The Indiana Pacers emerge from the All-Star break at 18-34 with a schedule looming which might just suck any life out of the remainder of the season, putting the team in prime position for the John Wall lottery.
On Wednesday night, the San Antonio Spurs visit Conseco Fieldhouse to get the season going again. By San Antonio standards, the Spurs have been struggling of late, but they are still 30-21 and will surely be a player in the Western Conference playoffs. Needless to say, the Spurs will present plenty of problems for the Pacers.
After the Spurs leave town, the Pacers will follow close behind starting a stretch with eight of the next ten games on the road. They start with four roadies at New Orleans, Houston, Dallas and Chicago, then back at the Fieldhouse to play Milwaukee and Chicago before making their final West Coast swing.
That West Coast swing has the potential to hit the Pacers like a sledgehammer, starting with their annual game at the L.A. Lakers then moving on to play at Portland, Denver and Phoenix. Unlce!
How many wins can you pencil on for the next 11 games? Two, maybe three unless some crazy convergence of chemistry, defense and shooting touch improve drastically for the Pacer. Plus, throw in the possibility of a trade, which if one occurs will be done with the future in mind and not with the intent of helping the current team. Yep, this could be tough to endure. I just hope the young guys get some minutes and learn the tough lessons waiting for them out there on the road.
After the jump, a few links of interest on the All-Star break and trade rumors flowing.
As Amar'e Stoudemire asserts he can play with Shaquille O'Neal, Cavaliers play waiting game on Phoenix's trade decision
Brian Windhorst has the latest trade info from Cleveland's perspective. Amar'e Stoudemire is still the key piece in play, but he refutes a report yesterday that a deal was in place for Troy Murphy should the Amar'e deal fall through. Here'a what Windhort reports: "According to a source, the Cavs and Indiana Pacers have not progressed in talks for forward Troy Murphy since last week. Contrary to a Monday report in the Los Angeles Times, the Cavs do not have a deal in place for Murphy if the Stoudemire option falls though. Though the Cavs made some progress from the initial Pacers demands a month ago, there is a belief that Indiana is still asking more than the Cavs are comfortable giving right now. That may be the demand for Hickson to be part of the deal but also could include draft picks."
Pacers just talking for now as trade deadline nears
Mike Wells reports that any trade rumors involving the Pacers are just talk at this point.
Some bright spots in otherwise foggy season
Bruno's latest Caught In The Web picks through the carnage of the season so far to find some brights spots of note.
Pacers Unlikely To Swing Deal
Andrew Perna thinks the trade deadline will pass without the Pacers making a trade.
Sources: Cleveland Cavaliers talking Corey Maggette with Golden State Warriors
The Cavaliers are talking to the Warriors about Corey Maggette in case a deal for Amare Stoudemire falls through, sources said on Monday.
Murphy and Granger discuss the trade deadline
Jeremiah Johnson dropped by practice yesterday to check in with Troy Murphy and Danny Granger about dealing with the trade rumors.
Earl Watson ready to get playing again
Jeremiah Johnson talked to Earl Watson after practice yesterday as he preps to start playing again.
Larger Than Life: Rating The Sights And Sounds From NBA All-Star Weekend
SB Nation was well represented at the All-Star game and this story sums up all of the action in Dallas.
Colangelo, Stern and revamping the Hall of Fame
John Hollinger reports on the NBA taking a closer look at the Basketball Hall of Fame. Don't forget the ABA!
- Advanced Stat Talk – A Different Way to Look at Strength of Schedule
Hill's Jersey To Be Retired By IUPUI
While in town, former Broad Ripple Rocket, George Hill will have his No. 3 retired at IUPUI.
David Benner knows his NASCAR
Pacers' PR Chief David Benner spent his All-Star break down at Daytona and breaks down the action for Indy Sports Nation.