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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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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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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Foul trouble, quiet Danny Granger doom Indiana Pacers in Game 1

The Indiana Pacers made their presence felt early Sunday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

A few glaring problems, however, prevented the upstart team from completely shocking the nation with an opening-game victory.

The Pacers, the East’s No. 3 seed, couldn’t shake deep foul trouble, poor free-throw shooting and quiet nights from wings Danny Granger and Paul George, falling 95-86 to the second-seeded Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena.

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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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NBA Eastern Conference playoff preview: Indiana Pacers vs. Orlando Magic

The NBA playoffs are here.

Dwight Howard is not.

With the All-Star center on the shelf for the remainder of 2011-12 with a back injury (and potentially done in Orlando), the Indiana Pacers, who hold the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 42-24 record, are clear favorites to advance to the conference semifinals in getting past the Magic.

Here’s a quick preview as Game 1 gets set to tip off just after 7 p.m. today at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

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NBA Playoff Predictions: Who wins it all?

Kevin Durant and LeBron James

The regular season is over and it’s time to make that money. Can LeBron James finally capture his first NBA championship? Do the Lakers have enough to compete in the West? What about the Griz? Spurs? How about the Bulls in East? Is D-Rose healthy? Check it out! In 1,000 words or less, I give my playoff predictions and pick the NBA champion. Let’s go!

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UCLA Basketball: Back on the Map? You Bet!

UCLA Bruins

UCLA Bruins head coach Ben Howland has had a disappointing past few seasons. The Reeves Nelson-saga really wore-on the UCLA program and brought the program down. It seems like the dark days are behind the Bruins and Howland, though. Thanks to a great recruiting class for the upcoming season, the Bruins are poised to make a PAC-12 title run and a run at a national championship. Howland has put the Bruins back on the map. Here’s why: [Read more…]

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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Welcome Back, Indiana Pacers

Welcome back, NBA.

And welcome back, Indiana Pacers.

The early-morning agreement Nov. 26 between the league and the players’ union ensures the highest level of professional basketball will be played — albeit under a shortened schedule.

The great news for the Pacers — one of the NBA’s small-market franchises — is that this tentative collective bargaining agreement, which will give players roughly 51.2 percent of basketball-related revenue, will allow teams from any market to be competitive in free agency and, by extension, on the basketball court.

It’s been way too long, folks. Let’s get to examining what the Pacers can do before the condensed season commences and what kind of team they’ll be in 2011-12.

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Indiana Pacers have Lots of Options, Cap Space this Offseason

dancer

With nearly $34 million coming off the books and a head coaching vacancy that has yet to be filled, there are certainly questions surrounding the Indiana Pacers and more questions will arise over the next week as the 2011 NBA Draft approaches. Despite finishing with a record below .500, the Pacers made their first postseason appearance since 2006. Indiana’s starting five will remain the same next season: Darren Collison, Paul George, Danny Granger, Tyler Hansbrough and Roy Hibbert.

However, even with money available to spend during the offseason, a weak free agent class may force the Pacers to look to the draft to fill any voids.

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Indiana Pacers on Brink of Elimination in Game 4 vs. Chicago Bulls

So here they are.

After Thursday’s 88-84 loss in Game 3 of the Indiana Pacers’ first-round NBA playoff matchup with the Chicago Bulls, the eighth-seeded team in the Eastern Conference now stands somewhere it hasn’t reached this late in the season since 2006: on the brink of elimination.

Game 4 tips off at 2:30 p.m. ET today at Conseco Fieldhouse, and the top-seeded Bulls have a chance to put away a Pacers team that has given them fits throughout the series but hasn’t been able to finish.

By Drew Allen

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