Archive for Pacers

Inside the Man Room

All basketball all the time on this week’s podcast.  I look at the Pacers-76ers trade that brought Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen to Indy.  I also give my theory on why college basketball teams in the state are so bad this year.  Plus my soapbox rant on getting out to see high school basketball.  Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer.

Inside the Man Room

A new edition of “Inside the Man Room” this week.  I talk about the incident at Assembly Hall and what that means for IU.  I also take a look at the NFL Combine in Indy this weekend as well as our weekly watch of who is not in the NCAA tournament from Indiana.  Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer and remember to download the podcast on iTunes.

Pacers: Top Things to Watch For in Second Half

The NBA All-Star game is always the unofficial break between the first and second half of the season, even though Indiana has already played more than half of their games.  The All-Star break is a good time to reflect on what has been, but also for teams to gear up for the final two months of the regular season.  The Pacers have the second best record in the NBA behind Oklahoma City and are atop the Eastern conference by 2.5 games.  With the second half set to tip off, I wanted to take a look at the top things to look for down the stretch leading to the playoffs.

3.  Andrew Bynum

Indiana went out and signed Bynum to be the backup for Roy Hibbert.  We all know the story with Bynum- young kid who played well and won titles with the Lakers, but who over the past few years has been injured and showed a lack of professional and desire to play the game.  It was not a huge risk to sign him for the remainder of the season for only $1 million.  This will be interesting to see when he gets into action.  Bynum has still not played and the team has said when he is ready he will go.  As stated before, there is only two months remaining before the playoffs begin.  You would like to see him get into a good number of games, get his legs under him, and see if he can perform before the playoffs.  It will also be important to see him on the court to get a rhythm and feel for how to play with this team.  I am a believer that if Bynum steps in and helps win one game against the Heat or helps you win another playoff game that it was worth signing him.  If Hibbert were to get in foul trouble like the last time Indy played in Miami and Bynum was able to hold down the fort and the Pacers pull out a win, this was worth it.  Before you get to that point though it would be nice to actually see him in action.

2.  Starters Minutes

This is a tricky issue, but one I believe is important for Frank Vogel and the staff to monitor down the stretch.  Last season was the first deep run this team has made in the playoffs which means you have a shorter off-season.  Coinciding with that is the way this team shot out of the gates to post the best record in the league for much of the first half.  However, now there needs to be some discretion shown on how much time and energy these five guys are logging on a nightly basis.  All five starters are averaging more than thirty minutes a game.  Yes, it is clear that these are the thoroughbreds you want to run with and have put the team in this position.  But I would rather see a thoroughbred run at full strength and energy in the Kentucky Derby and not in a weekday race at Hoosier Park.  The point is to have these guys running at as much of a peak level come late April and into to May as possible.  That is why we all loved the signing of Luis Scola and that Danny Granger has accepted his role off the bench.  You still want to earn the number one seed, but hopefully you can obtain that without wearing out the starters to do so.

1.  Number One Seed

This may seem like a simple answer, but to me this is greatly important to the team both mentally and physically.  I believe Indiana needs the number one seed much more than Miami does.  Obviously home court advantage is huge and if a series goes to a seventh game like it did last year it would be at the Fieldhouse, but this is important for other reasons.  Mentally it is important for this team to continue to believe they belong with the elite of the NBA.  We all know they can play with anyone, but having the validation of that #1 slot would be great.  It could also give this young team that little extra hop in their step when the playoffs start knowing they have this in their back pocket.  Physically it is important mainly for what I listed in the #2 thing to watch.  Expending all of this energy over 5 months of the season just to end up with the #2 seed and knowing four games in Miami could be on the docket in late May would be brutal.  The season is long and is very much a marathon, but the small things are what can carry a team through it.  The Pacers have avoided any big injuries and are clearly one of the favorites to get to and win the NBA Finals.  They just need cap this season off at the top of the standings to give themselves that possible tiny mental edge to get this organization back to Finals and possibly their first NBA Championship.

Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer.

Inside the Man Room

It’s back!!!  The Inside the Man Room podcast is back and better than ever!  Tune in to this week’s podcast as I recap some things that were missed and look at some current basketball news.  Also Pete DiPrimio from the Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel joins me to discuss IU basketball.  Remember to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer.

Inside the Man Room

Colts talk is the prominent feature for this week’s show.  Matt Taylor from the Colts Vectren Radio Network joins me leading up the team’s trip out west to take on San Francisco.  We will also touch on some college football and a quick second on the Pacers.  Tune in and let me know your thoughts on Twitter @thadvandeventer and @IndySportsCrew.

Inside the Man Room

This week’s podcast covers a lot of different topics.  We begin our four part series previewing each FBS college football team in the state with Ball State by talking with their head coach Pete Lembo.  Also on the docket is talk about the Pacers-Suns trade, the International Champions Cup soccer match in Indy, and a rapid fire segment over A-Rod and Johnny Football.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer or email me  Also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Inside the Man Room

It’s back!!!  The Inside the Man Room podcast is back.  With a new format coming and a set day each week, the podcast has new life.  Each and every Thursday evening the podcast will be posted starting today.

This week I recap the big stories of the summer.  Brad Stevens moving to Butler and where Butler goes now.  The Pacers push the Heat to Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals.  The Indy 500 and Indiana baseball were also big news makers.  Listen in and voice your opinions by tweeting me @thadvandeventer, emailing, or Facebook IndySportsCrew.  Also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Rise and Fire

Can Pacers Bounce Back in Game 2?

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals was a great one.  An overtime thriller that was decided by a buzzer-beater.  Unfortunately for the Indiana Pacers, this game did not finish in their favor.  After dictating the tempo and style of play and holding a one point lead with just 2.2 seconds remaining, LeBron James received the inbound pass and went uncontested to the basket.  Laying it in at the horn giving the Heat a 1-0 series lead and putting major doubt in the Pacers chances.

Now you have to look forward to Game 2 tomorrow.  The Pacers had a chance to steal a game on the road against a team that has lost 4 times in the last 4 months.  Most people will look at this game as their one chance to win in Miami.  Their one chance to put the Heat on notice.  However, I believe the Pacers will bounce back in Game 2.  Not only will they bounce back.  They will win.

As most of the national media will focus on James’ game winner, the Pacers are focused on winning the series.  Game 1 was definitely an opportunity the Pacers would like back.  As you look closer though, Indiana has to feel good about what took place regardless of the loss.  The Pacers turned the ball over 20 times.  They were out rebounded by 2.  They allowed 60 points in the paint.  The Heat had five players in double figures including 16 points from Chris Andersen on 7-7 shooting.

In reality it took an excellent game from the Heat to beat Indiana.  Turnovers were viewed as a major area of importance going into the series.  It was Wednesday.  Indiana will need to take care of the ball and it will be tough to have as many struggles in back to back games.  With their size advantage, it will be tough for Miami to consistently out rebound them and get to the rim to score.  Plus there are the wild cards in Chris Andersen and Mario Chalmers.  Andersen will not be expected to deliver that offensive punch again.  Chalmers suffered a shoulder injury and his health could be a factor.

Indiana needs to tighten their play up, but cannot be discouraged by the outcome of Game 1.  They played well enough to win.  Their young team will put this behind them just as they did in Games 3 and 6 against New York.  The Pacers have shown in their first two playoff series that they have done well in making adjustments.  They will do it once again and steal home court advantage in the process.

Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer.

Rise and Fire

Chris Denari, the television voice of the Indiana Pacers, joins me to preview the Eastern Conference Finals.  The Pacers will take on the Miami Heat in Game 1 tomorrow night.  We discuss match ups and what area may be the biggest difference maker.  Plus how Larry Bird may be feeling about this team now.  Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer and follow Chris @ChrisDenari.

Rise and Fire

Roy Story

Do you remember the questions after the Pacers acquired Roy Hibbert back in July 2008?  Do you remember his rise to an All-Star level last season, but the questions that followed when the Pacers signed him to a max contract?  Do you remember his struggles the first half of this season?  There have been many questions about Hibbert, but it has become obvious that how Hibbert goes so goes the Pacers playoff run.

Hibbert is the barometer for this Indiana team.  When he plays as well as he did in Game 3 versus the Knicks, the Pacers play well.  Hibbert poured in 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the win giving Indiana a 2-1 series lead.

The larger impact of what Hibbert gives Indiana is just his shear size and strength.  This may seem simplistic, but as you look across the NBA landscape, especially the Eastern Conference, Hibbert gives the Pacers an asset very few other teams have- a legitimate BIG man.  This is an advantage both offensively and defensively.

Roy is a mismatch down on the block posting up.  He can use both hands to score around the rim and can step out to knock down a fifteen foot jumper.  His defense may be even more important.  The way he protects the rim is a strong back line of the defense for a defensive minded team.  At 7’2″ with a monster wingspan, he makes finishing in the lane difficult.

This weapon is what gives Indiana a chance to make a deep run.  Dominating on the glass and making it tough on the opposition to score is the M.O.  Hibbert is the anchor.  No team in the East has the same abilities at this position.

Even with all of the questions he has faced, namely the max contract given to him last summer, Hibbert gives the team their best chance of winning big.  Getting ready for Game 4 versus New York and the chance to take a commanding 3-1 lead the Pacers will lean on Big Roy.  Can he rise to the occasion again?  Will he continue to control the paint making it tough for Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith to get to the rim?  These are the questions people are asking now.  This is why the Pacers acquired him and stuck with him.  This is why they have a chance to advance.  This Roy Story is still writing itself and Indiana hopes it will have a story book ending.

Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer.