– Pacers sound off after frustrating loss to Knicks (from Candace Buckner, IndyStar.com):
” The Indiana Pacers played the style of defense on Wednesday that should carry them through the playoffs and should have propelled them to a win on national television.
But the togetherness that the team has built a 50-win season upon was absent inside Madison Square Garden. The bright lights of the beautiful arena turned on, then exposed an upsetting weakness during the Pacers’ 92-86 loss to the New York Knicks.
As Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points, leading his team to a seventh straight win, the Pacers looked like individuals who just so happened to be caught in the same uniform and not the tight unit that had earlier in the season dismantled these jump-shooting Knicks by nearly 30 points.
But after the game, the Pacers shared one thing in common. Their frustration.”
Read it here: http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nba/pacers/2014/03/19/indiana-pacers-nba-new-york-knicks/6637785/
” They know what ultimately awaits them; some of them barely remember what it feels like, while some have never had the experience.
“We’ve got resilient guys in here, we’ve got professional guys who all they want to do is win games.”
Read it here: http://www.thestar.com/sports/raptors/2014/03/19/raptors_dig_deep_to_rally_past_pelicans_in_new_orleans.html
More on Lowry:
– How Kyle Lowry transformed the Raptors (from Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports):
Read it here: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/how-kyle-lowry-transformed-the-raptors-and-became-of-the-nba-s-top-point-guards-225543400.html
– Markieff Morris boosts power game (from Paul Coro, Arizona Republic):
” Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe are two of the better driving guards in the league.
The Suns are the best team at scoring on fast breaks.
But for those times when they are unable to get to the rim one of those ways, they turn to sixth man Markieff Morris.to get them as close as they regular get otherwise.
The Suns lean on Morris’ improved post-up and power game as a fixture of the offense. He counts on it for more of his scoring, making him more efficient than he was in first two seasons.”
Read it here: http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/nba/suns/2014/03/20/phoenix-suns-markieff-morris-boosts-power-game/6642069/
– Trainer Tim Grover Reveals Full Story of DWade’s Injury Recovery (from Ethan Skolnick, Bleacher Report):
Read it here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1995960-dwyane-wade-trainer-tim-grover-reveals-full-story-of-heat-stars-injury-recovery
– Goran Dragic: Creative, energetic, unafraid and the savior of the Phoenix Suns’ season (from Shlomo Sprung, SheridanHoops.com):
” Goran Dragic slashes, drives and penetrates into the lane like no other NBA player, creatively opening up space to create for himself and his Phoenix Suns teammates. That creativity, though, comes with a heavy price: the beating he takes on a nightly basis as he hurtles into and bounces around defenders with his breathtakingly fun to watch forays towards the basket which sweep opponents and fans alike off their feet like a swift and strong gust of wind.
Dragic’s offensive game is so unique stylistically, but this year he’s coupled his singular energy and fervor with the efficiency both Dragic and his Suns have lacked. For any ball-handler to shoot over 50 percent from the field and nearly 42 percent from three is impressive. For Dragic to do so with his number of minutes and a usage rate, especially when guard Eric Bledsoe was injured, makes him one of the NBA’s most valuable players this season on the league’s most surprisingly successful squads.”
Read it here: http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2014/03/19/goran-dragic-creative-energetic-unafraid-and-the-savior-of-the-phoenix-suns-season/
– Al Jefferson, a low-post whiz, brings sunshine to Charlotte (from Lee Jenkins, Sports Illustrated):
Read it here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/news/20140319/al-jefferson-charlotte-bobcats/
– Examining the five players with the best low-post repertoires in the NBA ( from Rob Mahoney, Sports Ilustrated):
Rob Mahoney breaks down “in capsule form the play of the five current players with the best post moves.”
Read it here: http://nba.si.com/2014/03/19/nba-post-players-dirk-nowitzki-al-jefferson-lebron-james/?eref=sircrc
– Pacers: Prototype Remodel Franchise (from Jared Dubin, ESPN’s TrueHoopNetwork):
Read it here: http://espn.go.com/nba/dailydime/_/page/dime-140319/phil-knicks-play-their-role-models
– Grizzlies, Nets lead scary underdogs in NBA playoffs (from Sam Amick, USAToday):
” The NBA playoffs are still a month away, and already the script has been flipped.
Top teams suddenly look pedestrian, and better-late-than-never threats such as the Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets have gained fast. So it is, then, that the postseason possibilities suddenly are far more compelling than they appeared before the New Year rolled around. Snooze-a-palooza in the early rounds, in other words, is no longer on the docket.”
Read it here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2014/03/19/playoffs-low-seeds-could-be-dangerous-memphis-grizzlies-brooklyn-nets/6620699/
– In a tough season, Brian Shaw has kept the Nuggets ‘on the rope’ (from Matt Moore, CBS Sports):
“…we’re getting the effort. We’re competing. Even when we lose and we compete, we can live with that. So now it’s a matter of trying to be more consistent, but to learn from these situations and build off the fact that we’ve shown that when we play at the level we’re capable of, we can compete with any team in the league.”
” The odds are that Denver will look significantly different next season. But after a year that left so many wondering how much different things had been if the team had simply not made its changes at the top in the offseason, there are signs of a new foundation being laid. And if nothing else, there’s proof that even as Shaw continues to learn how to swing a head coaching job in the NBA, he’s kept his guys on the rope.”
Read it here: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24490255/in-a-tough-season-brian-shaw-has-kept-the-nuggets-on-the-rope
– Larry Sanders done for season, making progress after eye surgery (from Charles Gardner, Journal Sentinel):
Read it here: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/250986241.html
– DeAndre Jordan (from Chris Ballard, Sports Illustrated):
” Like Clippers of yore, DeAndre Jordan was moody, uninspired—a basket case even. Like Clippers of today, he is something new entirely: a shot-swatting, glass-cleaning demon, the NBA’s most-improved player”
Read it here: http://si.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1209927
There are actually even more interesting posts in the ‘sphere today so we will either do a part II later today or carry them over until tomorrow.
– Eric Bledsoe’s playoff push (from James Herbert, SBNation):
” With the ninth-place Suns in the thick of a playoff race, Eric Bledsoe came back from injury at just the right time.”
Read it here: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/3/19/5524574/eric-bledsoe-phoenix-suns-playoffs-feature-2014
And for those with access to ESPNInsider:
– Why rebuilding can work in NBA (from Kevin Pelton):