Watch the Pacers hit 20 straight shots [video]

I don’t know if this says more about the Pacers’ ability to shoot the ball or the Nuggets’ inability to defend, probably a combination of the two. Indiana started the third quarter with a 10-point lead. Watch how the lead grows as the Pacers get hot from the field.

Indiana scored 54 points in the third quarter and won the game 144-113. If you’re wondering, the Pacers had just one turnover in the period (a bad pass by Darren Collison) and Josh McRoberts missed the final shot of the quarter (a 26-foot 3PT attempt).

The Pacers are better than I thought they’d be. They have an up-and-coming point guard (Collison) and big man (Roy Hibbert) to go along with their All-Star wing (Danny Granger). And if Mike Dunleavy is going to shoot the ball like this, Indiana will be tough to beat.

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Clippers fire Dunleavy…for LeBron?

A few weeks ago, Mike Dunleavy gave up his coaching duties and now the Clippers have announced that he’s no longer the general manager, either.

Here is an excerpt from the press release posted on the team’s website…

The organization has determined that the goal of building a winning team is best served by making this decision at this time. The team has simply not made sufficient progress during Dunleavy’s seven-year tenure. The Clippers want to win now. This transition, in conjunction with a full commitment to dedicate unlimited resources, is designed to accomplish that objective.


FanHouse suggests that the move may be aimed at giving LeBron the ability to name his next head coach and general manager.

The Clippers, according to another source within the organization, are hoping to persuade James to come if he also can pick his coach, and possibly his general manager.

Aside from the franchise’s reputation for one blunder after another, the Clippers will have some attractive assets to offer a free agent like James. Kaman is one of the league’s best centers. Power forward Blake Griffin, who missed this season with a knee injury, is considered a sure-bet star on the rise. Davis is a former All-Star, and young guard Eric Gordon has great potential.

While a lineup consisting of Davis, Gordon, LeBron, Griffin and Kaman would certainly be imposing, let’s remember that this is the Clippers. Would LeBron really be willing to risk his career on a franchise that, aside from a good season here and there, has been a complete mess for its entire history?

If the Cavs fail to win a title this season, and the Knicks, Bulls and Heat don’t bowl him over, the prospect of playing for Phil Jackson and being able to name a trustworthy general manager might be enough to convince him to play for the Clippers.

But I doubt it.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

How “The Hangover” convinced Mike Dunleavy to step down

Via TrueHoop…

I was walking by [Clippers broadcaster] Ralph [Lawler] … He sits right behind me and he’s laughing. I went to use the restroom — I was studying film, doing whatever — and I said, “What are you watching?”

And Ralph said, “I’m watching this movie, ‘The Hangover,'”

I said, “All my boys have seen it and said they loved it.”

And I’m sitting there and I said to myself, “You know, I need a break.”

I said, “Ralph, when you’re finished with that movie, let me know.”

He gave me the movie, and I laughed. And I got in my own head and I’m thinking, “Wow.”

One of our guys saw me laughing. He thought I was asleep and he says, “Coach!”

I look up and he said, “What are you laughing at?”

I said, “I’m watching this film.”

He said, “Oh, I thought you were asleep and were laughing in your dreams.”

I think he was shocked that I was watching a movie as opposed to nonstop film. At that point in my own mind, I said the same thing, “This is a sign that it’s time to take a break. Time to recharge the batteries … You’re burnt out on this.”

Mike Dunleavy is comedy gold.

Dunleavy steps down as head coach, will focus on GM duties

Somewhere, Bill Simmons is dancing in celebration because Mike Dunleavy is one step closer to leaving the Los Angeles Clippers. (ESPN)

Although Dunleavy has been under pressure at various points during the past few months despite the season-long absence of No. 1 overall pick Blake Griffin ( reported in November that Clippers owner Donald Sterling contemplated making a change after an 0-4 start), one source close to the situation insisted that it was Dunleavy’s “decision to step down.”

Said Dunleavy in a team statement: “I’ve had several conversations with our owner [Sterling] concerning what we think is best for the team overall. We have discussed the possibility of my concentrating only on basketball operations. That option has always been available to me.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the ideal time for me to direct my efforts toward the many personnel opportunities that lie before us, such as the trade market, the draft and the free-agent process. We fully expect to be active and productive on all those fronts.”

J.A. Adande writes that the only reason Dunleavy is still with the team is that Sterling doesn’t want to pay coaches that don’t work for him.

The funny thing is, given the injuries to Chris Paul and Greg Oden, the Clippers would have had a legitimate shot at the playoffs had Blake Griffin been healthy. But the injury bug doesn’t discriminate.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

The Top 10 Head Scratchers of the 2009 NBA Offseason

The NBA offseason is by no means over, but the lion’s share is behind us, so it’s a good time to take a look back at a few of the…um…let’s say “questionable” decisions of the summer. Here are my Top 10, in no particular order. Feel free to add to the list if I missed something.

1. Trevor Ariza plays spiteful hardball…and loses.
Let’s get this straight — the Lakers offered Ariza the same deal he was getting on the open market, and he refused since the Lakers could have offered more, but didn’t? Um, okay. David Lee (the agent, not the Knicks forward) says that Ariza wanted to go somewhere where he’d be “appreciated.” Lee overestimated the market for his client, and the Lakers quickly moved on to acquire Ron Artest. Now instead of playing for the world champs, Ariza is stuck in Houston on a team that faces a very uncertain future. Lee now says that Ariza turned down a deal worth $9 million more, but still picked Houston. It sounds to me like he’s just trying to save face.

2. Grizzlies acquire Zach Randolph.
Once the Clippers traded for Randolph (and his toxic contract) last season, I thought the bar for NBA general managers had hit a new low thanks to Mike Dunleavy and his wily ways. But Dunleavy proved that he wasn’t the dumbest GM in the league when he convinced the Memphis Grizzlies to take on the final two years Randolph’s contract at the tune of $33.3 million. Remember that $25 million or so of cap space that the Grizzlies were going to have next summer? Yeah, that’s down to about $8 million with this brilliant move. Just when it looked like Chris Wallace was going to rehab his image after the Pau Gasol trade — Marc Gasol panning out, trading for O.J. Mayo — he goes and does this. Sigh.

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