BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 13:  Paul George #13 of the Indiana Pacers carries the ball down court during the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on January 13, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Refueled Pacers Possess High Hopes

It seems like a very long time ago that Larry Bird made the decision to not renew the contract of Frank Vogel as head coach of the Indiana Pacers. On that day in early May, there was some level of disbelief and a mixture of contempt and animus toward Bird for making that decision. Some […]

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 30:  Jrue Holiday #11 of the New Orleans Pelicans drives the ball up the court against the Indiana Pacers at the New Orleans Arena on October 30, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Examining the New Orleans Pelicans Playoff Hopes

One of the most compelling contrasts in summer strategies involved Indiana and New Orleans. The Pacers seemingly swapped out its defensive identity for an offensive one, but the Pels did just the opposite—allowing Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon to sign with the Houston Rockets and instead nabbing numerous defensive-minded grinders and overlooked talents.

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 09:  Karl-Anthony Towns #32 and Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves react after Ricky Rubio #9 draws a charge from Kent Bazemore #24 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 9, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Are the Wolves Ready to Run With the Wild West?

The Wolves selected Providence senior guard Kris Dunn with the no. 5 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, then brought in two centers and a wing during free agency. Is Minnesota still a year away from jumping into the Western Conference playoff pool, or is new coach Tom Thibodeau ready to lead this pack […]

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 25: Karl-Anthony Towns holds a selfie stick with other top prospects before the start of the First Round of the 2015 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 25, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of  New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Recruiting Writers

The Lottery Mafia is seeking to sign a few new contributors as we gear up for basketball season.

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 14:  Kyrie Irving of the USA celebrates scoring during the 2014 FIBA World Basketball Championship final match between USA and Serbia at Palacio de los Deportes on September 14, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

U.S. Edges Spain, Serbia Smashes Australia in Olympic Semifinal

U.S. versus Spain Spain hung close and fought hard from start to finish, keeping the U.S. within striking distance for the entirety of the contest. However, they weren’t able to produce enough offensive firepower to truly threaten the red, white, and blue. Pau Gasol scored 23 points (9-19 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 3-3 FT) and added […]

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10:  The United States team stands during the national anthem before taking on Argentina in the Men's Basketball semifinal match on Day 14 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the North Greenwich Arenaon August 10, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Constructing a 25-and-Under USA Roster for the 2020 Olympics

Of course, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, and several other stars are not participating in this summer’s Rio Olympics. Yet, as evidenced by recent bouts versus Serbia and Australia, the U.S. might not be as far ahead of the pack as we (you know, the royal we) thought.

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 28:  James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets celebrates a late basket against the Dallas Mavericks during Game Five in the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2015 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Houston Rockets: Liftoff or Failure to Launch?

Last year, the Rockets finished the regular season 41-41, snuck into the playoffs as the eighth seed ahead of the Jazz, and got smoked in the first round by the Warriors. Not exactly what was expected from a team that had finished the previous season 56-26 with legitimate MVP candidate James Harden leading them to […]

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 03:  Allen Crabbe #23 of the Portland Trail Blazers goes up for a dunk on Shaun Livingston #34 of the Golden State Warriors during Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2016 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Blazers Looking to Follow Trail Back to Playoffs in 2016-17

Teams that throw around money are commonplace in professional sports, but what happens when that money is thrown at Evan Turner? If that sounds familiar, you know the Portland Trail Blazers, a team that punched well above their weight in 2015-16. After a busy off-season, they have to feel like they can do it again […]

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07:  Dario Saric #9 of Croatia blocks Pau Gasol #4 of Spain during a Men's preliminary round basketball game between Croatia and Spain on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 1 on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Dario Saric Saves the Day, and Some Thoughts on the First Weekend of Olympic Basketball

France-Australia Saturday featured three blowouts, including Australia’s surprising savaging of France. Matthew Dellavedova’s artsy alley-oops attempts were on target all afternoon and Andrew Bogut’s bounce was back. Judging from that game alone, Bogut still has quite a bit to offer Dallas, and I’ll officially be surprised if the Mavs miss the playoffs. Despite a comeback […]

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