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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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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NBA Lockout Continues, Former Nebraska Cornhusker Forms Community Basketball League

Nebraska Cornhuskers Logo

Many experts believe the entire 2011-12 NBA season might be in serious jeopardy.

The official word from the NBA: During the lockout, players will not receive their salaries; teams will not negotiate, sign or trade player contracts; players will not be able to use team facilities for any purpose; and teams will not conduct or facilitate any summer camps, exhibitions, practices, workouts, coaching sessions or team meetings.

“We have made several proposals to the union, including a deal targeting $2 billion annually as the players’ share — an average of approximately $5 million per player that could increase along with league revenue growth,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver in an NBA press release. “We will continue to make every effort to reach a new agreement that is fair and in the best interests of our teams, our players, our fans, and our game.”

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Indiana Pacers Finally Hire Frank Vogel; Now What?

The Indiana Pacers finally made the long-expected hire of Frank Vogel as head coach official Wednesday.

Vogel and Pacers President Larry Bird addressed the media, each saying he felt good about the direction of the franchise going forward.

While I tend to agree — especially knowing that revered NBA assistant coach Brian Shaw will come aboard as Vogel’s associate head coach — I can’t help but question Bird’s motives in waiting this long, not to mention wonder what further complications the NBA lockout will beckon for this young Pacers team.

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