HoopsHype Indiana Pacers rumors


February 7, 2014 Updates

Near the end of practice on Thursday afternoon, Lance Stephenson looked like a man without a care – or at least, a man without a back problem. Stephenson smiled as he walked from one corner of the baseline to another then later, laughed along with assistant Popeye Jones and showed no discomfort as he lofted 3-point shot after low-arcing 3-point shot. Stephenson, who crashed hard to the floor during the Indiana Pacers' win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night, passed the eye test for a clean bill of health. However, beneath his carefree exterior, Stephenson still carries a bruise as a reminder from that fall and could miss the Pacers' rematch with the Portland Trail Blazers. "The pain. Certain movements really hurt me," said Stephenson, who did not practice. The Pacers have listed him as "day-to-day" with a bruised lower back. Indianapolis Star

Stephenson said in the split-second of losing his balance, he knew that if he had extended his arm instead of taking the impact of the fall on his back, the injury could have turned out worse. "I would've broke my arm," Stephenson said. "I tried to do like a little flip so I can protect my balance at the same time. So, I'm just happy I fell the way I did." Indianapolis Star

Indiana Pacers superstar Paul George tells TMZ Sports ... he never EVER offered to pay a woman $1 million to abort her unborn child -- but if the kid is his, he's ready and willing to do the right thing. We're told ... back in 2013, George had a relationship with a woman from Miami named "Daniela" -- a woman who is currently pregnant. The releationship went through the end of the summer ... but in November, Daniela informed George she was pregnant and she believes he is the father. In a statement to TMZ Sports, George says ... "If and when there is legal confirmation that I am the father, I will fully embrace my responsibilities. This is a personal matter that is still being sorted out, so I hope you can respect my privacy. " TMZ.com

February 6, 2014 Updates

NBA All-Stars Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and John Wall of the Washington Wizards headline the list of dunkers in the 2014 Sprite Slam Dunk (#SpriteSlam), taking place during State Farm® All-Star Saturday Night (#StateFarmSaturday) at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Saturday, Feb. 15. Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors and Ben McLemore of the Sacramento Kings fill out the Western Conference teams, while reigning Sprite Slam Dunk champion Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors completes the East roster. This year's event will feature the participants competing as a team -- three players representing the Eastern Conference and three players representing the Western Conference -- in an above-the-rim two-round format. In a significant first in the event's history, the competition will tip off with a Freestyle Round where the dunkers for each conference will have 90 seconds to showcase as many dunks as they want. At the conclusion of the Freestyle Round, the panel of judges will then choose a winner by voting "East" or "West." The winning conference will earn the advantage of deciding whether its dunkers will dunk first or second in the head-to-head battles that take place in the Battle Round. NBA.com

The Indiana Pacers announced Thursday that guard Orlando Johnson has been assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA D-League. This is Johnson’s first D-League assignment this season. In the 2012-13 season, he played four games with the Mad Ants, averaging 23.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. NBA.com

Candace Buckner: Also, I asked Stephenson if the NBA had invited him to compete in any of the competitions. Stephenson did not directly answer but said: "I decided not to do it. I ain't want to do it." -- Stephenson said about All-Star weekend competitions, i.e. Skills Challenge, et al. Twitter @CandaceDBuckner

Sources told ESPN.com that Indiana's Paul George, Washington's John Wall and Portland's Damian Lillard are confirmed entrants in the dunk field that will be officially announced later Thursday on TNT. ESPN.com reported Wednesday night that George, Wall and Lillard were poised to join defending champion Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors in the competition. ESPN.com

Nearly every night Hibbert has a height advantage over his opponent, but allowing the defender to push him away from the basket negates the effectiveness and productivity of his low-post game. If a big man can catch with a foot already in the paint, he has already won 75 percent of the battle. However, only 1 out of every 5 post touches Hibbert receives does he actually have a foot in the paint. Hibbert is in a ‘back-to-the-basket’ post up situation 44.4 percent of his attempted shots, but he is only converting at a 0.84 points per possession rate. That’s only average in the league, and puts him behind Miles Plumlee, for example. HoopsHype

Getty Images

Three of the top four players are from the team's ABA era. All but the dead-eye shooter at No. 1.

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