Pictured: Thaddeus Young
Source: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images North America

Preview: Pacers at Mavericks

The Indiana Pacers seek to post their ninth victory in the past 11 games when they visit the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. The Pacers endured a 113-109 road loss to the Detroit Pistons on Monday and look to bounce back against a Dallas team that has dropped five straight games.

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Indiana was on the uphill climb against Detroit after falling behind by 16 after one quarter and was unable to make up the difference. “We’ve been notorious for getting off to slow starts,” Pacers forward Thaddeus Young said after the loss. “We can’t come out like we’re warming up. We have to come out ready to jump on teams and be mentally prepared and physically prepared from the start.” Dallas rookie sensation Luka Doncic (ankle) returned from a two-game absence to produce 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in Monday’s 121-112 road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. All four of Doncic’s triple-doubles have occurred in his past 12 games.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FS Indiana, FS Southwest (Dallas)

ABOUT THE PACERS (40-21): Forward Domantas Sabonis scored 23 points against the Pistons – tying his second-highest output of the season – but departed late in the contest with a sprained ankle. Indiana coach Nate McMillan was unsure what Sabaonis’ status would be and his availability might not be determined until close to game time. Small forward Bojan Bogdanovic poured in 25 points against Detroit and topped 20 points in eight of the past 11 games and 22 times overall.

ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (26-34): Doncic’s latest stellar night came with a bad component as he committed a season-worst nine turnovers, marking the 12th time he has had five or more miscues in a game. “He thinks he can thread any needle and throw the ball through one guy’s nose and out his rear end,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said after the loss to the Clippers. “You just can’t do that in this league on a consistent basis.” Reserve forward Dwight Powell scored a career-best 24 points on 10-of-11 shooting and reached 20 points in two of the past three games.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Pacers won six of the past nine meetings, including a 111-99 home victory on Jan. 19.

2. Dallas SG Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 20 points against Los Angeles for this third 20-point effort in the past four games.

3. Indiana C Myles Turner (left hip) returned from a two-game absence against Detroit but had just seven points on 3-of-10 shooting in 30 minutes.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Darren Collison
Source: Matthew Stockman / Getty Image North America

Preview: Pacers at Wizards

The Indiana Pacers are reeling from the loss of star guard Victor Oladipo as they begin a four-game road trip Wednesday against the Washington Wizards. Indiana is 0-2 since Oladipo was lost to a season-ending knee injury after being steamrolled 132-100 by visiting Golden State on Monday.

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The 32-point loss to the Warriors represents the Pacers’ worst of the season, and the team is viewing its trek as vitally important after losing its best player. “Everything is important right now,” Indiana coach Nate McMillan told reporters. “We’re going down the stretch and we’ve had to make some major adjustments. Every game becomes even more important. Certainly, this road trip is important.” Washington is beginning a three-game homestand after losing back-to-back games, including Tuesday’s 116-113 setback against Cleveland – a contest in which it trailed by 25 points in the fourth quarter. “Regardless of if the team you’re playing has a good record or not a good one, you’ve got to always outplay your opponent with effort,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks told reporters, “and we didn’t do that.”

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, FS Indiana, NBCS Washington

ABOUT THE PACERS (32-17): Tyreke Evans (back) will miss his second straight game on Wednesday, and that further diminishes the available firepower for Indiana. Edmond Sumner was pressed into the lineup on Monday for his first career start and scored two points on 1-of-10 shooting in a dreadful showing. “He had his head down a little bit after the game,” veteran point guard Darren Collison told reporters. “I told him, ‘Look, you may not notice, but you played good. Forget about the offense. I don’t care how good you are, nobody in their first game playing against a back-to-back championship team is going to be great. It takes time, it takes rhythm.'”

ABOUT THE WIZARDS (21-29): Tuesday’s setback was Washington’s second against the lowly Cavaliers this season, and Bradley Beal was none too happy with his club’s effort. “We probably thought that Cleveland was terrible, and they came out and punched us in the mouth, just like they did last time,” Beal told reporters. “You can’t overlook anybody. You’ve got to respect every team in the league.” Beal poured in 31 points for his fifth 30-point performance of the month and 12th of the campaign.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Pacers won two home games against the Wizards by an average of 12 points earlier this season.

2. Washington C Thomas Bryant scored just five points against Cleveland to snap a streak of seven straight double-digit performances.

3. Indiana SF Bojan Bogdanovic has recorded 15 or more points in eight of his last 11 contests.

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Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Thaddeus Young
Source: Andy Lyons / Getty Image North America

Preview: Warriors at Pacers

The Indiana Pacers’ first game without star guard Victor Oladipo didn’t go so well, and the path forward isn’t getting any easier. The Pacers will try to move to 1-1 since Oladipo’s season-ending knee injury when they host the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Monday.

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Indiana somehow regrouped after watching Oladipo’s gruesome injury in Wednesday’s 110-106 home win over the Toronto Raptors but could not find a way forward on Saturday at Memphis, when they suffered a 106-103 loss two days after learning he was diagnosed with a ruptured quad tendon. “We’re just trying as a team to find ourselves without Victor Oladipo,” Pacers forward Thaddeus Young told reporters. “That’s one of the biggest things. Our offense was a little stagnant as opposed to having Victor out there. That’s no excuse.” The Warriors picked up their 10th consecutive win with a 115-111 triumph at Boston on Saturday but still believe they can be better. “It hasn’t been perfect, and we know we can still be better,” All-Star guard Steph Curry told reporters. “We’ve talked about putting a run together for a while now, and we’re right in the middle of a really good one. You want to create good vibes, especially with the All-Star break coming up, and continue to build momentum the second half of the season.”

TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBATV, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), FS Indiana

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (35-14): Golden State is back on its familiar perch atop the Western Conference as its offense rounds into shape. The Warriors have five current or former All-Stars in the starting lineup with center DeMarcus Cousins joining the team and are quickly getting used to playing together. “Probably the best thing we’re doing now is taking care of the ball,” Curry told reporters. “Playmakers are making the right decisions more times than not, getting shots up — that’s obviously when the talent takes over. Our defense has been better. People are settling into rotations with DeMarcus, and we got an edge about us.”

ABOUT THE PACERS (32-16): Indiana went 7-4 with Oladipo out of the lineup with a knee injury in November and December but is in a much different position with the star gone for the rest of the season and needs players like Tyreke Evans and Aaron Holiday to step up. Evans started in Oladipo’s spot on Saturday and managed nine points in 24 minutes while Holiday came off the bench and scored seven points on 3-of-11 shooting. Small forward Bojan Bogdanovic led the team with 21 points against the Grizzlies but went 1-of-6 from 3-point range and fouled out.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Curry went 6-of-12 from 3-point range on Saturday after slumping to 7-to-29 over the previous three contests.

2. Pacers C Myles Turner blocked multiple shots in each of the last six games and leads the NBA at an average of 2.79.

3. Indiana took both meetings last season by a total of 31 points.

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Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Victor Oladipo
Source: Andy Lyons / Getty Image North America

Preview: Raptors at Pacers

The Indiana Pacers have just four losses in the last 35 days, but two of them came against the Toronto Raptors, their opponent Wednesday in Indianapolis. The Raptors secured a three-point win over the Pacers at home Dec. 19 and a 16-point victory in a rematch Jan. 6, but Indiana is 11-2 against all other teams in that span after a 120-95 triumph over Charlotte on Sunday.

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“We just tried to prepare ourselves defensively, making sure it was tougher for them than it was in the last game,” guard Victor Oladipo told reporters, referencing an earlier 26-point loss to the Hornets. “Collectively, we did awesome.” Oladipo scored a team-high 21 points in the win while handing out seven of the Pacers’ 34 assists, one shy of the team’s season high. Toronto finished a 3-0 homestand with a 120-105 win over Sacramento on Tuesday. Star swingman Kawhi Leonard (rest) missed his third game in a row for the Raptors and he is not expected back until Friday at Houston.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, TSN (Toronto), FS Indiana

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (36-13): Toronto is 11-2 without Leonard this season and it overcame his latest absence with a 16-for-40 showing from behind the arc, led by a 4-for-5 effort by CJ Miles, who is averaging 13.7 points in 16.7 minutes over his last three games. Kyle Lowry finished with 19 points and nine assists while Fred VanVleet matched him in the scoring column one game after shooting 1-for-8 from the floor as he manages the wear and tear of the long season. “At this point nobody’s 100 percent healthy,” VanVleet, who recently missed a game with a thigh issue, told reporters. “You’ve gotta be a professional, take care of your body, try to be the best version of yourself that day and go out there and lay it on the line. So, barring anything major, I’ll be out there scrapping and clawing and giving it what I’ve got.”

ABOUT THE PACERS (31-15): Darren Collison scored 19 points and handed out nine assists while Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in 16 points in Sunday’s victory as Indiana reached the 120-point mark for the fourth time in its last seven games. “Me, Bojan, Vic, we were all being aggressive on the pick-and-roll,” Collison told the media. “When all three of us are aggressive, it’s tough to beat us.” Bogdanovic is averaging 19.5 points on 51.6 percent shooting to go along with seven rebounds against the Raptors this season.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Pacers SG Tyreke Evans is averaging 15.5 points in 18.7 minutes over his last six games.

2. The Raptors are 8-1 in the second game of back-to-backs.

3. Toronto has won five in a row against Indiana.

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Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Photo: Darren Collison
Source: Matthew Stockman / Getty Image North America

Preview: 76ers at Pacers

The Indiana Pacers and the Philadelphia 76ers both showed off how good they can be when everything comes together with blowout wins on Tuesday. The two Eastern Conference contenders will see if either can match that effort when the Pacers host the 76ers on Thursday.

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Indiana sits in third place in the East, one game ahead of Philadelphia, and earned its ninth win in 11 games by bludgeoning the Phoenix Suns in a 131-97 home victory on Tuesday. “In an 82-game season, you’re probably not going to play perfect at the defensive end,” Pacers point guard Darren Collison told reporters. “We did have our lapses, but we were able to get (going) today, have a good start defensively and make something happen at the offensive end. When we play good defense like that, we pretty much get what we want on offense.” The 76ers were just as impressive while blowing out the Minnesota Timberwolves 141-107 and were quick to credit their defense as well. “I thought we came out with energy,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown told reporters. “I thought we had a tremendous spirit, I thought we played defense, and we used that base to run.”

TV: 7 p.m. ET, TNT, NBCS Philadelphia

ABOUT THE 76ERS (29-16): Philadelphia shot 59.8 percent from the floor against Minnesota and handed out 40 assists on 55 made field goals. “We used our defense as a launching pad and did some good things there,” Brown told reporters. “But we really shared the ball. It was a perfect (situation) for us to be able to get a little bit more back on track. Some fist-bumps and high-fives, and 40 assists in a big number.” The 76ers also set a franchise record with 21 made 3-pointers as Wilson Chandler (4-of-6), Joel Embiid (4-of-6), Jonah Bolden (4-of-5) and Jimmy Butler (3-of-4) all got hot from beyond the arc.

ABOUT THE PACERS (29-14): Indiana’s defensive effort on Tuesday was led by center Myles Turner, who returned from a four-game absence due to a shoulder injury and delivered 18 points and six rebounds while a pair of blocks pushed his NBA-leading total to 105. “He’s the best shot blocker in the league,” Collison told reporters of Turner. “Consciously, as the opposing guard, you’re always worried about where he’s at on the court. Myles has been there for us all season long.” The Pacers’ seven players in double figures on Tuesday did not include All-Star guard Victor Oladipo, who managed eight points on 2-of-11 shooting.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Pacers SG Bojan Bogdanovic is 6-of-10 from 3-point range over the last two games and is shooting 45 percent from beyond the arc on the season.

2. 76ers PG Ben Simmons is averaging 21 points, 14.3 rebounds and 11 assists over the last three games.

3. The road team took the last three in the series, with Philadelphia earning a 100-94 win in its last trip to Indiana on Nov. 7.

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Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Photo: Victor Oladipo
Source: Andy Lyons/Getty Image North America

Preview: Pacers at Raptors

The Indiana Pacers may have been caught looking too far ahead prior to Wednesday night’s visit to the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors. The Pacers had won seven in a row and led the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers by six points with roughly four minutes to play Tuesday at home before faltering down the stretch in a 92-91 loss.

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Victor Oladipo missed three straight free throws in the final minute – two of them with 9.5 seconds to go – as Indiana fell to 14-4 against the East. The Raptors have been atop the heap since the season began but they are just 3-5 after starting 20-4 after falling 95-86 at Denver on Sunday to finish a four-game road trip. “I mean, that’s why you got 82 games, a learning concept as you go on through the year,” star swingman Kawhi Leonard told reporters at Tuesday’s practice. “You’re building toward something at the end of the year.” Leonard shot 12-for-21 in the loss to the Nuggets while his teammates combined to shoot 34.3 percent.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FS Indiana, TSN (Toronto)

ABOUT THE PACERS (20-11): Oladipo had been progressing well since returning from a knee injury that robbed him of 11 games, but the missed free throws were part of a rough showing against Cleveland. “I got to be better down the stretch, especially at the free-throw line,” Oladipo told reporters after scoring 12 points on 4-of-15 shooting and getting tossed to the ground ahead of Larry Nance Jr’s game-winning tip-in. Myles Turner chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double this month.

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (23-9): Health has been an issue of late, as guards Kyle Lowry (thigh) and Fred VanVleet (back) and forward Pascal Siakam (back) all missed Sunday’s loss. Center Jonas Valanciunas was lost during the trip to a thumb injury that will keep him out for up to a month and forward Norman Powell (shoulder) has missed for over a month, although he may return Wednesday. Leonard averaged 28.5 points in the final two games of the trip after sitting out the first two due to a hip issue.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Raptors have lost four consecutive games with Leonard in the lineup.

2. Indiana has held eight straight opponents to 101 points or fewer.

3. Toronto has won nine meetings in a row at home.

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Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Photo: Joel Embiid – Source: Getty Image North America

Preview: Pacers at 76ers

Joel Embiid is playing like an MVP candidate again with Jimmy Butler out of the lineup, but the Philadelphia 76ers are missing their closer. The 76ers hope to have Butler back from a groin injury when they host the Indiana Pacers on Friday.

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Butler, who was injured in Monday’s win over Detroit and is considered day-to-day, sat out Wednesday and watched Philadelphia send the Brooklyn Nets to the free-throw line 43 times in a 127-124 setback. “I think it’s just communication on our end,” point guard Ben Simmons told reporters of the team’s defensive effort against Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who knocked down 13 free throws en route to a career-high 39 points. “I think we just need to communicate more (when playing) that team. It’s the same thing every time we play them.” The Pacers are familiar with playing without a star but got Victor Oladipo (knee) back from an 11-game absence on Wednesday and fit him in seamlessly while cruising to a 113-97 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, pushing their winning streak to five straight. “I thought he was perfect,” Indiana coach Nate McMillan told reporters of Oladipo. “You know, when you’ve been off for a long time like that, you focus on the defensive end of the floor … you get your wind that way offensively and just allow the game to come to you. He’s been watching us for the last couple of weeks and I thought he did a good job of moving the ball and getting guys involved.”

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, FS Indiana, NBCS Philadelphia

ABOUT THE PACERS (18-10): Indiana is allowing an average of 95 points during its winning streak and limited Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo to 12 points on Wednesday. “It was a team effort, but we did talk about (power forward Thaddeus Young) doing a good job of keeping Antetokounmpo in front of him and keeping him off the boards,” McMillan told reporters. “With Thad doing such a good job of containing him, our defense didn’t have to collapse and give them open 3’s from the perimeter. That’s where is starts for us, it’s got to be a team effort … tonight, our guys were connected on the defensive end of the floor.” Young finished with a team-high 25 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and four assists in the victory.

ABOUT THE 76ERS (19-10): Philadelphia was also missing reserve power forward Mike Muscala (illness) on Wednesday, and the absence of the two key rotation pieces was noted by the rest of the team. “It’s hard,” Simmons told reporters. “I mean, you get used to a guy being there. Then two guys are out that you are used to having in there, which means other guys have to step up and fill that role, come in and play defense, rebounding.” Embiid recorded his 25th double-double with 33 points and 17 rebounds but attempted only three shots in the second half.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. 76ers SG Furkan Korkmaz scored 18 points in each of the last two games, raising his season average to 5.8 points.

2. Indiana C Myles Turner is averaging 24.5 points over the last two games.

3. Philadelphia took the first meeting 100-94 at Indiana on Nov. 7 as Simmons and Embiid each recorded a double-double.

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Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Pacers at Cavaliers Game 5

Every time it looks like the Cleveland Cavaliers are about to roll over and end their reign atop the Eastern Conference, they bounce right back with a win. The Cavaliers will try to take the lead for the first time in the best-of-seven, first-round series when they host the Indiana Pacers in Game 5 on Wednesday.

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NBA IG Top 3 (Wizards vs Raptors / Pacers vs Cavs)

Cleveland had a chance to take the series lead in Game 3 and could not hold onto a 17-point advantage in a 92-90 loss, but LeBron James took over down the stretch in Game 4 and guided his team to a 104-100 triumph and tie the series at two games apiece. “We came on the road in a hostile environment and got a big win after a letdown last game,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue told reporters after the victory. “I thought we played good enough to win that last game. The guys thought that as well. When you lose a tough game like that it’s hard to bounce back, especially on the road. It’s just tribute to our guys’ character, who they are, and we bounced back and won a tough game.” The Pacers are showing plenty of fight in the series and are undaunted by Cleveland taking back homecourt advantage. “It’s 0-0 and it’s anybody’s series right now,” center Myles Turner told reporters. “And we’ve gotta be the hungry team. We’ve got a road win before, and we gotta go do it again.”

TV: 7 p.m. ET, TNT, FS Indiana, FS Ohio (Cleveland)

ABOUT THE PACERS: Indiana placed seven scorers in double figures in the Game 4 loss but All-Star Victor Oladipo struggled to 5-of-20 from the floor and Game 3 hero Bojan Bogdanovic went 4-of-13. “I thought we were frantic offensively throughout the game and I just didn’t think we played the game the right way,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan told reporters. “I thought there were some quick shots, some heroic shots that were taken throughout this game, and you’re not going to win if you play the game like that.” The positives came up front, where Turner and reserve center Domantas Sabonis combined for 36 points on 16-of-21 shooting.

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS: James finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in Game 4 but took the time out to praise the efforts of his teammates. Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood, who all joined the team at the trade deadline, combined for 24 points off the bench. “It means a lot to Rodney, Jordan and Larry,” James told reporters. “It’s their first opportunity in the postseason. It was a must-win for us in a hostile environment. For them to play the way they did meant a lot.”

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Cavaliers PG George Hill (back) is questionable for Game 5.

2. Pacers PF Thaddeus Young grabbed 16 rebounds on Sunday in his first double-double of the series.

3. Cleveland SG Kyle Korver scored 18 points in Game 4 after going scoreless over 20 minutes in Game 3.

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Posted in NBA

2018 NBA Playoffs

First-round previews

If the playoffs are anything like the wild finish to the regular season, hold on. It took an overtime play-in win just to determine the Western Conference playoff teams, and little was settled outside of the top two seeds in the East heading into Wednesday’s season finale. But now that we have the sixteen teams, it’s on. The NBA’s second season officially begins on Saturday afternoon.

Toronto Raptors vs. Washington Wizards

The Raptors have all sorts of pressure on them this postseason, but they couldn’t have done much better than facing the fledgling Wizards at the start. Washington, which has lost 14 of its last 21 games, welcomed five-time All-Star John Wall back on March 31 after he missed more than two months with a knee injury. Still, Toronto — which was third in offensive rating and fifth in defensive rating this season — should be able to survive.

Enter the TOR/WAS Series Tournament

Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Boston, which is without five-time All-Star Kyrie Irving for the playoffs and guard Marcus Smart until at least late April, has its hands full against these Bucks. Milwaukee’s 106-102 win over Boston on April 3 serves as the best evidence of how they match up at the moment. The Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo will be looking to advance past the first round for the first time (he’s 0-for-2 thus far).

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat

Philadelphia comes in as the league’s hottest team, having won 16 games in a row. Never mind that All-Star big man Joel Embiid went down with an orbital fracture in his left eye eight games into the stretch, the Sixers just kept rolling. When Embiid was asked if he might be able to play for Game 1, he told reporters it’s “unlikely but still a chance.”

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers

LeBron James is no stranger to memorable playoff matchups against the Pacers, but this is a different version of the familiar story. With coach Nate McMillan and All-Star guard Victor Oladipo leading the way, the Pacers were a wonderful surprise this season.

Enter the CLE/IND Series Tournament

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Houston Rockets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

The Rockets dominated the season series against the Timberwolves, but only one of those games (a 126-108 win on Feb. 13) included Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler from beginning to end. The four-time All-Star tore his meniscus in their second matchup on Feb. 23, then missed the final two meetings before returning on Friday. The Rockets, meanwhile, lost key defender Luc Mbah a Moute to a dislocated shoulder on Tuesday, and he’s expected to miss the first round — if not longer.

Enter the HOU/MIN Series Tournament

Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs

This is a rematch of last year’s Western Conference finals in name alone, as Golden State is without two-time MVP Stephen Curry this time around and the Spurs’ franchise centerpiece, Kawhi Leonard, remains out after playing just nine games this season. But if anyone is capable of creating a gameplan to upset the ailing defending champions, it’s San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich. His Spurs had the fourth-best defensive rating this season. The Warriors, meanwhile, have lost 10 of their last 17 games.

Enter the GSW/SAS Series Tournament

Portland Trail Blazers vs. New Orleans Pelicans

The Trail Blazers lost seven of their last 12 games, but the regular season finale win over Utah was enough to earn them the No. 3 seed. Portland, which had the league’s ninth-best defensive rating this season, will have all it can handle with the way Pelicans star Anthony Davis has been playing (a league-leading 30.2 points, 11.9 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game since DeMarcus Cousins’ season-ending Achilles injury Jan. 26).

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Utah Jazz

The Jazz boasted the NBA’s best defense for the final few months of the regular season, and now they’ll try to stop a star-studded Thunder squad that finished 10th in offensive rating. But the Jazz have to score too, and therein lies the most pressing question of their postseason: Can rookie guard Donovan Mitchell be the same star-caliber player on this stage? Utah certainly needs him to be.

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Posted in NBA

Warriors at Pacers preview

The Indiana Pacers slipped just a bit in their quest for homecourt advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, and now the schedule is working against them. The Pacers will make a brief stop at home on Thursday to host the defending champion Golden State Warriors before heading back out to visit East-leading Toronto on Friday.

Enter this Single Game Contest Here

Indiana is two games behind red-hot Philadelphia and Cleveland in the battle for third and fourth places in the East after dropping a 107-104 decision at Denver on Tuesday to finish a West Coast trip 3-1. “I mean, we’ve been in those types of games many times and we’ve won, just tonight we kind of came up short,” Pacers All-Star guard Victor Oladipo told reporters after the loss. “Confidence is still high, swagger is still high, we just have to continue to keep getting better.” The Warriors are rebuilding their own swagger despite continuing to deal with injuries and picked up their third consecutive win with a 111-107 triumph at Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Golden State is locked into the No. 2 seed in the West but will have an impact on seeding in both conferences with games remaining against Indiana, New Orleans and Utah.

7 p.m. ET, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), FS Indiana

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (57-21): Golden State did not have Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green or Stephen Curry available during a 92-81 home loss to Indiana on March 27 but has since gotten all but Curry back on the floor. Durant is leading the way and posted a double-double in each of the last three contests, including 34 points in Tuesday’s triumph at Oklahoma City that came with Curry (knee), Andre Iguodala (knee), Omri Casspi (ankle), Shaun Livingston (personal) and Patrick McCaw (spine) sitting out. “It was a great win, short-handed and on the road against a good team fighting for playoff position,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters. “It’s a hell of a win, especially without all our guards. I loved how these guys played and competed.”

ABOUT THE PACERS (46-32): Indiana is fighting for homecourt in the first round but won’t be intimidated if it falls short after winning seven of its last 10 on the road. “I think it is going to make us road-tough and battle-tested,” forward Thaddeus Young told the team’s website. “It’s definitely prepping us for the task at hand, which is going to the playoffs and trying to get some games. I think we have been doing a good job of handling it. Just going out there and just playing as a team.” Young is picking up his level of play while averaging 16 points over the last six games, raising his season average to 12, while posting three double-doubles in that span.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Thompson is averaging 22.7 points in three games since returning from a thumb injury.

2. Pacers PG Darren Collison is 10-of-15 from the floor over the last two games, including 6-of-7 from beyond the arc.

3. Golden State won in its last two trips to Indiana, including a 120-83 drubbing in last season’s visit.

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Posted in NBA

NBA Fantasy News

Paul George puts 2014 behind him.

Indiana’s forward Paul George found his U.S. National teammates in preparation to the 2016 Rio Olympics without any apprehension, he assured Tuesday. He is two year’s removed from a serious injury that took him out prior to the 2014 FIBA World Cup. He fell awkwardly on his foot while fouling James Harding during a scrimmage at practice in Las Vegas. The team ended up winning the tournament without him. Despite all of that, he’s ready to put it all behind him and give it is all for the Gold. George will finally get the chance to play for his nation, something he is most proud of.

Team USA is currently preparing for Rio in Las Vegas. For George, coming back to train where he got hurt isn’t a problem. He knows that injuries can happen anywhere, anytime to anyone. The injury caused him to miss almost all of the 2014-15 NBA season. He since found his stride scoring a career-best 23.1 points per regular season game. Under his drive, the Pacers made it to the 2016 playoffs. The got bumped early though losing in the first round against the Toronto Raptors.

Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski will lead his third Olympic squad. Under his tutelage, team USA has yet to lose a game since the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Since that time the teams hold a record of 34-0, which includes two Olympics games and two FIBA world cup.

Team USA will be represented once again by an elite squad of NBA players despite some bowing out due to the unsafe nature of Brazil.  They are still favorite to land the coveted gold medal. The Golden State Warriors will have three representative at the games, with shooting guard Klay Thompson, power forward Draymond Green and newly acquired small forward Kevin Durant. The team will also rely on guards Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, forwards Paul George, Harrison Barnes, and Carmelo Anthony, and centers DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan.

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Posted in NBA

Fantasy Playoffs Basketball Preview

Pacers vs Raptors Game 7

In this must win highly anticipated matchup between the Indiana Pacers and the Toronto Raptors, a lot of emotions will be running in both camps at the Air Canada Center. This Fantasy Playoffs Basketball Preview is brought you by FanPicks. Come PLAY in our Daily Fantasy Basketball contests and get a free chance to win $1 Million dollars!

 

Fantasy Playoffs Basketball Preview

The Raptors have been disappointing this 1st round of playoffs and come in this game pumped, hoping to snap their first round series losing streak. They’re on verge of getting knocked out for the 4th straight time in the first round of NBA playoffs basketball, and it would be such of shame after this record winning regular season and talented squad’s efforts. Unfortunately for the Raptors, their two top players DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are struggling at the worst potential time. Even though they’ve received some extra surprising efforts from Bismack Biyombo who’s 8 or more boards per game in 4 straight contests could help their resurgence. Defense has been a key indicator in every wins in this series, as the winning team has always scored at least 100 Pts. The Raptors are favorite in this one statically speaking and on paper, however we’ve seen them have ridiculous issues in previous Game 7 matchups.

 

Indiana has really surprised everyone and rocked the odds in this series. They took care of business on home court and have been playing exceptionally well in defense. A matter fact, they were able to hold Toronto to only 37% shooting from the field and a mere 39 pts in last game’s 2nd half. All of their starters were in double digit scoring figures in their win. Paul George’s playoff comeback has been very effective and his peers Monta Ellis, Myles Turner and George Hill have all stepped up in their nothing to lose approach to the game.

Posted in NBA

NBA Fantasy Basketball Playoffs – Indiana Pacers versus Toronto Raptors Game 2

NBA fantasy basketball playoffs are in full swing and FanPicks has every up-to-date news and daily picks all the way to the finals, so join here to participate in the biggest contest in sports. The first of three games tonight pits the Pacers against the Raptors. Indiana will look to take a 2-0 lead on the road versus Toronto in their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at Air Canada Centre.Fantasy Basketball

The Pacers hope to follow on their impressive 100-90 Game 1 victory with another one before the series heads to Indiana. Paul George provided a game-high 33 points (12-22 FG, 4-5 3Pt, 5-6 FT) while adding six assists, four rebounds, four steals and two blocks in 38 minutes. Monta Ellis also contributed with 15 points (5-12 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 2-2 FT), five assists, three rebounds and three steals in 29 minutes. The Pacers were 11 for 21 in three-point attempts on Saturday, after going just 16 of 55 in their last two regular season games with the Raptors. The Pacers broke a five-game losing streak at Air Canada Centre on Saturday, where they had not won since March 1, 2013.

The Raptors will try to rebound from Saturday’s Game 1 defeat and will need to find a way to stop Paul George in the process.  A factor that should be key in the Raptor’s success will be the play of the star guard duo DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. DeRozan scored 14 points (5-19 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 4-6 FT) while adding four assists, two rebounds and two steals in 37 minutes. Lowry added 11 (3-13 FG, 1-7 3Pt, 4-9 FT), seven assists, two rebounds, two steals, and a block in 41 minutes. Jonas Valanciunas set a club record with 15 rebounds in the first half of Saturday’s game. The Raptors finished off the regular-season with a 32-9 record at home.

Top Fantasy Picks

G DeMar DeRozan (TOR)

G Kyle Lowry (TOR)

F Paul George (IND)

Posted in NBA