Solid Game From Hibbert Leads Pacers to Victory

donald sloan

The Heat Vs. Pacers rival lives on, despite the loss of Lebron James heading back to Cleveland and Paul George breaking his leg; things went as expected. Competitive and defense oriented.

The game was close all the way through. It seemed like Dwayne Wade was going to be an issue for Solomon Hill, scoring 11 points in the first quarter. It wasn’t. Hill did a great job the rest of the game, only allowing him to score 9 points the rest of the game. Statistically Solomon Hill did not go well; he shot 1-12 from the field and scored 9 points, but pulled down 10 rebounds. His defensive performance was key for the Pacers.

The battle of most intrigue was Chris Bosh Vs. Roy Hibbert. As i expected Hibbert dominated Bosh on both sides of the ball. On defense bosh struggled to get anywhere inside the paint, or even shoot over Hibbert. At one point he blocked a long jumper in crunch time. Bosh finished with a season low 9 points. On offense Hibbert got any shot that he wanted. Post hook, layup, jumper. Anything. Roy finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks. He helped the Pacers destroy the Heat in the rebounding battle; 53-28, that led to 19 second chance points for Indiana.

The defense on both sides of the ball was solid. The Pacers found themselves tied at 72, late in the 4th quarter. It was a defensive battle from here on out. Donald Sloan, who has been starting for the Pacers all season, due to injuries of George Hill and C.J. Watson; came down the floor, with time ticking on the shot clock, knocks down a 3 with a hand in his face. 75-72 Pacers. Fairly quickly Dwayne Wade hits a 3 to tie the ball game with around 40 seconds to go. Who would the Pacers give the ball to in this situation?

None other than Pacer-fan-favorite Chris Copeland, was handed the ball on an out of bounds play, he then quickly blew past Loul Deng for an open floater. Pacers lead. 77-75. From then on out it was all Pacers defense. The final score 81-75. That all due to a solid team effort, it seems regardless of the competition and situation; the Pacers always play hard. Frank Vogel is really being tested as a coach and is thriving. Hes doing very well with what hes got.

The one thing the Pacers will need to continue improving on is turnovers. Taking care of the basketball. Indiana had 16 last night and are averaging 15.7 a game.

The Pacers will next see the 1-6 Denver Nuggets, and old coach Brian Shaw. It should be a defensive minded game, just like the last. It will be the Pacers 5th home game and 10th game of the season.

Pacers Snap 6 Game Losing Streak

royhibbert
The Pacers finally snap a 6 game losing streak. It was the longest since 2011 and each loss was of a deficit less than 10 points.
Roy Hibbert led the charge with 29 points, 5 rebounds and a block. He was the go to go from start to finish, as Vogel looked to keep him the center of the offense, He got off to a quick start scoring 17 of his 25 in the first half and helped the Pacers win their second straight this season.
Indy moved the ball well early on and only turned the ball over 7 times. That’s a big feat considering they’re averaging 17 a game and allow along of points off turnovers. It’s nice to see the Pacers cleaning up their game, because that’s what they need. They’ve been playing hard and working hard, but sometimes that doesn’t cut it; you’ve got to play smart.
Indiana native Gordon Hayward returned to his home state for tonight’s game; and had himself a night with 30 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. He was the pulse of the Jazz on offense tonight, as they struggled to score the ball at certain points and eventually Hayward could not carry all of the load down the stretch and eventually the Pacers took over.
A.J. Price returned to the Pacers last week, via hardship waiver placed by the Pacers. Tonight he made the difference with a near-career-high 22 points in 25 minutes and led the offense while Donald Sloan took rest on the bench.
This is not only a literal victory for the Pacers, but a mental one. Getting past a 6 game winning streak is big. It restores confidence, and team chemistry. At some points on the floor, its very easy to tell that these guys have never played together. With George Hill, Rodney Stuckey, C.J. Miles, C.J. Watson, David West and Paul George all out many players are playing, that would not normally see minutes.
It should give the Pacers fans confidence that we can still win games without all those key players and continue to improve.
Solomon Hill had another nice game with 13 points and will continue to build and improve on his game. Lavoy Allen was stellar tonight with a double-double (12 points, 15 rebounds) and has proved he deserves more minutes off the bench at the power forward and center positions.
The Pacers next game will be an Eastern Conference Finals rematch against a LeBron-less Miami Heat. This should make for an interesting Wednesday night matchup on ESPN.

Pacers Sit at 1-6/ Stone Sports Report

Pacers Sit at 1-6
Stone Miller

1 and 6

The Indiana Pacers sit at the bottom of the Central division, they have a 1-6 record; and are the most injury prone team in basketball. They’ve got injuries to George Hill, David West, Rodney Stuckey, C.J. Watson, and C.J. Miles and for the time being Roy Hibbert. Miles and Hibbert should play tonight against the Utah Jazz; but that’s beside the point.
The Pacers have been in every game so far this season, they very well could’ve won each one. The losses usually come because of a lack of offense down the stretch. When the Pacers get George Hill and David West back they’ll get that extra push they need to win games. For now keep your eyes on Donald Sloan and Solomon Hill, the 2 young players who have showed potential and promise. Each of them having career games so far this year and showing they’ve learned something from the older players on the team; after riding the pine all last year. Otherwise the Pacers have some decisions to make on what to do about the team’s situation.
The Pacers front office sit at a crossroads, with a lot of cap room last season, and only 6 players officially under contract (2 with player options; David West, Roy Hibbert), they’ll have to go in one of 2 directions. The first direction (best), trade away players with expiring contracts and tank for a number one pick, then wait till the offseason to try and get a big name sign like Paul Millsap, Rajon Rondo and Goran Dragic. The other direction is to resign players on the current roster and look to make a run at a low playoff seed and in the offseason try to add minor pieces around Paul George.
The first option would be far better for many reasons; new young players, a possible big offseason sign, another star piece next to Paul George and a new look Pacers team. The negative side of this is our possible high round pick would be a bust, and no one else would sign with Indy. Those 2 events both taking place is highly unlikely, so it seems like a reasonable that the Pacers front office would take a shot at it.
The second option is far less appealing, but is safer. If Roy Hibbert picks up his player option this offseason that removes any worries of signing another Center, and would help keep some of the core team the Pacers already have. The issue with resigning some of these players is age, David West and Luis Scola have 3 to 4 years left, max. They likely are not players we want for the future, we need to rebuild the core with younger players so we do not get caught in the middle of the pack, as many franchises do.
To avoid any high-level risks I believe the Pacers take a look that’s in the middle ground. It would be smart for Roy Hibbert to pick up his 15 million dollar player option, because he might not get paid that much buy anyone else. So we should expect Roy back next season. David West should be traded to a title contender, possibly for draft picks or young players. This will free up cap space and give David West the shot he wants at a championship, it also helps the Pacers to make moves for the future.
Best case scenario the Pacers resign a few players on the current roster, get a big free agent sign to go along with Paul George and get a decent draft pick to develop.
Worst case scenario the Pacers try to make a playoff run, don’t get in and have to depend fully on free agent signs next year.
Either way the Pacers will be in good hands with one of the best front offices in the NBA. Donnie Walsh, Larry Bird and Kevin Pritchard. They will do whatever it takes to make this team better and make the trades that need to be made. Do not worry Pacers fans, the fate of Indiana lies in very capable hands.

Offensive Struggle Cost Pacers Game/Stone Sport Report

Offensive Struggle Cost Pacers Game
Stone Miller

pacer lost

The injuries are an obvious problem for the Pacers; with no David West, George Hill, and C.J. Watson; but it was no excuse for Tuesday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Chris Copeland led the Pacers in scoring again, dropping 19 points; but also shot 6-15. Roy Hibbert yet again had another solid game and is (for now) the only consistently positively playing starter. He finished with a line of 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks. The large issue for the Pacers turnovers. They committed 19 turnovers; they Bucks took advantage of this and scored a whopping 28 points off of them.
The Pacers shot the ball very poorly Tuesday, 39% from the field, 25% from 3 and an absoutly awful 59% from the free throw line. The Bucks had a solid night overall, only committing 12 turnovers, compared to their average 21, and didn’t have trouble scoring the ball with 87 points on the night.
Brandon Night had himself quite a night scoring 23 points and dishing out 7 assists. He led the offensive tempo well on the fast break and helped spread the floor with his confident shooting. Larry Sanders lead his team with 10 rebounds, but however was held scoreless by Roy Hibbert.
The few positives from this game are the performances of Roy Hibbert and Solomon Hill. Solo scored a career high 12 points, posted 5 rebounds and 2 steals. He looked confident shooting the 3 and had a sweet spin move for a layup in the 4th quarter. Let’s hope Solomon becomes more confident; because he passed up many open shots and ended up turning the ball over 4 times. If Solomon Hill can improve this season that would really help the Pacers find more scoring options in the starting lineup. With a deeply struggling C.J. Miles and Luis Scola we could use the offensive help.
The Pacers will next face a 3-1 “new-look” Wizards team, and will try to grab a victory before heading out to 2 more games in the next 3 days. The Pacers badly need a confidence boost on the offensive side of the ball, hopefully they get the 3s popping early and often to get out in front of a Bradly Beal-less Wizards team.

Pacers Vs. 76ers Season Opener/Stone Sport Report

Pacers Vs. 76ers Season Opener
Stone Miller

Pacers Vs. 76ers Season Opener

Injury Report:
Pacers:
David West PF; out, ankle
George Hill PG; day-to-day, knee
C.J. Watson PG; out, foot
Rodney Stuckey SG; day-to-day, foot
76ers:
Micael Carter Williams PG; out, shoulder
Jason Richardson SG; out, foot fracture
Jeremi Grant SF; out, ankle

In the Pacers season opener they will be missed 3 key players. David West, Georg Hill and C.J.Watson; possibly for the first week of the season. They will be facing up against a very young and banged up Philadelphia 76ers team.
Indiana shouldn’t have too much trouble facing this group of youngsters, but I do expect a close game. Roy Hibbert will need to lead the offense and bring his defensive presence if they Pacers want to win their season opener. Hibbert was under much scrutiny last season; after having a bad second half of the season, and a few scoreless playoff games. This off season he worked with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and expects to drastically improve his offensive efficiency and confidence. He also lost 15 pounds to thin himself out a little to be more mobile and agile in the paint.
Donald Sloan will be starting at point guard for the Pacers; with C.J. Watson and George Hill out. He led the Pacers in scoring during and preseason, and will likely get increased minutes off the bench this season at the 2 guard and possibly running the offense.
The Pacers will falter a little more this season without Paul George there to guard every teams star. They should hold their own though. ‘SmashMouth’ basketball will not disappear and will most likely be seen even more this year. Defense will be important against the 76ers, as they have a lot of 3 point shooters and young talent.
As for Philadelphia they will struggle without MCW. He is out with a shoulder injury and is at this point their best player. Tony Wroten will be the player to look out for; he has a plethora of scoring ability and triple-double capabilities.
This should be a fun game to watch with K.J. Daniels and Nerlens Noel making their debuts. The Pacers will face a scoring challenge of sorts; but in the end the veterans will prevail. Luis Scola will be starting and might possibly lead us in scoring. Should be a low scoring game, but a Pacers victory to start the year off.

Pacers Vs. Hornets/Stones Sport Report

Pacers Vs. Hornets
Stone Miller

Pacers vd Hornets

July 16, 2014 Lance Stephenson turned down a 5 year $44 million deal from the Pacers; he later accepted a 3 year $27 million deal form the Charlotte Hornets. Jaws dropped in Indianapolis, from Larry Bird to your average fan, shocked. Many question why he left; was it Chemistry? Shots? Role? Money? What? No one can be sure, here a theory; the new luxury tax goes up in a few years. He signed a lesser deal because he thinks he can get a big max contract when the time comes. We shall see.
Tonight the Pacers will be facing off against Stephenson’s new team; the Charlotte Hornets. It will be each team’s last preseason game and sadly Lance Stephenson will not be playing against his old team due to a groin injury.
This might be the last game you see C.J. Fair, Adonis Thomas, Arinze Onuaku or Chris Singleton in Pacers uniforms. All of them are possible cuts that Frank Vogel will make. My guess is they will keep Fair; he’s young, athletic and has some potential, and could be used on the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
The Pacers still have some things to clean up before the season begins; number one on the list is lowering turnovers and increasing ball movement. Likely both of those will not improve greatly tonight, but one would be good. If we take care of the basketball more, that will lead to more offense and more time to settle in and share the basketball.
Donald Sloan has been a pleasant surprise this preseason; he leads the team with 13.8 points per game and has been great running the offense and scoring at 2 guard. That could help the Pacers bench a lot, if he can be an efficient scorer that changes things for the Pacers bench.
Overall I think the Pacers have performed well when the starters have played; our record this preseason is only 2-4 but I think the team has gotten comfortable around each other and have formed a chemistry ready for the regular season.
Tonight the Pacers will look to build the chemistry more as they face the Charlotte Hornets tonight at 7:00 P.M. Eastern Time.

Copland Leads Pacers to Victory/Stones Sport Report

Copland Leads Pacers to Victory/Stones Sport Report
Stone Miller

Pacers

On Saturday night the Indiana Pacers found themselves facing against the Mavericks bench players. Dallas had decided to rest all 5 starters and start the unguaranteed contract players. This was most likely to see who was worthy of making the team and who would be cut. As for the Pacers they started an interesting rotation; Rodney Stuckey was out with a left foot injury and Frank Vogel decided Chris Copeland and move C.J. Miles to shooting guard.
The Pacers got off to rough start, turning the ball over 7 times in the first quarter and it seemed like David West took most of the shots in the first. Thing didn’t change for the Pacers come the 2nd quarter and Dallas got out to a 10 point lead. The score at halftime being 52-42. Dallas was led by rookie point guard Gal Mekel (finished with 19 points).
David West went down in the first quarter with a minor ankle injury and will miss the last 2 preseason games of the season. He expects to be back for opening night on October 29th.
In the second half things changed a lot, Chris Copeland and Richard Jefferson had a battle. It seemed like every other play Copeland or Jefferson was scoring. The Pacers very clearly made it mission to shoot a lot of 3 pointers. As a team they shot 27 threes; 14 being from Copeland.
George Hill really ran the offense well, making sure things flowed with ball movement and always found the open shooter. He finished with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Frank Vogel made sure that Chris Copeland got his shots up and I think you’ll see plenty more of that throughout the season. Don’t expect them to take 27 threes a game but expect the numbers to rise from last season. In 2013 the Pacers shot 18.8 3s per game, and shot 35%. Expect both of those numbers to go up considerably.
In the 4th quarter the Pacers shot 75% from the field in the 4th quarter, and went on a long 18-3 run to take the lead. That due to Donald Sloan scoring 12 of his 15 points in the 4th and Copeland hit 2 straight 3 pointers to give the Pacers a one point lead. Chris Copeland finished with 22 points, 5 rebound and 2 steals to lead them to their 2nd preseason victory.
The Pacers will make a trip Tuesday to Minnesota for their 2nd to last preseason game of the season. You’ll most likely see Vogel rest the starters more and they’ll play the bench and extras a lot more. Remember they’ll be making cuts soon, so look out to see the final roster released.

Breaking Down the Indiana Pacers Bench/ Stones Sports Report

Pacers

Breaking Down the Indiana Pacers Bench
Stone Miller

Last Season:
Last year the Pacers had an inefficient bench that struggled offensively. The Pacer made a risky trade to acquire Philadelphia 76er Evan Turner around the middle of the year, and sent career long Pacer Danny Granger away. This didn’t turn out well for Indiana, Evan Turner constantly struggled sharing the basketball, was a turnover machine and never found his place in the offense. Overall the Pacers bench was second to worst last year and averaged a lowly 24.1 points per game, putting a heavy load on the starters.
Off-Season Moves:
Larry Bird being very dissatisfied and disappointed in The Pacers game 6 loss to the Miami Heat in the eastern conference finals; he got to work In the offseason on a mission to improve the Indiana Pacer bench. He first looked to the shooting guard position, last season that position for the Pacers was often vacant because of player struggles. After Lance Stephenson shockingly left for the New Orleans Hornets, The Pacers looked to the free agents list and signed 6’5” guard Rodney Stuckey form the Detroit Pistons. Prior to this he signed Cavalier sharp shooter C.J. Miles and later on Croatian Power Forward Damjan Rudez. In the article ill be breaking down what the bench might look like and whos going to receive the most playing time off the bench.
Point Guard:
Nothing has changed at this position; the Pacers will have all the point guards from last season returning. C.J. Watson will be in his usual backup role, running the offense. Watson brings a lot to the table for the Pacers second unit, that including a deadly 3 ball; which he shot 36% last season. He also brings good defense and speed on the attack that is above average for backup point guards. Last year he averaged 6.6 points per game; that will change this year, he’ll be getting more playing time and will have a larger offensive role with the second unit.
3rd string point guard Donald Sloan will also be returning this year as well. He didn’t play a lot last season and was usually played in injury situations but he did play well with his time. He might be playing more at shooting guard this year, and does have some heighth at 6’3”. If he does play, hes got good ball handling skills and has a similar build to that of Rodney Stuckey.
Shooting Guard:
This position is the big question off the bench for this year. Possible fill-ins would be Solomon Hill, Donald Sloan or possibly one of the shooting guards the Pacers have on the training camp squad; C.J. Fair or Adonis Thomas.
Donald Sloan will probably share minutes at this position off the bench, along with Solomon Hill; unless he is named the starter. If he is named starter than it could be C.J. Miles, but he’s a likely starter. Solomon Hill has improved a lot over the offseason; changing his jump shot form; working on his ball handling and overall defensive focus. He is the Pacers most bright potential from recent draft classes, and will look to show that this season
Small Forward:
Chris Copeland will be getting majority of the minutes at this position, after being benched most of last season; things will change. Frank Vogel stated “I look for Chris Copeland to get a lot more minutes, at the wing spot”. This offseason Copeland participated in a NBA Rookie Transition program, because he never felt like he made the transition. Now he’s got a new body, and a new opportunity to play more. He brings an interesting set of skills to the Pacers roster; with a great 3 point shot and unique post game, he’ll be a lot to handle for your average NBA backup small forward. From 3 point range he shot 47%, which is the same as Kyle Korver shot; obvious Korver took more shots than Copeland, but regardless it’s still impressive. The one concern is that he won’t be fast enough to guard small forwards; this year he might face some new challenges but will adjust. Look for Copeland to possibly emerge as the Pacers best bench player, and maybe lead them in scoring.
Solomon Hill should also get minutes at this position as well, considering it’s his natural position.
Power Forward:
Argentinian power forward Luis Scola will return to his previously held role with the Indiana Pacers this season. Last summer he was brought over in a trade from the Phoenix Suns for Miles Plumlee and a 1st round pick. Scola lead the bench in scoring with 7.6 points per game, and stretched the floor with his mid-range jumper. The thing that stands out is his post game, it’s unique in that it involves fancy footwork and up and under scoops. You never know what you’re going to see from Scola. His ability to pass the ball is vital to second unit success, in spreading the floor and finding open shooters. Scola is not the most athletic of players, but makes up for that with his strength and high basketball IQ.

This offseason the Pacers looked overseas to find a shooting power forward; they found exactly that in Damjan Rudez. At 6’10” and an athletic build he can bring some versatility to the power forward position. He will likely be used in pick and roll or pick and pop shooting situations. He could be useful to spread the floor and open things up for Roy Hibbert.
Lavoy Allen is the other young forward/center, he came over with Evan Turner in the Danny Granger trade. He’s proved to be the best thing to come from that transaction. He didn’t play a lot of minutes last season, but when he did he performed well. He potentially could see some minutes at backup center if Ian Mahinmi’s return is delayed.
Center:
The most important thing about the Pacers defense is at the center position. After Roy Hibbert comes out of the game, then comes in Ian Mahinmi. Who is also very good at protecting the rim, and at 6’11” brings a defense presence not a lot of teams have off the bench. He’s not the most polished offensive player and his jump shot isn’t the prettiest but can provide points. His jumper is actually quite effective on the pick and pop; and is often overlooked. This year his role will be the same as last and has made some offseason improvements on his post moves.
Undrafted free agent signee Shayne Whittington has proved this preseason that he had potential and talents to bring to the Pacers roster. In his first game he went 5-5 with 11 points, in limited minutes. He reminds one of Mile Plumlee a little and also has a long range game. He’s the Pacers youngest player and could present the Pacers with a potential future talent.

Possible Training Camp Signs:
C.J. Fair and Adonis Thomas are the 2 players that have the best chance to make the roster. Fair was a senior standout at Syracuse last season and has through-the-roof athletic ability. He has a nose for the basket but also struggles with the 3 point jumper.
Adonis Thomas could provide a big body at shooting guard off the bench and would likely be beneficial to the offensive end and brings some defense. He has a good looking jump shot, and has played in the NBA D-League for a while. What the Pacers need is a backup shooting guard. Look for one of these 2 talented young athletes to be signed before the season starts.
Overall the Pacers have an improved bench, they have more shooters and more depth. The offensive load wont be so heavy this season for the starting 5, the 3point shot will help change that. The 3 point shot will be prevalent and key to a successful bench this season.
– Stone Miller (Stone_116)

PACERS MUST CHANGE THINGS!

Pacer NBA Playoffs 2014

Josh Elmore
(2 Dollar Bill Josh)

Remember back at the ALL STAR BREAK

The  Indiana Pacers were a league best 33-7?

All the talk around the NBA was how the Indiana Pacers were the best team in the league,and how they would finally eliminate the Miami Heat and reach the 2014 NBA finals.

Then came the trade deadline and Larry legendary Bird just couldn’t help himself but to make a trade. He sent former all star Danny Granger to Philly for Evan Turner. On paper it seems like a great trade. But on the court it just isn’t working since the trade The Pacers are 24-21.

Any talk of the Indiana Pacers beating the Heat now seems like a joke. The chemistry,the trust,the togetherness of the Indiana Pacers just isn’t there anymore. I mean they are the number 1 seed and have gotten beaten soundly twice by the number 8 seed Atlanta Hawks.

I think its time For Frank Vogel the head coach, Roy Hibbert the all star center to go. Its just not working anymore.

Now Pacer fans will say I am overreacting. But its been almost 2 full months since the trade deadline and its clear the Pacers cant get back to where they were and its sad.

Pacers fans when we get knocked out by the Hawks make sure to thank Larry legendary Awful Bird for his stupid trade idea and for ruining what would have been a championship season here in Indiana.

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