Tag:Indiana Pacers
Posted on: January 30, 2011 12:48 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2011 2:36 pm

Indiana Pacers fire coach Jim O'Brien

The Indiana Pacers have reportedly fired coach Jim O'Brien. Posted by Ben Golliver. jim-obrien

A little more than a week ago, we noted some rumblings that changes were in store for the Indiana Pacers, as coach Jim O'Brien and GM David Morway were likely going to be replaced at the end of the season, with President Larry Bird's future up in the air as well.

O'Brien was said to be safe through the rest of the season, as no one on his staff was seen as head coach material. On Sunday, though, that story changed in a big way: Yahoo! Sports reports that the Pacers have fired O'Brien. CBSSports.com's Ken Berger has confirmed the decision, citing multiple sources.

The Indianapolis Star reports that Pacers assistant Frank Vogel is "expected to coach the team for the remainder of the season." According to his NBA.com bio, Vogel is just 37-years-old and in his eighth season as an assistant coach. Once tabbed, Vogel will surpass New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams as the youngest head coach in the NBA.

Berger reports that "a person with knowledge of the team's plans confirmed to CBSSports.com that Vogel was the likely choice to take over for O'Brien on an interim basis. Also under discussion internally, according to the source, was team president Larry Bird coming down to the bench for the rest of the season. If the choice is Vogel, as expected, it is an indication that Bird didn't want to coach."

Yahoo! Sports names former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown and Utah Jazz assistant Tyrone Corbin as two possible candidates to replace O'Brien on a "long-term basis."

Pacers fans had been frustrated with O'Brien and the team's progress for some time. The decision to fire O'Brien now rather than wait until the end of the season likely boils down to two factors: expectations and rotations. 

The Pacers got off to a 9-7 start, and have enough talent on the roster to be a lower-level playoff team in the top-heavy Eastern Conference. But the Pacers are currently 17-37 on the season, good for 10th in the Eastern Conference, could lead to the thinking that the season is at a crossroads. Salvaging a playoff seed out of this season would be huge, but perhaps O'Brien wasn't seen as someone able to reach the players and right the ship. 

The other regular criticism of O'Brien has been his inconsistent rotations. Coaches of losing teams get that a lot, as they juggle the pieces looking for something that will work. The problem: O'Brien didn't have a solid argument to hang his hat on. Star forward Danny Granger has seen his numbers regress from last year, center Roy Hibbert started strong but then tailed off in a big way, point guard Darren Collison often struggled with his efficiency, and none of the other periphery parts have developed into anything substantial.

The firing comes one day after the Pacers lost to the Chicago Bulls, 110-89, on Saturday night. IndyCornrows.com notes that O'Brien was ejected from last night's game.

O'Brien was hired by Indiana before the 2007-2008 NBA season. His record with the team was 121-169, and he never won more than 36 games in a season. His career coaching record stands at 303-327.
Posted on: January 24, 2011 1:31 pm

O'Brien safe for the season in Indiana?

Posted by Royce Young

Recently, reports started bubbling up that Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien might be a dead man walking. And on top of that, general manager David Morway could be seeing his last days.

Over the weekend, a report from ESPN.com said, "Indiana Pacers brass is not pleased with the performance of head coach Jim O'Brien, according to several league sources" But while the Pacers aren't pleased -- and why would they be with the team at 16-25 and losers of five straight -- they aren't looking to can O'Brien before the season is over, according to the Indy Star.
"Barring a sudden change of thought, the Pacers have no intention of replacing O'Brien, who is in the final year of his contract," wrote Wells. "They wouldn't move any of the assistants up and there's no point in bringing in somebody from the outside because the players would have to learn the new coach's system on the fly over the final 41 games of the season."
The reason O'Brien might be safe for the rest of this year isn't because Larry Bird and the Pacers want to give him a shot to correct the team's problems and get on track. It's just because they don't feel like a proper interim candidate is on the bench. His assistants are Dan Burke, Frank Vogel, Jay DeFruscio, Vitaly Potapenko and Walter McCarty and none, according to reports, are viewed as a suitable replacement.

In other words, awesome Indiana. Even your assistants stink.

The big complaint with O'Brian, other than the losing of course, is how he manages his team. Danny Granger may be regressing, minutes and rotations are jacked up and he's handled point guard Darren Collison in an extremely odd way. O'Brien wants to win with defense, but the team hasn't played that well on that end the last month. O'Brien is kind of Larry Brown-ish, except without all the wins and success on his resume.

The Pacers will definitely be looking at change this offseason, but by all appearances, it's at least 41 more games of more of the same in Indiana. O'Brien has a shot to turn things around, but by the sound of it, the bell is tolling for him.
Posted on: January 21, 2011 11:57 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2011 12:12 am

Report: Pacers coach, GM are dead men walking?

Indiana Pacers coach Jim O'Brien and GM David Morway are reportedly in hot water when their contracts are up this season. Posted by Ben Golliver. jim-obrien

The Indiana Pacers got off to a promising start this year, but it's been back to mediocre over the last month or so, as the team has fallen to 16-23, well below .500. 

ESPN.com reports that another losing season could be the last for Indiana Pacers coach Jim O'Brien and GM David Morway.
Indiana Pacers brass is not pleased with the performance of head coach Jim O'Brien, according to several league sources. 
That said, O'Brien, who is in the last year of his contract, is likely to remain as coach the rest of the season. Part of the reason is that no one on O'Brien's staff -- Dan Burke, Frank Vogel, Jay DeFruscio, Vitaly Potapenko Walter McCarty -- is viewed as a suitable replacement. 

GM David Morway could also be in trouble after the season, and league scuttlebutt has former Portland GM Kevin Pritchard as a likely replacement.
On Thursday, the Indianapolis Star noted that Pritchard, who is not currently employed in any capacity by the team, was travelling with Pacers president Larry Bird on the team's road trip.
Pacers president Larry Bird invited Pritchard, who was fired by Portland about an hour before last summer's NBA draft, on the trip. Their friendship goes back to when the two were teammates with the Boston Celtics during the 1991-92 season. Bird likes to pick the brains of people who have held front office positions. Golden State's former executive of basketball operations, Chris Mullin, also a former Pacers player, might hang around the team later in the season.
"There's a lot of guys around the league I talk to," Bird said. "I've always done that."
Bird, the paper also noted recently, is in the final year of his contract as well, and hasn't yet reached a decision about whether or not he'll be back.

The Pacers didn't have a great offseason, drafting as-yet-unproductive forward Paul George and guard Lance Stephenson, who immediately made national headlines after getting involved in a domestic violence incident and was asked to remain away from the team. Indiana did net promising young point guard Darren Collison in a trade that dumped Troy Murphy to New Jersey, but it hasn't been enough to turn them into a solid playoff team. 

Earlier this month, CBSSports.com's Ken Berger outlined the uphill battle the Pacers were facing as a small-market team attempting to compete against the league's deep-pocketed, big-market teams.

A Moneyball-style GM like Pritchard would make a ton of sense in Indiana, as his understanding of advanced statistics, analytics and cap management is generally seen as the surest way for a small-market team to get the maximum bang for their buck and narrow the gap between the LA's and New York's of the world. Pritchard's name will likely generate a lot of interest this summer, as he and TNT commentator Steve Kerr are the two biggest names among former GMs that are not currently employed in that capacity. 
Posted on: January 17, 2011 6:28 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2011 6:34 pm

Blake Griffin's 47 points sets NBA season record

Los Angeles Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin set an NBA season record with 47 points against the Indiana Pacers. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Blake Griffin left the Los Angeles Lakers fighting mad on Sunday night, but on Monday the Los Angeles Clippers rookie forward rendered the Indiana Pacers utterly defenseless, pouring in an NBA season-high 47 points to go along with 14 rebounds, three assists and a block in 37 minutes.

Griffin shot an astonishing 19-24 from the field and got his buckets in every conceivable fashion, banking in jumpers, bulldozing his way into the paint, showing a soft touch on the glass, making nine of his 11 attempts from the charity stripe and just relentlessly punishing poor Jeff Foster and James Posey, who were powerless to stop his offensive assault.

No player has scored 47 or more points in an NBA regular season game since Vince Carter, then of the Orlando Magic, scored 48 points against the New Orleans Hornets on Feb. 8, 2010. Incredibly, it's the most points scored by a power forward or center dating back to Nov. 5, 2008, when Amar'e Stoudemire scored 49 points against the Indiana Pacers.

For Griffin, the performance will serve as the centerpiece for his All-Star candidacy which, honestly, shouldn't be in question. Griffin has increased his scoring, rebounding and assist numbers each month this season and is currently averaging an absurd 24.3 points, 14.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists in January. Check out this table of his monthly splits, courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com. (Note: numbers do not include Monday's performance.)


Thanks largely to Griffin's increasing output, the Clippers as a whole are playing steadily better too, on pace to make January their first winning month of the season.
Posted on: December 29, 2010 11:58 am

The Game Changer: Miami burns New York again

Posted by Royce Young

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.


The Knicks fought back furiously against the Heat Tuesday, cutting a 14-point fourth quarter Miami lead down to three with two minutes left after Raymond Felton knocked down a free throw following a technical on Erik Spoelstra.

The technical is was brought the Knicks within a possession of the Heat, but it's also what may have finally woke Miami back up. After Spoelstra's technical, Miami closed the game on a 9-4 run that sealed the Heat's 24th win and New York's 13th loss.

Dwyane Wade dropped 40, with 15 coming in the fourth quarter. LeBron added 18, eight assists and 10 rebounds and Chris Bosh put up another 18. Amar'e Stoudemire finished with 30.

New York played much better with the Heat this time around doing more of what it's good at. In the first meeting, the Knicks got caught up trying to play too perfectly and too fast, as things unraveled in the third quarter. While they trailed the entire second half, this time the Knicks kept plugging and have themselves a chance.

In the end, too much Wade, too much LeBron.

Really, all the Knicks need is LeBron James. If they can just get him next summ-- ... what's that? Oh.


Dwyane Wade piled up 40 points and nine rebounds against the Knicks.

DeJuan Blair put up a mean double-double for San Antonio with 17 points and 15 rebounds.

Amar'e Stoudemire scored 30 in a losing effort against the Heat.

Derrick Rose had 18 points, 12 assists and six rebounds in a win over the Bucks.


Balanced scoring did the trick for the Nuggets against Portland Tuesday as the starting five all scored in double-figures. Other than Kenyon Martin's 10, the rest of the starting five scored 15, 17, 17 an 18. The bench only added 18 total, but it was the starters.

It wasn't so much that the Nuggets were outstanding, but more that the Blazers didn't know how to score. Without Brandon Roy, Portland only got scoring from LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum. Other than that, the Blazers just didn't know how to put the ball in the basket.


Mike Dunleavy and Nate Robinson got up close and personal, cracking faces in Boston's win. Honestly, it's surprising this doesn't happen more often.


The Raptors beat the Mavericks 84-76 behind 17 points and 12 rebounds from rookie Ed Davis. Dallas was without Dirk Nowitzki who missed the game because of a "sore knee" he sustained against Oklahoma City Monday night.

Dallas started the game 4-20 from the field, and scored a total of 49 points combined in the first, third and fourth quarters. Against Oklahoma City, the Mavs picked up the slack despite not having Dirk by getting scoring from Shawn Marion, Jason Terry and Caron Butler. Tuesday, those three did OK, combining for 45 points. The problem was, nobody else could score.

So yeah, I guess the Mavs kind of need Dirk.


From the opening tip, you could feel the intensity. This might've been a regular season game on Dec. 28, but it sure seemed like something you'd see April 28.

Two titans of the postseason were playing and even though it's just one more of 82, anytime the Spurs and Lakers hook up, pleasantries don't stay in the arena very long.

Kobe Bryant and George Hill tangoed in the first half, pointing fingers in faces and saying, um, stuff to each other. Ron Artest roped Tony Parker on a fast break for a hard foul. Andrew Bynum clothes-lined Tiago Splitter on the inside. Richard Jefferson and Derek Fisher had an exchange with Fisher picking up a technical after chasing Jefferson down to bump. Hard fouls, technicals, trash talk -- this one just had that extra umph.

But just like a classic Spurs playoff win, San Antonio used stifling defense, smart offense and big plays from role players to overwhelm the Lakers in the fourth quarter, beating the defending champs 97-82 in front of a sold-out AT&T Center crowd.

And here's where we go one of two ways: Is the story how well the Spurs are playing or if the Lakers officially in crisis mode?

Let me hedge here and say both. The Spurs are playing wonderful basketball. They're undefeated at home in December, own the NBA's best record and get something from everybody that steps on the floor. Tim Duncan was just 1-7 from the floor and scored only two points. Manu Ginobili went just 3-12 from the field. So naturally, since this is the Spurs we're talking about, someone stepped up.

Click here to read the rest of how the Spurs dominated the Lakers.


It's been a rough stretch for Indiana's Danny Granger lately. The Pacer scorer is shooting around 35 percent from the field over the past couple weeks and really punctuated that with a 5-21 performance against the Celtics. It's nothing Granger is doing wrong necessarily, he's just missing shots. And when shooters start missing, they start forcing things. It's a tough cycle to be stuck in, but Granger will break loose at some point.
Posted on: December 24, 2010 12:08 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:50 pm

NBA naughty & nice: who gets cash, who gets coal?

Everyone wants to receive cash for Christmas, and everyone hopes Santa Claus doesn't leave coal. We hand out cash and coal to the NBA's teams, cash-coal players and executives based on their pre-Christmas performances. Posted by Ben Golliver Christmas Day: when your greatest hopes either come true, or come crashing down on top of you. You either get what you want, or hate what you got. Christmas expectations can be a mother, just like expectations in the NBA. The NBA Facts & Rumors staff sat down and tossed out this question: Who in the NBA deserves cash (what we all secretly want) and who deserves coal (what we all not-no-secretly fear)?   Who was nice and who was naughty? The results are in. Check them out below.


Matt Moore -- Indiana Pacers: Darren Collison isn't the man in Indiana, not yet. He doesn't need to be. But what was an incomplete and inconsistent team last year is much more solid thanks to the contributions of the players the front office decided to add, and the ones they decided not to get rid of. That the Pacers are within range of the playoffs demonstrates that their moves were sound. James Posey provides leadership, Collison provides another PG weapon along with T.J. Ford (how many teams have point guard surpluses?), and Roy Hibbert has continued to flourish. Good job all around by Larry Bird and the Pacers front office.  Royce Young -- Amar'e Stoudemire: When the big summer free agency bonanza started, not many had Amar'e Stoudemire as a big prize. Most actually felt like Chris Bosh was the real power forward that should be on everyone's wish list. However, it's turned out Stoudemire has been everything the Knicks wanted and needed. He's exciting, has the star power to last in New York and most importantly, has led a pretty good turnaround for the Knicks. Plus, don't ignore what Raymond Felton has meant to the team. His offseason signing was seen as something to bridge the gap until the Knicks could get something better, but he's turning in an All-Star caliber season so far. Ben Golliver -- Wesley Matthews: Not like he needs the money after inking a five-year contract this summer, but Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews has earned it, thanks to rock solid play in the first third of the season. Stepping into the starting lineup in place of small forward Nicolas Batum, and then sliding over to two guard when Brandon Roy went down to injury, Matthews has proven to be a versatile dynamo on both sides of the ball. His relentless optimism and hustle, along with renewed spirit from LaMarcus Aldridge, have been the main reasons Blazers fans haven't totally abandoned ship during another injury-plagued season. From unknown to overpaid to properly valued, it's been a rollercoaster ride for Matthews, but he deserves all of the recent praise, and more. 


Ben Golliver -- Paul Westphal: The Sacramento Kings are the league's worst team, and it's not by accident. The list of Westphal's sins is a mile long. He hasn't harnessed promising rookie DeMarcus Cousins, and he hasn't even provided him with very good direction. He's failed to honestly assess and remedy the team's offensive failings. He's watched as star guard Tyreke Evans has taken a step back after a Rookie of the Year campaign. He's reportedly "lost the locker room" after juggling his lineups so often. He's lost lots and lots and lots of games. No one, save his immediate family, would be upset if he was ousted in Sacramento in the near future, and that's the definition of a man that's earned himself some coal.

Matt Moore -- Joe Dumars: There's a song "A Change is Gonna Come." Apparently Joe Dumars has never heard this song. In the midst of a failing economy with too much money on the books and a disastrous season before, Dumars elected to stay the course. And that's led the Pistons right into the rocks, even worse than last year. Rip Hamilton is clashing with teammates, John Kuester's clashing with everyone, and the Pistons are struggling, even as they have recently shown signs of life. The Pistons don't just need to make moves, they have the ability to with the talent they have and the contracts on roster. Joe Dumars gets coal not for doing something naughty, but for not doing anything nice at all.  Royce Young -- New Jersey Nets: The Nets figured to be players in the market last summer but missed out on all the big name players. They felt obligated to do something, so they made a couple moves to try and bolster the roster. Potential scorer Travis Outlaw, Jordan Farmar, and Anthony Morrow were signed, plus they traded Courtney Lee for Troy Murphy who appeared to be someone to help inside. Instead, the Nets are 9-21 and Murphy has been on the end of the bench for most of the season. The Nets whiffed on the big names in free agency and look to have missed on the players they did get. 
Posted on: December 14, 2010 11:31 am

The Game Changer: Chicago keeps clamping down

Posted by Royce Young

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.


Let's go over a few stats from the Pacers-Bulls game. Indiana's field goal percentage: 35.7. Indiana's turnovers: 15. Indiana's points by quarter: 18, 23, 17, 15. Indiana's total points: 73.

The lesson here we're learning is, it's not easy to score on the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls have won six straight and during that stretch are only allowing 88.0 points per game, and that's including an overtime win over the Rockets where Chicago gave up 116. In the last five wins, the Bulls are just allowing 82.4 points a game. Consider this: In games that ended in regulation, the Bulls have only allowed 100 points four times in their 23 games. And people didn't think Tom Thibodeau could transform the Bulls.

What makes the Bulls so incredible on the defensive end is their ability to help defend everywhere. Nothing ever goes uncontested. If the other team is taking a shot, you can count on a hand being in their face. The Bulls rotate as well as anyone, stuff the lane and force opponents to try and beat them with jumpshots. It's the classic Boston Celtic defense that Thibodeau became known for. And it's making the Bulls one of the premier teams in the East.

Since Carlos Boozer has joined the team after his injury, the Bulls are 6-1 with the one loss being to the Celtics in Boozers first game. Chicago is placing itself in the elite tier in the East and priming itself as a contender to the Magic, Heat and Celtics.


Zach Randolph gets the gold star as he Grizzly big man went for 25 points and 20 rebounds in a winning effort over the Blazers.

Dwyane Wade
gets a mention with 32 points on only 13 shots. Plus he added five rebounds just for fun.

Carlos Boozer continues to come around as he had 22 points and 18 rebounds for the Bulls in their domination of the Pacers.

Deron Williams and the Jazz cruised past the Warriors as Williams had 30 points on 8-16 shooting and 10 assists.


The Heat made it nine straight with a cruising 96-84 over the Hornets Monday night. And once again, Miami impressed. New Orleans was just overwhelmed by the Heat. Miami went on an 18-2 run late and completely took over the game. It just didn't seem like the Hornets could do anything to fix the Heat's run. Once Miami flipped the switch, it just felt like the game was over.

Here's what's most impressive about the Heat's winning streak. Every single game has come by double-digits. The last team to do that? LeBron's 2008-09 Cavs. In fact, the Heat are now just one off the record shared by five teams.

On top of that, all nine the Heat have held their opponent under 100 points. Against the Hornets, Miami gave up just 30 after the half and only nine points in the fourth quarter. Nine points for the Hornets in the last 12 minutes. That's just... insane.

Not to take anything away from the Heat's dominance, but what the crap is wrong with the Hornets and Chris Paul ? CP3 has completely disappeared down the stretch in games. He's not asserting himself into the offense and is completely drifting. As Paul goes, so does David West , Emeka Okafor and everyone else. Paul is fizzling late and it's killing the Hornets.

For more analysis on the Heat and Hornets, click here.


No, he didn't jump over it. That hasn't happened, yet. But with the shot clock bearing down on him, LeBron got creative as he was forced deep on the baseline. He had a horrible angle on the rim, so naturally, LeBron improvised and shot the ball over the backboard. And of course, it went in.


The Mavericks winning streak is over at 12. Matt Moore with some thoughts:
Milwaukee badly needed the win, their third in a row, and needed to get their offense going. With both Jennings and Andrew Bogut scoring 20-plus and the Bucks dropping in a 114 efficiency mark, it's at least a step forward for the worst offense in the NBA. The loss will also do nothing to dispel the notion that Dallas still lacks the defensive acumen to compete in the playoffs. In truth, Dallas had the fifth best defense in the NBA coming into tonight. Just one of those nights, across the board, and an end to the win streak. During the streak, Dallas outscored its opponents by an average of just under nine points per game.


You've probably heard all about how serious David Lee's elbow injury was. And if you're like me, when you heard, "He could've lost his arm!" you thought, "I'm sure it was bad, but really? Because of a tooth?" But when you see what it actually looks like, it might make you think otherwise. Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group took a picture of it. Yeah, I'd say David Lee had a pretty significant injury.

Lee injured the elbow when Wilson Chandler's face basically assaulted his elbow. Chander ended up breaking off a tooth in the collison and Lee had to have surgery because of an infection that followed. Lee's been wearing a pad to cover the, uh, cut, but obviously it's not a comfortable thing to play through.


The Grizzlies have quietly won three straight to get back to within striking distance of .500. The wins aren't the most impressive (Clippers, Suns, Blazers), but Memphis is at least playing better. The defensive domination over the Blazers Monday night is something for the Grizz to feel good about and with two more winnable games before heading to San Antonio, Memphis could stretch this out a little further.
Posted on: December 14, 2010 9:25 am
Edited on: December 14, 2010 11:26 am

Shootaround 12.14.10: Respect and disrespect

Magic says the Pistons are soft, Roy Hibbert has great hands, and Noah meets the Worm, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

  • So remember when the Pacers traded for Darren Collison and he was supposed to be their point guard of the future, taking them to the next level?  Well, they've gotten to the next level, suddenly in a position to contend for a playoff spot. But Collison has been left in the dirt, and can't quite figure out why . People who weren't blown away by Collison's numbers last season questioned his poise and defensive stature, and it would appear those same elements are what is keeping T.J. Ford and A.J. Price in heavy minutes. Who would have thought the Pacers would have a point guard overflow a year ago?
  • Roy Hibbert has turned into quite the passing big man because of his time spent this summer with Bill Walton.  8 Points, 9 Seconds breaks down what's helped him improve , and his confidence has been as important as his quick decision making. There's something to be said for simply going with your instincts instead of debating yourself into a bad posssession. It's that All-Around play that has to leave you wondering... is Hibbert an All-Star this season? One guy who doesn't think so? His coach .
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com