This dude is just a serious badass.
Without question one of the best players to ever wear a Pacers uniform.
For example, early in tonight's game, Lance was playing pretty physical D on Wade. While chasing Wade under the basket, Wade attempted to elbow Lance in the face. I can't tell on TV if he connected or not, but both Lance and West saw it. Moments later there was a dead ball, Lance walked up to Wade without talking and West quickly pulled him away. It looked like Lance was going to take Wade's head off.
I thought Danny was a bit dramatic at times in the playoffs, but the Heat have gotten away with a lot of elbows against us. LeBron did it at least twice in the playoffs last season, Wade did it tonight, and then Battier threw one at West right before they got the double technicals.
The only two that have been called are Haslem's elbow to Tyler's face and Pittman's elbow to Lance.
It was awesome to watch Lance on Wade, and I give Lance credit for maintainng his composure. He wouldn't even let Wade breathe during dead balls. The trash talking bothers me a bit, but hey, it's getting in the Heat's heads. Worst case scenario, we see some incredible, motivated basketball from the Heat. Best case, Wade or LeBron lose composure in the playoffs and get suspended.
Lance being able to mouth off to guys like Lebron and Wade while still playing...maybe 65% in control, I dig that. This punk kid you had to send a goon after to assault (in the legal definition) in garbage time last year has you crying to refs at half in a double digit loss.
We're in your head. Better hope you don't play us in the playoffs.
The Legend continues to get the last laugh on virtually every major move made from 2008-2012. Every starter last night is a Bird guy. Two of them, PG and Lance, were added before the 2010-11 season and two others were added before 2011-12. The moves Bird made during that important two year stretch are nothing short of A+++++++. The 2011-12 off-season additions of Hill and West might go down as the best Pacer off-season ever. West is without question the greatest FA signing the Pacers have ever had. George Hill was such a solid addition because not only he is a very good player, but he also spent three years learning how an A+ Spurs organization conducts itself. Spending time with Pop, Duncan, Manu, Parker, etc, without question rubbed off on Hill and he has brought those winning characteristics here.
How anyone could criticize Bird at this point boggles my mind. Honestly, I think most criticism of him is because of an inherent bias that some people have against him because they didn't like him as a player. But the stud team we have right now is 100% a reflection of the awesome work Bird did as GM over the last few seasons.
I haven't posted in a while. Go Pacers!
I thought I'd chime in and say its hilarious that Wade and James were so bothered by Lance's trash talk. Can you imagine them playing against someone like Reggie? The Heat are ridiculously talented, but we have the right gameplan to beat them. For the Pacers (or any other team) it's important to get physical with them and get in their faces. Normally I prefer a more calm type of basketball, but you have to get mean to beat the heat. They can't handle mean. What a great game.
I think the games with Miami have served to emphasis a couple of things. First off, the importance of re-signing David West. I'm not going to even attempt to qualify keeping him over Granger or others in our need to re-sign players. After last nights game, any possible explanation that I could give could not possibly include each and every reason. They simply are too numerous, so I won't even try in fear that I might leave out one or two very important ones.
Secondly, it is almost as important to re-sign Stephenson. I once said that Stephenson was bench fodder, I nice project to have, but just another warm body on an NBA bench that could easily be replaced by countless other players that are not even in the league. Does anyone have any mustard for the crow that I am eating? It is not very tasty and should have been plucked first.
But right now, I could almost bet that Miami would attempt to sign Lance when he becomes available. And Peck has told us why. He can handle Wade and his trash talking gets under Wade's and Lebron's skins like no other player in the league. Heck, Sir James would probably want Lance on his team just so he didn't have to listen to Lance's crap a few times a season. Seriously though, Stephenson has quickly become an unselfish, complete basketball player. He is great with the ball on the break and in distribution, is a magnificent back court rebounder and defender and rarely takes a bad shot. That being said, I like his role as a combo guard better than as a point guard. Every team needs a Lance Stephenson and every team wants a Lance Stephenson.
3 year plan
Hold your horses everybody, anybody implying that Miami is "scared of us" needs to calm down for a moment.
Lets not forget that not only did they beat us in 6 games without Bosh last year, but the 2011 Bulls swept them in the regular season and then went on to lose in 5 to Miami in the playoffs. To put it bluntly, Miami doesn't care about this win nearly as much as we do. Not that they shouldn't be alarmed, or that they can just rely on history to repeat itself, but we have to remember this means jack until we can take them out in the playoffs.
"Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel
"And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen. "
Want your own "Just Say No to Kamen" from @mkroeger pic? http://twitpic.com/a3hmca
i am wondering about some things......
looking at miami this year i ask myself, do they looks better than last year, the same or worse than?
i can't say they are better. and i can't say they are noticeably worse. they look to me to be about the same perhaps slightly worse.
what has changed for the pacers since last year?
well, so far- no danny granger. however, we have seen that hole filled better than i anticipated with the contributions from guys like paul george and lance. these guys have made substantial contributions all over. they can score inside and out, they can attack and finish and they can both apply some mean, tough D. throw in a true center in mahinmi who has gotten more comfortable with the squad since he struggled early to figure things out and those are some factors that make this current squad without danny to be better than the playoff team we had last year.
lance's D has been a big help with his ability match up well against a guy like wade. i think he will do just fine against D. rose when he returns too.
figuring out the rotations when danny returns is a problem i welcome. it just makes us deeper and like i mentioned about his return in another thread, i am less worried about how his return affects the team than if he was a rookie or free agent who hadn't any previous experience with this team or coach. we have times where we struggle with scoring- he can help with that.
i would give the coach and team an overall grade so far about an B+/ A- considering i didn't think they would be playing this well.
"I like our group of people," Ainge told USA Today. "I'm trying to teach them about basketball, and they're trying to teach me about analytics."
NBA MVP (x3)
Dream Team Olympic Gold Medalist
Coach of the Year
Executive of the Year
As Bill Simmons calls him, "Basketball Jesus."
Everyone has their flaws / mistakes, he certainly is no exception, but his basketball resume is truly legendary.
Oh, and if not for him I would have lost my camera's lens cap at a STH function a few years back as well. He had the eye to spot it in a low-lighting setting and was nice enough to tell me right away.
Oh, and that small bit where watching his highlights as a youngster made me first fall in love with basketball and thus later helped draw me in as a die hard when he started coaching, which in turn put me in position to want to create a certain web forum to talk about the team later on.
Yeah, I don't think Miami is scared of us, but they certainly know we exist and are going to be a thorn in their sides for the forseeable future. The difference is, we're going to have to do this for 4 games in a 7 games series. We couldn't do that last year, but maybe this year we can.
I don't believe for a second Miami is scared of us. I do believe they see us (and probably a Rose+ Chicago) as their biggest threats.
I think these two things are related. Miami wanted this game, sure, but they (and specifically their coaching staff) didn't care about it as much as we did. Spo isn't a bad coach; he out-coached Vogel in last year's playoffs. I expect he's saving a few wrinkles for the playoffs, similar to how we waited all year to put Paul George on D.Rose. He doesn't want to show his whole hand yet.
I'm not saying he didn't want to win the game last night, far from it. It was a bad loss for them. But while LeBron allows for extreme roster and coverage flexibility, I don't expect him to play that card much until the time is right.
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