Indiana Hoosiers get caught playing Butler’s game, fall to in-state foe

The No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers have become known for going on scoring tears — particularly on fast breaks — when they can create even the slightest cushion against opponents.

In-state rival Butler never let Indiana have that chance Saturday.

The Bulldogs (8-2) asserted themselves physically against the Hoosiers (9-1), per the custom of Brad Stevens-coached teams, and knocked off the nation’s top-ranked team 88-86 in an overtime thriller at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as part of the now annual Crossroads Classic.

Butler led by as many as seven before a furious rally by Indiana, fueled by Victor Oladipo’s defense. Freshman guard Yogi Ferrell, who only seconds before had committed a costly turnover, hit a huge 3-pointer before regulation expired to tie the game at 76-76. It was Butler guard Alex Barlow, however, who would have the contest’s final clutch moment, tossing a floater over Indiana’s Jordan Hulls for the game-winner.

The Bulldogs didn’t just step it up late, though. They made sure all game long they’d have this opportunity.

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What the offseason might have in store for the Indiana Pacers

With the highly anticipated NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder now under way, a thought randomly popped into my head: It wasn’t very long ago that I was thinking the Pacers could conceivably be playing in this series.

That, of course, was when the Pacers had taken a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinals after trouncing the Heat 94-75 in Game 3 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Miami then won the next three games, thanks in large part to superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade going off, and brought my expectations back down to Earth.

The Pacers boast a talented young roster, but it’s evident they don’t have that one player that can do what James and Wade can do — not yet, anyway. If that player isn’t already on the team, can Indiana find him this offseason? If so, who might he be?

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Dwyane Wade, LeBron James too much for Indiana Pacers


In the end — after so many twists and turns that changed a lot of opinions — the result of this Eastern Conference Semifinal series was what many expected.

The Miami Heat closed out the Indiana Pacers 105-93 Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to win the series in six games and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight year.

The Pacers opened eyes during this series, both on the national stage and within their own community. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade ultimately proved too much.

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It’s win or go home for Indiana Pacers

Most people want to say the Eastern Conference Semifinal series between the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat essentially ended Tuesday in Miami when the Heat clobbered the Pacers 115-83 to take a 3-2 lead.

Some, including columnist Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star, say the Pacers won’t go so quietly because they have every bit the mental toughness as a team that Miami has.

One thing’s for sure: With Indiana finally facing a real must-win situation at 8 p.m. today at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, we’re about to find out which side is correct.

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Game 5 not a must-win for Indiana Pacers, but a win would be huge

With this NBA Eastern Conference Semifinal series tied at 2-2, several local news outlets who cover the Indiana Pacers say tonight’s Game 5 in Miami is a must-win for the team if it is to win the series and advance to the conference finals.

I don’t quite see it that way myself. I believe the Pacers are far more capable of winning a Game 7 in AmericanAirlines Arena than most want to say they are.

That said, winning tonight would be absolutely huge for Indiana, who then could close it out Thursday at home, writing another wonderful chapter in the comeback of pro basketball in Indianapolis and getting plenty of rest for the next round.

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Miami Heat panicking? Cancel practice, media session, Wade vs. Spoelstra (video)

spoelstra

Last night the Indiana Pacers treated the Miami Heat like Wall Street/the U.S. Government treats anyone who opposes Goldman Sachs- total obliteration. Indiana put on the whooping stick as the Heat trailed by as many as 21. Today, the fallout continues, as the Heat cancelled their media session and practice.

It’s circling the wagons time, as the presumptive favorite to win the NBA title, especially so after the Chicago Bulls utterly collapsed following the catastrophic injury to Derrick Rose, struggle massively. It’s only a 2-1 deficit, but they’ve lost home court and those who win game 3 win the series 82% of the time.

And now you have coach Erik Spoelstra and star player Dwanye Wade at each other’s throats. Watch the video below

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Indiana Pacers proving they’re elite, take 2-1 series lead over Miami Heat

They say small-market NBA teams who can’t attract superstars have to build slowly and economically.

Knowing that makes Indiana Pacers President Larry Bird’s being named 2011-12 NBA Executive of the Year that much sweeter — in many ways, it’s representative of the job he’s done over a span of four years leading up to what his team did Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Pacers thrashed the glitzy, superstar-laden Miami Heat 94-75 to take a 2-1 lead in the teams’ Eastern Conference Semifinal series.

And it was Bird’s blue-collar boys — particularly center Roy Hibbert (19 points and a career-high 18 rebounds Thursday) — that collectively have outshined the Heat’s superstars in this series.

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Second half of Game 2 could change outlook of series for Indiana Pacers

It was another third quarter.

Just one that meant so much more — monumentally more.

The Indiana Pacers, who have built quite a reputation for themselves as a third-quarter team during the 2011-12 season, used another strong effort in that period, and by extension in the second half, to escape AmericanAirlines Arena on Tuesday with a 78-75 win against the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, evening the series at 1-1. The win broke the Heat’s streak of consecutive home playoff wins at 13.

The grit the Pacers displayed in churning out a powerful second half and a win gives them home-court advantage in the series beginning Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

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It’s finally time: Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat in Eastern Conference Semifinals

This time three years ago, the Indiana Pacers had fallen so far out of the public eye, both nationally and in their own city, there was talk the franchise might soon be on the move.

Now, they’re about to be as relevant in sports nation as they can be — they’re playing a playoff series against the most polarizing team in the NBA — and maybe in American sports.

Fresh off a 4-1 opening-round victory against the Orlando Magic in which the Pacers gained back much of the lost connection with local fans, they carry the momentum of their first playoff series win in seven years into an Eastern Conference Semifinal matchup with the second-seeded Miami Heat.

Does Indy stand a chance?

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Indiana Pacers net third seed in East with April run

Look at the top of the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings as this lockout-shortened regular season draws to a close.

The top two teams look familiar — the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat.

The third-place team in the East? It isn’t the Boston Celtics. It isn’t the Orlando Magic.

It’s the Indiana Pacers.

The long-suffering franchise has climbed to a 41-22 record, winning 11 of their 12 games in April — best in the NBA this month. We all knew the Pacers could have a strong 2011-12 campaign on the heels of their competitive playoff series with the Chicago Bulls last season, but how exactly did they get this good?

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Indiana Pacers Dominate Detroit Pistons in Season Opener

The Indiana Pacers entered this shortened 2011-12 season expected to make noise in the Eastern Conference — very much unlike the Pacers teams of the last four years.

Apparently aware of such expectations, Indiana opened its slate with a bang.

The Pacers’ three top big men, center Roy Hibbert, forward Tyler Hansbrough and the newly signed forward David West, each recorded a double-double Monday in Indiana’s 91-79 dismantling of the Detroit Pistons at Bankers Life (formerly Conseco) Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Pacers (1-0) led the entire game.

Granted, the Pistons (0-1) project as one of the NBA’s lesser teams this season, but it was a fine start for a Pacers squad that looks to build on last year’s breakthrough playoff appearance with an even higher standing in the East.

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