ZAP THE ZARDS!
Game Time Start: 7:00 PM ET
Where: The Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Officials: M. Davis, S. Corbin, J. Tiven
Media Notes: Indiana Notes, Washington Notes
Television: FOX Sports Indiana / Comcast Sports Net
Radio: WFNI 1070 AM / WJFK 106.7 FM, WFED 1500 AM
NBA Feeds:*NBA Audio League Pass (available free to NBA All-Access members)
*NBA League Pass Broadband (subscription req'd)
REMINDER: Per PD policy, please do not share a link to, describe how to search for, request a link to, or request a PM about streaming video of a NBA game that is not coming directly through the NBA. Not even in a "wink-wink, nudge-nudge, know-what-I-mean" round-about sort of way. Thank you
Season Records: (W-L) 18-13 Home: 9-3
4-25 Away: 1-13
Upcoming Games: Jan 04 Jan 05 Jan 08 Jan 10 at vs vs vs 7:00pm 7:00pm 7:00pm 7:00pm
Projected Starting Lineup: HIBBERT WEST GEORGE STEPHENSON HILL Projected Starting Lineup: OKAFOR NENE WEBSTER BEAL TEMPLE
Danny Granger - left knee tendinosis (out)
George Hill - strained right groin (day-to-day)
Trevor Ariza - mild right calf strain (out)
Trevor Booker - strained right knee (out)
A.J. Price - fractured right hand (out)
John Wall - stress injury left patella (out)
Perpetually Disappointing Trader Joe Minimally Relevant Video:
Eight Points Nine Seconds: Jared Wade: Just Another Pacers’ Comeback Win, Out-Plays Memphis Late
Anyone who has followed the Pacers this season – or who has followed me on Twitter –
is painfully aware that Roy Hibbert is having trouble putting the ball in the basket.
Standing 7-feet-2-inches tall and getting almost 80% of your looks within 10 feet of the
basket comes with certain expectations, and a trended FG% chart that looks like this
isn’t among them:
You know you’re in for an ugly game when you sit down to watch a 3:00 pm tip off on
New Year’s Eve featuring the two hardest-to-score-on teams in the NBA. Memphis and
Indiana entered the game as the only two defenses allowing their opponents to score
less than one point per possession.
It showed early.
The offenses combined to make just 16-of-42 (38.1%) shots in the first quarter. They
were knotted at 19 points apiece. It was as exciting as it sounds.
Little changed anytime soon, but the Grizzlies—slowly but surely began to take control
of the game. Indiana stayed close for awhile as they rained in timely threes, but
Memphis was playing better basketball and out-muscling the Pacers’ big men for
offensive boards. Neither team shot well, but the Grizzlies had longer, more cohesive
possessions and ended up taking six more shots in the first half.
The three-point halftime lead was negligible, but it was more of a Grizzly game than a
Pacer game, and it took some perhaps-unexpected good possessions from DJ Augustin
and Lance Stephenson for Indy to keep pace. Stephenson’s two three-pointers, while
certainly part of his repertoire at this point, weren’t exactly designed plays that were
the product of great-run offensive sets.
In short, Memphis was steadily pounding its jackhammer against a tough-to-crack
barricade, but Indiana was mostly just chucking rocks from afar that, by happenstance,
left a few cracks in a fortified wall.
The Pacers got off to a much better start in the third. With a few more threes and some
good offense by Roy Hibbert, they even managed to snatch the lead.
That advantage was short-lived.
Memphis roared back and soon pulled up by as much as 12. Then, without warning, the
Pacers decided they would play some of the best defense they had all year.
In the final six minutes of the third quarter, nobody on Memphis aside from Zach
Randolph scored a point. Darrel Arthur got in on the action slightly early in the fourth.
But overall, the Grizzlies scored just eight points over an 11-minute period from half-
way through the third until almost the middle of the fourth.
The Pacers, while not exactly the playing like the 2004 Phoenix Suns, dropped in 23
points over the same duration — punctuated by two huge three-pointers from third-
string point guard Ben Hansbrough — to take the lead.
In all, Indiana held Memphis to just 5-for-20 shooting in the fourth — including just
2-for-10 in the paint. In fairness...CONTINUE READING AT 8p9s
Bullets Forever: Mike Prada: On Stan Van Gundy's criticism of John Wall
The Wizards' defense turned the Dallas Mavericks into the 2006 Phoenix Suns.
The Wizards had a four-point lead at halftime of Tuesday's game against the Dallas
Mavericks, but thanks to some shoddy transition defense, the Wizards’ lead turned into
a 12-point deficit by the end of the third quarter. Let’s take a look at how Darren
Collison and the Mavericks were able to take advantage of Washington’s defense.
Former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said John Wall isn't a good enough
decision-maker to be a true franchise player. Some thoughts on that statement.
Former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy became the latest to rip the Washington
Wizards and John Wall. In an interview on ESPN 980 earlier this week, Van Gundy
declared that he doesn't think Wall will ever be good enough to lead a franchise. Dan
Steinberg has the transcript:
"You know, I don't know," Van Gundy admitted. "I don't know if it's
a trade, a free-agent thing, but I do know this: you build a team
around certain people, and then you find complimentary parts.
There's been no one to even build around there. There's certainly
nobody on that roster now you can build around.
"I think maybe they thought it was gonna be John Wall - maybe
they still think it is. I think there's a lot of people in the league -
I'd certainly be one that would share this opinion - I don't think
John Wall's good enough to be the guy that you build around. I
think he's got great speed and quickness, but point guard is a
decision-making position. That's what makes you great as a
point guard, is your decision-making. I haven't seen any
indication that John Wall is a great decision-maker."
It's hard to argue with Van Gundy's assessment right now considering Wall's own
struggles last year. As a decision-maker, he definitely has improvements to make.
He's definitely not in Kyrie Irving's class in the pick and roll, and Irving was drafted a
year after him. Wall's inability to hit perimeter shots kills him here.
But this is also an indictment on the supporting casts that have been put around him.
Point guards don't make decisions in a vacuum. They need space to see the floor. They
need supporting players that amplify their strengths and minimize their weaknesses.
Without those things, any young point guard will struggle to develop proper decision-
making skills. You aren't just born with a high basketball IQ. It needs to be cultivated
with the right surrounding mix.
In Wall's case, one would think that spacing and perimeter shooting would be the best
way to amplify his quickness and minimize his poor shooting. Instead, the Wizards have
consistently surrounded Wall with a weird mix of talent without an identity. Wall had by
far the most assists to corner three-point shooters last season; why haven't the Wizards
signed an elite corner three-point shooter? (They traded their best one in Nick Young
and let their second-best, Roger Mason, go in free agency). Wall likes to run and find
shooters spotting up; why haven't the Wizards studied which players hit the most
transition threes and pursued them in free agency? (Marco Belinelli is starring for
Chicago; he'd have been a nice, cheap addition). Why haven't the Wizards tried to find
a stretch 4 instead of hoping their big men can hit enough mid-range jumpers to get by?
Why are they running a post-heavy and baseline-screen offensive system when Wall is
a poor off-ball player?
These are all questions that...CONTINUE READING AT BULLETS FOREVER