Tag Archives: Indiana Pacers

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Who Are Most Underrated NBA Players entering the 2014-15 Season

Every basketball fan knows who LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are, but many less dedicated fans probably would not recognize a smaller name player such as Marquis Teague. Many of these players hold their teams together; however, go unnoticed to the common basketball fan. Here’s a list of the most underrated, unappreciated players in the NBA for this coming season:

Mirza Teletovic: At Brooklyn Nets games, Teletovic lighting up the court with his spot on shooting is a common sight; however, unless you are a big Nets fan you have probably never heard of him. Teletovic is a matchup problem for defenders because he can knock down shots from basically anywhere on the court—especially from behind the ark.

Anderson Varajeo: Varajeo is a fan favorite in Cleveland—he is an exciting player to watch, a terrific offensive and defensive rebounder, and a top-notch rim protector. He is an all-around team player and one of LeBron’s favorite teammates, and in James’s absense he has provided the veteran leadership the Cavaliers needed. He is a big reason that Cleveland improved every year after James left.

Luis Scola: Scola has played for three teams and seems to fly under the radar on each one. Scola has plays a good amount coming off the bench, and is very efficient with the time he gets on the court. His overall numbers have dropped slightly with the Indiana Pacers since he does not get as much playing time as he used to, but he is still a terrific inside shooter and team player.

Larry Sanders: Sanders is arguably the best shot blocker in the NBA, and his injury problems this past season were a big part of Milwaukee’s horrible record. With Sanders healthy and Jabari Parker joining the squad, the Bucks should see some decent improvements this season.

Omer Asik: The New Orleans Pelicans acquired the big man from the Houston Rockets this offseason, and he should prove to be a great addition to the team. Asik has always struggled on the offensive side of the ball, but he has improved significantly as his career has progressed, and he has always been a great defender in the NBA. Now that he will be playing alongside Anthony Davis his talent may start to be recognized.

Nick Collison: Anyone that watches the Oklahoma City Thunder regularly could tell you that Collison is one of the hardest workers in the NBA. Although he does not score much, Collison hustles on every play and is one of the better defenders in the league. The Thunder can always count on him for an energy boost late in the game.

Chris Bosh: Bosh may have been part of Miami’s “Big 3″; however, he was always the least respected of the three guys. With LeBron leaving the Miami Heat, Bosh will be the go to guy in Miami this season; so he will be putting up the kind of numbers he used to with the Toronto Raptors and hopefully earn the respect he deserves as a super star in the NBA.

BY: Chris M.

Is Danny Granger the Clippers Missing Piece?

LA Clippers Danny Granger

Danny Granger

The Philadelphia 76ers just recently announced that they agreed on a buyout with forward Danny Granger, who was acquired by the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. Granger is now set to become a free-agent and the Los Angeles Clippers appear to be the frontrunners for his acquisition. So what can he really bring to the team? Is he the missing piece for the team on its championship run?

First of all, it’s obvious that Danny Granger was under performing this season. Playing at the shadow of the emerging megastar Paul George and after he experienced a bunch of injuries, Granger was not the player he once used to be this season. The Indiana Pacers were no longer his team. The former All-Star played in 29 games this season and started in just a couple of them. He averaged 8.3 points per contest go to along with 3.6 rebounds and he shot a ugly rates, 35.9 percent from the floor and 33.0 percent from downtown. However, he has the potential to bounce back and uplift his performance.

Danny Granger Clippers

Danny Granger

Granger seems to be a perfect fit in the Clips’ playoff puzzle. If he is acquired by the team, he will most probably be assigned with the starting small forward role. Granger has the size and the athletic skills to be a great perimeter threat, which can also drive to the basket. Of course, he is not as explosive as he once was, but after all, the Clippers don’t need him to be that type of a player.

Thankfully, the Clips have Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, who will continue to take the biggest chunk of the offensive load on their shoulders. So where Granger is needed is to spot up and hit some open shots, especially from beyond the arc. In general, Granger will be a big upgrade in the Clippers wing. That’s because Doc Rivers is currently using Matt Barnes at the starting small forward role. Although Barnes is a serviceable forward, he is not a big scoring threat, especially from downtown. His fellow small forward, Jarred Dudley, who was acquired during the past summer has been struggling to find consistency all season long. In fact, he was demoted to a reserve, after starting for the Clippers earlier in the season.

In conclusion, we can fairly say that Danny Granger is certainly a missing piece for the Los Angeles Clippers. He might not be the player who will take the team by the hand and lead it to the championship. However, after the addition of Glen Davis, the Los Angeles Clippers have the opportunity to add yet another piece in their puzzle. Granger is the best player available out there at the moment and the Clips shouldn’t let this opportunity slip off their hands. Granger will be an essential player come playoff time for Doc Rivers.

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Special Preview: NBA All-Star Weekend 2012

NBA All-Star Weekend 2012 officially kicks off Friday in Orlando. Here’s a schedule of all the top-tier All-Star Weekend events.

Usually known as the Rookie/Sophomore Game, the 2012 edition of the Rising Stars Challenge is different because TNT analysts Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley selected the rosters from a pool of the top first- and second-year players. Reigning Rookie of the Year winner Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin headline Team Shaq. Top overall draft choice Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers and versatile big-man DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings anchor Team Chuck.

All-Star Saturday Night opens with the Haier Shooting Stars, which pits the defending champion Team Atlanta against Team Orlando, Team New York, and Team Texas.

The next event is the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, in which six of the league’s top point guards battle to complete an obstacle course that tests their dribbling, passing, and shooting ability. Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, the defending champion, will take on Irving, Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, John Wall of the Washington Wizards, Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets.

The Foot Locker Three-Point Contest follows the Skills Challenge in which Magic forward Ryan Anderson will challenge the defending champion James Jones of the Miami Heat. Other competitors include Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat, Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City, Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Anthony Morrow of the New Jersey Nets. Durant replaces Atlanta Hawks swingman Joe Johnson, who will sit out the contest due to injury.

The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest concludes All-Star Saturday Night. This year’s dunk showdown features four players who have never before competed; it’s all fresh faces. In addition, the dunk contest will debut a new, one-round format in which each competitor has the opportunity to execute three dunks. The field is Chase Budinger of the Houston Rockets, Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz, Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, and Derrick Williams of Minnesota. Evans replaces Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert, who had to bow out of the competition due to injury.

The main event of the weekend finally tips Sunday evening. Magic center Dwight Howard, the leading vote-getter among all players, will start for the East, while Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will tie a record for consecutive All-Star appearances with 14.

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