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Here’s the Washington Post blog with an update on Paul George and Team USA:

Team USA tells Paul George he has a spot on the 2016 Olympic team

Paul George may be down for now when it comes to Team USA, but he’s not out. USA Basketball plans to keep a roster spot open for the injured Indian Pacers star so he can play in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

“We’ve told him we have a spot for him in ’16,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told NBA.com. He noted the offer was unconditional and not dependent on how George comes back from his injury.

“We thought it’s the right thing to do,” Colangelo said. “We didn’t give thought to all the detail. Just that when a guy goes down and all these things, the circumstances, his career passes before him, he’s out for a year, a year-plus, he’s not able to participate now with us — we wanted to throw that out and say, ‘We’re counting on you. You’ve got a spot in ’16.’ ”

Paul George recovery info

Paul George recovery info

Doctors say Paul George’s biggest battle is yet to come, and it may take a year or more before he returns to the Pacers lineup.

One day after the two-time All-Star suffered a gruesome open tibia-fibula fracture on his right leg during a USA Basketball intrasquad scrimmage in Las Vegas, the questions began in earnest about George’s recovery — and whether he’d ever regain the form a that made him one of NBA’s most complete players.

The 24-year-old George and said he was resting comfortably Saturday morning following surgery. Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird later issued a statement saying hopes George will return to Indianapolis next week before the long rehab process begins.

“The thing about breaking a bone is that if you get it back in the appropriate position, it can be as good as new,” said Dr. James Gladstone, the co-chief of sports medicine at Icahn School at Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. “If the muscle is not involved and the bone and muscle are fully healed, then I think he will get back (to his previous form).”

– Associated Press

Paul George injury badly hurts Pacers

Paul George injury badly hurts Pacers

George’s loss comes on the heels of Lance Stephenson’s departure to Charlotte in free agency, leaving Indiana without its two most versatile players. The Pacers had the Eastern Conference’s best record last season at 56-26 and could have been the favorite to reach the NBA Finals after LeBron James’ departure from Miami if they could have brought their core back.

Now, they could struggle just to stay in the playoff picture in the toughened-up East. James’ arrival in Cleveland, with Kevin Love perhaps still to come, could make the Cavaliers the team to beat. Or it could be Chicago, with Derrick Rose looking back in form after another surgery while playing for the Americans this week and with Pau Gasol joining the Bulls next season.

Washington and Toronto figure to keep building after their playoff appearances last season, Miami rebounded well after losing James to keep a competitive team together, and the Pacers without George might not be as good as any of them.

– Associated Press

Updated statement from Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird regarding Paul George:

Statement from Larry Bird on Paul George after serious leg injury

“Our first thoughts are with Paul and his family. It is way too early to speculate on his return as the No. 1 priority for everyone will be his recovery. Our initial discussions with our doctors and the doctors in Las Vegas have us very optimistic. We are hopeful at some point next week Paul will return to Indianapolis to continue his recovery.

“There is no question about the impact on our team but our goal is to be as strong-willed and determined as Paul will be in coming back. Our franchise has had setbacks in its history but has demonstrated the abilities to recover. Paul will provide the example of that off the court and it is up to the rest of us to provide that example on the court. Any discussion regarding the future of our team would be inappropriate at this time. Our focus is solely on Paul and doing whatever we can to help.

”We still support USA Basketball and believe in the NBA’s goals of exposing our game, our teams and players worldwide. This is an extremely unfortunate injury that occurred on a highly-visible stage, but could also have occurred anytime, anywhere.

“Finally, the Pacers would like to thank our fans and the NBA community for their outreach of support in the brief amount of time since the injury occurred. It has been overwhelming and it is what makes Indiana and the NBA special.”

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on a very nasty Paul George injury from Friday:

Paul George suffers horrible leg injury

Indiana Pacers star Paul George suffered a gruesome lower right leg injury during the U.S. national team’s intrasquad scrimmage at UNLV and underwent surgery late Friday night.

The Indianapolis Star reported George suffered a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula, had a pin placed in his leg and is expected to remain hospitalized for two to three days. A USA Basketball spokesman who confirmed George was in surgery said the organization would not have any other information until the operation was complete and officials spoke with the doctor. Dr. Riley Williams, a Team USA orthopedist who also works with the Brooklyn Nets, was with George.

George’s leg landed and then buckled at the base of the basket stanchion after he fouled James Harden on a drive to the basket just 27 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Nearby teammates immediately reacted, with Harden doubling over as George recoiled on the baseline.

Medics, U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski and members of George’s family who were at the game rushed to his side.

His right leg was put in an air cast, and he was taken to a Las Vegas hospital after being treated for about 15 minutes on the court. His family members accompanied him there.

Pacers sign Rodney Stuckey

Pacers sign Rodney Stuckey

The Indiana Pacers announced Monday they have signed free agent Rodney Stuckey.

Stuckey, a 6-5, 205-pound guard, has seven years of NBA experience, all with the Detroit Pistons. He was a No. 1 pick of the Pistons (15th overall) in the 2007 NBA Draft after playing collegiately at Eastern Washington. While with the Pistons, Stuckey had a career average of 13.4 points per game with a career high 16.6 average in 2009-10. He made the NBA’s All-Rookie second team after the 2007-08 season.

“Rodney is a very talented player who can create and score in a variety of ways,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “We’re very happy to get a player with his experience and who has made it very clear of his desire to win.”

Paul George working on post-up moves

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on Paul George:

Paul George working on post-up moves

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George says he plans on adding a more physical dimension to his play next season.

“I plan on being a lot more physical this year,” George said, according to the Indianapolis Star. “I really plan [on] taking contact and wanting to get contact and finishing through contact. That’s the next step for me.”

The All-Star forward averaged a career-high 21.7 points per game last season but he posted up just 5 percent of the time, ranked 74th out of 74 NBA forwards with at least 50 plays, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

George told the Star that he has worked a lot on his post-up game this offseason.

Pacers sign C.J. Miles and Damjan Rudez, re-sign Lavoy Allen

The Indiana Pacers announced Friday they have signed free agents C.J. Miles and Damjan Rudez and re-signed free agent Lavoy Allen.

Allen, a 6-9 225 lb. forward out of Temple, re-signs with the Pacers after being initially acquired via trade on Feb. 20, 2014. He was the 20th pick in the Second Round (50th overall) in the 2011 NBA Draft, by the Philadelphia 76ers. He played two and a half seasons with the 76ers before being traded to the Pacers. Allen has career averages of 5.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per game; and in 14 games with the Pacers he averaged 2.9 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.

“We’re very happy to have Lavoy back,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “When he had the opportunity to play, he played well. He fits in with what we’re trying to accomplish here and every day he’s committed to getting better.”

Miles, a 6-6, 210 lb. guard/forward, enters his 10th season in the NBA. Miles played the last two seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers where he averaged 10.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. C.J. was drafted by the Utah Jazz with the 34th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft and spent the 2005-12 seasons with the Jazz. While with the Jazz, he spent time with both the Idaho Stampede and Albuquerque Thunderbirds of the NBA D-League. He has career averages of 8.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.

“We’re very glad to have C.J. and he really wanted to be here,” said Bird. “He brings versatility to the small forward and shooting guard positions. He’s a great shooter and scorer. We think he’ll fit nicely with the culture of our team.”

Rudez is a 6-10, 200 lb. forward out of Croatia. Most recently, he has played the last two seasons with CAI Zaragoza in Spain in the Liga ACB. Prior to that he played with Cibona Zagreb in Croatia, Cedevita Zagreb in Croatia, Union Olimpija in Slovenia, KK Split in Croatia, BC Oostende in Belgium and KK Zrinjevac in Croatia. He is currently a member of the Croatian National Team.

“Damjan is one of the best shooters in Europe,” said Bird. “With his size and knowledge, he can play two positions for us. He has experience, maturity and really knows how to play. He had a number of options, he chose us and we’re thrilled he did. We look forward to having him in a Pacer uniform.”

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson. The team was eliminated Friday by the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals:

lance stephenson free agency

Lance Stephenson’s recent production hints he is due a major pay day as the shooting guard hits the free-agent market this summer.

But after the Indiana Pacers’ ouster in the East finals, his teammates had mixed reactions about his future in the wake of a number of Stephenson-fueled controversies.

Paul George, who like Stephenson was drafted by the Pacers in 2010 and helped build the team into a contender in the East, was ambivalent when asked if Stephenson would be back.

“I don’t know. That’s for Larry, Kevin Pritchard, for them to decide,” George said of president Larry Bird and the Pacers’ general manager.

George later tempered his reaction, saying he and Stephenson “came into this league together. It would be great for us to continue our journey together.”

Lance Stephenson and Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers have each been fined by the NBA in separate incidents for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Stephenson has been fined $10,000 for his second violation of the 2014 NBA Playoffs which occurred with 8:23 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Pacers’ 93-90 win over the Miami Heat last night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Hibbert has been fined $5,000 for his first violation which occurred last night with 5:18 remaining in the fourth quarter.

To view the plays click on the following links:  Stephenson flop, and Hibbert flop.

Paul George fined for public criticism of NBA referees

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of the officiating, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

George made his comments in the postgame press conference following the Pacers’ 102-90 loss to the Miami Heat on May 26, at AmericanAirlines Arena.

After concussion, Paul George cleared to play Pacers-Heat Game 3

Good news for the Indiana Pacers: they’ll have their best scorer Saturday as the team visits the Miami Heat for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The series is currently tied 1-1.

Under the care of the Pacers’ medical staff, Paul George has spent the past three days engaged in the NBA’s Return-to-Participation Exertion Protocol as part of the NBA’s Concussion Policy. George remained symptom free after each step of the process. The Pacers staff consulted with Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, the NBA’s Director of Concussion Management, throughout George’s progress through the protocol and today cleared him to return to normal basketball activity.

George will participate in tomorrow’s shootaround and barring any unforeseen complications, he will play in Saturday’s game at the Miami Heat.

roy hibbert

Here’s what Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert said to media at practice in between games 2 and 3 of the Pacers vs. Miami Heat Eastern Conference Finals series. Game 3 is Saturday night in Miami. The series is currently tied 1-1.

Question: Roy, the mentality this year as compared to last year, how has this been different compared to last year?

Roy Hibbert: We’re going in with more experience. We’re getting ready for two hard-fought battles.

Question: Why do you think you guys have been so good on the road? You’ve won like five straight. You’ve actually played better on the road than at home.

Hibbert: Just focus. We’re a tough team. It is what it is. Trying to get as many wins as possible when we get on the road.

Question: Are you guys more comfortable on this stage this year? It just seems like you guys are more relaxed.

Hibbert: We’re good.

Question: How about Paul, whether he’s going to play or not? How does that look?

Hibbert: I haven’t heard anything.

Question: Are you all prepared, if you have to go without 24?

Hibbert: Yes. The next man will step up.

Question: Does that mean more of Roy Hibbert, more baskets, more post‑up?

Hibbert: We’re a team. Whatever the team needs me to do, I’ll do.

Paul George suffers concussion

Paul George suffers concussion

Tuesday night, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George took a knee to the back of his head during the fourth quarter of the Eastern Conference Finals game against Miami. Immediately after the play, George exhibited no symptoms of a concussion and, in response to questions from the Pacers’ medical staff, he denied dizziness, nausea, and issues with his vision. He was also active and aware of his surroundings. As a result, the Indiana medical staff did not suspect a concussion.

Following the game, George stated for the first time that he “blacked out” on the play. As a result of this statement, the team conducted the NBA-mandated concussion assessment, which did not reveal any active symptoms of concussion.

Because of the statement and Indiana’s ongoing evaluation and management of potential concussions, George underwent further testing and evaluation Wednesday morning. He has been diagnosed by the team’s consulting neurologist with a concussion, based on his post-game reporting that he had briefly lost consciousness during the game. He will begin the NBA-mandated protocol for return-to-participation after a diagnosed concussion.

Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, Director of the NBA Concussion Program, has been in contact with the team medical staff and stated, “The Indiana Pacers medical team followed the NBA concussion protocol and there was no indication of concussion during the game. This case illustrates that concussion evaluation is an ongoing process and manifestations of the injury may not always present immediately.”

Lance Stephenson fined by NBA for flopping

Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The incident occurred with 3:37 remaining in the third quarter of Indiana’s 87-83 loss to the Miami Heat on Tuesday, May 20, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

To view the play, click on this link.


Paul George scored 24 points, David West had 19, and the Indiana Pacers protected their home court with a 107-96 victory over the Miami Heat on Sunday to take a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

Indiana led wire-to-wire and never even gave the Heat a chance to tie the score after starting the game with a 5-0 lead.

Game 2 is Tuesday in Indiana. The home team has won all five meetings this season.

Dwyane Wade scored 27 points and LeBron James had 25 for the two-time defending NBA champions, who lost for only the second time in 10 playoff games.

Indiana had a 30-point first quarter for the first time since Feb. 27, extended the lead to 19 in the third and Miami couldn’t get closer than nine the rest of the way.

For months, people wondered what happened to the Indiana team that dominated the first half of the NBA season.

On Sunday, those Pacers suddenly reappeared.

– Associated Press

The Heat committed 26 fouls compared to 15 for the Pacers. The worst of it, of course, was a flagrant by Mario Chalmers on Watson with 9:22 left in the game. Chalmers first hit Watson with a common foul as Watson drove the basket. The Heat’s starting point guard then pushed Watson into press row, which was located on the baseline.

Chalmers was assessed a flagrant foul for the unnecessary shove and Watson was awarded four foul shots. His free throws gave the Pacers a 15-point lead.

An 18-foot turnaround jumper by Lance Stephenson put the Pacers ahead by 13 points with 7:37 to play and Indiana led by double digits for the remainder of the game.

– Miami Herald

It didn’t take 30 minutes of basketball Sunday for all five Pacers starters to reach double figures in scoring, and each starter made an impact in his own way.

Hill knocked down shots early. West punished the Heat inside on mismatches, ignoring his trusted jump shot to bully his way into the post. Paul George picked off shots in the flow of the offense, and Lance Stephenson provided crucial buckets in a big second quarter in particular. Miami struggled all game with Hibbert, who was never dominant but always present, scoring and rebounding consistently.

Starters combined to score 94 of Indiana’s 107 points in Game 1.

– Indianapolis Star

Sunday in Washington, the Indiana Pacers won a tight Game 4, beating the Wizards 95-92. In the win, Paul George shot 12-of-20, including 7-of-10 from three-point range to finish with 39 points, 12 rebounds, no assists, and two steals. Here are some George video highlights:

Wednesday in Indiana, the Pacers beat the Wizards 86-82 to tie their second-round playoff series at one win apiece. In the victory, Pacers center Roy Hibbert, who has famously struggled in the playoffs as well as for much of the second half of the NBA regular season, stepped up and shot 10-of-13 for 28 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in 33 minutes. Here are some Game 2 Hibbert video highlights:

Andrew Bynum is no longer with the Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday center Andrew Bynum will miss the remainder of the NBA Playoffs and will not be with the team.

“We want to thank Andrew and our medical staff for trying to get the issues with his knee resolved,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “We wish him the best in the future.”

Bynum was signed as a free agent Feb. 1, and played in just two games with averages of 11.5 points and 9.5 rebounds.

Paul George scored a playoff career-high 30 points and Roy Hibbert finally came up big to lead the Indiana Pacers past the Atlanta Hawks, 92-80 on Saturday night in Game 7.

Indiana staved off elimination for the second time in three days. It’s the first time since mid-March the Pacers’ regular starters have won back-to-back games.

Instead of becoming the sixth top seed to lose in the first round of the current 16-team playoff format, the Pacers will be back on their home floor Monday night against Washington in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Kyle Korver scored 19 points and Jeff Teague had 16 for Atlanta, which won just 38 games in the regular season but proved to be a tough opponent for the Pacers…

Hibbert, who scored 20 points total in the first four games, had a series-high 13 points and seven rebounds. Lance Stephenson finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, and George added 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double in the playoffs…

The Pacers finished with a 55-38 rebounding edge and with Hibbert clogging the way, the Hawks were forced to rely primarily on 3-pointers. Atlanta wound up just 11 of 44 from beyond the arc, most coming as it tried to dig out of a double-digit deficit.

– Associated Press

It nearly cost the Pacers the series earlier, but in the end, coach Frank Vogel’s faith in Roy Hibbert paid off. The maligned center gets eight points and three rebounds in the first quarter. That was huge, considering the Pacers were extraordinarily sloppy at that point. Hibbert finishes with13 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots. The haters become lovers. He gets a standing ovation when he heads to the bench for a third-quarter breather.

The Hawks get little offensively from All-Star forward Paul Millsap, who finished with 15 points and was just 6-for-21 from the field. He was 0-for-9 in the first half when the Hawks looked like they might keep the game close. Millsap’s lack of production allowed the Pacers to clamp down on Atlanta’s Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver after both got off to hot starts. Teague’s driving dunk attempt on the final play of the first half is blocked by Indiana’s Ian Mahinmi and he’s barely a factor after that, scoring six second-half points.

Atlanta nearly pulled off the first-round upset because of its strong 3-point shooting and its ability to get to the line early and often. Both went missing on Saturday. The Hawks were just 11-for-44 from 3-point range and 13-for-16 from the line.

While Millsap was struggling, Pacers star forward Paul George is terrific, scoring a playoff career-high 30 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Lance Stephenson has 19 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.

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