Archive for the ‘ Indiana Pacers Blog ’ Category

In April, Bender launched a company based on an odd-looking device he invented to help others avoid the knee troubles that put an end to his promising NBA career. Already, he’s brokered a deal with California-based Relax The Back retail chain, which sells wellness, fitness and medical items coast to coast.

On that day sitting in front of Simon’s house, Bender, who passed on college to leap to the NBA, took his first business course. And it wasn’t just Simon’s riches that fascinated the teen. There was something else.

“He was self-made,” Bender told the Indianapolis Business Journal. “Down in Picayune, there aren’t many role models like that — people who have picked themselves up and created a process, a plan for the rest of their lives, and made a legacy to benefit others.”

Benefiting others for Bender includes people in Indianapolis. While he and his company are based in Houston, the foundation he formed in 2007 provides children in Indianapolis, Picayune, New Orleans and Houston with skills to succeed in business and life.

Reported by the Associated Press

Indiana Pacers re-sign David West

Indiana Pacers re-sign David West

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday they have re-signed veteran free agent and two-time NBA All-Star David West to a contract.

According to the Associated Press, “the contract is for three years and $36.6 million, according to his agent. The third year is a player option.”

West, 6-9, 240, is a 10-year veteran who has played the last two seasons with the Pacers, averaging 15.1 points and 7.2 rebounds in 139 games. Prior to his time with the Pacers, West had played his entire NBA career with the New Orleans Hornets. He has career averages of 16.1 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game.

“We said when the season ended, bringing David back was our No. 1 priority and we are very pleased to have him back,” said Larry Bird, Pacers President of Basketball Operations. “He is a leader, he is a professional, he is a great competitor and he is the type of player and person you want on your team if you hope to be successful.”

West played in two All-Star games in 2008 and ’09. Those two seasons, he averaged 20.6 ppg and 8.9 rpg and 21 ppg and 8.5 rpg, respectively.

“You can watch David play and appreciate him, but to coach him and see what he brings to our team on a daily basis really enhances that appreciation,” said Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel. “There aren’t many players like him in the NBA and to have him back on our team is very important for what we hope to accomplish.”

Indiana Pacer sign guard C.J. Watson

Indiana Pacer sign guard C.J. Watson

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday they have signed free agent C.J. Watson to a contract.

Watson, a 6-2, 180 lb. guard, is a six-year veteran of the NBA, having played for Golden State, Chicago and Brooklyn with career averages of 7.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He spent the 2012-13 season with Brooklyn and averaged 6.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 80 games.

“C.J. Watson is exactly the type of player we were looking for when we said we needed to address our bench,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He’s experienced and he has been with winning teams, so he knows what it takes.”

“We’ve looked at a lot of things since the season ended and upgrading our bench was one of those things,” said Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel. “I feel the addition of C.J. Watson will help us accomplish that goal.”

Undrafted out of the University of Tennessee, Watson played briefly in Europe before returning to the United States and playing in the NBA Developmental League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, where he averaged 26.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.38 steals over 16 games in the 2007-08 season. He signed with the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 8, 2008.

“I’m excited to join the Pacers,” said Watson. “It’s a good young team with a bright future and a shot to compete for a championship and I’m happy to be a part of that.”

Tyler Hansbrough to join Toronto Raptors

Tyler Hansbrough to join Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors will sign unrestricted free-agent center Tyler Hansbrough to a two-year contract, the Toronto Star reported Tuesday.

The Indiana Pacers had extended a $4,135,391 qualifying offer to Hansbrough in June but rescinded it last week.

The 27-year-old Hansbrough averaged 7.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in 81 regular-season games for the Pacers last season.

Reported by the Sports Xchange

David West

The Indiana Pacers wanted David West to stick around and lead a championship run. The 32-year-old power forward never planned on leaving town.

West agreed to a three-year contract with Indiana on the second day of free agency, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. The person requested anonymity because NBA rules prohibit teams from announcing signings until July 10. The deal is reportedly worth $36 million.

For the Pacers, Tuesday’s announcement may turn out to be their biggest move of the entire offseason.

”Obviously, our No. 1 priority is to get David West signed,” president of basketball operations Larry Bird said Monday, reiterating the point his predecessor Donnie Walsh and general manager Kevin Pritchard made two weeks earlier at an end-of-the-season news conference.

Reported by Michael Marot of the Associated Press

Although just a backup guard. C.J. Watson has shown plenty of flashes that he’s a legit player, and one that can step up and exceed expectations when a team’s starter is unable to play. So, he keeps geting signed.

cj watson

C.J. Watson, backup point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, agreed to a two-year contract with the Indiana Pacers, sources confirmed to ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard.

Watson’s agreement was earlier reported by HoopsWorld.

Watson tweeted “keep up with the pace” on Monday, in an apparent nod to his choice of teams.

Watson, 29, had a player option for $1.1 million but opted out to become an unrestricted free agent.

Reported by ESPN.com news services

nate mcmillan

The Indiana Pacers announced Monday that Nate McMillan has been hired as an associate head coach.

McMillan replaces Brian Shaw, who became head coach at Denver.

McMillan comes to the Pacers with a vast basketball background as a player and as a coach. After playing collegiately at North Carolina State, McMillan was drafted by Seattle (30th overall) in the 1986 NBA Draft. He played his entire 12-year career with the Sonics, had his number (10) retired and became their coach in 2000 and remained in Seattle until after the 2005 season. He then went to Portland that year and coached the Trail Blazers until he was let go in March, 2012. McMillan also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Team in the 2006 FIBA World Championships, the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics.

“We are extremely thrilled to have Nate join our staff,” said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. “To get someone with his experience as a player and a coach will be extremely valuable to our players, to our staff and to our franchise.”

“To be able to join a respected franchise like this is a great opportunity,” said McMillan. “It’s obvious the potential this team has to compete for a championship and to come on board at a time like this is great timing for me. I really look forward to working with this coaching staff and the players. I have heard nothing but good things about everyone involved and that made this a very easy decision to make.”

Larry Bird returning as Pacers president

larry bird

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday that Larry Bird will return to the team as President of Basketball Operations. Bird agreed to a multi-year deal.

Donnie Walsh, who held that position the last year, will be a consultant to the franchise and Kevin Pritchard remains as the Pacers’ General Manager.

“We are all very happy to have Larry back,” said Pacers’ Owner Herb Simon. “When he left last July, Donnie and I both told him the door would be open for him to come back when he’s ready. Larry had a huge impact on this team and where it is now so it’s fitting that he comes back at this time. Donnie has been a friend and a valuable contributor to the franchise and will continue to be both. I wanted him to agree to stay in some capacity as I believe with Larry and Kevin, it gives us three of the best basketball minds in the business.”

Bird was President of Basketball of Operations for the team from 2003 until June 27, 2012. He returns to the position Monday, July 1.

“The year off gave me a chance to reflect, to rest, to take care of some health issues and it re-charged me,” said Bird. “Donnie and Kevin did a great job and I will lean on both heavily as we move forward toward the goal of competing for a championship.”

Walsh was President of the Pacers from 1988-2008, when he left to assume a similar position with the New York Knicks. After three years in New York, Walsh returned last year when Bird stepped down.

“I met with Larry when he wanted to leave last year and I said I would do this until he was ready to come back,” said Walsh. “Well, he’s ready and I couldn’t be happier. I had a great year last year with this team. It is a great group of guys who have the potential for some great things and to remain a part of this, with two people who I love to work with and respect greatly, is very special.”

Larry Bird’s future with the Pacers remains in limbo, his decision on whether to return as team president a mystery even to the man he would replace.

Donnie Walsh, who returned to the role last summer after Bird decided to step away, last talked with Bird shortly before the playoffs began and didn’t learn a thing about his plans. “I told him he should come back, but he didn’t really give me an answer, so I said that’s the last time I was going to ask,” Walsh said Friday. “And it was.”

Bird, the NBA’s Executive of the Year in 2012, has lived in Naples, Fla. and Nashville, Ind. for the past year. He attended a Pacers’ practice early in the season and a game against Cleveland on April 9, but otherwise has been a ghost hovering over the team he mostly built.

He has been rumored to be a candidate to take over the basketball operations of the Sacramento Kings, who are under new ownership.

Reported by Mark Montieth of Pacers.com

Frank Vogel

Head coach Frank Vogel said his Indiana Pacers had nothing to be ashamed of on Monday, despite having fallen short of the NBA finals after pushing the Miami Heat to a decisive game seven in the Eastern Conference playoff series.

Indiana came up 23 points short in fact, losing 99-76 after a blistering second quarter from the defending NBA champions and Vogel admitted the mood in the locker room was despondent.

“They are disappointed. They felt like we could have won this series and they wanted to win badly,” he told reporters.

“So disappointed but also encouraged about the future. I told them to keep their heads extremely high. We accomplished a great deal.

“No one in the world gave us a chance to get this far … we overcome a lot to grab the nation’s attention.

“Everyone in this country knows who the Indiana Pacers are now. We represent all the right things - class, character, hard work, old-school basketball, playing the game the right way,” he added.

Reported by Simon Evans of Reuters

lebron james

Their season, their legacy, their reign atop the NBA was all at stake, and the Miami Heat responded in a manner befitting defending champions - with a blowout.

LeBron James scored 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds, ailing Dwyane Wade matched his postseason high with 21 points, and the Heat ran away from the Indiana Pacers 99-76 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference series on Monday night.

In the NBA Finals for the third straight year, the Heat will play the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 on Thursday in Miami.

”They’re just an amazing group of guys,” Heat managing general partner Micky Arison said after handing the East trophy to Chris Andersen. ”They’ve given us an incredible season so far, but it’s a long way from over.”

It could have ended on Monday, of course. The Heat had alternated wins and losses with the Pacers in the first six games of the series, and were coming off their worst offensive outing of the year in Game 6.

They responded with a rout, despite shooting just under 40 percent, well below their norm.

”By any means necessary … we took care of business,” James said…

Roy Hibbert scored 18 points for the Pacers, who got 14 from David West, 13 from George Hill and 10 from Lance Stephenson. All-Star Paul George was held to seven points on 2-for-9 shooting and fouled out early in the fourth quarter…

By halftime, it was 52-37, with James scoring 18 points, Bosh and Wade combining for 17 and Allen adding 10 more. And what had to be most troubling to the Pacers at halftime was their 15 turnovers, a number Vogel said earlier Monday would spell trouble if his team committed that many in the entire game…

Miami’s Norris Cole and Indiana’s Jeff Pendergraph were ejected with 2:17 left after exchanging some heated words.

Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

Heat vs Pacers Game 7 preview

Heat vs Pacers Game 7 is Monday at 8:30 p.m. ET

lebron james

As the final horn in a Game 6 loss to the Indiana Pacers was sounding, LeBron James walked toward several of his Miami Heat teammates to shake some hands and share a couple of quick words.

His message was clear: Get ready for Game 7.

Here comes the ultimate game. To the winner, a trip to the NBA Finals. To the loser, an offseason loaded with regret. It’s that simple now for the champion Heat and the confident Pacers, who meet in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals Monday night in Miami—a perk the Heat earned by finishing with the league’s best record this season.

“Each and every year there are 30 teams that would love to be a part of this, to have one game to advance to the NBA Finals,” James said. “And there’s two teams that’s in this position. And it’s something that you can’t substitute, this feeling. You can’t substitute the atmosphere that we’re going to be in on Monday night for both teams. We should all cherish this moment.”

When it’s over Monday, only one club will be cherishing the outcome.

For the Heat, it’s a chance to move into the finals for the third straight year and keep hope alive of winning a second straight title. For the Pacers, it’s a chance to cap what would surely go into the books as one of the biggest upsets in NBA playoff history, considering that they finished 16 1/2 games behind the Heat in the regular season.

None of that matters much now. The Pacers have beaten Miami five of nine times this season. They need a sixth, or else it was all for naught.

“It is a closeout game and an elimination game,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “Our approach right now is not if we lose we’re out—our approach is if we win, we get to the finals. And that’s what we’re going for. We’re going to give our best shot and try to win the Eastern Conference championship.”

Monday’s winner will open the NBA Finals on Thursday against San Antonio.

Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

On the court, though, Hibbert has had nothing to apologize for, dominating play inside while the Heat are struggling in countless ways.

Dwyane Wade’s sore right knee - which has been an issue for about three months now - is not getting better anytime soon, and he’s stopped even wanting to discuss how it’s affecting his game. Chris Bosh said he needed to get back in the gym Sunday and regain some lost rhythm. Wade is averaging 12 points on 32 percent shooting in his last three games, Bosh just 6.3 points on 24 percent shooting in that same span.

”Just got to come out and play to win,” Wade said. ”It’s one game for both teams.”

Said James, when asked about the other two parts of Miami’s Big Three: ”I mean, we can state the obvious. They’re both struggling.”

They’re hardly the only Heat players who picked the wrong time of year to go into a slide. Ray Allen is shooting 13 for 46 in this series, Shane Battier is at 2 for 16, and they’re a combined 9 for 39 from 3-point range against the Pacers.

Reported by the Associated Press

The Heat did not hold a formal practice on Sunday, but Bosh, who has scored just 19 point in his past three games, arrived early to AmericanAirlines Arena to study film and dissect any area of his game that might help him improve his rhythm, which is conceded on Saturday “just seems off.”

“It’s been like that the whole series,” Bosh said Saturday night. “And now I have to go find it. I’ve got 48 hours to do that.”

Bosh is shooting 23.8 percent (5 of 21) since Game 4. His counterpart, Pacers center Roy Hibbert, is shooting 72.5 percent in his past three games while averaging 23 points per game. Hibbert scored 11.9 points per game during the 2012-13 regular season.

“I have to get back in the gym and work on my game,” Bosh said. “That’s about the only thing that will help me now.”

Bosh has scored in single digits in each of his past three games (seven, seven, five). It’s something that hasn’t happened since his rookie season. On Sunday, Spoelstra took the blame for Bosh’s lack of offense.

“That’s on me,” Spoelstra said. “I’ve got to get him in spots where he can be comfortable and feel comfortable. One of the greatest strengths about all of us is we own it. The players and staff alike have been through situations where we’ve failed.

Reported by the Miami Herald

miami heat

The Heat ought to be peaking as it weaves its way through the playoffs toward a third consecutive appointment in the climactic NBA Finals.

Instead, Miami is regressing.

The Heat looked like a team adrift for large portions of a 91-77 Game 6 loss Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Now the Heat faces the migraine of Game 7 in Miami on Monday as the San Antonio Spurs drum their fingers impatiently. Or, maybe they are licking their lips.

LeBron James was whistled for charging into Roy Hibbert in the closing minutes. He sprinted away from the official, spitting mad, looking like he would rip off his headband and tear it apart. Then he and assistant coach David Fizdale were assessed technical fouls for protesting too much. The sequence captured the harried state of a team under unaccustomed duress.

Miami will be favored to close it out back home by the bay. Still, the buts continue to outnumber the baskets.

Worrisome signs are not going away.

Foremost among them, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have turned into the Other Two in this series. They shot a combined 1 for 10 in the first half, were not factors when the game was on the line in the fourth quarter and finished with a total of 15 points, six rebounds, five turnovers and one assist.

Reported by Linda Robertson of the Miami Herald

Roy Hibbert apologizes for slur after Game 6

Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert has apologized for using a gay slur and cursing during his news conference after Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The team issued a statement from Hibbert on Sunday morning in which he said he was sorry for his ”insensitive remarks.”

”They were disrespectful and offensive and not a reflection of my personal views,” he said in the statement. ”I used a slang term that is not appropriate in any setting, private or public, and the language I used definitely has no place in a public forum, especially over live television.”

After Saturday night’s win, Hibbert ended a response to a question about his defense on Miami’s LeBron James with ”no homo.” He also referred to reporters as ”y’all (expletive).”

Reported by the Associated Press

Pacers beat Heat 91-77, force a Game 7

Roy Hibbert

Indiana staggered Miami with one more big punch Saturday night.

Now the Pacers have a fighting chance to pull off a stunning playoff upset.

Roy Hibbert did everything but pull out the boxing gloves in Game 6, finishing with 24 points and 11 rebounds, and continually contesting Miami’s shots to help Indiana stave off elimination with an emphatic 91-77 victory over the defending champs.

Paul George scored 28 points, had eight rebounds and five assists, and the Pacers held Miami to 36.1 percent shooting as they booked a trip back to Miami for Game 7 on Monday night.

”Myself and David (West), we throw ourselves in the fray, in the paint. We like to muck it up,” Hibbert said. ”Paul and myself, we wanted to make sure we got this for him as well. We didn’t want this to be our last game.” …

The Pacers had a 53-33 rebounding advantage, outscored Miami 44-22 in the paint and limited Miami’s shooters to 16 of 54, 29.6 percent, from inside the arc.

James led the Heat with 29 points on 10-of-21 shooting. Nobody else scored more than 10…

With Chris ”Birdman” Andersen suspended for the game because of a shoving incident with Indiana forward Tyler Hansbrough on Thursday, the Heat couldn’t keep up with Indiana’s big rebounders inside. Even Lance Stephenson, who was not effective at Miami, finished with four points, 12 rebounds and four assists…

The Heat rallied early in the fourth, taking advantage of Indiana’s 1 for 6 start from the field. When Mike Miller hit back-to-back 3s, the Pacers’ lead was down to 70-64 and when James scored on a layup with 5:54 to play, the Heat were within 72-68.

But the run ended abruptly when George hit a 3, Miami’s Joel Anthony was called for a loose ball foul on the offensive end and David West grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a dunk to extend the lead to 77-68. Then came the technical flurry that finished it off.

West scored 11 points and had 14 rebounds despite playing with an upper respiratory infection that prompted Vogel to send him home early from the Pacers’ morning shootaround.

Reported by Michael Marot of the Associated Press

David West

Indiana Pacers starting power forward David West missed the team’s morning shootaround at Bankers Life Fieldhouse because of an upper respiratory infection.

West showed up for shootaround, but coach Frank Vogel sent him back home.

The Pacers say West will play in tonight’s pivotal Game 6 against the Miami Heat. The Pacers needs to win tonight to force a deciding Game 7 back in Miami on Monday.

“Any time a guy isn’t a hundred percent it’s a concern, but we know he’s a gamer,” Vogel said. “He’ll get his rest and his fluids this afternoon and be ready to go. I don’t anticipate it’s going to be an issue.”

Reported by Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star

Chris Andersen

Miami Heat forward Chris Andersen has been suspended one game without pay and had his Flagrant Foul One upgraded to a Flagrant Foul Two, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Andersen knocked Indiana Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough to the floor, escalated the altercation by shoving Hansbrough, and resisted efforts to bring the altercation to an end. The incident occurred with 9:02 remaining in the second quarter of Miami’s 90-79 win over the Pacers at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Andersen will serve his suspension on Saturday, June 1 when the Pacers host the Heat in Game 6 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

To view the play, click on this link.

Read NBA fan reaction and share your opinion in this basketball forum topic.

lebron james

The game was very much in doubt. A sold-out arena was basically silent. The chance of getting back to the NBA Finals for a third straight year could have slipped away.

Cue LeBron James.

A third quarter for the ages by the four-time MVP turned the game, and perhaps the entire Eastern Conference finals, around. James scored 16 of his 30 points in the quarter, fueling what was a 20-point turnaround at one point, and the Heat beat the Indiana Pacers 90-79 in Game 5 on Thursday night.

The Heat lead the series 3-2, with a chance to finish it off in Indiana on Saturday night and move on to a finals matchup with the San Antonio Spurs…

Indiana was up 46-40 early in the third, surely sensing a chance to grab total control of the series. Over the next 11 minutes, the Heat outscored the Pacers 30-10, with James either scoring or accounting for 25 Miami points. He shot 7 for 10 in the third quarter; the Pacers shot 3 for 14. He had four rebounds in the quarter; the Pacers, as a team, grabbed six. He had four assists in the quarter; the Pacers had one…

James added eight rebounds and six assists, and Udonis Haslem made his last eight shots on the way to a 16-point night. Mario Chalmers scored 12 and Dwyane Wade added 10 for the Heat, who ousted the Pacers in six games in a second-round matchup last season and will look to do the same this time around, albeit one round deeper.

paul george

Paul George had 27 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who got 22 points from Roy Hibbert and 17 from David West. The Pacers led by as many as seven at one point, but had no answer for the Heat in the third and now have to win back-to-back games - against a team that hasn’t lost consecutive games since early January…

For the second time in the series, Haslem - who has struggled with his shot for the better part of two years - finished 8 for 9…

Chris Andersen and Tyler Hansbrough needed to be separated early in the second, and both got technicals after Andersen appeared to hit Hansbrough twice, first with a shoulder and then with a two-hand shove. Andersen also picked up a flagrant-1 for his efforts, things cooled off a bit for the rest of the half, and Indiana went into the break up 44-40.

Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

Is Shane Battier a dirty player?

Indiana Pacers players say they have to protect themselves, especially their knees, when Miami Heat forward Shane Battier is in the game during the Eastern Conference finals.

Ahead of Thursday’s pivotal Game 5 with the series tied 2-2, Pacers big men David West and Roy Hibbert said part of the Pacers’ preparation for the Heat is to watch out for Battier attempting to take shots at their knees.

“I (learned) to always have my guard up and protect my knees,” West said. “(Battier) has got this funny way of moving into your knees. We’re very conscious of that. We talk about making sure we protect our knees.”

Earlier in the series, Hibbert accused Battier of a dirty play when Battier kneed him in the midsection on a drive to the basket. Hibbert said he is wary of Battier when he’s on the floor and again called Battier a “dirty player.”

Reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com

Miami’s LeBron James was among three players who were each fined $5,000 by the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Thursday for violating the league’s anti-flopping policy during the Eastern Conference finals.

James, the NBA’s reigning most valuable player, was fined along with David West and Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers for exaggerating contact during Tuesday’s Game Four of the best-of-seven series, which is tied at two games apiece.

With the intense series set to resume on Thursday in Miami, the league decided to crack down on the theatrics displayed in Game Four, where the players involved tried to trick referees into calling fouls off limited contact.

James and West were cited for flopping on the same play during Indiana’s 99-92 home victory.

Reported by Reuters

The Pacers’ 99-92 victory Tuesday was filled with such plays and marked by a combined 55 personal fouls. One of those fouls, committed by West against Dwyane Wade with 5:57 left in the fourth quarter of Game 4, was upgraded by the NBA to a flagrant-1.

Steve Kerr, working the game as an analyst for TNT, said flopping has ”been apparent throughout the series but I think it got worse” during Game 4. The league made the announcements of the flopping calls and flagrant upgrade a few hours before Game 5.

James was voted to the NBA’s All-Defensive first team, but Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau accused him of flopping after a play during the Heat’s second-round series victory over the Bulls. The play with West came not long after James said flopping was ”not even a bad thing, you’re just trying to get the advantage.”

Reported by the Associated Press

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