Thomas
PSDC Funnyman and Brad Pitt Doppelgänger

I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

After the wildness of the first round, the NBA Playoffs appear to be settling down. While the one-and-done format of the NCAA tournament offers a ton of excitement, the NBA’s best of seven format usually allows the better teams to advance and gives us the best basketball to watch this side of firing up “Hoosiers” on the DVR, and hoping at some point the Wizards try to run The Picket Fence at ‘em. [Read more…]

Why The Mavericks Need Danny Granger

By Darreck Kirby
PSDC Dallas Mavericks Beat Writer

It wasn’t so long ago that Danny Granger was Indiana’s best player. A sharp shooting small forward, the eight-year veteran was a frequent participant in ESPN’s highlight reel. But over the past two seasons that perspective has changed for Granger.

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Five Things to Watch for in the Second Half of the NBA Season

By Jake Hyman
PSDC Writer

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

OK, I know the second half of the NBA season has technically already started but really, the All-Star break is the true midway point.

So here we are with Indiana sitting pretty at 40-12, the Phoenix Suns remarkably in the top eight in the West and the New York Knicks in complete disarray.

Here are five things to look forward to before the playoffs arrive and all hell breaks loose:

1. TRADE DEADLINE (THURSDAY 3:00 P.M. ET)

It is always an exciting time of the year as the trade deadline approaches with a lot of fruitless rumors and speculation. This year a question I keep hearing is, “Will Carmelo Anthony get dealt?” The answer is flat out NO. [Read more…]

Indiana Pacers are Legit Championship Contenders

By Guillermo Mijares 


PSDC Contributor

Can we just come out and say it? Paul George is a superstar. The Eastern Conference Player of the Week (named on Nov. 11) is averaging 24.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists is proving that not only is he a threat to all other MVP candidates, but his team is marking their territory in the Eastern Conference.

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At this moment, the Indiana Pacers hold a league-best 9-0 record. They are by far the most impressive team in the league. Roy Hibbert will be one of the candidates for Defensive Player of the Year. Hibbert, by the way, had eight blocks against the Bucks last night. They’ll get Danny Granger back sometime this year to add more swagger in terms of toughness to the team. Granger will get his team buckets once he is healthy and ready to go. His return will make this team even more frightening than it is already.

I look at the Eastern Conference and see three teams that really stand out to me when we talk about contending for a championship…Miami, Chicago, and Indiana. [Read more…]

NBA Draft Winners and Losers

By Ryan Haidinger
PSDC Writer

The 2013 NBA Draft was supposed to be one of the worst ever. While the players it produced may not become hall of famers, the draft itself provided compelling TV and plenty of trade chaos. Here are three teams I feel had good draft nights and three teams that left me scratching my head.

WINNERS:

New Orleans Pelicans- The Pelicans kicked off the trading frenzy of the 2013 draft landing all-star point guard Jrue Holliday in a trade with the 76ers. New Orleans traded the sixth overall pick, Nerlens Noel, and next year’s first-round pick for Holliday, instantly improving their roster. Holliday will slide in next to Eric Gordon to form a very talented backcourt. Paired with last year’s top pick Anthony Davis, the Pelicans have three very good, young players to build around.

Cleveland Cavaliers- The Cavs shocked most people by selecting Anthony Bennett, who was projected to go somewhere between 5-10, No. 1 overall. Cleveland has been criticized by some for reaching to take Bennett over higher rated players. In my mind, there was no sure thing in this draft and if you can’t trade down, which Cleveland tried to do, you should take the player you like. I give the Cavs front office credit for going after the player they wanted and not giving in to the pressure to take Noel. With their second pick, Cleveland got one of the best shooters in the draft in Sergey Karasev, a 6’7 sharpshooter from Russia. Cleveland now has a freak athlete and a great shooter to surround elite point guard Kyrie Irving.

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Legendary: What LeBron Ain’t (Yet)

By Reid Kerr
PSDC Offensive Coordinator

I don’t like LeBron James.

I’m stating this up front because I feel like a lot of basketball fans agree with me, and also because many of us can’t exactly explain why.

When LeBron came out of high school and went to the Cavaliers, he was spectacular. He somehow managed to lead Cleveland to the Finals, and regardless of the sport, that should qualify you for sainthood. He became a free agent and won a title, plays hard every night, seems like a nice guy, and has never tried to make us listen to an awful rap album. He’s unquestionably the best player in the league, and maybe one of the best of all time.

So why don’t we like him?

Sure, Heat fans love him. Amazing how many of those have popped up over the last three years, eh? You don’t see a lot of throwback Harold Miner jerseys at those games. [Read more…]

PSDC Random Stat of the Day

By Johnny Griffith
PSDC Stat Man

The Heat’s LeBron James faces playoff elimination for the 11th time in his career when Miami plays Indiana in Game 7 of the East finals on Monday. James is 4-6 in those games.

Is Resiliency Enough for the Indiana Pacers?

By Michael Conway
PSDC Contributor

For the Indiana Pacers, the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals was nothing short of heartbreak. It took a miracle shot from Paul George to even send the game into overtime. David West uncharacteristically missed two free throws in a key early possession in overtime, and George Hill continued to struggle running the point against the Heat’s ball pressure. Not once but twice, coach Frank Vogel opted to sub out his 7-foot defensive anchor, Roy Hibbert, and not once but twice, the decision backfired—the second time culminating with LeBron James’ game-winning layup at the buzzer. In classical seven games series parlance, this was a road game the Pacers could have stolen. Despite 20 turnovers, the struggles with late game execution, and LeBron, the Pacers had multiple chances to win the game and were poised to win for much of the game until LeBron took one powerful dribble to his left and laid the ball against the glass.

Needing four wins against a more talented opponent, the Pacers can ill afford to give away games. Yet, the next day following his mea culpa in Game 1’s post-game press conference, Vogel radiated positivity. He claimed to be “encouraged” by the game. “Our belief in our ability to beat [the Heat] has strengthened after Game 1.” [Read more…]

LeBron Dominates in a Thrilling Game 1

By James McKinnie
PSDC Contributor

30 points. 10 rebounds. 10 assists.

It was just another day at the office for the four-time MVP LeBron James. However, when LeBron puts up those kind of numbers, the score of the game is usually much different. Tonight the result was only a one-point win. A last-second win at that, but a win nonetheless.

With 2.2 seconds left in overtime, LeBron got the ball at the top of the key, and drove it to the hoop for an easy layup that no one could defend. Perhaps Roy Hibbert could have defended it, but Pacers head coach, Frank Vogel, thought it would be better to have Tyler Hansbrough on the court to defend the jump-shooting big man, Chris Bosh, if Bosh found himself open for the shot. Hibbert finished with 19 points and nine rebounds.

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Indiana Pacers vs New York Knicks Game 2 Twitter Recap

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Big Man 

On the anniversary of Reggie Miller scoring eight points in nine seconds against the New York Knicks, TNT decides to put him on the call. This is fabulous on every level. Especially since we all know that Spike Lee would be in the crowd. Let’s go to Twitter for the recap of this one.